They’re Britain’s favourite savings product. The 21 million people with just over £70 billion saved in Premium Bonds will be delighted to hear that in under a fortnight’s time, the prize fund will increase from 1.15% to 1.4% – so your chance of winning per £1 bond will improve from 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 24,000....
On 6 April 2017 the new Lifetime ISA launches, allowing first-time buyers aged under 40 to save up to £4,000 a year, with the state adding 25% on top towards a deposit for a home. Yet there’s already a very similar product called the Help to Buy ISA many first-time buyers already have. So the big question is, should you...
If I offered you £500 today or a guaranteed no-risk £1,000 in a year’s time, what would you take? Think about it for a second, as your answer shines a light on your financial psychology. I’m sorry to say this isn’t a real offer, but a simple poser I posted as a Twitter poll a little while ago...
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...
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...
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...
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. The Santander 123 bank account has been my and this site’s top savings pick for four years. It pays 3% interest if...
Big changes to savings are afoot from next April. The new personal savings allowance launches, allowing all basic-rate taxpayers to earn £1,000 in interest tax-free (higher-rate £500) from all types of savings (for want of doubt this includes high interest bank accounts and top normal savings).
For years my safe savings mantra has been "you're protected up to £85,000 per person per UK-regulated financial institution" – therefore if you've got more, spread it into pots of no more than around £83,000 (to allow room for interest) to keep the whole amount protected.
Once, introductory savings bonuses were rightly called a scourge. Yet with UK interest rates at 0.5%, these days they effectively provide a cast-iron rate guarantee. So while the sentiment of the Sunday Times’ call for banks to stop offering them is fine, I worry the timing is dire. The paper’s money section front page was emblazoned with...
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26 September 2023
11 September 2023Update September 2017: It’s eight years since I first braved this subject, expecting a snowstorm of protest. Instead, year after year more join in, like Julia who recently tweeted me, “@MartinSLewis, finally took your advice and told my family I can’t afford Christmas presents. What a weight off my mind. Thank you.” One year even the Archbishop of...
4 September 2023The 2023 academic year is about to start, and it'll see the biggest shake-up to student finance in England for a decade. The changes are both subtle and massive. On the surface they look like a tweak, in practice they will increase the eventual cost of going to university by over 50% for many typical graduates.