In July the Summer Budget was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and online investment management service Nutmeg have created the infographic below to highlight some of the key points. In response, we've put together six tips to show you how to save money in a post-Summer Budget Britain:
1. Fuel duty frozen
The freeze in fuel duty will stop petrol prices from rising too fast. However, there's other ways to save money on fuel. If you're parked and waiting, turn off your engine. If you're driving in the city, under 30mph, roll down the windows to keep cool and turn the air conditioning off to save up to 8% fuel efficiency. When you're on the motorway, however, or travelling faster, roll up the windows to prevent the drag effect.
2. Inheritance tax threshold rising
A family home left to your loved ones is often exempt from inheritance tax, but gifts given in the seven years before you pass away are considered part of your estate and taxed, usually at 40%. A good way to make sure your money stays in your family, and isn't taxed, is to spend it on gifts and investments for those you care about while you are still in your early retirement.
3. Tax relief for pensions reduced
Large pensions will be taxed more heavily, but you can still save money by finding the right pension. Speaking to a specialist pension broker is worthwhile, as you can explain your requirements and they can find the best deal available for you. Often the most frugal option, however, is a group pension deal such as one arranged through an employer or other organisation.
4. Living wage raised
A raise if the living wage is good news, but those earning the living wage and no more will have to be careful with their spending. If you have a low income, personal finance management is extremely important. Using Money Dashboard, you can easily see in searchable tables and coloured graphics, where your income is being spent across all your bank accounts and credit cards, and you can easily monitor your spending to stick to a tight budget, and to identify areas where you are overspending.
5. Child tax credit restricted
Have you checked if you are eligible for tax credits? It only takes a few minutes, and you'll need details of you and your partner's income. Tax credits can be really useful in saving money towards the massive cost of raising children. You will need to renew your application each year.
6. TV License free for over 75s
If you are under 75 and you watch TV, you'll still have to pay your TV license, but you could save money on your TV and broadband package. Use online search aggregators to find some of the best deals for new customers you are eligible for, then call up your existing provider and threaten to leave for a better deal. Likely you will be put through to a special department who are authorised to offer you great deals in order to keep you as their customer. There's not much of a risk; if they call your bluff, and they cancel your package, just call back five minutes later and say you changed your mind.
About the author
Mike Hall is a media and marketing professional, specialising in video production and content marketing. From Edinburgh, Scotland, Mike now lives in Glasgow. He has experience is short film production, podacasting and Internet radio, as well as having worked with SMEs in the technology industry, and private clients as a web designer, and an IT and marketing consultant.