Saving is more difficult than ever right now. Take our simple quiz for practical tips that could help you grow your safety net and help you become a more confident saver.
Add up your score to see if you're mostly As, Bs or Cs. Then, explore our tips which could help you with your saving habits.
It’s payday, how do you feel?
Just in time. I'll get myself something new.
Is it payday again? I'll top up my savings.
Phew! I can check my balance safely again.
You get an unexpected bill, how do you pay for it?
I'll pay it from my wage, tight month ahead.
I'll use my savings.
I'd rather not have to, but I'll stick it on a credit card.
You've been invited on a last-minute trip away, what will you do?
Sign me up, you only live once.
I didn't plan this into my budget, so I'll stay home.
Hmm, I'll have to pass, can't afford it.
It’s near payday and you're underbudget, what do you do?
Result, cracking weekend ahead.
I'll stick the remainder into my savings account.
I don't really have a budget, so carry on as normal.
Your favourite brand just announced a sale, how do you react?
Time to stock up, I love a sale!
I'll avoid it, I shouldn't get new things.
I'll get a couple of bits, but I'll use buy now pay later.
It's halfway through the month, time to check your balance?
Eeesh, spent more than I thought! I'll have to take it easy until payday.
No surprises, I'm still on budget.
I'll check it later, no need to worry about it yet.
How do you feel about your future finances?
I'm thinking about the next couple of months, but not much further.
It's a little worrying, but I've got savings to help.
I try not to think about it, seems like it's impossible to clear my debt, never mind try to save.
Mostly A: Impulse spender
You’re living month to month, without doing much in the way of saving – and you’re not alone – the one in ten people don’t have any savings to fall back on.
Even before rising living costs, it can be hard to stick to a strict budget and deny yourself things you want. But don’t fret, you may not have to change your lifestyle too much to take positive steps towards saving.
Tips for impulse spenders
Set up a separate current account, then set up a standing order on payday with how much you’ve got budgeted per month for fun. Then you can enjoy it, guilt-free.
Emergencies might mean you struggle for the rest of the month. Try to build up even a small amount of money for sudden financial emergencies, so your plans don’t get side-lined by a bigger than expected bill. Set up a standing order on pay day to go straight to your savings, and you may not even notice it’s gone!
Don’t punish yourself too much, either. Saving can start slowly, with a little bit every month.
If you like shopping, try waiting before you buy. Make a list of the things you want, then check if you still want them in two or three weeks. You might be surprised by how many potential purchases lose their appeal over time.
Mostly B: Strict saver
You’ve got a handle on saving and live to a clear budget. You’ve got the discipline to save instead of spending – but you might be a little concerned about the future.
Even comfortable savers are feeling the pinch of late. Recent research showed that nearly four out of ten people (39%) say they have had to dip into their savings during the past 12 months.
Tips for strict savers
You’ve got great saving instincts already – but there might be opportunities to get even more for your money.
Whatever goals you’re saving for – buying a home, getting married, renovating or retiring – keeping track of your progress can keep you motivated.
Tracking how close you are to reaching the figures you’ve set could keep you positive and upbeat about your achievements.
Savings can be a way to enjoy yourself – as well as plan for the future. Allow some room in your budget for some guilt-free spending. A holiday, or an occasional treat can be a reward for being frugal at other times.
Mostly C: Credit cruncher
You may not enjoy saving – or you might not be able to. Falling back on credit can be a difficult habit to get out of.
It’s understandable to try and ignore money problems, but not taking stock of your finances could risk them slipping in future.
Plan how you’ll take steps – even small ones – to get yourself in a position to start saving. It can feel isolating when you’re worried about money, but facing it head on is a positive first move.
Tips for credit crunchers
It’s not always possible to control your costs – for example, if a landlord raises your rent, you won’t have any control over it.
Try checking your balance at the start of every week. This way, you’ll know what you have left for the week. This can help you decide whether next weekend is cheap and cheerful, or if you can afford to save a little.
Use our budget calculator to help you know what money you’ve got to spent, what you’ve got left over for any repayments, and what you might be able to save.
If you’re using a lot of different types of credit, it might be worth writing down everything you owe altogether. Out of sight, out of mind can be risky when it comes to borrowing money, so try get a clear picture and start to pay it off.
If you’re worried about being able to clear your debt, charities like StepChange might be able to offer you impartial advice.
The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute financial advice. For impartial financial advice, try MoneyHelper.