Get your savings into shape

It’s often difficult to set aside time for getting a handle on our personal finances. Knowing where your money is going, and how you can make it go further can be extremely beneficial. By sitting down to organise your savings, you may save more than you might think.

Check your finances

Regularly assessing your personal finances is the first step toward responsible money management. Be disciplined in your approach to saving; review your bank statements regularly to give you a better idea of where your money is going and update your budget accordingly.

Start saving with savings goals

Whatever you’re looking to save for, setting a savings goal will help you reach your target faster. The first step is to determine what you are saving money for. This can range from a deposit on a new home, to building up an emergency fund as a buffer for future unexpected expenses. Next determine how much you need to save in order to reach each goal.

Once you’ve decided on the amount for your saving goals, set a time frame for each. Be realistic when setting these timeframes. If you are saving a large amount over a number of years set benchmarks at specific dates to keep you motivated.

To ensure you reach your savings goal determine how much you need to save each month. Gather all your financial documents, including bank statements and bills and from these calculate your average monthly income and outgoings. This will show you how much you can afford to save every month.

Be disciplined in your approach to saving - it may help to set up monthly direct deposits into a savings account. This will give you peace of mind that every month you’ll be one step closer to reaching your savings goal.

Savings calculator

The Money Advice Service offers a free, simple savings calculator tool that can help you understand how long it will take to save a specific amount, or how much you need to save to reach your goal by a particular date.