Tips and tools to manage your money everyday

Here is a 2 page Money Help in Cambridgeshire Checklist that you can use to help yourself or others.

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Putting money aside in savings – even small amounts – makes a big difference quickly and helps you feel more in control and more able to:

  • Pay bills in an emergency
  • Have something to look forward to
  • Buy something you want

Having some savings can also protect you from having to borrow at high costs.

Once you  start saving and feel the benefits it quickly becomes a very useful habit.

How much should I save?

Smaller amounts quickly add up

How much How often How long for Total
£1 Weekly 6 months £26
£2 Weekly 6 months £52
£5 Weekly 6 months £130
£1 Weekly 1 year £52
£2 Weekly 1 year £104
£5 Weekly 1 year £260

Set yourself a savings goal:

‘If I save £1 a day for 3 months I will have £90 to buy myself a decent tablet to get on the internet more easily’


Where shall I put my savings?

It can be as simple as a jam jar or several jam jars if you have different things you are saving for – that way you can see your progress. BUT this only works for smaller amounts and if you won’t be tempted to raid…

Choosing an account

Putting your money into a bank, building society or Credit Union means that it is safe (up to £85,000 per person) and you will earn some money (interest) for storing it there.

Some current accounts pay interest as well as savings accounts but be careful if the current account has a monthly fee to work out the real benefits to you.

Types of saving accounts

You can open a savings account with as little as £1

  • Instant access – these let you get to your money quickly but usually pay less interest
  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) – you don’t pay tax on savings for these so useful if you are a tax payer
  • Regular savers – if you agree to pay a regular amount then these can pay a bit extra interest
  • Fixed notice – if you can leave your money and don’t need access quickly these also pay a bit more interest

Martin Lewis has a useful ‘best buys’ guide to savings accounts here


Credit Unions

Credit Unions are not for profit organisations set up to support local people – especially those who have had difficulty getting help from high street banks and building societies.

Credit Unions encourage saving as well as offering borrowing at reasonable rates. Instead of receiving interest on amounts you save you receive a dividend.

You pay a membership fee to be part of a Credit Union but as a member you are entitled to a range of benefits – follow these links to find out more about what is on offer:

In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough the local Credit Unions are:

Rainbow Savers

Eastern Savings and Loans

Cambridge City Credit Union

You can search for Credit Unions near you here. Also if you rent from a housing association ask them if they have an in house Credit Union that you can join.



Should I save if I have debts?

Generally it is better to pay off debts first as the interest costs on these will be much higher than anything that you earn by saving.