Money Insider: It's never too late to save for a rainy day
Friday 25 July 2014
Whether it's a rainy day fund, some cash to help towards the cost of Christmas or the annual summer holiday, many of us strive to put a little money aside.
Despite the current low interest rate environment, saving money on a regular basis will always be a habit worth adopting.
Even a balance of a few hundred pounds will help if you are suddenly faced with an unexpected bill and will save you having to rely on expensive plastic.
However, for most people the hardest part of saving is actually getting started.
We may have good intentions of saving some of our salary at the end of the month, but by the time we get there it's often been spent elsewhere.
A sensible solution is to set up a standing order so that your money is switched to your savings account the day after you get paid, that way it won't be sitting around in your current account tempting you to spend it.
Many banks and building societies offer regular savings accounts and although the interest rates are often two or three times higher than standard savings products, the terms and conditions are pretty strict.
Although some may find the restrictive terms and conditions a little off-putting, for others it helps to instil the financial discipline they need to stick to a regular savings routine.
If you've got a current account with First Direct you can get a regular saver account paying 6 per cent AER, while HSBC offers the same rate for its premier and advance customers and 4 per cent to bank account holders.
Other deals worth a mention, and where you don't need to hold a current account with the provider to qualify, include Kent Reliance paying 4 per cent AER, West Bromwich Building Society at 3.30 per cent AER and Leeds Building Society paying 3.05 per cent AER.
Once you get into the habit and have built a savings pot, it gives you many more savings options – maybe putting your accrued lump sum into a fixed-rate bond or an ISA while you take out a new regular saver for the following year.
Don't fall foul of insurance exclusions
Just because you've purchased insurance cover, don't assume that you'll automatically be covered if something goes awry.
For example, with your car insurance, be careful not to underestimate your annual mileage calculation because if you claim to be driving 10,000 miles each year, yet are driving twice that distance, don't be surprised if the insurer throws out a claim.
Similarly when applying for home cover – in many instances you must state whether the locks on your doors comply with British safety standard BS3621. Not surprisingly, as in some cases you'd need to remove the lock to check, the question is often answered incorrectly. However, it could prove an expensive mistake because if you suffer a break-in and it is found that the lock does not match the details on your policy, your insurer may refuse a payout.
Another important tip is to ensure you always report a theft to the police within 24 hours of the incident. Insurers will ask you for a crime number as part of the claim process. Failure to obtain this could cast doubt on whether a theft has taken place and could result in a rejection.
The annual premium is the key factor for most people when they receive their insurance renewal, but a read through of the individual cover and exclusions is equally important if you want to avoid any nasty surprises.
Andrew Hagger is an independent personal finance analyst from www.moneycomms.co.uk
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Cocaine and cannabis haul hidden in Vatican car seized by French police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
iJobs Money & Business
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...
Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...
Day In a Page
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000