Happy Christmas from Team Minted

We'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...
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Best Isas and other money tips for 2019

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

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

Inheritance 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...
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Mums MUST sign up for child benefit or risk losing thousands in state pension

Have you signed up for child benefit? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Since the system changed in 2013, many parents have decided not to. This is partly because they might not be eligible (child benefit used to be universal, sadly no longer) and partly because the paperwork is offputting. But, by d...
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How to sell unwanted gift cards and vouchers

Gift cards are pretty much all I want for Christmas. In fact, cold hard cash would be nice but I certainly won’t saying no to an M&S voucher if Santa drops one into my stocking. The mini-Minteds are keen for them too: not M&S of course. Game and Urban Outfitters have been strongly tipped as ...
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Free stuff, samples and where to find them online

Freebies – who doesn’t love them? I’m partial to a giveaway and will regularly cross town for a complimentary glass of wine. I wouldn’t say no to a two-for-one or BOGOF deal and am very happy to accept a free sample, especially of the Aperol variety. As my experience of such generosity is limited to...
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Black Friday 2018 genuine deals and how to get them

Black Friday is this week! There are already zillions of early offers in the shops and online. But are they genuine deals or just fiddling with the figures – and how can you find out? My advice is to use a price comparison website. These are like the energy or car insurance comparison sites except f...
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How to save on energy bills with zero effort

Winter is here, it’s official. My skinted colleague Charlotte has already forked out for a new boiler and I’m watching my gas meter tick up. Minted HQ is a draughty old place and costs zillions to heat so I’m always on the lookout for ways to save. Like most people, I’ve grasped the idea of searchin...
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Is NOT giving Christmas presents an option?

It’s only six weeks until Christmas! Time to start the shopping – or is it? This year I’m trying to curb the usual Minted household excesses. As presents are my biggest spend, I’m racking my brain for cost-cutting ideas and considering some radical strategies. The most obvious way to save is not to ...
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Should you put all your pensions in one pot?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had lots of different jobs in your career. As a journalist, I moved publications every three or four years, leaving a trail of little pension pots behind me. Keeping tabs on them all was a headache so, about 15 years ago, I lumped them all into the work-pl...
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Why not reverse your advent calendar and give to your local food bank this Christmas?

Gin, soap, wine or even plain old chocolate: everyone loves the countdown to Christmas with an advent calendar. But what about creating a reverse advent calendar where you give rather than get an item every day? We’re joining up again with the #FoodBankAdvent campaign this festive season to give don...
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The cost of laundry is hanging me out to dry

Where does all the washing come from? I don’t understand how Team Minted, an average family of four, can generate so much laundry. Here’s the pictorial proof. That mountain on my kitchen floor is not even a week: it’s last week’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday, piled up after Mrs Tiggy-Winkle here dare...
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What does the Budget mean for Skinted and Minted Mums?

The end to austerity was announced yesterday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, as he set out the spending plan for the UK for the year ahead. That means more money for schools, health, social care and even fixing potholes. But how will it affect those of us running somewhat sm...
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Living costs are the real obstacle to university – for parents

Dear Daughter is thinking about what to do when she grows up. Architecture is one option she’s considering: what a fabulous and exciting career. The only issue is that it’s about seven years of university tuition. Being a supportive parent, on Tuesday I took her to the Renzo Piano exhibition at the ...
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My shares are worth less so I can put more in my tax-saving accounts

Yippee! Share prices have slid more than about 10% from their peak at the end of May. On the surface, that doesn’t sound like good news. But for canny skinted and minted mums, it’s an opportunity to max out your tax-perk savings schemes eg Isas and pensions. I haven’t got any new money to put into m...
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Check your online investment money went into shares not cash

The real killer with investing is figuring out how to do it. The admin! Even as an investment nerd I’m regularly scratching my head over which website to use to get my money in the market. These days, if you want to invest, you’ll end up using a so-called platform online. These are a wonderful innov...
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These six simple steps are all you need to sort your finances

If you believed everything you read in the papers, we are all going to financial hell in a debt-fuelled handbag. We spend too much, save too little and will end up starving as pensioners rather than relaxing in retirement. Much as I love a sensational headline, I’m beginning to think that scare stor...
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Ghostly goings-on for half-term and Halloween

Half-term this year for most of us won’t stretch over Halloween which is a shame. All the fun will be on a school night for Team Minted which somewhat cramps our style. Never mind, there’s half term beforehand to make the most of the phantasmagoric fun with the kids. Most of which costs, of course. ...
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