From savings rates, to property prices and the prospects for the UK economy, this week we take a look at what will (might) happen to our finances in 2018. Predictions – as we all know – are a mug’s game, but as it is the start of a new year, it’s time to have a look at what could happen in 2018 in the world of money. Inflation is forecast to subside, while interest rates are only tipped to rise very gently. That would be a boost to people’s finances if wage inflation can get back up above the rising cost of living. A further boon could come from savings rates, which it is suggested could continue to rise.
In the property market, house prices are predicted to be flat across the UK, but that will mask a continuing divergence in fortunes between regional cities, where sales are buoyant, and London and the commuter belt, where the market has suffered.
Elsewhere in the economy, car sales are falling, consumer borrowing is rising but at a slower pace, and there will continue to be worries we aren’t saving enough for retirement.
That’s what’s meant to happen. But will it? Simon Lambert, Sarah Davidson and Georgie Frost gaze into their crystal balls.
Facts are either right or wrong, right?...wrong? In this special episode of the This is Money podcast Tim Harford, presenter of the BBC series More or Less and all-round Undercover Economist makes a second guest appearance. We talk about facts and stats - checking them, debunking them, reporting them, baffling with them, battling over them.
Tim argues that we think of facts as being either the truth or lies, but that actually factual claims can form part of our identity. We also discuss the impact of social media on the way in which we consume news and facts. And whether we're too dependent on numbers altogether.
Don't believe us? You'll have to listen and see.
Have you ever really thought about what it is that creates the modern economy? These are the things that surround us and we interact with, or depend on, everyday but rarely think about. From credit cards, to shipping containers, batteries and double-entry book-keeping, there are a lot of things that are more interesting than you may think. And for this special Christmas edition of the This is Money podcast we have a treat for you. Tim Harford, author of Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, presenter of the podcast of the same name, and Undercover Economist makes a guest appearance. He joins Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost in the studio to talk about what it is that shapes the world around us, why it matters, and how what are commonplace things now were dreamed up and then completely changed the way we live.
It’s time for the annual This is Money Christmas taste test – and our look at how the supermarket business is faring. This year, the contenders are Sainsbury’s for the mass market, Waitrose for the upmarket, and Lidl for the discount challenger. But which will come out on top across a range of Christmas food and who delivered the cheapest bill?
Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce take on Georgie Frost’s festive feast to find out in this week’s podcast and discuss whether the big supermarkets are doing better after some difficult years, if the rise of Aldi and Lidl will continue, and how Tesco and Sainsbury’s shares compare.
Could you train your brain to get richer? Behavioural economics tells us that we regularly behave irrationally – and nudge theory has been used by governments and organisations around the world to try to make us better people. But could you take matters into your own hands, tackle your own temptations and make yourself wealthier, or just happier?
On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at some tricks you can deploy – and whether you can actually turn that old chestnut about not spending money on coffee into hard cash in your bank account, pension or ISA.
Also on this week’s show, we discuss why Britain is bottom of the world pension league and whether that is actually as bad as it seems.
Britain’s car industry is crying foul, as not a single new diesel car avoids the Budget tax hike because the test they have to pass hasn’t come in yet. Car makers claim that new diesels are fine, but can we believe them? Meanwhile, campaigners want extra taxes and a serious crackdown on diesel drivers, but it’s ended up with councils leading the way with a piece-meal approach.
Who should we believe, has the drive to get rid of diesel gone too far, and is it employing bad science? This week, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost drive into the murky world of diesel cars.
This week, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost pick apart the Budget to try to find out who the winners and losers will be. Philip Hammond pulled a George Osborne-sized rabbit from the hat at the end with the abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers, but was that enough to make us to forget the gloomy economic news and the gags?
On the plus side, the Budget brought an income tax cut for most, the promise of more homes being built, and no more stamp duty for most first-time buyers.
On the negative side, economists say we are due another lost decade, Philip Hammond’s own financial watchdog said he would drive up house prices, and cough sweet jokes might be catching on.
Yes, it’s another Budget. On Wednesday, November 22, Philip Hammond will stand up and deliver his second Budget of the year and this is his chance to ride to the Conservatives’ rescue. After the last Budget mess, the snap election that went wrong, the unexpected rise of Corbynism, and the Brexit arguments that just won’t go away, the Chancellor will be hoping that he’s the one to get everything back on track.
So what could he deliver – and what should he?
From help for younger people, to stamp duty cuts, pension tinkering, building more homes and just fixing the roads, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost take a run through what might come up and what it would mean for you.
And they outline what they would like to see. The problem for the Chancellor, as he shifts the Budget to the autumn for the first time, is that there is a tension between his desire to do something and his lack of wriggle room due to Britain’s finances.
It finally happened. The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade this week. But what was the point of that rate rise? It was certainly a curiosity, coming alongside a decidedly downbeat Inflation Report. Was it to dampen inflation, to send a warning sign to borrowers, or just to put a tiny smile on beleaguered savers’ faces?
On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost look at why the Bank raised rates and what it means for you.
They also dive into the really crucial question: how high will the base rate go from here and how fast will it rise?
Do you have a will? If not you should probably get one. But if you do have one, do you understand what’s in it? According to Will Aid, more than half (54%) of parents with children under the age of 18 don’t have a will. So what do you need to know about getting a will, what’s easy, what’s complicated and what are the things you don’t want to think about but have to?
Also on this week’s show, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce discuss the best way to help bank fraud victims – and whether enough is being done to get people’s money back and warn potential victims.