Money Mensch

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.


Money Mensch: New year, let's pile on those pounds

By Martin Lewis, January 13, 2011

Fancy a 25 per cent pay rise? Well I can not promise that unfortunately, but if you have never sorted your finances, doing a blitz can sometimes save you the equivalent amount over a year.

So in what is a bit of a reverse money diet, here are my top ten money-saving new year resolutions to help you cut your bills without cutting back - or gaining pounds.

1. I resolve to … check my tax code to see if I'm owed £1,000s


Money Mensch: Free credit reports

By Martin Lewis, January 6, 2011

It's time to check your credit files. The impact of credit scoring has grown massively since the global crisis and one small error can kibosh applications for mortgages, cards, loans, mobiles, or even paid monthly home insurance.


Money Mensch: Ten tips to being a savvy consumer

By Martin Lewis, December 29, 2010

It is what you don't know that is really worrying. Apathy, ignorance and inertia are three of the biggest contributors to bank and utility companies' profits.

They make money by keeping us in the dark. That means the system is often complex, so it pays to learn how it works. And sometimes, you can even turn the tables on them. Here's how:

1. You can agree to a warranty to cut prices, then cancel it


Money Mensch: Protect your buys

By Martin Lewis, December 22, 2010

Many shops try to scare us into buying pricey warranties for virtually all electrical goods, yet many are a complete waste of money. However, if you want peace of mind, there is a way to get them far cheaper than accepting retailers' jumped-up policies.

Use a special credit card to pay for your electrical purchase that gives you a year's additional warranty on top of when the one-year manufacturer's one ends. But make sure you repay the card in full each month so there is no interest.


Money Mensch: Hang up on costly phone-line rentals

By Martin Lewis, December 16, 2010

Home phone users have been dealt a double blow this year, with price hikes in both April and October. Yet it isn't all doom and gloom - there are ways to cut costs. What's more, we have just seen the launch of the cheapest ever line rental deal (more on this later).

BT and TalkTalk's price rises have left many paying £150 to £160 a year for line rental alone. But there is no need to pay such sums. It is important to remember that whoever you pay for line rental, the actual wires remain the same.


Money Mensch: It is flu jab time

By Martin Lewis, December 9, 2010

Don't shell out serious cash if you need the flu jab. First, find out if you are entitled to a free one from your GP's surgery. Many people are: if you are over 65, have diabetes, are being treated for cancer, have a long-term chronic condition and more.

If you don't qualify, head to either a Lloyds Pharmacy or a Sainsbury's or Asda branch that includes a pharmacy.