HM Treasury have published a number of money saving strategies that are available this year. We have reproduced a number of the ideas below.
If you’re saving for a deposit for your first home, you can earn a bonus with the Help to Buy: ISA.
If you’re saving to buy your first home, you can put away up to £200 a month in the Help to Buy: ISA and the government will top it up by 25%, up to a maximum of £3,000.
This year, if you put away £3400 in your Help to Buy: ISA, your bonus will be £850 in December (save £1,200 in January and £200 every month after that).
You can take a Help to Buy: ISA out with one of 14 providers.
Switching your bank account could save you on average £70 a year
It’s a quick and easy way to switch your current account in 7 days – your direct debits and standing orders are transferred automatically, and there’s a switch guarantee, so you’re protected against financial loss if anything goes wrong when you switch.
Over 2.25 million switches have taken place since 2013. And it’s also available to 99% of small businesses.
There are more options for how to manage your pension
Since 6 April 2015, if you’re aged 55 and above, you can access your savings from your defined contributions pension scheme to invest or spend as you want under new pension reforms.
For example, you can take money direct from your pension pot without having to buy an annuity or put the money into drawdown, and 25% of this sum will be tax free – or you can use some or all of your funds to buy an annuity that will be payable for at least the rest of your life.
The government’s Pension Wise service can provide more guidance.
If you’re looking to buy a new build home you could benefit from the Help to Buy scheme
With the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme, if you’re able to put down at least a 5% deposit, the government will lend you up to 20% of the rest of the value of the property, alongside your mortgage of up to 75%.
And to reflect the current property market in London, those buying in Greater London will soon be able to benefit from up to a 40% loan.
Alternatively, from April 2016, if you have a household income of less than £80,000 outside London, and £90,000 inside London, Help to Buy Shared Ownership will allow you to buy a share of between 25% and 75% of a home.
The rent on the rest of the property won’t be more than 3% of the amount left and the scheme will apply across England.
Married couples could save up to £212 this year by applying for the marriage allowance
The Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,060 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner.
This means that they could pay up to £212 less tax this tax year (from April 2015 to April 2016).
From April 2016, a new Personal Savings Allowance will take 95% of taxpayers out of savings tax altogether
From April 2016, a tax-free allowance of £1,000 (or £500 for higher rate taxpayers) will be introduced for the interest that you earn on your savings.
If you are a basic rate taxpayer (you have a total income of up to £43,000 in 2016-17), you will be eligible for a £1,000 tax-free savings allowance.
If you are a higher rate taxpayer (you have a total income in 2016-17 between £43,001 and £150,000), you will be eligible for a £500 tax-free savings allowance.