Cashless society – a worrying prospect for many
As society fast becomes cashless, a recent review has called for extra safeguards to support the cash infrastructure in the UK8. A significant number of people and businesses are still reliant on cash transactions on a daily basis, and it is feared that the move towards an entirely digital future would negatively impact over eight million adults in the UK, who would struggle to cope in a cashless society.
There have been calls for Parliament to hand extra powers to regulators and introduce rules forcing banks to provide suitable access to cash for customers.
8 Access to Cash Review, March 2020
Doubling of Junior ISA allowance
There was welcome news for young savers in the Budget with the government announcing the JISA allowance was to be more than doubled from £4,368 to £9,000 per tax year.
JISAs replaced Child Trust Funds (CTFs) in 2011, but those who hold CTFs will still benefit from the increased allowance. Both JISAs and CTFs are a tax efficient way to build up savings for a child. They can be opened for any child under 18 living in the UK and the money can be held in cash and/or invested in stocks and shares.
The child can manage the account from age 16 and at age 18 they can withdraw the money if they want, when the account otherwise becomes a normal cash or stocks and shares ISA.
Unused services cost Brits £25bn a year
New research2 has found that the typical adult spends £496 per month on regular commitments, but £39 of that accounts for services that aren’t used. The most wasted outgoing is for gym membership, with 12% saying they pay for it, despite not using it.
Other unused services include redundant mobile phones and streaming services. The survey found 38% of Britons review their direct debits and standing orders only every six months, one in 10 check them less than once a year and 2.6 million (5%) admit to never checking them. Why not make this part of your financial spring clean?
2 Nat West, 2020