This is a warning for every worker in the UK. Have you turned down a pay rise without realising it? Millions have - over 10% of the workforce currently - and many others risk doing it, unaware of the consequences. It happens when your employer 'auto-enrols' you into a pension scheme, but you decide to opt out – in most cases, a huge mistake.
Is your electricity and gas provider unfairly sitting on £100s of your money? Over 70% of us pay energy bills by direct debit – a good thing, as it gets you the cheapest rates. However, it can give firms the chance to build up a reservoir of customers' money. It's time to get that money back!
If you're under 22 or on a low income, a pension is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but what if I were to tell you there's a totally legal way, that doesn't need any negotiation, to make your employer pay you more money – possibly £1,000s over the years? Hopefully that piques your interest, and means you'll forgive me for not mentioning pensions in the blog title – but I wanted to ensure you read this.
Which is better, the Help to Buy ISA (H2B ISA) or the Lifetime ISA (LISA)? I'm asked this all the time. No wonder, as they both offer an unbeatable, no-brainer 25% bonus for first-time buyers saving in them – yet there are some big differences, so I've bashed out an answer...
If your employer requires you to work from home, you've always been able to claim for increased costs, eg, heat or electricity, for the specific time at home. Yet during the 2020 lockdown, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) launched a 'microservice' which, even if you only needed to work from home for a day, allowed you to get a WHOLE year's tax relief.
The PPI deadline may have passed, but if you're one of the millions of people who have reclaimed part of the £38,300,000,000 paid out so far, or you're one of those waiting to hear if a payment will come, you need to know about the tax on PPI payouts. This is automatically deducted, even though most people don't need to pay it. So if you've been paid out within the last four years, or you get a payout in future, you could be due £100s back.
Update Tue 23 Mar: This blog was originally written in July 2020. The regulator has said there are no more planned extensions to payment holidays. So, if you NEED one, in most cases you have just one week left, until the 31 March to apply. I've updated the blog below with the latest information.
In June 2012 MSE joined the MSM Group and I pledged £10m to go to charity. As that was a public pledge and I believe I've a duty of transparency, every couple of years I bash out a blog report (the last was in January 2019) to explain where I'm up to, and who gets the money. And 2020 was a year like no other.
If you started university between 1998 and 2011 in England or Wales, or since 1998 in Scotland and Northern Ireland, you'll have a Plan 1 student loan. While much is written about whether those with savings should overpay the current English Plan 2 student loans, there's little out there about Plan 1. I wanted to change that, so here's a video explaining how to decide...
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