Family finance tips for every budget

Charlotte Beugge is skinted
Jane Wallace is minted
 

s logo

How YOU can save money by losing weight

How YOU can save money by losing weightOver the last year I’ve lost four stone in weight (though given that the boy and I demolished three chocolate reindeers over the weekend it’s a little less than that now). I’ve cut my body mass index (BMI) from a gut-busting 36 or thereabouts to 27. I have another stone and a half before I manage to...

How to stop spending at Christmas and avoid debt

How to stop spending at Christmas and avoid debtThis time of year it’s all too easy to let your spending get out of control. I’ve got a sizeable credit card bill thanks to Christmas spending – including our trip to Edinburgh – and it has to be paid by the end of this month unless I want to accrue interest. Which I don’t, obviously, so that means ...

Do I need a will?

Do I need a will?I have singularly failed this year to make one of my resolutions: namely, to update my will. And I feel really stupid about it. My current will was written not long after my husband died nearly 10 years ago. It’s a professionally-written, water-tight will which expresses my desires accurately (most ...

The five savings lessons you MUST learn now

The five savings lessons you MUST learn nowIt’s been a long time but at last there has been some good news for savers. Even though base rate has not changed thanks to increased competition there are now some good deals out there. And now is a good time to get your savings strategy in place in time for 2019: here are five ways to ensure you’r...

Be safe sending cash for Christmas

Be safe sending cash for ChristmasUnless you’ve got a turbo-charged sleigh, enabling you to make last-minute deliveries anywhere in the world, then the easiest Christmas present for friends and relatives overseas is cash. Indeed, it’s probably a good option for anyone you’re not going to see over the Christmas period even if they ar...

m lower case logo

Happy Christmas from Team Minted

Happy Christmas from Team MintedWe're off on our Christmas holidays now and will be back in full force at the start of 2019. What a year it's been. We've had everything from Brexit worries to royal weddings to Noel Edmonds rebooted. Join us again in the New Year as Charlotte and I once again negotiate the money jungle!  Thank...

Best Isas and other money tips for 2019

Best Isas and other money tips for 2019What will happen in 2019 and how will it impact your money? Today I’ve polished up the Mystic Minted crystal ball for a quick look ahead to next year. Of course nobody knows what will happen in 2019. Even the experts cannot accurately predict events and their outcome. But there are probably a few th...

Should I sell my stocks and shares Isa because of Brexit?

Should I sell my stocks and shares Isa because of Brexit?Should I stay or should I go is a question not just on the lips of MPs right now. Many investors are wondering whether they should sell their stocks and shares Isa now before everything goes down the toilet. Last week, Brexit fears pushed share prices below their 1999 level (remember when we were pa...

Best bank accounts for children 11 and over: our guide to the top payers

Best bank accounts for children 11 and over: our guide to the top payersBank accounts for 11 year olds? Whatever next? Scarily it is possible for your tweenager to have a fully functioning debit card of their own at such a tender age. Some parents will worry that this kind of access to cash means going overboard on in-game purchases. The flip side of the argument is tha...

Money gifts which aren’t just for Christmas: pass on wealth now

Money gifts which aren’t just for Christmas: pass on wealth nowInheritance planning might not be on your mind right now – or at least until you see old Aunt Agatha dozing off over her sherry on Christmas Day. But actually the festive season is a good time to start thinking about passing on wealth, for both gifters and giftees. It’s important because there’s ple...

Welcome

I like to think that if I were loaded, I’d be a generous philanthropist, bestowing some of my wealth on those causes in need of cash. But frankly, the behaviour of some charities doesn’t currently make me feel kindly towards them.

Here’s why. We moved to our current house five years ago. It’s no exaggeration to say that every week we get several letters from charities to the previous owner. So, even though the charity hasn’t had any money emanating from this address for five years, it’s still mailing away, costing it (and thus its worthy cause) money. I wouldn’t be surprised if getting away from the begging letters was one of the reasons the old lady we bought this house from sold up.

But I’m not a total meany. Really. A year ago I bought my son ‘sponsorship’ of an animal at an animal park we visited occasionally. It wasn’t a massive amount – around £40 –and it gave junior a yearly passport to visit ‘his’ animal. But after a year of visiting, he’s had enough of watching his honey badger (a bit like a non-stinky skunk that’s been run over by a steamroller) run around. I wasn’t worried as I’d made a point of paying for the sponsorship on my debit card rather than setting up a direct debit because I didn’t want it to renew automatically after a year. Wrong. A payment to the animal park is currently listed as pending on my bank account. I ring the honey badger’s home to complain. Apparently they’d emailed me. As they seem to email every week telling us about the latest new animal arrival or whatever they might well have done. But I ignored all their emails assuming as I had not set up a direct debit, I was ok and I wouldn’t be billed for another year. Anyway, they say they’ll stop the payment. But it does leave a nasty taste: and possibly, a hungry honey badger on my conscience.

*Standing orders, direct debits and continuous authority: see our guide to the pros and cons of each.
*Feeling generous? See our ten point guide to giving to charity so both sides benefit

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

SMM newsletter

SMM newsletter

We read the finance pages so you don’t have to! Click here to get our weekly round-up of news and tips.
SMM forums

SMM forums

Got a money worry or a cash crisis? Get your answer by asking a question in our forum. Or leave a top tip or review for other SMMs.
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.

As seen in:

Family Grapevine
BBC One New Logo 2016 V2 Black
The Sun
Daily Mirror
The Mail On Sunday
2000px Daily Telegraph.svg