I can still remember the days when saving for the future really didn’t matter to me. After all, I was young and the future seemed so far away, living for now was definitely my mantra for life. But times change, and now I’m touching 40, with a child and a mortgage, and the future has actually caught up. So now putting something aside for that rainy day doesn’t seem half as boring and staid as it once did.
Set Up an Isa
One sensible way of putting a little something aside for the future is to set up an ISA. An ISA is an Individual Savings Account which offers you a way of saving money without having to pay any interest on any interest earned. Cash ISA’s are becoming very popular because of their tax free nature. This can be useful if , like me, you are thinking of saving something for your child’s further education. It can also be a great option if you are looking to save a little nest egg to fall back on in future years. There is a lot of advice out there to help you find the best ISA for you, (Lloyds TSB cash ISA are a really good option at the moment) and the real beauty of this scheme is that your money is safe, you can just forget about it until you really need it.Accounts can be managed online, making them conveniently easy to control.
In addition, you could also set up a junior ISA. This allows you to save a tax free amount for your child, which can then transfer to your child at 16. Withdrawals are not usually allowed until your child reaches 18, making this the perfect way to save the funds needed for university fees, help towards a deposit for a house, or a first car.
As well as starting an effective savings programme, you can also make your money stretch a little further in everyday circumstances. My mom always had a saying that ‘if you look after the pennies, the pounds look after themselves’, and this proves to be very true.
Here are a few of the things I do to save money.
1. Use voucher code sites. I always check a voucher code site before I make an online purchase. Free delivery, money off codes and information about sales are all useful ways to make your purchase cheaper. I also check for discounts when eating out – many restaurants offer deals when eating midweek, or during daytime hours.
2. Sign up for points cards and loyalty schemes. You can collect the points to save towards things you want, or for Christmas and birthday presents.
3. Sign up for newsletters for your favourite stores, this will help you gain information about upcoming sales and discounts.
4. Try budget supermarkets. I love Aldi, which is fabulous for the sorts of Mediterranean food my family love to eat.
5. Use online comparison sites like Kelkoo to compare prices. This is particularly useful at Christmas when shopping for toys and electrical goods.
Let me know if you have any other ideas, hints and tips.