Budget 2011: 45 is the magic number

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

One of the more notable aspects of George Osborne’s budget announcement was the intention to raise the personal tax allowance a further £630 to £8,015 in April 2012. In short, this means that around 25 million Britons could, on the face of it, have around £45 a year extra to play around with.

It might not sound like a lot, but you'd be surprised at what £45 can get you. Gocompare.com News has come up with a few ways to put the money to good use…

Fill up your car, van or bike

Depending on your vehicle, £45 could cover the cost of a full tank of petrol or diesel. The chancellor has stated that fuel duty will be cut by one pence a litre, and the mooted fuel duty increase has been deferred until next year. The fuel duty escalator proposed by the last government has also been cancelled.

Go to the pub

Pub trade magazine The Morning Advertiser reckons that the price of a pint of beer will rise by about 10p over the next year, with beer duty rising at 2.2 per cent above the rate of inflation. But you can afford at least one major session with plenty left over for pork scratchings, nuts or even a packet of Cheese Moments with £45 in your wallet or purse.

Book flights for a weekend in Germany

You can fly from Leeds Bradford to Dusseldorf for as little as £14 return per person (excluding charges) with Ryanair during May. Why not have a look at flights to destinations off the beaten track from your local airport? Air passenger duty has been frozen, so get stuck in while you can.

Give it to charity

Changes to gift aid have been proposed by the chancellor in order to make it easier to give to charitable organisations. If you leave 10 per cent of your money to charity in your will, then there will be a major reduction in the inheritance tax you will pay.

Pop the question…or walk up the aisle

There are plenty of offers out there that make nonsense of the idea that it costs a lot of money to get married. You could use the extra £45 in your pocket to pop the question with a ring from Elizabeth Duke at Argos. Asda George offers a bridegroom’s suit for just £40, and for just £20 more you could buy a bridal gown priced at £60.

Buy 135 Kinder Eggs

Morrison currently offers Kinder Eggs at a tempting £1 for three. That’s a lot of chocolate and self-assembly toys for your money: around two and a half a week for a year, if you’re capable of rationing yourself.

Purchase a 'chancellor chic' briefcase

Spend your £45 on a snazzy briefcase, like the one sported by the chancellor himself. Recreate the excitement of the budget announcement whenever you feel like it by carrying your packed lunch to work or school, and raising it to an imaginary throng of photographers on your way through the door.

Check out some lower-league football

If you’re after an antidote to the extortionate wages and entrance fees of Premier League matches, then consider a day out supporting your local grass-roots team. £45 should cover tickets, as well as a pie and a cup of hot Bovril at half time.

Go to a gig

The price of watching medium to high profile musical acts is frequently eye-wateringly high, and you're not likely to get much change from your £45. So why not check out some stars of tomorrow touring the ‘toilet circuit' on their way up?

Get a tattoo

Recall all the fun, excitement and anticipation of George Osborne’s March 2011 budget announcement with a permanent inked memento. Tattoo enthusiast Jeremy Cryer says: “You can certainly get one for £45…but the size, not to mention the quality of the workmanship, is another story altogether. ”

What will you spend your £45 a year on? Email the editor with your ideas.