People often find it difficult to know where to start saving, how much you need to put away, and what that money will amount to in the future.

The first thing you need to do is think about how long you want to save for.

Is it for two to five years, perhaps for a dream holiday? Is it for 30 years, planning in advance for retirement?

Most importantly, do you have an emergency fund?

All financial planners encourage people to put aside an emergency fund, which is a pot of cash separate from any savings for those unexpected costs. So, if anyone is thinking about saving, make sure you have an emergency fund in place beforehand.

  • Do you want to save for a short period, perhaps within the next five years? If so, cash savings are most likely a better option. You could have a look at bank interest rates and see which has the best one right now, and monitor these over the saving period and move your money around to benefit from the highest rate. Any longer than this wouldn’t be effective because the interest rates don’t keep up with inflation, so you could be losing money this way.
  • For longer term savings, investments are more suitable, however if you are not confident and unfamiliar with investing, you need to consult a financial planner.
  • Do you save regularly already? Have you reviewed whether or not your monthly savings are in the best place? There might be a new provider or a new product that might have better rates, lower fees, etc so shop around and make sure that what you are contributing is going to the best place for you.
  • Danger of self-investing? Have you considered doing it yourself? Do you know exactly what you’re investing in and the dangers associated? You should always consult a professional financial planner if unsure or not confident.

Lifetime launched an innovative online digital service so that people could easily get answers to the answers above, as well as answers to all the other financial questions you may have.

We ask you to fill in your basic details – such as your name and date of birth – which is the first step towards obtaining a bespoke video of your financial plan.

At this point you will be allocated your own Digital Customer Coach who will be on hand to help you along the way. You will receive a text and email with their contact details should you need them. These details may come in handy when completing our online fact find. This is a short form designed to provide us with enough information to create your bespoke financial plan. Please be sure to include not only the facts and figures, but also your aspirations or concerns – the more detail in the form, the more detail in the plan! But don’t worry, this should only take you around 10-15 minutes to complete and you will have a log in link sent to you via email should you wish to save and come back to it.

Your customer coach will give you an insight into how having a financial plan can help. They will then create your own financial picture based on everything you tell us and send it to you in a video so that you have a clear overview of your financial situation. Only then will you understand what steps you should take that would be in your best interests, and how all of this fits into your life.