UTILITIES BILL: WATT SHOULD I DO?

TODAY’S BLOG

WATT SHOULD I DO…

As I’m sure you’re aware, energy prices have gone through the (hopefully insulated) roof. Let’s dive into the details as to why this is, and the action being taken to mitigate the problem. First things first, gas prices have skyrocketed as a consequence of huge demand outstripping supply. With 85% of UK households using gas boilers it’s no surprise that the UK has been heavily impacted. However, increasing demand is not the sole factor in this equation. With the outbreak of conflict in eastern Europe, the UK and much of the EU has lost one of its gas suppliers in Russia, which made up 10% of the UK’s natural gas imports. While this might not seem to be a massive amount, other European nations are considerably more dependent on Russia and its exports.

In hopes of mitigating the steep rise in energy prices, the British government has offered grants of up to £350 to millions of households across the country to alleviate pressure on the purse strings. They have also invested considerably in renewable energy over the past decade, totalling around £90 billion. Key areas of investment include a handful of nuclear power plants and tripling the UK’s already world-leading offshore wind power figures.

The trouble is that developing a well-diversified power network takes time. These are long-term projects that won’t be complete for several years and they are EXPENSIVE. Which begs the question, is enough being done in the short-term? Is there even anything else that can be done? Especially since we haven’t seen the worst of it yet. Various predictions assert that we could see the price cap rise another 26% this coming winter, and with 30% of people reporting that their energy bill direct debits have doubled since the increase earlier this year (according to a survey conducted by moneysavingexpert.com), there should be a very real fear about the ramifications of two large energy price cap increases in the same year.

Finally, what options do we have to best protect ourselves and save our money? The general consensus is to stay put for now, especially if you have a fixed contract with your energy supplier. Regardless, it may still be worth remaining vigilant for better deals as always (although they are pretty scarce at the moment). Ultimately, these are turbulent times and the dynamic nature of this sector makes it difficult to say anything with certainty. Just keep an ion things!

Since writing this piece, more updates and projections have been released by Ofgem. They are warning of further price cap increases this October by an average of £800. That’s roughly a 40% increase. Consequently many experts are changing their tune slightly, and are now saying it may be worth switching if you can get a fixed rate of 35-40%. If you’d like to do some further reading on the subject I have a few links to some articles I think you may find interesting:

Sam Harris
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

UTILITIES BILL: WATT SHOULD I DO?2023-12-01T12:12:49+00:00

GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER

TODAY’S BLOG

GETTING YOUR FOOT ON (AND OFF) THE PROPERTY LADDER…

Despite various Government initiatives – the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme; stamp duty land tax relief; reduced deposit requirements etc – getting on the property ladder still proves to be a difficult task for the majority of young adults in the UK; and can feel almost unattainable for some.

This sometimes means that couples move in together (often prematurely) and/or live with parents for longer in order to start saving for a house deposit. There are a variety of things that can be done to help build a deposit for first time buyers under the age of 40, but the truth is that this is very marginal. In spite of what some celebratory estate agents may suggest, cutting back on trips to Starbucks is a drop in the ocean when we see property prices galloping off into the distance and out of range of anyone earning less than £80,000. Yes, rates are low, mortgage terms are longer, but often the bank of Mum and Dad or an inheritance has to save the day!

In this country, our laws generally protect the landlord as opposed to the tenant, making buying all the more desirable; yet it is almost out of reach for millennials.  The average age of first time buyers in the UK is now 34 years old which is an alarming statistic (it’s 37 if you live in London).

You know that buying a house is of course an investment, but it also represents so much more than that – a home, a stable environment, your sanctuary. Most of us would also concede that we have done relatively little to increase the value of our homes, most of the rise has been due to the demand, which is fuelled by a lack of housing stock. Most of us have actually been quite lucky rather than particularly savvy about property.

At Solomon’s, we work towards enabling our clients to achieve financial freedom. Usually that means paying off your mortgage long before you retire.  A huge milestone for anyone … effectively liberating your salary and giving you the opportunity to spend your hard-earned income on other things.

We aren’t only about helping you to invest your money (although this is obviously a large part of what we do) – on many occasions, Dominic has had to tell clients that they have reached a point where they can start spending it! (You might be surprised to hear that people are sometimes reluctant to do this; having been shackled by mortgage payments for so many years).

It is not that we are giving clients permission to spend their money (such permission is not ours to give or withhold!), rather it’s simply about reminding them of their autonomy and the power to make ‘informed choices’.

We have been told many times in the past that one of the things clients like about our service is the guidance and ‘reassurance’ we provide.  And this is indeed one of the most enjoyable parts of what we do – financial freedom is our main aim for clients and we derive great pleasure from seeing this happen.

Abigail Liddicott
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER2023-12-01T12:12:55+00:00

SLOW AND STEADY…

TODAY’S BLOG

You would think (given that I work for a financial planning firm!) that I would be great at handling my finances.  Unfortunately, this is not something I have totally figured out…

I am a 20-something woman, living in and galivanting around London.  I like to keep myself busy with events and activities – I love the buzz and vitality of ‘city life’.  Whilst I am thoroughly enjoying my time and having some fabulous experiences, I also know that I need to say no sometimes to try and save for my future endeavours … right?

“YOU’RE YOUNG; YOU HAVE SO MUCH TIME; JUST ENJOY IT”

I am constantly torn between living ‘in the moment’, enjoying London whilst I’m here, and also saving for my future lifestyle (my needs and dreams are sure to alter as I get older).  I am frequently reminded by anyone remotely older than me, that I am ‘’SO YOUNG, you can do anything, you have no real responsibilities!” – which to me sounds like code for – you have no children or a mortgage so HAVE ALL THE FUN.  Which on the one hand makes a great deal of sense, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that living in the moment is all well in good, but thinking about my future is something I mustn’t avoid.  Whilst I enjoy hearing from others that I am in a period of my life where being young and free needs to be enjoyed, I still often hear people reflecting saying they wished they’d saved more when they were younger or they wished they had done xyz as well.  Hindsight is 20/20 vision of course.

In the last few years, I have started to see friends of roughly my age buying their first home, getting engaged or having children.  Whilst of course this is all a matter of perspective based on our individual choices, circumstances, income etc; I can’t help but feel I am now in a hurry to get on and do everything, as well as ‘save’ for ‘future me’.  I am told that I have all the time in the world, and yet I feel like I am starting to run out of it at the same time!

MY WISE OLD MANAGER …

As I was beginning to feel slightly overwhelmed trying to compartmentalise my financial life whilst enjoying life in the city, my lovely manager Debbie brilliantly guided me to a realisation that saving little by little was possible, and that I needn’t worry about saving huge chunks (I was never able to save huge chunks, but little chunks didn’t seem to be enough in my mind!).  She told me that every evening after having whatever fun I was having, I should move money into my savings account so that each night my account balance was left at a round number.  I remember laughing and saying that this would make no difference – moving 50p here, £3.80 there … what a long-winded approach!  And yet …  she was completely right.  Soon after starting to do this, I realised that each month I was actually saving!  And I was also made to be more mindful at the same time.  It didn’t hurt or stop me going out, it was done so subtly that it was easily doable.

It’s taken some time, and I still have moments of forgetting and missing a few days, but I feel I am finally at a place where I can feel comfortable and confident about putting away ‘a little something’.

And already in the new year, I’ve managed to keep saving.  Admittedly it’s not a lot – but it’s a start, and I’m proud of what I’ve managed to achieve.  It’s a reminder that it doesn’t matter how much it is, slowly I am beginning to create a little pot of gold for my future.

And in much the same way, it is incredibly satisfying for us to see the differences for our clients (which can be phenomenal) that a planned approach (even if ’slow but small’) can bring about … ultimately enabling choice and financial freedom.

Jemima Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on our blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to us about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

SLOW AND STEADY…2023-12-01T12:12:56+00:00
Go to Top