Is poor budgeting preventing people from saving?
Published 16 April 2014 by Linzi Nuttall
Most people think it’s important to save every month, but many aren’t doing this. Could poor budgeting be behind the problem?
Most of us think saving is important, so why don’t more of us do it? For some, the answer might be poor budgeting.
New research* conducted for thinkmoney reveals that nearly nine out of 10 people agree that it’s important to save for the future. However, fewer than two-thirds of us are actually doing this at the moment.
Why aren’t you saving?
When asked why they weren’t putting any cash aside for the future, most non-savers said it was because they didn’t have any to spare. However, one in 10 of them admitted that they probably could cut back a bit on their spending in order to free up money to save.
Overall, a quarter of respondents revealed they do always plan to put some cash aside each month, but then end up spending it all instead. This could mean that poor budgeting is behind many people’s failed attempts to save for the future.
Saving over spending
Perhaps if we changed the way we thought of saving, more of us would do it. At the moment, it seems some people plan to put aside whatever cash they have left at the end of the month and keep it for a rainy day, but then end up spending it instead – and when all your bills have been paid and the cash you have leftover is sitting in your account, it can be tempting to treat yourself.
However, if you set up a money transfer to go straight out of your account and into a savings product each month, you won’t have to worry about spending it first. Instead of treating saving as a luxury you’ll be treating it the same as you do all your other priority bills, like your rent or mortgage, or your phone bill. Plus, you’ll know the money you have leftover can be spent on treating yourself – and you can do so guilt-free as you’ve taken care of your financial future as well.
Budgeting for your nest egg
It’s easy to budget towards your savings when you’re with thinkmoney. Our fee-paying customers can just use their online account management to set up a standing order to go from their account each month and into whatever savings product they have opened. And while thinkmoney doesn’t currently offer its own savings account, there is nothing to stop customers from opening one elsewhere – we suggest checking a comparison site such as moneysupermarket.com or Moneyfacts to find the best interest rates.
Once you’ve opened your savings account, a thinkmoney Money Manager will make sure that money is kept separate – along with the cash for your other essential bills – and what’s leftover will be transferred to your card account for you to spend as you wish.
Alarmingly, 12% of respondents to our poll did not think it was important to save for the future. However, you’re not just saving for some far-off time, but also for any emergencies that might happen. For instance, your boiler might break down in the middle of winter, or you could have problems with your car. Building up a savings pot that you can dip into in the event of a crisis can make coping with the resulting bill that much easier.
Even if you can only afford to save a couple of pounds a month, it makes all the difference in the long-term. To find out how to add a regular payment from your thinkmoney account to a savings account, watch this video.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 4th April and 9th April 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents.