Ask Andy #58: 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

Every couple of weeks (usually on a Sunday or Tuesday evening at 7pm) 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!

Can I contact you on Whatsapp?

Hi Andy, You responded to my answer in one of your YouTube videos. You left your WhatsApp number so I can call you. Today I wanted to call on this number but couldn’t find anywhere your response with this WhatsApp number. Can you please send it to me again? Thank you.

Monika, via YouTube

Sadly Monika the person you send you a number for Whatsapp wasn’t me and I’ve removed the comments (that I can find) saying this on a handful of other comments.

This is a scam where people set up a fake account with the same name and use my profile picture to imitate me. If you’d called them, they’d have likely tried to get you to invest in something “amazing” or tried to get access to your accounts.

First, and this applies to any platform, I will never offer my contact details in this way, or message any readers and followers out of the blue. In fact, no content creator will do this. If you see these messages assume they are scammers.

Second, even if it looks like a message or content from me, or if you are ever unsure, then you can check all official URLs and handles here on the blog.

Where is best to save when stoozing?

Can you advise me on the best place to put savings whilst Stoozing. I was thinking the Lloyd’s linked saver at 4.5%, what are your thoughts is there a better strategy? 

Kills, via email

The short answer is wherever pays the highest interest that allows you to access the money when you need to pay off the card. Regular savers such as the Lloyds one are great if you can wait a year to get the interest, though there are a handful of better paying ones out there. There are also monthly limits on these, so you might need more than one from different banks to cover all your spending. Here’s more on Stoozing.

Andy’s YouTube

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

Santander 123 or 123 Lite?

I just read your article re these two products and I’m a little confused. I currently have £6,000 in my 123 Lite account which pays me no interest at all and charges £2 a month. If I switch to 123 I will get £90 per annum interest less the £48 annual fee, so £42, then in addition the cash back on bills exactly as the 123 Lite account. Surely the 123 account is better in this case?

Robert, via email

Hi Bob, you’re not wrong that you’ll get more money despite the higher fee versus if you kept your savings in the 123 Lite. But even though Santander has just increased the rate on offer to 1.75%, this can still be easily beaten in other easy access accounts – and they won’t charge a monthly fee. So you’re better off opening up one of those and keeping your savings there.

When do I get interest on my Natwest Digital Regular Saver?

When you open this account, how much do you put in and when? Do I put £150 in straight away? If we’re using the example of £150/mth and I get to the £1000 limit on month 7 when does the 5.12% actually get paid? Is it once you get to the £1000 in month 7 or does the money need to be in the account for 12 months? 

I found this text confusing: “If you save the full £1,000 in seven months then the interest earned in the first year will be worth around £39.04.” So when do you actually get the £39.04? Month 7 or 12?

Again I don’t understand this text either: “You’ll then keep earning the interest on that money, and over the next full 12 months you will earn you £51.20 on that grand.”  What do you mean by “next full 12 months”? This to me implies you need to keep the £1000 in the account for 2yrs in order to get the full 5.12%??

Sarah, via email

So this regular saver is very different to other regular savers which mature after 12 months. It’ll just keep on going, earning you interest.

You can put £150 in straight away. And then again each month. But once you get to a balance of £1,000 there’s no point adding more money as you won’t get the headline rate. In fact it’s worth withdrawing the interest earned (paid monthly) and moving it to a different account that will earn a higher rate, but keeping the £1,000 in there. There’s no need to keep adding cash.

Re the interest returns. In the first year, assuming you save £150 for six months and £100 for the seventh month, the total interest over 12 months will be £39. But the next year, when you’ve had £1,000 in the whole time, you’ll get £51.20. And the same the next year, and so on (unless they change the rates). 

Andy’s podcast

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

Do I need to keep my BA Amex to use the companion voucher?

I have an Amex BA platinum card and have received a BA voucher that’s valid for the next two years. I plan on cancelling my Amex as the annual costs are too high. Would I lose the voucher?

Parash, via the Facebook community

The terms and conditions on Amex’s website don’t state what happens if you do cancel your card, though I’ve heard that when you cancel on the phone Amex agents will say you’ll lose the voucher.

However in practice it seems all you will need is an American Express card in your name to pay for the fees and tax that come with Avios booking, not necessarily the same card you initially had when earning the voucher. The easiest option could be to downgrade to the free BA Amex card.

How to ask me questions

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

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

I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer all questions but I’ll do my best.

If you want to contact me via other channels 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.

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

One thought on “Ask Andy #58: Your money questions answered

  1. Hi Andy
    Im an expat living in spain for the last 12yrs, i have been told by barclays to close the account.i already have a HSBC ACCOUNT but the interest rates ar so low, im looking to open a couple of savings accounts in uk that offer good rates
    The funds are already there in uk im looking to try earning some good interest .

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