Will you hit your savings goal in 2019?

by Leeds Building Society

Some of us are probably still hard at work with our New Year’s resolutions. But for others, well, life might have already got in the way.

Even with the best intentions it can be really hard to keep up the momentum, whether it’s Dry January, going to the gym or giving up a guilty pleasure. And now, the same can be said for savings resolutions.

We did some really interesting research in December last year with a sample of people who chose to save more money as one of their 2018 resolutions.

The research was done by surveying some of our members (382 people) using our TalkingPoint online member forum. And also some of the general public via Verve Voice (202 people).* Verve Voice collect public opinion data on a wide range of subjects on behalf of different businesses.

What really stood out is that a number of savers admitted to giving up on their goal no more than a month after setting it!

Now there’s lots of reasons why that might be. And there are also some things you can try to help you stick at your saving goals for 2019.

So who’s on the money?

Really positively, we found that on average 75 per cent of the 584 people surveyed had reached their 2018 saving goal. As Matt Bartle, our Director of Products said: “It’s fantastic that so many people managed to reach their savings goals in 2018 in spite of challenges and changing circumstances.”

And who’s falling short?

On the other side of the coin, this means that a quarter of savers weren’t able to meet their goals. More specifically, ten per cent had given up by the end of January, two fifths by the end of March and 43 per cent had quit by the mid-point of the year.

There’s a whole range of reasons why some people couldn’t meet their target. Of those surveyed, 38 per cent said they just couldn’t afford to keep saving. Then there was 32 per cent who said other priorities had become more important. Whilst 22 per cent had an unexpected life event which caused them to change their plans.

Overall, it’s really great to see that people are factoring saving into their yearly goals at all. As Matt added, “Even though some people didn’t hit their goals for the year it’s positive to see so many set out with good intentions as developing a savings habit is something we’d encourage in everyone.”

So what about 2019?

The majority of people in our survey said they were going to start the year with new savings resolutions. Here are just some of the big goals people are planning to reach:

  • 55 per cent are looking to build savings generally
  • 14 per cent are looking to save for a life event – like a wedding
  • 14 per cent are looking to increase savings by investing in stocks and shares

What’s really great to see is just how positive people feel about sticking to these new goals. In fact, over half are ‘very’ or ‘quite’ optimistic about meeting their targets in 2019.

So how could you make the money tree grow?

What could you do to keep up those good savings intentions? There are some key things that can get you off to a good start**:

  • Be more realistic – whilst it’s tempting to ‘go big or go home’, you’re much more likely to reach your goal if it feels genuinely achievable. To understand what you can really afford to save, start by working out what’s coming in and going out at the moment.
  • Set up a standing order to transfer money from your current account to your savings account. Schedule it for payday if you earn a regular salary and it could grow quickly and effortlessly - out of sight, out of mind.
  • Always try and distinguish between what you need and what you want when you’re spending. The 30-day rule is handy – commit to waiting 30 days before making any ‘want’ purchases and you might find that the original desire has gone.
  • Find the right savings account for you and your goals. For example, some accounts let you access your money anytime – just in case you need it for an unexpected bill for example. Or others ask you to lock it away for a fixed amount of time. Make sure that whatever you choose not only has a great interest rate, but also suits your personal circumstances and needs.

Whatever you decide to do, and whatever the reason, take a look at what LBS has to offer when it comes to saving. We have a range of multi-award winning saving accounts to suit all needs.

*A survey was undertaken between 7th – 14th December 2018. Data was collected from 382 of our members by Leeds Building Society. And data was also collected from 202 people in the general public by Verve Voice, a third party provider.

**This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek independent financial advice if you have any questions or queries.