Family finance tips for every budget

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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...

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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...

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life insurance

  1. If you have anyone else depending on your income, then you probably need life cover – so pay attention, parents.
  2. Life insurance (also called term insurance) is simple cover: all it does is pay out a lump sum if you die during the term of the policy. And it’s cheap. You could pay less than £10 a month for £100,000 of cover if you are a young non-smoker.
  3. You can have a policy which keeps the sum assured - the amount of cover - the same throughout the life of the policy (level term) or you can have one where the sum decreases (this is often sold alongside mortgages as the amount outstanding goes down over time).
  4. Rather than a policy which pays out a lump sum, you could choose family income benefit which pays an income to your surviving spouse for the remaining term of the plan. It’s even cheaper than standard life cover.
  5. You can buy life cover from brokers, banks or even supermarkets. It really does what it says on the tin – so the cheapest can be best (check out a comparison site for deals).
  6. You don’t need life cover if you have no dependants. And if you’re a member of a company pension scheme, you’ll have death in service benefits. Like life cover, this pays out if you die while you’re employed.
  7. Life cover premiums are based on age (younger people pay less); health (you have to declare pre-existing conditions and if you’ve had a serious illness you could be refused cover or charged more) and lifestyle choices (smokers pay more).
  8. There are exclusions on life cover. Insurers may not pay out if your death is due to drugs, suicide or if you are killed taking part in a dangerous activity.
  9. Often you can add critical illness cover to life cover. This kicks in if you’re diagnosed with a serious condition. See our guide to medical insurance here.
  10. Whole of life insurance is also life cover but without a term and with an investment element. It’s usually sold to older people, sometimes as a method of paying funeral expenses or inheritance tax bills. Take advice before buying it - you may put in more than you get out. Click here for our guide to getting financial advice.

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