In the spotlight, this month is Tracey Bleakley, CEO of the Pfeg (Personal Finance Education)
|1. What simple and achievable savings goals do you have on a monthly basis?
I’m saving to pay off my mortgage early (in ten years). I also have a ‘rainy day’ fund that I like to keep around three-months living costs. At the moment I’m saving to top that up after some unexpected house-hold repairs. I have also had more formal goals in the past – for example I used a 10 year ISA to save up to do my MBA (business degree).
2) What percentage of your salary do you consider putting aside per month for savings?
3. Do you buy items you need or want?
I’m lucky enough to be able to do both within reason. I know how much of my salary is needed to pay bills and meet my savings goals each month, and then I look at my ‘disposable income’ and plan how much I can afford to spend on going out with friends, travel, new clothes etc.
4. What are your main priorities that you pay for before you start saving?
Aside from the obvious things such as mortgage, bills, pension and long-term savings, I also look at the costs of the lifestyle elements that are important to me. For example, my family live 250 miles away, so it’s important that I can afford to visit them on a regular basis, as well as friends that live further afield.
5. Do you save for both the short and long term?
Yes. So long term objectives include paying off my mortgage, whereas keeping a rainy-day fund could be seen as being more short term. If I’m planning a holiday, I tend to start saving a few months in advance so it is paid for before I go.
6. Do you plan ahead when saving for a larger purchase?
Yes. So for example, if I am considering changing my car, I will be thinking about this usually a year in advance and planning how much my current car is worth, the additional funds I will need for the new car, and how I might find this money (generally a combination of savings and a bank loan).
7. Do you invest in stocks and shares?
Not at the moment, although I have just opened a share centre account so plan to do so in the future. I have a pension and stocks based ISA’s so they invest in shares on my behalf. I have also owned shares in the companies I have worked for in the past from time to time.
8. At what age do you think you should start saving?
As early as possible to get into the habit. One of my earliest memories is being told I had £100 saved in my bank account, and excitedly telling everyone in the bank that I could afford my own car!
9. What are your three best savings tips?
Even if you can only afford to save a small amount every month, it is surprising how this builds up over time. Do have savings goals – it helps you stick to your plans when it might be more tempting to spend the money instead, and you can feel a real sense of pride when you achieve them. Finally, always have some savings that you can access quickly in an emergency – having the money to deal with a leaking roof makes the problem marginally less stressful!
10. Do you think families should educate their children at a young age with saving habits?
Yes, absolutely. Saving should be a lifelong habit that comes naturally. When you have savings, you have choices in life, stability and security, and that is something to strive for, for every child. Pfeg believe that parents should talk to their children about money from the earliest possible age, and help them practice budgeting through managing their pocket money and setting clear savings goals.
Written by :
|Amanda is the editor for Compareandsave.com.She worked as a journalist at the FT business publication, ‘Financial Adviser’. She also worked for the nationals including The Guardian, The Independent, The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mirror. Alongside working for major UK personal finance sites, she now investigates and reports on new, novel ways to help our readers save money.For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.|