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Northern Ireland consumers aren’t overly concerned about saving. A quarter of us don’t look for a competitive return on the money we’re putting away, while a third don’t seek out a special account to start building a nest egg. We’re also inclined to put less away for a rainy day compared to our UK counterparts, according to the new research conducted by the Building Societies Association (BSA).
Indeed, there are quite a few individuals - one in seven to be exact - who don’t have any savings at all. The good news is that UK Savings Week is shining a spotlight on the issue and aiming to get individuals to think about their finances, set money goals and stay in control. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to gain momentum, household budgets have never been more stretched. And although it may sound challenging, the current economic climate means it has never been more important for all of us to start getting into a savings habit.
This means we need to identify the small savings we can make every day, week or month, that will stand us in good stead, should an unexpected expense come hurtling towards us when we least expect it. When money is tight, the last thing we need is for the washing machine to break down, or the vacuum cleaner to give up the ghost, or our electricity provider to hike our bills.
Findings from the BSA also reveal, however, that there’s a definite appetite for saving among Northern Ireland natives. Indeed, a not insignificant 43% of us put money aside when we can, compared to a UK average of 33%. Similarly, 35% save whatever we can afford each month, which shows there is a willingness to build a savings pot where possible.
With that in mind, UK Savings Week is here to remind us to think about our finances. It’s also an opportunity to focus on small changes that could make a big difference to getting on the right track financially.
By simply looking at your income and expenditure you can determine how much you have to live on and perhaps save a little extra every week or month. Now’s the time to set an achievable goal that allows you to stay in control and become the architect of your financial future.
Perhaps you’ll stop buying things you don’t need (like takeaways) and only pay for necessities so that the cash that’s been saved can be stashed away in a high interest account. Or maybe you’ll start putting away £10 a month, £20 the following month, until you reach £120 in month 12, amassing a whopping £780 in just a year.
They’re just two ideas to kickstart a good savings habit. And the best thing is that they’re not difficult.
Save yourself a financial headache in the future by forging a foolproof habit during UK Savings Week and take the Savings Challenge!
We’d love to talk you through the mortgage process and help you find a suitable product. For more information or to apply for an account, you can call us, email us, pop into one of our 11 branches. We look forward to hearing from you.