Do you keep putting your plans for saving on the long finger? Does there never seem to be a 'right time' to start?

Saving is very much like investing, only on a smaller scale. Some people save to try and build up a larger lump sum to have as security for the future, while others have specific goals like saving for their children’s education or a deposit on a house. Even if it is only for that dream holiday, having a specific goal in mind is helpful as it will keep you focused.

Work within your budget

You can start a savings plan with as little as €50 per month. Be realistic with how much you can afford to put aside. There is no point in starting a policy for €300 per month if you know it will put you under financial pressure after a couple of months.

Staying in control of your savings

If you do start a savings plan but your circumstances change you can suspend premiums at any time, so you are not obliged to commit for a certain period. On the other hand, if things are going well and you can afford to increase your regular monthly contribution this will help you reach your goal sooner than originally anticipated!

The advantage of saving on a regular basis, particularly if you are somewhat averse to risk, is that when you invest regularly, you are essentially smoothing out the returns you get. Regular investing is effective at controlling risk, limiting the damage from a severe downturn in the markets and ensuring that you are positioned to benefit when markets recover.This is because your contributions buy more units when prices are low. So following a market recovery, all the units purchased by your plan benefit from this recovery.