An important warning to every employee in the UK

This is a warning for every worker in the UK. Have you turned down a pay rise without realising it? Millions have done or risk doing just that. It happens when your employer ‘auto-enrols’ you into a pension scheme but you decide to opt out – in most cases a huge mistake.

The (morally questionable) way to earn 2.25% on up to £50,000 savings

Update 10/04/2018: This is an old blog but the logic in it still stands. Though note the rate has since increased to 2.5%.  Savings rates are disgustingly low. The top easy access account is just 1%, the top one-year fix 1.4%, yet I’ve a trick that lets you save up to £50,000, in safety, at 2.25%, and withdraw...

To protect mental health, the MSE weekly email will no longer be sent between midnight & 5am

This week we’re changing our weekly email send strategy so that we will no longer send it in the wee early hours (a few will leak through, if the internet service provider initially rejects them, but the bulk won’t). This change is due to a report by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (which I founded &...

How to fight banks that keep your savings prisoner because you want to take ‘too much’ out…

Last week I tried to close down and withdraw my money from an ONLINE, EASY ACCESS savings account – as the introductory interest rate bonus was ending that day meaning the rate would plummet. I, of course, as the account name describes, assumed I would be able to take my money out via the web, and do...

Santander 123 rate’s dropping to 1.5% – should you ditch it?

This Tuesday 1 November, Santander 123 – the bank account that’s topped savings tables for over four years – will take a hammer to the interest it pays. It’s cutting its main interest rate from 3% to 1.5%, the one that applies to savings up to £20,000. So the key question for the four million people who...

The new personal savings allowance means some will be better off earning LESS interest

Until now for every £100 of interest a basic-rate taxpayer earns outside an ISA, the taxman takes £20. Yet on 6 April, the savings landscape changes.  The new personal savings allowance (PSA) means ALL basic-rate taxpayers will be able to earn £1,000 a year interest on all savings, higher rate £500, tax-free. But within the way this works...

Santander 123 to slash interest to 1.5% – should you ditch it?

Update, 1 November: Santander has now slashed the headline rate paid from 3% to 1.5%. Read my Santander 123 slashed – should you ditch it? analysis for what to do if you’re one of its customers. Depressing news for savers. Santander 123, the bank account that’s topped savings tables for over four years, will take a hammer...

First-time buyers’ trick: Max LISA and Help to Buy ISA gains by timing it right

The new Lifetime ISA (LISA) launches next April. It allows eligible savers to put away up to £4,000 a year. Then if it’s used for a first-time home purchase or retirement, the state adds a 25% bonus on top – a possible £1,000 a year bonus for up to 30 years. While the already up-and-running Help to Buy...

What I told the Chancellor he should do to improve the marriage tax allowance take-up

Introduced in April 2015, the marriage tax allowance (MTA) is free cash worth £432 for many married couples and those in civil partnerships. Yet surprisingly only 16% of the 4.2 million eligible have claimed it. I’ve been talking about it a lot (well, free cash is free cash), and a good chunk of the low uptake is...

Can you rent out a home bought with a Help to Buy ISA/Lifetime ISA?

The Help to Buy ISA is a huge boon for first-time buyers. It means when you save in it for a mortgage deposit, you’ll get up to £3,000 added on top. The new Lifetime ISA is going to dwarf even that when it launches in 2017 – adding up to £1,000 a year, for up to 32 years,...