Five Steps of Saving

The Five Steps of Saving

We talk a lot about savings, it's part of our ethos to encourage everyone to save regularly to build up some savings. But did you know there are different types of savings?

1. Emergency Fund

Unexpected bills, washing machine stops working, emergency car repairs. anything can happen. If you don't have any savings then you either borrow the money (from family, friends, credit card, overdraft or a loan) or have to find another way to solve the problem. It's a lot less stress if you have an emergency fund, £500 is usually enough, to simple dip into, solve the problem, then move on. A lot of our credit union members use their savings with us for this; their 'getting out of trouble' fund. £12 monthly, or £3 weekly is all it takes to get started on your Emergency Fund. 

2. Three Months' Expenses

How long could you keep paying the bills if you lost your job? The Covid pandemic has forced many of us to face this reality for the first time. Having an expenses fund buys you time. Three months is usually enough for most people to get another job or make lifestyle choices to reduce expenditure, but that's up to you to decide. What if you just fancy a change? or want to try being self-employed? turn your side-hustle into your main income? - your expenses savings pot allows you take your time to make good choices and not act because you are forced to by circumstances. Time really is money. Saving regularly with credit union, so it is separate from your current account, can be a great way to grow your three months' expenses pot without being tempted to dip into it. We suggest saving £40 monthly, or £9 weekly to build up your Expenses fund. 

3. Big Stuff

Cars, sofas, kitchens, home improvements. It can be easy to think 'I know I'll need to replace my car in five years, I'll get a loan, worry about that later'. What if you saved £50 every month into a 'new car fund'? How much will be in that pot in five years time? .... worked it out yet? That's £3,000. That could be enough to upgrade your car, or borrow less, or afford a better vehicle. You know you won't need it for a while, so maybe deposit in a term account that pays more interest. Take a look at to find the best accounts for your needs. 

4. Long Term

What would you love to do? What's on your wish list? On your bucket list? Buying a house, moving home, a memorable holiday, whatever it may be. One of our principles is saving for a purpose. We're all more motivated if we know why we're saving. A term deposit account would earn more interest, or an investment ISA if you don't mind taking some risks (note that investments can go down in value, but over time they can often out perform a savings account). The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have recently launched to help you make appropriate investment decisions. Your long term savings could be with credit union, but don't keep your eggs just in one basket; if you have some thousands saved then it is a good idea to spread it around, using the best interest rates available.  

5. Pension

Yes, your pension is a savings scheme. A very tax-efficient one! Did you know for every £100 you pay into your pension, the government will top it up with at least £20? That's free money, given to you for your retirement. Your employer may even be paying into a pension for you too. Investing a small amount regularly into your pension when you are young can be worth a lot more when you do retire thanks to employer contributions, tax benefits and compound interest so it can be worth sacrifices now. The future you will be grateful! Find out more about pensions at the free PensionWise MoneyHelper website.

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