A summary of my existing money tips, plus a few new ones, including 5 from The Little Spender.
Sorted by category, please jump to the section of most interest to you.
The Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic has seen 25% of the value of the S&P 500 wiped out in the last 30 days. People are in quarantine, people are losing their jobs and people are dying. We are living in unprecedented times and many are anxious for what the future holds.
If, like me, you are young, without health issues, and in a stable job that allows you to work from home then you are privileged. It goes without saying that the privileged amongst us must do what they can to support those who are vulnerable. Beyond this, putting social and health issues to one side for just a moment, it is permissible to consider whether there is any silver lining to the current situation. Indeed, as distasteful as it may sound, those belonging to Generation Y or Z, in particular, should reflect on whether this crisis might equally veil opportunity. I am referring to a much-needed break for young people: to be able to invest in stocks at prices below “fair value” for the first time in their lives!
It’s been a year and three months since I sold my first property. Since then, going back to being someone’s tenant hasn’t been too bad. Our £1,200 / month rent is pretty reasonable for the one-bed flat my girlfriend and I have in East London. East London is great and my 20-minute commute convenient. But our flat is pretty cramped and, more importantly, it’s not really ours. So, ready to buy together, this is why we are now moving and, after 7 years of living in London, I am excited to be moving outside of the capital!
It’s the second time I have now gone through the property-purchase process. Therefore, I thought I would write an end to end guide for anyone else who is about to embark on this journey.
Curve is a new generation of debit card. A “Smart Card”. Curve is not a bank nor a prepaid card. The best way to think about Curve is a card that is powered by your existing debit and credit cards. That is to say, when you pay for something with Curve, the transaction takes place between Curve and the company you’re purchasing from. Before the transaction is fully processed, Curve requests for authorisation from the underlying card that you’ve selected to power your Curve card. For those interested, a more technical and detailed explanation of this process can be found here.
Let me start by saying that stocks and bonds are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, a smart investor keeps a balanced and diverse portfolio that reflects their age, attitude to risk and personal set of circumstances. That said, as we go into 2020, if your portfolio is sitting heavy in equity investments you may wish to look at redistributing some of that towards bonds. Now, let me explain why…
The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme has been available since 2013 and yet many people are still unfamiliar with it. In short, it is a loan from the government of up to 20% of the property’s value (up to £600,000) to help people get on, or move up the ladder.
A Self Invested Personal Pension, aka a SIPP, is a type of pension that gives you control over how you would like to invest your pension savings. Whether that be stocks, funds, bonds or ETFs, the range of choice will be dependant on the SIPP provider you choose. Popular SIPP providers include AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown and the new, app-based PensionBee.
One of the perks of my job includes Vitality health insurance. Through Vitality, if I do a certain number of steps each week (recorded via my Apple watch), I can get a free coffee at Starbucks. It’s a nice little treat on weeks when I’ve walked enough to earn it. The problem is, even on weeks when I’ve not earnt my free coffee, I still find myself wanting one, particularly because there’s a Starbucks near my home that I walk past regularly. At £2.50 per flat white, there are of course more expensive habits out there but buying just one per week would still cost £130 a year. So what other options are there?
I’m not sure I know anyone, other than maybe my grandparents, who don’t have a subscription to either Netflix or Spotify. Most of my friends and family have both, paying £22 per month (£264 a year) for the Premium versions of each- not an insignificant expenditure!
Now I am one of those parasitic beings who are still on the Family subscription for both of these services (thank you Dad) so I’ve not tried this myself. However, if unlike me you are currently paying for one or both of these subscriptions out of your own pocket then read on to learn how to save up to £139 a year.