For those of us with savings placed away in cash, it is not a great time for high interest returns. Most deposit accounts currently pay a very small rate of interest but there are still ways to build a savings nest egg and get a worthwhile return on your money.

1. Don’t forget to put the money away

Even though returns are not great, they will be nothing at all if you don’t put anything away into savings! To make sure you save regularly, set up a monthly payment into a savings account.

2. Be prepared

Your first priority should be to build up a ‘rainy day’ reserve for emergencies. Ideally aim for three months income – stored in accounts you can draw on immediately.

3. Always have a target

Saving is easier if you set yourself goals such as paying for a holiday, Christmas presents, a car or your dream retirement home. Short-term targets, which are good for achieving success, and long-term goals should both be in your savings strategy.

4. Beat the taxman

The taxman takes at least 20p out of every £1 interest you earn – if you let him – but you don’t have to. If you’re a taxpayer, use tax-free havens such as Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) – to put your money beyond the reach of extra taxation. You can put anything from £1 up to £15,000 into a cash ISA this tax year – and your partner can do the same. An ideal home for that rainy day reserve.

5. Be a detective

Start by finding the ‘Best Buy’ savings tables in your newspaper, or on money comparison websites. Now for the detective work. Better rates are offered on accounts operated on the Internet or by phone only. If you‘re not comfortable with that weed those out.

6. Sleep tight

No investment is worth sleepless nights, so don’t put your money with providers you don’t know or are uncertain of, simply because they offer fantastic rates. If possible, always seek out genuine independent advice on investments you are considering: we may be able to search out alternatives for you or give you invaluable peace of mind.

7. Disloyalty pays

Few providers offer better terms to loyal customers nowadays. Most sucker you in with a great deal hoping you’ll be too lazy to move your money when the deal ends. So shop around regularly to be sure you still have the best paying account. If you have one with a temporary bonus put the expiry date in your diary. Don’t be afraid to switch accounts and providers – most providers don’t value your loyalty, but do check for penalty charges!

Sources: www.ageuk.org; (Article: January 2015)