With the end of the tax year fast approaching on 5 April, it’s time to get your finances in order for the year ahead and make the most of your tax-free allowance.
Here are five top tips for the end of the tax year from the experts at savings and investments app Moneybox:
Don’t miss out on free money
It may sound too good to be true, but depending on what you are saving for, you could actually get free money through certain schemes.
For first-time buyers looking to get on to the property ladder, you can get up to £1,000 ($1,229) every year from the government with a Lifetime ISA.
The Lifetime ISA is now the only scheme available to help young people buy their first homes, as the Help To Buy ISA come to an end last year.
Top up your ISA
ISA stands for ‘Individual Savings Account’ and is a savings or investment that lets you save your cash tax-free. Each tax year you are able to save up to £20,000 without being taxed on the gains but putting your money in a ISA. But the tax-free allowance is fixed and if you don’t use it, you lose it and it won’t roll over into the next year.
Get into good savings habits
An easy way to start saving is though rounding up. The idea is to round up your spending to the nearest whole number, putting the change away in a savings account.
For example, if you spend £2.75 on a coffee, you can put 25p into your savings account helping you set aside money little and often.
Some banking apps offer a round up feature helping you to save without even having to think about it.
Start sooner rather than later
With the end of the tax year coming up, you might be thinking about saving and investing for the year ahead — but turning those thoughts to actions can pay off. The longer you hold your investments, the higher the probability of making a return so it’s best to start sooner rather than later
Track down your lost pension
All UK employers must offer a workplace pension scheme by law. You, your employer, and the government pay into your pension. UK workers will have an average of 11 jobs in their lifetime, according to Moneybox, and each job will bring a new pension.
Half of UK employees don’t know the providers of their old pension pots and 60% of people don’t know how to access them.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimates that more than 1.6 million pension pots worth £19.4bn ($23.8bn) are “lost” — so it’s definitely worth tracking down and consolidating your lost pensions.
Some pension schemes will do this for you or you can use the UK government website.