We hope our website will help you understand more about your money and how to look after it. We have written a number of tests and exercises to help you learn the different investment vehicles and how to access them both online and in person.
People are nowadays taking a great deal of interest in the details of the money aspects of their own daily lives. They are not only becoming more conscious of the substantial deductions made from their gross pay, but they are also checking on such things as the relative costs of hire purchase, budget accounts, bank loans, credit cards and insurance policies, and on the income yields they might be getting from different kinds of investment. People are much more sophisticated, money-wise, than they used to be, and are asking themselves many questions about personal finance that those of an earlier generation couldn't be bothered about.
This website seeks to provide for such enquiring minds a broad outline of factual knowledge of the financial world so far as it affects the average man or woman in his or her daily affairs. The contents of the website have been specially selected and arranged so that they also provide a complete course of study for candidates for the new GCE Ordinary (Alternative) Level subject of Personal and Business Finance. The syllabus for this subject, as one would expect, covers very much the same ground as that which the alert and numerate citizen is seeking to explore for his own satisfaction and personal benefit.
It is impossible in any practical website on money matters to avoid using figures. Unfortunately, in times of rapid inflation any mention of prices, wage levels, interest rates and taxes rapidly becomes out of date. Figures used in this website were realistic in the autumn of 2000, but allowance must be made by the reader for changes in economic conditions since then. Although absolute figures may become dated the principles concerned, and in particular the relationships between different figures, stay more or less unchanged.
A selection of additional reading and of material available for the help of teachers is listed at the end of the website.
Under the United Kingdom social security scheme, payments made to individuals in cash (as distinguished from services such as medical, educational, dental, etc.) are called 'benefits'. There are three general classes of benefit:
(a) those that can be paid only if the required national insurance contributions have been paid (national insurance benefits);
(b) those that all persons who fulfil the required conditions are entitled to receive, irrespective of national insurance contributions and irrespective of what other means they may have (non-contributory benefits)... see: Social Security Benefits