5 benefits of saving money

Here’s why saving money still matters

Melanie Wright – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Melanie Wright | Independent Money Mentor

Award-winning freelance financial journalist


If you’ve recently started work and have lots of expenses every month such as rent and travel costs, it’s all too easy to push saving to the bottom of your priority list. It can feel like one of those unpleasant things that are likely to happen in the future but that you don’t have to worry about now – like listening to Radio 2, buying comfortable shoes and feeling obliged to make creaking noises every time you sit down.

After all, why not enjoy what money you have left every month now, and worry about tomorrow later?

But, stop there a moment. Although making the most of the present is important, there are plenty of good reasons you need to look out for your financial future too. Here are five worth thinking about.

1. You’ll be financially independent sooner

Unless you’re happy to rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad for handouts forever (and they may be less happy than you about this) you’re going to have to stand on your own two feet financially eventually. Building up a savings nest egg can help you achieve this aim, as you could use these funds to help get on the property ladder, or to pay off student debts sooner.

2. You won’t have to worry if you’re hit with any unforeseen expenses

At some point all of us face a hefty bill we hadn’t planned for, whether it’s to repair our car or replace a broken laptop. If you’ve got savings in place, you can use some of these to cover costs, without having to turn to a credit card or personal loan to make ends meet.

3. You’ll have financial back-up in place if you lose your job

Suddenly finding yourself unemployed can be frightening, but it’s something many people will experience at some point. Having a savings buffer in place to help cover your living expenses while you find a new job can provide you with real peace of mind.

4. You’ll be prepared if your circumstances change

Getting married or having kids might be the last thing on your mind right now, but as you get older your priorities might change. Big life events such as tying the knot or bringing up sprogs will be that much easier if you’ve got some savings available.

5. You’ll be more comfortable in retirement

When you start the savings habit, it pays to think about the long-term, as well as what might be just around the corner. The state pension is unlikely to provide you with enough income to cover all your costs when you eventually stop work, particularly as the age at which you’ll be able to claim it is moving gradually further away, so the earlier you think about retirement planning the better.

Remember...

You don’t need to have thousands of pounds available to start the savings habit.

Even putting a small amount aside every month can make a real difference over the long term. Lots of savings accounts can be opened with as little as £1.

Alternatively, if you’re happy to accept a level of risk and want to start investing in the hope of generating higher potential returns than deposit accounts can provide, you could think about putting some money into stocks and shares every month. Again, some funds allow you to start with just £1 a month if you can’t afford more. Bear in mind though that investments can fall as well as rise, so there’s the risk you could get back less than you put in. Typically you should only think about investing if you plan to tie up your money for 5 years or more.

So that’s that. Lecture over. You get back to having a good time now, having learned a thing or two about financial planning. Meanwhile, I’ll just ease myself into this sofa over here. Oooooof!

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.