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I’m 26 earning £29k, how do I boost my savings and get a good credit score now to set myself up for the future?

Welcome to Money Matters: GLAMOUR’s weekly dive into the world of finance – your finance. These unsure occasions have reminded us simply how a lot understanding our cash issues and but… how little we speak about it and the way a lot it’s shrouded in secrecy.
This stops now.
Eager to interrupt that cash taboo, we’re chatting all issues private finance from money saving tips to ISAs and pensions. Every week, a girl in a singular scenario will give us an trustworthy breakdown of her funds, and our skilled will inform her simple tips about precisely the way to sort out it. So, seize a cuppa, sit down, and let’s speak about cash…
And don’t neglect to affix GLAMOUR’s new Facebook group, Money Matters, for extra unique finance content material.

Molly* is 26 and works full-time in digital advertising. She’s renting a flat in London together with her pal and dealing from dwelling throughout the pandemic. That is her cash month…

I’m renting a two-bedroom flat in London with my pal. We’ve each been working from home in lockdown, which drives us loopy at occasions however not less than we get alongside. London lease is admittedly costly, and it’s an enormous chunk of my wage gone each month, so the previous 12 months I’ve been questioning why I’m nonetheless paying a lot to reside right here. However then I’m hoping issues will open up this summer season and it will likely be a enjoyable place to be once more.

I work full-time in digital advertising. I’ve been in my job for 18 months, it may be stressful typically however largely I prefer it, and I really feel fairly fortunate to have prevented furlough. It’s my first ‘correct’ job after years of part-time and freelance work, and I’ve bought a pension with my job now too, so I lastly really feel like I’m getting on observe a bit financially, however I nonetheless really feel anxious about money lots.

My bills undoubtedly went down throughout lockdown, though my housemate and I do love Deliveroo and I discover myself getting sucked into shopping for issues on Instagram as a result of I’m spending a lot time simply scrolling. However I’ve managed to lastly begin saving previously yr – I’d by no means been capable of earlier than when life was so busy and I used to be going out on a regular basis.

Now I’ve bought this small financial savings pot going, I’m feeling motivated to continue to grow it. Though after I suppose too far into the long run I really feel a bit hopeless that I’ll by no means be capable to afford to purchase a spot. However all I can do is hold saving and hopefully work my manner as much as a greater paid job in future. I’ve my financial savings in a daily ISA, however is there someplace else I ought to put it to earn extra curiosity?

Additionally, I’m nervous my credit score is dangerous as a result of I as soon as utilized for a bank card and bought rejected, however I by no means knew why. I’ve heard this may have an effect on your credit score rating, so I haven’t tried to get a bank card once more. I do know credit score rating is one thing that banks test whenever you apply for a mortgage, so I need to enhance mine now so I don’t face issues down the road.

I mainly need to attempt to get myself in place financially now whereas I’m nonetheless in my 20s, to provide myself not less than an opportunity of proudly owning my very own place at some point, however really feel like I don’t even know the place to begin!


Present account: £176
Financial savings account: £2,850


Annual wage: £29,500; £23,702 put up tax
Month-to-month wage: £2,458 pre tax; £1,975 post-tax
Some other incoming funds: £0


Hire: £850
Payments: Round £220 a month
Different: £10 for Netflix and £10 charity donation; I attempt to put £200-£300 into financial savings every month
Splurges: I simply spent £90 on a costume, though it’s not like I’ve wherever to put on it!
Weekly funds: I attempt to persist with £100 every week, however typically that goes out the window if I’ve had a nasty day and I desire a deal with.
What I spent this month: After lease and payments, round £550.

Simply my scholar mortgage, I don’t have a bank card


What I need to save for: Lengthy-term, I might prefer to buy a flat of my own (though I do know this can be a good distance off), short-term I’d like to plan a holiday with my associates after lockdown with out blowing all my financial savings.
How I need to plan my cash for the long run: I need to study what to do with my financial savings, so possibly meaning beginning to invest?
My worst cash behavior: Burying my head within the sand! I’m making an attempt to vary it now and withstand my funds extra, however I at all times dread checking my checking account stability and get actually anxious when there’s much less in there than I assumed.
My greatest cash fear: That we’ll come out of lockdown, life will return to the way it was earlier than and I’ll be tempted to dip into my financial savings to pay for holidays and nights out. Then I’ll find yourself again at sq. one with no financial savings left.
Present cash temper: 🤞 🤯 🤷🏽


1. Beat the burn
Up and down the nation, Deliveroo and Instagram adverts have been cruel of their hijacking of lockdown financial savings. In case you’re starting to know your native couriers a bit too properly, the key to beating the financial savings burn is to unsubscribe and delete. Whether or not it’s fast-fashion labels or skincare manufacturers, undergo the accounts you observe and do away with the best temptresses. This contains unsubscribing from these Deliveroo low cost emails that appear to get you at your weakest. For adverts, head into your IG settings, go to ‘Advertisements’, then ‘Knowledge about your exercise from companions’ and deselect that cheeky ‘use information from companions’ possibility.

2. Credit score rating information vs. fiction
Sure, it’s true that making use of for a bank card might have left a mark in your credit score file (in the event that they performed what’s known as a ‘laborious credit score test’) however don’t draw back from checking your rating. It gained’t chunk (I promise). and it’s value ensuring there aren’t any errors. Don’t get sucked into paying for a credit score report both; all credit score reference businesses have an obligation to offer you a replica of your credit score report free of charge however they typically make it laborious to search out on their web sites *eyeroll*. Google ‘statutory credit score report’ and watch out to not get funnelled into the paid-for model except you actually need it. True reality, there’s truly no such factor as a common credit score rating. Corporations like Experian and Clearscore have their very own algorithms to supply a ‘rating’ which provides you sense of your ‘creditworthiness’, however this isn’t utilized by lenders. Keep on with the free variations and in case you spot any errors, discuss to the lender and credit score scoring company. As a final resort, you’ll be able to add a ‘Discover of Correction’ to your file.

3. You don’t want a bank card
In case you’re seeking to increase your rating, ignore the claims that you simply NEED a bank card. We see you monetary providers advertising departments… no person wants a bank card. Sure, they could be a helpful financial tool however the readiness at which individuals signal as much as them, with out contemplating whether or not they’re proper for them, can result in issues. Issues within the form of huge, costly, high-interest bank card payments. It’s all about balancing worth with threat. Is your credit score rating in want of a lift? Are you able to belief your self with one? If that’s a tough no, take a look at different methods to enhance the way you’re considered by lenders: lease reporting, paying payments on time, staying in the identical job and on the similar deal with for an prolonged interval and being on the electoral roll can all assist. Test your credit score rating (you is perhaps pleasantly stunned) after which take into account whether or not a bank card is admittedly one thing you want proper now.

P.S. In case you determine to use for one, it’s at all times value utilizing an eligibility checker earlier than you make the total software.

4. Put your cash to work
You’re nailing the financial savings recreation, however is there extra you are able to do to place your cash to work? First, you have to put aside an ‘emergency fund’; a pot of cash that’ll see you thru laborious occasions and importantly, one which’s simple to entry (that often means protecting it in money). How a lot to stash is a private factor however as a rule of thumb, intention for 3 months of residing bills at least. Now, with any extra financial savings, you could be a bit smarter. Except you’re planning to spend your money ASAP, protecting it in a low-interest account that isn’t maintaining with inflation basically means your cash turns into much less beneficial over time. Seeing as homeownership is your large objective, a Lifetime ISA may very well be the one. Briefly, bag a 25% authorities bonus on as much as £4,000 a yr between the ages of 18-50. That is a most bonus of £33,000! What’s useful a few Lifetime ISA is that you’re disincentivised from withdrawing for something apart from shopping for a house and retirement. Burning by way of your lockdown financial savings turns into a complete lot harder.

5. To take a position or save?
The Lifetime ISA is available in two ‘flavours’: Money and Shares and Shares. With the latter, you’d be investing within the inventory market, which might imply higher returns. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to do not forget that relating to investing, simply as you can also make cash, you’ll be able to lose it too. Because of this investing for the long run is finest because it provides you an opportunity to experience out bumps available in the market. We’re speaking not less than 5 years. Do your analysis, steer clear of the dealer bros of Instagram and in case you’re confused, try this free investing masterclass.

Alice Tapper is the creator and founding father of Go Fund Yourself.
This column presents steerage, not monetary recommendation. For private funding recommendation, it’s at all times finest to talk with a monetary advisor. *Title has been modified.

Frightened about your funds? Or simply need some skilled assistance on the way to obtain your monetary targets? Get in contact with us at moneymatters@condenast.co.uk to submit your individual cash diary and acquire entry to our expert-led recommendation, tailor-made to your funds! These submissions are nameless.

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