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The SunMartin Lewis warns you could be losing out on £800 a year by turning down a pay rise without realising itThe SunA percentage of your pay packet is deducted every month and put towards your own personal private pension, and your employer must also put a percentage of money into your pension – on top of your salary. By not opting into the pension scheme, you're ...
Telegraph.co.ukCommuter hit by Southern Rail chaos wins £2400 back from his credit card provider: could you get a refund?Telegraph.co.ukA disgruntled train passenger living on the Southern train route has managed to claim a £2,400 refund from his credit card company by citing a little-known clause in the Consumer Credit Act. The payout could trigger a flood of ... paid for tickets with ...and more »
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This is MoneyRevealed: How Bank of Scotland rushed older borrowers into controversial mortgages that have left them trapped in ...This is MoneyThe more of these so-called SAMs were sold, the more money Bank of Scotland made in fees. Meanwhile, the bank's customers were being rushed into major financial decisions in time frames way out of kilter with the treatment of ordinary mortgage ...and more »
Telegraph.co.ukCommuter hit by Southern Rail chaos wins £3k back from his credit card provider: could you get a refund?Telegraph.co.ukA disgruntled train passenger living on the Southern train route has managed to claim a £3,000 refund from his credit card company by citing a little-known clause in the Consumer Credit Act. The payout could trigger a flood of similar claims from ...and more »
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To Save or To Clear the Debts?

You may have noticed that your savings aren’t doing a lot to pay their way these days. Pensioners are badly hit as many of them use the interest from their life savings to pad out the weekly amount they get from the state. Many mortgage payers are happy as their payments have come down, but just about everyone else with savings is in the situation where the real value of their money is falling because interest payments aren’t as high as inflation.

 The average rate for UK instant access accounts including current accounts was around 0.17% at the end of February and we’ve had another cut in the Bank base rate of half a percent since then. Despite that, with credit hard for many people to come by; credit limits being cut by the card companies and worries about job losses, if you can, it’s best to have some savings on hand for an emergency. And the latest figures show that people are saving more. There’s nearly £1,000 billion of savings in our banks and building societies and another £90 billion in National Savings.  

In terms of interest you may as well keep your money under the bed – but then that’s probably the first place a cash strapped burglar is going to look. Fixed rate bonds pay slightly higher rates than instant access accounts. National Savings and Investments products are increasingly popular because people want to know their money is safe whatever the interest rates and they have a 100% government deposit guarantee. It’s never been more important to shop around and don’t be slow to move your money to higher interest rate paying accounts. Keep a close check on any accounts you do have to see what interest you are being paid. The financial pages of the newspapers are good for advice on which accounts are paying the best rates but these change frequently. 

Once you’ve got your emergency fund in place if there’s any money left over think about clearing expensive debts. There’s no point in having a lot of money sitting in an account getting 2.5% interest if you’re paying off loans or credit card accounts at interest rates in the high teens and 20’s. Homeowners are paying off their mortgages too. Some who’ve seen their monthly payments fall are continuing to pay at the old rate so that they clear their mortgages more quickly.

If you have a lot of savings think about getting some financial advice. Your money may not be doing as well for you as it could and a good Independent Financial Adviser can be worth his or her weight in gold. Visit more than one and choose the advice you feel happiest with. Family, friends and colleagues may be able to recommend advisers they’ve used and found helpful.

If you’re lucky enough to have money to put aside it’s time to take stock and nurture it so that it can nurture you back in the future.

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