True measure of inflation is ignored

How did it happen?  The upstart measure of inflation CPI has so overtaken RPI that is now ignored – particularly now that the Retail Prices Index is now running at 2% twice as much as the Consumer Prices Index. In other words we believe inflation is half as high as it really is. Since 2010 the Government has used the lower CPI for benefits, tax credits and public sector pensions.  But student loans, rail travel and mobile phone contracts are increased in line with the RPI. Savings rates are worse than they seem As savings rates are shy of both […]

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Savings rates that make us poorer

The email pings into my laptop from an oh-so-helpful bank wanting me to “make sure your account is right for you.” Interest rates are being cut again next month and I have been sent a list of 19 new savings rates. The accounts have encouraging names such as the Good for Life Isa but it will stop paying 0.5% and start paying a miserly quarter percent. My own eSaver is being cut from 0.6% to 0.35%. These latest cuts come days after Ros Altmann, the former pensions minister, announced that we all need to save more for our old age. […]

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The money diet challenge

We’ve been talking a lot recently about how easy it is to confuse a “want” with a “need”. The fact is we need very little – food, water, somewhere to shelter and rest. Everything else is a want (yes, even new shoes and fast cars). Christmas spending is just around the corner (Black Friday, identified as a pre-festive spending peak, will take place on November 27 this year), so how can we get fighting fit and avoid wasting money on purchases that don’t really bring us any real, lasting benefit (or joy)? Welcome to the money diet challenge The aim […]

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Budget moves – watch out for fancy footwork

As well as the pension changes, the Budget also announced a new breed of tax-free Individual Savings Accounts, which will allow £15,000 in cash or shares, or a mix of the two, to be invested each year. They’ll be launched in July. Check that the charges on the investment ISAs do not outweigh the tax benefits. Remember there will be no tax to pay on gains up to £10,900 even outside an ISA wrapper. And if you want to play safe with a cash ISA remember that banks like to lure in savers with high rates for the first year […]

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