Four for 24 – Financial Housekeeping Ideas for the New Year

So here we are, another New Year and Forbes Advisor UK is telling us that financial goals are on British people’s minds “with almost one third (31%) planning to get their finances in order in 2024”.

Financial housekeeping is important but all too easy to put off. So here are four simple tips to help get your money management off to a great start this year.

Use it or lose it.
January to April is known as ISA season in the savings industry. It’s the period when banks and savings providers remind us to use our current ISA allowance and take advantage of next year’s allowance when the new tax year begins. You can’t roll over your tax free ISA allowance, so it’s literally use it or lose it by April 5th. If you haven’t used your allowance yet, now is a great time to capitalise on the competitive interest rates available. You may also be able to transfer your existing ISA savings to get a better interest rate. United Trust Bank (UTB) is currently offering 4.85% Gross/AER* on its Cash ISA 1 Year Bond or, if you’re happy to lock in your cash for longer and believe the UK may see interest rates go down in the next few years – UTB are offering 4.35% Gross/AER* on a 3 Year Bond. These rates are correct at the time of publishing, there is a minimum deposit of £5,000 on our cash ISAs and interest is paid annually.

You can take a look at our full range of cash ISAs here.

Make a plan to set aside money.
If you haven’t started saving yet, but want to get into a savings habit this year, here are a couple of money saving ideas from members of our Deposits team.

Matthew Knibbs, Assistant Product Manager, suggests, “You can reduce your spending by ensuring you have the best deal for the things you have to have but hate paying for nonetheless. For example your car and home insurance, energy bills and mobile phone contract. Also check what direct debits are coming out of your bank account each month and consider whether you still need everything you’re paying for. Streaming subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, gym membership etc. If you’re not getting value for money from them perhaps the money can be better spent, or rather saved, elsewhere. Then set up a regular savings amount or standing order with the extra money and you shouldn’t notice any difference each month, except the money growing nicely rather than just going.

Jayne Cripps, Senior Marketing Executive sets herself a “no spend weekend” every other month. “Our family really enjoys planning no spend weekends. They include discovering free museums or local activities, walks with friends to somewhere new, playing those board games you received for Christmas and my very favourite money saving activity, a nostalgic “Ready Steady Cook” style challenge, making meals from the foods in the cupboards and freezer that otherwise you forget are there! It reminds me of being a student in the 90s, helps cut down on waste and saves money.

I give my daughter some of the money for her savings account too. It helps her to understand the correlation between not spending and saving, and makes up for the perceived sacrifice of not having a Friday night takeaway!”

If you’re looking for an account that pays more interest the more you save, United Trust Bank’s 30 Day Notice account at time of writing pays 4.65% Gross/AER – On all balances between £5,000.00 – £9,999.99 and 4.75% Gross/AER* – On all balances £10,000.00 and above. Interest is paid annually on 31st October. For more information visit here.

Do it now – Online Self Assessment Tax Return Deadline 31st January 2024
A friendly reminder that if you need to submit an online self-assessment tax return for the last financial year to April 2023 it should be returned by the 31st of January to avoid any penalties. If you haven’t done so already make sure you start to pull together any information you need now such as interest on savings accounts during the 2022/23 tax year, any additional income such as from rental properties you may own privately or share dividends and any benefits you receive You can find out more about completing your self-assessment online and the information you’ll need at Self Assessment – GOV.UK (

“Pot for Life” – Is it time to consolidate your pensions?
Few people have a job for life these days and apparently UK workers now have around 9-12 different employers in their lifetime, often with different pension schemes. As such it is easy to lose track of where each pension is, let alone optimising their returns. In the last Autumn Statement Jeremy Hunt launched the consultation on the Lifetime Provider Model for the pensions market – more commonly known as “The Pot for Life”. The idea of having one pot containing your pensions has contributed to the growth in Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs). Many people now have several workplace pension schemes from short employments which may be worth consolidating. By 2023 more than £205 billion in assets were held in SIPPS with retirement savers looking to cut down on time consuming administration and costs. If you haven’t already – make 2024 the year you track down your pensions and perhaps consider consolidating them within a SIPP. However you must be careful that transferring out of your workplace scheme is the right thing to do.

Some savers are adding cash to their SIPPs to take advantage of the higher savings rates and United Trust Bank can help facilitate these deposits with your pension provider. For more information read our article written by Roger Clarke of The Private Office here.

Remember however although this article may contain helpful information and tips, this is not personal financial advice. You may wish to seek advice from a financial advisor if you are unsure about what is best for your own personal circumstances.

*AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and illustrates what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded once each year. GROSS is the interest rate without the deduction of income tax.