Saving Guide

Understanding Savings

Making your money work harder through saving is a prudent financial decision. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you have surplus funds that are currently sitting idle in low-interest accounts?
  • Are you looking for a way to grow your wealth steadily over time?
  • Are you interested in maximizing the returns on your savings without taking on significant risks?
  • Would you like to have a financial safety net for emergencies or future opportunities?
  • Do you have specific financial goals, such as buying a home or retiring comfortably?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to consider saving and exploring investment options that can help you achieve your financial objectives more effectively. Let us help you make your money work harder and work towards your financial goals.

Setting a specific financial goal can be a powerful motivator to stay on track with your savings plan. Whether your goal is to build up a deposit to buy a car, put a down-payment on a house, start saving for retirement, plan for a dream holiday or simply establish an emergency fund for a rainy day, having a clear objective in mind can help you stay focused and committed to your savings journey.

By regularly reminding yourself of your goal and visualizing the benefits of achieving it, you can stay motivated and empowered to make the necessary sacrifices and choices to reach your financial objectives.

Setting a realistic and achievable time goal is essential when planning your savings strategy. The timeline for reaching your goal will depend on various factors, including the amount you need to save, your current savings rate, and any external factors that may impact your ability to save.

When setting a time goal for your savings plan, it's crucial to ensure that it is both realistic and achievable. Here's why:

Realistic - Your time goal should be grounded, taking into account your current financial situation, income, expenses, and savings capacity. Setting an unrealistic timeline may lead to frustration and discouragement if you're unable to meet it.

Achievable - Your time goal should be within reach based on your savings rate and financial commitments. It should be attainable with consistent effort and discipline. Setting a goal that is too ambitious may result in burnout or financial strain.

By making your time goal realistic and achievable, you set yourself up for success and increase your motivation to stick to your savings plan.

Another thing you need to think about is how often you will need to save to achieve your goal. It is best practice to base the frequency of your savings on when you get paid. For example, if your salary is paid fortnightly then make sure you put some money away each time.

Ultimately, the goal is to save consistently and regularly, aligning with your pay schedule and financial commitments. By making saving a routine part of your financial habits, you can make steady progress towards achieving your goals.

Determining how much you can save requires careful consideration of your current financial situation and savings capacity. Here's how you can calculate it effectively:

  1. Assess Existing Savings: Begin by reviewing any savings or investments you currently have. Understanding your starting point will help you gauge how much additional savings you need to reach your goal.
  2. Evaluate Saving Capacity: Consider your income, expenses, and other financial obligations to determine how much you can realistically save on a regular basis. Look for opportunities to reduce expenses or increase income to boost your saving capacity.
  3. Factor in Interest Earned: Consider any interest earned on your savings, as this will contribute to your overall savings growth over time.
  4. Analyse the Gap: Compare the total amount you need to save for your goal with the amount you can realistically save based on your income and expenses. If there's a gap, explore strategies to bridge it, such as adjusting your budget, increasing income, or finding additional saving opportunities.

Create a Realistic Plan: Review your budget and develop a savings plan that aligns with your financial capabilities and goals. Set achievable saving targets and milestones to track your progress over time.

If you are buying a property, how much is the total cost and what do you need for a deposit? Don’t forget there may be additional costs such as legal, insurance and even renovation costs to improve the property before you move in. If it's a holiday, how much are the airfares, hotels and general spending money for the trip? If you think there may be some additional unexpected costs then add another 5% or 10% to cover yourself.

Life is full of surprises, from unexpected bills to sudden emergencies. Having money saved up can provide a safety net and offer peace of mind during uncertain times. People save for many reasons, but here are the 3 main ones:

Emergency Fund: Saving for life’s unexpected twists and turns allows you to be prepared for unforeseen expenses allowing you to navigate through difficult situations with greater ease.

Financial Growth: Saving enables you to improve your standard of living by earning returns on your savings. Whether through interest earned on savings accounts or investment gains, accumulating wealth over time allows you to achieve financial goals and enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.

Goal Achievement: Saving allows you work toward specific goals such as buying that special gift that you can’t afford right now. By setting aside money regularly, you can make your aspirations a reality and enjoy the rewards of your hard work and discipline.

Additionally, it's essential to consider longer-term savings for retirement. By prioritizing savings and planning for the future, you can take control of your financial well-being and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you're prepared for whatever life may bring.

There are two main types of bank accounts. A savings account will give you access to your savings instantly whilst a fixed term deposit may give a higher rate of return if you leave money untouched for a fixed period of time.

These accounts will offer different rates and may allow the option to accrue compound interest or get interest monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually.

  • Try to clear any debts as quickly as possible. This may not be very easy, but once you get rid of any outstanding payments, such as credit-card bills or utility bills, you are in a better position to reach your goals and stick to your plan.
  • Develop good habits by saving each time you get paid. Set up a standing order on payday, such as a day’s salary, so that money will be transferred on a regular basis before you’ve had the chance to spend it. Challenge yourself every month to increase this amount.
  • If you receive a bonus or a large amount of cash from an inheritance then lock the money away, warding off the temptation to spend, with a fixed term deposit
  • Create a budget on your spending and stick to it.
  • Be disciplined and persistent. Set up a realistic savings goal which you can achieve.


Disclaimer: This information is general advice only and does not constitute any recommendation or personal advice. It has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining personalised advice from a certified financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed on this webpage.
This is current at the time of publication (2 May 2014), and subject to change. 

Useful Saving Tips

Saving money should be easy and fun. Once you have defined your financial goals and established a realistic budget, you can explore various strategies to save money effectively.

Sorting out your finances can seem daunting but breaking it down into manageable steps can make the process easier. Here's a guide to help you get started:

1. Debt Elimination – Prioritize clearing all outstanding debts including loans and credit-card balances. High interest charges can erode your savings potential, so focus on paying off debts first to avoid accumulating unnecessary interest expenses.


2. Budgeting – Assess your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back on unnecessary expenses. Create a realistic budget that allocates funds for essential needs while also allowing for savings contributions. Track your expenses regularly to stay on track and adjust your budget as needed.


3. Setting Targets – Establish specific spending limits for different categories such as groceries, transportation, bills, clothing, and entertainment. By setting targets, you can become more mindful of your spending habits and avoid overspending in areas where it's not necessary.


4. Spare Money - If you receive an extra sum of money which you did not expect, such as a work bonus or inheritance, consider allocating a significant portion of the funds towards your saving goals away any temptation to spend it immediately.


5. Establishing a Saving Habit - Adopt a savings routine by setting up a standing order for your savings account. Whether it's a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly contribution, establishing a saving habit ensures that you consistently set aside funds for your future financial goals, regardless of the amount.

Do you know the interest rate on your savings account? If the answer is no, you should take the time to find out and look for a high-interest savings account. Invest some time and find the right savings account to make your money work harder for you and achieve your savings goals as quickly as possible.

  • Here are some short-term savings tips to help you manage your expenses more effectively:

    Bundle Packages: Benefit from packages that help you save, such as telecommunication bundles or gym membership subscriptions instead of paying for individual services or sessions.


    Credit Responsibility: Use credit cards responsibly to avoid unnecessary interest charges and fees. Pay off your credit card balance in full each month to avoid accumulating debt.


    Insurance Savings: Shop around for better deals on home or car insurance to ensure you are getting the most value for your money. Compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best coverage at the lowest cost.


    Lunch: Save money by bringing your lunch to work instead of buying takeaway food. Packing your lunch can help you cut down on daily expenses and stick to your budget.


    Cook at Home: Choose homemade meals over going out or ordering takeout. Cooking at home is not only healthier but also more cost-effective in the long run.


    Travel Planning: Plan your travel in advance by looking out for special deals or offers. Look out for discounted flights, hotel promotions and travel packages to save money on your next trip.


    Off-Peak Travel: Travel during low seasons whenever possible to avoid expensive accommodation and travel costs. Sign up to newsletters to stay informed about flight sales and travel deals.


    Fuel Savings: Save on fuel costs by walking or biking instead of driving whenever possible. Consider carpooling or using public transport to reduce your fuel expenses.


    Shopping Lists: Make a shopping list before buying groceries to avoid impulse buys and unnecessary spending. Stick to your list to stay within your budget and avoid overspending.


    Government Schemes: Look out for government schemes or programs that offer financial assistance or discounts, such as post-graduate programmes or subsidies for specific expenses.


    By implementing these short-term savings tips into your daily routine, you can effectively manage your expenses and save money for future financial goals. Remember, small changes can add up to significant savings over time.


Disclaimer: This information is general advice only and does not constitute any recommendation or personal advice. It has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining personalised advice from a certified financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed on this website.
This is current at the time of publication (2 May 2014), and is subject to change. 

Saving Tips for your Children

Help your children grow up with excellent savings habits. Start now by teaching children life-lessons on how to save responsibly and ingrain good savings habits for their future.

  • To set savings goals and ward off impulse shopping
  • To encourage them to save and not to spend money they don’t have
  • To teach them to protect themselves against tough times

Starting early with teaching children about saving money is crucial for building responsible financial habits that will last a lifetime. By introducing good saving habits from a young age, children learn the importance of saving and budgeting, setting them up for future financial success.

It’s your decision whether you want to give your children pocket money and how much. If you do, pocket money will help children understand the value of money and teach them whether to spend it all straight away or save up for that special something through regular savings. Teaching children about budgeting empowers them to make smart financial decisions, plan for their future, and develop good money management habits.

Encouraging children to save money is a valuable lesson that can set them on the path to financial independence and success. Here are some ways to encourage savings:

Set Saving Goals: Help children set specific saving goals, whether it is for a toy, or a special experience. Having a target to work towards can motivate them to save consistently.


Match Savings Contributions: Consider matching your child's saving contributions as a way to incentivize saving. For every euro they save, offer to contribute an equal amount. This not only reinforces the importance of saving but also shows them the benefits of saving over time.


Make Saving Fun: Turn saving into a game or challenge to make it more enjoyable for your children. Create a savings chart or jar where they can track their progress visually. Celebrate milestones and achievements along the way to keep them motivated.


Encourage Patience: Teach children the value of patience and delayed gratification. Emphasize that saving takes time and discipline but that it is worth it in the end to achieve their goals.


Provide Opportunities to Earn: Encourage children to find ways to earn money, such as through chores, a part-time job, or selling items they no longer need. Earning their own money can instil a sense of pride and ownership in their savings.


Offer Financial Education: Take the time to teach children about basic financial concepts such as budgeting, interest, and compound growth. Help them understand the importance of saving for the future and the benefits of starting early.


Disclaimer: This information is general advice only and does not constitute any recommendation or personal advice. It has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining personalised advice from a certified financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed on this website.
This is current at the time of publication (2 May 2014), and is subject to change.

Diversify Your Savings

The smart way to save and invest

All investments experience ups and downs, which can be triggered by events in the economy, share market, political environment and general unforeseen factors. Because many of these elements are out of your control, it may make sense to reduce your risk, especially if you are saving for retirement or already retired.

One of the main ways to do this is by diversifying your portfolio into different types of investments, and including bank deposits such as a Fixed Term Account. 

Why choose a Fixed Term Deposits?

By diversifying your savings into a Fixed Term Deposit, you are free from the disadvantages of an asset which cannot always be easily sold or exchanged for cash without a substantial loss in value. While there are benefits to having investments in shares, mutual funds and property, there are also difficulties and drawbacks such as:

  • Picking the right investment in volatile market conditions,
  • Guaranteeing your return of original capital
  • Converting your investment into cash within an acceptable time frame.

In contrast, the main benefits of a Fixed Term Deposit are:

But isn’t my money invested for a set period?

Yes, your original deposit is invested for a set period, which you have chosen in return for a guaranteed fixed rate of income. To increase your flexibility, one option is to choose multiple terms. The example below can explain this concept in more detail.

Example 1

If your total deposit is €100,000 this may be split into five equal fixed term accounts. This way you can have a term deposit maturing every year and most importantly an opportunity to assess your current financial position and make a decision on your next investment option.


Term Selected

Value Invested

Start Date

Maturity Date


1 Year





2 Years





3 Years





4 Years





5 Years




As you can see from the above table you will have €20,000 maturing every year on the 1st January which will provide an opportunity to make an investment decision on whether to renew your term deposit or use your funds for another purpose. The advantage of this approach over investing the entire €100,000 into a one year term is that you will also benefit from the higher rates offered on longer terms in line with the rate provided.


Disclaimer: This is an illustration only and does not take into account your specific goals and circumstances. To ensure you are successful in making your money work hard for you, your FCM Customer Advisor will be able to explain the FCM Fixed Term Deposit products and how you can use it to suit your financial needs. FCM Bank does not offer advice and we recommend you seek financial planning advice from an authorised professional to support your investment decisions.

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