Glossary: S


Any money you put aside for future use. This may be in a deposit account - or under your bed. ‘Rainy day’ savings are useful for emergencies and need to be easily accessible, while longer-term savings can be built up to give a ‘nest egg’.


Savings are often kept in bank, building society or National Savings accounts. The amount you put in does not fall in value but may grow as interest is added.


A scheme which is being piloted by the government. It encourages people who would not normally save to put something by because their savings are matched by money from the government. There are strict rules about who can benefit from the scheme and how much money they can save.


Scanning is used to locate specific information. It involves running your eye over the text to look for keywords.


A secured loan means that the loan amount is being borrowed against the cost of something you own. This way the lender can be sure that if you can’t make the repayments they’ll get their money back. For example, some homeowners borrow money against their houses. This means that if they can’t make the payments their house may be reprocessed by the lender.


An investment which makes you part-owner of a company, along with all the other shareholders. Some shares pay you an income (called dividends) regularly. With all shares, you accept a capital risk. This means, if the share price rises, you will make a profit when you sell, but if the share price falls, you will instead make a loss.


Usually means a period of time no longer than, say, five years - and often a lot shorter.


A signatory is a person who signs a document. For instance, if you are making an application and sign a form, you are the signatory.


Skimming is reading quickly to find out what the text is about. Skimming can also take in features such as headings, subheadings and illustrations to obtain an overview of the subject matter.


Types of debit card where your account is always checked to see whether there is enough money to pay for the goods. Your account cannot go overdrawn if you use these types of debit card.


A method of paying regular amounts automatically. You instruct your bank to pay the money for you to a particular person or company. It’s your responsibility to change the payment if it needs to alter.


A type of pension scheme designed to be good value for money by having low charges, flexible payments and so on. Usually it means a personal pension that meets these conditions, but some types of occupational scheme can also be Stakeholder schemes.


A document from the bank or building society which shows all your recent payments into and withdrawals from your account. You should check it with your own records.


A pension paid to you when you retire by the State. The amount you get will depend on your National Insurance record (or on that of your marriage partner).


Where stocks and shares are bought and sold.


Store cards are like credit cards, but are available from shops rather than banks. They can only be used to buy things at particular shops. Anything you spend on your store card is borrowed money. If you do not pay off the full amount each month you will start paying interest on it.


Your surname is your last name or family name. For instance, Nigel Parker’s surname is Parker.


Types of debit card. Your account may be checked if you are paying out a large amount but not always. This means that it is possible for you to go overdrawn on your account.