Need help with your banking & saving? Let Chip do it for you!

“I just don’t know where the money goes every month.” “There never seems to be anything left to save.” “I can’t figure out how to get out of my overdraft with the income I have.” If any of these sound familiar to you then no doubt you’re one of the millions in the UK who struggles to get on top of their finances. Well, thanks to the arrival of the era of robot banking you may not have these kinds of excuses for very much longer. Chip is a new banking app and a prime example of the way that technology is being used to help us overcome our worst habits. It has only been around for a year but is already proving popular as a way to make sense of a confusing financial situation. But does it work? Introducing: Chip The premise behind Chip is that it will help to resolve financial problems and get you out of a financial pickle. So, if you’re living in your overdraft and missing all your savings goals Chip could really turn your spending habits around. In order to do that


Saving rates are low but we still need to save more

As incentives go, current interest rates don’t exactly have much in the way of motivation to offer. Even after years of putting cash aside you’re not likely to be able to grow your savings pot with a current Bank of England base rate of just 0.25%. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed the savings ratio in the UK had fallen to a record low. The savings ratio is the proportion of disposable income in the UK that is channelled into savings. In May this year the ratio was down to 1.7%, from 3.3% in the previous quarter so for each £100 of disposable income we are saving on average just £1.70. Millions of people have virtually no savings at all. Why is the savings ratio so low? A number of reasons have been put forward to explain why Brits are no longer channelling money into their savings accounts. The first of these is that there is very little incentive to do so with savings rates so very low. The second is more unnerving – that

Why do Britons find it so hard to save?

Saving money isn’t exactly the most glamorous thing to do with your hard earned cash. A recent survey by Aviva found that 21% of us in the UK have no savings whatsoever. That’s almost a quarter of people who haven’t managed to put cash aside for a rainy day. And even those of us who have managed to put money aside may not be saving enough. The same Aviva research found that even those with retirement savings are around £9,900 short of the annual amount they need to live comfortably. Why can’t we Save? Research from the US identified that people are not naturally inclined to save money. This mostly comes down to a ‘Carpe Diem’ attitude i.e. we’re more motivated to live in the present and ‘seize the day’ than wait. So, rather than spending a bank holiday quietly doing nothing and saving the money instead, we’re more likely to book a crazy trip or a mini break or long lunches with friends. In fact, it’s occasion spending that often scuppers us. While many people ar

Fun ways to make saving easy

We might all enjoy spending money on the things (or people) we love, but constantly spending and never saving is an unhealthy habit. Worrying about rising debt can cause us to have sleepless night and lack of sleep cause us to become physically unwell. So getting in to the habit of saving is good for us in many ways. The young, middle-aged and old; employed, self-employed or unemployed we can all benefit from having a bit put by for a rainy day. Even if it s just a small amount imagine the pressure that would take off if your car broke down or your boiler packed up? Imagine being able to pay for those repairs without worrying about hitting your credit card limit or taking out a loan. Sure you have to make sacrifices to build up some savings but if you ve never given it a try you might be surprised at how quickly a small, regular amount can build up. And that small savings pot could give you some financial freedom – maybe you won t need it for an emergency and could spend it on a muc

Energy saving light bulbs and your wallet

You may have noticed… you cannot buy traditional light bulbs any more. That’s because old-fashioned bulbs have been phased out across Europe as part of efforts to reduce electricity consumption and to combat climate change. You might also have noticed that the energy saving light bulbs replacing these traditional bulbs are much more expensive. In some cases, an individual bulb can now cost as much as £10 when its incandescent predecessor would have been less than £1. That’s because energy saving light bulbs come in a large number of specifications, wattages, materials and shapes. If you buy one of the more expensive bulbs from a recognised brand, then tests have shown that it is likely that it will save you money over its life time, last for years and provide an exact match with the colour and brightness that is shown on the box it comes in. What are the types of energy saving light bulbs? Energy-saving light bulbs come in three types: Halogen bulbs Compact fluorescent lamps

What are the best options for saving money?

Being able to save money is the key to future financial success. From a deposit for a home, to car financing and paying for holidays, savings come in very useful indeed. Despite this, many of us find it hard to save. Given the squeeze on so many household budgets, the rise in the cost of living and low interest rates, incentives to do it can seem few. However, once you accumulate savings you give yourself the freedom to make financial decisions. So, if you’re looking to get the most out of your savings what are your options? Under the bed This ‘option’ could be under the bed, in a shoebox, stuffed in a sock etc. For those who don’t trust banks with their cash this is often the first choice. The advantage of saving in this way is that you have complete control. However, there are many disadvantages too. You won’t earn any interest on cash that you keep under the bed and there is no official record of it. Cash that is ‘out of the system’ in this way won’t contribute to c

Back to School money saving tips

September can be an expensive time of year for families as kids go back to school. The new school term starts again and that means lots of new ‘stuff.’ Pencil cases and lunch boxes, uniforms and textbooks, as well as school run petrol and lunch money – it all adds up. If you’re trying to keep a tight hold on your finances then we ve got some great savings tips that will help you ease back into the new term. What do you already have? There’s one word that sums up the week or two before a new school year starts and that’s: chaos. In that chaos it’s very easy to forget that you may already have plenty of school socks or winter shoes and there’s really no need to blow the budget on more. Take a few quiet moments to do an inventory of what you already have. Will last year’s lunch box do for another year? Can the T-shirts and shorts from a summer camping trip serve as gym kit? Do you already have drawers full of writing materials? You could cut your list in half by avoidin