Family savings take a £13 hit

Family savingsThe growing strain on our finances means it is becoming increasing difficult to save for a rainy day, with squeezed family savings accruing around £13 less each month compared to a year ago.

NS&I's quarterly savings survey has found that Britons managed to save £87 each month on average this spring, down from £100 a year ago and £95 every month over the winter.

In fact, the tightening grip on our purse strings meant nearly a quarter (23%) of those surveyed admitted to saving nothing at all during spring 2012, up from 17% last spring.

This would equate to an increase of nearly three million people saving nothing - if the figures were projected nationwide.

Despite the recent falls in inflation, a quarter of us said we are less likely to save our cash over the next three months, while almost half revealed the amount we will be able to set aside is unlikely to change.

Free up more cash

The first basic step you can take to cut down on your household bills is to make sure you're not overpaying for your gas and electricity.

MyFamilyClub has partnered with Uswitch to help families cut their household costs by switching to cheaper utility providers. Enter your postcode here to find out if you could reduce your bills by hundreds every year.

You can also conduct a simple health check in your home, to make sure you're not letting money leak out of windows, walls and doors.

Draft proofing your home might not sound that significant but it can save you an average of £55 a year. Windows, doors and floors are usually the main culprits, so check around to see where you can use self-adhesive strips and sealants.

Insulating the roof can save you an average of £225 a year. The initial cost is about £250, so it is worth it in the long run! Cavity wall insulation costs around the same price and can give you annual savings of £110.

A dripping tap isn't just a waste of water, it's a waste of money as well. Each dripping tap will lose 140 litres of water a week,costing you £7 a year. On the other hand,leaking pipes can cost a lot more, so be sure to get both fixed. You can usually do it yourself!

That's an average total saving of £397 each year which could be going into your family savings instead of utility companies.

Which is the right way for you?

Choosing a savings account is an important decision and one which shouldn't be rushed.

There are plenty of options out there so remember to do your research see what different banks and account types offer.

If you already have a savings account, then read this advice on how to protect your money.

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