If you’ve been following my thrifty journey through 2014 you’ll know that our attempts to have a Year of Thrift hit the buffers somewhat when we came up against the new mortgage affordability rules. The good news is that common sense has prevailed though and our building society has now agree to remortgage us – yippee! There’s still a huge amount of paperwork to complete and solicitors need to do whatever solicitors do in these circumstances, but fingers crossed we’re nearly there and we might actually be able to start saving again. Such a relief and it’s definitely helped re-energise my thoughts towards being all thrifty.
It’s not just mortgage rules that have changed recently though. New ISA (Individual Savings Account) rules came into force on 1st July 2014, meaning that people are now allowed to put a maximum of £15,000 into a new ISA (conveniently called a NISA). This money can be split between in any way you want between a New Cash ISA and a New Stocks and Shares ISA.
Now, if you’ve seen or heard any advert for any stocks and shares investment, you will have heard the famous line “investments can go up as well as down…” and I think that’s something that’s been drummed into all of us now and understandably it’s made many of us very cautious and shying away from these types of savings. Certainly it’s the case that for every one investment ISA taken out, there are three cash ISAs opened. Scottish Friendly are warning savers not to be drawn into the same decision without first doing a little bit more research into Investment ISAs.
Over recent weeks several savings providers have lowered their interest rates, making the cash ISAs not as attractive as they once were. An investment ISA might mean that you don’t have ready access to your money in the way that you can with some cash ISAs, but depending on your personal circumstances this might be perfectly acceptable and the long term results might outweigh this.
Once our mortgage is sorted, next on the list has to be having an overall financial MOT again to check where our (and the kids) money all is and making sure that it’s doing the absolute best it can for us. There’s loads of information available online to help understand all the changes, and may people like Scottish Friendly have also taken to social media, where you can ask them basic general questions and also see the latest advice, as well as links to various useful financial articles that they publish. Everyone’s financial situation is different and what works for one person might not work for someone else, so I’ll be trying to seek out a good independent financial advisor and I highly recommend that other people do the same. However, I’ll certainly not be just assuming that cash ISAs are the only way to save.
Disclaimer: This featured post was brought to you in association with Scottish Friendly.