Anna Richardson’s Top Money Tips by Heather Hilder on February 23, 2021 “Top Money Tips” Anna Richardson on Money and Savings Top Money Tips Is the 50:30:20 rule the key to saving a deposit? Are you a First Time Buyer? Then you’ll know that one of the biggest hurdles is working out budgets, especially when it comes to building up savings for a deposit. I’m delighted to share Anna Richardson’s Top Money Tips on today’s blog. Things like the 50:30:20 rule are meant to make it easy. Essentially this is setting out a plan to spend 50% of your monthly earnings on essentials, 30% on non-essentials and to save the remaining 20%. The trouble is that even in the best of times that might not be quite so straightforward in real life. The strange times we’re living in at the moment make things a lot more uncertain for many of us. On my radio show ‘Let’s Talk Property’ I invite guests to give advice and share their knowledge on all aspects of home buying and ownership. So I was extremely pleased to be able to talk to TV presenter, writer and journalist Anna Richardson about our basic relationships with money and how to make saving for a deposit work. New survey A new survey by SMARTY Mobile, a mobile network popular with savvy savers, has looked into how COVID restrictions over the past year have affected savings and spending in the UK. “Interestingly, it turns out that 70% of us have actually managed to save money since last March, which I found quite extraordinary,” Anna tells me. “This will blow your mind a bit because it totally scrambled my head, but 69% of Brits have saved up to £10,000,” she explains. “It’s a lot of money. The caveat, which is it goes without saying, is this lockdown has been very, very difficult for all of us. And everybody is struggling in their own way. But certainly for those people that are furloughed and still working, even for people that have managed to get a government loan or freelancers, were still able to save a little bit of money.” Silver linings Less outlays on commuting, eating out and other expenses have been side effects of the pandemic that many people were not expecting. And, with Christmas and New Year celebrations being scaled back, 2021 has actually seen many people start the year looking at having built up some cash savings. “It’s a reason to be cheerful,” Anna says. “A nice silver lining to the cloud particularly for young people because it turns out that a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds have said that they’ve managed to squirrel away something over lockdown, and they’re actually going to put that towards a deposit on their first home.” “A year ago, we were hearing these horrible stories about young people not being able to get on the property ladder, that they were going to be a generation of renters. Well, not necessarily anymore. These youngsters are now able to potentially get their first home, which I just think is fantastic,” Anna adds. Changing habits “This survey has revealed an interesting change in our habits over the last year. Whereas we used to be all about convenience – buy now, pay later – suddenly, we’re sitting at home and thinking, ‘Well, hang on a minute, I may have a little bit of extra money. I want it to count towards something I don’t want to be so sort of consumeristic about everything.’” I’m an estate agent. I’ve always understood that ‘there’s no place like home’. For many during lockdown this is something that has really come into focus. If we’re not going out to eat at restaurants, we’re doing more at home in the kitchen for instance. It’s also led a lot of people to think about where they live and why. “I think this is right, people are starting to re-evaluate what’s important to them. And I think for many people, whether they’re online on their own or with their family, they’re saying, actually, you know, home is a sanctuary. Plus I can save money and be healthier, by cooking from scratch or getting out into my garden or going onto the roof terrace or whatever it happens to be, things that are more important and slightly longer lasting, a little bit more meaningful,” Anna agrees. Now, let’s delve a little deeper into Anna Richardson’s Top Money Tips! Saving plans “The ideal ratio, when it comes to managing your finances, should be spending 50% of our income on essentials, 30% on non-essentials. AND we should be able to put away 20% of our income in terms of savings,” Anna advises. More than that, she has a great tip for getting children to gain ‘financial intelligence’ too: TOP TIP #1 “If you open up a children’s bank account, then the interest rates are often far more favourable than if you open up a bank account for adults. And it’s a really good habit to get your kids into putting a little bit of money away, putting their pocket money away with some really good favourable interest rates. Just get them to check on their bank account every month so that they can see their money growing.” “I think that encourages children, in terms of that sort of delay gratification. Look, it’s worth putting a bit of your pocket money away because that money grows. If you look at it over the year, that means you get something bigger rather than just being sort of satisfied in the here and now,” she explains. Making more savings Of course, it’s not just about the way that lockdown restrictions may have helped savings. In more normal times we can always do plenty to cut back on spending and redirect funds to that all important deposit sum. “I’m in the middle of doing a show for Channel 4 called ‘How to Save A Grand’. We’ve been going into people’s houses and really forensically looking at their bank accounts. We can prove to them that with just a little bit of sort of conscientiousness, you can easily save thousands of pounds from your bills,” Anna says. “It really is just things like, don’t live in your overdraft because your charges are at least 40% interest! Think about changing your energy tariffs because you will save hundreds of pounds a year. And we’re just showing people that by just cutting corners a little bit, over a couple of years, you can save several £1000’s.” This advice isn’t just for home buyers, as Anna points out. “I think people are really having their eyes opened to the fact that by just being a little bit more careful, it means that with that money at the end of a year or two, that could be a sort of kitchen extension, or it could be getting a new bathroom. Or, whatever it happens to be, rather than just eating out and having a brunch with the girlfriends.” Anna’s Top Money Tips for more normal times I ask Anna if she has any ongoing tips for more normal times to help build up savings? “Here’s a really, really good tip that was passed on to me the other day. I just thought that’s really obvious, but I’ve never thought about it!” she answers. TOP TIP #2 “For example, most of us tend to put our devices on charge overnight. So, whether it’s your mobile phone or your laptop, or your games console, if you’ve got kids, most of us tend to leave them charging overnight. Don’t do it! Charge them up for just a couple of hours during the day. And you could save up to 30% on your bills. It’s 30% cheaper, just to put them on charge for a couple of hours during the day as opposed to going to bed and leaving them charging overnight. Just little tips like that, it all adds up.” TOP TIP #3 Anna’s second money tip goes back to her point about ratios and percentages for managing finances. “The financial experts say that really with your monthly income if you wanted to sort of keep afloat you should be spending 50% of your income on essentials. So that would be your bills, your food, etc. 30% of your income on non-essentials would be your Amazon Prime or that sort of thing. And then squirrel away 20% of your income as savings,” she explains. That’s the simplicity of Anna Richardson’s Top Money Tips. Anna’s wonderful advice is based around very, very simple and practical tips that everybody can easily put into action. It’s exactly the kind of interview that I love doing on my Radio Reverb show ‘Let’s Talk Property’ because not only is it a pleasure to speak to someone as engaging as Anna, but listeners can also gain some genuine insight and information that could help them achieve their goals. Do you manage your money and savings following Anna Richardson’s Top Money Tips? Be sure to share them with me on Facebook or Instagram. Join me when I talk to more industry experts on Brighton’s legendary not-for-profit radio station broadcasting on 97.2FM, DAB+ and online at www.radioreverb.com › lets-talk-property.