Going green used to be presented as a way of saving money, but the stark reality that dealing with climate change will mean us spending more is dawning.
The carrot of £5,000 grants to help people ditch gas boilers and install air source heat pumps or other more eco-friendly heating was dangled by the Prime Minister this week.
There was a hefty caveat though, there is only enough cash for 90,000 being made available and it seems like the rest who want to get greener heating will need to foot hefty bills themselves.
People can stall but eventually the stick will come, with banks encouraged to only give the best mortgage rates to those with efficient homes.
Likewise, another carrot was dangled in the form of green savings bonds from NS&I, so savers could put their money to work helping the nation’s green projects.
Once more, there is a big caveat: the rate on the three-year bonds is a measly 0.65 per cent. That compares to the best standard three-year savings fix of 1.81 per cent.
Maybe Kermit was right, it’s not easy being green.
But will our good intentions overcome the higher costs and lower returns and people be willing to pay the price for going green?
On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert, discuss green bonds and better alternatives and greener homes, their costs and whether there is also better options that we are being presented with right now.
Plus, we had closure on the axing of the triple lock this week, with an inflation figure that set the next state pension increase, and bitcoin hit a record high.
And finally, Lee explains the This is Money headline of the week: ‘I fished my daughter's third birthday present out of a skip’
Premium Bonds are probably Britain’s best loving savings product but are they worth holding? The savings lottery delivers 100% government-backed protection, a theoretical 1% return – dependent on luck – and relatively easy access to your cash. But a new report this week highlighted just how unlikely people are to win big prizes. In fact, unless you have a sizeable amount in bonds, you should expect a long wait for anything over £25. But does the study stack up? What about all the readers telling us they’ve won lots? And does it matter that you’d have to wait ages to win £50 or more – or are those uninspiring regular £25 prizes a much more useful source of returns? Georgie Frost, Adrian Lowery and Simon Lambert dig into Premium Bonds, looking at the odds, the study on big prizes, what our readers have told us, and also how many people hold. Plus, interest rate rise chatter has stepped up a gear this week. Is a hike really imminent? Also under discussion: are the energy saving measures you can take to try to cut your bills, as the price spike sends more providers bust and threatens household finances? As Meghan and Harry get the ethical invest bug, we a look at ESG, greenwashing and how to invest to make an environmental impact. And finally, the topsy-turvy Covid world has thrown a new curveball: one-year-old used cars are now more expensive than brand new ones. How does that work? The team try to explain and reveal the used cars rising in value the most.
With inflation on the rise, homeowners nearing the end of their mortgage deal could be tempted to lock in for longer – especially with murmurs of a base rate rise.
It comes as rates continue to fall, even on tracker deals. What are the pros and cons on a two, five and even a 10 year fix, and does the flexibility of a tracker mean it could be a worthy option to consider?
Lee Boyce, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost discuss what those remortgaging and home buyers need to consider when getting a new home loan.
And landlords haven't been left behind in the mortgage battle either. There is now a sub-1 per cent buy-to-let mortgage rate – and sticking with the property theme, yet another huge monthly bump for prices.
Elsewhere, should you sell old Premium Bonds to buy a new set for 'better luck' and just how much have lockdown savers poured into the NS&I product?
Lastly, how about a career change as an… HGV driver? We look at what salaries are on offer and how to train as a lorry driver.
Savings rates are on the rise but even if you do find a best buy, don't get complacent because inflation is running hot too.
In this podcast, Lee Boyce, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at why savings rates are rising, whether interest rates will follow suit and quitehow long it might be before we get back to a normal situation of a savings account consistently beating inflation.
Simon discusses whether attack may be the best form of defence in the form of stock market investing - and why the 'just buy bitcoin' comments shouldn't be entirely heeded.
Plus, could you or would you want to live off grid? What would it entail? And would it actually save money?
The week began with an energy crunch, as households woke up to the problems sending gas prices spiralling - and the impact that could have on their bills.
It ended with a needless rush on petrol, as people were told there was no need to panic buy fuel… and some promptly panic bought it.
The petrol issue we’re told is to do with a shortage of HGV drivers to deliver fuel, the gas problem is unfortunately far more complex.
The immediate impact for households is that some are finding their energy supplier has gone bust and they are being transferred elsewhere, others are discovering they can’t switch, and many are staring down the barrel of a potential big imminent price cap rise followed by another next spring.
In this podcast episode, This is Money’s energy and consumer correspondent Grace Gausden explains what’s happening and Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss the implications with her.
In the second part of the podcast, Tanya Jefferies joins to talk about the National Audit Office report into underpaid women’s state pensions, which highlighted her and our columnist Steve Webb’s work in exposing the fiasco,
Tanya updates us on their investigations and what may happen next.
And finally, there’s a new bank in town: Chase. Well it’s actually a very old one, because it’s JP Morgan launching current accounts in the UK under the Chase brand.
It’s got 5% interest, with a catch, 1% cashback and some nifty features. Is it worth getting?
The cost of living jumped by the largest amount on record to hit 3.2 per cent in August – is it set to run out of control and prompt the Bank of England to raise interest rates?
Meanwhile, a gloomy report has lead some economists to talk about stagflation once more. What is it, is it a threat and does it matter?
This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the 'flations' and what it could mean for the coming months, and the pandemic recovery.
Alongside this, there are supply chain problems and staff shortages. Can we expect higher prices in shops and is Britain set for a hiring boom?
It's not just shops that are suffering, soaring costs and tradesmen shortages are leaving families doing home improvements themselves - or stuck with half-finished renovations.
And we go inside the pocket sized houses aimed at first time buyers in London. We left the cat at home: there wasn't enough room to swing it…
If you’re going to break one manifesto promise, then why not break two?
Why not distract from telling pensioners they can’t have their potential 8.8 per cent triple lock state pension rise by hiking taxes for everyone.
That appeared to be the theory this week, as two pledges to not raise taxes and keep the triple lock went out the window.
Boris Johnson has been bold enough to be the Prime Minister who finally tries to fix Britain’s social care problems, with a 1.25 per cent national insurance rise and then new tax to pay for this and getting the NHS to play catch-up after the pandemic.
Coupled with a corresponding 1.25 per cent NI rise for employers, this amounts to a 2.5% hit to people’s pay.
Will that be enough to sort the problem, does the cash risk just being swallowed up by the NHS, and are our social care problems just about funding?
Along with those questions, why was the triple lock turned double for a year, was this a close shave for its existence and could there have been a better way of dealing with wildly skewed wage growth figures?
On this week’s podcast, Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert tackled those questions and more on the triple lock and social care.
Plus, Tanya explains how she uncovered major delays for people who are starting to get their state pension and what the Government plans to do about it.
Also on this week’s show, what to do when a share you hold takes a tumble – and how to when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.
And finally, why the AA says people’s range anxiety over electric cars is massively overcooked. Clue that’s not why most break down.
Among its many surprises, the coronavirus pandemic has delivered a property boom. In pretty much the exact opposite of what all the experts thought was going to happen the property market has hit fever pitch over the past year and a bit, with more people moving and house prices soaring. But amid all the fuss, which property tribe are you in? Are you a mover – for whom the grass always looks a bit greener, perhaps in a house with extra space, more bedrooms, a bigger garden, or with a slice of the country life or even a prime location in the city? Or would you choose to be a flipper, happy to buy and sell regularly to try to make some money and climb the ladder quicker – maybe doing places up and turning ugly ducklings into swans as you go along? Or is your chief desire to be a forever-homeowner, the kind of person who wants to either stay put where you are forever, or find the one place you can do that and then stop moving. Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert take a look at the property market tribes and how they are driving the market, from those who love to move, to those chasing a quick buck, and those whose sole desire is to find the perfect place to stay put. Also, the team discuss how to learn from your investing mistakes rather than beat yourself up over them. And take a look at both sustainable banking and investing and what that means, and why the new greener E10 petrol is causing a kerfuffle
When it comes to state pensions, there has been plenty of talk in recent weeks about the triple lock and what could mean next month when it comes to an uplift. However, more than 2 million receive less than £100 a week in state pension payments – is there a way to boost it? Tanya Jefferies, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss and reveal the common reasons why you might not receive the full state pension. Sticking with the pension theme, we talk through a case of an ex-Judge who faced a hefty 'advice' fee when he made a decision on a drawdown pot. Spain is still the top choice for those planning to retire overseas – but has the pandemic and Brexit put more people off a life in the sun? Lee reveals why it is now time to be chasing savings rates again and his tips for making sure a challenger bank you've never heard of is a good spot for your cash.
As Britain's streets are filled with drivers whizzing deliveries around, there's a new top scam in town. Parcel and package delivery scams are the most common type of 'smishing' text messages, a report said this week. Fraudsters are sneaking into people's text messages, pretending to be couriers that missed you while you were out, or need to arrange or rearrange a delivery. Click the link and you could end up being scammed. This is being enabled by the wave of online deliveries in the pandemic, as online shopping stepped up a number of gears, and the somewhat chaotic way some drivers are delivering those parcels: who doesn't recognise the 'leave it on the doorstep and run away tactic'? Lee Boyce, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at what uou can do to avoid falling victim, what are the risks if you do, and can we do anything about the rise in fraud? Also, its squeaky bum time for the triple lock. Wages are officially up 8.8% and the reference month for pension increases is rapidly approaching, so what will Chancellor Rishi Sunak do? Will a bumper increase for the state pension arrive, or the breaking of a manifesto pledge? Plus, the 'blink and you'll miss it' mortgages, as top rates hang around for a very limited time - and the chip shortage that means people are struggling to buy new cars and sending the price of used ones soaring. And finally, is the current account battle back on? As Nationwide bungs people £100 to sign up, the team take a look.