jar of coins

Saving in 2022: our six-step guide

by Leeds Building Society

2021 wasn’t the most straight-forward of years. With 2022 upon us, and hopefully some simpler times ahead to look forward to, it might be the perfect time to set a money-related new year’s resolution.

Now we’re no experts on new year’s resolutions, but we do know a thing or two about saving money. So with this in mind, we’ve put together a six-step guide to help you stick to your savings goals. That way, you can kick-start a year of good savings habits. Our members have also provided some helpful savings tips to help you stay on track[1].

 

1. Find your 'why'

The first step to sticking to your resolution is wanting to stick to it. So before you even choose your resolution, define why you’re setting it in the first place.

Do you want to save for something big, like a new car or an exciting getaway? Would you like to feel more financially secure by creating a safety net? Are you aiming for a major life change, like retiring or starting your own business?

Whatever your reason, keep it in mind during the following steps. It could help you focus on what’s important and stay motivated throughout the year.

Member tip – Save regularly and spend wisely – “Open a regular savings account that goes straight out of your bank account every month.”


2. Know your money

Gather your bank statements and take an honest look at how much you have and how much you’re currently spending. This will help you to be realistic about your resolution. For example, you won’t be able to save £300 a month if you only have £200 left in your account after bills and necessities.

Looking at your statements can be a daunting experience if you’re not used to it. But it’s important to face your finances head on. And even if you find you’ve got little to spare at the end of the month, that doesn’t mean you can’t set a money resolution.

If you’re concerned about your financial situation, please know that you’re not alone. Let us know about your money worries – we’re here to help.

Member tip – ‘Tax’ yourself each time you’re paid – “Tax yourself by saving a small percentage from your salary each time you’re paid – it adds up over time to spend on that special something.”

3.Start small

Stay focussed by setting one manageable goal. Otherwise, you could end up overstretching yourself or lacking motivation to hit every single target you’ve set.

There’s no one-size-fits-all savings goal, so it’s important to choose one that’s realistic for you. To help save more you might realise you can make changes like giving up your weekly takeout coffee, or cancelling that subscription to a streaming service you hardly use. Our savings calculator could help you decide how much you could save.

Even if you don’t have any extra cash to set aside, or luxuries to give up, try thinking outside the box. Your resolution could be to regularly compare utilities providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, or selling clothes and other items you don’t really wear or need anymore. There’s no savings goal too small, and something is better than nothing.

Member tip – The age-old idiom of “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” – A society member highlighted how even the smallest amounts can count towards something big: “In these financial difficult times my advice is to start of small when trying to save. Get a jar or tin and put small change into either and then gather it up each month and you can then put it into a savings account.”

 

4. Decide how it'll work

Now it’s time to get into the detail and set your rules. Here are a few things to think about when you’re deciding how it’s all going to work…

  • If you’re saving a certain amount per month, will you open a savings account to keep it separate? How about setting up a standing order to automate your savings? How long will you be saving for?
  • If you’re giving something up, how will you make sure that you don’t just spend this money on something else?
  • If your goal is something like comparing utilities providers, when will you do this?

Setting rules will give you a clear idea of what you’re,, expecting from yourself – and it’ll make it harder for you to sneak ‘loopholes’ into your resolution later down the line!

Member tip – One LBS member found a novel way to save using just one type of coin - “I’ve never spent a £2 coin. I keep them until I have £10 then put them in a savings account.  In the 24 years since the introduction of the coin we’ve had a good few holidays funded from the account and since the pandemic we’ve saved a good amount.”

 

5. Stay motivated

Don’t feel guilty – it’s natural for your enthusiasm to wear off as the year goes on. That’s why it’s important to plan for this early on.

The ‘why’ you defined in step one should help with this. For example, if you’re saving up for a car, you could try printing out a picture to stick up somewhere, or even setting it as your phone background. It can be your daily reminder of why you should stick to your resolution.

It might help to keep a regular eye on how much you’ve saved so far. Set a reminder on your phone to check your balance every month, or every three months, so that you can regularly see and celebrate what you’ve achieved.

 

6. Share your goals

Make yourself accountable by telling your partner, friend, or family member about your resolution.  Or tell us! Drop us a comment on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – we’d love to hear what you’re saving for and why.

 

 

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide. We recommend that you seek independent legal advice and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.

[1] Members tips submitted via the October Newsletter