How to save money: Why financial self care matters

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Money, money, money. We hate talking about it (ever seen a room silenced because someone asked about another person's salary?) and dealing with it (considered pooling your pension pots? Thought not) even more.

But, aside from securing our futures, getting a handle on your pounds and pence also puts you in a calmer, more soothed mental space.

From how to save money to the apps that'll make it easier, here's your financial wellbeing crib sheet.

How to save money – and why it matters for your health

Given that your introduction to numbers was wildly theoretical – assessing the sides of triangles, discovering that Y equals Pi – you are forgiven for filing 'finances' under the 'I really can't deal' folder of adulting.

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Bu the impact of a strained cashflow – including not being sure how to save money – on your mind is not great - and it really is harder than ever to make your paycheck stretch due to inflation and the cost of living crisis.

A 2022 survey by the Financial Conduct Authority found that 7.8 million people are finding it a heavy burden to keep up with their bills, an increase of around 2.5 million people since 2020.

12.9 million UK adults now have low financial resilience – 1 in 4 (24%) of all UK adults – and up more than 2 million on 2020 (10.7m). These are people who are in financial difficulty, or who could quickly find themselves in difficulty if they suffer a financial shock.

Don't believe us? The debt charity StepChange has revealed that over 70% of its clients reported having low energy and insomnia. It’s no surprise that those in debt lose sleep over their finances, but many cite physical symptoms, too – 65% reported headaches and 42% described feeling aches and pains.

how to save money - women's health uk
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A 2017 review into the impact of stress confirmed that it hurts, with scientists highlighting the havoc it can play on the immune, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.

And what about if it's not so high stake: more 'I'm not sure where my salary goes, uh oh', less 'my house has been re-possessed?' Yep, it still matters.

‘Procrastinating over something that needs your full attention leads to stress, which can manifest in the form of chronic headaches, weight gain and acne,’ says Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer psychologist at UCL.

Hoping we now have you sold on the important of getting pound signs in your eyes, here's how to crack on with saving some of your dolla every month.

How to save money every month: expert advice

Save at the start of the month

Once you’ve worked out what you can afford to put aside, set up a standing order to move that amount into a savings account as soon as you’ve been paid.

‘If you keep it sloshing around in your current account, you’ll just be tempted to spend it,’ says Clare Francis, director of savings and investments at Barclays.

how to save money - women's health uk
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Sub out your subscriptions

Meal kits? ClassPass? Online HIIT tutorials you’ve never done but still shell out £8.99 a month for? ‘If you’re not using it, cancel it,’ urges chartered psychologist Fiona Murden.

‘If subscriptions make you feel like part of a community, could you fill that gap for free somewhere online, or can you get the same feeling from meeting with friends?’

Use multiple accounts to split your money out

The more money sitting in an account, the more likely you are to dip in with wild abandon. It’s better to distribute your salary across lots of different pots.

Use weekly direct debits to scoop small sums into other accounts, like a joint account or a holiday fund. Without one big chunk available, you won’t blow it all two weeks after payday.

Try a 5:2 cleanse

For two days a week, practise the discipline of sticking to only two expenses – transport and food. There’s something smug – and savings-enhancing – about a zero-extra-spend day. If restraint doesn’t come easily (or at all), leave your debit card at home and use cash (like, actual notes and coins)for essentials and a prepaid ticket or travel card to get around.

Got that sorted? Next, Download these apps, to make financial literacy that much easier.

How to save money from your salary: apps to download, now

Moneybox

A micro-investing app that rounds up purchases (like your £1.80morning coffee) to the nearest pound, then invests the extra change in stocks and shares. On average, users put aside £8.40 a week – or a cushy £440 a year.

moneyboxapp.com

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Monzo

Dubbed the millennials’ Amex, Monzo is a phone-operated current account that demystifies where your moolah goes. You get alerts every time you spend, which it groups by brand– so you can see exactly how much goes to Uber each month.

monzo.com

Splitwise

It tracks shared expenses between groups of friends, housemates and even couples, tallies who’s paid what, then sends reminders at the end of the month for everyone to settle their dues. The pass-agg Post-it note IOU is no more.

splitwise.com

Pensionbee

When you leave a job, priorities are more about farewell drinks than consolidating your workplace, yawn, pension. Good news: PensionBee tracks down all your previous pensions and groups them into one new plan, with one overall balance.

pensionbee.com

CLEO

Like Siri for your money, Cleo is an AI FacebookMessenger bot that’ll answer any question about your finances, such as ‘how much have I spent eating out this month?’ and will instantly display all your account balances on request. It gathers data via read only technology, making it secure.

meetcleo.com

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