May 08, 2015

How To Make Money With InboxPounds

Earn Cash From Emails to Your Inbox
InBox Pounds pays you for your online activities.
I've just cashed my first cheque with InboxPounds. This is a website which makes its money by supplying the eyeballs of consumers to advertisers. They then pass on some of that cash to you, the consumer, in the hope that you will buy some of the stuff that the advertisers are selling.

It's called InboxPounds because, essentially, what they do is send emails to your inbox with links to ads. When you click on the link, you earn a penny. When you have collected £20 of digital pennies, they send you a cheque. They send a few ads a week, which isn't all that much. However, another way you can add up those pennies is by doing searches. Use the InboxPound search bar for your web searches, in exactly the same way as you would use Google or any other search engine and you can get paid for each search. You get a penny for every two qualified searches and can make up to fifteen pence a day from searches. If you make searches four days in a row, you get a weekly bonus of five pence (Gold members get ten pence - you get to become a Gold member after your first pay out of £20).

You can also get paid for doing surveys, doing assorted tasks and listening to online radio. I haven't really been doing the surveys. I've begun a couple of times, but it usually turns out that I don't qualify for the survey because they already have enough people for the demographic that they're in. I usually spend a minute or so every do clicking on the email ads and using the search bar to add a couple of coins to my virtual penny jar.

Find out more at InboxPounds.

May 01, 2015

Why Choose a Junior ISA?

Saving Money with a Junior ISA
Put cash into an ISA for your child and keep it away from the tax man.
Image Source: via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0
Back in 2009, when my little boy was born, we applied for a Child Trust Fund (a long term tax-free savings accounts for children). At the time, the government were giving out £250 to little lads and lasses for their parents to invest in CTFs. Never one to turn my nose up at the offer of free money, we took the cash and stuffed it into a CTF with a low-cost UK Index Tracker. You can't apply for Child Trust Funds now because the scheme has closed. Junior ISAs are the new place to stash cash on behalf of little investors. I opened a Junior ISA for my little girl when she was born in 2013.

What the heck is a Junior ISA anyway?

An ISA is an Individual Savings Account. It is a scheme allowing people to hold cash, shares or unit trusts without having to pay any tax on dividends, interest and capital gains. ISAs were introduced in 1999, when they replaced personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs). Crikey, that's a lot of letters!

Child Trust Fund v Junior ISA

At the beginning of this tax year, it became possible to transfer a CTF into a Junior ISA. I've just done that very thing for my wee lad. I've shifted his investments from a CTF to a Junior ISA. The main reason why is that there is a great choice of funds available in a Junior ISA than a CTF. I used Hargreaves Lansdown as a platform for the Junior ISA because that's where I opened a Junior ISA for my daughter. I also have a SIPP there.

What is the Junior ISA allowance?

You can put up to £4,080 into a Junior ISA. This can be used in a Cash ISA or a Stocks & Shares ISA. The rates for Cash ISAs can be pretty so low, so investing in stocks and shares is probably a better bet for getting a return on your cash in the longterm. Putting your lolly in the stock market provides the greater opportunity for gains, but also carries more risks. However, drip feeding cash into a fund regularly over a long period of time (the length of time it takes your nipper to grow up into an 18-year-old) makes it a less risky proposition.

Who can pay into a Junior ISA?

Only a person with parental responsibility can open a Junior ISA on behalf of a child, but once an account has been set up, anyone can pay into it. Grandparents, friends and family members are able to pay money into a Junior ISA. That means they can gifts to their little relations which will help them in the long-term as well as all the toys and trinkets they'll be giving as the kids grow up.

What happens when the child turns 18?

When your child reaches the age of 18, they gain control of the Junior ISA. Do you think they'll be able to handle all that cash? While you had university fees or a deposit on a flat in mind when you began investing for your child's future, maybe they might decide to blow the lot on parties.

Is it worth getting a Junior ISA?

You might think that children don't pay tax anyway, so what's the point of a an ISA for junior? Children do pay tax though. They have the same personal allowance as grown ups, but most of them don't have jobs paying more than that personal allowance. When money given to a child by a parent brings in income of  £100 (gross), the parent has to pay tax on that income. So, having a shelter does make some kind of sense.

April 17, 2015

Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park

This little pink pig has captured the imagination of a heck of a lot of toddlers and my daughter's one of them. That's why we're here at Peppa Pig World, queuing up to pose for a picture with a person in a pink foam pig suit.

I don't know how big something has to be before it can be considered a 'World', but here it seems to be seven rides and a play area. I'm not trying to belittle the experience, because frankly my little girl loves this place.

If there happen to be any under-fives running around in your house, you're probably already very familiar with Peppa Pig. It's a popular British animated TV show about a pig called Peppa, who lives with her mum, dad and brother George. Episodes usually revolve around normal stuff like going to playgroup, visiting grandparents, playing in the playground or riding around on bikes. Everyday activities that little ones who are learning about the world can relate to. As well as the pig family, there are various other animal characters.

George's Spaceship Playzone at Peppa Pig World
George's Spaceship Playzone at Peppa Pig World
Peppa Pig World is a brightly coloured corner of Paultons Park, a family-owned amusement park in the New Forest district of Hampshire. Paultons Park covers 140 acres of land. As well as 60 rides and attractions, the park has around 80 species of birds and animals. The gentle rides on offer in Peppa Pig World include Windy Castle, George's Dinosaur Adventure, Daddy Pig's Car Ride, Grandpa Pig's Little Train, Grandpa Pig's Boat Trip, Peppa's Big Balloon Ride and Miss Rabbit's Helicopter Flight. It was a cloudy (but thankfully not rainy) day when we went. Happily, one feature of Peppa Pig land is George's Spaceship Playzone, an indoor play area with plenty of things to climb and slide down. Obviously, there's also a shop which is chock-full of Peppa Pig toys.

If you don't live nearby and want to break up the Paultons park experience with a sleep, you can get a theme park ticket and hotel package (with the second day FREE) from Play and Stay.

January 23, 2014

Raising a child costs over £227,000

The cost of raising a child is £227,266, according to new figures from the Centre of Economic and Business Research. This is £5000 higher than the figure put out last year. The research totted up expenses over the first 21 years of a life, including food, clothing and hobbies. Education which swallowed up the biggest chunk of change. £73,803 went on that. This was followed by childcare, which came in at £66,113.

April 26, 2013

How to Save Money on Train Fares

TicketySplit is an app from the MoneySaving Expert website which helps you to get cheaper train fares.

February 01, 2013

Compare Supermarket Prices Online

The weekly food shop can be a major drain on finances. I always get nervous that I'm not getting the best deal on the things I buy. Could I be getting this tin of beans cheaper elsewhere?

Price comparison website My Supermarket aims to help shoppers get the best deal on their supermarket buy. The site compares prices at the main UK retailers, including Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

You can order your basket online, print your basket as a shopping list to take to your local supermarket or just use the site as a price comparison tool. The site claims that you will save an average of £17 every time you use it.

January 24, 2013

It Costs £222,000 to Raise a Child

Blimey, it really does cost a lot to have kids. £222,458!!! That's the cost of raising a child until he or she is 21, according to a study by insurance company Liverpool Victoria. Education (£32,593) and childcare (£63,738) are the biggest expenditure for parents. From birth to the age of 21, parents also spend an average of £19,270 on food and £16,195 on holidays. It makes me feel queasy just thinking about it.