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What every woman should know about pensions

What every woman should know about pensionsI used to be scared of pensions. They seemed complicated, boring and too far in the distant future for me to worry about. But getting older has made me reconsider pensions. And you know what, there’s nothing complicated about them at all. Yet many women have rubbish pensions. Frankly, it’s time to f...

How safe is your holiday?

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Are the new banks any good for savings accounts?

Are the new banks any good for savings accounts?Here’s some good news. Inflation fell last month to 1.8%, which is its lowest level for two years. While that’s obviously good news when you go shopping you may not realise that it also has an effect on your savings. If inflation is at 1.8%, then you need to earn at least that in interest otherwise ...

Should I fix my mortgage?

Should I fix my mortgage?Thanks to Brexit, these are uncertain times. If you’ve got a mortgage then uncertainty is the last thing you want. After all, if your monthly repayments skyrocket you might not be able to afford your mortgage and could lose your home. So why not fix your mortgage? At the moment there are more fixed ...

Price cap is going up – so fix your energy bills NOW

Price cap is going up – so fix your energy bills NOWWarning: unless you get your act together and fix your home gas and electricity bills soon, you’ll be paying more come April. It was announced this week that the government’s energy price cap is going up by more than 10% from 1 April. That means if you are on a variable rate tariff, your bills will ...

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How you can help teenagers remember their bank passwords

How you can help teenagers remember their bank passwordsAnother half-term, another banking crisis. This time Darling Son has managed to screw up his login details for his mobile Lloyds app. Don’t ask me how, something to do with the fingerprint opening of the smart phone.  The solution apparently is to delete the app and start again. But guess what,...

Five last-minute half-term fun ideas

Five last-minute half-term fun ideasWe’re only at the start of half-term and the mini-Minteds are already driving each other crazy. As usual, it’s up to Mother to find entertainment. I’ve been too busy to book anything in advance so I’ve been having a look around to see what’s on now. I suspect all the big London museums and attractio...

Should you ditch the Woodford Equity Income investment fund?

Should you ditch the Woodford Equity Income investment fund?Is it time to sell my investment in the Woodford Equity Income fund? Breaking up is hard to do – especially on Valentine’s Day. I’ve had a particularly long relationship with the manager of this fund, Neil Woodford. Back in the early years of his career at Invesco Perpetual, our partnership was bene...

Cheapest and quickest way to renew your passport

Cheapest and quickest way to renew your passportIf your passport needs renewing this year, it might be best to sort it sooner rather than later because of – you guessed it – Brexit. If we leave without a deal, the UK could end up as a so-called third country within the EU’s free-roaming Schengen zone. This could mean you’ll need six months left t...

Where can you get a 40% return on your money, guaranteed?

Where can you get a 40% return on your money, guaranteed?It’s investment time! Traditionally the period before the end of the tax year at the beginning of April is the season for everyone to top up their annual tax-free allowances. But with the stock market in the doldrums (guess why, begins with B) the prospect of shares isn’t very enticing. Wouldn’t it ...


holiday moneyYou’ve planned your holiday in advance – so DON’T make the mistake of leaving the purchase of your travel money to the last minute.

  1.  Exchange rates you’ll get at airports will be worse than those you can get in advance on the high street.
  2. You can compare the best holiday money rates at sites such as Supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s often have good rates, as does the Post Office and sometimes Marks & Spencer.
  3. Do look at currency brokers. They tend to offer good rates, better than the high street banks.
  4. You can also order holiday money online from currency brokers such as moneycorp and pick it up at the airport. You can even have it delivered to your home for free if you order a reasonable amount (£750 or more from moneycorp).
  5. When you buy your currency in the UK, don’t use your credit card or you could end up paying interest on the money even if you clear the balance in full. That’s because some credit cards count such a transaction as a cash withdrawal and charge accordingly.
  6. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to overspend – or don’t want to carry wads of notes with you – you can get a card pre-loaded with your currency. You can then use it for spending while on holiday or withdraw cash on it. Watch out for charges on the latter. There’s a good comparison of cards at
  7. Not all debit and credit cards are equal when you are travelling. You could be landed with exchange rate fees and charges for withdrawing cash. However, some cards have reasonable terms. Check out for examples.
  8. Watch out when using your debit or credit card to pay for goods and services abroad. If you are offered the option of paying in sterling rather than the local currency say NO. If you do, you’ll pay a less attractive exchange rate than would be used by your card issuer.
  9. Going somewhere where you’re not used to the currency? Carry a note in your purse of how much, for example, £5 or £50 is in that currency. Or look at sites such as before you go.
  10. Feel better about your extravagant holiday: give leftover foreign exchange to charity when you get home. Oxfam and the Alzheimer’s Society are among those who’d like your unwanted foreign coins and banknotes.

Read more:

  • Be card sharp: the ten credit card tricks that WILL save you money.
  • Check out our top 10 tips on travel insurance.
  • Download a currency conversion app for your phone from sites such as

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