Do you find saving a challenge? Are you the type to wing it? Are you mostly organised? Or do you have a tabbed and colour-coordinated spreadsheet for every aspect of your family budget?
The first thing I saved for, I think, was a TV for my bedroom as a teenager. I remember putting aside every bit of pocket money I got but then getting impatient and selling most of my toy collection to reach my goal more quickly. I laugh about it now, but looking back I remember that I soon regretted it as I realised I’d even sold toys imbued with childhood memories I couldn’t get back.
Ah well! I guess my advice to that younger self would be that saving takes patience.
These days, we keep a spreadsheet to track our finances, and if we need to fund something beyond the usual household expenses, we can see at a glance how long it will take us to be able to afford it. This also allows us to maintain a pot for household improvements and presents for the kids, without any last minute panics.
As the kids grow, we’re teaching them how to manage money, and they have their own savings goals. They understand that money isn’t limitless, and they can practice their maths skills to see how they’re getting on.
NatWest is on a mission to make savings fairer for everyone. To achieve this they no longer offer ‘teaser rates’ (rates that are initially lower, then increase after a period) and they’ve started offering the same deals to existing customers that they offer to new ones.
To help families with their savings goals, NatWest have a quick Budget Calculator which helps you tot up your income and outgoings so that you can get a quick sense of how much you could potentially put into savings.
And if you’re a customer, you can also use Natwest’s Savings Goal Tool, which helps you plan and manage your savings and even gives you a view of your progress every time you access online banking.
What savings advice would you give to your younger self?
This is a commissioned post for Natwest. Lead image © Shutterstock / CHOATphotographer