18/01/2014 Your Money


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harassed by him. Now, on BBC News, it is time for


this week's Your Money with Declan Curry.


Hello and welcome to Your Money. Your weekly guide to making the most


of your cash here on every week on BBC Television. Just days left to


fill up your tax form online. If you get child benefit and you are doing


a tax form for the first time you might have to act today. We have


some advice. Clever savings using your smartphone to control your


central heating. Brian Milligan finds out if it saves us money. Top


tips on getting more from our savings. Well, let's start with a


look at savings and how we get more from them and how we make them work


harder for us in this New Year. One of your resolutions maybe to have


been make the most of your money. Anna will make sure that's one of


the New Year's resolutions you maybe able to keep. Welcome to Your Money.


Some basic things to consider. Interest rates for savings accounts,


really, really desperately low. Particularly in accounts where you


have had money in for a while and you have neglected it and the bank


has neglected it? There is two things there. One is where you had a


bonus rate on an account. So the rates may have been paying for than


2%, but with some bonuses it is dropping to 0.1% and also just in


general, lots of rate cuts over the last year. We have had over 1400


cuts to existing savers accounts. So you have to keep a close eye on your


savings. You have to be sharp eyed and keep an eye on the tanl and keep


an eye on what's on offer elsewhere and don't be shy about moving your


money. It is your money and you are allowed to move it? You have got to


vote with your feet. Don't just sit-in one of these accounts paying


you no interest. And there is no bonus for loyalty now? Not really.


Sometimes there are, but you have to keep an eye on that. Don't assume


because it has a word li preferential or loyalty. Check out


what's available and find the best account for you. Another way of


making your savings work harder is by paying as little tax on them as


you are legally allowed to. Of course, most people are allowed to


get a tax efficient ISA account, but if you want to make the most of


that, in this tax year, there are only a few months left? That's


right. It is up to the 5th April in this year. So you have got to do


that. If you haven't used your ISA allowance you have half of your ISA


allowance can go into a tax savings account. Why not get it tax-free. It


is a use it or lose it allowance. Exactly. There is a new one after


April? Yes, every year. Again, the interest rates on some of the ISA


accounts that are for cash are low particularly if it is an old ISA


that you opened several years ago and you haven't touched the money


since it went in there, you are allowed to move that to a better


performing account? Not all of the ISA are the best ISAs will accept


transfers, but look for one that does and the key thing if you are


transferring your ISA is you let the new provider pool the money. Don't


cash it in or you lose your allowance. Child Trust Fund some of


this emhave been rubbish? It became a forgotten account because the


junior ISA was brought in. The good news is that hopefully as long as


nothing changes from April in 2015, you will be able to transfer from a


Child Trust Fund into a zwrunior junior ISA, you can get 2.65% on the


best Child Trust Fund so it is worth having a look at that. Some bank


accounts will give you more, but you have got to promise, you won't make


that many withdrawals? That's a key thing. We have seen accounts in the


past with bonus rates and the bonus rates as we talked about earlier,


the rate can drop, but also a lot of the best buys now restrict the


amount you can take out. If you take out too many times, the rate will


drop. If you want more for your money, you have to agree to lock it


away for a longer period of time? That's right. You get over 3.5% if


you lock it for seven years. That's a long time for not a really great


rate. Have a look at what the best rates are and find the best accounts


for yourself. Thank you very much for joining us.


Speaking of the big bucks, how often have you seen one of these? It is


the old ?50 note. If you have got one, you have got to spend it, bank


or change it by the end of April as it has been withdrawn from


circulation. Shops can refuse to accept it. Speaking of banks, over


300,000 of us switched our current accounts to a different bank in


October, November and December last year. That's a fifth more than the


same months in 2012. Switching is so much easier now. The banks will keep


an eye on our old account for a year. If they make a mistake, they


are supposed to pay for charges or interest. More information on the


Payment Council website. If you want to pay for something in


the shops using your mobile smartphone, five banks say they will


let you do it. Pay day lenders are to get more information about us if


we apply to borrow their money at their massive rates of interest. It


should mean they won't give loans to people who are already up to their


necks in debt. And it has become cheaper to rent a


home in England and Wales. The property website LSL says the


average cost of renting slipped by 1% from November into December. Most


parts of England and Wales saw rents fall.


As well as using smartphones to buy stuff in the shops, how about using


one to control our central heating? As Brian Milligan found out, there


is an app for that and it could save us money. Using GPS technology,


smartphones can track your movements such as your journey home by knowing


exactly where you are, your phone can keep why you are heating


switched off until you need it. When you are an hour away, the system


begins to come to life. Knowing when you are likely to alive and taking


into account the forecast temperatures, the boilers ramps up.


Phone will sense your actual approach so by the time you come


through the door, the house and the hot water are warm. The owner of


this house paid ?250 for the system just two months ago, but he is


noticing the savings. It is saving us, I think, probably about 20 to


30%. It is difficult to say because I haven't had a full quarterly bill,


but I have worked it out based on the daily figures it gives me and it


should pay for itself within three years. Other systems offer greater


savings, but they are more expensive to install. In this house for


example, you can actually control the temperatures in individual


rooms. All from your phone and from anywhere in the world! Why heat your


sitting room first thing in the morning for example when no one is


using it? Well, with the help of these wireless controls on the


radiators, you can shut off the heating in here. In fact by doing


so, its makers claim you can save up to ?400 a year. Independent experts


say such savings are possible, but mostly for people who live in large


properties. Comparing someone who lives in a large detached property


which might be leaky and use a lot of heating to someone in a one


bedroomed flat, the person in the larger property will have a greater


saving potential. For the first time, your lifestyle


could have a bearing on the amount you can save. The more you are away


from home or the more hectic youred schedule, the more the savings could


be. Just chatting with Anna while Brian


was giving us that report. There was one other thing she said and it is


something we might want to look at and that's how the interest that you


earn on current accounts has stepped up. This is somewhat of a surprise


because current accounts were the Cinderella of banking. You didn't


expect to get a lot for your money at all, but Anna says she has been


looking at the tables and there is the one, two, three account from


Santander paying 3%. You need to put in ?500 and you are only allowed two


direct debts, but 3% is not to be sniffed at given the rate of


inflation and the Nationwide, the building society, building societies


say because they don't have share Holders, they are -- shareholders,


they are able to offer better deals. A Nationwide account as long as you


put in ?100 are paying 5%. That's an interesting change in terms of the


interest you can get that current accounts are back in the reckoning.


That's something we might want to take a look at in future programmes.


So we will do that. Are we going to talk about tax? Yes, we are.


The reason we want to talk about tax is because many people are finding


this month that they have to sent in a tax form for the first time. If


you are well off and you are claiming child benefit, even if you


have never filled up a tax form before that has changed. The rules


have changed on that. If you are a couple getting child benefit and one


of you is earning over ?50,000 a year, you have to register, fill up


the tax form online and pay any tax that's owing within the next few


days. Tina Riches, splendid name for a tax expert, welcome to Your Money.


This may catch a lot of people on the hob. If you are in this group of


people who are getting child benefit and there is someone in the couple


who was earning more than ?50,000, who has to fill out the form, the


high earner or the person getting the benefit? It is the person with


the higher earnings. You have to look at the family as a whole, and


where there is a family with someone receiving child benefit, if one of


them is in receipt of income, not just earnings from a job, but all


your income, over ?50,000, you are affected by that, which means...


That is the magic number, ?50,000. If you have a couple were both of


you are earning but both earning less than 50,000, you find, you


don't need to fill up a form just because you are getting child


benefit. Quite right, yes, Declan. And the deadline is the 31st of


January, of course, but if you have never done it before, you might have


to act this weekend, because it takes time to register and wait for


the password. Well, yeah, there are two steps to getting registered. If


you have not done anything at all before, you need to tell HMRC that


you need to fill in the self-assessment return, and you can


do that online through their website. And then, once you get what


is called a UTR code, which can take some weeks, you have to register to


do the online return. So if you have not done anything at all until now,


you are probably not going to get your unique tax reference code


through in time. What those people would need to do is not panic, but


do register as soon as you can, but make sure you do pay the tax by the


31st of January. Don't just send a cheque to the revenue, because they


will not necessarily be able to tie that up with your records. What you


need to do is go to the part of the website about paying HMRC, and you


can download a payslip which asks for all the necessary information


such as your national insurance number, and posts that with your


cheque to them. Eventually, they will tie that up. Any tips for the


rest of us who are filling up the tax form, not in couples with


someone well off blaming child benefit, but the 10 million others


also who have to fill the form to mark what the top tips? Right, well,


first of all, if you have not done the bit about registering online,


you must do that before Tuesday to make sure you get an activation code


in time so that you can get into the part of the website that enables you


to do the return. You also need to make sure that the return is in by


midnight on the 31st of January. Now, I would not leave it until the


last minute, because, you know, they're all waste problems with


broadband or, you know, websites et cetera, and you don't want it to go


down if you are trying to do it at the last minute. -- there are always


problems. Last year a lot of people actually did it on the last day. If


you have not got all of your information, if you find you have


got a bank statement missing or something like that, the best thing


to do is put in your best estimate, and mark on the return that it is a


best estimate, so at least you can get the return in on time. Because


there is a ?100 penalty is the return is late. Tina Riches, we will


leave at there, thank you for all of your advice on this, at a time of


the year when many people who pay tax are a little bit...


You can get updates by following our feed on Twitter. Thank you for


watching this week, more again next week, CNN, bye-bye.


-- see you then. You are watching BBC News, and these


are the headlines: Police Scotland, who have been searching for the


missing three-year-old Mikaeel, have found a body which they strongly


believe to be his. His body has been detained for questioning by


detectives as police seal off a bungalow belonging to a family




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