Save Money…What For?
If you've been saving for a rainy day, your luck's in. The season formerly known as summer has been one of the wettest in recent history in the UK. For those taking the numerous (both economic and literal) rainy days as a cue to dip into their savings, there may have some surprises in store; not particularly pleasant ones. Savings rates have been in the doldrums for most of the recession and they are not set to improve any time soon; savers throughout the UK and across the globe can be forgiven for thinking "what's the point?" Here are some of the best (worst) excuses for not saving a little of that hard earned cash.
Change for a cup of tea?
One of the oldest excuses most people find is that they cannot afford to save. This has, in reality, been fairly true for many of us in recent years. With hours, wages or jobs being cut, many of us have managed to just about pay the necessaries and not have spare change for a cup of tea, never mind a savings account. However, saving only a tiny amount now will be a long term benefit. Things will most likely improve in years to come but in the meantime, save what you can; whether that's the coppers from your change or tens, hundreds of pounds a month.
You won't be richer when you're older (Sorry)
For younger people, one of the next excuses is that they will be earning more in the future and therefore will have plenty to put away into a savings account. News just in, this is never going to happen. At least, it will, but by the time your earning more you'll discover the awful truth; your monthly outgoings will have gone up, the mortgage will be massive, a set of (very expensive) small people will have moved in with you, the car will be bigger and more expensive to run. Sorry to throw cold water over your cunning plan, but the reality is that by the time your earning big bucks you'll be spending them faster than you could ever have thought possible. Learn to set aside a percentage of your income, however small, now and continue throughout your life. By the time those small people have grown up you'll be able to afford their college education.
Desperate for the latest technology and gadgets
Apart from the perception that the latest kit is more efficient and better, it's also shiny and pretty and makes us look cool. Sadly, the latest shiny new kit will also be obsolete in a matter of weeks. So far, in my misspent life, I've outlived vinyl, cassettes, CDs, MP3 players, laptops and iPods. Yes, I'm as bad as the next consumer and I'm working my way through an iPhone at the moment, but next year it'll be something else. The small fortune each new piece of kit costs when it is (briefly) new is not money well spent; it's money down the drain. Obviously the rich, famous have to have these things, but the reason they're so rich is because they limped along with two tin cans and a piece of string until they were wealthy; follow their example. If you must have new gadgets from time to time, then make the best use you can of discount codes, promo codes and any available offers you can find.
Where to put your savings?
Even if you're saving only pence a week, get it into the highest rate account as quickly as possible. The longer it lingers in your pocket the more likely it is to get inadvertently spent, and it's also not making money for you. Although interest rates are depressingly low at the moment, they're not actually in the negative. By saving today, you'll find that one day you'll have a pleasant nest egg to fall back on.