Money Mensch

Your new year financial resolutions

By Martin Lewis, January 8, 2009

inancially, 2009 could be the toughest year most of us will have ever experienced. Yet for many people, taking a deep breath and sorting out the finances will help them fight back. The average person in the UK can give themselves an effective 25 per cent pay rise by cutting bills . Here are my top money-saving resolutions:

1. Do a REAL budget


Money mensch: Your credit card can protect you, too

By Martin Lewis, December 23, 2008

As the recession takes its toll on some of the high street’s biggest names, there are two little words I believe everybody needs to know: “Section 75”. This is a law that gives you massive protection for free.

Put simply, pay for something costing over £100 on a credit card, and the card company is jointly liable with the retailer if anything goes wrong. Therefore, if the company you’ve bought from goes bust before delivery, you can get your money back.


Money mensch: Sales warning

By Martin Lewis, December 18, 2008

A warning to anyone taking advantage of the sales at the moment. Don’t assume that if you buy something in store and it’s the wrong size, that you can take it back and get a refund. You have absolutely no legal right to return goods.

The law is simple. If there is no fault, there is no need to return. If there is a fault, which generally means the goods were not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose, and you return the goods quite quickly, then you usually do have a reasonable right of return. But if the size is wrong, that’s your problem.


Money mensch: How to have yourselves a prudent Chanucah

By Martin Lewis, December 11, 2008

For those who have still not bought their Chanucah presents, there’s still enough time to get preparations under way.

Act now, and there are substantial savings to be had. Leave it any later and you’ll be too late to get the best savings.

To help, here are my five top tips:

What can you afford?
1. It’s about what you can afford, not what you want. Each Chanucah, too many people are driven by their wish-list.

They sit down and work out everything they want as a present; from the plasma TVs to Nintendo Wiis.


Money mensch: How to work the rail system

By Martin Lewis, December 4, 2008

Train companies are taking us for a ride! The train ticketing system in this country is a joke: two singles are often cheaper than a return, and long journeys cost less than shorter ones on the same route. Much of the system makes no sense at all.

So, if you’re trying to find the cheapest train ticket, you need to forget common sense, and learn the tricks to beat the system.

Get early-booking discounts late


Money mensch: Save on your stamps

By Martin Lewis, November 27, 2008

Until December 24, Superdrug is knocking five per cent off the cost of 1st-class stamps. So a book of 12 now costs £4.10 instead of £4.32. While this isn't a huge saving, there's an important added bonus here. As the stamps say "1st" rather than the price - 36 pence - they are effectively ‘inflation proof': they are valid now or at any time in the future as 1st-class stamps.


Money mensch: How to save your savings

By Martin Lewis, November 20, 2008

Everyone, urgently review your savings! Sadly we must now consider the ‘risks' of saving: once it only applied to investing. Yet for the first time we've seen the Financial Services Compensation Scheme activated (for Icesave), so it is crucial everyone checks their savings.

What's happened so far?
The Chancellor has repeatedly said he will do all he can to protect UK savers. We've seen it with Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and, last month, we saw it with Icelandic institutions Icesave and Kaupthing Edge.


Money mensch: Now’s the time to get a cashback credit card

By Martin Lewis, November 13, 2008

Cashback credit cards pay you back a proportion of what you spend on them each time they're used.


Money mensch: Smart moves to boost your ISA

By Martin Lewis, November 6, 2008

Anyone with old cash ISAs can now boost the rate of interest they receive on them by a mammoth amount, thanks to banks competing to win your savings.

Everyone has the right to transfer an existing cash ISA to another provider, but the problem is that most people do not realise it.

Many leave their products untouched and unmonitored for years, sitting at whatever interest rate they are being paid. This can leave them languishing in the doldrums of the best-buy tables.

Today is the day to put a stop to that.


Money mensch: How to cut the cost of sending text messages

By Martin Lewis, October 30, 2008

Texting is a bit of a con. If you want to send just 160 characters via old-fashioned texting, it can cost ten pence or more.

But, there is a way to slice this cost right down. It's done by using your phone's mobile internet to send text messages - not to mention emails, pictures, videos and music - rather than its text facility.

Of course, this is not as cheap as completely free texts you may get as part of your phone package.So, if you've got those, use them up first.