Weekly News Bulletin - 14/02/2022
How to save money with our 100 best tips
The e xperts at Good Housekeeping have been giving advice on how to save money for 100 years. To celebrate a centenary of money-saving advice, we've rounded up the best of our advice to help you make your money go further. 1. Flick switches and switch settings. 3. Reconsider your broadband package. 7. Compare suppliers 15. Set a weekly budget. 18. Build a financial plan. 25. Check your workplace benefits. 32. Start investing. 54. Check your phone contract. 59. Make cash from your spare room. 76. Ask for a price match. 91. Shop the sales responsibly. 93. Trade in old tech. Good Housekeeping
Switch savings and 'tackle' debt: Easy strategies for financial wellbeing in 2022
Annie Charalambous, head of communications at ETX Capital, shared some strategies that will hopefully see Britons retaining financial stability throughout 2022. 1. Debt deletion - Deal with debts which accrue the highest interest rate s first. "This would mean paying the minimum monthly payments on all other debts and using any additional funds to clear the repayments on the high-interest debt as quickly as possible. Once this has been repaid, you can then do the same to the next highest-interest debt.” 2. Switching savings - “There may be other rewards on offer for moving your money. For example, some savings accounts offer cash incentives for switching, while others offer benefits for specific savers." 3. Auditing expenses - The average Briton pays roughly £39 per month for subscription services they don’t use. 4. Automate savings - Set up a monthly direct debit to move money into a savings account before you have time to use it. 5. Learn tr ade - Many experts don’t have hope for a major interest rate jump in the near future, which is why many now suggest investments. It is important to note that every investment has capital at risk and no return is guaranteed. Daily Express
Martin Lewis urges people working from home for one day in last year to claim HMRC tax break
Martin Lewis has urged everyone who has been asked by their employer to work from home for at least one day during the 2020 lockdown or during the 2021/22 financial year to claim tax relief wo rth up to £125 from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Martin updated his blog on the topic on the MoneyASavingExpert.com website: “Unconfirmed reports in the Telegraph suggest the Treasury may close the working-from-home tax rebate microsite, so employees can no longer claim a whole year's rebate if they've worked from home at any point, even for just a day in th is or the last tax year - similar changes would likely affect self-assessment claims too.” He added that while there is no date attached to ending of the amended rules, if you haven't claimed yet and are eligible, you should “do it now”. Daily Recordr
State pension ‘might not be a realistic option in the UK’ in just 10 years
Retirement ages in the UK are rising more sharply than in any ot her EU country. Workers in their twenties and early thirties could be forced to keep working well into their seventies, with British savers facing the sharpest rise in retirement ages in Europe. Luca Rado, director of The Live In Care Company, looked at data from a 2021 Government Research Briefing, which explored how UK pensions compare with those in other co untries. It showed out of 28 countries studied, the UK has the eleventh highest retirement age, with both men and women retiring at 66 years old. Under the Government’s current schedule, the state pension age for both men and women will rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028. It will then rise further to 68 between 2044 and 2046. However, the Government regularly re views the state pension age as more economic and life expectancy data comes to light, so it could be pushed even higher as people live longer. inews.co.uk
State pensions 'must increase by £500' to help 'shivering & hungry' pensioners, Sunak told
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced new measures to help Britons fight against the cost of living crisis, including a £150 council tax rebate and plans to extend Warm Home Discount Scheme eligibility. The measures have since been battered by many experts across the country as they say it will simply not be enough. Dennis Reed, Director of independent organisation for senior citizens Silver Voices claimed Mr Sunak is “in denial” about how severely affected households are, especially Britain’s elderl y. He commented: “The costs for working households do not compare in terms of the percentage of their incomes spent on energy costs at home. Silver Voices is calling for emergency increases of £500 a year for all state pensions to help the elderly stay afloat during the cost of living crisis. Earlier today Ofgem announced the rise of energy price caps, which w ill see the average UK household on the price cap with £693 added onto the yearly energy bill. Daily Express
Inheritance tax warning as Britons only have six months to cover tax bill of over £200,000
The average inheritance tax (IHT) bill leaves UK heirs with a burden of £209,502 and with only six months to foot the bill. Shaun Moore, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter shared three unique ways to lower one’s IHT bill. 1. Nil-rate band and residence nil-rate band - Mr Moore explained: “This tax year, you can pass on up to £175,000 of your property tax-free, which is effectively doubled to £350,000 when combined with the allowance of your spouse or civil partner. That’s laye red on top of your inheritance tax allowance – or nil rate band – of £325,000, meaning it is possible to pass on £1m inheritance free as a couple.” This only works with direct descendants inheriting the family home. 2. Family member gifts - Mr Moore shared: “Gifts to spouses or civil partners are completely free of IHT and each tax year you can also give away up to £3,000 worth of gifts with your annual exemption, so as a couple you could gift £6,000 a year. 3. Transfers - If one is really desperate to not pay the taxman upon their death, there is the possibility for Potentially Exempt Transfers or Chargeable Lifetime Transfers. This is a far more long-term method to avoid IHT as it will take seven years to come to fruition. Daily Express
UK proper ty market set for 'record breaking' year - homeowner's profits predicted to rise
Last year, data from Hamptons revealed those selling up made an average profit of £95,360. That’s only going to carry on. In fact, I believe 2022 is the year it will smash through the £100,000 threshold. The idea that the average person will w alk away with £100,000 as they make their next property move didn’t seem possible 10 years ago. But the pandemic has accelerated everything. We’ve seen growth for nearly ten years but the past 22 months has really seen the speed accelerate and estate agents are already reporting a busy start to this year - with prices set to increase even further. Daily Express
Borrowers ‘needn’t panic just yet’ after interest rates hike
Real estate experts have said a rise in interest rates is “unlikely to dampen motivation to move” despite warnings that the news signals higher mortgage costs down the line. The Bank of England has hiked rates at successive meetings for the first time since 2004, with a majority of the Bank’s rate setters voting to lift rates 25 basis points to 0.5 per cent. Joshua Elash, director of property lender MT Finance dubbed the rise as an “absolute necessity” in tackling skyrocketing inflation. He added: “The rise will be an early warning to UK households of further increases to come, which consequently will mean higher mortgage costs. However, borrowers “needn’t panic just yet,” Elash said. “We don’t expe ct this rate rise to have a significant impact on pricing in today’s mortgage market as it follows earlier significant movements in SONIA (Sterling overnight interbank average rate), which have thus far been absorbed by an industry flush with liquidity.” City A.M.
House prices see fastest growth rate in January for 17 years
House prices have risen at the fastest annual pace for a January in 17 years, amid "robust" demand and low supply, according to lender Nationwide. The building society said prices rose by 11.2% year-on-year and by 0.8% between December and January. Affordability is already a key issue with house prices rising much faster than wages throughout the pandemic. Nationwide said a deposit now constitutes a record percentage of a first-time buyer's salary. "A 10% deposit on a typ ical first-time buyer home is now equivalent to 56% of total gross annual earnings, a record high," said the building society's chief economist, Robert Gardner. The average price of a property in the UK was £255,556 in last month - up from £254,822 in December - as demand remained "robust," Mr Gardner said. BBC News
All the facts and figures presented are accurate at the time of posting.
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