Use your Isa allowance. A month to go to the end of the tax year: time to make sure you’ve used your annual Isa allowance (£20,000). Even if you can’t make the full limit, it’s worth squirreling away what you have to avoid tax on it later.
Top up pension contributions. As above, check you’ve contributed as much of your annual allowance as possible, especially those who are self-employed. Remember, even if you don’t work you can put away £3,600 (that includes tax relief meaning it actually costs you £2,880). See our SMM guide to non-workplace pensions for more tips.
Prepare for driving abroad. If you’re planning on driving to Europe this year, be Brexit-prepared: you might need an international driving permit if you’re taking your car. IDPs cost £5.50 from post offices.
Santander Cash Isa paying 1.9% fixed for two years. WE LIKE: The rate, which beats inflation. WE DON’T LIKE: This rate is only for existing Santander 123 World and Select customers. New customers get a measly 1.3%.
DEALS OF THE WEEK:
HURRY, HURRY! There’s a third off Delacourt Champagne at Marks & Spencer*, meaning a half case is now £120 down from £180. Stock up for Mother’s Day (she’ll love it) and those summer parties. Ends today.
Holiday companies have lots of deals thanks to worries about B**xit. For example, Sovereign is offering 25% off if you book by the end of March while Jet2holidays has £100 off per person for all Summer 2019 trips. Expect more to appear the closer we get to 29 March.
Shop now for discount Easter eggs. Medium size are half-price at Tesco and only 75p (normally £1.50) for Rolo, Creme Egg, Aero and others.
WORTH A LOOK:
Love Mint Velvet? There’s at least 50% off the high street stalwart’s dresses, cashmere jumpers and tops via Brand Alley. Lasts until Sunday. There’s also 15% off girls’ gear with the code MINTIE at the Mint Velvet website.
Kiehl’s is giving away a mini Ultra Facial Cream plus a ten-minute facial hydration check to anyone bringing in an empty plastic bottle of any moisturiser for recycling. Offer lasts until the end of the month and is in standalone stores only. [SMM tip: It's worth following your favourite brands on Facebook or Twitter as they often put out freebies and deals this way.]
Get 500 free 6x4" prints of photos off social media or your phone from FreePrints simply by downloading its app on to your phone. The prints are limited to 45 per month and only one copy per photo. You have to pay for delivery which is never more than £3.99.
After an online and high street shopping marathon, Jane has top tips for buying bargain prom dresses.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK (to 3 March 2019):
Bank and building society customers who lose money from so-called ‘push’ or ‘authorised’ fraud, where fraudsters pretend to be builders or other contractors and thus scam their victims, will soon find it easier to get their money back. In the first half of 2018, such scams cost consumers £93 million, says UK Finance. A new code coming in from 28 May will protect victims’ money.
Also this week, Premium Bonds have received a tech boost with a new Ernie - the machine which picks Premium Bond prizes. It is the fifth Ernie and is a tiny computer chip which can pick all the monthly draw winners in minutes compared with the 10 days taken by the enormous first Ernie. Unfortunately, the odds haven’t been upgraded: it’s still a 24,500 to one chance of any bond winning any prize.
Finally, interesting mews. You can get a credit card with Anna Money which triggers a miaowing sound from your smartphone when you make a contactless payment. Purrfect.
HAVE YOUR SAY ...
Got a question you want to ask about money? Or do you want to pass on any great deals to other readers? Share your thoughts with others at our forum by clicking here or send your money queries to:
Don’t be a tosser and forget Pancake Day on Tuesday. It’s a cheap way to fill up the kids and leftovers can be used for many DIY and household jobs: insulation, emergency dinner mats or dusters.
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