10 April 2018

Great at saving money? Here's how you can do even better

You've heard all the advice about cutting back on spending, making a budget, and putting away a percentage of your income each month.

You've read it and you've done it. You've even given advice to friends.

So how do you, a savings pro, go even higher with your rate of savings? Here are some ideas.

Get really good at finding deals and negotiating prices

Want a bargain? Ask for it. One of the quickest and easiest ways to increase your savings is to find ways to pay less for the things you're buying. Often, all it takes is asking the seller if they'd be willing to take less, especially if you're paying in cash or buying multiple items.

Could you negotiate a raise at your full-time job too? If you do, make sure that you set aside the additional money as soon as it hits your bank account. If you get a 5% raise and you don't change your lifestyle, that additional 5% can make a real dent in your savings goal and help you build faster for the future.

Buy in bulk and/or pay annual fees

When you can, buy items in bulk, especially durable items like toilet paper. You usually get a better deal with bulk purchases. Also take advantage of subscriptions that allow you to save up to 50% of the price if you buy annually instead of monthly. This is especially true with online subscriptions and apps, where you can take advantage of some real savings for putting up the cash upfront.

You can, however, only take advantage of these promotions if you already have cash in the bank to spend, which most non-savers don't. This is where the principle of having money in order to save money can work in your favour and your habit of saving can lead to additional money for you.

Put aside money for Christmas all through the year

It's easy to anticipate the times of the year when you'll be spending the most money: Christmas, birthdays, holidays, and weddings, among other occasions. But instead of ruining your budget for the month with a big spend, if you know that an occasion for spending is coming up, plan ahead and save up for it slowly.

For instance, if you know that you'll be spending £600 on Christmas presents at the end of December, you could put aside £50 a month into a Nationwide Flex Regular Online Saver all through the year, which will earn an interest rate of 5.00% AER/gross p.a. (variable) for a 12-month term on amounts up to £250 a month. You can take advantage of the interest rate all through the year and still have the money to use at the end.

This is an online account, and is available for members who have a main current account. Eligibility criteria applies*, so please read these carefully.

Start thinking about financial freedom

You're saving regularly, you've possibly started investing, and you know how to delay short-term pleasure for long-term goals. Let's just acknowledge it: You're a pro with money.

It's time now to start thinking about your financial future and what it will take for you to reach financial freedom.

Saving 10, 20, even 30% of your income is a great start but, at this level, you might want to consider getting a bit more sophisticated, thinking long-term and looking into an ISA where your cash can save tax-free at a higher-interest rate.

If you've built up a lump sum a Nationwide Fixed Rate Cash ISA could be an option, it doesn't allow withdrawals for the period of the fixed term so it's a way to ensure that you're not spending what you've put away, but if you want more flexibility, the Flexclusive ISA allows you to withdraw anytime, whilst still taking advantage of  tax-free savings.

Nationwide Cash ISAs are available to UK residents aged 16 and over. The Flexclusive ISA is available for members who have a main current account, eligibility criteria applies*, so please read these carefully.

Saving money helps you become financially stable and, eventually, find financial freedom. With these additional tools in your arsenal, you'll be well on your way.

Learn more about how our savings accounts could help you

*To open this account, you must be:

  • a UK resident

  • aged 16 or over and a member with a main current account with us. This means you must either:

1. hold a FlexOne, FlexStudent, FlexDirect or FlexPlus account, OR

2. hold a FlexAccount and:

  • have been paying in £750+ a month for the last 3 months (excluding transfers from any Nationwide account held by you or anyone else)

  • OR

  • completed an account switch to us (from a non-Nationwide account) using our Current Account Switch Team in the last 4 months.

Interest rate definitions explained:

  • AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and illustrates what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded once each year.

  • Gross p.a. is the interest rate without tax deducted.

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