‘Important’ money habits ‘anyone’ can follow to bolster savings

The cost of living crisis has left millions of Britons more carefully minding their money in an effort to meet what seems to be ever-increasing household costs.

New research from Paragon Bank found a quarter of over 55s surveyed are currently lacking confidence in their financial position and nearly half have experienced a reduction in their disposable income.

While those with higher-paid jobs or inherited wealth will be feeling less of the pinch, Jack Mackreth, co-founder of accountancy firm Kyzen Sports said: “The way they approach their finances is a handy guide for anyone looking to improve their own situation. Protecting your money has never been more important than right now.”

Rajan Lakhani, money expert at smart money app Plum, commented: “Feeling wealthy is something many people aspire to, but it is more a state of mind rather than a numerical value on your bank balance.

“You could be earning millions but still not feel wealthy if managing your money is a struggle. Equally, you can feel wealthy with not much at all, if you’re in control and able to afford all you want.”

While putting something away each month is easier for higher earners, Mr Mackreth said: “There are some wealth management tricks anyone can try that are very effective.”

He continued: “The most important thing, no matter the size of your bank balance, is to make your money work for you – whether that’s putting it into a high-interest bank account or investing.

“Wealthy people tend to have less money in their account and more invested in stocks and other cash-generating opportunities. And they tend to leave it there, without chopping and changing, which comes down to doing your due diligence before putting your money into a scheme.”

Mr Lakhani echoed the sentiment: “Many experts agree that passive investing is one of the best ways to make your money grow and beat inflation.

“If you take the long view, which is at least five years, the markets have tended to perform well over time, so this may be the most effective way to make sure your money is working for you, as long as you can afford to do so for that length of time.”

“If you take the long view, which is at least five years, the markets have tended to perform well over time, so this may be the most effective way to make sure your money is working for you, as long as you can afford to do so for that length of time.”

Mr Lakhani added: “Wealthy people will typically ensure the risk is managed by diversifying their portfolio – something you can do yourself these days, thanks to the wide availability of funds and stocks via investment apps.”

Another way to build up financial resilience to keep money worries “firmly at bay” is to avoid taking out a lot of unsecured debt. For those who have existing debt, Mr Lakhani said people could, if possible, look into “consolidating” it to “reduce the interest along with a clear and efficient plan to pay it off over time”.

He continued: “If you take out a mortgage, don’t bite off more than you can chew, so you won’t feel stretched by the monthly payments if interest rates increase. And overpay if you can within the mortgage’s repayment guidelines, as this can reduce interest payments over time.

“Also ensure that you have an emergency fund, kept easily accessible and separate from any long-term savings, so any bumps in the road do not cause undue financial stress.”

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When it comes to spending, Mr Mackreth claimed that “it is surprisingly rare” for wealthy people to pay full price.

He said: “It sounds unfair that a well-off person wouldn’t pay the same price as everyone else, but this is part of the ‘hustler’ mindset the wealthy often have.

“They will often look for ways to make their money go further or even barter for a better price. Another trick is to go ‘straight to the top’. Speak to the managers of hotels and restaurants, whose job it is to make sure every guest is taken care of.

“The people in these roles also have more power for upgrades and enhanced experience – again making money go further.”

Finally, Mr Mackreth said having multiple income streams is a “sure route” to financial success. He said: “A stable job is great but having another income will give your bank account a boost.

“There are many opportunities you can take up in your evenings and on your weekends, and I’d definitely recommend doing this if you want to increase your wealth.”

Pete Hykin, CEO and co-founder at workplace pension provider Penfold, told Express.co.uk a few additional tips people can look into to bolster their finances.

Audit subscriptions

Mr Hykin said: “Review your recurring subscriptions and memberships. Cancel any that you no longer use or derive value from. This frees up extra cash that can be redirected towards savings or investments.”

Embrace frugality with a twist

Mr Hykin suggested finding “creative ways” to save money without sacrificing joy. He said: “Look for deals, discounts, or use cashback apps while enjoying experiences and purchases that align with your values.”

Develop a financial support network

Mr Hykin suggested: “Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your commitment to financial growth. Engage in discussions, share tips, and support each other’s progress.”

Practice gratitude and contentment

Mr Hykin said: “Cultivate a mindset of gratitude for what you have while focusing on contentment. This mindset helps reduce the desire for unnecessary material possessions that can strain your finances.”

Regularly reassess expenses

Set aside time periodically to evaluate expenses and identify areas to make further cuts or optimisations. Mr Hykin said: “This exercise keeps your spending in check and allows for ongoing adjustments.”

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