The early bird catches the worm

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The new tax year, which began a couple of weeks ago, means that savers have a new ISA allowance to play with. It should go without saying that the earlier a person chooses to start investing, the more time their investments have the opportunity to grow, so it’s worth saving as early as possible.

Many people who take up going to the gym say that getting into the habit is the trickiest bit. Once they’ve established a routine, it becomes much easier. Some truly dedicated souls even find it enjoyable! The same can be said for saving and investing. In these austere times many are living hand-to-mouth and the idea of parting with any extra cash each month may seem unfeasible. However, just £10, £15 or £20 per month could make a difference and, once a person has made the decision to put that money aside on a regular monthly basis, the easier it becomes.

What’s more, a saver who starts putting money aside on a regular monthly basis at the start of the tax year can generally expect more back than someone who waits until later in the year to start putting money into their ISA.

However, just when you thought you’d got your head around ISAs and what they’re all about, they – the Government, of course – go and move the goalposts! Anyone who decides to make a concerted effort to save into an ISA this year now has to get their head around the new ISA and what this means in terms of their savings.

The good news is that, for anybody on a modest income, the new maximum ISA allowance is, to a large extent, of little consequence. A person who is able to invest almost £12,000 per year – increasing to £15,000 from July – is not the same as the person who is struggling to find a small regular amount per month to put aside.

As with many things in life, it’s making that first step that’s always the hardest.  While the New Year in January is a great time to take that first step into a healthy eating or exercise regime, the start new tax year is perfect to make that first move to a regular ISA savings habit.

Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and tax law may change in the future.  You can invest in cash ISAs and in stocks and shares ISAs.  Investments in stocks and shares can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you have paid in.

No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.