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New Year financial resolutions – Carol Bell, our Super-Savvy Saver

By Carol Bell | Date 23 Jan 2017

Do you have any financial new year’s resolutions for 2017?

This year I would like to carry on as I have been doing. We don’t tend to make changes to our savings accounts until the beginning of April. We watch and wait for the new products to come out and then choose the best rates on offer. We have a bond which matures on 2nd April, but we’re not sure if we are going to reinvest that or not at the moment, as rates are so low we are thinking of putting it towards a new car or a nice cruise.

I am interested in investing in the new NS&I bond when that comes out. At 2.2% it’s probably going to beat anything else out there at the time.

Is there something you would like to try for the first time with your finances?

We’ve been looking at premium bonds for the first time, I have looked at a rate calculator to work out what I could possibly earn if I invested £20,000 and I have a chance of making £200 in the year. This is not as much as I would get if I left the money in my Santander account, but there is a chance I could earn more, which might tempt me to go for it. Importantly for me my money is safe in a Premium Bond.

I wish I was brave enough to take a risk with my money and invest in the stock market as there is a greater chance of earning some real money. I am really envious of people who feel they are able to do this, but as I am so risk averse it is not for me.

Is there something you have learned from the last year that you would not repeat in 2017?

There isn’t really as I always play safe with my money I can’t say that I feel I have ever made a mistake which I’ve needed to learn from.

ISA Season

What is your strategy for this year’s ISA season?

We have done all our investing for this tax year so we are doing what we always do at this time of year - we watch and wait for the new products to come out. There is rarely anything new that comes up until close to April and then we make the most of that when we can. I am doubtful that anything better will come up than NS&I bond though.

Will you be opening a new account and will these be cash or investment based?

We probably won’t open a new ISA account this year, unless we don’t spend the money from our bond when it matures in April. If we do open a new one it will be a cash ISA as we don’t like to take risks with our money, but whether that is a fixed or variable rate account depends on what is out there at the time.

What is your top tip for making the most out of ISAs?

If you don’t need to access your money put it into a fixed rate for as long as you can afford to tie it up for so that you can get a better return.


About the author

Carol Bell

Carol Bell, 60 from Manchester, is about to start a new adventure when she retires from working at a doctor’s surgery this year.

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Important information

This article is not intended as advice. If you are unsure whether an investment is suitable, please contact an adviser.