Family finance tips for every budget

Charlotte Beugge is skinted
Jane Wallace is minted
 

s logo

Happy Easter

Happy EasterWe're taking a week's break for Easter. Need the extra time to get our fill of eggs...

What happens if you’ve ordered something from Debenhams?

What happens if you’ve ordered something from Debenhams?The least surprising story this week was Debenhams. Seemingly in trouble for years, it’s now in the hands of its lenders. Although stores are still open, there will inevitably be closures: just what the high streets of the UK need. Our local Debenhams could be one for the chop. I must admit I only e...

How to get the best deal on your holiday spending

How to get the best deal on your holiday spendingIf you’re going away for Easter, then I’m sure you’ve got a great deal on your flight, car hire and accommodation. And no doubt you’ve sorted out your travel insurance. But what about your spending money? While in the UK, most of us probably rely on our debit cards for day to day spending. But accor...

Should you delay your state pension?

Should you delay your state pension?Usually, the proverb a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush is good advice particularly regarding money. So, for example, a lump sum of cash now than the promise of a bigger one later is often preferable – after all, who can predict the future? But this isn’t always the case. Take the state pen...

Why you need to ditch your debt now

Why you need to ditch your debt nowFor the past 10 years we have had low borrowing rates. And isn’t it great that you can get a mortgage with an interest rate of less than 2% and a personal loan for not much more than that? Or maybe it isn’t good news. Even if it is cheap to repay, debt is a burden. Borrow money and you have to pay i...

m lower case logo

Happy Easter everybody!

Happy Easter everybody!I'm taking a week's break for Easter. Hope you all enjoy the holidays and that the Easter Bunny brings you lots of treats! My next blog will be Tuesday 30 April. See you then!

How safe is your cash Isa?

How safe is your cash Isa?How secure are my savings inside a cash Isa? Most people assume their nest-egg is safe as houses because cash is risk-free. For those Isas which are invested in cash, this is true. But what if, in fact, your cash Isa is invested in something else altogether? There is a certain sort of Isa on the mar...

Second-hand or fake for designer brands: which is best?

Second-hand or fake for designer brands: which is best?Just back from a weekend in London where I was thrilled to pick up a pair of Tory Burch Minnie Ballet Flats for £70. That’s just less than a third of their normal price of £215. I have coveted a pair of these shoes for several years now but, strangely enough, could never seem to find the money to pa...

Win a year’s worth of discounts on cinema, restaurants and family days out

Win a year’s worth of discounts on cinema, restaurants and family days outTo celebrate the Easter school holidays, we’ve teamed up with Kids Pass, the UK’s No.1 family discounts app for your chance to win a FREE Kids Pass annual membership. The Kids Pass app gives you instant access to thousands of offers, including up to 40% off cinemas nationwide (seven days a week, adu...

How to save on your broadband costs

How to save on your broadband costsLast year I wrote about the terrible broadband service  I was getting from BT. In a nutshell, I was paying £42.99 a month, including line rental, for a speed of 50 MBS when I was actually getting 25 MBS. Since then, BT have made some improvements to the cabinet at the top of Minted Avenue. When...

Welcome

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 www.mytravelmoney.co.uk. 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 www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/prepaid-travel-cards.
  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 https://www.uswitch.com/credit-cards/best-travel-credit-cards/ 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 www.themoneyconvertor.com 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 www.xe.com/apps.

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:

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