What do you find confusing about savings?

Hi everyone! :wave:

We’re still hard at work to bring interest on savings to everyone soon. But in the meantime, we’d like to know what things you typically find confusing.

On our blog, we run a series of posts called How Money Works - where we demystify banking concepts. And we’d like to write some about savings.

We’re already planning some guides to concepts like APR and AER. But we’d love to hear your thoughts on any other topics you think we should cover.

So, let us know: what would you find… interesting?

(sorry not sorry for that pun)


We had a discussing some time ago about Islamic Banking here. Basically, Islam prohibits Interest so saving account (or Pots :wink:) in Islamic Banking are operated on Profit and Loss Sharing bases.

Would Monzo consider partnering with an Islamic Banking organisation in future to provide this sort of saving option? @tom would love here your thoughts on this.


Things like how interest is generated would probably be a good thing for consumers


I’d be interested to know this too. I did ask a similar question to Monzo support two years ago and was put in contact with @paul. We had a short email exchange and I gave some details on who he could contact to get more of an idea regarding Shariah/Islamic Banking compliance. Not sure how they got on but Monzo seemed receptive to looking into and finding out more.


Why my savings account is always empty :sleepy:


Maybe something around how interest is calculated (Daily, weekly, monthly, annual ) etc.


The posts educating people about money are so useful, and I know this information can really empower people to have better control of their finances — along with a Monzo account.

What I think people find confusing and should be focussed on regarding savings:

  • How much people should/can save.
  • How/when interest is calculated and what it means?
  • What the Bank of England base rate means?
  • The importance of just putting some money away when you have it; set up auto transfers/round-ups etc.
  • Types of savings accounts (ISAs; fixed-rate, cash etc).
  • Tax on savings.
  • Bonds.
  • Pensions.
  • Investing; types, methods, accounts — Not strictly related and Monzo may not want to go down this route.

These suggestions are amazing! :heart_eyes:


ISAs. I don’t understand them. Too many and it’s complicated


This. All of this.

Edit: I know MSE have a page which likens it to pieces of cake and that makes it marginally less impossible to understand, but I have to keep going back to refresh my brain!


Also, how come a LISA is available for those upto 39 but us oldies :eyes: don’t get a look-in? I could use that to put towards my retirement (when I’m 80 the way things are going), but I don’t get the chance purely because I’m not in that age bracket. What’s so special about the under-40s that they get this?

Edit: I think they should split this into a “help to buy” LISA for the under 40s, and a “retirement planning” LISA for everyone. Which would make 6 different ISAs to track! :smiley:

1 Like
  • Perhaps something around why it’s (usually!) better to pay down debt rather than build up savings, and considerations around this general rule (ie. exceptions when it’s not, like Student Loan)

  • Perhaps something around why Regular Savings accounts end up with less interest than people sometimes expect (ie. less time to compound)

  • Perhaps something around the effects of inflation in real terms on savings’ value (ie. when the interest rate is lower than CPI)


Yes, these please

1 Like

Why there is an arbitrary £1,000 limit on gaining interest with a certain finch bank while others don’t have this limitation.


Exactly how the Bank of England base rate translates into rates offers by (high street) banks.

Oh and you’ve already mentioned it, but APR and EAR too would be ideal.


ISAs can be pretty overwhelming. Cash ISA, Easy Access, Fixed Term, Stocks and Shares ISA, LiSA, New Home ISA etc. All with their own rules. You can have one a year of each type but not any two of the same types within a year, a 25,000 deposit limit per year - is this shared between them? Monthly deposit limits, withdrawal restrictions, penalties and on and on.

Then what do you do when the ISAs interest rate goes down. Can you transfer, do you withdraw then reinvest, how does that affect your deposit limit for the year. Can I have more than one type of ISA a year if I keep an old one and open a new one.


So here is a simple (haha) summary to your qns. The ISA limit is £20,000 per year in total in 2018-19 shared out any which way you want between Cash ISAs, IFISAs and Stocks & Shares ISAs. The LISA can only have up to £4,000 max of that £20,000. (I have excluded Help to buy ISA in this explanation go to MSE for info). You can only put new money (i.e. not currently in an ISA) in to ONE of EACH type of ISA per year. They don’t have to be with the same company as previous ISAs. However you can transfer any amount of ISA money from PREVIOUS tax years in to what ever ISAs you want (except LISAs where only other LISA money from previous tax years is possible) as long as the company accepts transfers in. You can do this as often as you like. For current tax year ISA money already invested you can transfer to another ISA provider in the current tax year as long as you transfer ALL the money you put in for the current tax year. Thus fulfilling only one ‘new’ ISA per year of each ISA type.
The up shot of this is you can end up with many different ISA accounts of different types with different providers. It is your responsibility to ensure you don’t break the limits.
Any losses are yours and are irrelevant as it is the new money that is counted towards the limit of £20,000.
Only ever TRANSFER ISA money or shares if it is a Stocks & Shares ISA using the new ISA company’s ISA transfer forms. NEVER withdraw ISA money from one ISA to put in to another ISA because you lose the ISA status and the money then becomes ‘new’ money and counts towards your yearly allowance.
Don’t confuse this with Cash ISAs are that are Flexible. These allow you take money out and put it back IN THE SAME TAX YEAR without losing the ISA status. So it is not counted as ‘new’ money when you put it back in to THE SAME ISA you took it out of.

My big struggle is knowing what reporting liabilities I face to the US as a dual citizen. I know the fines and potential jail time of getting a form wrong dwarf any potential earnings (millions of dollars in fines or decades in prison for failing to properly file, potentially)… which makes me hesitant to invest or do anything remotely complex.

Yes I also know it’s unlikely, but not impossible, to face those for a good faith mistake. Remember, they got Al Capone for tax issues.



S&S ISAs, Help to Buy vs LISA, % to put into pension, how much per month over what period of time equals what pension, what is a SIPP.

Another vote for something about compound interest - I’m just starting to get my head around it now [blush] and I didn’t realise how important it was to start saving early and then leave it alone to compound.