Single this Valentine’s Day? Here are 5 financially sensible gifts to give yourself. These gift ideas might seem unromantic and boring, but if you think about what they represent and the long term value that you’ll get from them, they become that little bit more exciting!
A Help to Buy ISA
If you’ve never owned your own home before but you’d like to, treat yourself to a Help to Buy ISA this Valentine’s Day. You can put up to £200 each month into the account and for every £200 you put in, the government will boost your savings with an extra £50. You can use money saved in the ISA for a house worth up to £250,000 across the country or £450,000 in London.
A New Job
Is your job making you miserable? Find something else and quit! This Valentine’s season, devote any spare time you have to brushing up your CV and finding something better. Getting a new job may seem like a huge challenge but your hard work will pay off when you find yourself a role that makes you leap out of bed each morning ready for the day.
Does your employer offer pensions yet? Most companies should have signed up to the government’s auto-enrolment scheme by now but some small businesses won’t have to start offering pensions to their employees until next year.
If you’re able to get a workplace pension, don’t opt out when your boss enrols you. You’re turning down free money!
If, however, your company won’t be enrolling staff until 2018, it might be worth looking at other options. You could sign up for a private pension, the Lifetime ISA (it starts in April) or simply start squirrelling cash away into a high interest account now so that you can afford to put more in your workplace pension next year.
A High Interest Bank Account
This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself to a high interest current account. You can either switch from your existing bank to the new one or have them both. I have eight bank accounts on the go at the moment and having so many lets me earn tons of interest each month. If you’ve only just started thinking about saving money or you don’t have much in your account, it’s probably not worth having more than two current accounts in total just yet.
A Fuck Off Fund
You may be single now, but you’re unlikely to be flying solo forever. And when you do get in a new relationship, it’s wise to have a Fuck Off Fund handy so you can maintain your independence. The last thing you want is to find yourself trapped in a relationship because of financial reasons, and a Fuck Off Fund will give you the freedom to up and leave whenever you want. Not only can a FOF free you from unsatisfactory relationships, it can also enable you to quit jobs you’re unhappy with.
Of course, you could also treat yourself to a ring from Pandora and a bottle of Prosecco this Valentine’s Day, but the rewards you’ll get from the ideas above are sure to be much more long lasting and satisfying!