Saving can often be a struggle – and as living costs rise, there are signs households are finding it even tougher.
According to recent Bank of England figures, households put less money into accounts in February than the average monthly amount in the run-up to the coronavirus pandemic.
Saving significant sums may seem impossible, particularly as bigger bills start to land on the doormat. But you could build a pot of cash by saving smaller amounts here and there without even thinking about it too much.
Elle McAtamney from TopCashback.co.uk has some tips for making subconscious savings…
1. Let technology do the legwork
Make the most of any tools in your banking app to track your spending and see what extra could be put into savings.
McAtamney says: “Sometimes it’s easier to let technology do the thinking and acting for you. Certain banks can round up each time you spend, and some apps use algorithms to calculate a suitable amount you can put away every few days.”
2. Try removing some temptations
With spring in the air, the temptation to splash out on new outfits can be strong – particularly when browsing online.
McAtamney suggests unfollowing or muting brands on social media, to try and minimise the effect of posts tempting us to spend.
3. Reconnect with physical money
Transactions that are relatively “frictionless” and hassle-free, such as contactless payments and online checkouts with your details pre-saved, can make it more tempting to spend.
McAtamney says: “Contactless transactions are a useful tool that makes shopping quick and easy – so easy in fact, sometimes we forget we are spending at all.
“It might sound contradictory, but by spending physical cash every so often, it might help you to be more mindful of your shopping habits in the long run. Watching it slip through our fingers could be a helpful wake-up call to the amount we spend on non-essentials every day.”
4. Make cashback go further
There may be ways to make cashback more often or swap the money for higher rewards.
For example, you may be able to get a bonus on top of the cashback you have earned by transferring it onto an e-gift card with a higher value. Or you could download a browser extension that will notify you when you could earn cashback when shopping online.