Hello and a very warm welcome to another of my financial sites, which I hope will explain everything you need to know about saving, and not just where to find the best savings rates ( there are plenty of sites which provide this information).
What I have tried to do here is to provide suggestions, tips, help, advice and explanations of some of the more confusing aspects of saving. We will look at tax, compound and simple interest, the best places to save ( and the worst!) and how to go about the whole business of saving.
In today's high pressure consumer driven world, many of us find it almost impossible to save for out future, whether that's our retirement, to have sufficient for our long term care, or simply to afford some of the luxuries in life. With soaring house prices, and the ever increasing costs of basic necessities such as food and fuel, the pressure on the weekly budget is immense.
Like many of you, I have heard horror stories of people who have lost all their life savings through no fault of their own, but far more common is the loss of a job, a sudden and serious illness involving long term absence from work, or sudden redundancy. Sadly all these events can, and do happen, and many of us are simply not prepared for the appalling consequences. It is a sad fact of life that in the UK at present, over four million people have no savings whatsoever, and the average for the remainder is £7,000. In simple terms this means that should we lose our job, most of us would be unable to survive for more than one or two months on our savings, before running into financial difficulties - a frightening statistic. And yet this is the way many of us are forced to live, even where both partners are working full time. This is why to me, saving money for the future is one of the hardest aspects of modern day living. So it's not so much about finding the best savings rates, it's much more about finding different ways to save and then to put that money into those accounts or savings plans which will provide the best return.
As many of you will already know, I am a full time currency trader and investor in the financial markets, so some of you may be wondering what on earth I know about the savings market. The answer is actually a great deal, as I am no different to anyone else - I have to save for the future like everyone else, and over the years have seem both the good and the bad in savings accounts and plans. My biggest regret is that I failed to understand the risks or likely returns, because these were never explained clearly. Many were sold to me by financial advisors who sadly were more interested in the commission they would earn, rather than the benefits to me as the client - ( one such product managed to lose 25% of it's value in the first 2 years and was supposedly a low risk savings bond!) I hope in some small way this site will help you to avoid the mistakes I have made, and actually to save some money along the way! After all investing in a bad savings plan or account is worse than not saving at all.
In many ways the savings industry is very similar to the financial market in that it is full of jargon, and many of the terms used are meaningless and incomprehensible to us, mere mortals. So all the information you find here will be clear, concise and easy to understand ( I hope) and if you have any questions you are more than welcome to drop me a line via email at the top of each page. As I'm not selling anything, all the information is free and impartial. So if you are going to look for the best savings rates, I would suggest you understand all the basic details of how the savings market works first, and then go looking!
I'm sure you have all heard the saying " the more you earn, the less you have" but it does seem to be true for many of us. The more we earn then the more we spend. If we are promoted at work, the first thing we think of is a bigger house which means a larger mortgage, or perhaps a new car, or a luxury holiday. It's hard to say whether this is something in our personalities, or simply that we live in a consumer age forever bombarded with images of products and services that we cannot live without, or which will create the image that we desire, often backed by celebrity endorsements. After all, saving is boring, nobody saves - live for now, and worry about tomorrow when it comes! Well I have news for you - tomorrow does come, and all too quickly. I don't propose to cover pension planning on this site, but as you approach retirement you will increasingly regret the fact that you don't have one, and the closer that day comes, the more you will rue the day that you didn't save.
So I can safely guarantee that the more you earn the more you will spend. If your salary increases from £25,000 to £35,000, you will wonder how you ever survived without the increase - why? - because you are now spending to your means, ( and probably beyond) - the increase has already been spent and probably before you even received it in your monthly pay! Do you think anyone earning £100,000 plus is any better of? - NO - they may have a bigger house and a larger car, but the problem will always be the same - they never have any spare cash to save either!!!
The only answer is to spend less - I am not advocating cutting back and deferring all your pleasure to tomorrow - just spend more wisely and save a little regularly - you will be amazed how quickly it grows in the correct savings account and with the best savings rates. I will suggest my top savings tips later, but for now let's start by looking at interest rates and how they can work for us in providing the best savings rates.