Help to Buy Isa v new Lifetime Isa: which is better?

Brace yourselves! A new financial product is available today. Yes, I’m overwhelmed with excitement too at the launch of the Lifetime Isa (or Lisa). Have you seen the size of the government bonus on this thing? Really, I haven’t had this much fun since they invented self-invested pensions! Unfortunat...
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The pitfalls of switching your energy supplier

Way back in June last year I had a lightbulb moment and finally got around to switching energy supplier. I was thrilled at the time because, unbelievably, I was going to save over £1,000 a year on my gas and electricity by moving from British Gas to Sainsbury’s. That seems like a lot but Minted Towe...
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Use standalone policy to avoid rip-off car hire insurance

I’d forgotten that getting ready for a holiday was such a palaver! I spent two hours packing my own bag yesterday even before tackling Darling Son’s luggage (no, you can’t take the duvet, what d’you mean none of your shorts fit?).  Clothing issues pale in comparison with the paperwork. Tod...
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How to transfer a child trust fund (CTF) to Jisa with a double scoop of tax allowance

Isn’t it beautiful weather? It seems winter is finally over and holidays are within sight. Even the end of the tax year is approaching - what more could you want, except a glass of aperol spritz in the sunshine? By now, everyone has tucked away all their Isas and pensions and whatnot to make maximum...
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The number of women working past 70 has doubled – do you want to join them?

I try not to picture myself in old age: middle age is bad enough. I suppose I’ll have many more wrinkles, a lot more backache and (hopefully) a couple of grandchildren running around. In the best-case scenario, I’ll be drinking beers on a beach in Thailand. Let’s not visit the worst-case scenario. I...
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How I fixed my Nespresso machine

Here’s the latest crisis to hit the Minted household – our Nespresso is broken! Seven years of service and now the lever press won’t puncture the capsules properly. End result = an inch of brown-tinged hot water in the mug. I could make myself an instant coffee very easily. But it’s not the same as ...
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Recent Comments
Jane Wallace
Good point, thanks! I have updated accordingly. Would recommend descaling once in a while as well.
Monday, 07 January 2019 12:14
Jane Wallace
Interesting solution, thanks, will try it next time!
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 09:07
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How to blow your investments on a great party

What would you want to do for your 50th birthday? It’s a real milestone this one, a half-century. Terrifying, because it means you’re officially old, but also a real achievement in getting this far. A celebration is definitely called for. If money was no object, I’d fill a private jet with my pals a...
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How to afford university tuition fees for your children

In an ideal world, who wouldn't want their kids to go to uni? I’ve picked up a few letters after my name over the years and I'd love the children to follow in my footsteps. The trouble is that, when I went, it was free. My lot will face tuition fees of (currently) up to £9,250 a year even before the...
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Will investing with Woodford funds double your money?

Meet Neil Woodford. He has the Midas touch. Quite literally. He’s possibly the most famous fund manager in the UK right now – and he’s got a proposition for you. How does 5% interest on your money sound? The new CF Woodford Income Focus fund looks tasty indeed. Don’t be put off by the grand name – t...
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How to get the best exchange rate for your own Grand Tour

Just back from a weekend in Venice where I was supposed to be doing some research for a novel I’m writing – a kinda cloak and dagger thing set in 1618. I did scout a few locations but a more pressing investigation into wine and cichetti (Venetian tapas) kept interrupting. This was my eighth trip to ...
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Where in the world should I invest before the end of the tax year?

Pay attention people! It’s about five weeks until the end of the tax year and if you don’t use up your annual tax perks by then, you’ll lose them forever. One of the biggest allowances is the Individual Savings Account (Isa) which is worth £15,240 this year. Admittedly you have to be truly minted to...
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Put your eggs in baskets not pancakes before end of tax year

It’s Shrove Tuesday! Team Minted will be powering through the egg stores after school in a batter frenzy which the children will end up sticking to the ceiling rather than their plates. Great messy fun but really I should keep back those lovely organic six-packs for a decent cake or (if I could do i...
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Mortgage rates must rise so lock in now

It’s an irresponsible thing to say but it seems like there’s never been a better time to borrow money, at least in terms of mortgages. Really, money is cheap these days. I remember taking out my first mortgage at the tender age of 28 and paying about 6% interest. That’s the most enormous sum co...
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Women get £47,000 less than men in pensions from employers

Here’s another shocker: not only are we struggling against the gender divide in our monthly pay packets but, as women, we’ll also have smaller pension pots than the opposite sex by retirement. In cold, hard figures, that equates to a shortfall of £47,000 compared to the guy at the desk next to you i...
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You are losing money in cash now so why not consider shares?

Check the interest rate on your saving account. Is it less than 1.8%? That figure is the current inflation rate, or by how much the prices of stuff we buy every day is increasing. If your cash is earning less than that, you are actually losing money on your ‘investment’. I’ll bet that wasn’t what yo...
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Can you get half-term fun for half-price?

I was dreading this half-term. All the children wanted to do was stay home and hang out with friends. Which as every mum knows translates into five days spent inside on the computer and/or social media. While I’ve saved myself a few thousand quid on a skiing holiday, I couldn’t let it lie. We needed...
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Single ladies, put a ring on it (or at least sort the paperwork) this Valentine’s Day

What’s the best treat for you this Valentine’s Day? Roses? Perhaps a candlelit dinner with champagne? Or how about an expression of wish that you should get your partner’s pension benefits after he or she dies? Well, it’s a tough choice I know. I’d be tempted by the bubbles but, having given it...
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How does anyone afford a family holiday these days?

Will summer ever come? This unending, grey cold is making me ill, I swear. My normal antidote would be to book a family break somewhere hot (see photo of the Philippines above, yes please!). This year though it’s different – has anyone noticed how expensive flights are at the moment? I’m looking at ...
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Water load of nonsense with my bill

Bit of a cold shower moment yesterday: my six-monthly water bill was a whacking £417.09. That’s 23% more than the last one. Obviously Minted HQ is quite a large house and there are a few of us living here. The washing machine is on almost permanently and Darling Son likes to take very deep baths, mo...
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How to stop planning permission and the neighbours peering into your garden

I’ve spent the whole of this week buried in planning policy. Not by choice so please, I deserve the blue tights and the red cape. I’ve been defending the family home: the developers are coming! With Britain’s housing crisis continuing, this is a common problem. You read about the iceberg basements i...
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