Sometimes it’s hard to make ends meet so it’ll come as no surprise that around 17 million (or 40%) of working age people have less than £100 stashed away in savings. And that 40% is actually more like 50% if you live in Yorkshire, the Humber, the North East, Wales and Northern Ireland. Clearly you don’t have to be a hotshot accountant to work out that having less than £100 saved for a rainy day doesn’t give you much of a buffer for any household emergencies; so what can you do about it?

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A little can go a long way

You don’t have to have pots of money in the first place to start saving – saving just a few pounds every week or month can add up. It might sound silly but putting away just £1 a week into a savings account could be the start of something big – after a year you’ll have £52 and you never know, it might just help you get off the starting block and inspire you to start putting by a little bit more. You might even feel compelled to start budgeting a bit more and planning your financial future (well, you never know).

Lock it up

It’s all very well throwing your hands in the air and saying that you can’t save a bean but you don’t know until you try and you can find a whole host of accounts to suit you. If you put your cash where you won’t be tempted to spend it – such as a savings account or ISA – then before you know it, you should have the makings of a decent nest egg. Perhaps you need a firm hand in which case, opt for an account or ISA where you can’t access the money for a certain period of time. Or perhaps instant access is the better option for you – for those ‘just in case’ moments.

Credit cards and building credit

But if saving really seems like an unlikely reality then you could look at managing your money with the help of a credit card. We advise that you avoid using credit cards if you can help it, but used wisely it’s another way of spreading costs of everyday essentials or transferring existing balances to use introductory lower interest rate deals (watch out for balance transfer fees). If you don’t have any credit history, or have a poor credit score, check out our credit building cards to help start building or improving your credit score.

There’s lots of choice when it comes to saving or borrowing (check out our 5 little ways to save money) as it’s important you know what you’re getting into – which is why you’ll find a wealth of information on credit cards, savings, current accounts and loans right here at comparethemarket.com