The rate of inflation was at 5.5% in February, which means most people’s cash savings might not be keeping up with the rising cost of living. That doesn’t mean you should give up though! If you have an emergency fund, it should be in a competitive account, paying as much interest as possible. Below we have some useful tips to help you along your way.
Investing your savings
If you’re looking to save money beyond your emergency fund, stocks and shares could offer the potential for inflation-beating returns. Just keep in mind that these types of investments are meant to be held for a minimum of 5-10 years.
Whilst having the potential to offer returns greater than that of cash savings accounts, these types of investments also put your capital at risk and you could end up getting back less than you originally invested. We would always recommend speaking to a professional financial adviser prior to making a decision around investing.
If you are on a tight budget, the increase in prices isn’t going to help you combat this. Before you start cutting your spending, however, make sure you do your research and get the best deal on services you are paying for. Checking phone contracts, home broadband and insurances is a good place to start for this. Comb through credit card statements and bank statements and make sure you know what every item is, because you could come across trial memberships that have become regularly monthly payments, etc that you never intended to commit to and could cut.
Change what you buy
If food shopping prices keep creeping up in costs more and more each week, consider changing some of the things you buy. For example, you could go from fresh to frozen/canned for a while. You might also want to try different, cheaper own-brands and explore various budget ranges. There are plenty of ways to spend less in the supermarket when you want to bump your savings up for a while.
Fix your mortgage
The Bank of England keeps a close eye on inflation – its aim is for inflation to stay at 2% and if things start to get out of control, it will act. When inflation rises, it will potentially increase interest rates.
Anyone on a variable-rate mortgage with no early repayment charge or nearing the end of a fixed-rate deal, might consider remortgaging onto a fixed mortgage deal to keep the interest rates secure for a number of years. Our mortgage advisers can help you look at your current mortgage and give you guidance on the best deals.
The content of this factsheet is for general information only and should not be considered advice. Professional advice relating to your individual circumstances should always be sought prior to making any decisions or taking any action. Your capital is at risk. The value of investments can go down as well as up in value and you may get back less than you invested. All details were correct at the time of writing.
Reference – BL140 – Mar – 2022