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YOUR Money: Boost Your WEALTH HEALTH ; ..Follow Our Simple Tips and You Could Be Pounds 10,000 Richer

Jan 9, 2007


CHRISTMAS has left millions of us a lot poorer and plumper. So now's the time to lose pounds from your waistline, adding them to your wallet or purse instead.

Believe it or not you could be as much as pounds 10,000 richer by this time next year.

As with your health, all you need do to boost your wealth is to make a few simple changes to your lifestyle. Just cut costs and invest the money saved.

DAILY CAPPUCCINO: That daily cappuccino from the coffee shop may help kickstart your day but at pounds 1.89 a go it adds up to a pounds 453 a year bill.

Instead, buy a jar of coffee and make your own in the office or at home. If you can't do without one on the go, take a flask.

You can get around 60 cups of coffee from a 100g jar of Nescafe, which costs just pounds 1.94. Four jars a year should make the same 240 cups

SAVING: pounds 445 a year.

GYM MEMBERSHIP: Around 100,000 people will join fitness clubs this month forking out an average pounds 400 a year on membership fees. Most will give up going within a few months.

Go for walks or get on yer bike instead.

SAVING: pounds 400 a year.

SMOKING: The ban on public smoking starts in July so why not try giving up now? If you smoke 20 a day you'll save pounds 1,846 in a year. You may also be able to cut the cost of health or life insurance too.

SAVING: pounds 1,846 a year.

DRINK: If you stick to the recommended health guide of no more than four units for men, two for women, that's two pints of lager for a man or four glasses of wine a day it's costing you around pounds 1,456 a year for the beer and pounds 3,494 if you're drinking wine (figures are halved for a woman). Many people consume twice that much. If you fall into that category, you could halve your bar bill.

SAVING: up to pounds 3,494 a year.

BANKING: Keep a close eye on your account, be sure you remain in credit or arrange an authorised overdraft. Stick to your existing bank if you're pleased with the service, move your account if you're not.

Best-buy accounts: Alliance & Leicester and Nationwide pay above average interest on current accounts and offer the cheapest overdrafts.

SAVING: Hard to say but simply avoiding penalties can save you hundreds.

Credit: If you're careful with money credit cards offer convenience and cheap temporary borrowing. But with interest charges averaging 17 per cent it's cheaper to get a personal loan if you need very large amounts or a year or more to repay. You can get loans for less than seven per cent. Don't get taken in by the "headline" rates. Most lenders charge according to how they assess your creditworthiness.

If you owe a lot on credit cards but can clear it within a year switch to a card offering an interest-free year on debt transfers.

SAVING: You have to pay a two-three per cent fee on debt transfers. Even allowing for that you'll still save at least

pounds 140 on each pounds 1,000 owed.

INSURANCE: Save hundreds shopping around either by phone, on the net or using a broker. An average premium for home insurance is pounds 355 but you can get it as low as pounds 222.

Fully comp car insurance averages pounds 772 but clued-up drivers can pay about pounds 460, says the AA. Life insurance is getting steadily cheaper because we are living longer. If you bought policies over five or 10 years ago you may make big savings by getting fresh cover.

Don't cancel existing policies until you've got a replacement. You can shop around on the net but it's better to go to a broker. Rates vary from as little as pounds 7 to pounds 12 a month for pounds 100,000 cover for a 30-year-old.

SAVING: pounds 500 a year.

ENERGY AND UTILITIES: Despite falling oil prices providers are still charging sky-high rates.

But you can easily save 20 per cent by tracking down a better deal, getting your gas and electricity from the same provider and paying by direct debit. There are also savings to be made looking for the cheapest home phone, mobile phone and broadband provider.

SAVING: pounds 500 including pounds 200 on the average pounds 1,000 yearly fuel bill.

MORTGAGE: The going rate charged by major lenders on new mortgages is now seven per cent and will go even higher if, as seems likely, the Bank of England raises interest rates yet again over the next few months. But there are still plenty of fixed rate deals around at five per cent or less.

SAVING: pounds 2,000 a year on a typical pounds 100,000 loan.

MILLIONS of us have money in banks and savings accounts earning little or nothing. Some major banks still pay just 10p interest on each pounds 100 left with them, for example. Many of us have small sums scattered about in lots of different accounts too.

Dig them all out and put the money in one account. Your first pounds 3,000 should go into an instant access tax-free cash ISA account, the best of which pay five per cent or more.

Best rates on deposits right now are offered by West Bromwich building society, 5.6 per cent, and National Savings 5.55 per cent while Scarborough building society pays 6.25 per cent.

GAIN: Up to pounds 165 a year on each pounds 3,000 saved.

SHARES ISAS: The only sure way to make your money grow is to invest in the nation's real earning power - our offices, factories, machines and workers.

The easiest way to do this is through a unit trust investing a broad spread of companies.

Do it through a Shares ISA and any profit and much of the income is tax free. If you left pounds 1,000 on deposit 10 years ago it would be worth pounds 1,300 today. In an average unit trust you'd have more than doubled your money.

You'd do better still investing regularly from your income. Had you put pounds 20 a month in an average unit trust it would have grown to pounds 3,340 over 10 years and more than pounds 13,000 over 20.

For more about investing log on to the Investment Management Association at www.invest or call 020 7269 4639 for free factsheets.

GAIN: Shares rose by 14.7 per cent last year after including re- invested dividends adding pounds 147 to each pounds 1,000 invested.


TO find the best deals log on to or talk to an independent financial adviser. To find one in your area call 0800 085 3250 or visit For advice on switching energy and utilities call 0800 011 1351 or log on to

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