When considering which Higher-Value Purchases and Investments I should discuss in this blog post, our mortgage and pensions seemed the best place to start for money-saving hacks.
Higher-Value Purchases and Investments: Mortgage
A good mortgage broker is worth their weight in gold. Being independent, they have access to the most competitive deals. We used a broker for both our old flat and the house because of my previous credit history/rating. We also worked with him for several years to ensure both our credit files were watertight before we applied for our joint mortgage.
Our two-year fixed-rate deal was due to expire recently but with me going part-time and Dave’s income being lower than when we bought the house in 2016, we were tied to the same mortgage provider. The SVR (Standard Variable Rate) would have been 4.99% making our payment £1,237.54, an increase of over £300 per month. However, he was able to secure a new two-year fixed rate of 1.94% down from 2.24% and a new monthly payment of £904 per month, down from the £937 we had been paying. The £33.00 saving will be siphoned off to a savings account and equate to just under £400 for 2019’s camping trip.
In addition to the lender not charging any fees, our broker reduced their own fee by 50% as we’re existing customers – the £295 we did pay was worth every penny.
Higher-Value Purchases and Investments: Pensions
I have a workplace pension and a SIPP from merging three dormant pensions. All in one place is easier to manage and I can also invest the funds.
Higher-Value Purchases and Investments: Dental Plan
I’ve reviewed the payments deducted at source from my salary. I’m paying £20.00 per month just in case one of us needs dental treatment. With twice-yearly visits for check-ups and the hygienists being all we typically need, it doesn’t make sense. It covered some expensive root canal treatment, but as this lasts ten years I’ll be okay for some time. The policy is pro rata so with a pension and parking permit. It won’t be renewed in October.
Higher-Value Purchases and Investments: Savings Accounts
We have several accounts which accrue minimal interest. But they’re useful for short-term savings, such as holidays, vet bills, our camper conversion, etc.
Higher-Value Purchases and Investments: Business & Current Accounts
Dave has been paying for the privilege of a business account for decades. So finding a fee-free account was on my radar once I started looking after his books. A bit of research on Money Saving Expert revealed that he can use a current account for the same purpose and enjoy monthly cashback. I also get £5.00 monthly cashback into my current account. We can’t retire on it but what £60.00 per year could buy me these days…