Money Wellness
Image of a calculator , credit cards, bills and money. Key money dates in July and August. Find out how changes will affect your money
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calendar icon01 Jul 2024

Key July and August dates for your money

July and August are usually quiet months for finances, but this year is different – and they could be pivotal for your money. We’ve rounded up all the key dates so you can get prepared and make the most of any savings to be had.

July – benefit payments won’t alter

There are no bank holidays in July so all benefit payments will be processed as normal.

July – take advantage of early bird school uniform offers

School uniforms cost the average family around £250. Save money by shopping early with many of the major retailers offering money off in July, such as:

  • Sainsburys – 25% off from 19 June
  • M&S – 20% off from 2 July
  • Aldi - £5 school uniform bundles from 4 July
  • Lidl £5 school uniform bundles from 4 July
  • Tesco 25% off from 23 July
  • Peacocks – 20% off from 28 July

1 July - energy price cap drops

The energy price cap drops by 7% from Monday 1 July. Under the new cap, the typical annual dual-fuel bill paid by direct debit will be £1,568 a year. This means bills will be at their lowest for two years, although they remain about £400 higher than they were before the war in Ukraine.

Households need to provide an up-to-date meter reading within a few days of the price drop to make sure they’re not charged more than they should.

With energy prices predicted to rise by £155 in October, the summer months might be the ideal time to look for fixing deals before winter begins.

1 July – apply for school holiday vouchers

Most councils open applications for school holiday food vouchers at the start of July. Children who get free school meals or families on a low income are entitled to up to £70 worth of food vouchers to help with food costs over the summer holidays.

Speak to your local council or child’s school to find out what they’re offering and how to apply.

It’s also worth noting that children from low-income families can attend free school holiday activities through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF), where food is also provided. Find out more here.

4 July – the general election

The country goes to the polls on 4 July to decide who should run the country. Each party has made a number of pledges on how they’ll shape your finances.

Labour have promised to keep taxes as low as possible for ‘working people’ adding they will not increase national insurance, the basic or higher, or additional rates of VAT. But it has not ruled out changes to council tax. The Conservatives are offering a further 2p off national insurance, taking the rate to 6% by 2027, and plans to scrap it for the self-employed.  While the Lib Dems will remove the two-child cap on benefits, as well as increase the value of carer’s allowance and give free school meals to all primary school children.

17 July – inflation figures to be announced

The Office for National Statistics will reveal the inflation figures for June. Last month, inflation fell to the government target figure of 2% - down from 2.3% in April.

Inflation is the rate prices rise. Lower inflation doesn’t mean prices are falling, it just means they’re increasing less.

July’s figures remaining low will be key to whether the Bank of England decides to reduce interest rates in August or not.

22 July – don’t get caught out by Barclaycard's changes to minimum payments

Barclaycard is changing how it charges interest. From 22 July it is changing from a ‘tiered’ structure where customers pay between 2.25% and 4.25% of their overall balance to one that takes into account interest and fees.

This means that each month credit card customers with a balance on their card can now either pay off everything they owe, a set amount, or pay the minimum payment required. And, unless they clear their balance, they pay interest on the outstanding amount.

Barclaycard says this will provide more flexibility for customers. But the move has been condemned by consumer groups who say that it will significantly increase both the interest a borrower pays and how long it would take them to pay off what they owe.

23 July – deadline to respond to PIP consultation

The government has proposed changes to how the assessment and eligibility of personal independence payments (PIP).

Changes include directing people with mental health conditions towards treatment, rather than payments. Requiring a formal diagnosis by a medical expert. And focusing much more on what conditions you have, rather than its impact on your life.

The changes will affect more than 3.4 million people currently claiming the support for a long-term health condition.

Anyone can respond to the consultation to help form how PIP will look in the future but must do so by the closing date on 23 July. Information can be found here: Modernising support for independent living: the health and disability green paper - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

23 July – most schools close for summer

The school summer holidays are an expensive time for families. To treat the kids and keep costs down take full advantage of all the restaurants and cafes offering ‘kids eat free’ deals such as:

  • ASDA Café
  • Beefeater
  • Bella Italia
  • M&S Cafes
  • Sizzling Pubs

Also, search the internet for cheap local family days out at places like museums, stately homes and gardens, and leisure centres.

31 July – second payment on account

If you’re self-employed the second and final payment on account for the 2023-2004 tax year has to be paid by the end of July. Missing the deadline could result in a fine.

1 August – Bank of England interest rate decision

The last time the Bank of England met in June, they decided to hold interest rates at 5.25% for the seventh time in a row. That’s despite inflation hitting the government’s 2% target in May.

Economists are increasingly optimistic that the BoE will cut interest rates on 1 August, which would be the first drop in borrowing for homeowners in more than four years.

This will be welcome news for the 1.5 million homeowners whose fixed-rate mortgages end in 2024.

14 August – July inflation announcement

July’s inflation figures will be equally as important as June’s. The new government and the BoE will want to see the figures remain around the 2% mark to gain confidence the country’s economy has turned a corner.

July’s figures are also important as they are traditionally used to set the increase in rail fares for the following year.

26 August – bank holiday payment changes

People who receive their benefit payments on a Monday will find the date changed to either the Friday before (23 August) or the Tuesday afterward because of the August bank holiday.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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