After spending out a crazy amount on Christmas this year (presents, food, nights out, panto tickets – it all adds up so quickly doesn’t it?!) I’ve resolved to save in advance for Christmas next year – and, more importantly, to boost my regular savings too. Thrifty living is a great way to make your money go further but it’s only a part of the story. You need to ensure that the cash you save works as hard as possible for you. That means saving and investing that cash wisely – starting in January! Below is a brief overview of the various ways you could do this…
INVESTIGATE SAVING USING ISAS
One option is to open some sort of Individual Savings Account (ISA). There are many different types of ISA available, so it can be tricky to work out which one is best for you. But, don’t let that stop you from opening one as it’s a convenient way to save by direct debit each month. The best providers are more than happy to go through the various options and help you to choose the one that will be best for you.
If you want to get a 2nd opinion, you can speak to an independent financial adviser. Or, if you prefer, turn to one of the many consumer advice websites that cover the subject of savings in a great deal of detail. The best approach is to do both. Learn about the various options online, and then speak to an adviser. That way it will be far easier to follow what the adviser is telling you.
WHEN TO SWITCH FROM SAVING TO INVESTING
While it’s important to save for things throughout the year (like holidays, Christmas etc) it’s also a fantastic idea to have enough cash saved to cover your bills for as long as possible – perhaps a year or two. That way, should one of you fall ill, you will still be able to keep a roof over your heads and feed your family. But once you have enough cash saved in an ISA or savings account, which you can access almost instantly, you can then start to think about investing any further savings.
It is then fairly safe to lock some of your spare money away, out of reach for the future when you retire or when you need a lump sum. It’s always best to start saving for the future like this as soon as you can as the more you save, the more you’ll have in the future. There are all kinds of ways to invest your month but I’m not going to cover the most obvious of them here because you can easily go online and find out about buying stocks and shares and other investment methods.
INVEST IN YOUR PROPERTY
One other thing you can do is use some of your spare money to improve your home in ways that increase the value of your property. For example, in an area where property values are high enough, building an extension can provide an excellent rate of return. In many cases, the return on your investment can be far higher than if that same money had been left in a savings account.
Of course, you won’t get that return on your investment until you sell your home. But, in the meantime, your family can enjoy having more space. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to benefit from investing in your home – just things like DIYing some kitchen updates or decorating the garage to turn it into an extra room will add value.
What other ideas do you have for saving and making the most of your money in 2020 ? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear your money-growing hacks! 🙂
This blog post is a collaborative feature that has been written in collaboration with Wealthify.