Money Mensch

Beating the new US entry charge

By Martin Lewis, August 4, 2010

Last year, the US introduced its compulsory Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) form that every UK traveller must complete (it is only available online) before entering the States by air. Don’t complete it and you can be turned back.

Now, a bill passed through the US congress means that at some point this year it will be able to start charging for the service. The amount is unconfirmed but it’s likely to be around $10 per person.

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We can save savers from interest hell

By Martin Lewis, July 28, 2010

If you are a saver, I want to show you how to urgently accelerate your interest. The big warning is for anyone with fixed-rate savings. Over half a million are due to end this month, and when that happens banks tend to shift your cash into holding accounts paying dismal rates as low as 0 per cent.

Many go into fixed rates for long-term stability, and if you did that a few years ago you could still have been earning well over six per cent. Yet savings providers aren't stupid. They try and get another bite at your cash when the deal ends, leaving you suffering rate shock.

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A cost cure for hayfever victims

By Martin Lewis, July 22, 2010

Suffering from hayfever isn't anything to be sniffed at - it can darken bright sunny days and put a downer on your wallet too.

But there is a way to seriously cut costs.

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Money Mensch: Your guide to Child Trust Funds

By Martin Lewis, July 15, 2010

This is an urgent call to parents whose children have money in a Child Trust Fund. Act now to ensure they get a decent return.Unsurprisingly, the flagship Labour scheme to give free cash to every UK child, poor or rich, was scythed down as part of George Osborne's mammoth spending cull. Yet confusion is now rife as to how it will work going forward.

So here's a Q&A to ensure you know exactly what to do.

● What are Child Trust Funds (CTFs)?

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Money Mensch: Rent your car out for up to £35

By Martin Lewis, July 8, 2010

There's a brand new addition to the 'rent it out for cash' family.

If you don't use your car all the time, you can hire it out by the hour or day via clever new site www.whipcar.com. And there is no need to worry about the insurance as, when someone else uses your car, this company automatically insures them and it supersedes your policy.

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Money Mensch: Take sting out of medical care abroad

By Martin Lewis, July 1, 2010

This is an urgent wake-up call for anyone travelling to Europe this summer - there is a way to get totally free medical cover for you and your family in 27 European countries.

It is called the EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card, and there's more to it than meets the eye. If you've already got one, beware - many older ones are no longer valid.

The totally free card is valid for three to five years and entitles you to free or discounted medical treatment in state-run hospitals in EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

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Money Mensch: Cut the cost of high-end medicines

By Martin Lewis, June 24, 2010

Is THIS the zenith of my JC writing? Could anything be more stereotypically perfect for a Jewish audience than money-saving on high-end medicals?

If you use private prescriptions either because you have a private GP or you need drugs the NHS doesn't deem necessary, such as Viagra, baldness cures, some IVF treatments, anti-malaria drugs or even cancer treatments, you may be able to seriously cut costs.

Unlike NHS prescriptions, the key here is that the cost isn't fixed so different pharmacies can charge you varying amounts for the same medicine.

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Money Mensch: Have yourself a cost-effective holiday

By Martin Lewis, June 17, 2010

The pound is recovering against the euro or, more accurately, the euro is plummeting - making holidays to the continent a little cheaper for Brits. However, overseas holidays are still far from good value these days, which is why it has never been more important than to follow these ten key travel MoneySaving rules.

1. Get free Holiday Medical Cover

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Money Mensch: Track down free parking spaces

By Martin Lewis, June 10, 2010

It is a MoneySaving nightmare; you are armed with discounted tickets to the theatre, shop vouchers or half price meal deal, then drive to the venue only to find the parking is extortionate and eats up the savings.

But a bit of help may be at hand as a batch of new websites listing free parking spaces have launched. They are not perfect but are worth a look. park-up.com and freeparkingspace.co.uk are the main two and allow you to search simply by popping in post codes, attraction names or popular areas.

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Money Mensch: Don't piggy bank on it: parents' warning

By Martin Lewis, June 3, 2010

Banks have done nothing to protect children's savings interest rates. These dismal deals don't just deprive kids of cash, but also of the valuable lesson that your money needs to work for you.

I want to show you how children can earn up to 6 per cent interest, grab freebies and allow parents to save tax-free too.

Do children pay tax?

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