Family finance tips for every budget

Charlotte Beugge is skinted
Jane Wallace is minted

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How YOU can save money by losing weight

How YOU can save money by losing weightOver the last year I’ve lost four stone in weight (though given that the boy and I demolished three chocolate reindeers over the weekend it’s a little less than that now). I’ve cut my body mass index (BMI) from a gut-busting 36 or thereabouts to 27. I have another stone and a half before I manage to...

How to stop spending at Christmas and avoid debt

How to stop spending at Christmas and avoid debtThis time of year it’s all too easy to let your spending get out of control. I’ve got a sizeable credit card bill thanks to Christmas spending – including our trip to Edinburgh – and it has to be paid by the end of this month unless I want to accrue interest. Which I don’t, obviously, so that means ...

Do I need a will?

Do I need a will?I have singularly failed this year to make one of my resolutions: namely, to update my will. And I feel really stupid about it. My current will was written not long after my husband died nearly 10 years ago. It’s a professionally-written, water-tight will which expresses my desires accurately (most ...

The five savings lessons you MUST learn now

The five savings lessons you MUST learn nowIt’s been a long time but at last there has been some good news for savers. Even though base rate has not changed thanks to increased competition there are now some good deals out there. And now is a good time to get your savings strategy in place in time for 2019: here are five ways to ensure you’r...

Be safe sending cash for Christmas

Be safe sending cash for ChristmasUnless you’ve got a turbo-charged sleigh, enabling you to make last-minute deliveries anywhere in the world, then the easiest Christmas present for friends and relatives overseas is cash. Indeed, it’s probably a good option for anyone you’re not going to see over the Christmas period even if they ar...

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Happy Christmas from Team Minted

Happy Christmas from Team MintedWe're off on our Christmas holidays now and will be back in full force at the start of 2019. What a year it's been. We've had everything from Brexit worries to royal weddings to Noel Edmonds rebooted. Join us again in the New Year as Charlotte and I once again negotiate the money jungle!  Thank...

Best Isas and other money tips for 2019

Best Isas and other money tips for 2019What will happen in 2019 and how will it impact your money? Today I’ve polished up the Mystic Minted crystal ball for a quick look ahead to next year. Of course nobody knows what will happen in 2019. Even the experts cannot accurately predict events and their outcome. But there are probably a few th...

Should I sell my stocks and shares Isa because of Brexit?

Should I sell my stocks and shares Isa because of Brexit?Should I stay or should I go is a question not just on the lips of MPs right now. Many investors are wondering whether they should sell their stocks and shares Isa now before everything goes down the toilet. Last week, Brexit fears pushed share prices below their 1999 level (remember when we were pa...

Best bank accounts for children 11 and over: our guide to the top payers

Best bank accounts for children 11 and over: our guide to the top payersBank accounts for 11 year olds? Whatever next? Scarily it is possible for your tweenager to have a fully functioning debit card of their own at such a tender age. Some parents will worry that this kind of access to cash means going overboard on in-game purchases. The flip side of the argument is tha...

Money gifts which aren’t just for Christmas: pass on wealth now

Money gifts which aren’t just for Christmas: pass on wealth nowInheritance planning might not be on your mind right now – or at least until you see old Aunt Agatha dozing off over her sherry on Christmas Day. But actually the festive season is a good time to start thinking about passing on wealth, for both gifters and giftees. It’s important because there’s ple...


Ten things to know before you dabble

1. If it is not cash, shares, property or bonds then it’s an alternative investment. This covers everything from gold to fine wine to stamps.

2. Serious investors buy alternative investments to spread their nest-egg around some more baskets. But they’ve got plenty of money and possibly won’t be hit too hard if they lose it.

3. Warning klaxon: many alternative investments aren’t regulated and are associated with more than their fair share of scams. Don’t consider punting until you’re debt-free and have a sizeable cash cushion.

4. Gold is a popular ‘safe haven’ investment because it tends to hold its value during an economic crash. At other times, that value can swing around. Check out the charts at

5. You can buy physical gold in bars and coins. But don’t. You’ll have to pay to store it and you don’t get an income from it. A better way to invest is through a gold fund which holds shares of miners as well as the metal. Popular funds are Blackrock Gold & General and JP Morgan Natural Resources.

6. Investing in wine or whisky does have the benefit that if your bottles fall in value, you can drink them. Ironically, this is also an iliquid investment – if you need to sell quickly, you may not be able to. And wine prices also fluctuate wildly – see

7. You’re also going to have to pay to store fine wine (not in your fridge). Also be aware of scams – use a reputable wine merchant.

8. Valuable stamps grab the headlines when they reach auction. Sadly those in your granddad’s album probably are worth little. A better route might be to buy into a fund investing in stamps (see

9. You’re unlikely to make money from art unless you find a forgotten Renoir in a junk shop or discover the next Damien Hirst at a graduate show. But at least you’ll have something nice to hang on your wall.

10. A more accessible (if less aesthetically pleasing) alternative investment is peer-to-peer lending where you lend money to individuals through websites such as Zopa or Funding Circle. You’ll get a better return than on savings accounts at the bank but that is because it’s not guaranteed you’ll get your money back.

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2017 SHOMO Awards

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