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Savings help, advice and guide

Welcome to the saving advice page. Here we will be able to provide you with all of the help and advice you need to make the most of your savings. We also offer a range of useful guides designed to give you more information about your savings, which can be found below.

What is saving?

A saving is an income that is not spent, but is instead put aside, usually in a bank or a building society. Savings differ from investments in that they are kept as cash. This means there is an extremely low risk that you will lose value on your savings, as they are not directly invested in ‘risky’ markets. Everyone should try to save if possible, as you never know when you are going to need access to a lump sum in an emergency.

Ways to save money

There are various methods you can use to save money. You should however only consider saving after you have finished paying off any major debts.

Saving is a simpler way of putting money aside than investing, but many people still have questions about where they should save money to deliver the highest possible returns, and we can provide useful help and advice to make sure your savings are in the right place. Here are some popular savings vehicles:

- Cash ISA
- Current account
- Instant access account
- Notice accounts

Short term savings

If you’re looking to save money for something within the next five years, this will be considered a short term saving. There are many things that you may want to save for, such as a new car, a wedding, house repairs, a holiday or even your car insurance.

Short term savings should be saved in cash, and should be easily accessible. Finding the right account and option for you can be difficult, and this is where we can deliver useful help and advice.

Long term savings

Any money saved for longer than five years is considered medium to long term. Long term savings methods include Individual Savings Accounts and Pensions. To find out more information about Pensions please click here.

Since their introduction, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have been seen as a vital element to anyone looking to save for the long term because of the Tax-Exempt status of these plans. There are two types of ISA, the Cash ISA and the Stocks and Shares ISA.

An ISA allows you to save up to a set amount each year with all growth on your savings being tax-free. The amount you can save each tax-year is decided by HM Revenue and Customs and usually changes each year.

On July 1st 2014 the ISA became the ‘New ISA’ (NISA), which is a simpler and easier to understand version of the ISA.

With the introduction of the New ISA, some major changes were also introduced:

- The annual allowance for the 2014/15 tax-year increased by £3,120 to £15,000. The biggest annual increase since the introduction of the ISA.

- You can now split your total annual allowance between a Cash NISA and a Stocks and Shares NISA in anyway you wish..

- You can transfer savings from a Cash NISA to a Stocks and Shares NISA and vice versa without being penalised.

Further changes have recently been announced in the December 2014 Autumn Statement, which saw the annual allowance for New ISA for the 2015/2016 tax year, increase to £15,240. These new measures are applicable to any ISA plan.

In addition to these new changes the New ISA it was also announced that when someone dies, their husband or wife will be able to inherit their New ISA completely tax free.

Saving for children

If you are a parent you’ll know only too well how expensive it is to bring up a child these days. From birth right through to age 18 with college or university costs, a first car or other major outlays, you will find that you could be put under major financial stress.

Saving for your children could be for the short or long term, depending on their age, but either way receiving a lump sum when they turn 18 can be invaluable, and a great surprise for them.

Again there are plenty or options, in that you can choose to save or invest, and there are a wide variety of accounts available. Here are some options:

- Junior Isa
- Tax-free savings accounts (Friendly Society)
- Children’s savings plans

Saving help and advice for you

The goal of anyone who is saving is to put aside as much as possible as often as possible, and to achieve the maximum amount of growth on their savings. However with so many choices out there, you are likely to have many questions that need answering in order to get your money in the right place.

Speaking to someone who can give you advice on where to put your savings can make a real difference to how they perform, and can help you to understand the difference between investing and saving, helping to prevent any nasty shocks when you come to withdraw your money.

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