Low rates shouldn't discourage you from saving
Published 7 November 2012 by Helen Gradwell
Even though savings rates are generally poor at the moment, it's still well worth putting money away each month. Making sure you plan your budget could help you get into a regular savings habit.
This is Money reports that banks have been cutting their savings rates over the last week. Savers seeking the best rates are earning around 53% less interest than they were a few months ago, on average.
For an easy access account, the best rate is now 2.5%.
This is Money has linked these low savings rates with the Funding for Lending Scheme, which gives building societies and banks access to cheap money - so they can pass the benefits on to home buyers and small businesses. Mortgage rates have generally gone down as a result - but savings rates have followed.
An expert from thinkmoney said: "It's easy to become discouraged by these lower savings rates. Some may be asking 'what's the point of saving?'.
"Well, for many people the point of saving isn't actually to make money. The point is to make sure that you have funds available if you need them - for example if you need to carry out some home or car repairs, or you get an unexpectedly large bill.
"The interest rate is just a bonus really, to encourage you to save more. But the fact remains that if you put away £100 per month in an easy-access account, that money will still be there whenever you need it.
"It's important to get into a regular savings habit - regardless of the rates. It can help to arrange your budget so that a fixed amount moves into a savings account each month. If you find budgeting difficult, it could help to take advantage of a service like the thinkmoney Managed Current Account - which comes with a personalised budgeting service. You could set up your account so that any surplus funds in your budget go straight into savings - so you hardly even notice you're putting money away.
"Of course, it still helps to look for the best savings deal available. If your savings account comes with a bonus interest rate, it's recommended that you move your money once that bonus has ended. But as long as you're still saving something every month, you'll be adding to your financial safety net, regardless of interest."
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