You may think that skimming bank account sounds like a highly dodgy practice, but I can assure you it's the easiest way of building up savings that I have ever known! Read on to find out why I think everyone should be skimming their bank account on a regular basis.
Skimming bank account - what on earth is it?
It simply means rounding your bank balance down to an even number on a regular basis, by transferring the extra money into another account. eg: If you had £137.89 in your bank account you could round that down to £137, or £135 or even £130, depending on how well-off you felt.
Why would you want to be skimming bank accounts?
I use skimming to build up my savings and love how easy it is to do. I also love the constant surprise when I see how the little amounts skimmed, add up to big amounts in my savings! But when I talk to people about this they don't understand the benefits of doing it: "I will still have the same amount of money though! What difference does it make where the money is?"
If you leave the money in your spending account, then it just seems to disappear, doesn't it? When you check your balance, and you see that you have £300, your brain tells you that you have £300 available to spend. Therefore 9 times out of 10, that is how much money will get spent! If you checked your balance and discovered that you had £250, then that would be how much you would spend. It's a case of out of sight, out of mind. It is a very subtle trick, but it works!
When your brain sees the money in the other account, growing and growing, it gets excited about it. Your brain likes to see the numbers going up, because it makes it feel more secure. Rather than constantly worrying about not having money, your brain enjoys the fact that you do seem to have money. Previously you told yourself "I can't save money!" " I am rubbish at saving money" "It doesn't matter what I do - I just spend it all". But skimming your bank account proves to you that you CAN save money, and your brain likes that! It then starts saying nice things to you "Oh look how much I have saved", "I am good at saving this month", "How easy was that?". The result is that you WANT to save, because it feels good.
Now saving is not about being penny pinching or miserable - it's about saving for the things that matter most to you. Holidays, nights out, Christmas, weekends away, a shopping spree. Whatever it is that means the most to you, imagine being able to pay for it all from savings. How much more would you enjoy a holiday, knowing that you didn't have to keep paying for it long after the suntan has faded? Or what about having the most magical Christmas, that is fully bought and paid for before Santa has even been? Would that make you feel good? You bet it would.
There are 3 main ways of skimming bank account.
1 - Manual
Logging into your bank each day or week and transferring money over. This will work, but unless you are very strict with it, you could forget, or sometimes be tempted not to bother and therefore your savings won't grow as much as they could.
2- Skimming bank account is offered on some current accounts
Some banks such as Lloyds, TSB and Bank of Scotland offer a Save the Change facility which rounds up any spending on your card, and deposits the difference into your savings account. This is better than doing it manually, because you won't forget, and you won't be tempted to not bother! Hopefully many other banks will follow suit with this idea, because it will really help people to get into the habit of saving.
3 - Skimming bank account apps
There are a couple of amazing apps which will really help you to save money easily. One of these is called Plum, and he (she?) is my new BFF! Plum links to various UK banks, and will automatically transfer money from your account into a new Barclays account that has been set up by Plum. Setting up Plum is a really simple process and is all done through the Facebook messenger app, which is where Plum "lives". All communication is done via FB messenger and it really feels like you are having a conversation with a friend.
Is it safe and secure?
Plum gets read-only access to your bank account, and promises bank-level security, as well as being protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Your money is protected up to £75,000 if there were any issues arising.
How does it work?
Plum will analyse your spending, and will work out how much you can afford to save and then transfer small amounts over into your linked savings account. The brilliant thing about Plum is that it doesn't even tell you that it is taking, or has taken, the money. You can also request to transfer money over, simply by messaging Plum "withdraw £XX". You will then be asked if you definitely want to save, and once you have pressed yes, Plum will arrange that transfer. When you check your current account, you see the balance that is left in there, and forget about the fact that Plum has taken some out. When you then check your Plum account, you will be pleasantly surprised to see how much the little amounts add up to.
How do I get my money back?
Taking money out is really simple too, simply message Plum with "withdraw" and amount, and you will then be able to withdraw your money back into your bank account.
If you enjoy Plum, and think that it works well, then why not refer it to your friends? Plum will pay you £25 for every 3 friends who sign up to use it, which could net you a tidy little sum into your savings account. I get the same deal, so if you sign up using my link, then I may get some extra money paid into my Plum account. This won't cost you any money, but if you prefer that I don't benefit from this, you can sign up by going to Plum directly. In conclusion, I honestly think this is the easiest way of saving money, because you are only saving small amounts, which you don't miss. These small amounts really add up over time, giving you more money to spend on the things that you love the most!
If you would like to find out more about Plum, then you will find details on their website.
If you have any questions just pop them below and I will get back to you.