Money Wellness
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calendar icon11 Jul 2024

Act of saving money can ‘boost wellbeing’

Saving money can improve your financial and mental wellbeing – but it’s the act, not the amount, that’s apparently important.

That’s according to a new report from UK Savings Week, which says setting aside even a small amount of cash has a positive effect on your state of mind.

But if you’re counting every penny and still struggling to cover your expenses, trying to save even a small amount might not be a realistic goal.

Are savers happier? What the report says

Money and mental health are strongly linked – people in the lowest income bracket are more than four times as likely to experience severe mental health problems than the highest earners.

The report claims savers with the lowest incomes were ‘more satisfied’ with their lives than others in a similar financial situation who didn’t save. 

Low-income savers’ happiness levels were also comparable to those who were better off but didn’t save.

Andrew Gall, head of savings at the Building Societies Association, says it’s the act of saving regularly that improves our wellbeing, not how much you can save – though he acknowledges some people “simply won’t be in a position to save right now”.

Do happier people save? What we say

Sebrina McCullough, director of external affairs at Money Wellness, says people are likely to be happier because they can save, as even a small amount can provide some comfort.

She says: “Someone who can put money aside regularly isn’t worrying about their finances to the same extent as someone whose expenses exceed their income every month. For many, saving even a small amount of cash on a regular basis is simply unrealistic.”

If your financial worries are keeping you up at night, saving money is probably the last thing you’re thinking about and it might be time to ask for help.

Easy ways to start saving

If you’re in a position to start thinking about building some savings, we’ve got loads of tips to help you cut costs so you have more money to set aside for a rainy day.

Creating a budget can also be a great way to save a little extra cash. It’ll help you prioritise your spending and spot where you can make savings.

A bank account that rounds spending up to the next whole pound and puts that money into a savings pot for you is an easy way to get started. For example, if you spend £2.50 on a bus ticket, this type of account will round this up to £3 and 50p will be deposited into your savings.

Alternatively, if you get universal credit or working tax credit, you might be able to open a government-backed help-to-save account.

You’re allowed to save between £1 and £50 each month – and you’ll get a 50p bonus for every £1 you save over four years. You can even keep saving into the account if you come off benefits too.

What if I really can’t save?

It’s best to tackle any mounting debts first before thinking about saving money.

We can help you with everything from budgeting to making sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to, as well as advising you on debt solutions (some are free, for others there’s a fee).

All of our debt advice is free and impartial, and you can access it online 24/7 or over the phone during our office hours - 0161 518 8285.

Michelle Kight

Michelle is a qualified journalist who spent over seven years writing for her local online newspaper. Having grown up in some of the North West’s most deprived areas, she has a first-hand and empathetic understanding of what it means to face serious money worries. With a strong interest in mental health issues, she is a keen advocate of boosting the accessibility of financial wellness services.

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