Why Do People Get Engaged: Inside the head of a man who’s just proposed

by Chris29. May 2015 12:22

Why Propose

We spoke to 23 year old plumber, Curtis, who’s just popped the question to his girlfriend, Alice. We wanted to know a bit more about what prompts people to pop the question. Be warned… he’s pretty loved up! So let’s have a ganders, shall we?

Obviously you’re in love with your fiancé, but what triggered in your mind to make you pop the question?

I guess I just wanted to act on what I feel. I wanted to show my devotion. I wanted to show to her how much she means to me and how serious I was about spending the rest of my life with her. I guess it’s just a serious way to commit yourself self to your other half.

Had you spoke about marriage together before?

Yeah we had spoken about it before. I've told her that I want to be with her forever and wanted to do it officially. I often got her to look in jewellery shops windows at rings and stuff to get ideas as well… couldn’t be getting that wrong could I?

No, do you think she’d say no if you got the wrong ring?

Ha-ha, No! But I didn’t want to waste my money on something I’d just have to exchange!

How did you get together and how long has it been?

We met in weather spoons and there was a definite instant attraction. It was physical and like mental… she was beautiful and really easy to talk to. Then we went out for a bit, had some dates, you know, and it just seemed natural. Like the whole time I found it easy to talk to her and comfortable which is really unlike me. It's been nearly a year and 3 months.

I suppose if that’s unlike you, you must have felt something different? But how did you know it was the right thing to do… pop the question, I mean?

Yeah. I knew it was the right thing to do because I love her. She’s just really cool. I’d would do anything for her and feel pretty strongly about that. We can work any problem out together.

How did you propose?

I planned to ask her when we went on holiday. I just thought it would be nice and romantic but had bought the ring already and just couldn't wait! So I asked her on a Sunday morning, a couple of weeks ago, I told her I loved her and wanted to be with her for the rest of my life… went on one knee and asked her to marry me!

Aha, nice and simple. Were you nervous about asking?

I didn't feel nervous about asking beforehand. But when it came to actually doing it, I was stupidly nervous, not sure why, because I was sure she'd say yes but yeah I was like shaking it was that bad! I guess it was because I was pretty sure she’d say yes… but when you actually go to ask it makes you think there’s two possibilities!

So she said yeah? What was her reaction?

Yeah, her reaction was happy and excited! Can't say to much more because I'll sound like I'm bigging myself up, you'd have to ask her for a more detailed answer!

Oh, you’re going to have to get used to talking for each other now! How long do you think you'll wait to actually get married?

Ha-ha! I don’t know about that. We want to get married next summer.

Can you afford the wedding yet, or is that rude to ask?

We can afford it. So I’ll let it slide. Not sure what else to say about that!

What appeals to you about married life?

Being married appeals to me because I love Alice, I know I want to spend the rest of my life with her and she's the most important thing to me. I know you don't need marriage to do all those things but I want to say those vows to her to dedicate myself to her officially.

What do think makes good marriage material in a guy and a girl?

Dedication, commitment, trust. Believing in each other no matter what. The common line people use in their vows; for better or for worse means a lot to me. You should support each other through thick and thin no matter how shit things get you should be there for each other. Kates already shown me she has all those qualities and I hope I've shown her too. Because of that I know I'm going to be with her for the rest of my life!

How would your stag and hen dos differ?

I don’t know, I think she may go more out there than me. I want a weekend away with the lads doing something fun, like active, outdoorsy stuff. You do those sort as well don’t you? I saw your stag package that’s got quad biking, clay pigeon shooting and paintballing I think? She might want something a bit more out there!

Yeah the Thrills and Spills one! I’m sure we’ll have something up her street too! Check it out. Thanks very much for sharing that with us. All the best for the Wedding!

Man Dies 28 Hours After His Wife: A Marriage Lasting 73 years!

by Chris28. May 2015 12:14

Some say romance is dead… some say the big love story is no more… and some say marriage is an outdated idea. We certainly disagree here at Escape Trips and so does this heart-warming story.

Helen and Joe Auer from Cincinnati, Ohio are proof that the nay-sayers are talking a load of rubbish.

The couple’s marriage lasted over 7 decades, through The Great Depression and World War II. The two raised 10 children, and have seen 16 Grandchildren, 29 Great-Grandchildren and 1 Great-Great-Grandchild come into the world.

Helen was pregnant with their second child when Joe – a D-Day Survivor -was called to fight in WW2. She sent him a picture of herself, their eldest and their new born child when Joe was in France; that was the first time he set eyes on his second eldest, Judy. He didn’t actually get to meet her until she was 3 years old!

The couple have now both passed away. Helen, 94, died peacefully in October of last year; Joe’s death followed only 28 hours later – 5 months after his 100th birthday. The children were unsurprised that their father’s death followed so quickly, saying that he could only last one night without her.

Following their death a mass funeral was held in the very same place that they’d got married 73 years earlier. According to the family the picture of his wife and two eldest children stayed in Joe’s wallet for the rest of his days and was reportedly buried with him.

According to one of their daughters, Mary Jo, her mother was the outgoing one of the two and always liked to be busy with her family. She said her Father, Joe, was passionate about the environment; he was re-cycling on the day he died. People spoke of him being a devoutly religious man who considered his children to be a gift from God to him and his wife.

The family admitted that the marriage had not always been easy. That raising 10 children, surviving war and enduring economic hardships had taken its toll on the marriage but they had always stuck together to get through.

At Escape Trips we meet people all the time that are embarking on the first steps into marriage and that’s a lovely position to be in. We see the smiles on people’s faces as they celebrate with their friends before the big day. Our customers are always very happy, sometimes a little stressed with planning, but always in a happy place in their lives. Perhaps it’s easy to forget the volume of successful marriages when you don’t work in business like ours. But stories like this can remind us all how amazing marriage can be!

Resources

http://www.cincinnati.com/

http://www.theguardian.com/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20794505

Amsterdam for Amateurs: The Ultimate Guide To Coffee Shop Etiquette

by Chris27. May 2015 12:00

Amsterdam Guide

Amsterdam is one of our most popular Stag Do destinations. A stag do fits very nicely into a culture that considers strip clubs common place. When people think Amsterdam they often think ‘Cannabis!’ but it’s not just as simple as going into a shop and asking ‘could I have a portion of your finest marijuana please?’ It doesn’t work like that… there’s quite a specific etiquette in Amsterdam’s famous Coffee Shops.

The Code

‘Café’ = Tea & Coffee

‘Koffee Haus/House’ = Coffee & Tea

‘Coffee Shop’ = Drugs

You don’t want to get that wrong… blaze up in a normal café and you’re going to have to explain to the police that you’re an idiot because you didn’t read this fantastic guide.

Bring ID

The Coffee Shops are used to big groups, especially stag and hen groups but make sure the whole group is over 18! You need to be 18 to even enter a Coffee Shop and you need to have ID. Owners of shops (however nice most of them are) hate being put in a position where they could lose their license; so take ID with you. There are some that don’t check but almost all do.

Look at BOTH menus

It is actually not the ‘done thing’ to openly promote the sale of Cannabis so most shops do a peculiar thing; they have two menus… one facing down, one facing up. The one facing up will be the drinks menu and the one facing down will be turned over for you as soon as you approach the counter to show the different types of marijuana on offer.

You do have to buy a drink since it’s seen as pretty rude if you don’t. This is because you can smoke marijuana bought from anywhere in the city in any coffee shop or bar that allows smoking. It’s like using the smoking area of a pub without buying a pint… why would you?

This means that you don’t have to feel the need to finish all of your weed before moving on, I mean you could try, but you can also just take it with you. Be careful though, you can only carry a maximum of 5 grams amount on your person around the city.

Tobacco & Marijuana

If you’re mixing your marijuana with tobacco you have to smoke in the designated smoking area within the coffee shop. There are separate areas for smoking pure joints and smoking mixed joints in a lot of the coffee shops. They ask you to go into the designated smoking area if your smoking a marijuana and tobacco mix because it is a legal requirement to restrict tobacco smoking. Most places make it quite obvious with signs. Also don’t be worried to ask most shop workers will consider it very polite that you asked. Many establishments turn a blind eye to this because most of them sell pre-rolled joints which include tobacco – but be careful.

Being in a Stag Group

Despite the Coffee Shops being used to Stag Groups many aren’t properly equipped for groups of over 6. So read our guide on ‘The Best Coffee Shops For Stag Groups’ for some more information.

Be Safe

At the end of the day it is up to whether you try the Coffee Shop experience whilst on your stag do or getaway in Amsterdam. Make sure you only buy it in registered Coffee Shops and no one on the street. Be sure to check the health advice in the links below.

All we suggest is that you are sensible, don’t push yourself or your mates (especially the stag) too far and stay safe. That’s the reason for these ‘Amsterdam for Amateurs’ guides… the best way to stay safe is to know all the information and so you can make informed decisions.

Resources

http://www.talktofrank.com/drug/cannabis

http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/media-centre/city-hall/dossier-coffeeshops/faq

http://www.escapetrips.co.uk/stag-weekends-abroad/amsterdam/package/banana-surprise

http://www.escapetrips.co.uk/stag-weekends-abroad/amsterdam/package/the-essentials

 

Amsterdam for Amateurs: The Best Coffee Shops for Stag Groups

by Chris25. May 2015 12:45

amsterdam coffee shopsStag Dos... but most of the Coffee Shops are pretty small, pretty pokey, and have small tables. So, what Coffee Shops are suitable for a stag group?

We had a chat with the best man of a recent stag party trip to the city… we’ll call him ‘Paul’ as he was keen to stay anonymous! Paul gave us some advice on the best places for stag groups to go…

‘There is a few that are pretty good. Baba Coffee Shop and Hunters Coffee shop have some larger tables for groups. The Bulldog Cafe is one of the original shops right in the middle of the red light district and is full of Hip Hop fans that have made the pilgrimage but it is always very busy. There are a couple of big tables but to get in there with a large group you’d have to go early in the day. You have to go downstairs to buy your stuff in The Bulldog but there’s a nice security guy who asks people if ‘They’re looking for the smoke’ if your lost. The dealer in there is really quite rude… maybe he was having a bad day. But you can feel the history in there and the menu is quite extensive. The Bulldog owns lots of different coffee shops all next to each other, some are bars, some are cafés so just look for one with enough space! They even have a hotel.

The Bluebird can be very good for groups. On the week nights it can be quite quiet but it does get a lot busier on the weekends and would be too cramped then. It’s a little pokey but the tobacco smoking area has some good sofas. It’s just outside of the red light district in the old Jewish District; the ‘Jodenhoek’. The owner greets you and explains how it all works which is something that didn’t really happen anywhere else. The owner also introduced people to the waitress and the dealer – who was really polite and looked like Bryan May from Queen which became funnier and funnier as the night went on. It’s a good place if you’re not too sure what you want or if you’re just trying it out. The staff all speak really good English and where you’re allowed to smoke pure and mixed joints is made very clear - the milkshakes are very good too!

The ultimate Coffee Shop for stag groups is actually a bar. Hill Street Blues near De Dam - which is the main square - is a really friendly bar that welcomes and has space for groups. Like all the other bars it doesn’t sell marijuana but it is a very cool graffiti covered place with sofas and tables all over. It is conveniently situated on a street with a lot of waffle and ice cream shops! The drinks are pretty reasonably priced, they sell coffee too, and the English speaking bar staff are really friendly. They play a pretty good range of music and sometimes have guest DJs. As plus for the stag crowd most of the bar staff were very approachable good looking young ladies; they take no messing though! There’s a few other bars that let you smoke on the same street.’

Cheers Paul.

As a general rule bars that let you smoke are a better venue for stag groups. It’s really a matter of space more than anything so be prepared to have to sit separately if you want to go to one of the more popular ones. It’s also important to remember that they are not just tourist attractions – people from the city use them just as much as holiday makers. They are quite relaxed places… people pop in after work and even on their lunch break. So, it’s pretty important to be respectful… groups that get too rowdy are mostly frowned on by staff.

On the whole the bars that let you smoke cannabis are more welcoming of groups that may get a bit lively and more equipped to deal with them – with extra members of staff behind the bar so you aren’t stuck waiting and larger seating areas. You can’t buy Cannabis in these bars (it’s illegal to sell alcohol and Cannabis in the same place), so you’ll have to go to a coffee shop to make a purchase and then go to the bar to smoke it. Alternatively you could just go for a beer and soak up the atmosphere! Coffee Shops are more suitable in the day as they are quieter and you’ll be able to find enough seats for your whole stag party! Remember to be safe, and not push any of your mates too far! Look after each other and enjoy yourselves! Know your limits.

Resources

http://www.talktofrank.com/drug/cannabis

http://www.escapetrips.co.uk/stag-weekends-abroad/amsterdam/package/canal-boat-pissup

http://www.escapetrips.co.uk/stag-weekends-abroad/amsterdam

http://www.escapetrips.co.uk/stag-weekends-abroad/amsterdam/package/the-heineken-adventure

Sex Jokes on Coats: A History of Hen Dos

by Chris22. May 2015 12:24

The history of Hen Parties pretty much started after the ‘Swinging’ 60s and the Sexual Revolution. The term was first used in the 1800s, but simply meant a gathering of women. In the modern sense, the term was first used in The Times in 1976 when the newspaper told the story of a Male Stripper from Leicester fined for his ‘lewd’ behaviour at a Hen Party. Those of you that have read our history of Stag Dos will know that the law was keen to fight against our right to party hard and party good when a mate is getting hitched!

In the UK the first pre-wedding ritual for women that hinted anything near the modern day Hen do came in the form of a little factory tradition. In a world without contraception women were expected to give up work when they got married because it would – in theory – be the first time they became sexually active and were ‘at risk’ of pregnancy.

According to Folklorist George Monger, this meant that the working world of women had been host to a long growing tradition of jokes played on the Bride-to-be. The other factory girls would dress the lucky lady up in a veil and play tricks on her on her last day on the job. These traditions were still carried out after contraception was widely available because on the most part women still left their jobs when they got married. The most exciting part of marriage for the giggling working girls (pun unintended) was obviously the sexual prospect of it all, sometimes they would attach sexual jokes and sexual innuendos to the Bride’s coat… they’d even take her down the local pub in the get up!

Off the back of the Sexual Revolution in the US, American girls thought they deserved a bit of the action too, and of course they did! Now, American Bachelorette Parties are very much modelled on the male equivalent. Most men and women have sex before marriage nowadays (we all try before we buy!) so that means the nature of the pre-wedding ceremonies has changed. It is the same for women as it is for men. The idea is, you see temptation, enjoy it, resist it and most importantly have an amazing time with your nearest and dearest mates!

We all know the trend in the UK has been the same. We’ve seen the cheeky factory based history of UK Hen Parties and to be honest they’ve just got cheekier! The modern day UK Hen do is also now modelled on its male counterpart… the Stag do. Now the only difference between male and female pre-wedding rituals are what gender stripper you need to book (And I wouldn’t always trust your mates on that)! It’s a growing phenomenon; May 2013 saw over 200,000 Hen and Stag dos hit the UK! The fun of Hen Parties now takes up a whole weekend - from nude life drawing and naked butlers, to surfing and spa days or a bit of everything - its ladies choice.

Links:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Mark Wright: In trouble with Michelle Keegan for the first of 3 stag dos!

by Chris21. May 2015 09:34

Mark WrightStag do there. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so much of an issue but recently Wright and Goodger were seen at a gym having a good ol’ chin wag as well. Michelle Keegan has said that she really doesn’t like the thought of the two bumping into one another, and she made it clear she wanted Mark to avoid Lauren after they were seen together in the gym. Maybe it’s all a fuss over nothing, but Michelle may be somewhat justified in feeling a bit cautious about it all. Wright and Goodger were previously engaged to be married and Laruen would have known he was having his stag do there that night…

Along with this, there were reports that Michelle’s Dad was kicked out of the stag do and not allowed to re-enter the club after getting a kebab. Maybe, he was drunk and disorderly, maybe he just really wanted a kebab and needed an excuse to nip out… we’ll never know. Mark was quick to set the record straight and say that he wasn’t actually denied re-entry. So, it all seems to have been blown out of proportion… maybe he was trying to smuggle the kebab back in with him and the doorman were having none of it!

This was a pretty laid back affair; Mark referred to it as his ‘pre-stag do’. It started in the ‘Three Colts’ pub where the group of around 30, which included some of Mark’s and some of Michelle’s family, watched football and enjoyed a buffet. They then went on to the Essex club ‘Faces’. It was the first of 3 stag dos for Mark Wright. Let’s face it… that’s something we would encourage anyone to do! Fair play, if you can afford it why not triple the fun and have 3 stag dos instead of 1?! Who can blame him? A lot of our customers struggle to choose between the packages we’ve got on offer!

The climax of the 3 is to be a trip to Las Vegas with ex-co-star and best friend of Mark… James ‘Arg’ Argent. Good luck to you Mark… but if Lauren ends up being spotted at the Vegas stag do your luck might be out!

Resources

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/mark-wright-enjoys-pre-stag-michelle-5558555

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3045568/

http://www.closeronline.co.uk/2015/04/michelles-livid-after-lauren-parties-at-marks-stag

http://facesnightclub.co.uk/

http://www.thethreecolts.com/

Finance Tips: How You Can Get Your Honeymoon For Next To Nothing

by Chris21. May 2015 09:10

Who doesn’t want to mark the start of their marriage with a really nice get away?

It’s the one time you really want to say “Stuff it, we’re going all out”. But at the same time, after just paying for your pricey wedding, can you really afford to have that attitude?

I’m here to tell you “yes!” There’s a lovely little benefit to getting hitched that will eventually reimburse you for your week of taking in your beautiful surroundings (and the ceiling of your honeymoon suite)! No foreplay… Let’s get straight to it…

When you sell assets like shares or a house, you'll be subject to Capital Gains Tax on anything over £11,000, but if you’re married you can combine your allowance to total £22,000. Say in years to come you have children (or even if you already do!) once they’ve flown the nest you’ll probably want to downsize. If you buy a smaller place you’ll be subject to Capital Gains tax on the difference.

Let’s look at a juicy example… if you sold your house for £280,000 and bought a smaller place for £200,000, you’d have £80,000 left over. Get in.

  • If you were single, £69,000 of that £80,000 would be subject to Capital Gains.
  • If you were married, you’d only have to pay Capital Gains on £58,000 of that sum.

That makes a big difference. With £11,000 exempt from tax you pay around £16,000 Capital Gains, with £22,000 exempt you pay around £13,000. A nice difference of £3,000!

The average brit spends £3,582 on a honeymoon, so using our example, you’ve got to pay £582 for a honeymoon - pretty good, huh? Considering, you could save a lot more using this tip, and spend a lot less on honeymoon than the average, that is definitely good news.

Okay, so what can you get for £3000?

Let’s be realistic and say you take your spending money out of that £3,000 as well. So we have about £1,000-£1,500 to spend on the package. Okay, so for just over £1,000 you can get 4 nights in Rome or 3 nights in Dubai. If you want to go away for longer you can have 7 nights half board in Crete for just over £1,200. For £1,400 you could spend 7 nights on the Mediterranean Coast – half board as well. If you felt like living in luxury for a week, you could spend just over £2,000 on an all-inclusive 7 night stay in Mauritius, one of the top honeymoon destinations! Whatever you decide to spend, knowing you could be getting most of it back in time can ease your conscience.

You may have to wait around a bit to get the money back… but if you’re weighing up whether it’s worth getting married or not then think about it like this - it would be money you’d have to spend if you weren’t married… ON TAX! Wouldn’t you prefer to have the perfect honeymoon you’ll never forget? It’s much better than lining the taxman’s pocket – well, we reckon anyway.

Resources

http://www.moneywise.co.uk/work-wages/tax/five-financial-benefits-marriage

http://www.destinology.co.uk/honeymoons-destinations

Amsterdam for Amateurs: Attention Stags: Bring Back The Perfect Gift For Your Bride To Be

by Chris8. May 2015 13:16

Okay, so, your mates have ‘dragged’ you to Amsterdam to say goodbye to your single life and welcome you into the world of marriage. For a stag weekend you don’t need to take more than hand luggage but what if you want to bring back your wife to be a beautiful gift to put a smile on her face - or make her worry less about the big stupid grin on yours!? If you’ve already purchased her an Amsterdam fridge magnet and a fake tulip, what are you to do?

Well we’ve got the answer. It is a very small but very thoughtful love token and don’t worry… it definitely beats garage flowers! Very conveniently for you, these presents will easily fit in your hand luggage and can be bought in a place that you’ll probably want to check out with your mates anyway.

What’s the present then? Um, it’s condoms.

The world famous Condomerie is the world’s first speciality condom shop and is located in the heart of Amsterdam! The shop was opened in 1987 and was set up in a reaction to the aids epidemic of the 80s. The idea was to make Safe Sex fun and make buying condoms an enjoyable experience rather than an embarrassing one. The shop has certainly achieved that and it’s even become a tourist attraction in the process! This might surprise you but the shop was actually set up by two women.

Right, let’s get to the point. What can you get for your bride to be from a condom shop? Condoms obviously, but what’s so special? Well, the range in Condomerie is something to behold. You can get everything from a customised condom for that perfect fit or something hilarious to make your misses laugh at your little soldier. Maybe the latter isn’t what you want but when you see them you’ll change your mind…

You can buy a number of novelty hand painted condoms. Careful, they’re just novelty and offer no real protection but when you see them you won’t want to use them; they’re mantelpiece material! There’s the very appropriate ‘I love you’, ‘Amsterdam Windmill’ and ‘Cannabis Leaf’ condoms. Or, the extremely inappropriate ‘Gas Mask’, and ‘Boxing Glove’. They even do a ‘Poseidon’ condom.

If you’re looking for something a bit more ‘useful’ then they have the usual flavoured and ribbed but the list doesn’t end there! There’s extra strong, extra thin, non-latex, female condoms, and some that even make you last longer! The choice within these categories is extensive too! There really is something for everybody… there’s even flavoured condoms for vegans!

As well as condoms there is a large catalogue of lubricants stocked by Condomerie. There’s water-based, silicon-based, paraben free, spermicidal, fertility friendly and again, something to help you last that little bit longer! They sell a few of these in 25ml single packets, so you’ll be fine getting them through the airport in hand luggage!

Let’s be honest after a stag weekend away, no matter how brilliant, most blokes are pretty keen to get home to their other-half. A visit to Condomerie can only exacerbate the feeling! Get your misses something to make her remember your return from your stag do, it’s only fair fellas! 

Escape Trips Finance Tips: How you can get your Stag and Hen do for free

by Chris20. April 2015 19:14
get your Stag and Hen do for free

If you’re on the ball you will have already read our last post which explains how to cut the cost of your wedding in half. If you’ve got any savings, then this little tip could save you enough money to pay for your stag do and your hen do as well. There’s a bit of a juggling act you’ve got to get to grips with to start saving but it really can work.

So, how does it work?

You have to pay income tax on any interest earned on savings. The tax is deducted before you get your statement, so you never normally see it - but there is a way to avoid paying so much (if you’re married). If you and your partner pay different tax rates then you could save money by transferring savings from the higher earner to the lower earner. Which could help you avoid paying so much income tax on your interest. This can only be done if you are married.

You can’t just transfer your assets around to whoever and however to avoid paying higher levels of tax, there's a law that says if you give away any property or asset then you can't benefit from that asset any longer. So, if you were cohabiting and you transferred £5,000 to your partner to avoid paying tax on it, you can't benefit from it, spend it or do anything with it because it isn't yours anymore. Thanks to a lovely little oversight by HMRC, however, that law doesn't apply if the transfers are between spouses. Therefore, you can juggle whatever savings you like and benefit however you want.

Let’s look at an example. We’ll use simple numbers to make it easy to understand. If Earner 1 earns £30,000 a year and has £20,000 in savings, Earner 1 will pay income tax at basic rate on any interest. If we take Earner 1’s interest rate to be 1.5%, at the end of the year they would get £240 in interest after tax. But if Earner 1’s partner (Earner 2) earns under £13,000 a year and the couple transferred the savings to the lower earner (Earner 2), they’d pay a lower rate of 10%. If Earner 2 earns under £10,000 they are exempt from tax altogether. You can also use this method to avoid paying the higher rate - if you’re lucky enough to have to worry about it!

I hope your brain is okay, that was a lot of ‘Earner’s!

Anyway, let’s say your partner earns £6,000 a year. You could transfer your £3,000 of savings to your other half to protect them from the tax man. In the real world, our numbers will all vary but as long as your partner earns under the personal allowance you can save some money on tax! Or if you pay higher rate and your partner doesn’t, again you can transfer savings to pay basic rate instead.

Use this little calculator to see the difference you could make for yourself.

http://www.lcplc.co.uk/calculators/online-interest-calculator/

But how does this get you your stag and hen dos for free?

Okay, so not everyone has 20 grand in the bank, fair enough. If we say you’ve got £6,000 saved, by transferring this to your non-tax paying partner you can save yourself £18 a year. Doesn’t sound like a lot? Well, it adds up.

Our average stag or hen do is only about £100 (£50 cheaper than the national average spend). So in 5 years that will mean you will have paid off the stag do, in another 5 you’ll have paid off the hen do. Hopefully you’re planning on staying together for more than 10 years - so it should work out! The potential savings are much higher than £18 with varying interest rates etc. but I just wanted to be realistic to show you how simple it can be! Whatever way you look at it, you can only avoid tax like this if you’ve tied the knot!

Resources

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/guides/article-2590591/Tax-savings-How-does-work.html

https://www.gov.uk/apply-tax-free-interest-on-savings/10-savings-rate

https://www.gov.uk/apply-tax-free-interest-on-savings/overview

http://www.moneywise.co.uk/work-wages/tax/five-financial-benefits-marriage

Escape Trips Money Tips: How you can cut the cost of your wedding in half!

by Chris13. April 2015 06:42

Most of us of have heard about this new ‘Marriage Allowance’ Tax break. David Cameron has used the policy to tell us how much he ‘believes in marriage’. Let’s be honest, we don’t really care if he believes in marriage or not, we just want to know what we’re going to get out of it, right? I’ll let you in on a secret, it could be very good for you. The tax break could cut the cost of your wedding considerably.

Let’s start at the beginning; what is this tax break, and what do you get? Well, it’s the 'Marriage Allowance', its available from the 4th of August and it allows one of you to transfer £1,060 of your tax-free allowance to your partner. You have to earn under the tax-free allowance of £10,600 and your partner has to earn under £42,385. It goes without saying that you have to be married or in a civil partnership. It also takes into account your savings, pensions and investments so you can't claim it if you’re just sitting on a big pile of cash. Which is probably fair enough.

Okay, so, you think you fit the bill? How do you apply?

First of all, you have to register your interest in the 'Marriage Allowance', (here https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance) then the HRMC will invite you to apply, and finally they'll tell you whether you're eligible. Maybe that's a bit of a lengthy process, but it could be worth it.

How much is it really worth in cold hard cash?

If ‘Earner 1’ takes home £9,000 a year, and ‘Earner 2’ earns £41,000, ‘Earner 1’ can transfer the maximum £1,060 because there is £1,600 of the their personal allowance left. So, that’s £9,000 tax free for ‘Earner 1’ and the maximum of 11,660 tax-free for ‘Earner 2’; a saving of £212 a year. However, if ‘Earner 1’ is on £10,000 and ‘Earner 2’ still earns £41,000 ‘Earner 1’ can only transfer the remaining £600 of their allowance to ‘Earner 2’ which would mean 11,200 tax free; a tax break of £120 a year.

With me so far?

This next bit isn’t that hard to understand but it isn’t entirely logical. If you earn £5,000 a year you can still only transfer the maximum of £1,060. Which means the maximum you can save a year is £212. That works out at £5,000 tax-free for 'Earner 1' and 11,660 tax-free for 'Earner 2' totaling… £16,660 tax-free earnings. But surely your combined allowance should be 10,600 plus another 10,600; £21,200, the total of two individual allowances. But then again to expect such a logical idea from politicians might be asking a bit much!

It doesn’t compare that well to the 'Married Couples Allowance' which is a different (but very similar) kind of tax break. If you were born before 1935 you can claim 'Married Couples Allowance' and you can save up to £815 a year on your tax bill.

That’s not to say this tax break isn’t worth anything. On average, a wedding can cost £12,000 or even more these days but the savings you can make with this tax break can go towards reducing that sum. If you save the maximum amount over 30 years of marriage you can half the cost of your wedding by saving over £6,000 on tax. Let’s hope your marriage gets to 60 years and you’ll have paid off the whole thing. Okay, so you’re playing the long game, but that’s what marriage is about. If you’re worried about how much a wedding would cost you, see if you’d be eligible for the tax break and that might give you the push you need to just go for it! Also, keep reading this blog because I will be hitting you with a barrage of money saving tips only available to those who’ve said their vows!

Resources:

https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/tax/11423027/Marriage-tax-allowance-how-to-register.html

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/registration-opens-for-new-married-couples-tax-break

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/feb/20/marriage-tax-allowance-how-does-it-work

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31942922

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