Top current account & savings apps incl up to 5% interest
There's now a wave of banking and savings apps which give you a helping hand with budgeting, saving and managing your cash in a way traditional banks don't – though the biggies are starting to catch up. If you're not smartphone-savvy or you prefer banking in a branch, see Best Bank Accounts instead.
Repay Debts or Save?
How to protect and max your cash
Those with debts AND savings are seriously overspending but the solution is simple. Pay the debts off, possibly even including your mortgage, before you save. Forget the old ‘must have an emergency savings fund' logic as getting rid of debts beats that too.
Bank savings loophole
Bank savings loophole
It's a twist from tradition but a few current accounts, in their yearning to get you to switch, pay decent savings interest as loss leaders (though most rates aren't as good as they used to be). But take advantage and you could still earn up to 5%. If you've a large amount of cash to save, a couple with £79,000 can combine accounts to average just over 2% – almost double the standard easy-access account rate available now, and four times the Bank of England base rate.
Get £100 cashback on 3%-ish
Peer-to-peer lending firms such as Zopa, Funding Circle and Ratesetter can let you earn a big 6%+, but even the regulator is worried people jump in without knowing the risks. We run through the risks and what's being done to minimise them, and how the main players stack up.
Child Trust Funds
Should you switch to a junior ISA?
Child Trust Funds (CTFs) are defunct tax-free savings products, but the six million original accounts can be converted into more competitive junior ISAs – and the first children eligible for the funds are now old enough to manage their account themselves.
Tax-free savings & the starting savings rate
If you're a low earner, then since April 2015 you've been able to register to earn savings interest without paying any tax on it. This is different to the personal savings allowance – though it complements it – but how this starting savings rate works in practice, and who qualifies, is a bit more complex...