If you are feeling like you need to pad out your savings and stash more money away for a rainy day, you are most definitely not alone. According to a recent study by the BBC, a whopping 16 million adults in the UK have less than £100 in savings.
Without savings, you are in an intensely vulnerable financial position. Even a modest unexpected cost, such as a burst tire or a trip to the dentist, can put you in a position where you are struggling to make ends meet or are faced with deteriorating credit.
If you want to put yourself in a more secure position, it’s time to build up your emergency fund. According to Wells Fargo, your emergency fund should contain at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This means that, if you have the same living expenses as the average UK single person, you will want an emergency fund worth several thousand pounds.
This might sound daunting, especially if you are on low wages. However, with the right tips and tricks, you can finesse the system and quickly building up a sustainable nest egg. Here’s how you can do it.
Look at Where You Can Trim the Fat
The first and most important step is to look closely at where you can make savings. According to a recent Lottoland survey, 17% of people in the UK aim to cut down on frivolous purchases in 2020. Doing so can save you thousands. Even avoiding a daily meal deal from Tesco will save you £762 a year. Look at your direct debits and see if there are any subscriptions or outgoings that you don’t need. Consider switching to cheaper utility providers and grocery stores. These steps will add up and result in serious savings.
Ensure You’re Getting What You Are Entitled Too
If you are tight on money right now, it is possible that you are not getting all of the relief or additional income that you might be entitled to. Did you know that more than £10 billion in benefits are unclaimed in the UK every year, with around 1.3 million households missing out on £3000 a year or more that should be theirs? Meanwhile, £299 million in tax refunds were left unclaimed last year. A simple web search or phone call is enough to find out whether you are entitled to money that you haven’t received.
Put the Money in the Right Place
Finally, it is important that you put your money in a place where it can work for you. Start by ensuring that a set amount is immediately siphoned out of your account each month and placed into a savings account where you can’t touch it. Granted, interest rates are low right now, but you can take advantage of schemes such as Lifetime ISAs, in which the government will top up your savings to the tune of 25% a year. Index funds, fixed-rate cash ISAs, and Certificates of Deposit are all much better options than regular savings accounts.
These simple, fundamental steps will help you to build a solid emergency fund quickly. Get started now to begin your journey toward financial independence.