Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comI don’t know if it’s because having two kids now makes this whole ‘grown up’ thing seem SO much more real, or the fact that I recently turned 30, but my mind has been turning to all sorts of responsible-adulty type things lately, such as wills, life insurance and savings. When I was little, my Nan and Grandad put money away for my cousins and I every week and when we were 18, presented us each with a cheque for £1000. This helped me to buy and insure my first car and really helped me out with my first few years as a driver, giving me the independence to go wherever I wanted to go.

Just recently, the rules surrounding ISAs were changed and Scottish Friendly issued a press release warning people that the changes mean that cash ISAs might not be working quite as well for your money as you might think they are.

Neil Lovatt, Scottish Friendly’s Director of Financial Products, said: “For every one investment ISA taken out, three cash ISAs are opened.

“Cash is easier to understand as it offers security and access to the savings without penalty that investment ISAs do not. People are being put off by what they think is pure equity investments and instead are opting for accounts that offer poor returns on their cash.

“The changes introduced in the budget gave savers a glimmer of hope and incentivised people to put more money aside each month. However, the Cash ISA market has not risen to the opportunity, instead choosing to offer low rates of interest on cash ISAs and in some cases actually reducing their rates for fear of overly high inflows”.

It’s good to know, as we started an ISA for Sausage when she was little and have mostly just left the money to its own devices, adding to it every now and then. We’ve been a bit slack with BB’s savings and haven’t started anything for her yet, but this new information has really given us food for thought and will probably mean that we think again about Sausage’s savings whilst sorting something out for BB.

Obviously, financial jiggery-pokery and investments can be more than a little daunting to the average person, so we plan to arrange an appointment with our bank and have a chat to them to see what they advise, so that we can make sure we maximise the girls’ savings for their futures. Scottish Friendly also has a really informative Twitter feed, full of links to useful articles and advice, aimed at keeping you up-to-date with all of the news regarding finance and banking.

Basically, the long and short of it is this: interest rates are being lowered, which is good if you’ve borrowed money, but not if you have a lump sum in a savings account or ISA as you won’t be earning as much interest overall. Investments may be riskier but could provide you with a much better return on your savings. You have been warned!

And that, my friends, is where this Public Service Announcement ends!