|Cutting your costs, fighting your corner||Martin's Money Tips Wed 22 Jul 2015|
MARTIN'S QUICK BRIEFING: For more tips, alerts & awful puns, follow Martin on Twitter
Bank of England governor Mark Carney made headlines last week saying the 0.5% base rate - static for 6+ years - could rise in winter. It won't definitely happen but means mortgage rates, some of which are currently at all-time lows, could jump (they often do earlier than the base rate).
You can fix for two years at 1.05% (£1,995 fee) if you've a 40% deposit and a good credit history - a huge saving against standard variable rates. So urgently check if you can save - some inspiration:
Christopher: "I remortgaged in Jan - monthly repayments fell from £785 to £533."
Sarah: "Got a new rate with the same bank, saved £289 a month."
PS from Martin. I’m away from MSE Towers for the first few days this week, so after doing a draft of the email, the polish and details are in the more-than-capable hands of the MSE team.
| 3 savings tricks: (1) New 2.4% ISA, (2) 5% bank savings, (3) 6% regular savings |
Check your savings & ISA rates. Most pay a fraction of this - double, treble or even quadruple the interest you earn
Savings rates are dismal. Banks don't need our cash as they get it from the Funding for Lending Scheme, so they don't pay rates that attract it. Even the very top easy-access savings account from BM Savings only pays 1.6% AER variable and most people earn less than 1%. So if you really want to make your cash work for you, you have to get clever...
New. 16 Easyjet tricks to manipulate the budget behemoth. Beat kids' hols hikes, refund trick etc. Easyjet tricks
New. 19mths 0% NO FEE balance transfer - longest-ever fee-free debt shift. Accepted new Tesco* card holders can shift debt to it for 19mths 0% with NO fee. Need longer? Virgin Money's* 24mths 0% (1% fee) plus 0% on spending & money transfers (1.9% fee). A new Barclaycard* is up to 32mths 0% (1.59% fee) or another Barclaycard is up to 36mths 0% (1.99% fee). Which'll accept you? Use our Balance Transfer Eligibility Calc. Warning: Never miss a min repayment & clear debt before 0% ends, or on balance transfers, they jump to 18.9% rep APR (Tesco 20.6%, Virgin 20.9%). See Balance Transfers. (APR Examples).
Urgent. Tax credits deadline 31 July - don't delay. Ignoring forms can cost large. Check if you need to renew - if so, do online, as the helpline gets VERY busy. Do nowt & they may stop or you may have to repay already-spent cash. See Tax Credits help.
| Even after British Gas 5% cut, you're ripped off by £250/year - SWITCH NOW |
BG's cut prices, others will likely follow. Yet don't be fooled into thinking that means you're getting a good deal
British Gas has announced it's cutting gas ONLY prices by 5%ish from 27 Aug, shaving £35/yr off avg bills. All cuts are welcome, but the saving is trivial compared to the market's cheapest. There are no cheap British Gas tariffs so compare & switch NOW & you should be on a cheaper deal before its cut hits in a month. Here's watt (sorry) you need to know...
New. Longest EVER 0% spending - 25mths. The Post Office* (eligibility calc) last week launched the longest ever 0% new borrowing card, at 25mths (if you make a purchase within 3 months, else it's 16mths 0%). It acted shortly after Virgin Money* (eligibility calc) launched a 3-in-1 24mths 0% on spending, balance transfers (1% fee) and money transfers (1.9% fee) - it was the longest 0% on spending. Clear both before the 0% ends, or they jump to 18.9% rep APR (20.9% on balance and 22.9% on money transfers for Virgin). Full info: All-rounder cards & 0% spending (APR examples)
Earn £15 M&S/Amazon vchs doing quick online surveys. MSE Blagged. Popular MSEers' site where you fill in surveys & search online to earn. We've a link for you to accrue £5 & get a bonus £10. Newbies only. Swagbucks
Tell friends about us. They can get this free every week.
| Show Best Buys |
Free insulation worth £700 plus £25 J Lewis/Argos vch. MSE Blagged. It's back. Anyone in a suitable home (not NI) can get free loft & cavity wall insulation & a £25 J Lewis/Argos/Homebase etc gift card. Insulation
CODES & VCHS - incl £43 Android tablet, 40% off Body Shop. This week, we've blagged a LivingSocial 15% off all daily deals code (ends Thu, incl a £43 Android tablet) & Chemist-4-U 10% off, incl sale code, plus there's a Body Shop 40% off code until Fri. ALL Codes & Vchs
FLASH 10% off cheap games & tech, eg, £230 Xbox, £254 iPad Mini 3. MSE Blagged. Rakuten's often cheapest to begin with, yet our 48hr code can undercut by a further 10%. Valid on everything till Thu. Rakuten deals
| Top 10 summer 'staycation' savers |
Whether it's day trips with the kids, or a wee break in our fair isles, here are our hot tips to keep costs down
There's fierce argument even at MSE Towers over what a 'staycation' is. Martin reckons it's staying at home with the occasional day out - most of the team say it's a UK holiday. We asked Facebook users to decide and 17,000+ of you got involved - roughly a third said it's a UK holiday, the rest were with Martin. Either way, here are 10 tips to keep all happy...
1. 2for1 attraction vouchers. 50+ attractions eg, Ldn Zoo, Legoland, Thorpe Park. Theme parks
Free tickets to the audience of Martin's BBC Radio 5 live prog 5th anniversary. Get free tickets (Mon in Ldn), but be prepared to share your MoneySaving stories. Or listen live from 12-1pm.
Show Best Buys
MONEY MORAL DILEMMA
THE GREAT HUNT
THE GREAT HUNT... REVEALED
Quick forum tips
Freebie of the week
Martin's appearances (from 22 July onward)
Thu 23 Jul - GMB, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am.
MSE team corner
Regular team appearances:
Discussion of the week
Preparing for a holiday can be stressful for some and for others it's all about the art of organisation. What's your house like before a holiday? Share your stories.
Cheap travel money
Question of the week
Q: When should you book airport parking to get the best price? I'm flying from Gatwick this summer and it's currently £111 for a week. Emma, via Twitter.
MSE Sally’s A: The earlier the better, or even if you have left it late, at least book before you get to the airport. Wait till you're there and parking companies know you've no choice and that's when they sting you.
As well as booking early, always compare prices and bag extra discounts using specialist comparison sites - full info in Airport Parking. Using our full cost-cutting system, a week's parking at Gatwick in early September is around £60 if you book now compared to about £125 booking on the day.
Please suggest a question of the week (we can't reply to individual emails).
|Nick's free game of the week: Pogo swing|
When IKEA took a bite out of Apple.
That's it for this week, but before we go, check out this IKEA advert, as it completely rip off Apple's style in launching its 2015 catalogue with 'book' technology, including eternal battery life. It gave us all a good laugh at MSE Towers.
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