Money Mensch

Money mensch: Keeping those cheap flights cheap

By Martin Lewis, January 28, 2010

With the feel of snow still fresh, a £1 flight to the sun sounds like a dream. Yet, while you will often see promotions advertised, unless you do it the right way, it is more like a nightmare. Budget airlines have more bolt-ons than Frankenstein; they have the bare-faced cheek to describe baggage, checking-in and even paying as “added extras”.

It no exaggeration to say that, get it wrong, and your £1 flight could have over £200 of extra charges.


Money mensch: See a top west end show for £10

By Martin Lewis, January 21, 2010

To encourage theatre attendance, the Society of London Theatre has launched a range of promotions where you can get discounted theatre tickets for as little as £10. There are over 55 shows to see, including Aladdin, Wicked, Mamma Mia, Les Miserables and The Nutcracker. The promotion runs until Friday, February 12, but go quickly as it is subject to availability. Unlike many “so-called promotions”, the actual prices here do usually turn out to be genuine discounts; for example, a £45 face value ticket to see Chicago can be had for just £15.


Money mensch: Being prudent may not be enough

By Martin Lewis, January 14, 2010

I once met a man with £80,000 in savings earning less than one per cent interest, while he had £80,000 outstanding on his mortgage. Yet he said he was good with money.

Like many, he thought being thrifty was enough. In fact, he even boasted how he didn’t let the little lady near the books. Both parties in a relationship should know the details of the finances, because death and divorce happen. The real problem is the fact that you need to learn to understand how money products work.


Money mensch: Book a UK summer break - for £9

By Martin Lewis, January 7, 2010

If you are on a budget and staying in the UK this summer, there is a way to do it at seriously low cost — but only if you go quickly. Budget hotel chain Travelodge has 30,000 UK rooms at £9 for May to August, and a further 220,000 rooms for between £12 and £25.

These rooms usually cost between £29 and £59. Of course we are not talking super-glam 5* but the majority of the feedback I get on Travelodge is that it does the job.


Money mensch: Deep in Amazon, there's buried gold

By Martin Lewis, December 29, 2009

There is a bit of high-tech wizardry that lets you uncover links to get 75 per cent off, buried deep within Amazon. In fact, there is a whole hidden rule book for Amazon, letting you slam dunk prices to smithereens and slash postage fees.

Don’t assume Amazon is cheapest


Money mensch: Tune in to cheaper music

By Martin Lewis, December 22, 2009

Don’t pay £9 for a music album when you can get it for £4.50.

If you legally download music, it is likely you are paying vastly over the odds. For example, X Factor winner Joe McElderry’s single is 99p on iTunes, but head to Amazon or Tesco and it is just 29p. Lady Gaga’s album is £8.99 at iTunes — but £4.47 elsewhere.

To combat this, I have built a new free website,, which lists nine million singles and albums, and lets you see which of the big nine download sites is offering the one you want cheapest. Simple as that.


Money mensch: How to cash in on an old mobile phone

By Martin Lewis, December 17, 2009

Sitting somewhere in the back of a drawer is buried treasure. It is a by-product of our near annual “mobile phone upgrades”. We instantly jump to the newer sexier model, leaving our old mobiles dumped in drawers.

If you have got an ex-mobile lying around unwanted and unused, then you can ditch it for quick cash. Now this may come as no surprise, because there are plenty of adverts from firms offering cash for your mobile, but don’t just jump to the first you see.


Money mensch: Protect yourself from cyber criminals

By Martin Lewis, December 9, 2009

Computer hackers are everywhere. It is more important than ever to protect yourself. If you don’t, and your bank account is defrauded, it can mean you are liable to pay for it. Luckily, you can get professional anti-virus software for free. This time of the year is one of the worst for viruses, as many of us are shopping and checking bank accounts online. Viruses are not easy to spot; they can be passed on in emails or even by visiting otherwise reputable websites.


Money Mensch: Disney: No mickey mouse offer

By Martin Lewis, December 3, 2009

An adult ticket to Disneyland Paris is normally £45, so the latest promotion that Disney is offering, where you get up to two adults and two children’s tickets plus a return ferry place for a car and passengers from Folkestone to Calais for £70, is a serious bonanza. It would usually cost around £200.

You can go during most dates between 5 January and 31 March, including weekends.


Money mensch: How to shoot down a car-park cowboy

By Martin Lewis, November 26, 2009

It’s time to declare war on private parking operators that slap unfair tickets on our windscreens in supermarkets, housing estates and hospital car parks. Often these are completely invalid, and the best advice is “don’t pay ‘em”.

There are two types of parking tickets. The first are those from public bodies, like local councils and the police. These are totally legit, so if you get one and think it’s unfair, your only option is to appeal it (full guide and template letters at