Money Mensch

Money Mensch: Don’t buy excuses: your shopping rights

By Martin Lewis, February 25, 2010

Too few people have a clue about what their consumer rights are, so stores trample on us and fob us off with cheap excuses. It is time to tool up your knowledge.

Remember your rights


Money mensch: Call Israel for ½p a minute

By Martin Lewis, February 18, 2010

Don’t believe the Skype hype when it comes to making calls. If you dial a real phone number you will be charged. Standard rates for calling an Israeli phone from a PC are 1.4p per minute to a landline and 9p per minute to a mobile.


Money mensch: Call in big savings on your mobile bill

By Martin Lewis, February 11, 2010

Be careful next time you spot a stunner with a gorgeously sleek body. See a sexy new mobile handset and often all you can think about is getting your mitts on it. Yet, when comparing phone deals, it’s the tariff that counts — ignore tempting distractions like handsets or cashback.

The number of phone package combinations out there is vast. There are over ten mobile networks, each with multiple tariffs, sold at different prices. The networks make cash from our confusion, leaving many folks paying more than they need to — and this is big money.

Before you start


Money mensch: Cheapest home phone line rental

By Martin Lewis, February 4, 2010

There is a way for BT landline holders to slash the cost.

While even BT’s direct debit discount landline is £11.54/month, sign up to a 12-month telephony service Primus Home Phone Saver via a comparison site and you get line rental for £9.15 a month, including free evening and weekend calls to landlines.


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.