saving

How will Brexit affect your finances?

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.

 

Planning a wedding?

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.

 

Personal Savings Allowance - All you need to know

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.

 

 

 

 

What is a credit union and how do they differ from banks?

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.

 

Your guide to financial health

Expert advice on dealing with debt, budgeting, saving and borrowing


Our 16 page guide to your financial health. Includes info on facing up to date, budgeting guide, five questions every borrower should ask, ask the money doctor, recovering from debt and how to handle financial life stages.

Link opens in another browser. Click on the guide to open.


 

 

10 easy steps to cut the size of your debt

Make 2016 the year you take control of your cash
Multiple debts

10 tips for cutting down on what you owe

1. Save regularly

Putting even a little bit of money aside every month means you won’t have to borrow to pay for any of the unexpected expenses that creep up from time to time. It doesn’t have to be much, just try to do it regularly, and do it as soon as you get paid so that you are not tempted to spend before you save.

 

2. Pay bills by direct debit

Some companies will give you a discount if you pay their bills by direct debit every month. Arrange your direct debits to come out of your current account just after you get paid – that way you will know how much you have to spend for the rest of the month, and can budget accordingly.

 

3. Work out a budget

Keep a note of everything you spend for a month to get an idea of your total monthly expenditure. Build in a bit of slack for unexpected spending and remember to add in the cost of things that you only spend money on once a year, such as insurances and Christmas.

 

4. Keep an eye on your utility bills

Use price comparison websites to make sure you are on the most suitable/competitive tariff for all of your utility bills, and check your bills regularly to make sure you are paying enough every month. That way you might be able to get back any excess that you build up if your usage drops and will avoid having to borrow if your bills increase suddenly.

 

5. Is your bank charging you?

Don’t borrow money from the bank without asking them. The charges for unauthorized overdrafts can be horrendous when compared to the cost of borrowing money on a planned overdraft where the bank knows how much you need.

 

6. Borrow sensibly

Don’t use expensive store cards and make sure the credit card you use has a low Annual Percentage Rate of interest (APR). Transfer any balances that you can’t pay off immediately to a card with a zero per cent APR.

 

7. Don’t just pay the minimum

Making the minimum payment on credit cards can add thousands of pounds to your overall debt and also add years to the time taken to repay the loan. Ideally you want to pay your total balance every month, but if that’s not possible, avoid paying the absolute minimum.

 

8. Seek advice

There are plenty of debt charities and advisers out there who can offer help and guidance. Check our debt section where you’ll be signposted to someone who can advise you in your area. 

 

9. Don’t use payday lenders

Payday lenders offer short-term loans that should be an absolute last resort, and only used when you are certain that you can repay in full at the end of the original term. If you don’t use them this way the charges are astronomical and they should be avoided at all cost.

 

10. Don’t get taken in by phone scams

You probably receive phone calls every day asking you to buy insurance or make a claim for insurance that you were wrongly sold. Both can add to your debt at the end of the year if you’re not careful, so avoid it all by just saying no and hanging up.

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