Rebecca Goodman

I am an award-winning freelance journalist with more than a decade of experience working for online and print consumer publications. I have written for many of the national newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Independent, The Mirror, The Sun, This is Money, Stylist and The Telegraph. I also regularly take on corporate content projects and in my spare time set up my own successful baking blog and social media network. 

Longing for a baby? The IVF postcode lottery can have a high price

The cost of fertility treatment varies drastically across England with some people paying almost 30% more for IVF depending on where they live. New figures show a clear “postcode lottery” , with huge variances between different cities. London comes out as the most expensive with an average total cost of £6,150. But, for the same treatment in Manchester, it is £4,764, according to data given to the Observer by Fertility Mapper, a website collating costs and giving personal reviews and experience

What is ESG investing? | John Lewis Finance

Environmental, social and governance investing – or ‘ESG’ investing – comes in different shapes and sizes. Some investors choose companies that not only meet their financial standards, but also match a clear set of non-financial measures. These might include the company’s culture, the diversity of the leadership team, and the firm’s impact on the environment. What the company does is also important – ESG investors often want to avoid putting their money into firms that engage in controversial,

The best Christmas markets in Europe | John Lewis Finance

Christmas is the perfect time of year for a European break. There's something delightfully enchanting about visiting these beautiful mediaeval cities, decorated with twinkling festive lights and a touch of snow, at this time of year. It’s also a great opportunity to stock up on unique presents and traditional gifts for the big day. With chalet-style stalls laden with everything you could wish for, from handmade baubles to Christmas lanterns. From Strasbourg to Copenhagen and everywhere in betw

What is ATOL protection? | John Lewis Finance

ATOL, which stands for Air Travel Organiser’s Licence, is a scheme which protects people when they go on holiday if the travel company goes bust. It is run by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and it lets them reclaim any money they’ve already spent on the trip and repatriation if they’re out of the country. It was introduced in 1973, and all package holidays sold in the UK must legally have ATOL protection. These are holidays where you booked through the same provider and often include both f

How to Transfer an ISA | John Lewis Finance

ISAs are a great tool for investing your money and being tax efficient. Every tax year, all ISAs have a maximum contribution limit – referred to as your - that you can pay into your account without being taxed on returns or growth. In the 2022 to 2023 tax year, the maximum you can contribute into a cash ISA or a stocks and shares ISA is £20,000. The deposit limit for Junior ISAs (JISAs) is £9,000. For the 2023 to 2024 tax year, the limit will remain the same. If you have both a stocks and shares

ISA allowance 2023/24 | John Lewis Finance

Where you put your ISA allowance will depend on your goals. If you invest with us, you have the following ISAs available to you at John Lewis Investments: Stocks and shares ISA: any money put into a stocks and shares ISA will be invested in global equity and bond markets. Junior ISA: a Junior ISA can be opened for a child and only they can access the money when they turn 18. Again, these contributions will be invested in global equity and bond markets. For both our stocks and shares ISA and J

Moving house checklist | John Lewis Finance

Before moving home there is a lot of admin and to-do lists to tick off, but once this is done it will make the experience a lot smoother and hopefully less stressful. Book a moving date One of the first things on your list will be confirming your moving date, which either the house seller or your conveyancer can give you if you’re buying. If you’re renting you should be given the date by your new landlord or estate agent. Give notice to your landlord (if you rent) As soon as you have your mo

Should I consider a 30-year mortgage?

Mouthy Money Your Questions Answered panellist, Mark Harris, answers a reader’s question on the pros and cons of choosing a long mortgage term. Q I’m desperate to get on the housing ladder so should I consider a 30-year mortgage term? A Long gone are the days of the standard 25-year mortgage term. With house-price growth outstripping wage income over the years, the only way many buyers can afford to get on the housing ladder is if they opt for a longer mortgage term. With a longer term, as yo

Nationwide launches suite of new savings accounts: How do they compare?

Nationwide Building Society has launched a range of new cash savings accounts for adults and children. How do they stack up? For adults, Nationwide has launched new issues of fixed rate bonds which can be opened in branch or online, as well as ISAs. All require a minimum £1 balance to get you started. The 10 new savings accounts pay between 4.50% and 4.90% AER and include the following: The highest rate available is offered on the one-year bond, paying 4.90%. Yet there are several options if

HMRC scraps plans to tax pensions after death

A proposed plan to tax some pensions after death has been axed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). It would have seen an ‘income death tax’ added to some pension pots from April 2024 but in a U-turn these proposals have been shelved. Under the current rules, beneficiaries are able to inherit a tax-free untouched (uncrystallised) defined contribution pension pot and this has been the case since 2015. If they choose to receive an income from the pension, via drawdown or an annuity, the money is not

Households £1,900 worse off by next General Election

By the next General Election in 2025, real household disposable incomes will have fallen by 3.1% since 2019, according to one think tank. This is equivalent to households being £1,900 poorer during the current parliament despite a range of measures announced yesterday to ease the strain of the cost-of-living crisis. Yesterday’s Autumn Statement “failed to end a wider economic stagnation” and will provide more benefit to the richest households, said the Resolution Foundation. Its analysis of th

Why are so many UK families missing out on a £2,000 childcare benefit?

Childcare costs in the UK are the most expensive of any developed country – but almost two-thirds of families do not claim the government money to which they are entitled. It is estimated that 1.3 million families are eligible for up to £2,000 a year per child, or £4,000 for those with disabled children, through the tax-free childcare (TFC) scheme, under which the government will add £2 to every £8 you pay your childcare provider. But just 36%, or 470,000 families, claimed in June, according to

Can I open an ISA even though I’m not from the UK?

Mouthy Money Your Questions Answered panelist, Sean Cockburn, answers a reader’s question on opening an ISA if you aren’t from the UK and the pros and cons when it comes to taxes. Q I’m from Italy, currently living in the UK, and I’ve invested some of my savings using a European investment platform. It doesn’t offer an ISA, but is it worth switching my investments to an ISA for the tax benefit? If I did this and then returned to the EU what would that mean for the investment? A An ISA is a s

Will savings rates rise further or is this the best they’re going to get?

Mouthy Money Your Questions Answered panelist, Sarah Coles, answers a reader’s question on interest rates in the savings market and what’s likely to happen next. Q. Will savings rates get better? Or should I lock my cash away now in a fixed rate account? A. Calling the top of the savings market isn’t straightforward, but it’s looking highly likely that for we’re there. The Bank of England held rates last week so fixed savings rates may well have peaked. When banks are setting fixed rates, t

Is it time to switch my energy provider?

Mouthy Money Your Questions Answered panellist, Martyn James, answers a reader’s question on deciding the right time to switch energy providers and when a fixed deal is worth it. Question: Has energy switching started again and is it a good idea to lock in a fixed-rate tariff now, before the winter? Answer: Historically the best way to save money on energy bills was switching. Yet after bills went through the roof, it no longer made sense to change providers. Earlier in the year, most energy

Lifetime ISA interest rates soar: An essential guide to the first-time buyer and pension saving scheme

Providers are paying significantly more interest to holders of cash Lifetime ISAs (LISAs) with rates soaring nearly 320% in the last year. Our complete guide will give a greater understanding of all aspects of the LISA and help you decide whether one is right for you. The average cash LISA pays 3.26%, trouncing the paltry 0.78% offered in July 2022, data from Moneyfacts reveals. This represents a four-fold increase or a 317% rise in just a year, off the back of consecutive hikes to the Bank of

How to navigate the mortgage crisis, by the experts

Recent peaks in interest rates have spooked millions of homeowners and potential buyers and experts are predicting it to rise further. It has pushed up the cost of borrowing – again – and comes in an environment where prices are rising across the board, from food and clothes to energy and travel. With stubbornly high inflation, the rise was not welcomed by borrowers, especially those already struggling financially. Fixed-rate mortgage costs are continuing to rise, and the average two-year fixe

Buying or selling? How to steer a path through the rocky housing market

For millions of Britons who had plans to move house or get on the property ladder this year, the latest mortgage misery coupled with the cost of living crisis makes paints a grim picture. House prices fell 3.5 per cent in June, when compared with last year, according to the latest Nationwide housing index. This is the fastest drop since 2009, thanks to the pressure of increasing mortgage rates. Yet it’s hard to predict what will happen next as they also rose unexpectedly by 0.1 per cent in the
Load More Articles