Our tips to make your money work harder

The last couple of years haven't been easy for any of us, as the steep rise in the cost of living has affected our day-to-day spending and savings goals.

But with billions sat in UK current accounts paying zero interest, there might be more you can do to grow your money.

If you’ve been feeling a little unsure about your money of late, it might help to know that you’re not alone.

In March 2023, we surveyed 2,000 UK adults on how the cost of living is affecting their money habits and financial ambitions. We found that two in five UK adults feel more anxious about their money.

35% of adults say the cost of living crisis has prompted them to think about how they could be more financially resilient.

If this sounds familiar to you then it’s worth knowing you could take steps to improve your overall financial strength and make your money work harder for you.

Here are my top tips for making more of your money.

1. Take control of your own money

It’s worth reviewing how much money you have across your current accounts, savings, and any investments you have (including your pension).

Knowing where you are today acts as the foundation to any targets you set for the future and is more likely to help you manage your money and save more effectively.

The way you manage your money could determine your financial future. Try our Financial Fitness Tool to find out what your money personality is and the steps you could take to get to where you want to be.

2. Plan for financial confidence

49% of adults tell us they’re planning further ahead than before.

A good starting place is to look at your financial goals and split them up. So you can see how much time you have to achieve them – and put plans in place to help you get there.

Type of goal Example goals When you’ll need your savings
Short-term Going on holiday Under 1 year
Medium-term Family wedding 1-5 years
Long-term Retirement Over 5 years

It’s useful to know what regular expenses you have, plus what every other penny is doing. With a clearer idea of your spending needs, you can consider putting away more of your spare money for the future.

Top tip!

Think about having an emergency pot of money. Savings you can quickly access for just-in-case moments, like an unexpected bill or urgent repairs. Having this in place will help you to build your financial resilience.

3. Make your money work smarter

If you have a large amount saved up, the amount of interest you’re earning could make a real difference to your future. Yet data shows millions of adults may be missing out – because they aren’t earning any interest at all.

September 2023 data from CACI found there are over 6.7 million UK adults with at least £10,000 sat in current accounts paying 0% interest. This adds up to a considerable £241 billion.

According to Bank of England figures, in November 2023, the average instant access account rate was 2.72%. So these current account customers could be collectively earning £6.2bn in interest a year.

If that money was moved to a Skipton savings account, where the lowest variable rate currently sits at 3.8% (as at 20 December 2023), savers could be earning £9.1bn in interest a year.

Interest rates have risen significantly since the end of 2021. At the start of 2024, the Bank of England base rate will be at a 15-year high. Experts forecast interest rates could start to go down over 2024, so it now could be a good time to consider how you could make more of your money.

Different savings for different goals

  • Our Easy Access accounts suit short-term goals.
  • For medium-term goals, our Fixed Rate Bonds typically offer a higher rate of interest. This means committing your savings for the term of the bond, as they don’t normally allow withdrawals during the fixed term.
  • You can save tax-efficiently through our range of Cash ISAs (you have a £20,000 ISA allowance for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 tax years). Any interest you earn is free from income tax.

Browse our range of Savings options to see if you could make more of your money.

4. Consider your Pension Options

One long-term financial goal most of us share is to achieve a fulfilling retirement. After changes introduced in April 2023, there could be some good news for you here too.

  • The amount you can pay into a pension each tax year has increased from £40,000 to £60,000 (depending on your income and personal circumstances).
  • So if you’re feeling unsure about whether you’re on track to achieve the retirement you hope for, now could be a good time to review your plans.

Retirement planning can feel overwhelming. It’s complicated, it may be way off in the future, and you might be fearful of finding out you’re not doing enough.

Taking steps to get a better picture about your situation now could help you feel much better about the future.

We offer a free Pension Health Check for Society members, we could help you to see if you're on track to achieve the retirement you want.

5. Make the most of Financial Advice

42% of those surveyed have spoken to a financial adviser about their plans.

Getting financial advice allows you to think about other possibilities, such as investing. This could help you achieve higher returns, and to grow your money above inflation over the long-term.

Investing does mean placing your money at risk. You also need to be willing to commit your money for at least five years.

Financial advice can be often hard to find. At Skipton we’re proud to be different – to get advice with us, you need £20,000 to invest or be able to invest £500 a month and you can have a free initial chat to find out if financial advice is right for you.

If you have investments you would like us to review, they need to be worth at least £50,000.

Important Information

Stock market based investments aren’t like Building Society savings accounts. The value of your investments and any income can go down or up and you may get back less than you invested.

Book a My Money Review

If you can spare one hour to talk about your financial future and check if your savings are on track, a FREE My Money Review appointment could be just right for you.

Book a My Money Review