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5 money saving tips to achieve your life goals

Written by Jackie Davies

With the cost of living still on the rise, it's become a struggle to put money away to save for those big future dreams and milestones.

Budgeting your finances is tricky enough without also having to take into account ever-growing costs.

The Financial Conduct Authority has reported that half of UK adults have experienced increased anxiety from the cost-of-living crisis, and more than half have dipped into their savings or stopped saving completely to cover daily costs.

In 2024, the average cost of the traditional life goals of getting married, having kids, and buying a house now cost almost £400,000, according to our research.

Unsurprisingly, many young adults are now seeing these life events as simply unachievable.

"Make a plan and start small, gradually building up your savings pots to make your dreams become a reality"

Of course it can be overwhelming to manage your finances, especially if you're juggling paying rent and bills and saving for things like a house deposit.

The best approach is to make a plan and start small, gradually building up your savings pots to make your dreams become a reality. At OneFamily, we want to help young adults feel empowered as they save for their future goals.

So, here are my top tips for saving for your life goals.

  1. Get to know your money
  2. Take a good hard look at your finances and where it all goes each month. Where does it slip through your fingers after payday?

    Once you have an idea of where your money is going, you can begin to set your budget goals. Work out an amount you can commit to saving each month. The more you understand your money, the more confident you will feel managing it!

  3. Choose the right tools
  4. Find the right accounts to match your goals.

    If you’re saving to buy your first home or putting money away for retirement, then a lifetime ISA could help you make the most of your money. OneFamily has found that nearly a third (28%) of young adults are looking to save to get on the property ladder.

    A lifetime ISA is a product set up by the UK government to help people aged between 18 and 39 buy their first home or save for retirement. The government tops up lifetime ISAs by 25%, so for every £100 saved, an extra £25 will be added on top. You are limited to paying in no more than £4,000 each tax year, however, which means you could get a maximum of £1,000 a year paid in by the government.

    “There’s no better way to save for a house,” says Katie Oliphant, a 26-year-old who is renting with her partner, Cormac, in Cambridge.

    Katie and Cormac both have lifetime ISAs with OneFamily and will use their savings towards buying a house together. As Katie explains, “You are given free money from the government so, to me, it’s a no brainer.”

  5. Make your money work harder
  6. Put your money in the right place.

    Check in on where your money is saved to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Can you get a higher rate somewhere else? Even a small increase in interest will add up over time.

    If you’re saving up for a dream holiday, a new car, or saving for over 5 years, a stocks and shares ISA could be a good way to grow money if you don’t need to touch it in the near future. You can invest up to £20,000 a year into ISAs in your name.

    Just be aware that with stocks and shares ISAs, the value is likely to go up and down over time. This is totally normal for this type of investment but it does means there's a risk that you could get back less than you've paid in.

  7. Try a "no spend challenge"
  8. Challenge yourself to only spending money on essentials.

    Set a time, a day, a week or even a month, when you'll spend money only on your essentials. Any other spending such as retail therapy or going to fancy coffee shops are completely off the table during this time. Use this as time as a challenge to find fun free activities and events in your area!

    This challenge not only helps you save up some quick cash, it also gives you an idea on where you can cut back on spending.

  9. Automate your savings
  10. Simplify your saving and make it as effortless as possible.

    Use online banking to set up automatic transfers into your savings account. Set aside an amount from your bank account every month to be automatically sent to your savings pots.

    This ‘set it and forget it’ approach not only saves you time and effort, but it also makes your saving more consistent. You can always amend the payments at any time if your income changes.

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