Revealed: glitch that lets your kids get discounts on shopping

Children say and do the most remarkable things, especially when left to their own devices. I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that, while I’ve been concentrating on the two behemoths of yesterday’s Budget and tomorrow’s Black Friday, Dear Daughter has been quietly reeling in her own bargains. She’...
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Five top tips for getting the best deals on Black Friday

There’s a big buzz about Black Friday at the end of this week. Along with the Cyber Monday which follows, it’s traditionally a day when retailers offer large discounts (predominantly online but also in store) to coincide with the start of the major Christmas shop. The purchasing manager for Team Min...
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No more bald Christmas trees: Santa please bring an artificial one

The argument over whether or not to get a real Christmas tree has already started in the Minted household. The picture shows last year’s effort (and Grandpa’s shoes, ankle-deep in dropped needles). Everyone else wants a genuine tree apart from me. I can understand their reasoning but look at the pic...
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Get more government money to buy your house with this Help to Buy loophole

You can get hundreds of pounds more in contribution from the government to buy your first home if you transfer an existing Help to Buy Isa into a Lifetime Isa. But you have to be quick about it because the transfer must be done before April 2018. The Help to Buy (HTB) Isa is a savings plan with gove...
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Struggling with the ungiftable? Six tricks to make a Christmas hamper the perfect present

Finding presents for children is easy enough (technology, tech and maybe some more tech) but what about getting Christmas gifts for the man or woman in your life who has everything. Or worse, those elderly relatives who actually don’t want anything? I was wandering through Waitrose yesterday and pic...
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How to hang up on broadband bills

Breaking up is hard to do, so they say. I’d agree, especially if your unreliable boyfriend is a telecoms giant like BT. We’ve been in a long-term relationship for about seven years and I’ve put up with all sorts of bad behaviour: poor service, slow broadband, line crackle and so on. The final straw ...
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Reverse your advent calendar and join the #FoodbankAdvent campaign

Most mums will be making or buying an advent calendar soon. Kids love to open a window each day from 1 to 24 December and find the chocolate hidden behind. Adults too can join in the fun with calendars devoted to wine, cheese or even cosmetics. But what about creating a reverse advent calendar where...
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Five financial howlers to ditch on Halloween

What’s that lurking in the corner of the dusty cupboard? Could it be a financial product that’s been left alone for too long and has now started rotting? Here are five financial ‘zombies’ you should consider booting out, as identified by financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown. 1. Child trust fu...
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Where can you buy a holiday home for less than £10,000?

The clocks are going back this weekend which essentially means Winter Is Here. It’s dark when I get up in the mornings and it’s going to be pitch-black at 4 pm very soon. If you’ve come back from a half-term holiday somewhere lighter and hotter, it’s very tempting to check out whether a more permane...
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Five half-term and Halloween hacks for the terrifyingly busy

It’s half-term so of course the weather is miserable. There’s only so much shopping and hair-cuts you can do as entertainment. For the Boy Wonder, going ‘into town’ doesn’t cut it at all, even with hot chocolate as a bribe. Thank goodness for Halloween which provides some sort of focus for these dri...
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There’s no way I can save enough for an adequate pension – why bother?

How much money will you need in retirement? Half your current salary – or maybe a third? Would that be enough to live on if you just need slippers and a real fire for 20 years? Or what about the world travel you’ve promised yourself? It’s hard to know until you get to retirement age, obviously. That...
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Is gold a good investment?

Aunt Pecunia, our resident financial guru, loves to answer questions about money from SMMs and wanted to pass on this particular query. One SMM emailed to say she heard a discussion about gold on the radio and wanted to know Aunt P’s view on the shiny yellow stuff as an investment. Aunt P is, of cou...
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Five reasons to sell an investment

Buy, buy is all very well but what about bye, bye? Financial firms are incredibly keen to sell us their bank accounts or investment schemes but can be tardy in letting us know when we should ditch them. In the old days, your stockbroker would have advised you when to move on but few investors now ha...
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How to haggle in Marrakech (and Great Britain)

Check out this pom-pom heaven! How many of these cute baskets and bags could you use? (Answer = all of them). I’m just back from the souks of Marrakech where I spent the weekend eyeing up nick-nacks and learning how to haggle. Bargaining is a very different approach to pushing a trolley around the s...
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Missing pet insurance is what my neighbours need

It’s a strange coincidence that, on both of the past two days, I’ve met random, ownerless dogs. I came across the first halfway along my road: a cockerpoo which was terribly pleased to see me. Two lady walkers not far behind asked me if it was my dog or if I knew who it belonged to. I didn’t recogni...
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After Monarch and Ryanair crises, should I book my holiday for 2018 now?

It’s been a terrible couple of weeks for the airline industry. First Ryanair had to cancel thousands of flights due to pilot unavailability and now Monarch has gone bankrupt. Both events have left passengers stranded, out of pocket and more than a little angry. Against this background, it’s understa...
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Would you go grey to save money on haircare?

I’ve been so busy this week that I had to cancel my appointment with the hairdresser. In the grand scheme of things it’s a minor drama, I know. My hair is straggly with split-ends, the roots are showing and the bits which retained any colour have now turned orange in the summer sun. When I’m slobbin...
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Power of attorney: is it help or hell for vulnerable relatives?

What would you do if an elderly parent fell ill suddenly and couldn’t cope? There are a thousand issues to organise just around care and daily living, let alone dealing with the bills. And, if left alone, unpaid demands can rapidly escalate into serious debt issues. A major problem with bills, banks...
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Be more #Aperol: take a #Sipp today

It’s always a pleasure to see your bank balance improving. My Aperol fund – at least in old age – is looking really healthy at the moment. That’s mainly thanks to the stock market, however, and not particularly any saving effort on my part. I expect Hargreaves Lansdown are the only other people who ...
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Want to live the foodie dream in Bermondsey? Maybe Lisa can help

Who doesn’t like a toasted cheese sandwich? Or a scotch egg? If you’re looking for a better version than what’s available at Costa or Sainsbury’s, I recommend making a trip to Maltby Street in Bermondsey, south London.  This short lane which runs along the railway arches just south of London Br...
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