Some good news money stories you may have missed!
It may currently feel like all the financial stories are negative, but scratch the surface and there is usually a little good news to be found.
Below are four separate items that might help you or your family as we approach the winter months:
National Insurance changes
The government recently announced a reversal of the increase to National Insurance contributions that began on the 6th April this year. The bill has now progressed beyond the House of Commons, and assuming no further obstacles should become law by 6th November 2022.
This change will return National Insurance rates to those used in 2021/22 financial year, meaning that millions of employees will pay a lower rate of National Insurance in future months. This is good news for your take home pay.
Employees should benefit from this cut in their November pay packet, although some may have to wait for their employer’s payroll provider to update their systems. That change should be made no later than January 2023, and employees who have had to wait will still benefit from the change backdated to 6th November (so no loss should be incurred). Please note that these changes will happen automatically via your usual payroll process, and do not require you to take any action.
The only exception to the above is if you are joining or leaving your employer during the period of transition from one rate to another. Please speak to your employer, who will guide you on what action (if any) you need to take to reclaim any overpaid contributions.
It is also worth noting that the National Insurance threshold (the starting level for National Insurance contributions) was also increased earlier this year. Many low paid employees have therefore ceased paying National Insurance contributions as a result of that change.
Unclaimed Child Trust Funds
If you were born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011, you will have been eligible for a Child Trust Fund (with a starting balance of £250 paid by the then government).
These funds are available from age 18 onwards, meaning that thousands of teenagers can now access their fund. After eighteen years of investment each fund might represent a useful sum of money, and there are no restrictions as to how that money is used once accessed.
So, if you haven’t already claimed your fund, it is certainly worth looking into that right now!
Ideally speak to your parents who may well have all the paperwork you need to claim your fund. If that isn’t an option, then you can apply directly to the government via this link to trace your fund.
ASDA Winter Warmers
Supermarket chain ASDA is doing its bit to help customers by providing subsidised meals at either end of the age range.
Those aged sixty or over can enjoy soup and a roll, plus unlimited tea and coffee for just £1, all day, and every day, in ASDA cafés in November and December 2022.
The supermarket giant has also extended its “Kids eat for £1” initiative alongside the above offer. For more information please see this statement from the ASDA website.
Search for better savings rates!
If you have any money sitting at the bank, then now might be a good time to search for a better rate of interest.
The recent increase in the Bank of England’s base rate to help contain inflation means that the interest rates available to consumers are also starting to climb after a decade of incredibly low returns. It’s worth noting that you may need to move fast to secure the best rates though, as this story from BBC News makes clear.
And whilst you are looking for better returns, why not consider earning a “bonus” payment for switching your bank account to another provider. There are often offers in this space, with Nationwide currently offering £200 for a switch to them. Other current offers are usually recorded on the Money Saving Expert website (please see this page).
So if you are not wedded to your current account provider, there is money to be made from higher interest rates and/or incentives to move accounts!
That’s it for now, but we will add other “good news” money stories when we can.
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