Family finance tips for every budget

Charlotte Beugge is skinted
Jane Wallace is minted

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False economies: when it’s better to replace than repair

False economies: when it’s better to replace than repairFew things annoy me more than malfunctioning appliances. A computer which refuses to boot up or a dishwasher that breaks down mid-cycle can have me in floods of tears. I can’t fix them: I wouldn’t even try. But actually my reluctance to go through the hassle of repairing bust items might be sensible...

Why you need an emergency fund

Why you need an emergency fundThe past decade has not been much fun for savers. While low interest rates are great for borrowers they are not much good for savers – who after all massively outnumber borrowers. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that Britons are saving less. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that i...

Where can you get cash when there’s no ATM in your town?

Where can you get cash when there’s no ATM in your town?I was in the local mini-supermarket a couple of Sundays ago. In front of me was a man who bought a single bag of crisps with his debit card – and got £50 cashback. The lady behind the till told me there had been plenty of others that morning doing the same thing. There isn’t a single cash machine in...

Should you switch your kids’ Junior Isas?

Should you switch your kids’ Junior Isas?I have been neglecting my son’s Junior Isa. Not having the spare cash to put anything in at the moment is one reason. The other is that half of it is invested in the Neil Woodford fund Jane wrote about last month – see here - so it’s not performing well. Anyway, there isn’t much money in it – less t...

Should you put in a PPI claim as deadline looms?

Should you put in a PPI claim as deadline looms?Payment protection insurance (PPI) was one of the great personal finance scandals of the past decade or so. This insurance was sold to those taking out personal loans, mortgages and credit cards. The idea of it was that it would cover repayments if you couldn’t make payments. But lots of those sold ...

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Cash Isas – where is the best rate?

Cash Isas – where is the best rate?Virgin Money emailed me last week to tell me my cash Isa was maturing. They’ve paid me a not-that-exciting 1.3% on my £5,000 over the past year. I decided it was time to look around for something better. One option was to stay with Virgin and transfer into a follow-on cash Isa. The suggested product...

Where should you invest this year?

Where should you invest this year?If you’re brave enough to overcome fears of Brexit and a global slowdown, where should you invest this year? You can squirrel away up to £20,000 this year in the tax perk Isa account but you must do it by the end of the tax year (5 April) or lose the allowance entirely. Of course you can have the mo...

Car rental rip-offs abroad and how to dodge-em

Car rental rip-offs abroad and how to dodge-emHiring a car abroad this Easter? One of the easiest pitfalls to avoid – and there are many – is being forced into buying overpriced insurance at the rental desk when you pick up the car. Basic cover is included in the rental price but usually it doesn’t include damage to tyres, windows, the interior...

Start your journey as an investment wonder woman here

Start your journey as an investment wonder woman hereHaving your own money is a crucial step on the way to empowerment for a woman, or in fact as an individual of any gender. Making sure your nest-egg is growing at its optimum rate is key, yet many women shun investing in favour of ‘safer’ cash savings. Being cautious is one thing, but depriving yours...

Are you being fleeced for paper phone bills?

Are you being fleeced for paper phone bills?I was horrified to find out last week that I am paying £3 extra every time BT sends me a paper bill in the post for my second landline. As they do it every month, that’s a whole £36 a year on top of the iniquitous rental charge of £19.99 a month. It’s not often you have the Daily Mail to thank for a...


HELLO from two journalists in very different circumstances! One of us is better off than the other but that doesn't stop us being good friends with a shared interest in getting the most for our money.

As we’ve both worked for a long time writing about personal finance, we've got a bit of a head start through the maze of banking, saving, mortgages, pensions and investment.

But not everyone is so lucky. We've met a lot of mums over the years who get overwhelmed by money matters, including the brain surgeons and rocket scientists. And no wonder – there’s really too much information out there and even the idiot’s guides are complicated.

We thought we could help by sharing any solutions we find for our own money challenges and passing on any tips and brilliant deals that we discover.

Please read our blogs to see how we cope (not always successfully!) with everyday spending and saving and sign up to our newsletter to get a weekly round-up of everything you need to know from new products to the best bargains. You can also ask a question about money in our forum or leave your own insights and reviews for our community. Hopefully SMM can give you a steer whatever side of the tracks you’re on!

Latest guides

Avoid overpaying for your mobile phone

 Ten ways to ring up savings

Bereavement: what benefits would you get?

 Government support and what YOU can do to protect your family

How to find and transfer a child trust fund (CTF)

Switch your CTF into a Junior Isa in 10 easy steps

Video - Charlotte and Jane talk about saving for kids

Get the lowdown on tax-perk saving for kids in just five minutes!

Video - Charlotte and Jane talk about pensions

All you need to know about pensions in three minutes!

Remortgaging: how to save on home loans

Get the best deal for the roof over your head

What is an investment trust?

An easy explanation of these exciting investment companies

Affordable opera tickets

How to get a discount Don Giovanni

Your first fund: where to invest?

Spring 2018 suggestions for beginner investors

Buy to let: a guide to being a landlord

Basic steps to making money out of bricks and mortar

Which fund should I add to my portfolio this year?

Spring 2018 suggestions for advanced Isa investors

Sky is not the limit

Ten steps to trouble-free TV

Does loyalty pay?

How you can earn while shopping

Educating the next generation about personal finance

Ten ideas for teaching your kids about money

Pet insurance: the basics

How to cover man’s best friend (and other creatures)

Are premium bonds worth a punt?

All you need to know about these government prizes

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2017 SHOMO Awards

2017 SHOMO Awards

Winner of Best Personal Finance Blog and runner up in Best New Blog category. We are proud to be members of UK Money Bloggers.

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