Keep a close eye on your pay slip at the end of this month, because you'll probably notice the amount you take home is more than it was last month. Not by a crazy amount, I should add, but at least enough extra for a large glass of wine and I'm certainly not going to complain about that.
The reason why is because we now find ourselves in a new tax year, which means the amount we can earn tax-free has increased. Last year, the tax free allowance was £11,500, meaning you're only taxed on everything you earn after that amount. But for the year 2018/19 it's gone up by £350, to £11,850, so the amount you're taxed on from now onwards will be less than it was previously.
To put it into context, people who earn £25,000 would previously have taken home £1,690 every month (not including any pension or student loan deductions). This month, however, they'd earn £1,699 after tax and national insurance.
An increase of £9! Not exactly lottery winning levels, sure, but it's not to be sniffed either. That extra dosh would get you two thirds of a cinema ticket, or half a top in Zara. Let's not be ungrateful, here.
Having said that, the new tax year has also brought a price increase on a load of everyday things you'll now have to pay more for, so you'll be thankful for those few extra quid. Prescriptions have now gone up by 20p - from £8.60 to £8.80 - as have air fares. On long haul flights of more than 2,000 miles you'll now have to pay 4% more than you did in the previous tax year.
Other things that have seen a price hike as of April 1 include the dentist (check-ups are now £1 more expensive, at £21.60), Royal Mail stamps (first class is now 67p, previously it was 65p) and council tax, which varies from place-to-place but has seen an average increase of 5.1%, or £81 a year.
Still, cheers for the tiny boost in earnings, government. Every little helps and all that.
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