Chancellor Philip Hammond has just announced the final Spring Budget, and in it we saw investment in education (some controversial), money allocated towards the crisis in social care, increased NI on the self-employed and much more.
What you said On Monday 6th March we asked our Twitter users to decide which of our choices they thought were the most important factors in the Budget – almost half our 4,265 respondents (47%) said social care, NHS and benefits were, with 25% saying national living wage and 22% income tax rates.
Among the most popular topics mentioned in ‘other’ were the state pension, defence and clamping down on tax havens, while by and large people accepted that tax rises would be needed as long as they could be ring-fenced for NHS and social care. Anyway, here’s a summary of what he said….
The national living wage will rise to £7.50 per hour in April.
Personal allowance (how much you can earn in a year before being taxed) will rise to £11,500 – the seventh consecutive annual rise, with a rise to £12,500 the target by 2020.
Looking for a new car? Whether you’ve gone for a brand new model or a second-hand purchase, you may need to pay for it in stages with a loan or hire purchase.
With these types of finance, a good credit rating can be the difference between getting a good interest rate or not, or sometimes getting any deal at all.
How much did you spend on your first car?
Many of us will have handed over a few hundred pounds at most just to get our young hands on a car of our own, even if it had seen better days. Well, things have changed these days, witha generation gap when it comes to car-buying habits. One in five 18-24 year olds, rather than buying a used and fairly old car, now chooses to lease their car. This is more than double any other age group, with just 5% of 41-45 year olds, and 6% of 46-50 year olds choosing this type of credit.* Continue reading →
Car finance is one of the most common examples of how we pay for ‘large ticket’ items, and a good credit rating can be the difference between getting a good interest rate or not, or sometimes getting any deal at all.
What are your car finance options?
If you decide to borrow credit to buy a car, the marketplace is vast, with plenty of rate and payment options. It’s worth comparing different loans and methods of finance so you get the one that’s best suited to your needs.
The price of summer package deals is soaring, with places like Mallorca, the Canaries and Portugal in great demand as ‘safe bets’ with a lot of cheaper destinations considered vulnerable to terror attacks. And that’s before you consider the strength of the Euro against the pound.
Google Trends figures show us that web searches for certain hot phrases are higher in January/February now than at any time of the year other than mid-summer, when most people are searching for the best crumbs of what’s left.
Managing your finances and your relationship can be quite a balancing act. Share a credit account? Then you share credit report information too.
It can mean you’re more linked than you think. If you have applied for credit together, lenders will usually look at both of your credit reports when working out any future credit applications, even if it’s only for one of you.
To mark Valentine’s Day, we asked some of our favourite finance, family and budgeting bloggers to share with us how they’ve managed to balance love and money, and what their tips are to make shared finances – and sharing outgoings in general – as harmonious as the day Cupid’s arrow first arrives.
Joint finances, joint decisions
Emma from EmmaDrew.Info: “My husband and I earn significantly different amounts which we really struggled with. We now put all of our earnings into our joint bank account, which covers our joint spending. What really helped us was that we now both withdraw the same amount of “pocket money” from the joint account, meaning that we have a level footing. This has made such a difference to how we feel about our money and I would recommend it.”@emmadrewinfo
Share a credit account? Then you share credit report information too. Sharing finances can mean you’re more linked than you think, as lenders will often look at both of your credit reports when assessing your credit.
If and when you apply for credit together, lenders will be able to see your partner’s financial information too and may use this when they make a decision about you when you next apply for credit. So we’ve put some tips to help you get up to speed with shared finances and credit.
Five top things you need to know about love and money
Financial association means thatyour credit reportcan become linked to someone else’s through joint financial activity. This could be applying for a mortgage, opening a joint credit account, or in some cases even being on the same broadband or utility contract.
Your credit report will only contain your financial information, but will show the name of anyone you share a financial connection with. If you share a credit application, each of you would see the other’s name in the section of your Experian Credit Report entitled ‘Financial Associations’.
Over half of those who responded (53%) said they use their credit card at least once a week – with over one in four (27%) saying they use it every day. Just over one in five (21%) said they use it monthly, while just over one in four said ‘other’.
We also asked How much of your credit card balance do you pay off every month?**
41% said they pay off the full balance of the card , while 18% told us they make sure they pay the minimum payment. A further 29% said they pay only what they can afford.
Finally, we asked What’s your priority when deciding to switch or compare cards***. 43% told us that reducing the interest they pay was the biggest priority, while 32% said that it depended on which rewards and benefits were available.
A wide range of responses such as this could mean that different credit cards may suit different people. Think about what you actually want a credit card for. Is it for doing the weekly shop? Making a large purchase? Or paying off a current debt at a better rate? Continue reading →
The Office For National Statistics estimates that a basket of goods and services that cost £100 in December 2015 would have cost £101.60 in December 2016. They put the rise down to “Price movements for the majority of the broad groups of goods and services.”
It’s no surprise that gym memberships rocket in January. Resolutions to shed the pounds in the new year are not uncommon, and gyms and fitness centres know full well that a high number of new members will find it hard to keep up their commitment beyond the end of the month, let alone the full year.
Even with introductory offers, gym membership can still be costly if you’re committed for a year upfront and are loathe to cancel.
Besides gym membership, it might be satellite TV channels you never watch. An extended warranty you didn’t really need to buy. It can all add up! A budget calculator may help you work out if you could live without it.
Would a missed gym membership payment affect my credit report?
Neil Stone from our Social support team says: We’ve recently been contacted by a worried customer who was being chased by a debt collection agency over a missed gym membership payment and were concerned that it would impact their credit report. Continue reading →