Read our 10 most popular stories from July 2016
Make sure you're up to date with all the latest news, tips and guides by checking our 10 most popular stories on Moneywise.co.uk in July 2016.
1. New plastic £5 note to launch
A new £5 note featuring former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill will soon become the first Bank of England note to be printed on polymer – a thin flexible plastic.
2. EE users to get free BT Sport - but only for six months
EE mobile and tablet users will be able to get free BT Sports for six months from 27 July - in time for the start of the new football season, the company has announced.
3. Halifax to ditch monthly £5 Clarity card reward
Halifax Clarity card customers will soon no longer be able to earn £5 a month in rewards, as the bank is scrapping the scheme following changes to so-called industry “interchange fees”.
4. Santander launches '123 Lite' bank account paying 3% cashback
Current account switchers have more choice over where to move their money following the launch of Santander’s new ‘123 Lite’ account.
5. Halifax raises the benchmark for 0% balance transfer deals - no interest or fees for two years
Borrowers looking to shift their credit card debt can now pay no interest or fees for two years if they sign up for the new Balance Transfer card from Halifax, subject to their credit status.
6. How the self-employed may miss out on the state pension
A planned shake-up of national insurance contributions could leave some unable to afford to build entitlement to state pension.
7. Don't get stung by Pokemon Go: how to turn off in-app purchases
The latest Pokemon game has arrived in the UK this month, and ‘Pokemon Go’ is comfortably the biggest to date.
8. Moneywise's First 50 Funds for beginners
When you start investing, choosing from thousands of funds can seem very daunting. To make your choice easier, Moneywise editor Moira O’Neill has picked her 50 favourite funds for beginners. Whether you’re looking for passive or active funds, she has options to suit you.
9. Get paid £220 in M&S vouchers to switch bank
M&S Bank has brought back its leading introductory offer, in an attempt to lure new current account customers with up to £220 in M&S Vouchers.
A scheme originally established in 1944 to provide protection against sickness and unemployment as well as helping fund the National Health Service (NHS) and state benefits. NI contributions are compulsory and based on a person’s earnings above a certain threshold. There are several classes of NI, but which one an individual pays depends on whether they are employed, self-employed, unemployed or an employer. Payment of Class 1 contributions by employees gives them entitlement to the basic state pension, the additional state pension, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits. From April 2016, to qualify for the full state pension, individuals will need 35 years’ of NI contributions.
The term is interchangeable with stock exchange, and is a market that deals in securities where market forces determine the price of securities traded. Stockmarket can refer to a specific exchange in a specific country (such as the London Stock Exchange) or the combined global stockmarkets as a single entity. The first stockmarket was established in Amsterdam in 1602 and the first British stock exchange was founded in 1698.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
A standard by which something is measured, usually the performance of investment funds against a specified index, such as the FTSE All-Share. Active fund managers look to outperform their benchmark index. Cautious fund managers aim to hold roughly the same proportion of each constituent as the benchmark, while a manager who deviates away from investing in the benchmark index’s constituents has a better chance of outperforming (or underperforming) the index.
Moving money from one account to another, whether switching bank accounts or more likely transferring the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card that charges a lower – or 0% – rate of interest. Some card providers may charge a transfer fee that can be a percentage of the balance transferred.