If you are saving for a house and you don’t know where to put your money, then here is an idea that gives you some free money into the bargain, together with saving for a house tips!
The UK Government set up the Help-To-Buy ISA, which is aimed at first time buyers and the Government provides a bonus of 25% of the amount saved up to a maximum of £50 or 25% of £200 saved per month. The maximum contribution is £3,000 on a saving of £12,000, but that is essentially free money and well worth getting, if you are saving money for a house deposit.
The £3,000 is unlikely to be enough to make a deposit on a house, but it is a step in the right direction and is essentially free money that could make a huge difference to people that are saving for their first home! Plus all your savings within the Help-To-Buy-ISA are tax free, so the funds will grow without being taxed.
The other good this is that the Help-To-Buy-ISA accounts are limited to one per person rather than one per home so those buying together can both receive a bonus of up to £,3000, so if there are two of you buying that’s £6,000! This will go a long way to saving for a house while you are renting.
The Help-To-Buy-ISA will be available through banks and building societies. It is designed to reward people that are working hard to save up for their first home.
Are you wondering how to put money in savings account?
Well a good tip on this is to change where you get paid – have your wages paid directly into your savings account (not to the Help-To-Buy-ISA, but a separate savings account, linked to your current account) and then only transfer money back to your current account, as and when you need it. This is a psychological difference, whereas when your wages are paid into your current account, you may not get around to transferring money to savings, or never get around to setting up that standing order. However, if the funds are put straight into you savings, psychologically, it is harder to transfer the money out, so by default you begin to save much faster.
You could set up a ‘saving for a house spreadsheet’, This can be used to work out how long you need to save the deposit you require and it also provides a ‘Target’ to aim at – a target is good, as it gives to a focus and will make saving easier.
If there are 2 or more of you saving for your first home, then having a ‘saving money for a house calculator’ would be useful – this is essentially, working out what size house you required and then doing your research on what that type of house is worth in your area. You then need to work out what deposit is required, based upon who you will be borrowing from and the level of deposit the lender will require. You now have your deposit – divide this by how many there are of you and then divide this amount by the number of months you would like to save this up in.
Forex gamble or business?
Having watched a program recently on the BBC about trading, which includes Forex Trading, I set up my own account to begin trading, all be it as a demo account and not with real money. I ended up losing a significant amount during a very short period of time, which was a bit scary. However, I should have really gone on a course if I wanted to trade properly.
So what does trading involve? Trading in Forex is about either buying or selling (shorting) a particular currency against another currency – say Sterling against the US Dollar. If you buy, you are saying that the rate is going to go up with the idea of selling once it has gone up, whereas if you sell the currency you are saying the currency is going down, with the idea of buying out at a lower point.
When I began to trade, it appeared to me that I was simply gambling and ‘betting’ on the currency going one way or the other. If you get it wrong you lose your ‘bet’ and your money, whereas if you get it right you win your money. You can put in stop losses whereby if the currency moves against you by a set amount, the system will close out the deal to avoid losing too much, but you will still lose a certain amount if this happens.
There is an argument that you can base your decisions on research and what is going on in the world – so when you either buy or sell you are doing so with knowledge, rather than a stab in the dark. However, is it not like looking at the form of a horse and then betting on that horse to win the race?
I know there are a lot of people that do make money from trading and in the program, there are some that make significant amounts – so they obviously have the knack or perhaps the know-how of working out which way the currency os going to move.
To watch the program on YouTube:
So you make your own mind up whether Forex is a gamble or a business – I am still considering giving it more of a go and possibly going on a course, as I find it interesting and fun – when I don’t lose money of course!