Retirement changes give savers control

By Financial Times reporter Alice Ross

Published: June 25 2010 18:21

The government this week announced sweeping changes to retirement benefits, which consultants said should make saving into a pension more attractive. To read the whole of this article go to:

The article also emphasises a telling number for working people : 12%. This is the proportion of annual salary,according to Scottish Life, that needs to be saved in a pension in order to provide for a comfortable retirement.

What does it take to waste £5,000 (say,$10,000) a year?Just £13.50 per day

The 5 Most Common Money Mistakes,according to

1.In rocky times,you can’t afford to play fast,loose, and clueless with your finances.Minor money gaffes can add upto thousands of lost dollars (or pounds) over time. Avoidthe five most common money mistakes,and you could add more than £5,000 to your savings this year.

It is not just the discretionary spending on the odd luxury- we do not intend in this service to be ‘killjoys’,there will be times for treating ourselves.Two-for-one deals,even in discount stores,and the occasional frapuccino can do real damage to your bottom line.

2.If you are still in employment and you are not taking advantage of your employer’s pension plan,you are throwing money away.

3.Allowing your kid(or grandkids)their endless wish lists when you are out shopping. Adopt a ‘distract and delay’ tactic.This can mean fewer snacks,and less spend.

4.Spending and not saving every windfall. A tax rebate,birthday money present,an income raise may create a great temptation to spend rather than accumulate.

5.You should not underestimate the contribution you or a partner make towards the household budget.It may pay to ensure that you are adequately (but not excessively) covered by appropriate insurance cover against those potentially costly events in life.

For the full information on the above check out


Money saving Tips to Beat Inflation

Money-saving tips to beat inflation. As UK  inflation hits 3.7% and salaries and savings interest struggle to keep pace, we offer tips on how to stretch your cash

1 Buy UK-produced fruit and vegetables
Apparently that unpronounceable Icelandic volcano is partly responsible for the price of produce going up: fruit and veg supplies are stuck in their land of origin, increasing the price of the produce that is in store over here. So instead of buying overpriced beans and berries, why not follow Nigel Slater’s lead and get stuck into home-grown asparagus and the season’s first broad beans.

2 Shop around for petrol
Asda has just cut its prices by 2p to 115.9p a litre, hopefully setting a trend that other petrol retailers will follow. Keep an eye on your local forecourts.

3 Invest in a National Savings & Investments (NS&I) inflation-linked savings certrificate
These are designed to give savers a guaranteed tax-free rate of return, higher than inflation measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI), if held for the full certificate term. They are currently available in three- and five-year terms and are sold in issues which allow savers to invest up to £15,000 in each.

4 Use discount vouchers
It’s almost impossible to visit certain restaurants nowadays without seeing whole forests of vouchers being waved at waiters, and the Guardian and Observer now have their own discount voucher site at If you are based in London you could try a new one called Crowdity ( This enables you to get big discounts (such as a comedy evening with three-course dinner at Jongleurs for £5 instead of £40) – provided you can get enough friends to agree to take it up.

5 Ask for a pay rise
Okay, it is pretty unlikely in the current economic climate, but if you go about it the right way and you deserve one, you could surprise your employer into action. Gill Corkindale, writing in the Harvard Business Review, says it is important to identify whether or not your company is in a financial position to give you a rise – if the answer is yes, make sure that you are well known in your company (for the right reasons) and that your contributions are noted at appraisals. Then determine a realistic figure to aim for and pick the right time to ask. Above all, don’t become emotional about it.

6 Find ways to earn extra cash
If your boss says no, think of other ways to earn a bit of extra cash. We’re interested in (but have yet to try) the OnePoll iPhone app, which apparently allows you to earn money by completing surveys. The app is free and OnePoll pays between 10p and £5 for each survey of between 10 and 20 questions. Once users have reached £40 the cash is transferred directly to their PayPal or bank account.

7 Cycle to work
Halifax believes that taking to two wheels will increase in popularity this summer because of the high cost of petrol. The bank, rather cynically, is reminding cyclists to be aware of the increased risk of bike theft.

8 Forage
We’re coming to that time of year when food becomes widely available for free in the countryside. Currently gracing our grassy verges are nettles and wild garlic– good for soup or with rabbit, or as Skordalia, a garlicky Greek dip. And although they are a bit late this year, there will soon be enough elderflowers to make champagne.

9 Pay down your debts
While interest rates paid on savings accounts are pitiful, banks are still managing to charge huge amounts for borrowing – an average rate of 18.3% for credit cards and 12.4% for personal loans, according to comparison website Moneynet. If you already have savings to cover emergencies, use your spare cash to pay off credit.

10 Book your summer holiday in the eurozone
According to Duncan Higgins of foreign exchange company Caxton FX, sterling has slipped drastically against the US, New Zealand, Canadian and Australian dollars, but the euro is in an even more dire state than the pound, thanks to Greece’s difficulties.

Check out more of this report to be found at
I spotted this useful reference source to help you to eat out at a sensible price