If you want to increase the amount of money that you save then you will need to make some changes to what you are doing with your money. There are lots of different things that you can try and budgeting is one of them. But is it worth it? It is worth thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of budgeting so that you can work out whether you think that it is a good solution for you.
Helps you Organise Your Plans
Having a budget will be a useful guide that you can use to make sure that you are organised. It will allow you to be able to know how much money you have to spend on certain things and you know that if you stick to it then you will have money left over to put into your savings account. When you are wondering whether to buy certain things, it will be really easy to know because you will be able to look at your budget and see how much you have allocated to that particular area and how much you have spent to work out if there is enough money. You will then be able to easily decide whether to buy that item or not. If you cannot buy it, then you might be able to delay and buy it the following month, perhaps carrying over some money form that budget so spending less one month so that you have extra to spend the following month.
The main problem with a budget is that it is inflexible. So, if you get an expensive bill in that you have to pay then you may not have enough money for that or you may have to take money from other areas. If you have already allocated your money then you could swap it around a bit to pay the bill, but if the money has already been spent then you will not be able to do this. If you have budgeted well, then you should not be getting unexpected bills though. You should have remembered everything that you have to pay. It might only be if something breaks down or the car needs a repair that you might have extra money to pay out. A good budget would allow some money for this sort of thing though.
Could be Quicker
If you have a budget in place it could help you to save the money more quickly. If you are following a plan and have decided that you want to pay a certain amount of money into your savings account each month then you are more likely to stick to that than if you just decide you want to put more in. You might even set up a direct debit to pay the money in and then you will not forget to do it. This could mean that you will reach your target amount of savings more quickly as it will be much easier to stay focussed on the ask at hand and you will have a plan on how to achieve it.
It can therefore be a good idea to have a budget to make it easier to keep focussed on building up your savings. If you know what you can spend and what on, then you will be less likely to overspend and not have enough to save. If you have a goal but have not set a budget, then you could end up spending too much money on other things and not saving it. Even if you have to change plans a bit of you get unexpected bills in, it can still be easier than not having a budget.
Choosing a bank is not always an easy task and there might be a lot of different factors that you need to think about when you are choosing. It can be a good idea to think hard about the different factors that are important to you. For example, you might think about whether you need to use a bank with a branch that is local to you. There are advantages and disadvantage to this and it is a good idea to have a think about these to help you to decide whether it will be a useful thing for you.
Face to Face Dealing
Some people really enjoy the fact that they are able to deal face to face with someone. They can feel that it is easier to explain things to people face to face or they feel it is more friendly. Sometimes it can also seem easier to explain things if you can do it face to face as well. It can be difficult for some people to use the phone and not being able to see the person that you are talking to also comes with problems for some as well. Some people do not have the Internet or good access to it and they may not trust online banking either. This all means that it can be difficult for some to be able to use any other option but banking using a branch and some people just prefer it.
Restricted Opening Hours
If you rely completely on banking in a branch you will only be able to do so during their opening hours. These will vary depending on the specific bank that you use but they will generally be 9-5 Monday to Friday and some may open Saturday morning. What this means is that you will need to be sure that you are available at those times if you need to do any banking. You will be able to draw out cash from ATM’s outside of these hours and get a balance but if you want to do anything else, such as transferring money, checking statements etc, you will have to wait until the branch is open to be able to do it.
Night be More Expensive
It could be more expensive to use a bank that has a branch. This is because you will find that the bank will be paying rent on the branch and on all of the branches they have. High street rent is expensive, which is why many branches are closing down, but it also means that there is a chance that the branch may pass that cost on to you as a customer. This could mean that they pay out less interest on savings and that they charge more for loans. It may not always be the case but it is good to do a comparison and try to find out first as that can help you with your decision.
If the bank you are considering has a branch and offers telephone and online banking it will mean that you will have a big choice of methods to contact them. This could be very convenient as it means that you could bank online at any time but if you feel you want face to face contact, you still have that method as an option to you. It is worth thinking about what appeals to you the most really.
It is always worth bearing in mind though, that banks are closing branches and this means that if you really want a branch you may have to change banks if they close your local branches.
There are lots of different types of savings accounts and lots of places offer savings accounts and this means that it can sometimes be confusing to know how to find the best ones. There are different methods that you could choose and they tend to all have pros and cons so it is worth considering which you think will be the best ones for you.
Asking a financial advisor will be the best way to ensure that you really do get the very best account. However, you have to pay them for their help and this can be quite expensive. You will need to think about whether you think that it is worth paying for their help considering how much the extra money that you will make will be worth. If you have lots of money to save then it is more likely to be worth it as you will make more interest compared to if you have a small amount of money when a different interest rate will not make a huge difference.
A comparison website will show you lots of different accounts and you will be able to have a look at the different process of products and you will be able to compare them and see which will be the best for you. However, these websites will not list every single savings account and therefore you will not be comparing all of the accounts. This is partly because not all banks want to appear on these sites. This is because the site owners usually get paid commission of you click through a link and open an account based on heir recommendation. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, as long as it is declared on the website, it can mean that you will only see places on there that pay commission and if they rate them they may rate those that give them the most commission the highest.
Money Advice Website
There are some sites which give advice about money and they might have recommendations about types of savings accounts and which might be the best to use. These can be very useful but you will still need to check to find out whether they are biased in any way or whether they will be giving independent advice. It is good to check this carefully or use a site that you know that you can trust to give an unbiased view if you can find one. Some will be better than others so you might have to look at quite a few websites before you find a good one.
Friends and Family
It can sometimes be handy to ask friends and family. They may have their money in accounts that they will recommend to you and so that could be really helpful as well. They might also be able to tell you about accounts that they do not recommend that you try out. Find out why they like and dislike them and then you will be able to think about whether those will be things that you are concerned with or whether you do not really mind about them and so it will not really matter about those things.
You can of course do research for yourself using search engines. You will be able to look up different savings accounts and decide whether you think that certain ones will suit you better than others. It will take time though but it will be a good opportunity to find out more about different types of accounts and different people that offer them and how they compare.