So many of us go through life knowing that we should do more to save and invest for the future, but we leave it at the bottom of our to-do list because we just don’t know where, or how, to start. I had the pleasure of chatting with Charlotte Oates from Moneybox, the app helping everyone save and invest for the future.
The app is encouraging people to make the right saving and investing decisions throughout their lives (helpful features, such as the time machine tool, allow you to visualise what your savings can amount to in the future). Keep your long-term goals in mind, and consider the small things you can do today that will help you work towards your financial goals.
Moneybox making it easy for people to get started: round-ups, for example, allow people to save and invest the spare change from their everyday purchases, and regular weekly deposits and payday boosts help people set their savings to autopilot.
In this article,we explore a few ways you can give your finances a spring clean.
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Have a clear picture of your costs
With many of us spending more time at home at the moment, this can be a great time to review your spending patterns and see whether you have any spare cash to set aside in saving or investing account. Think about your fixed and variable costs.
Fixed costs are things that won’t go away no matter what: your rent, car insurance, utilities, mortgage, etc. To look at your variable costs, pull up your bank and/or credit card statements for the last three months, and look at how you’re spending your money. Think about where your money goes and why you can’t save money; think about all the things you can lower and ways to allocate ways to save money.
A simple example could be taking stock of your subscription services, both for in your personal and professional life, shares Oates “by starting with roundups on your weekly shops, or with small, regular deposits, you can turn saving into a habit, rather than a chore.”
Apps like YNAB help you allocate your cash into different buckets so you can set money aside for your priorities first (rent, bills, student loan payments) and then tap into the rest.
Create a financial goal
First and foremost, you should sit down and make sure you know where you stand. Make sure you know how much you want to make, save and spend each year, and then articulating your financial goals.
Investing can be a great way to grow your money over the longer term: “Time is your secret weapon when it comes to investing – the longer you hold your investments, the higher the probability of making a return. We help our customers stay motivated with a Time Machine feature which shows how playing the long game can really pay off.”
Invest in your future
Even in this current climate, a lot of people are looking at smarter ways to save and are truly pivoting the way they look at their own finances.
Investing is a means to accomplish your financial goals, in order from some to tell you what to invest in until they know what you’re investing for. Goal-setting is the first step to knowing what to invest in.
Here are a few simple tips to get started from Moneybox:
- First of all, make sure you have enough of a cash buffer that you don’t need to touch your investments – the aim of the game is to set and forget.
- It’s worth spending some time researching the product that is right for your needs to make sure you don’t miss out on relevant tax relief or bonuses. It may sound too good to be true, but depending on what you are saving for, there are some great schemes out there that could actually give you free money. If you’re in the UK and saving for your first home, for example, you can get up to £1,000 every year from the government with a Lifetime ISA.
- Apps like Moneybox make it easy to get started – you can open an account with as little as £1 and choose from three simple starting options – cautious, balanced and adventurous – made up of different allocations of tracker funds. You can also choose a Socially Responsible fund, allowing you to invest in a way that’s more aligned with your values.
- Starting small is a great way to kick off your investment journey. With Moneybox you can round up your everyday purchases to the nearest pound and save or invest the spare change without even thinking about it. The average Moneybox customer saves £500 per year in round-ups alone; a small change that could make a big difference by the end of the year.
Books to inspire you in your spring clean
There are some great books out there that can help build your knowledge and confidence about investing and making your money work hard for you. Here are Moneybox top three reads, perfect for brushing up on your knowledge as we #stayhome:
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This book breaks down financial jargon and will teach you how to make your savings work for you, how you could invest your money and why your financial health is just as important as your mental and physical health.
Tony Robbins interviewed some of the world’s leading financial minds and here delivers a playbook for financial success.
Now in its fourth edition, Cunningham collates Warren Buffett’s letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Together, they provide an incredibly valuable education from the world’s most successful investor.
If you’d like to find out more about Moneybox head here.
My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.