It was great to finally see some family and friends over Easter after the long winter lockdown and the sunshine on Sunday really helped lift my spirits.
Whilst not as emotionally significant, another key event happened this week with the beginning of the new tax year on 6th April. This date always prompts me to spend a bit of time checking my personal finances, just to make sure all is in hand. Nothing too time consuming but just making sure my records are up to date, accurate and are in the right part of the filing cabinet/computer hard drive. So, whilst it’s raining this Saturday, I’ll be sitting down with a nice cup of coffee spending an hour or so to get it all done.
My experience as an accountant helps me to see money in an objective way but I must admit when it comes to my own money, I recognise the emotional connection and the role it can play to help achieve my ambitions for myself and my family.
With everything going on in the world it’s easy to put money matters and investments on the back burner but with a few more weeks until restrictions are more fully lifted now is the ideal time to look at how your money is working for you. Here are some questions you may wish to ask yourself:
Do I have money sitting in a bank savings account?
- If so, check the interest you are earning. It is likely to be close to zero. Metfriendly have both lump sum and regular savings products that will earn you a return whilst also keeping your hard-earned money safe.
Are my savings adequately protected?
- In terms of protecting my savings it’s worth checking to make sure that any savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FCSC). Metfriendly policies are protected by the FSCS for Insurance products so there is no upper limit on the amount protected, unlike the FSCS Deposit and Investment schemes which are limited to £85,000 per person.
How can I maximise my tax-free allowances?
- Each adult aged 18 and over has an annual £20,000 ISA allowance that they can use. This means you can invest up to £20,000 per year and any return to make on that investment is not subject to either income tax or capital gains tax.
What can I do with the refund money from last year’s family holiday?
- No one is quite sure what 2021 will hold in terms of travel plans so I’m keeping my options open for travel and this money may come in handy. I certainly want to go on holiday as soon as rules allow and will be keeping my refund in cash for this purpose. Metfriendly products are designed for the medium to long term so I’ll be keeping this money separate for now.
What opportunities are there to help my children?
- For younger children under 18 a Junior ISA is a great way for family members to help build up some financial foundations for when the child reaches their 18th birthday. The new tax year has started which means that all under 18s have a £9,000 tax free allowance that they can start to use.
- For older children aged 18-39 year the good news is that they can receive up to an extra £1,000 a year of free Government money a year if they take out a Metfriendly Lifetime ISA (LISA) to save for either a first-time property purchase or for retirement. They can save up to £4,000 per tax year and the Government will add 25% on top. That could mean as much as £32,000 free Government money if they fully funded their LISA from age 18 to 50.
Please see our website for full details of any of our products or call one of the Metfriendly team on 01689 891 454. You can also enter your details here and we'll arrange for someone to call you back at a time convenient for you.
Lee Schöpp, Interim CEO Metfriendly