This is entry for the BritMums Piggy Bank Tales competition, sponsored by Virgin Money.
Saving money can feel impossible, especially in these tough economic times and if I am honest I stopped saving when my Maternity leave stopped, however, I am safe in the knowledge that hubby is still managing to save something using his company’s Save as you Earn scheme.
If you are working, especially for a big company, I highly recommend you check if they operate a “Save as you Earn scheme”. These typically run alongside each financial year, and the company take the money directly from your wages, so you don’t miss it.
So what is it?
SAYE is a tax-efficient cash saving scheme that lets you save towards buying shares in your company.
At the end of the term you have the option to buy shares in your company or take out your savings in cash.
The scheme has two components: a savings contract and a share option.
The savings plan offers a guaranteed return so is a no-risk investment. You can choose how much you save and for how long. At the end of the contract you’ll be able to use all or part of your savings, plus any bonus if applicable, in order to buy shares in your company at the option price.
The Share option lets you share in the success of your company. When you join the savings contract a special share price is set (known as the option price). If the shares have increased in value when the contract is finished, you can buy them at the option price. It’s an effective way of buying shares at a discounted price and lets you enjoy the benefits of share ownership.
I saved in plans like this when I worked for Tesco and when these plans matured (typically after 3 or 5 years), they were a nice healthy sum, even when saving a small amount of money. They helped buy our car, pay for our wedding and honeymoon and the deposit for our house.
If your company doesn’t offer this, then if you can arrange a standing order to come out of your account on payday which is credited to a Savings account, then you will be surprised at how the smallest amount builds into something bigger. I highly recommend you speak to your bank to get the best advise for you, but do shop around as there are some good offers out there. Remember, the banks want your business too!
I have to admit that saving isn’t fun, but it is a necessity. Gone are the days of racking up credit and then struggling to pay it off………lets save for what we want and take pleasure in the fact that we did it ourselves!!