Savings rates have been at a standstill for a while, but it’s still possible to boost returns. Follow our top tips:
- Keep a rainy day fund
Tuck money away monthly before you notice it's gone, then budget to live on what's left. "Build an emergency savings pot, ideally enough to get by on for about three months. It will give you breathing space if you are unable to work or if you suddenly need extra income," says Ian Williams at thinkmoney.
- Ditch and switch
Check rates and switch regularly: "If someone handed you an extra £675 a year, would you say no? That's the simple truth between a poor paying account and one of the best easy-access accounts for someone investing £50,000," says Anna Bowes from Savings Champion.
- Current returns
Consider a current account to boost returns. "Some are paying up to 5 per cent – three times more the return on a best easy-access account," says Rachel Springall from Moneyfacts. For example, Santander offers up to 3 per cent AER on balances of £3,000 and £20,000 on its 123 account. But there's a monthly charge, so check it makes sense to switch as returns will be taxable.
- Use tax allowances
Tuck away up to £15,000 a year in a cash ISA: "Some are paying better rates than the equivalent taxable accounts, so not only are they tax free but they offer better returns, too," says Anna Bowes. "If your spouse pays less tax, consider putting more savings in their name."
- Ignore marketing tactics
"The Halifax Liquid Gold account pays just 0.05 per cent – there's nothing gold about it!" says Anna. Don’t accept it – move your cash elsewhere!
- Shop around
Check out best-buy saving and ISA rates in national newspapers’ money sections ). Find up-to-the-minute deals using SavingsChampion.co.uk, Moneyfacts.co.uk or MoneySavingExpert.com
There's more money-saving advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.