New Year Q&A

Whether you need to build a rainy-day fund for emergencies or are saving for a longer term goal such as a wedding or house deposit, putting money away regularly is a healthy habit to get into. Here we answer your saving questions.

I am 43, I don’t have any savings, and it feels like it will take years to build up a decent amount. Is there any point to saving for me?
Pritesh, Wolverhampton

It may feel daunting, but if you can start to put something away every month, it will soon add up. If you can spare £50 a month that will grow to £6,000 after ten years. The most important thing is to start.

How much should I be saving every month?
Jay, Sheffield

The simple answer, is as much as you can afford, and that is different for everyone, depending on your other outgoings and responsibilities.

A good starting point is to try and build up the equivalent of three months wages, to guard against unexpected expenses or a financial shock such as losing your job, or a reduction in income.

After that, you can set savings goals for future expenditure, such as a holiday, a new car or helping your children at college.

The free savings calculator at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/savings-calculator will help you work out how much you need to save for a specific goal.

I owe money on a credit card - shouldn’t I pay that off before I start saving?
Clara, Glasgow

It is important to pay off credit card balances as quickly as you can. If you pay your credit card off each month, and you can afford to start saving even a small amount then that is a great place to start.

Should I put spare money into a savings account or pension?
John, Amersham

This will depend on your individual circumstance. It is certainly worth considering making contributions to a pension scheme and putting some money into a savings account so that you can get the best of both worlds. You can visit https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en for more information and free financial advice to help understand your options.

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