Top tech deals from Sky, half-price Ted Baker, real Christmas tree £5, top fixed rate savings accounts.
Family finance tips whatever your budget
3 December 2018 www.skintedmintedmum.co.uk
THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK:
Check the pedigree of your energy supplier. Seven small firms have gone bust this year, creating headaches and possible losses for customers. A Sunday Times report this weekend detailed how quickly a licence to sell energy can be obtained and that there are hardly any checks - anyone can do it. So if you’re switching supplier through a comparison website, consider picking a name you’ve heard of even if its offer is slightly more expensive.
Shop online. There’s free standard delivery on Amazon until 5 December. An incentive to get your Christmas shopping done in the next few days.
Do your tax return. The deadline for submitting a self-assessment tax return and paying any tax owed for the 2017-2018 year is the end of January. That’ll put you off spending too much on presents.
Atom Bank fixed rate savings accounts. The rates have increased by up to 0.4% and are now 2.05% for one year; 2.3% for two years; 2.4% for three and 2.7% for five. WE LIKE: The rates, obvs. WE DON’T LIKE: The five year rate beats inflation but it’s a long time to fix for.
DEALS OF THE WEEK:
There’s free entry to hundreds of attractions from today to 9 December with a National Lottery ticket. The idea is to say thank you to lottery players who provide funding to these venues by buying tickets. Participating places include the Eden Project, the V&A in Dundee and more than 100 National Trust properties. See here for more information.
You can get a real Christmas tree from Ikea for just £5. It actually costs £25 but you receive a £20 Ikea voucher, useful for spending on Ikea baubles to decorate the tree!
Travel company Flight Centre is launching a tailor-made service which puts kids in charge of booking the family holiday. Any family that visits a Flight Centre store before 24 December and books a tailor-made holiday for 2019, or requests a quote online, will receive a voucher for £250 off their booking (redeemable by 31 January 2019).
WORTH A LOOK:
There’s 50% off beauty gifts here at Marks & Spencer. Good for unlikely-sounding stocking fillers, such as Darth Vadar bubble bath.
Four fab tech deals at Sky. (1) New Sky Mobile customers buying any phone or tablet get a free voucher of £17.99 to buy any movie or TV box set on the Sky Store. (2) Buy a Sony Xperia handset and get a free PlayStation 4 with Assassins Creed Odyssey (worth £249). (3) Get a Samsung Galaxy S9 and pick up a Samsung Tab A7 for free. (4) Get the Huawei P20 and get a free Huawei Media Pad T3 (worth £99).
Ted Baker two ways: half-price on pretty much everything via Brand Alley here or get the half-price Opulent Suite collection of potions and lotions (£25, normally £50) at Boots here.
SKINTED BLOGS OF THE WEEK:
Charlotte looks here at ways to send money gifts safely at Christmas.
Travelling over the holidays? Charlotte finds the best breakdown cover here.
MINTED BLOGS OF THE WEEK:
Jane explains here that you must sign up for child benefit, even if you're not eligible, or risk harming your pension.
Find out how to sell on unwanted gift vouchers with Jane's guide here.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK (TO 2 December 2018):
Three big pension stories this week, all affecting women. First, the High Court has granted a judicial review into how the government handled raising the pension age from 60 for women after some women born in the 1950s said they didn’t know about plans to delay their state pensions.
In the second, the High Court has found in favour of three women employees of Lloyds Banking Group over an ‘unfair practice’ which means men built up pension entitlements faster than women. The bank has been ordered to pay arrears for those women affected. Experts also told The Times that ‘millions of women’ in similar schemes could also be in line for a payout. Finally, HMRC said that 1.2 million lower paid workers, mainly women, are missing out on tax relief on workplace pensions because they earn too little.
Away from pensions, there’s good news for savers at last as rates are rising on the back of increased competition. Kent Reliance has the best easy access account paying 1.5% on a minimum deposit of £1,000. It pips Marcus from Goldman Sachs which also pays 1.5% but this rate is only achieved with a bonus which falls away after 12 months to 1.35%. There’s also to be an inquiry into the rising costs of funerals which have gone up by three times the rate of inflation over the last 10 years.
HAVE YOUR SAY ...
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Save on baubles for your Christmas tree by digging out your junk jewellery and hanging it over the branches instead. No fairy? An elderly Barbie or Action Man can stand in.
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