BLOG: How to make the savings bug last longer than a month
Saving money for the future can seem like a daunting prospect, and this is especially true given we are faced with a plethora of financial pressures which affect us in the short term. These have been compounded in recent months, with the Brexit vote causing volatility in the market and inflation rising, resulting in even more of a squeeze on household spending and saving potential. It can therefore be all too easy to put a break on anything other than immediate financial priorities, and to assume that you will simply save more if you had more disposable income.
However, what people ‘say’ they will do and their actual behaviour are often two very different things and the best intentions don’t always pay off. In fact, while over two fifths (42%) of UK adults who are yet to retire say earning more would encourage them to save more into a pension, this intention to save only lasts a month before most people slip back into old habits. This leaves just a short window of opportunity for people to make the most of their saving ‘potential’ and put a little more aside each month.
This revelation was uncovered in our UK-wide study of over 2,000 people, which we combined with a unique experiment by neuroscience specialists MindLab. The study took a closer look at saving patterns and what motivates people to save. It also found that, despite 14% claiming they would save more into a pension if they were within 6-10 years of retirement, the proportion of salary saved does not increase the closer someone is to retirement age.
There will always be obstacles and reasons to delay saving, but it doesn’t have to involve a huge change or cut-back and putting aside just a small amount every day, or month, will make a real difference over the long-term. To help ensure the intention to save truly lasts, and you can achieve the quality of life you hope for in retirement, these are our top saving tips:
1) Have a goal
We know that those who do set goals for life after 65 could be over £30,000 richer in retirement than those who don’t. So having tangible goals such as travelling more, taking up new hobbies or being in a position to financially support children and grandchildren encourages more saving which in turn will increase your savings pot in the future.
2) Make the most of tax efficient savings
If you’re 30 and start saving the equivalent of just £10 a week more into your pension now, by the time you’re 65 you’ll have £48,400 more stashed away (equivalent to £20,400 after inflation) – and that’s before you factor in any added employer contribution you unlock.
3) Take small steps to save little and save often
It doesn’t matter if you earn £100,000 or £20,000, putting a dedicated amount of money often into savings is the best way to ensure a comfortable retirement. It’s important to remain disciplined, even if it’s only £10 a month, as this will keep you in good habit to save more in future years.
4) Do a financial MOT
With the hustle and bustle of life people rarely find the time to have a proper look at their finances. However this is vital in ensuring you’re cutting your spending to help you save more. Things like monitoring your account for unused direct debit outgoings, seeing how much you spend on drinking and eating out will save you thousands of pounds over the years.
5) Think about your future
Do you know how much you need to save each month to achieve your ideal retirement? If not, don’t fear, you’re not alone and there are tools available to help. With interactive tools and personalised methods of planning, you can match your savings plans with your aspirations to visualise what your future could look like – https://futureyou.zurich.co.uk/life-planner
Alistair Wilson is head of retail platform strategy at Zurich