How to Find the Best Savings Account

If you want to put money in a savings account or already have savings, then it is good idea to make sure that you are getting a good return on those savings. With interest rates so low at the moment, it means that savings account interest can often be lower than the rate of inflation, meaning that your money is actually losing value. This can reduce the incentive for saving and may even increase the incentive for borrowing. However, it is worth looking around to see what savings accounts are available as you could find that you will be able to get a much better rate and this will make saving much more worthwhile.

Look at notice accounts

It is worth considering whether you are happy to not have instant access to your savings. Instant access is where you can withdraw your money as soon as you need it. This means that if there is an emergency and you need the money or if you are simply saving up for something and are ready to buy it, you will be able to get the money when you need it. With a notice account you will have to give the financial institution notice that you want your money. The amount of notice will vary but it could be between one and three months. Decide whether you are happy to give notice to get your money. It really depends what you are saving for and the likelihood that you think that you will need the money. It is worth noting that you can get the money right away but you will have to pay a penalty which will be in the form of docked interest.

Consider fixed rate accounts

There are some savings accounts which offer a fixed interest rate. These tend to be bonds and you may have to leave your money in the account for a year or more in order to receive the interest. Again, you will need to think about whether you are prepared to tie your money up for this long. Obviously it will depend on the term and what you are saving up for. A lower term, perhaps a year, will attract a lower interest rate than a longer term, normally. A fixed rate account is always a bit of a gamble because you may find that interest rates rise while you have the money tied up in the bond. If this is the case, it could be that you will have got better interest in an account with a variable rate. This is a gamble, so think about what you expect to happen to interest rates and what level they are to decide whether you are happy to gamble. The rate is likely to be quite a bit higher than variable rate accounts anyway and so even if rates go up a little bit you may still be better off.

Tax Free Accounts

There are some savings accounts which are tax free. Normally savers have to pay tax on the interest they receive on their savings. However, low earners will only pat tax on interest over £1000 and so switching to a tax-free account may not benefit them. However, if you do pay tax on interest then it could be an advantage. Tax free accounts include ISA’s and premium bonds but there are other tax-free options as well. It is worth looking at them as the rates could be good, although these days they are often low compared to other types of savings accounts.

Compare regular savings accounts

If you do not want to give notice of tie your money up then you will need to look at regular savings accounts. You will need to compare the rates of them all to see which is best. Once you have had the money in the account for 6-12 months then you may wish to compare the rates again. This is because rates do vary and so some may change and others may not, meaning that there could be better deals in the future. To compare them many people would use a comparison website or look on a finance website. It can be wise to look at a site such as money saving expert which is kept up to date with the best rates and includes all accounts.

Look at other factors

It is worth bearing in mind that interest rate may not be the only important factor when selecting your savings account. Some savers also like to go with a company that they trust or one that comes recommended by people that they know. Think about whether there are other things that you might like to consider when you are choosing your savings account and then you will be able to use those things in order to help you to choose.

Ways to Make Money When you Shop

When we shop we spend money and so it can be hard to think that we could actually be making money from doing so. Although it is very unlikely that you will be able to make more money than you spend, there are ways that you can get some money sometimes when you are shopping. It is worth investigating these as it may mean that you can make a bit of money and all money that you can make is worthwhile as every bit will add up.

Secret shoppers

Some people actually get paid for shopping and for the items that they buy. These are often called secret shoppers and they have to visit certain shops and then report back on their experience. They will then get paid for doing so. These jobs can be rather ad hoc, but they can be fun for anyone that does enjoy shopping. They also may not pay that much but more than you would otherwise if you just went shopping yourself. You should be able to find jobs advertised online doing this sort of thing, just make sure you check out the reviews and find out how much you will get paid in advance.

Cash back credit card

Using a cash back credit card means that you will get some money back for everything you spend. This can be great as it means that when you are shopping you will not be spending as much as it seems as you will be getting money back on everything you spend. When you get your credit card statement, you will be able to see how much money you have been awarded in cashback. The percentage will be very low, it is likely to be less than 1% and so you will not make lots of money. You need to be careful that you are not tempted to spend more money because of the cashback, as it is such a small amount you cannot use it as an excuse to justify spending more. However, if you spend normally then it is a small bonus that you can take advantage of.

Vouchers

It can be worth checking to see if you can use any vouchers before you shop. These could be online voucher codes or physical vouchers. They may not save you loads of money, but they are still worth using as you could save some. It does not take too long to search online to see if you can find any as there are voucher code websites which will list all of the available codes.

Cash back websites

Using a cash back website can be good. These will often be focussed on online shopping but sometimes you can also get cashback for shopping on the high street as well. What happens is that you will need to use the link on the site when visiting the retailer and this will track your purchase and if the purchase goes ahead and you are not refunded then you will be able to get the cashback. However, this process can take up to 6 months and so it is not a very instant way to make money, but can mean that you will get some reward for shopping.

Loyalty cards

Many shops have loyalty cards and some of those will offer rewards. It will depend on the retailer as to what the reward will be. Some add up points and when you have a certain amount you can use them to buy things. Others will give gifts such as free drinks or other items. Many people do not feel the cards are worth it as they are used to track what you buy but as you get a reward in return you may feel that it is worth it. It is up to you and you will have to decide whether you feel that the reward is worth them being able to keep track of your shopping habits.

Although there are a number of different ways to make money when you shop, you will find that none of them pay massively. However, if you use as many as you can, you will be able to ad dup your savings and they could be more significant. This can really help you to make it easier to make ends meet or it could also mean that you will have some extra money available which you could put into savings or use to repay loans. Even just this small bit is worth doing though as it is all money that you are entitled to keep rather than spend. It is also not that difficult and once you know where to look for vouchers and cashback it can become a habit so it is extremely easy and something that you will hardly have to even think about.