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NatWest gives advice on savings 'taboo' – savers urged to look after the 'pennies' now

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Savers have been hit hard by the pandemic, as the impact of coronavirus limited incomes across the UK and placed many out of work. Fortunately, listeners of the Mind Over Money podcast could benefit from key insight on how small steps made now could have a big impact over the long-term.

Mind Over Money, a financial podcast from the people behind No Really, I’m Fine, is a brand new podcast which aims to help people with their financial wellbeing.

The new series has been created in association with Natwest, and Express Money has been given an exclusive sneak-peek of their work.

The new series covered a range of topics from avoiding financial scams to building up ones savings and Miles Hillier, the Head of Digital Proposition Development at NatWest, urged savers to change their savings mindset.

Gemma Sherlock, the host of the new series, discussed how people can get on top of their savings in light of coronavirus problems with Miles.

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Gemma put it to Miles that she believed savers just don’t know where to start with this, having seen their income obliterated by coronavirus.

Additionally she believed people may feel trying to save with the relatively low amounts they have coming in is pointless, but Miles detailed that even small steps can be beneficial for the long run.

Miles noted savers feel limited by the fact that they’re struggling to manage their money and are also attempting to “brush under the carpet” some of their bad saving habits.

Miles went on to explain what could be done about this: “Navigating those choices is really hard and this contradiction between everyone worrying about money but not wanting to get into it is where we’re trying to do more to just make that process simpler.”

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Miles detailed NatWest are attempting to counteract this by providing savers with a categorised view of their spend and allowing them to budget against these factors.

He continued: “They might feel like ‘I don’t get a fantastic amount of value’ [from that service] but you know we’ve spoken to customers through the course of developing these services, and they might look at their eating out and see they’re spending £20, £30 a week on coffee at one of the well known coffee shops on every high street.

“That decision to spend £20 or £30 a week on coffee would relate to maybe £120 a month and that could be going towards the deposit for the house they were trying to buy.”

Miles detailed that by allowing people to visualise their day to day spending through these kinds of banking services could allow people to better understand their finances and prepare for their long term goals.

Gemma agreed with this and expressed sympathy with struggling savers who may feel guilty about not saving enough.

She detailed: “I feel like there is a taboo around savings because whenever you mentioned the word savings people feel like, you know, it’s automatically associated with having 1000s and 1000s in the bank when it might not necessarily mean that, it could just be putting a fiver £5 away a month that’s still saving isn’t it?”

Miles agreed and urged savers to focus on the basics: “I think the old adage of ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ is a really really good one.

“It can be really modest and I think the thing about savings, from my perspective, is getting into a habit.”

Miles concluded on this by urging savers to change their financial mindframes: “We know, for example, some of our customers will think about Payday is almost the day in the month where there’s an opportunity to really consider getting into a good savings habit.

“So tucking away, maybe a relatively small amount of money, but it’s just every month going via a standing order directly from your current account when pay clocks in, hopefully, straight into the savings account.

“So, it’s almost not even missed, not giving them themselves the opportunity to perhaps spend on other things.

“So for us, I think the habit element, saving is really, really important and I think the tooling that we’re trying to put in place, particularly with our digital services, is to give customers a sense of the money that’s there to progress against their goals.”

Do you have a money dilemma which you’d like a financial expert’s opinion on? If you would like to ask one of our finance experts a question, please email your query to [email protected] 



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