The economic chaos that has engulfed the UK in the last several years, due to what many are referring to as the Great Recession, has left many people’s savings in shambles. Unfortunately, due to high unemployment, the rising cost of many basic necessities and other factors, not only have many people had to postpone making major purchases, such as a new car or replacing some household appliances, but they have often had to dip into their savings, if they had any at all.

Now that the economy seems to be righting itself, if even just a little bit, it is time for people to get in the habit of saving again.

The Challenges of Planning

Amazingly, many households don’t keep a budget, and if they do, they don’t actually track it month by month, to see if their expenses are aligned with the budget itself. But this simple form of fiscal discipline can yield great results in the long run. By having a monthly snapshot of where the money goes, any individual or family can start making adjustments. Perhaps, too much money is spent on entertainment, eating out when cooking a meal at home is more cost-effective. Maybe the budget indicates that a two week vacation overseas is completely out of the question. In this case, a smaller or simpler vacation, such as visiting new areas of the UK that have yet to be discovered, can make more sense. There is an old saying that indicates that you can only know where you’re going once you know where you have been. This is true in life, as well is in financial planning.

Instilling Discipline in the Younger Generations

Many people refer to the younger adult generation of today as Generation X and Generation Y, names which doesn’t really signify anything substantial. But for those who entered adulthood in the last decade, the uncertainty and relative chaos that they have experienced during the last several years may well serve as a template for future positive financial habits. It may very well be that seeing some of the discomfort or outright pain that their parents have gone through will serve as a reminder that saving something, in a disciplined fashion, month by month, will provide a safety cushion and a sense of peace which is priceless.

The Challenges of a Young Mind

Granted, we live in a fairly consumerist society. Everybody wants the latest electronic device, be it a new television, smart phone or tablet. The idea of postponing gratification for some time into the future is quite foreign, not only for the younger generations, but sometimes even the older ones. Some psychological studies that have even included MRI scans show that when someone is asked about their future plans, it is almost as if they start thinking about somebody else. Surely, they can’t be talking about me, they think. Therefore, there is a real, definable, medical condition which often acts as an impediment to thinking clearly about one’s financial future.

Taking the First Step

Yes, I know, it can be difficult. But taking action today, by opening a savings account, where you place whatever money you can afford on a monthly basis, is a great way to start the rest of your life. If you visit, you will find a broad range of investment options which will allow you to choose exactly the one that fits either your current needs or your long-range goals. Don’t put it off, start developing this healthy habit today.

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