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 →
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
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.”
Travelling by train to work hasn’t been a lot of fun for many of us so far this year, with industrial action, service problems and fare increases in many places all over the country.
The fare rises in the first week of January 2017 saw a nationwide average increase of 2.3%, with increases of 4.9% on some routes, such as the East Coast main line. In Britain as a whole, it is the highest fare rise since January 2014, when rail fares increased by 2.8 per cent.
It is quite common now to move credit card debt to another card to help give yourself more time to pay it off at a cheaper rate.
A balance transfer is when you choose to move your credit card debt to another card with a lower or 0% interest rate.
How do they work?
With a 0% balance transfer credit cardyou can potentially give yourself longer to pay off an existing credit card debt, without having to pay interest. Some 0% rates last for 3 months, some for up to 24 months, one or two even longer.
It can work almost like an interest-free loan, but only if you make sure you plan well and pay it back within the period of the 0% promotional rate, and as long as you make the minimum monthly payment, and stick to any other terms and conditions the card might have. If you don’t make the minimum monthly payment, or you miss the pay date entirely, you run the risk of losing the promotional 0% deal as well.
Sometimes just making small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down the cost of our weekly food shop.
Small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down costs
With winter on the way, reducing what we have going out can help us make the best of what we have coming in. Especially when January can sometimes be a challenge, if like many people, you were paid earlier than usual in December and have a much longer run until the next payday.
Here are five simple tips for a food shopping budget in winter:
Plan ahead and budget – It could be something as simple as making a shopping list, so as not to overbuy at the supermarket, or it could be comparing prices in shops, across websites and with available discounts before you make a large purchase or sign up to a utility. And keeping up to date with when your credit bills are due can help you avoid the risk of missing payments. Continue reading →