Autumn Budget 2017

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has unveiled his Budget to Parliament – here’s a brief summary of some of the measures announced which may affect your own personal finances. Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) abolished for first-time buyers on homes under £300,000 from 22 November First-time buyers of homes worth between £300,000 and … Continue reading “Autumn Budget 2017”

Young and in debt

“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt” – Herbert Hoover Today’s younger generation may well be discovering the truth of Hoover’s remarks as they adjust to living with the consequences of the 2008 banking crisis. Millennials – typically defined as those born between the 1980s and early 2000s – face lower … Continue reading “Young and in debt”

Who has benefited from Help To Buy?

The latest statistics1 show the scheme has  helped over 220,000 home-buyers. The average house price across the scheme is £191,000, illustrating that it’s helping people buy at the lower end of the housing market. With the government having pledged earlier in the year to fix the UK’s “broken housing market” it’s welcome news that over … Continue reading “Who has benefited from Help To Buy?”

How to start investing

Investing can appear complicated. However, if you get a few important and relatively simple things right then you could be well on your way to success. Many first-time investors place too much emphasis on deciding when to invest, worrying about economic or political events or trying to anticipate market peaks and troughs. This makes investing … Continue reading “How to start investing”

Will the Lifetime ISA help you buy your first home?

There’s a new ISA in town: the Lifetime ISA. Designed to help both first-time buyers and people saving for retirement, it’s certainly an ambitious idea – but does it deliver, and what are the drawbacks? Let’s take a look at this ISA’s finer points. If you’re a 20-something or 30-something in the UK today, you … Continue reading “Will the Lifetime ISA help you buy your first home?”

How much should you keep in cash?

Is cash still king? The twin pressures of inflation and low interest rates are making cash savings less attractive – but what are the alternatives, and do they suit your needs? The main attraction of cash is that… it’s cash. The money is there exactly when and where you need it, and typically know you … Continue reading “How much should you keep in cash?”

Put your money to the marshmallow test

Are you better at living for today than planning for tomorrow? A long-running experiment has shown how being unable to hold back can hold you back in the long term. From the moment you receive your first pocket money, you’re plunged into an age-old struggle. Should you spend that money now, or save it for … Continue reading “Put your money to the marshmallow test”

Innovative Finance – a more interesting way to save?

Innovative Finance ISAs are now available – and they’ve got savers excited. Promising around double the interest of the best cash ISAs, they allow tax-free investment in peer-to-peer lending. Are they what we’ve all been waiting for? Lately we have seen a flurry of developments on the ISA front.  In April of this year we … Continue reading “Innovative Finance – a more interesting way to save?”

Your 10-point plan for the perfect pension

Do you tend to plan your life, or just go with the flow? When it comes to ensuring you’ve got money to spend in retirement, the only way is planning. Whether you’re just starting your career or about to end it, here are the 10 best pension tips to live by. ‘Pension are for old … Continue reading “Your 10-point plan for the perfect pension”

Rising inflation – what does it mean for your money?

Why could our grandparents buy sweets for a ha’penny, but children’s pocket-money is now measured in pounds? It’s all to do with inflation – and your savings, investments and pensions may soon begin to feel the pinch. It’s often said that inflation is the enemy of the investor – and they also say, ‘Know your … Continue reading “Rising inflation – what does it mean for your money?”