Cheap Eurostar, £150 to switch bank, bargain bedlinen, cut-price fitness tracker, best credit card balance transfer rate.
Family finance tips whatever your budget
14 January 2019 www.skintedmintedmum.co.uk
Welcome to a money-saving 2019, Visitor!
THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK:
Spend gift vouchers from HMV. The music and DVD store went into administration before Christmas. It’s still trading but best to spend any vouchers now as they’re unlikely to be honoured if HMV completely fails. Actually, given the state of the high street and poor trading at Christmas, it’s probably a good idea to spend any vouchers or gift cards you have sooner rather than later.
Get a free gym pass. Your local fitness hub will be keen to make new recruits and deals could be available. Ask around for free trials or special offers before you sign up.
Do your tax return. Submit the online form by the end of January or be fined for late submission. Pay the bill too or you'll rack up interest on it. See our SMM guide to paying tax for help.
HSBC Advance Credit Card. 0% balance transfer for 32 months. WE LIKE: Long 0% period. Transfer fee of 1.4% lower than many. Also has £25 cashback if you spend or transfer at least £300 within 60 days of opening account. Rated outstanding by Moneyfacts. WE DON’T LIKE: The rate after the 0% period is 21.9%. You must pay off the balance in full during the 0% period to make the most of this deal.
DEALS OF THE WEEK:
Fancy a city break? Eurostar has 90,000 seats at £29 for a one-way trip to Paris or Brussels from London between 22 January to 17 April. You must book by 21 January. Terms and conditions apply and SMM research indicates you’re most likely to get the promotion deal mid-week…
Plan ahead now for February half term to get deals on days out and transport. You could also sign up to Kids Pass* for £1 for a 30 day trial (make sure your holiday falls in the period). The pass allows you all sorts of discounts on cinema tickets, eating out and theme parks.
New year, new bank: both HSBC and NatWest are offering £150 to new customers opening current accounts with them. The NatWest Reward account costs £2 a month but gives 2% cashback on many bills paid by direct debit while HSBC Advance customers can put up to £250 a month for a year into a savings account paying 5%. Minimum monthly deposits (£1,500 and £1,750 respectively) apply.
WORTH A LOOK:
Measure your activity for less with the Fitbit Flex 2 wristband in black at Amazon which Money Saving Expert says is the cheapest health tracker around.
Petrol price war: the supermarkets are competing to cut costs at the pumps. Find your nearest and cheapest forecourt with this handy petrol price checker.
There’s cheap 100% cotton bed linen at Lidl. Buy it now and send your teenager off to university with it in September.
SKINTED BLOGS OF THE WEEK:
Healthy food can be expensive. Charlotte finds ways to diet cheaply.
Ignoring calories, Jane starts a money diet instead.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK (to 13 January 2019):
A price cap is now in force, meaning a typical household should pay around £1,137 a year for energy. Regulator Ofgem says this means 11 million households will save £76 a year. WE SAY: even with this price cap you could save by switching to a cheaper tariff via a comparison site. It’s best though to stick to the more established names. Another new company, Economy Energy, has failed; the ninth over the past 12 months. More are expected to go under.
In other news, there's now a ban on cold-calling on pensions to stop the 250 million calls a year from firms trying to get their hands on your pension pot. If the call isn't from your pension provider or another firm you're dealing with, slam the phone down.
Meanwhile, cashback sites TopCashback and Quidco have announced plans to merge: the Competition and Markets Authority is looking at the deal and has said that a merger might mean lower cashback rates.
Finally, could you be due a windfall? The Money Advice Service says there is up to £77 billion sitting in lost savings, pensions and investments and unclaimed premium bond prizes. See Charlotte’s blog on how to find your missing millions.
HAVE YOUR SAY ...
Got a question you want to ask about money? Or do you want to pass on any great deals to other readers? Share your thoughts with others at our forum by clicking here or send your money queries to:
New Year’s resolution gone to pot? Family and friends sniggering at your lack of resolve? Patiently explain you're following the Chinese lunar calendar and their New Year starts on 5 February. By the time that comes around, they’ll have forgotten about it.
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