Ask Andy #45: Your money questions answered

My regular round-up of your personal finance questions.

I love hearing from you, whether it’s on the blog, social media, YouTube or email. Often you’re asking me questions about your finances, and I’m always glad to help if I have the time.

But I realised that my answers could also be useful to other followers. So I’ll be putting my responses to the best questions into regular articles here on the blog.

Keep reading for some of the questions I’ve been asked, plus the video live from this week with even more!

Watch the latest live Q&A

Most Tuesday evenings you’ll find me live on YouTube and Instagram answering your questions. It’s probably the best place to ask!

Here’s the latest video:

This week’s extra questions

If you’ve asked me a question elsewhere, you might find the answer below!

Should I pay to exit my mortgage early?

I currently have a fixed rate mortgage that is due to expire in 23 months time with my current monthly payment being £651 p/m.

My current provider (NatWest) has an exit free charge of 0.25% meaning I would have to pay a fee of around £437

I have found various new mortgages where the monthly payments would be £150 p/m cheaper than my current deal fixed for 2 years.

So my question is, obviously I know its dependant on legal fees etc but on the face of it, it appears that I could pay a one of £437 to save £150 p/m for the next 2 years which seems like a no brainer.. am I missing something or is this spot on and is there anything I need to be cautious of?

Luke via emai

It does depend on all the small print (and any new arrangement fees), but on the surface, that does make sense and could save you just over £3,000 in the next two years! You might be able to get an even better deal if you leverage your LTV (Loan to Value).

Do my Direct Debits need to be monthly?

I am just in the process of switching a  dormant Nationwide account to the RBS Rewards Account to qualify for the £125 cashback.

This will only be used as an account to obtain the cashback and the rewards. I am aware that I have to pay £1250 into the account by 26th May. Once I have done this is the amount I have to pay in down to me ie. Can I just pay in the minimum requirement to cover my two DD along with the monthly fee of £2 or is it a case of putting in that full amount for the month and then withdrawing it straight away? 

Another question I have is can the DD be quarterly payments rather than monthly ones going out of the account?

Paul, via email

Yes absolutely, you only need to cover your DDs and the fee (though the reward should cover some of this). However you will need to ensure the DDs are paid monthly to get the reward for that month. More on some extra DDs here.

Andy’s YouTube

Watch new videos every week on the Andy Clever Cash channel, plus a regular live Q&A

Can I retire early with a Lifetime ISA?

I work for the NHS, I pay into their pension but I have no intention of working as a nurse until 68 (or longer) and my Lifetime S&S ISA is going to allow me to retire early. Fingers crossed! No one ever mentions this, am I missing something? I weighed this up between SIPPs, but want the freedom of taking my money out whenever I want after 60….No one ever mentions this, am I missing something?

Diana, via email

I think the issue will be that you can only pay in a max of £4,000 a year into a Lifetime ISA. Obviously, you get the 25% bonus and hopefully some decent growth, but whether there’s enough in there to cover retirement at 60 will depend on the total pot you build up.

Remember you can’t pay into a LISA after reaching 50 years old. So realistically, you’d need to have opened one up close to 20 and saved the full amount to get a sizeable amount (after growth, compounding etc) that will cover 60 to 68 years old. 

Can I cancel Sky when prices go up?

Can anyone tell me if Sky increase my payments during contract, do I have the right to cancel my subscription?

Christine, via the Facebook community

It depends… for broadband and landline (and TV bundled in with this), then yes you can break the contract and leave, though you do have to give notice within a certain timeframe. That’s usually 30 days of being told about the increase, and since this happened in March it might be too late (though you could call up and try).

But for TV only then the price increase is included in the contract.

Andy’s podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

Why can’t I use Revolut to get my Halifax Rewards?

Hey, on your advice I converted my main Halifax current account into a Rewards account with the intention of using Revolut to make the £500 direct debit. It seems to make a payment to a Revolut account I need to use Google Pay and there is a unspecified daily limit on how much you can pay doing that, meaning I cannot make a payment of £500 or even two payments of £250 into my Revolut card. Any help as I can’t seem to replicate your suggested method of teaching the direct debit?

Werewolf906, via YouTube

Hi, so the key thing here is that it’s a £500 debit card payment, not a direct debit. So in Revolut, go to “Add Money” then use the Halifax debit card to transfer funds across. Then once done you can move the money back or to any other account! Here’s more on the Halifax Reward account.

How to ask me questions

The best ways to get in touch is in the Andy Clever Cash Facebook community

Just post your question any time, or ask me live in my fortnightly Q&A every other Tuesday (which is on Instagram and YouTube).

You can also comment on individual blogposts and videos or ask me questions via these channels:

I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer all questions but I’ll do my best. I tend to look once a week at all the messages, but it can take longer – so you might have to bear with me for a reply.

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