Thursday, 23 April 2009

Simonne sums up the budget for you

So… how have we women fared in yesterday's Budget? The good bits of news

- the amount you can pay each tax year into tax-free ISAs will be increasing
from £7,200 to £10,200 a year, up to £5,100 of which can be held in cash.
- Grannies caring for their grandkids will receive credits to help them
receive a full state pension at retirement.
- No stamp duty for properties worth less than £175,000 until the end of the year 
to help first-time house buyers.
- Child trust funds up by £100 per year for disabled children and
£200 per year for severely disabled children

The hardest hit are the high earners amongst you (those earning £150,000 or
more), who will pay more income tax and get less tax relief on pension contributions. 
It doesn't come into effect immediately so there's time for a bit of planning.

For more about how the Budget will affect you have a look at the BBC's
Budget calculator:

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Tell it like it is!

If you thought a hedge fund was something gardeners paid into, don’t worry, I find the language of finance pretty daft too.

No wonder a lot of us are confused and just don’t want to go there.

Why do we ‘secure’ a mortgage instead of just having one? Why say ‘capital growth’ instead of just ‘getting money’?
How can we say a debt ‘attracts’ interest? What’s attractive about it?
And surely only a man could have dreamed up ‘fiscal stimulus’ (OK, or Anne Summers). Ditto ‘quantitative easing’.

One of our lovely reviewers on Amazon said of Sheconomics,
Great to read something that isn’t full of jargon and number crunching’. We're trying to keep things that way.

In the Readers Q&A section on the website we answer readers’ questions with some straightforward talking, so don’t be afraid to pose a question there. However stupid you might think it, we bet there are loads of others who are equally befuddled……

Monday, 20 April 2009

Simonne and speculation over the end of higher rate tax relief

Any higher rate tax payers out there wanting to make a pension contribution this tax year? 

There’s speculation that the 40% tax relief on pension contributions is under threat and may be capped to the basic level of 20% after the Budget on 22 April. The change could take effect immediately and would mean that the cost of a £10,000 pension contribution would increase from £6,000 to £8,000.

It’s worth acting quickly or talking to a financial adviser if this affects you.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Simonne notes....

We’re finally saving more!

Great news! The latest report by National Savings & Investments shows that we’re all becoming more Sheconomical and building up our savings pots.

According to their report, we saved a record amount over the winter of 2008/09 period, more than any winter period recorded. That translates as an average of £201.55 a month or 6.48% of our income.
Click here to view the full survey findings.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

First study to show spending linked to menstrual cycle

Another milestone event this week was presenting my latest research to the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, in a paper 'Women's spending behaviour is menstrual cycle sensitive'.

After news coverage in the Sunday Telegraph and Daily Mail, it became the BBC news online's  most shared story and was featured on radio broadcasts worldwide.

Meanwhile here is the abstract from the BPS paper:

Fluctuations in hormones across the menstrual cycle have been shown to account for variations in a wide range of cognitive and affective responses in women. Functional MRI studies have shown that activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, responsible for inhibitory control and emotion regulation, varies across the menstrual cycle. This study demonstrates a behavioural correlate of that fluctuation. Women’s behaviour with money was found to be menstrual-cycle sensitive with self-regulatory behaviour being lowest in the luteal phase, giving rise to excessive and unplanned spending behaviour.

I'll make a pdf file of the slides for the talk, if you want a copy email me (

Friday, 3 April 2009

Sheconomics book signing

Karen (left) and Simonne at the Borders signing event last night......
Had great fun at the book signing at Borders last night. Thanks to all the Sheconomics fans who came along and made it such a friendly do.

But when someone thrusts a blank page at you what, in all honesty, should you write?
Just a name seems a tad impersonal and being too gushing might reek of over-familiarity.

At least I didn’t make the mistake made by the late Kenneth Williams. He was a bit hard of hearing and wrote, 'To Emma Chiswick…’ in a woman’s book. 
‘I didn’t say Emma Chiswick’ the woman bawled at him, ‘I said ‘Ow much is it?’!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Brighton - Thursday evening - be there!

Don't forget to join us if you're in Brighton tomorrow evening (and who wouldn't be in this weather? I'm packing my bucket and spade right now!).

From 6.30 pm Simonne & Karen will be at Borders in Brighton for a book-signing event (Churchill Square). We'll be talking about why we wrote Sheconomics, sharing some of our key messages and answering your questions. We'd love you to join us and help celebrate the launch of Sheconomics over a glass of wine.