Money Mensch

When borrowing can benefit

By Martin Lewis, March 24, 2011

Length isn't everything - when it comes to 0 per cent credit cards for spending that is. We are in the midst of a borrowing renaissance: the longest ever 0 per cent card of its type has been launched, giving 15 months interest-free spending, plus reward points. Done right, credit cards are the cheapest way to borrow: done wrong they can cost a fortune.

● Is borrowing right for you?


There's a way to double your charity donations

By Martin Lewis, March 16, 2011

Ensuring your favourite charities get the maximum cash is not as simple as chucking coins in a bucket.

Donate the right way and you can boost what they receive by over 50 per cent.


There are ways to beat inflation

By Martin Lewis, March 10, 2011

Many savers feel like they are being battered against the wall. Yet, finally, a chink of good news. There are a range of inflation-tracking savings accounts to ensure your money won't be eroded.

● Why inflation hurts savers


The best ways to spend abroad

By Martin Lewis, March 3, 2011

If you are going away, don't forget to clue up on how to save the most money when using your plastic overseas.

Halifax's Clarity card is currently one of the best on the market to ensure you save on spending while you are away. However, it is only a good tool if you set up a direct debit to repay it in full each month.


Money Mensch: Plot your pension potential

By Martin Lewis, February 24, 2011

You could have had your state pension stolen from you without knowing it. A huge flaw in the National Insurance (NI) system means millions of people have paid for years but have not had it credited.


Money Mensch: Bluff to cut costs

By Martin Lewis, February 17, 2011

It's haggle time. Television and mobile phone companies know that many are skint right now and would prefer to reduce their costs rather than lose your custom.

Subscription television, mobile and broadband contracts are not cheap. So call up and ask for a better price, saying you are paying too much, or tell them about other deals you know of that are cheaper.


Money Mensch: Children must have finance lessons

By Martin Lewis, February 10, 2011

It is time to break the cycle of debt in the UK. It is time for compulsory financial education in schools.

Twenty years ago, student loans were introduced and now we are about to massively increase the cost of studying.

Disgracefully, we still educate our youth into debt but never about debt. This is something I have vowed to change.


Money Mensch: A British Gas boon

By Martin Lewis, February 3, 2011

There is a quick way to speedily earn around a tenner's worth of extra Nectar points - for free. The only catch is you need to be an existing British Gas customer. Those on pre-payment meters are not eligible.

Provided you have a Nectar loyalty card, simply register at

The amount of points you get is based on the service or action you use. There are many ways to collect, such as if you have one of British Gas's electricity tariffs. Here, you will receive 200 points, but if you switch to paying by direct debit, you could redeem 800 points.


Money Mensch: How to ensure your savings are... safe

By Martin Lewis, January 27, 2011

Are your savings safe? Well, more than they were last year anyway. Then, the government only guaranteed £50,000 per person per institution. Now it is £85,000. Yet do not think: 'I'm fine then', as you could be less covered than you think.

I want to give you a savings safety makeover, based on the new rules. On December 31, the UK was brought into line with Europe, where the limit is €100,000 - £85,000 at the time. This amount should remain the same unless there are massive exchange-rate changes.


Money Mensch: Are you owed tax?

By Martin Lewis, January 20, 2011

If you have moved house in the past few years and are not self-employed or unemployed, sit up and take note.

When you move house, although you may tell your employer your new address, it does not tell the Inland Revenue. And even if it did, the Revenue doesn't take notice as it can only change your details if you inform it.

The reason why this is bolt-upright urgent is because more than five million letters (never emails, they are scams) are being sent out telling people they have overpaid tax in the past two years and are due it back. So keep an eye on the post.