Some people take 1st January as the time of year to review their finances. Whilst it?s always good to have sound financial resolutions to take on throughout the year April is the month that really excites financial bloggers. In the UK it marks the end and beginning of the tax year. One thing that strikes many people as odd is that the tax year starts not on 1st January or indeed the 1st of any month. The date of 6th April comes about from the historical practice of the year being divided into ?quarter days? ? 25th March (Lady Day), 24th June (Midsummer Day), 29th September (Michaelmas Day) and of course Christmas Day on 25th December. On these days debts and accounts had to be settled and any rents for land and property had to be paid. As Lady Day was the first of the quarter days it was deemed the start of the new year and also the start of the tax year. Due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar the date of 25th March has moved to 6th April. Whilst most countries around the world that used the quarter days system have moved the start of the tax year to 1st January the UK never has adopted this practice.
Enough of the history lesson now and let?s see what our finance bloggers have been writing about this month.
If you need to complete a self assessment form it may only feel like five minutes since you submitted one before the 31st January deadline. This year don?t get in a last minute panic and let Cora from The Mini Millionaire guide you through the process. Just think how good it would feel to have the 2016/17 all tied up by the end of April!
You may think that you don?t need to complete a self assessment form. If your sole earnings are paid through PAYE then you won?t need to worry about self assessment. However, if you have earnings where the tax isn?t taken at source then you will need to register. Emma Drew takes you through the process and what counts as taxable income. You many think HMRC won?t know about extra income but they have ways and means of finding out!
If you think that completing a self assessment is all about paying taxes then think again. There are stacks of legal ways to avoid paying tax all through the government?s tax-free allowances ? yes, no dodgy off-shore accounts needed! Faith at Much More With Less tells us how we can earn up £34,230 without paying a single penny in income tax.
If you want to start the new tax year on the right foot it?s time to sort out a financial plan. It doesn?t need to be for the whole year as a month at a time is far more manageable. Eileen from Your Money Sorted set herself a goal of saving £800 in one month. See how her financial plan worked out.
One thing we don?t like to think about is dying and with it what would happen to our family?s finances if we die. If you have a family or other dependants it makes sense to have some form of life assurance. Many people think that their company pension plan or the state will cover their families needs but as someone who used to work in occupational pensions I can tell you this is not the case! If you want to get the best deal on life assurance look at Katykicker?s tips.
You may be just starting out on your family journey and with it unfortunately a lifetime of expense! It?s very easy to go overboard on pregnancy items and baby things. Don?t bow to pressure let Esther at Money Nuggets tell you 10 Easy Ways to Save Money During Pregnancy.
Once your kids arrive it doesn?t seem long before they are old enough to start demanding things. Sometimes it seems easier to say yes to buying something than telling them no. In the long run it pays in every sense to teach your children about financial responsibilities as soon as possible. Fiona from Savvy in Somerset tell us her method to teach children about money.
If you need to save money there?s many things you can cut out but we all need to eat. Food bills take up a lot of our monthly budgets but there are always ways to cut the cost. Now that spring has finally arrived it?s time to change your eating habits. Hannah at Feast Style Thrive shows us how meal planning and using seasonal foods can reap financial rewards.
Have you financially survived the Easter holidays? Before we know it there will be another Bank Holiday weekend followed by half term at the end of May and then the big summer school holidays. If you need some cheap trips then Michelle at Time and Pence lists her 6 ideas for a free family day out.
Do you ever feel guilty about not giving to every charity you are asked to contribute to? Sara at Debt Camel shows us how it?s not all about setting up monthly direct debits and sending texts messages. Your time and resources can be just as valuable to charities.
If you?ve been following the advice of our bloggers over the months then hopefully you saved lots of money and made a few extra pennies. If it?s time to treat yourself then how about a trip to New York? The is city is also known as the Big Apple and it has an amazing range of eateries to choose from. As the writer of the Reduced Grub blog Kelly knows there?s no need to splash on food as she gives the lowdown on the best places to eat. Pizza for 99c anyone?
How have you started the new tax year? Have you got a financial plan for the coming year?
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About Ness Charles
Ness is a former qualified independent financial adviser with many years of experience in pensions. Since having her two children she has gone back to her first love of writing. Ness now writes the blog JibberJabberuk focusing not only on personal finance but also her love of cake baking, gardening and taking photographs on her travels around the UK.