State Pensions | The Basics

Getting into a pickle with your pension? Fret no more; let’s get started with a few basics. Rules on State pension changed in April 2016 and these new rules can take some time in getting to grips with how if may affect you and your pension amount. Men born after 6th April 1951 and women who were born after 6th April 1953 will be affected by these new changes.

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Self Employed and NIC’s (National Insurance Contributions)

Self-employed pension headaches

If you are self-employed you’ll already be paying your own tax and have a list as long as your arm of your financial obligations but one thing that can easily be missed off the list is National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s).

By paying NIC’s you’ll be ensuring that you are entitled to certain benefits such as a State Pension when you retire, Maternity Allowance and Bereavements benefits as well as Contributions based Job seekers allowance should you become unemployed later on in life. So it’s important to keep on top of things to make sure you don’t end up losing out later on. 

As a Self- employed worker you would have paid into either a Class 2 or Class 4 NIC’s. Class 2 contributions is for those who have a yearly profit of £5965 or more, if your profits are £8060 or more than you would have paid into Class 4. Although it is worth nothing that from 2018 Class 2 Contributions are set to be abolished, according to the 2016 Budget in March and will be looking into changing the Class 4 to include benefit contributions too. Earned less than these amounts? Then you could pay Class 3 contributions which are a voluntary National Insurance contribution to make sure there are no gaps in your record.

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Cash Strapped January

Ahhh, Christmas is coming! Not ready for Christmas yet, don’t worry. We all look forward to Christmas but know after that time of over indulgence comes the short sharp shock of cash strapped January. Money saving tip? Yes please!

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Planning Retirement?

Approaching retirement and want to make sure you’re savvy with your money? Don’t blame you, millions of people look to how they can save money when it comes to planning for their retirement and seek to find out how to go about it and what they should be aware of, after all its your money you have worked hard for all these years so why not make it go a little further and make the most of your retirement. There are a few basic steps that you should take before you hit that retirement age such as deciding at what age you would like to retire. Nowadays your retirement age is not fixed in stone and you could retire and start claiming your workplace pension or private pension if you have one from as early as 55 years of age. Alternatively a lot of people like to work beyond the state retirement age  which gives them a bigger pension when they do retire as well as the benefit of not having to pay National insurance which is a bonus if you are hoping to squirrel a little more away.

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Become Money Savvy

Cutting the cost of your fuel bills will seriously put a dent in what you are paying out for each month. Fuel companies often put a cheeky rise on our bills and get away with it but if you switch supplier you can save up to £300 a year, many people regularly switch suppliers and saves pounds on doing so. Other utilities bills that you can save money is your water, by installing a water meter you are paying for exactly what you use instead of paying a fixed standard amount. If you don’t use that much water then what is the point. Hone phone bills is another area where a saving can be made as there is a abundance of telecommunications companies offering a wide range of cheap packages to suit your requirements after all even the need for a landline has decreased over recent years with the increase of mobile phones and technological changes that cuts out the need for a home phone

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Self Employed Maternity Pay

You’ve made your business a success and enjoy being your own boss but want a baby? Don’t lose out on what you are entitled to by right; make sure you get what you should be getting. Lots of self employed moms to be make the mistake of thinking that they won’t be entitled to Maternity pay or time off because they are their own boss but this isn’t the case. The rules on Maternity change depending on your circumstances but according to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) you still have rights if you are self employed. However some of these rules may seem a little unfair, You have the right to take up to a year for Maternity Leave if you are employed or classed as a ‘Worker’ who is on a zero hours contract , but as a self employed person you lose this right. By Law you must take at least 2 weeks off after having your baby even if you are not entitled to your Maternity leave because you are self employed. Maternity rights for the self employed are complex indeed!

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Saving Money on Kids Parties

save money with our kids party savings, money saving tips. According to the BBC kids parties cost on average a staggering £135 each with some parents paying up to £300 in party costs, others admit to paying out hundreds to get their prince or princess the party of their dreams. But are we just doing this to keep up with the Jones’s or to impress other parents? It seems over the top parties are an increasing thing these days and the costs are spiralling out of control, are they really necessary we ask?

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Funeral Costs

The rise of funeral costs is outstripping inflation, why? No one likes to talk about planning for a funeral but without forward planning the costs can quickly spiral out of control leaving loved ones stumped when it comes to giving a well deserved send off without getting in to debt. It’s not easy to talk about funerals and many find this a daunting subject to approach but it needn’t be that complicated and many find it gives them comfort to know that they have prepared should the worse happen. It is always a good idea to keep track of your current financial situation and to let loved ones know where you are financially. This will help cut out any confusion later on and gives peace of mind if there are any debts or if you don’t have the savings that you intended to have by this time. You can’t take money with you and the last thing that you could do for those you care about is take some of the worry away by planning in advance.

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Car Insurance Fraud

Tackling Insurance Fraud. The UK faces a tough challenge when it comes to tackling insurance fraud with a whopping £1 Billion cost to the industry each year. But it’s not just the car insurance industry that has to pick up the tab on this one, it is estimated that car insurance fraud costs each and every car driver and extra £50 on their premium each year and it’s only going to get worse. Predictions are that car insurance fraud, the most common form of fraud, is going to increase year on year.

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Dash Cams, The dash for the Dash Cam

The Dash for the Dash Cam, has the increase in Insurance fraud caused an upturn in sales? Sales in Dash cams have seen a rise in recent years and could be the answer many have been looking for when it comes to keeping safe on our roads. A Dash Cam or Dashboard Camera as it is known is an in car digitalised recorder that can be secured to the car windscreen or dash. Most Dash Cams have a wide lens enabling it to capture as much as possible. Many people find that using Dash Cams is a very useful and important tool to have when you are out driving and take help to protect you in a number of ways. A Dash Cam could act as a deterrent against the bad driving habits of other drivers around you, quite often if they see that you have a Dash Cam they think twice about their own driving behaviour which can help reduce the amount of accidents due to bad driving or what is commonly known as Road rage.

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