It can be something of a time consuming task when you first set about looking for not only a safe haven for your spare funds, but also looking for the best returns you can get from the many different types of investment opportunities that are available to you from a Building Society.
With that in mind and to save you getting somewhat overwhelmed with the many different types of investment funds and opportunities that will be offered to you when you seek advice from staff in a Building Society, we have put together this website to enable you to take a step back and research each type of investment opportunity that will be on offer and available to you.
Types of Building Society Savings Accounts
There are a range of different savings accounts that you will be able to open at all Building Societies and each of them will fall into one of the following categories of accounts. So please so read on as one of these types of accounts may be suitable for you personally.
Easy Access Accounts – The most basic type of Building Society saving account is the Easy Access account, you will however find that when it comes to the interest your savings will be making on this type of account it will be the lowest interest rate offered.
However, if you do want unrestricted access to your savings at any time and without the need to give notice on a withdrawal then this type of account may be most suited to you.
Fixed Term Accounts – Some of the very highest returns on a savings account that you will be offered from all Building Societies are for the Fixed Term Savings accounts.
When you open up this type of account the funds you pay into the account will then be locked away for at least one year. Making a withdrawal from such an account may not be possible until the fixed term has expired, or if withdrawals are permitted you will lose out on the enhanced interest rate on your savings.
If you are able to lock away your savings for several years, then the amount of interest these types of savings account will earn will be much greater than if you tie up your savings for just one single year.
Regular Savings Accounts – Many investors are only able to set aside a small amount of cash each month into a saving accounts, and if that is something that you can afford to do then a Regular Savings account may be best suited to you.
There can be some slightly higher interest rates being offered on this type of savings account when compared to the interest your savings will earn in an Easy Access type of account, but you will have to set aside and pay into this account a certain minimum amount each month of the year to benefit from that increased interest rate.
The amount you can afford to pay into this type of account per month will often determine the guaranteed rate your savings will be earning over any given period of time. So do think carefully if the minimum monthly amount you will need to pay into this account is affordable.
Tax Free Accounts – There are two main types of Tax Free accounts that you will be able to open at any Building Society however both of those accounts are ISA based savings accounts.
You will be able to open one of these accounts when you are at least 16 years of age and the two account types are a Cash ISA and a Stocks and Shares ISA.
Please read on for in the next section we will be introducing you to both types of ISA in a little bit more detail which will enable you to make a much more informed decision and judgement call as to whether they will be the best type of savings account to open based on your current financial situation.
Online Savings Accounts – You can often get a slightly higher interest rate than is available on a standard savings account if you opt for an online savings account from several different Building Societies. However, you will obviously have to manage your account solely online to benefit from the increased interest rate, but these accounts are ideal for computer savvy investors.
In addition to the many different types of savings account listed above that can be opened at any time at a Building society, you will also find a range of unique investments will also be on offer to you.
With that in mind in this section we shall now take a look at those additional investment opportunities which may just be more suited to you.
ISA’s – If you are aged over the age of 16 then you are going to be allowed to open a Cash ISA in which, based on the current rules, you will be able to invest up to £15,240 in the current tax year.
However, if you are aged over the age of 18 then you can open up either a Cash ISA or a Stocks and Share ISA with the same maximum investment amount in the current tax year or a combination of both types of ISA.
Be aware that the total amount you have invested in both of them combined must not exceed £15,240. That figure is likely to change when announced in the annual Budget given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Stocks and Shares – You will be able to purchase stocks and shares from a Building Society and may be interested in building up your own portfolio of stocks and shares with any spare funds you have available.
However, there is always going to be risks involved in these types of investments and they are certainly not for everyone. Whilst some investments in stocks and shares can offer different levels of risk, the risk factor involved does need very careful consideration.
Obviously both profits can be made as well as losses can be made and experienced when investing in stocks and shares and you should only ever invest money you are prepared to lose.
Buy to Let – One addition investment opportunity that may be worth investigating is in the Buy to Let property market. This type of investment will usually see you using your funds as a deposit for a mortgage and that mortgage will then be used to buy a property which you then let out to tenants.
There are of course risks involved in this type of investment as you will always be at the risk of house prices falling, however for a long term investor looking for some high returns, as long as you can let out your chosen property it is one way of securing a long term and high return,
which could be enough to pay off your mortgage and allow you to set aside savings on the rent charged on that property.
Low or High Risk Investments?
When you do have some cash set aside to invest, then one aspect of investing those funds that you will need to pay careful consideration to is the element of risk you wish to have attached to any saving accounts or investment opportunity you are thinking of making.
One of the main advantages of choosing to invest your funds in a saving type account at a Building Society is that your funds will be protected up to a certain account by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Many people tend to spread their risk over accounts held at several different Building Societies to reduce the element of risk and to ensure that in the highly unlikely event or more than one Building Society in which they have savings fail, they will not lose out financially.
One of the greatest purchases that you are likely to venture in during your entire lifetime is buying a home. This is a major financial investment and a clear understanding of the same is key. It is very crucial that you get an affordable mortgage, bearing in mind that poor choices can eventually leave you bankrupt.
A mortgage is a type of a loan usually taken in order to buy property or land. Most of them usually run for about 25 years but this period can be shorter or longer depending on the company offering it. The value of your home is the loan security and in case you are unable to repay the loan, the company takes possession of the property and sells it off to regain their money. It is therefore very important to ensure that keeping up with the repayments will not be stressful for you. Remember that it is not just the repayment money you need to keep in mind, but there is also money for house maintenance, insurance and other routine costs. The lender usually goes through your income, checks any debts, bills and money spent on personal expenses and then uses this to determine how likely you are to repay their money. If they do not find you credible, then they might deny you the mortgage.
You may opt to apply for a mortgage directly from a bank or go through mortgage brokers, who take you through the available mortgages in the market then advice you on the best offer. However, the best starting place for beginners is to check out websites that compare mortgages, to get an idea of the best company. Some of these websites include: Money Supermarket, Money saving expert and money facts. Check out as many websites as possible because all will give you different results.
During the mortgage application, the broker will ask you some questions such as the mortgage type you need, how long you would want it to last and how appropriate it is to you. This will help the broker to determine the type of mortgage suitable for you and they will advise you on the same. If you are not a mortgage expert, it is advisable that that you take the advice given. Sometimes you can choose a mortgage without getting any advice, this is the execution-only mortgage and it is offered on very rare cases. You should be sure of what you want to buy, how much you intend to borrow, the interest rates and the mortgage length. You will then be required to put it in writing that you actually never received any mortgage advice. In this case, it will be hard for you to make any complaint in case the mortgage turns out not to have been the best for you.
You are usually expected to pay some money when buying property. This money will eventually add up to the property’s total cost. The amount of the deposit is what determines the interest of your mortgage loan. The percentage of money you pay in deposit is the part of the property that you out rightly own. The remaining percentage is what is secured against the loan, and it is known as the loan to value (LTV). The lower the amount secured under mortgage, the lower the mortgage interest rates. This is because the lender does not give much money and is hence risking less.
Once you get the loan, capital, you have two repayment options to choose from. You may decide to use the repayment method, whereby every month you pay back part of the capital plus the interest gained. You may also use the interest-only basis, where you pay only the interest gained per month, then at the end of the mortgage period you pay back the original capital. However, this is a risky payment option and unless you are sure you will manage, it is advisable not to get into it. There are two types of interest rates: the fixed rates, where the rate doesn’t change for about five years no matter the market conditions. The other one is the variable rates where the rates may raise or lower as per the base rate of the bank of England.
When you talk about budgeting, most people are not always comfortable about it. They think about budgeting as a way of punishing them to limit their spending. Well, not all people are always for the option of saving and spending their money in moderation. If you are always looking for a way to budget for your money, here a number of tips that should help you to do so.
Account for Every Money Spent
The only way you are going to come up with a working budget, is if you know the exact amount you are earning and spending altogether. There is the need to account for every amount that you spend during the month or a predefined period. Also, budgeting does not mean that you spend all your budgeted money during that month; you can still save it and invest in other plans. Some people can do great with budgeting; just make sure every dollar spent is recorded at all times.
Focus on What You Really Need
When you think about budgeting, what should come into your mind should start with the basic needs anyone would need. These are food, shelter, water among other utilities. The trick of prioritizing our needs can be tough sometimes. We will think of the fun stuff first before giving the utilities a chance to be paid. The moment you get your salary, think about what is actually needed first around the house before thinking about getting a car.
Keep Your Debt in Check
If you have picked up quite a debt over the years, there is the need to keep your spending in check starting today. You would not want the debt to keep on growing for years. Most debts will of course have an interest that they accrue over the years. With budgeting, you can plan enough money to start servicing your debts. Sometimes with that little contribution, you can be able to pay your debts within a short time rather than planning to pay all of it at once.
Be Realistic with the Budgeting
Budgeting can be fun or quite painful depending on how you do it. If you want to be comfortable with budgeting, there is the need to ensure that the budget created is realistic at all times. Realistic means that you will allocate the right amount of money to your regular spending and still be able to save some money for other uses. A realistic budget will not mean that you deny yourself a chance to use your money for fun stuff.
Use Budgeting Tools and Apps
It is time that you used technology to help you track your spending habits. This is for people who cannot seem to account for most of their spending habits. You will find that there are quite many different budgeting tools you can use to handle the budget. Not all of them will be great, but you can always have a chance to change from one to another with time. Some of these tools can be used as desktop versions or apps on your phone.
Since most people are always looking to use mobile apps, here are some of the budgeting apps that you need to install today. The best part is that they are all free.
This app comes with an amazing interface that is easy to use by anyone. For those who need to use an easy app, they would definitely choose it. The app features a system that will track your income, expenses and projects for each month. You will no longer have to take the time to create a detailed budget when you have this app installed. It also shows the income vs. saving vs. spending ratio. This will help you clearly know how much is coming in or going out.
– Bill Guard
From the name, you can know that it helps to manage your bills and budgeting. The app will help you to automate your budget and also issue alerts on any charges done on your credit cards. The app is quite interesting to use for those looking for an automated budgeting system.
It has a simple design that will help you track your expenses. You simply need to create an account and start entering your expenses manually. It will be subtracting that from your income and giving you the reports monthly. From the reports, you can know where to make the adjustments to save more.
These are just but a few apps, there are many apps out there that can help you work on your budget. Take the time to go through reviews to understand what the app does before installing it.
Leave Room for Entertainment too
If you are going to budget for your regular spending, make sure you leave some room for playing too. Entertainment whether it is going out with friends or family, it also has to be included in the budget. Entertainment will help you appreciate yourself for working hard to get that money. It is quite important that you get some time off your busy schedule and enjoy life too. Whoever said that budgeting would take away all the fun was wrong.