26 September 2023
How the team at Sheffield Mutual save – UK Savings Week
The number of people in the UK with no savings has increased since 2022. Around 23% of the UK population have no savings, which has increased by 3% since last year.1
Saving money is a goal we all share, and the team at Sheffield Mutual have shared below some of their tips and tricks on how they save effectively. From clever budgeting to practical tips anyone can adopt, we'll explore some of the teams’ straightforward strategies to saving.
Bank account round ups and savings pots
Some bank accounts have extra features such as round up. This means that every time you make a payment using your card, it automatically gets rounded up to the nearest pound and puts the change into a separate pot, so you are saving with every transaction you make.
E.g if you bought a coffee for £3.65, your bank would round it up to £4.00 putting 35p aside. These small savings can quickly add up, and you don’t even tend to notice them!
Alongside this many banks will allow you to set up savings pots which you can lock away and no money will come out of them when making a payment unless you transfer the money yourself.
“My best tip is I use pots to save money for specific things, for example holidays, car services, Christmas, insurance. I then have a standing order which pays out on payday small amounts into each of those pots; then when it comes to having to fix my car I have a pot of money there which will take some of the pain away.” Paul
Will said “I use a bank that has saving spaces. I can assign and lock away money into individual pots. I also use their rounding up system on transactions which puts the pennies in a pot.
When I get paid I have it automatically transfer an amount into my savings and the rest is left for me to play with. I have found it useful to keep my savings account separate from my spending everyday account, so I am not tempted to spend the money in my savings.”
Shop around for discounts
“When online shopping I always look for discounts. I also sign up to newsletters so that I receive discounts. I’ve started using Vinted to buy and sell clothes – especially for my nearly one year old who is outgrowing clothes very quickly.” – Laura
When online shopping many retailers will offer you some sort of discount when you sign up to their newsletter. These can be used to get exclusive codes and money off vouchers for future purchases. Occasionally they will also send you a birthday gift, or a freebie (usually food retailers do this).
There are also some apps and websites that have them all in one handy place such as VoucherCodes, Westfield Rewards and BenefitHub. If you are an existing member of Sheffield Mutual and hold a policy with us, you will be able to access BenefitHub; a platform with exclusive discounts from every category you can think of and featuring the brands you love.
If you do not have access to BenefitHub and wish to sign up, please contact our team at email@example.com or via phone at 01226 741 000 Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Calls may be monitored and recorded for your protection.
Toby has suggested that setting savings milestones really helps him to be motivated to save. Once you reach a milestone, you are then able to treat yourself to something nice. This can help to save up for bigger things!
Tax Exempt Savings Plan (TESP)
A couple of members of the team said that investing in a TESP was something that works well for them. The Tax Exempt Savings Plan gives the option of paying in between £5 and £25 a month for 10 to 25 years in addition to your ISA allowance. Not only that, but you can set up more than one TESP policy (providing the maximum £25 per month limit is not exceeded), meaning that a second policy could later be set up if you become comfortable with saving a little bit more each month.
If you wish to read more about the Sheffield Mutual Tax Exempt Savings plan you can do so here: https://www.sheffieldmutual.com/regular-savings/tax-exempt-savings-plan/
If you surrender the plan before maturity (which is the term you select when first starting the plan), you may get back less than you have paid in. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. Bonuses are not guaranteed.
Oli says: “I have a long-term Tax Exempt Savings Plan set up. Paying just £12 per month but for 20 years, which will coincide with my intended retirement age. I set the Direct Debit on payday, so I don't really see it coming out.”
Paul has the same idea “I pay monthly Direct Debits straight into my savings plans, ISA and my Tax Exempt Savings Plan, this comes out of my account the day I am paid so I don't miss it. All my savings plans are with different providers to my day to day spending, so I don't see it and are then able to avoid the pressure of spending it on things I don't need.”
Save costs on bills
Josh’s smart suggestion is to turn any electronics off when you’re not using them, although a very small task it is said that switching something off at the wall can save yourself at least £120 a year2. Josh also said he likes to throw on an extra jumper and socks when it gets a little chilly inside, rather than instantly switching the heating on. Get a hot water bottle warmed up and save yourself a few pennies!
Bulk cook and freeze food
Another of Josh’s suggestions is to buy discounted food from supermarkets and put them in the freezer to have another day. He says the best time to find those yellow sticker items is in the evenings when they are about to go out of date. It’s one of his favourite things to have for lunch in the office (a frozen ready meal!).
Josh has also used the app ‘Too Good To Go’ for discounted, branded foods. They are helping to cut down on food waste by giving out bags of food which may otherwise be thrown in the bin at a reduced cost. Good for the planet and your wallet!
Bulk cooking food is also a great idea so that you can be prepared for a few days with meals, you don’t have to worry about cooking and it’s a good opportunity to use up anything which might be starting to go bad. Not only is bulk cooking an option but Dawn likes to bulk buy too as this can cut down on costs over time.
Natalie and her partner cut down on eating out to save money, and she transfers the money they would have spent into a dedicated savings account. She adopts the same approach for things such as Starbucks – if she resists the urge, she’ll transfer the money she would have spent into a separate savings account.
She also 'pays' herself an allowance for luxuries to maintain financial discipline.
Live within your means
“Work out expenses and then from that work out a reasonable amount to save without leaving yourself short. Move that amount of money the same day you get paid so that you don't miss it and only live within your means. It also helps to have something that you are saving for, like a holiday or new car etc!” - Lauren
Skint Dad’s 1p savings challenge – Nick
For many people, Christmas can be a challenging time of the year due to the desire to give gifts to family and friends, and host/ attend Christmas gatherings. With this, comes a cost. Nick has a great suggestion on how to save up for it, throughout the year.
Nick used to do the Skint Dad savings challenge where he’d put away an extra penny each day with Christmas in mind – making it easier to afford one of the most expensive times of the year. He’d start off by saving £25.34 (working backwards from £3.65 on the first day to 1p on the last day) in the first week and working down to just 28 pence in the final week. Over the year it’ll give you a total of £667.95. He’d pop a little bit extra in, if possible, on some weeks to top up the total value! He now has a Direct Debit set up to go into a separate account for the same reason.
These insights from the team showcase a variety of strategies to fit different lifestyles and goals. Whether you're aiming for short-term savings or planning for the long-term, these tips and tricks will hopefully help you take control of your finances and achieve your saving goals.
This blog provides generic information and opinions of the writer and should not be relied upon for making investment decisions. No advice has been provided by Sheffield Mutual. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should consider contacting a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk or www.vouchedfor.co.uk. Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any costs beforehand.