How to up your savings game in 2020

If your New Year's resolution is to save that cash, we've got the tips to help keep your bank account in great shape.

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We know the deal. Payday comes around and you feel invincible; you treat yourself to a new weave, you buy a round at the bar to celebrate, you even make an early payment on your credit card. But then the bills come out, and all of a sudden that wave of invincibility fades. Things go back to normal. You avoid logging in to your bank account because you don't want to see your bank balance.

You're not alone. According to a 2019 report by Schwab, 59% of millennials are living paycheck to paycheck. However, it's apparent that we don't just have rising house prices and rent to blame - the report also states that millennials spend a large portion of their salaries on nonessentials. This could be anything from your daily takeaway coffee to taxi rides across town.

With that in mind, it's time to step up your game when it comes to saving. We've got eight handy tips from Ann-MarieAtkins, Managing Partner at Tilney and Financial Adviser of the Year 2019, to help you keep that bank balance rising.

1. Create your own budget newsfeed

You wouldn’t leave it a month to check your Twitter newsfeed, or what your influencers are doing on Instagram, so why wouldn’t you check what’s happening with your money? Even creating a basic monthly budget sheet or simply monitoring your account, will help you keep track of your finances and show where you might be able to make some cutbacks and whether you have any spare money to spend or save elsewhere.

2. Play the savings challenge

Let’s be honest. All too often we hear ‘saving’ and think boring! But it doesn’t have to be. Having something to save for is far more exciting than simply putting money away. Why not set yourself a saving challenge by agreeing a realistic figure and seeing if you can save a little bit more each month. You can even have a competition with family and friends on who can save the most.

3. Talk money

Money might be the last thing you want to talk about, but it doesn’t have to be feared. Rather than bottling up any concerns, talk to someone. Even if it’s someone you wouldn’t usually turn to. In fact, 8% of Brits would get their money woes off their chest to their hairdresser, increasing to 23% for millennials. Talking to someone is better than talking to no one.

4. Plan for the unexpected

It’s unsettling to think about losing your job, or becoming unwell, let alone the prospect of having to care for a relative. Sadly, this is increasingly becoming a reality for many. Preparing for the unexpected can help ease the stress should something happen. The personal strain is tough enough, the last thing you want to deal with is the financial impact.

5. Protect yourself

If you’re in a relationship or getting married make sure you protect yourself financially. Do you know your partners’ financial status? Are they in-debt? If so, the last thing you want to do is take this on or open a joint account. While this isn’t romantic, neither is lots of debt and a bad credit rating.

6. Don’t let fear rule you

Ever thought about investing? Are you worried you’ll lose money? It’s only natural to feel that way, but don’t let that fear stop you from investing. It’s never too late to start investing for your future, but remember, the longer you invest, the higher the chance of a better return. You don’t have to be an expert, it’s about knowing what you’re investing for and getting the right advice.

7. Don’t pay more tax than you must

Most people hate paying tax and wish they could just keep the money they earn. So why pay more than you must? Embracing tax efficiency can make a big difference to your money pot in the long run. There are plenty of options for saving tax. With individual savings accounts (ISAs) and pensions, you could benefit from tax relief at the same time as giving your savings a welcome boost.

8. Think about your future

I know, I know. The last thing you want to think about is retirement. But the earlier you think about your future, the more chance you have of achieving the one you want! Talking to a financial planner can help set you on the right savings path and make your money work harder for your future.

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