You say you’ll do it every year. Maybe you’re saving for something big, like a house deposit. Or maybe you’re just sick of finding yourself with too much month left at the end of the money.
But somehow, every year, time gets the better of us and our savings fail to materialise. With so many of us setting unrealistic, unsustainable goals, it’s no surprise that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February.
So what are we doing wrong? The key is setting goals that feel achievable. You don’t need to downsize your house or live off cereal three meals a day (really, don’t). The easier the change you make, the better, as you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
To give you a head start, we’ve asked our team of personal finance experts for their top tips and tricks for boosting your bank balance in 2019. Ready, set, save!
The benefits of budgeting
“As well as following your normal budget (if you haven’t got one, check out our how-to guide), try to put some extra money aside each month for the big ‘one-offs’, like Christmas, birthdays and holidays. That way, when an expensive event rolls around, you’ll have a pot of cash to dive into.” - Pete, Head of Acquire
“Turn an old jar into a spare change collection. I fill mine with loose change throughout the year and take it to the bank in December. Generally I’ll have a few hundred quid to spend for Christmas, which is awesome. If you don’t use cash, try Monzo’s coin jar.” - Justin, CEO and Co-Founder
“I have two debit cards: one for paying the bills and essentials, and one for spending on what I like. I always stick to my spending allowance and it’s helped loads.” - Ben, Customer Operations
“If you’re after something in particular, set up an alert for it on hotukdeals to be notified if the price drops. Camelcamelcamel is also handy for tracking Amazon prices, so you can strike at the right time.” - Callum, Senior UI Developer
“Have a ‘no-spend’ day once a week. On this day, the only thing I’ll spend is money on my travel card (which is already paid for). That means no takeaway coffees, a packed lunch for work, eating something I already have in the fridge for dinner. It makes you realise how often you think nothing of spending blindly.” - Justine, CRM Manager
“An old school suggestion, but try only using cash to buy things for a week. Take enough notes out for a week’s worth of spending, and put any spare change in a pot at the end of each day. You’ll be surprised how much you can save!” - Lydia, Developer
“Get a cashback credit card to earn money on your purchases. Just make sure you pay it back in full each month!” - Sarah, Business Development Manager
Where to cut key costs
“Become a yellow label warrior! Check out the times of day your local supermarket gets to work reducing their prices. You could get your weekly food shop sorted at a fraction of the cost.” - Ben, Business Development Executive
“See if you could save on your energy bills. Winter's still going strong so it’s the best time to cut costs on your heating - I had no idea I could save more than £500 a year.” - Mark, Senior Insight Analyst
“If, like me, you find it a hassle to claim compensation when your train’s delayed, you’re going to love Reeclaim. Sign up for automatic refunds if your journey’s delayed.” (It works on the tube as well, those of you who are London-based!) - Silvia, Head of Global Digital Growth
“You can buy a bike off Gumtree for less than £100. Cycle to work and save on transport costs - even the accessories like a helmet and lights should cost less than a couple months’ worth of bus or train fares.” (If safety’s a concern, the data says the benefits outweigh the risks.) - Trevor, Product Manager
“I use MoneyBox, which rounds up your purchases to the nearest pound, and invests the difference into stocks and shares. You only need £1 to get started - what’s not to love?” - Toby, Performance Marketer
“I’m probably Chip’s biggest fan. It uses a clever algorithm to work out how much you can afford to save without noticing, then transfers that money into an easy access savings account.” - Frankie, Copywriter
“Sick of worrying about overspending or how you’ll afford your bills? Download Squirrel. I recommended it to a friend who’s tried every budgeting app going, and he loved it.” - Sophie, Senior Data Scientist
“Loqbox helps build your credit score while you save. I’ve used it for just over a year now. You don’t need a credit check so everyone is eligible to use it, and it’s completely free!” - Gideon, Commercial Lead