Thursday, 14 March 2013

What is ISA season?

I know that ISA season is approaching when my Grandma starts telling me about where she is going to move her ISAs to. She religiously checks out all the best rates, transfers her current ones and opens a new ISA too. My Grandma is very wise when it comes to ISAs. She always has been.

Back when I could afford to have an ISA, I was too. Every year, when March came around, it was time to hunt and choose the best ISA available. Invariably this meant trawling many different websites and a whole host of hassle. However, ISAs are now far less complex. Cash ISAs are available to anyone over 16 and stocks and shares ISAs are available for over 18s.

ISA season is technically the time leading up to the end of the tax year. Usually counted as the six-week period until the 5th of April. This is the time when, if you are looking to put aside some money to save, you should look at the best rates and check out the ISA which works the best for you. The current threshold for ISAs is £11,280. This can be made up solely of stocks and shares ISAs, or part stocks and shares ISAs and part cash. The limit for the most cash you can put into an ISA is £5,640. Crucially, any savings or investments must be made by the end of the tax year, on the 5th of April.

Whenever my Grandma starts talking about her ISAs, I feel bad that I can't afford one any more. However, our children have junior ISAs, where we can save up to £3,600 per year. We see it as one of the best possible ways to save for their future. In fact, I am positive that my children are richer than my husband and I!

On further investigation, I discovered I do still have an ISA open. It has the grand total of £1.57 i it, so maybe life is not so bad after all!

 This post is brought to you in association with Lloyds TSB

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