The latest research from Aldermore’s 2017 Annual Savings Tracker reveals that over 61% of us are saving an average of £2,748 a year. The top long-term savings goal in the UK was saving for retirement. Other long-term savings priorities included:
|Long term savings goals||% of respondents|
|Buying a house||20%|
|Holiday of a lifetime||19%|
|Provide children/relatives with an inheritance||14%|
|To pay off mortgage||12%|
|A second home / holiday home||6%|
Your savings goals will probably be different depending upon your age. If you're in your 20s and 30s you might be thinking of saving for your first home. In your 40s you might be more concerned with supporting your children through university or saving for a home extension. If you're in your 50s you might be thinking about retiring from the police.
Whatever stage of life you're in it's good to set some longer-term financial targets. If you're not saving regularly these 7 steps might help get you into the savings habit:
1. Choose a specific reason to save
Prioritise your financial goals and focus on what you consider to be most important. People who set a savings goal tend to save faster than those who don’t. Once you know what you are saving for you can start thinking about how much you will need to save each month in order to reach your goals.
2. Set yourself a deadline
Once you've set your goal and know the amount you need to save, you can set your deadline to achieve success. This will give you additional motivation to meet your savings goal.
3. Find ways to save every day
When you want to save money regularly for the long-term you need to be frugal. Find ways to save on your everyday bills. Always look to switch plans on your utilities, insurance and mobiles when they come up for renewal. Try to limit the amount you spend on entertainment so that you only spend on what is important. But make sure you have some “fun money” to spend on things you enjoy so that life doesn’t become boring.Reviewing your monthly budget will help you diagnose any problems that are stopping you saving. Is there something in particular you spend too much on, or is you're monthly total spend just generally too much? Listing your income and expenses using our budget planner could help you identify problem areas and come up with strategies to make saving easier.
4. Get an emergency fund
An emergency fund will protect your savings in the long run because you've set aside money to cover those unexpected bills and expenses. This step alone will make it easier for you to focus on your long-term goals because you know you have money set aside to cover any problems that crop up.
5. Find the right account for your savings
If you're working towards more than one saving goal you could choose to put all your savings into one account and keep track of what amount goes to which goal. Or you could have separate accounts for each savings goal. So for example, you could have:
- an account for your emergency fund. This might be an instant savings account so that you can quickly access your money.
- an account for your child’s university fees. This type of saving might be best suited to a Junior ISA, such as our Metfriendly Monthly Savings Junior ISA, that offers tax-free benefits as well as some flexibility.
- an account for saving for your dream holiday. This type of saving might be best suited to a fixed term savings plan such as our Metfriendly Ten Year Savings Plan, that you can’t dip in and out of.
6. Automate your savings
You should set up the savings so it happens automatically. Organise direct debits or standing orders so that the money goes out on the first of every month so you don’t get used to the money in your account and become tempted to spend it.
7. Make saving a habit
Making saving money a life-long habit will help you reach your long-term financial goals. You can’t expect your financial situation to change until you make saving a priority and turn it into a habit.
Time passes quickly and events that seem far off can creep up on you. Start saving for the long-term now to reach your financial goals.