We all know that we should save but, when money is coming into our accounts and those temptations appear so close, putting that cash aside for a rainy day doesn’t seem appealing.

That’s especially true if friends and family seem to be buying freely and loving life, but even if you have to wait a little longer through saving, in the end you’ll be just as happy. You might be a rarity, unfortunately – savings were at a record low at the end of 2016. Here are a few tips to make saving money work for you

Junior ISA

It’s possible to open one of these tax-free accounts for children of any age from now and, currently, you can put up to £4,128 into a junior ISA, which can then be invested in either cash or stocks and shares. Anyone born between September 2002 and January 3 2011 would have had a government child trust fund opened for them by the government, which can now be converted into a junior ISA. The interest rates aren’t great, but one of the advantages is that money cannot be accessed until the child’s 18th birthday, so it’s guaranteed to be saved until then.

Getting a job – or creating one

While relying on the ‘bank of mum and dad’ might be enough to get you on the property ladder, or put a few pennies in your pocket, why not boost your income through gaining a part time job? You cannot work below the school leavers age for an employer, but you can still put your own company together if you find the right niche.

It may make you feel inadequate, but youngsters such as these pre-18 entrepreneurs are becoming more commonplace, simply because they can now set up a website with e-commerce capabilities so easily and get in touch with mentors and useful contacts.

Fun in moderation

While saving for a car, home deposit, holidays and other desirable things is a positive virtue, it should not be to the detriment of your teenage/early-20s lifestyle. This is a time when you are largely free of responsibility and can find your own journey, and socialising and spending time on leisure and life enhancement is a big part of that.

Therefore, don’t get into a mentality of ‘always going without’, and not enjoying ‘now’. Instead, make sure you’re also putting some money aside for the bigger projects in life. Go on that holiday now, buy those expensive trainers and the iPhone now – with a little bit put aside to pay bills and another slice for later.

Debt vs investment

What should you do first – invest or pay off present debts? The simple answer is that you should put your money in the direction of whatever is leaving you in a better situation.

It might seem psychologically beneficial to be debt-free, but if your investments are making money at a faster rate than your debts are taking it, your decision becomes more complicated. Also, the more debt you have, the worse your credit rating might be, so be careful to learn the skills of money management.

Play the long game

Picture yourself in ten years’ time, as the wise head who knew what they wanted and planned for it. You’re the one in the nicer house than your friends, with a better car and holidays. Maybe you have a passive income, bringing in a tidy sum each month for minimal work, which can then be reinvested for…your forties.

One last consideration; when you start employment, put some of your funds into a pension. Retirement may seem a world away in your twenties, but you don’t want to be that person who wishes they’d planned their later years earlier now do you?

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