This week saw inflation, as measured by the retail prices index (RPI), hit a 20-year high of 5.3% whilst interest rates paid on the top instant-access accounts have continued to drift down to 3% or less. With one year fixed-rate bonds only offering a minimal return as well, it is now virtually impossible to earn a positive after-inflation return from a cash account.
Fear not though, if you were out enjoying the sunshine on the weekend and missed the weekend’s papers, MRM is here to provide you with your essential summary.
The Observer kicked off this inflation-busting weekend with a guide on how to stretch your cash. Suggestions included shopping around for petrol, investing in an inflation-linked savings certificate, using discount vouchers and paying off your debts – all pretty sensible stuff. However the most creative suggestion by far was the recommendation to forage for free food in the countryside as a means of cutting household bills. That’s right, why not pick your own nettles and wild garlic – good for soup or with rabbit we’ve been told – or perhaps you fancy a glass of bubbly but just can’t stretch your budget to splash out, not to worry, soon there will be enough wild elderflowers for you to pick until your heart’s content and brew your own. No guarantees it’ll be a worthy replacement mind, but hey you wanted ways to beat inflation, you got ‘em.
Whilst the Observer may have taken a slightly ‘alternative’ approach to beating inflation, the Financial Times stuck to its guns and outlined the various accounts offering the best rates for your savings with Northern Rock and Coventry Building society coming up top trumps in the FT and Telegraph and Mail on Saturday alike.
If however, you’d prefer to just stick to more traditional routes for income generation, the Sunday Times provided us with a few tips including, offsetting your mortgage, investing in equity income funds or investing in venture capital funds.
The scores on the doors this week are: