Saving and Investing Strategies for when times are tough.

As financial advisers, we understand the anxiety tough times can cause, and having saving and investing strategies for when times are tough is vital.

Economic downturns and family upsets can disrupt our financial plans and, when times are tough, leave us wondering how to protect our savings and investments.

But fear not! With the right approach, you can navigate these choppy waters and even emerge stronger financially.

Here’s a guide to fortifying your finances during a recession:

Prioritise Your Emergency Fund:

A solid emergency fund is your first line of defence. Aim for 3-6 months of living expenses. According to a 2022 Money Savings report by, as many as 30% of people have no emergency fund at all.

The 45-54-year-olds age group were the least likely to have an emergency fund (65%), followed by 18-24-year-olds (54%).

The 25- 34-year-old age bracket was most likely to dip into savings every 1-3 months—that’s a lot of emergencies!

It’s not easy to save when times are tough, but even a small amount will help and build up over time. The skill is to use it only if a real emergency arises.

Read the top ten reasons for an Emergency Fund.

Shore Up Your Budget:

Could you review your spending and identify areas for reduction? Brits love going out to eat. The OpenTable UK team recently surveyed them about their dining habits.

The result? They found that Brits spend, on average, 25% of their annual income dining out.

Just cutting down and making small adjustments can free up significant savings.

It will amaze you how much can be saved when reviewing things like your TV & Broadband package, and this saving can then go towards building up your emergency fund.

Don’t Panic Sell Investments:

Investment strategies include understanding that the markets are cyclical, with downturns followed by recoveries. A 2022 CNBC analysis found that the US S&P 500, a popular American tracker fund, has recovered from every recession in history.

Stay invested for the long term and consider pound-cost averaging, which involves investing a fixed amount regularly to benefit from potential buying opportunities during dips.

Consider Recession-Resilient Investments:

While no investment is recession-proof, some tend to fare better than others. Sectors like consumer staples (think companies that sell essential goods like food and hygiene products) and healthcare often see steady demand even during economic downturns.

Advice when investing is always advisable unless you are very experienced.

Focus on spreading your risk when investing & Saving:

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Spread your investments and cash across different asset classes like stocks & shares, Cash deposits, and guaranteed savings such as NS&I bonds.

Check the interest rate you are currently getting on any cash since the rates can differ significantly between banks and building societies.

Locking cash away in a fixed-rate Bank or Building Society bond may even help limit your temptation to access it, but make sure you have some access in case an emergency occurs.

Seek Professional Guidance & Advice.

A financial adviser can help you create a personalised plan based on your specific goals and attitude to risk and help you choose the right places for your emergency fund.

A good adviser will be there for you in tough times as well as good.

Professional advice can help show you how to attract as much interest as possible.

Hopefully, if no emergency arises, you will have earned some interest on your money in a safe and guaranteed place.

Of course, ensuring you receive value for many when receiving advice is essential, and you will find most financial advisers will incorporate cash savings advice as part of their overall planning with you.


Recessions and tough times are temporary. By maintaining a level head, focusing on your financial well-being, and potentially using this time to save and invest strategically, you can emerge from these times stronger than ever.

Stay informed:

Sign up for reputable financial newsletters for financial updates and information.

Sign up below for Spectrum’s, and a certain Mr Martin Lewis, although not authorised to give regulated financial advice, does a good job of informing and educating and will often advise you to seek professional advice.

The FCA Moneyhelper website has a mountain of information.

By following these tips, you can approach tough times with confidence, knowing you have the tools to weather the storm and secure your financial future.