07 October 2015

5 tips to boost your rainy day fund this World Savings Day

October 31 is World Savings Day – an event designed to boost awareness of the importance of saving, not just for our own financial health, but for the global economy.

World Savings Day was established in 1924, during the 1st International Savings Bank Congress in Milan, with the aim of informing people across the globe about the benefits of keeping money in a bank, rather than under their mattress.

Over the years, its profile has grown, and today, with most people in the developed world having a bank account, the focus is firmly on developing nations.

However, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look at your own savings habits and see if there is anything you can do to boost your nest egg.

Here are a few ideas it might be worth trying to mark the occasion.

1. Have one day a week where you spend no money

Find yourself spending the odd fiver here and there and then all of a sudden your bank account is empty at the end of the month? It’s easy to spend money on bits and pieces we don’t really need, and it all adds up. Set yourself the challenge of spending nothing for a whole day each week. Take a packed lunch to work, do without your morning coffee and don’t be tempted by a 3pm chocolate bar. Instead transfer £5 into your savings – you’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.

2. Look for freebies

There are lots of freebies available if you know where to look. A quick check on Free Stuff World shows that you can get a free box of washing powder, free face paint for Halloween and free popcorn at the cinema. If you do get a freebie, work out how much it’s worth and pop the cash in your savings account.

3. Plan your meals each week

The average household wastes a massive £470 worth of food a year. Planning your meals each week and only buying the ingredients you need can seriously cut your food bill, leaving you with more spare cash to save. To save even more, why not try bulk cooking? Dedicate an afternoon or evening each week to cooking huge portions of lasagne, soup and curry then freeze them to eat over the coming weeks.

4. Sort out your savings first

Lots of people pay all their bills in the days after payday – so they know they have enough money to cover them. Try treating your savings the same way and transfer a set sum out at the beginning of each month, that way you won’t be tempted to spend it.

5. Put your savings in the right place

There may not be many people with their savings hidden under their mattress, but are yours in the best place? Think about whether you’d prefer a traditional savings account or an ISA. You also need to look at whether you are getting the best interest rate possible – ideally you need one which at least beats inflation so that your savings aren’t being eroded over time.

For more savings guidance, see our guide to getting the most from your money.

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