Saturday, 21 March 2015

Only 14 Days Left to Save this Year's ISA Allowance

It's that time of year: end of the financial and tax years and even sooner for many working folk, end of the holiday year too. They both take some planning. If you want to stash away some savings you only have 14 days left to do so with a tax free ISA.

Nutmeg's homepage is telling me there is only 14 days and 10 hours remaining to benefit from your ISA and Pension Allowance for the tax year 2014-15.

Nutmeg from where I see it, is like an online piggy bank. Except it has portfolios behind it, that can be set at risk levels to suit you. 

My biggest regret is that I didn't save more, back when I had my great salary career. Clearly as a SAHM (stay at home Mum), I now would love to have that online piggy bank to access. I often think back to the days when I spent 11 pounds on lunch a day and didn't think twice about it (it was worse than that as I went to Pret a Manger on the way TO work and often got a takeaway on the way home as I worked such crazy long hours - I had a baby long before I had Aaron and that baby was my job). Fast forward a few years and I can make 11 pounds stretch VERY far. All of a sudden shopping in Aldi, and getting bargains in a charity shop has great appeal. I get a buzz out of being frugal, where once I got a buzz out of spending - how times change, such is the circle of life!

As finances are largely online nowadays it makes sense that the piggy banks are too.
I love how simple Nutmeg is. If I had some disposable income right now I would use it to save up for a trip to Ireland. Regular readers will know that firstly, my Mum lives in Ireland, and secondly 2014 is the only year in my life where I did not go, which is a big deal given that I used to go 3 times a year! Also, Aaron turns 5 in June, and once THAT happens, we will no longer, legally, be allowed offpeak holidays, so really, ideally, I need to get one in now, before that happens! If you're not a school Mum, what I mean is, once they are 5 they are the statutory legal age to attend compulsory school every day, unless they are home educated. He started school in September 2014 but because he is 4 we have been able to take the odd day off. We haven't abused this, and have only taken days off for things like seeing Santa in Harrods :-) and travelling back from a weekend in Scarborough, but I don't feel bad considering 80% of his class had two weeks off with chicken pox and he didn't (thanks to already having had it years ago). He's probably had 5 days off since September and one of them was for flu, so we haven't taken advantage, but that may change in the next 2.5 months LOL!

Moving on, and back to the subject of saving with Nutmeg.com I love that it comes up with warnings like this.

If you are yet to have a baby, I am a strong believer that you should save prior to conceiving. I know I did! Because despite being on a great salary our company only did statutory maternity pay, and I knew that wouldn't cut it, so I saved up a buffer that would see me through 11 months at home (even though I'd only planned on 6 originally). 

I have continued to try the site as I progress with this blog post and I have now discovered that you have to invest for a minimum of 3 years and start with a minimum sum of 1,000 pounds prior to making any contributions.

As of going to print Nutmeg states: We charge one simple management fee starting at 1% and going as low as 0.3%, including VAT. This fee covers everything we do, except for certain non-standard requests such as extra-fast withdrawals. There are no trading fees, no commissions, and no hidden charges.
But they go on to say: 

Yes, there is a minimum investment of £1,000 per fund you create. If you're investing below £5,000 we also ask for a £50/month contribution. These represent the minimum amounts for which we're able to offer truly diversified portfolios. You can add and withdraw money whenever you like.

Having spent quite some time on their site, their main USP would appear to be:
Your other main options are to build a portfolio yourself (time-consuming and you'll face commission and trading charges) or to hand your money over to someone else (often costly and opaque). We want to give you a different, cost-effective experience — just how investing should be.

Nutmeg have done an illustration to show that you earn more in your investment, by saving with them (compared to a competitor having a wealth management fee of 1.34%):
It's great to hear about how the company started and most importantly their ethics on the Nutmeg Story page, which includes a video from the CEO and Co-Founder Nick Hungerford.

The way I personally saved for having a baby was via an ISA. We're given a tax free allowance in the UK to do so, and Nutmeg has a countdown on their homepage as you have until 5th April to use your allowance for THIS tax year or lose it forever . The ISA basics are here. I used an ordinary cash ISA to save pre motherhood; Nutmeg does only stocks and shares ISAs. This is what they say, but there is also a video on that ISA basics link I just shared:
Nutmeg is a discretionary investment manager, which means that we make the investment decisions on your behalf. When you open a Stocks and Shares ISA, we use your contributions to invest in anything from equities to corporate bonds, gilts to gold. If the investments held within your ISA make a profit, you are exempt from capital gains tax. You also receive preferential tax treatment on dividends and interest.
Wealth is a funny old game, and as with everything you get out what you put in. Regular readers will know I am very spiritual, and money at the end of the day is energy, so it needs to flow uninhibited as with everything else in life. Money conjures up many issues of self worth, so as with most things, the journey starts inside ourselves.

Bye for now, Liska xx

This post is a collaboration.

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