It’s finally summer. If, like most people, you’re putting the ‘out of office’ on, digging out the sun hat and firing up the barbecue, those months-old New Year resolutions are probably out of sight and out of mind.
But when it comes to your finances, they don’t have to be. Because this slower-paced season is actually a great time to spare a thought for your savings and take some small steps towards giving them a boost.
The result? You get to relax and enjoy your holiday – and those resolutions get a much-needed summer dust-off. So why not follow these five steps towards a summer of saving?
1. Summer saving – read all about it
For many of us, summer is all about that reading list. This year, as you line up the novels you want to read why not add to your list one of the huge range of books about making the most of your money?
According to the Financial Times ‘this book is a wise investment’ – ‘You’re Not Broke You’re Pre-Rich’ by Emilie Bellet is a bestseller and contains a ‘wealth’ of advice on streamlining your finances and staying in control of your bank balance.
Also recommended is Anne Boden’s ‘The Money Revolution: Easy Ways to Manage Your Finances in a Digital World’ which shines a spotlight on how we save, spend and invest our money, and ‘Money: A User’s Guide’, by Laura Whateley who writes the ‘Millennial Money’ column in The Sunday Times money section.
2. Make your inbox work harder for your money
Is your inbox helping you or holding you back? There’s so much information out there being sent to us every day, summer can be a good time to make sure your emails are working for you. Money tips and ideas can really make a difference to helping us all find better ways to save money.
So why not focus on the ones that do the “savvy saving” leg-work for you.
And of course, our very own MoneyPlus email can help you make the most of your savings, pensions and ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts).
3. Make the most of lower bills
It’s (usually) warmer and lighter in the UK at this time of year – and that means we can all turn our heating off for a couple of months, give the tumble drier a break and we don’t have to put the lights on at 4pm.
The result? Utility bills are usually cheaper. And although many providers balance that out over the year with Direct Debits, it’s worth checking that you’re not paying too much in the summer – and if you are, or you pay quarterly, how about moving the difference into a savings account, and get some interest on top, or consider an ISA if you’re saving for something bigger and generally longer term.[link]
4. Work it out
SPF50? Check. Insect repellent? Check. Beach body? Maybe, but if you’ve been trying your best at the gym since you made those 2019 resolutions, you might find you are less inclined to keep it up during summer – or you are away on holiday.
Don’t let your membership eat into your monthly income when you could be putting that money to better use.
Most gyms allow you to pause for a few months, or you might want to check out outdoor activities instead while the weather allows. Try Rabble – outdoor team games aimed at those who don’t like exercising. And if you like gyms but want to save, MoveGB’s cheapest ever fitness membership starts from only £1 per week and allows you to access local fitness for less.
5. That time of year… again
Summer is all about forgetting your worries and making the most of things, which is a lot easier when you know you’re on top of things. So before you settle down on the sun lounger, why not take a few minutes and take a small step towards knowing the end of the year will be a lot easier.
Yes, we mean Christmas (sorry). But putting small amounts in a savings account between now and then could make a big difference. And don’t forget the summer sales. One of the MoneyPlus team has already been out shopping for Christmas gifts. “It takes the panic out of buying by doing it month by month, and there’s less chance of overspending in a last-minute rush. I did that one year and regrettably spent a fortune on Christmas Eve,” admits Laura Tervit.
School’s out – but saving doesn’t have to be. So why not try some of our steps to make the summer months count?
Then find the right place to save, depending on your goals – with our super-simple guide to Getting to know your pensions from your ISAs, which might give you a few more ideas. [link]
Elle Tucker is a freelance journalist working on behalf of Standard Life.
The information here is based on our understanding in July 2019 and shouldn’t be taken as financial advice. Pensions and stocks and shares ISAs are investments and their value can go down as well as up and may be worth less than was paid in.
The links provided to external sites within this blog are for general information purposes only. Standard Life accepts no responsibility for information contained in these sites or for them being available at all times.