Money Mensch

Money mensch: Dial up for free X-Factor votes

By Martin Lewis, November 19, 2009

Whether you are an X-Factor or Strictly Come Dancing fan, there is a way that you can vote for free. Normally, the X-Factor vote alone costs 35 pence, but new company has set up a system whereby you dial its number (a normal 03 access number), you listen to an advert from one of its providers and then it puts you through to the reality show’s official voting lines. So, if you have free minutes on your landline or mobile package, you can vote at no cost, as many times as you like.


Money mensch: How to get credit in a monster crunch

By Martin Lewis, November 12, 2009

How’s your credit score? Probably not as good as you imagine.

Since the credit crunch started, everyone has been knocked down a level. And with credit scores playing an ever bigger role in getting a mortgage, credit card, loan or even contract mobile phone, it has never been more important to manage yours.

You need to credit-build


Money mensch: Return to Israel for £100

By Martin Lewis, November 5, 2009

As of Monday, easyJet is now offering a return service from Luton to Tel Aviv.

However, there are no fixed prices — it operates a demand-based system, so the higher the demand, the pricier the tickets.

However, the airline has expanded its date-range, meaning you can book further ahead. In fact, you can currently book for flights up to the end of September 2010 and of course, the earlier you book, the cheaper your flight will be.


Stop shopping and set yourselves free

By Martin Lewis, October 28, 2009

Thousands of people are giving away pricey items to folks they don’t know through giveaway websites such as

Whether it’s bedside cabinets, books or concert tickets, giveaway community websites offer first-class, second-hand goods for free. Every hour, people post hundreds of freebies on these sites. All you do is email a request, then pop round to pick it up.


Freecycle isn’t a website in its own right.


Money mensch: Send text messages abroad for free

By Martin Lewis, October 22, 2009

If you send texts to friends or relatives abroad, it can cost a monstrous 50p per text. However, there is a way to do it to 30 countries for nothing.

Go to the site and it lets you send texts to a range of countries including the USA and Canada (though sadly not Israel as yet) for no cost. Simply put in the details of the number you are texting, who it is from, add your message and press ‘send sms’ — and that is it.

You can also get unlimited texts to the UK by using the website, so if you are near a computer, ditch your mobile.


Money mensch: Have yourselves a prudent Chanucah

By Martin Lewis, October 15, 2009

Like many, my hackles rise when I spot Christmas merchandise buffeted up against Halloween fayre. Thankfully, we are not subjected to quite the same push for Chanucah, yet often we make similar mistakes. This year the lights will be kindled from 11-19 December. While that is an age away, if you like a winter blowout, it is important to prepare your pocket now.

Get five per cent off everything


Money Mensch: How to get free votes for X Factor

By Martin Lewis of, October 9, 2009

The much-hyped start of X Factor's phone voting begins this Saturday. Voting for a reality TV show usually means dialing an expensive premium rate number, but there's a new system that could beat this. says you can vote for free if you have inclusive mobile or home phone minutes, or at the same cost as landline numbers, as its advertisers pay for your call.

How does it work?


Money mensch: A guide to the cheapest landline deals

By Martin Lewis, October 1, 2009

People everywhere are infuriated by telephone line rental — or at least it is the first thing on their mind to ask when they spot me. Perhaps it is the idea that after paying hundreds of pounds a year for a facility you are then charged for calls, which makes people’s teeth gnash. Thankfully though, for the first time ever, I have an answer for how you can cut the cost of the line rental and calls.

Why has it taken so long?


Money Mensch: Banks might be 'stealing' from you

By Martin Lewis, September 24, 2009

When your bank takes money from your account without permission, you would call it ‘stealing’. Yet the banks call it ‘setting off’.


Money Mensch: Make the most of your ISA

By Martin Lewis, September 17, 2009

Currently you are allowed to save up to £7,200 in a tax-free ISA and £3,600 in a cash ISA, which is effectively a savings account where you do not pay income tax on the interest earned.