Five ways to boost your sav­ings

Costa del Sol News - - FRONT PAGE -

Press As­so­ci­a­tion RIS­ING liv­ing costs are mak­ing it even tougher to get real re­turns on sav­ings. Con­sumer price in­dex (CPI) in­fla­tion hit 3% in Septem­ber - the high­est level in more than five years.

Here are some tips from Chris Atkin­son, head of con­sumer dis­tri­bu­tion at Zurich, on how to get the most out of your sav­ings:

Keep a por­tion of your sav­ings in cash, but con­sider in­vest­ing smartly and ac­cord­ing to your level of in­come and out­go­ings. This can de­liver real re­turns over the long-term and en­sure your money grows.

Carry out a money health check. You may have built up a de­cent pot of money, and your in­vest­ments may have per­formed well orig­i­nally, but it's im­por­tant not to be­come com­pla­cent. Car­ry­ing out a reg­u­lar 'health check' on your fi­nances will help you to iden­tify any ar­eas that need to be ad­dressed, such as a sav­ings ac­count with poor re­turns or an in­vest­ment that is los­ing you money.

The key to mak­ing the most out of your sav­ings - and pro­tect­ing them - could be to 'di­ver­sify', which means spread­ing your money across a range of dif­fer­ent in­vest­ments. Bear in mind that tak­ing a big­ger risk can de­liver a big­ger pay out, but you also have to be pre­pared to lose some, or all of the money you have in­vested.

Don't make knee-jerk de­ci­sions. Don't let sud­den rises or falls in the stock market panic you or lead you into mak­ing sud­den in­vest­ment de­ci­sions with­out the nec­es­sary re­search. If you have an in­vest­ment plan, you can of­ten trust it and, if nec­es­sary, sim­ply make a few ad­just­ments to pro­tect your as­sets.

Make the most of tax-ef­fi­cient sav­ings, such as Isas and pen­sions. With a pen­sion, you re­ceive 'cash­back' from the Gov­ern­ment in the form of tax re­lief on con­tri­bu­tions that you make, and with a work­place pen­sion, you can also ben­e­fit from em­ployer con­tri­bu­tions.

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