10 great reasons for a family #summerholiday in #Cornwall

It’s almost that time of year when Team Minted decamps to north Cornwall, with friends, for a short summer break. We go to the same large, but scruffy, house every year near Padstow and squeeze in us, another family and Grandpa. It’s hectic and messy and as close to that Enid Blyton endless summer a...
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Should I let my 14-year old take #beer to parties?

With the end of term approaching, festivities are well underway. Dear Daughter has been invited to back-to-back parties over a 48-hour period. I’ve agreed to her going because isn’t it nice for her to hang out with her friends in other people’s gardens while enjoying a can of coke or lemonade? Hold ...
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Eleanor Kiy
Putting aside that it's illegal and bad for them, you can't win either way. Our child isn't fussed about drinking but asked to ta... Read More
Thursday, 06 July 2017 10:23
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Your child needs euros for school trip? How to avoid getting fleeced on #travelmoney

I’m in a panic. Darling Son is jetting off to Tuscany this week and needs some euros. It’s a school trip – his choir is singing in various wonderful churches – so he won’t require too much cash. The organisers say 100 is enough. That sounds like too many souvenirs to me, but hey ho. Normally, travel...
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How you can get the best deal on #fuelbills without lifting a finger

I managed to save £624.75 this year by switching my energy supplier. Hurrah for npower (I never thought I'd hear myself say that). That's the difference between what they estimate they'll charge me for the next 13 months and what Sainsbury's were going to extract if I stayed with them. Six hundred q...
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Five fabulous (and alternative) ideas for end of year #teachergifts

Are you struggling to choose a gift for your child's teacher? Can't decide between booze, chocs or Chanel perfume? Maybe you have no money to spend or think you should give £100. It's difficult to know what to do. And then there's the rest of the class to consider.  Pooling a contribution from ...
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Start swotting up on #student accounts

Assuming your child has passed enough exams to get a place somewhere, even if it’s not the first choice, you’ll be spending some of the holidays getting to grips with a whole new project: paying through university or college. It's mainly about loans and finding them. Once you've exhausted your quota...
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How to avoid hidden charges on #budgetairlines

Exams are over. Holidays are around the corner. All I can think about though is the hassle of getting away ie the misery of cheap flights. I'm beginning to think I honestly wouldn’t mind paying £20 more to avoid it. It's a well-trodden road. You booked the cheapest flight you could find and pay usin...
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Can’t afford a girls’ weekend away? Five alternatives

Fancy a trip away with the girls? If you're going abroad, it's going to cost 20% more than it used to because Brexit and all that nonsense means the buying power of the pound has dropped. For some, that’s going to make chillaxing with friends unaffordable this year. So here are some ideas from ...
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#Father’sDay barbecue: fork that!

You can tell summertime is here. A fug of charcoal settles over every garden on Saturdays. Groups of men in brightly coloured shorts crowd around burning bowls on tripods, clutching beer cans, undeterred by the black, billowing clouds being produced. Yes, it’s barbecue season and what better excuse ...
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How you can future-proof #investments after uncertain #election result

Are you poorer or richer after the stalemate result of the general election? As I write, sterling has weakened so your summer holiday will cost more. But a cheap pound will help those large UK firms which sell abroad. If your Isa or pension is invested there, you are quids in this morning. So far, s...
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Can I save £1,000 on my #energy bills this year?

As we've gone back to winter today, I thought I'd better hit the comparison websites for a new energy deal. Last year I managed to save around £1,000 by switching to Sainsbury’s from British Gas. Could I do the same again? Well, not by staying with Sainsbury’s. They’re more than keen to boot me off ...
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Why can’t I find cheaper #carinsurance?

Why, oh why, has my car insurance gone up by a massive £95.20? I’ve had no accidents, we’ve not moved house – everything is the same as last year. There seems to be no good reason to whack up my premium by over 40%. I am outraged. I should have a loyalty bonus for sticking with Churchill, not a pena...
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Five things you didn’t know about claiming on #travelinsurance (listen up #britishairways customers!)

This is where I should be right now: a divine courtyard restaurant called Es Moli in Santanyi, south-east Majorca. The tapas is inspired, the service is attentive, the garden shady in the heat of the long afternoon and, best of all, the Aperol ice-cold. But I’m not there. I’m grounded in UK due to s...
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When the cost of #privatehealthcare is cheap at twice the price

By the time you read this, I will be under the knife. Quite literally. Readers of my past blogs may remember a not-so-quiet moan I posted about out-of-hours doctors’ surgeries. Fast-forward a few weeks and it appears that what I thought was cystitis was actually something more serious. No need for a...
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What really happens when you switch your #energysupplier

I switched from British Gas to a one year dual fuel deal with Sainsbury’s back in June. I was thrilled at the time because, unbelievably, I was going to save over £1,000 a year on my gas and electricity. That actually works out as about 30% less because Minted Towers has many an echoing corridor to ...
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How to pay for #school fees

What price education? Unaffordable – at least for a private one. It now costs over £204,000 to put a child through fee-paying school from nursery to Year 11 (Upper Sixth). And that’s just a single kid. What if you have two, or maybe three or four? Even breaking that figure down to annual payments do...
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91% of women missing out on thousands in lucrative investments

If you’re reading this, I’ll hazard a guess you’ve got a cash Isa. You’re not alone – 44% of all Brits have this tax-sheltered savings account. But only nine in one hundred British women have an investment Isa where the money goes into stocks or shares. The other 91 are massively missing out – to th...
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Make serious savings with #wonky veg

Do you want to save on your shopping? It’s really easy: just buy the less-than-perfect fruit and vegetables at the supermarket. They are usually marked as being ‘ugly’ or ‘wonky’ and have hefty discounts because they’re a little misshapen, despite being just as fresh and tasty as their more beautifu...
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Should you make a (wardrobe) investment in PINK by #VictoriasSecret?

Here’s a designer label which Dear Daughter and all her friends are utterly obsessed with – PINK, a brand owned by saucy American lingerie firm, Victoria’s Secret. Any excuse to snap up even the slightest trifle with the PINK logo on it and those teenagers are slavering like hungry hounds. And it’s ...
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Is this normal treatment on the #NHS?

Last Saturday night I started getting stomach ache. In the early hours, I realised this was probably cystitis (such a horrible illness) and tried, without much luck, to get to sleep. Seeking medical help on Sunday was never going to be an easy task. At 8 am, bleary and in real discomfort, I called 1...
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