Wednesday 24th July 2024

Must-know money: winners and losers from the Autumn Statement, buying vs renting and smart spending apps

With the cost-of-living crisis at hand, it is becoming more important to manage your everyday money.

Here are some of our favourite stories from around the personal finance media this week, to help you get your head around money, invest and spend better.

Who are the real winners and losers of the Autumn Statement?

Writing for The Guardian, Shane Hickey reaches out to experts to find out who the real winners and losers are from the recent Government Autumn Statement, among young people, low-paid and unemployed, investors and pensioners.

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Some positive news came for over two million workers who will get a pay rise as the national living wage increased by 9.7% (and 10.9% for those aged 21 and 22). Pensioners will also receive a healthy increase of 10.1% for their state pension payments meaning an inflation-protected extra £963 a year.

Energy support will be extended by £500 beyond April 2023 with a new cap of £3,000 for annual bills. But prospective homebuyers will lose out as the Stamp Duty cut is reversed.

Buying vs renting: which is cheaper?

With an ongoing housing crisis, Rebecca Goodman writes for Money Week, on the financial pros and cons of buying or renting. While buying property has been the preferred option in the UK historically, renting might seem like the financially better choice for some.

Renting allows you flexibility of moving and not being tied into long-term mortgage contracts. There is minimal responsibility on you for maintenance and upkeep of the property which leaves you with more cash to spend on your living. But there is a lack of stability and restrictions are dependent on your landlord’s wishes .

Owning your own home allows more stability. On top of that, you will own the asset after your mortgage gas been paid off.

But owning a home comes with added responsibilities of maintenance, along with expenses when you buy a new home and furnishing the entire property. Additionally, your house could be repossessed if you fail to make  mortgage repayments.

It also ties a significant amount of your money making it harder to meet the rising costs of everyday living. Currently, it is cheaper to rent than buy. However, overall, it is more worthwhile to buy regardless of high mortgage rates as renters are ultimately paying a service not making an investment in their future.

Smart apps to cut your spending

Also writing for Money Week, Ruth Emery lists smart money apps that will help cut your spending from your bills and unwanted subscriptions while helping grow your savings. All of the four apps are FCA regulated.

Snoop, literally snoops through your finances and looks at where you’re spending money to give personalised help with cutting bills. Snoop also tells you if there’s any ongoing voucher codes at your favourite stores, or cheaper competitors for your broadband, electricity bills or insurances.

Emma sorts through your wasteful expenses. The Emma app will help you avoid overdrafts, cancel your wasteful subscriptions, track your debt, and save money in different pots for different purposes. There are free and several paid subscriptions available.

Plum helps with saving and investing. The app has auto-save features to round up your transactions and save the difference. Plum also offers several features such as cashback with certain retailers and you can sign up for free or choose an upgraded paid subscription.

Untied helps with filing tax returns. It links your bank accounts, credit cards and tax accounts to estimate your annual tax bills. This is a paid app with two subscription options for you to choose from.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

Richa Ved

Richa is a young Indian graduate from Warwick Business School, aspiring to find her niche in the media industry. She has a passion for writing and a keen interest in financial affairs. If you don’t find her working, she’s probably having a pizza (her favourite!) and a pint of beer somewhere.

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