With soaring energy prices and Covid still threatening the economy, 2022 is the perfect time to build a savings safety net.
But that doesn’t have to be intimidating – there are even smartphone apps that will do it for you.
Some calculate how much you can afford to set aside and automatically discard it, while others give you original savings challenges.
With soaring energy prices and the pandemic still threatening the economy, 2022 is a great time to build a savings safety net
Simon Hodgkiss now saves money every time his door opens, turns on his dishwasher or goes to bed late. He wasn’t a saver 18 months ago, but last year he set aside almost £ 2,000 without making big cuts or sacrifices.
Instead, Simon, 33, linked his Monzo bank account to a smartphone app called If This Then That (IFTTT). The app, which can connect gadgets around her house, allows her to program her bank to save money whenever a real event occurs.
So now, every time he runs the dishwasher, 5p is taken from his account for his water bill and 10p for his gas and electricity bill.
And if the web developer, from Leeds, goes to bed at 10 p.m., he only takes 10 pence, but the amount increases by 10 pence every hour thereafter. Over the past 18 months he has saved around £ 780 with this challenge.
An additional 25p is added to his savings every time his front door opens, and £ 1.50 is taken when the temperature rises above 20c or falls below 2c.
But the most lucrative savings challenge comes when it rains.
On a recent Saturday £ 14 was transferred to Simon’s fundraiser as it stopped and started raining seven times that day.
Primary school teacher Viki Allen, 46, saved £ 3,000 last year by taking part in a number of challenges. One involved saving 1 pence on January 1 and increasing the amount by 1 pence each day.
It also does it backwards; a payment of £ 3.65 is taken on the first day of the year and the daily amount is reduced by 1 pence.
Together that comes to £ 1,335.90 after 12 months. She also does a weekly challenge at £ 1, where £ 1 is saved the first week, then £ 2, rising to £ 52 the last week.
Like Simon, Viki uses the IFTTT app to record when the weather changes. In winter, £ 2 is taken every time the temperature drops below 10 ° C – 136 times in the past 12 months. In summer, the same amount is taken when it is over 20c, earning him £ 156.
If This Then That app lets you connect your phone to gadgets around the house and then automatically register them every time you use it.
Viki, from Hellingly, East Sussex, said: “I want to try and double my savings next year. Of course a vacation would be nice and I want to cook, but the main thing is to know that I have savings – it’s a great feeling. ‘
Other app users posed their own savings challenges. If Bryony Stewart-Seume, 40, takes 10,000 steps a day, she puts the bus ticket in her savings account. And graphic designer Michael Clarke, 30, sets aside £ 1 every time he uses the vending machine at work.
The Plum money management app analyzes your spending and calculates how much you can afford to save. Every few days he transfers money to a separate account.
You can adjust the settings to make it tidy up or down. It also allows you to round your purchases to the nearest pound and save the difference.
Use of the basic level of Plum is free, which gives you access to auto-save and grouping features. You can also open a Plum ‘interest pocket’, which earns 0.25% interest.
It is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so your money is protected up to £ 85,000. Withdrawals are subject to one day’s notice.
If you subscribe to any of the premium services of Plum, Plum Pro or Plum Ultra, you can also set up automatic savings challenges.
Its Rainy Days feature will put money aside whenever it rains where you live, while the 52-week challenge could help you save £ 1,378 over the course of the year. Plum Pro costs £ 2.99 per month and Plum Ultra is £ 4.99.
MoneyBox is also free, but only offers the roundup feature. It has four savings account options where the money is deposited. His Simple Saver is FSCS protected, pays 0.47% and you can withdraw the next day per month.
A number of banks also allow customers to automatically save change.
TSB Save The Pennies rounds debit card payments made from your checking account to the nearest pound sterling and hides the difference in your TSB savings account. You can set it up online, using your mobile banking app or at a branch.
Lloyds’ Save The Change feature works the same way. Starling Bank customers can also round payments to the nearest British Pound or even higher. The available money is then sent to one of your Savings Areas, which are similar to virtual piggy banks.
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