Brits cut costs but miss out on Isa savings
Most Brits actively try to make their money go further but are not so careful when it comes to saving, according to a new study.
More than nine out of 10 of look into ways to cut costs, reviewing phone and internet tariffs and bills from utility providers, with many of us going online to find the best deals, Standard Life reports.
Top ways to save money include reviewing phone and internet tariffs (up 21% on last year), checking utility providers' tariffs (up 20% on last year) and reviewing insurance regularly (up 17% on last year).
People also sell items they no longer need (up 4% on last year), buy things secondhand, regularly go online to find the best deals and pay off credit cards each month in full (all up 3% on last year).
When it comes to setting a monthly budget, 21% more people aged 55 and over are doing this, though the number of Brits as a whole who are budgeting has fallen by 5%. In 2014, just over 29% reported that they set a budget.
When it comes to saving into an Isa in this tax year, the figures are even worse, with only 38% planning to actively save into a cash Isa and just 9% planning on taking out a stocks and shares Isa.
More savings TLC
Standard Life's Julie Hutchison said: "The clear message from our research is that we, as a nation, are great at cutting costs but aren't so savvy into translating that into building savings. We still need to give the savings we are making for our future a bit more TLC.
"From July this year, we will be able to save up to £15,000 in the New Isa and we will also be able to transfer Isa savings freely between cash or stocks and shares. So rather than squirrelling all our money away in a savings account, we now have the chance to save smart with even more of our money."
She added: "The higher Isa limit also increases the opportunity we have to invest in stock and shares tax efficiently, with the potential for higher returns than if we keep everything in cash."
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.