Tennis for free, no-fee gardening workshops for kids, World Book Day cheap costumes, discount wine & veg.
Family finance tips whatever your budget
25 February 2019 www.skintedmintedmum.co.uk
THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK:
Buy stamps. A first class stamp is going up by 3p to 70p from 25 March while second class is rising by 2p to 60p on 1 April. Could be worth stockpiling, even ahead of Christmas for the long-term financial planners!
Review your broadband. Sky customers will see prices for TV, broadband and phone bills rise by an average of 5.1% or £1-£2 a month from 1 April. Don’t be a fool and look out for a better deal. Check out our SMM guide to cheaper broadband for more help.
Go to the doctor. We thought inflation was steady but in the third price rise of the week, prescription charges are going up by 20p to £9 from 1 April. Prescription prepayment certificates stay at their current level of £29.10 for three months or £104 for a year.
TSB two year fixed rate Isa paying 1.7%. WE LIKE: You can open it in a branch: good news if you don't want to bank online. TSB allows transfers in from other Isas too. WE DON’T LIKE: The rate still doesn’t beat inflation (currently 1.8%) and you’re locked in should variable rates improve.
DEALS OF THE WEEK:
There’s a third off selected wines at the Marks & Spencer* wine sale which includes a rather glug-able cava now £51.96 for a half case of six, down from £77.94.
With the warmer weather coming on, what about a few freebie tennis lessons? Charity Tennis For Free is offering free coaching for families, beginners and improvers in public parks with courts nationwide. They’re also looking for volunteers to teach or share facilities.
Still on the great outdoors, Dobbies Garden Centre is hosting a free workshop, Little Seedlings, for younger kids in its stores across the country on the first Sunday of every month. It’s for children aged four to 10 to learn about gardening and wildlife. Book in advance, children must be accompanied.
SMM REMINDER: World Book Day is on Thursday 7 March. If, like us, you haven’t already handmade your kid’s costume, then the supermarkets, eBay and Matalan are the most cost-effective places to shop for one. Get organised this week so your online delivery will arrive in time!
Lucky the weather’s turned warmer as SSE became the latest energy supplier to announce price rises for those customers on its variable rate tariffs. Now all six of the major energy firms are putting up prices in line with the increase in the energy cap from 1 April.
There may be trouble ahead for those who didn’t pay their tax on time this year. HMRC says that some letters warning taxpayers they will be fined for missing the self-assessment deadline of 31 January may not go out until April. According to the BBC, there were 746,000 taxpayers who didn’t get their returns in for 31 January and risk a penalty of £100.
Finally, beware the patter of little feet. Toddlers cause £400 in damage to homes, says Direct Line, with wallpaper, furnishings and smartphones the most likely to suffer at their tiny hands. Sounds cheap compared with the cost of cleaning up after a teenage sleepover.
HAVE YOUR SAY ...
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Carefully apply fake tan to your face leaving large circles around your eyes. You'll look like you’ve just come back from skiing and it's much cheaper than a week in Verbier. Accessorise with a fake plaster cast for full authenticity.
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