Savings accounts

(Richard Cunningham) #21

I think this is perfect for @LimeBlast. Also, there is new tax allowance for savings not in an ISA - often the best rates are available outside ISAs, so that’s good.

(Daniel Hollands) #22

Thank you very much @chrisc and @rythie, this actually looks really good.

(Daniel Hollands) #23

It appears that the Help to Buy ISA now has a start date of the 1st December - this is a little later than I was hoping for, but at least it gives me a chance to fully pay off my laptop first.

Just need to wait for some banks to announce their implementations of the ISA.

(Daniel Hollands) #24

It’s just over a month until the Help to Buy ISAs are due to start, and I’ve still not found any info from any banks that’ll be offering it… am I missing something?

(Greg Robson) #25

@limeblast I’m in a similar position to you regarding getting on the property ladder. I’m also waiting on the Help to Buy ISA, there’s more info here as well

Information is non-existent so far - but I’m keeping my eyes peeled. Even if I only paid in until the middle of next year, I could easily get £500 extra from the government if I put in the maximum £200 each month (plus £1,000 at the start). That’s probably a good priority for you as effectively it’s a 25% return :slight_smile:

TSB have a good deal for low balances so long as you pay in £500 each month

As a general note to all:
I’ve recently switched to the Santander 1-2-3 Bank account and credit card - they are hiking the fees in January (it’s a massive loss-leader for them), but if you have a higher balance or spending it pays well. If you get both credit card and bank account they refund the fee for the credit card in the first year.

When you consider the fees, it only really starts to pay after you have above £3,000 balance (you get 3% then - much better than the ISAs even with the tax advantage).

They have nifty calculators:

I’m single, flat-resident who runs a car, and even then I’m getting over about £9–12/month in cashback from the various offers, plus interest as well.

(Daniel Hollands) #26

I know, right? I’m honestly surprised. I’d have thought the banks would be falling over themselves to promote their deals (especially the ones who also offer mortgages). Maybe they don’t think it’s a big deal, and it’ll quietly launch on the 1st Dec.

I’ll be opening the account on the 7th Dec (I’m off work that day), so even if none of the banks announce their details until the 1st, that’ll give me a week to compare all the offers.

My plan is to take full advantage of the scheme for the maximum return, investing £1,200 in the first month, followed by the £200 a month for the full duration.

But I also plan on saving some additional ‘rainy day’ money, so would welcome any advice anyone can give on the best non-ISA way of doing this.

(Richard Cunningham) #27

I keep my ‘rainy day’ money in the same bank where my current account is, which makes it easy to transfer between them and it’s instant to do the actual transfers. I just use the best non-ISA account provided by my bank (that has no withdraw penalties/limits). I have an automatic monthly payment to top up the account.

(Daniel Hollands) #28

I’ve been waiting for this to happen since March, and it’s finally here - Help to Buy ISAs launched on Tuesday, and it appears (currently at least) that Halifax are offering the best deal, and Virgin offering the second best.

Money always confuses me (which I’m sure I’ve said about 50 times in this thread), but as I’m looking to save around £300-400 a month, for simplicity the Virgin deal looks like an easy option, with the ability to automatically put the overflow into a Saving to Buy Account.

I realise I could probably set-up multiple accounts in multiple places to get the most return, but I’d prefer simplicity.

Anyway, I welcome any comments anyone has.

(Peter Chatterley) #29

Halifax has the best rate at 4% thought surely that would be better, also doing the £1600 first seems to make sense if you have some savings, I am guessing that if you did this and combined it with the 5% deposit first time buyers mortgage deal where the government guarantees the rest of the deposit you could get there quite quickly.

if you hit £500 per month, then you would max this in 2 years, giving you £15,000 which is a great lump sum to buy a flat/house with the other schemes available.

If you have a partner, they could do the same.

(Daniel Hollands) #30

This is my problem with money, I should understand what you’ve just said, but I don’t. Not fully at least. That’s why the Virgin deals appeals - I sent them £300 a month, and they deal with the rest of it. If I can get a similar deal elsewhere with a better return, then cool.

So this is another question that I don’t know the answer to - what is a good amount for a deposit? I’ve heard something about 10% of the value of the house, which if I’ve got £15,000 after doing ISA, means a £150,000 house - OK great, but what does that mean?


(Greg Robson) #31

I’ve just opened an ISA.

Rules state:

  • You can put in £1,200 (maximum) in the first month (you’ve instantly got an extra £300 via the government 25% top-up)
  • You can put in £200 a month (maximum) in each month thereafter (gaining an extra £50 government bonus)

Therefore by June: £1200 + (6 x £200) = £2,400 (or £3,000 with government top-up).

You get the bonus on the interest as well, so although it should take 4 years 7 months to get up to £12,000, the reality is that you would reach the target a few months before having earned ~£400–£600 while the account was being filled.

This should be the first thing you pay into, as you get 25% on top of what you put in (plus interest).

Some (via @chatterleyp’s link above) allow you to merge the HtB ISA with a Cash ISA, so you can pay in the £200 to the Help to Buy and the rest into the Cash part.

(Greg Robson) #32

From what I know from Martin Lewis’s website, the interest rate is largely dependent on deposit. The banks have a stepped scale for working out the interest. For every 5% deposit extra you can make the rates get better. Therefore if you’re in no rush and can make a 9.5% desposit, you might be better off waiting a couple of months and building it up to just over 10%.

Crack open a spreadsheet and tinker with the figures. Look at the Loan to Value (LTV) figure. As an example 89% LTV = 11% deposit.

(Daniel Hollands) #33

I’ve just signed up for the Help to Buy ISA with Halifax. They’ve got some weird and convoluted rules for how the money should be paid into the account, but (if I’ve done everything correctly) I’ve made my initial deposit of £1,200, and have set-up a standing order for £200 each month.

I still have around £300 a month which I want to save, which I think I’ll put into a regular saver, but to get the best deal I need to switch bank - but this seems like a lot of effort?

(Steve Jalim) #34

Does the help to buy ISA from Halifax require you to have your main current acct with them?

If not, switching to another bank is supposed to be guaranteed within x days I think. I’ve not switched for years (from HFX to first direct FWIW) but even back then it was easy

(Steve Pitchford) #35

I’ve always liked NSandI premium bonds - although my personal experience has been that they only tend to provide regular income on larger amounts ( ~ 10k )

Quick explainer - AFAIK - you buy bonds, and gamble the interest but can withdrawal the stake at any point. You have to hold bonds for a month before thet become eligible for prizes. All the interest is pooled from all bond holders, and winning bonds selected at random. From memory prizes range from £25 to £1 million. It’s government backed and tax-free.

More information available at

(Daniel Hollands) #36

No. My main account is with Co-op Bank, who I’ve been with since I was around 16 - although I guess there isn’t much benefit to loyalty?

I currently have £500 of premium bonds, all a gift from my family, which I’m not allowed to spend.

(Daniel Hollands) #37

TBH, I’m surprised to be posting this message so soon after the start of the thread (relatively speaking of course, 3 years is still a damned long time), but I just wanted to let everyone know that my girlfriend and I had an offer on a house accepted this past week:

It’s not much to look at from the outside, but once you get inside it really opens up, and has a lot more space than you might expect.

We wanted a three-bed (two bedrooms, plus a room to use as a home office), but decided the basement, or loft, in this place could be suitably converted - but in the meantime the large back bedroom should suit as an office with a sofa bed, as we’ll be able to shove all our junk in the basement.

Now for the difficult part, trying to move into it before our current landlord kicks us out (he’s trying to sell).