All Blog posts

  • Make sure you're getting the best gas and electricity deals and know your renter's rights

    For rent sign

    Renter's rights

    If you rent your house or flat, or your name is on the gas and/or electricity bill then you have every right to shop around to see if you can get a better deal – make the switch and start saving.

    Even if your landlord pays the bill and passes on the cost to you, it could still be worth checking to see if there’s a cheaper deal out there – and then discussing the options with your landlord.

    The energy market is regulated by Ofgem. It lays down rules that apply to rented property – and these state that tenants who are directly responsible for paying their gas and/or electricity bills have the right to choose their energy supplier.

    In other words, if your name is on the bill, you are able to switch, and your landlord or letting agent cannot unreasonably stop you from switching.

    The landlord can only choose the energy supplier if they pay the bills themselves and reclaim the cost from their tenants – that is, if it’s the landlord’s name that is on the bills.

    Find out if you can get a better deal now by clicking here.

     

  • Money expert Martin Lewis on what leaving the European Union could mean for you

    Brexit

    With the UK voting to leave the European Union in the recent referendum many questions are being asked about what it means for our personal finances.

    Money saving expert Martin Lewis has complied a Q and A on some of the most popular including questions on mortgages, savings, holiday money including what it means for you.

    Read the full story here.

     

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  • Great ways to budget and cut costs

    Wedding season is upon us and the temptation to overspend on the big day is tempting but there are mnay ways that costs can be cut and you don't fall into debt during the honeymoon period.

    Starting to save as early as you can and working out how much you can realistically budget for with is a good way to keep a check on how much you can afford.

    Write a list of all that is needed for the planning of the wedding and how much these are likely to cost and if this doesn't match your budget, think about where you can cut costs.

    Check out these sites for some top tips on ways to cut costs on your wedding.

    http://www.hellomagazine.com/brides/2015052825493/tips-how-cut-down-wedding-costs/

    https://www.theknot.com/content/ways-to-save-money-on-wedding

     

    For more help with saving money for a wedding check our life events - weddings section.

     

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  • A financial capability team dedicated to promoting financial inclusion and providing financial education across Scotland

    Money Advice Scotland - Financial Capability Programme

    Financial inclusion and financial education are important in preventing financial difficulties. This is why Money Advice Scotland - Scotland's Money Charity has a goal to radically improve the financial health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland, and it's this goal which has played a pivotal role in the creation of their Financial Capability Team. 

    The team was created in November 2014 and it's members bring with them a wealth of experience from across the private, public and voluntary sectors. They are responsible for the delivery of the Financial Capability e-Learning Module, an interactive online learning tool which has the purpose of providing mandatory financial education for individuals undergoing insolvency proceedings (in line with the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act 2014) and at the same time improve the overall finacnial wellbeing of the people of Scotland, through the provision of fre information onhow best to manage finances. Find out more about the Financial Capability Programme by clicking below.

    Money Advice Scotland

     

  • We have entered the pre-election period and this website, while maintaining access to its existing content, will not be routinely updated or added to until after the Scottish Parliament election on May 5, 2016 and the appointment of a new administration.

    Check back for new blog posts after May 5, 2016.

  • Money Doctor, Fergus Muirhead gives his top tips on how to achieve your goals

    Watch Money Doctor, Fergus Muirhead give his tips on good saving practice here.

     

    For more information on savings and investments see our website here.

    Or try our financial education savings module to get you on your way.

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  • Fergus Muirhead shares his advice for maximising your income

    Benefits

    Five questions you should ask yourself are:

    Is your tax code correct?

    Are you paying too much tax?

     
     
     
    Read the answers to these questions here.
     
     
    More advice on making sure you're getting the benefits you may be entitled to if you're on a low income can be found on the websites below:
     
     
     
     
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  • New rules to be introduced on 6 April 2016

    Personal savings allowance

    From 6 April 2016, if you’re a basic rate taxpayer you’ll be able to earn up to £1,000 in savings interest income tax-free. Higher rate taxpayers will be able to earn up to £500. This is called the Personal Savings Allowance.

    At the moment 20% tax is deducted from all savings accounts other than ISAs but that will change when the new rules come into effect at the start of the next financial year on 6 April 2016.

    The government estimates that 95 % of savers will benefit from the new allowance and won't pay tax on the savings interst they accrue.

    You don't have to do anything to claim your new personal savings allowance so look forward to seeing more cash in your accounts.

    Find out more about the personal savings allowance on the following websites.

     

     

     

     

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  • How much do you really know about the UK tax system? Fergus Muirhead shares the must-know facts

    Tax calculator

    There’s nothing certain but death and taxes we’re told. And it’s true.

    We all have a liability, and some would say a duty, to pay our taxes and to pay them on time. But how much do you really know about tax system here in the UK?

    Money Doctor, Fergus Muirhead answers these questions:
     

    What taxes do I have to pay?

    Broadly speaking, you will have to pay income tax on any money that you earn and capital gains tax on any gains made when you sell certain goods that have increased in value.

    However, most cars and the main residence you live in are exempt from Capital Gains Tax.

     

    What about National Insurance. Is that a tax?

    It is really. It used to be the case that National Insurance contributions, which, for most of us, are calculated as a percentage of our income, were ring-fenced to pay for things such as the NHS and road infrastructure. But nowadays it all seems to go into one pot to pay for all of the services we use.

     

    What about when I die?

    Your beneficiaries may have to pay Inheritance Tax on the value of your estate when you die.

    There are things you can do while you’re still alive to reduce the value of your estate, and so reduce the eventual tax liability, but they are often complicated and expensive and you really need to take specialist advice.

     

    How can I avoid paying tax?

    You shouldn’t! We all have a duty and responsibility to pay tax otherwise nothing would work.

    Technically, you can reduce the amount you pay in tax and that means arranging your finances in such a way that you pay as little tax as legally possible – keeping shares in an ISA or investing in a pension are just two examples.

    Tax evasion, on the other hand, where you don’t tell HMRC about money that you have earned, is illegal.

     

    How do I pay tax?

    If you are employed then your income tax is paid “at source”, which means that it’s paid by the time you receive your wages, and you will have no further liability unless you have cash coming from an investment or elsewhere.

    If you are self- employed then you will have to pay your tax direct to HMRC through self-assessment.

     

    How much tax will I pay?

    From April 6, nothing on the first £11,000 you earn, then 20 per cent on the next £32,000 and 40 per cent up to £150,000. You’ll pay 45 per cent on anything over £150,000.

     

    Is my pension taxed?

    Yes, you’re taxed above your Personal Allowance, but you can take part of your pension pot tax-free.

     

    When do I have to pay my taxes?

    If you are employed then you will pay it as you are paid each week or month. If you are self-employed, you will pay some tax each January and July.

     

    Can I give money away without it being taxed?

    You can give money to charity and your spouse tax-free, and in some cases charities can reclaim tax on money you have already donated.

     
    Find out more about understanding tax on this site here and try our financial education module on tax to help you get to grips with it all.
     
     
     
     
  • Money Doctor Fergus Muirhead answers your questions

    Credit unions
     
    Watch Money Doctor, Fergus Muirhead answer your question here.
     
    Joining your local credit union branch could give you access to competitive loans, insurance and services and help you save and borrow safely, says Money Doctor Fergus Muirhead.

    More information can also be found on credit unions on this website and use our interactive map to find your local credit union.

     

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