You will rarely be able to earn more on your savings, than you’ll pay on your borrowings. So, as a rule of thumb plan to pay off your debts before you start to save.
If you are paying more for your borrowing than you’re getting on your savings, then it makes sense to pay off your loans – so long as you can access funds in an emergency (see more on this below) and provided you’ll not incur high penalties for repaying your loan.
Once you’ve cleared your debts you’re freed up to save more and faster.
If you have several debts to clear, aim to clear the most expensive ones first. These are the most common examples:
High interest charges on the most expensive forms of debt make it harder to put money aside, so clear these first.
Generally it’s fine to save and have some debt as long as:
Regular saving is really important. Make it easy by setting up a standing order or Direct Debit to move money into a savings account regularly so you don’t spend it or forget to put it aside. After a while, you won’t even miss it. And, to save even faster, why not set a savings goal so you know:
If you pay tax you’ll probably want to start by thinking about tax efficient savings, like making the most of your ISA allowance. Follow the links below to find out more, including when and why it’s important to start saving into a pension.
As of April 2016 you are entitled to a personal savings allowance. This means you don’t pay tax on the first £1,000 you earn from savings (or the first £500 if you’re a higher rate taxpayer).
If you have cash to spare you might wonder about reducing your mortgage.
Read our guide below for things to think about when weighing up whether this makes sense.
Ideally you should aim to have three months’ money in reserve as part of your savings.
However, if you have debts use the money to clear these first provided you have access to emergency funds such as a credit card.
However, if an emergency arises and you have to you go for this option, it’s important not to start using the card for other purchases, as you’ll risk running up yet more debt.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.