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LATEST MONEYSAVING EMAIL

LATEST MONEYSAVING EMAIL

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Apr 16

This week: Over 50 ways to save incl... Free Breaking Bad, cheap shares ISAs & 2.5% cash ISA, £8/day car hire, £120 Amzn on b'band

Quick message from Martin - Get this emailed

"Hi. This free, spam free weekly email is the key way to save. We put all the latest deals, guides and loopholes in, yet many close within hours. Don't miss out, join the 8m who get it each week."

This week

Cheapest shares ISAs
New 0%' loan' - 4% fee
£8/day holiday car hire
Watch Breaking Bad online free
Home ins deals incl coffee machine
£120 Amzn on hot b'band deal
2.5% easy access cash ISA
Tesco Wine promo stack
Beat Barclays' overdraft hike
£22 photo print (£58 elsewhere)
New cheapest energy fix
DIY sales incl 15% off Homebase
Fairy dishwasher tabs free sample
Free £4.50 Debenhams kids' meal
Free mini Easter eggs
'Free' wine case with France ferry
CODES: Matalan 15% off £40, 15% Topman, £10 off £40 at Space NK
Sainsbury's Tu 25% off
£10 Louvel Fontaine champers
3 audiobooks £3 incl G of Thrones
2for1 Grand Designs London tix
Free £14 The Other Art Fair tix
Next week: Top Samsung S5 deals
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs

The cheapest stocks & shares ISAs
Everyone now has a new allowance - how to take advantage of it

It's a new tax year, so we're giving you something totally new. We normally focus on cash ISAs (see best buys up to 3%), but now we're covering stocks & shares investment ISAs. See our new Stocks & Shares ISA guide, here are the 10 need-to-knows...

1. What is a stocks and shares ISA? Everyone in the UK over 18 has a new £11,880 ISA allowance. You could use it all to invest in stocks & shares, or put up to half (£5,940) in a cash ISA (which over-16s can open).

It may still be called an ISA, but stocks & shares ISAs are very different to cash ISAs (savings accounts you don't pay tax on). You can invest in:
  • - Bonds. Where you lend your money to a company or government in return for interest.
  • - Shares. Where you invest in companies, literally buying a share of them.
  • - Funds. Most buy this way. They can include bonds, shares, cash or a mix.
Remember, when investing, you can lose your money as well as gain. For full info, see our new Stocks & Shares ISAs guide.
2. Stocks & shares ISAs are tax-efficient, but not always tax-free. Cash ISAs are simple beasts but stocks & shares ain't. They help you save some tax, but not all of it...

- You don't pay capital gains tax in an ISA. This is the tax on gains made when you sell an investment. You can 'gain' £11k per year outside an ISA without paying any tax, but in an ISA you NEVER pay tax on any 'gain'. CGT Info.

- ISA dividends - payouts if companies have done well - are taxed at 10%. Outside an ISA, they're 10% for basic-rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher-rate and 37.5% for top-rate, so only the latter two benefit. See Dividends Info.

- You don't pay tax on interest from corporate bonds in an ISA. Outside one, you pay at your income tax rate. See Corporate Bonds Info.
3. xxxShould I use my cash ISA allowance or invest it all? It depends whether you gain from the tax breaks above and whether you're willing to risk your money investing. But it's complicated, so see our Should I use my allowance for cash or investments? section of the guide.
4. Don't confuse choosing funds with where you buy your ISA. ISAs are available from different providers but for the cheapest, buy via a specialist website, often called a platform. These are middlemen, not the company actually investing the money for you.

It's a two-stage process: (i) Pick which provider to buy your ISA from. (ii) Then decide what investments to put in it. It's like buying bread in a supermarket. Initially you pick the shop (decide which platform to use), then which loaf to buy (your shares/funds/bonds).

Fees warning: You're usually charged by both the middleman and the investment fund company. See Stocks & Shares ISA Charges.

If you're not sure where to invest, you can seek help from an independent financial adviser. See our IFA Guide.
5. No ISA charges in year 1. We've pored over the research to find the cheapest deals. Here are the results:
  • - Best for the 1st year. AXA Self Investor* isn't charging any fees till 1 May 2015 if you open an ISA before the end of this month (you still pay the fund company). After that, AXA charges 0.35% of what you invest each year (£3.50 on £1,000). Full AXA Self Investor info.
  • - Best for the long-term. If you don't want the fuss of tarting your investments, the cheapest website is iWeb*, charging a one-off £25 account opening fee. Buying and selling funds is £5 a time. Full iWeb Funds info.
  • - Best alternative. Cavendish Online* is a good option if you know you won't transfer out in the 2nd year and will be a frequent trader. The annual fee's 0.25% and there are no charges for buying or selling funds. Full Cavendish Online info.
  • - Best for shares. Those who like to invest in shares should use iWeb*. Its one-off £25 account opening fee and £5 per share trade make it a top pick. Full iWeb Shares info.
6. Current ISA provider overcharging? Ditch it. Cheap yesterday doesn't mean cheap today. Our research shows one of the UK's most popular fund platforms, Hargreaves Lansdown, is actually now one of the most expensive. Check the charges with your provider, and don't be afraid to switch.

Two things to consider. 1) Your new provider might not have the funds your old one has. Like changing supermarket, your new one might not stock all the brands you've bought before. 2) Some platforms charge you to leave, so always check first. Here are our top transfer picks...
  • - Best for 1st year. Axa Self Investor* isn't charging any fees till 1 May 2015, if you transfer money & open an ISA before the end of April 2014 (you still pay the fund company). After, it's 0.35%. Full AXA Self Investor info.
  • - Best for long-term. If you don't want to keep switching, iWeb* charges a one-off £25 account opening fee on transfers. Buying and selling funds is £5 a time. Full iWeb Transfers info.
  • - Best alternative. Biggie Interactive Investor* charges £20 every 3 months, which gets 2 free trades/quarter (then £10/trade with a discount for frequent traders). Ask to transfer by 30 April & new custs get up to £240 cashback in year one. Existing custs get £120. Full Interactive Investor transfer info.
7. How to do a shares ISA transfer. It's easy, but not quick. Call your new provider. It'll do the rest for you - it'll take no longer than a month.
8. ISA allowance jumps to £15k on 1 July. Since 6 April, everyone's been able to put £11,880 into a stocks & shares ISA (£5,940 into a cash ISA). But from 1 July, all ISAs become new ISAs (NISAs) with a £15,000 allowance. It can be ALL in stocks & shares, ALL in cash or a mix of both. The 2 questions Martin's most asked:
  • - If I open a stocks & shares ISA now, what happens in July? You'll be able to top it up to £15,000 to count as your 2014/15 allowance.
  • - Should I wait till July? To use providers' April offers (such as those above) you need to open one now, not in July.
9. Use your ISA allowance by 5 April 2015 or lose it. You must save or invest by 5 April 2015, the end of the tax year, or any unused allowance will be lost forever. Savings or investments within the tax-free ISA wrapper continue to reap the tax benefits until you withdraw them.
10. Can I convert my old stocks & shares ISA into a cash ISA? Yes, but you'll have to wait till 1 July. It'll be simple - just contact your new provider, tell it you want to transfer, and it'll do the rest. You can already transfer cash ISAs into stocks & shares ISAs, which won't change.

PS. I'm taking the week off work, so this week’s Martin’s Money Tips email is coming from the more than capable hands of the MSE Team - Martin.

Blagged for MoneySavers

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MSE News

Top story: Ovivo closure: MSE reports mobile firm to authorities
Got a Santander Direct ISA Saver? Check your rate
Heartbleed bug shows why you should change passwords regularly
Student loans: Graduates deserve truth about what goes on credit files
Overdrafts cost too much, financial watchdog says
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Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 16 Apr 2014
New 30mths 0% 'loan' - for just a 4% fee
A new credit card that pays money directly into your bank account - the longest 0% of its type we've ever seen

Normally we talk balance transfers, where you get a new card that repays debts on existing cards for you - so you owe it instead. Yet more rare are money transfers, where the card pays the cash into your bank account - effectively a loan but at a far cheaper rate. Yet as with all borrowing, be careful - only do it if really needed, minimise the amount and time, do a budget, and ensure it's affordable.

  • loan loophole New. 30mths 0% card - cheapest sub £5k 'loan'. Accepted new MBNA* cardholders get 30mths 0% with a 2.89% fee on balance transfers, 4% for money transfers. After 30mths it jumps to a big 22.9% rep APR, so ensure you repay it, or at worst, balance transfer again before that. Yet contrast this with the cheapest straight loan for £2,000, which is c.15% APR. If you're new to this type of card, read Money Transfer help.

    Can you get it? Use the Money Transfers Eligibility Checker to work out your chances.
  • Cheapest straight loans - from 4.4%. Borrow £7.5k-£15k and Clydesdale* is 4.4% rep APR (over 1-5 yrs). For £5k-£7.5k, Hitachi* is 5.6% rep APR (over 3-5yrs). Unusually, you can now get relatively decent rates for £3k-£5k borrowing, eg, Hitachi* is 7.8% rep APR (2-5 yrs). Full best buys and more options in Cheap Loans.
  • Key need-to-knows. 1) All cards & loans need a credit check. 2) Never miss credit card min payments or you can lose the deal. 3) 'Representative' (rep) APR means only 51% of accepted applicants need to get that rate, others may pay more. See loans & cards APR examples. 4) In financial difficulty? Don't borrow, get Free Debt Crisis Help.

Top easy-access cash ISA 2.5%. Nationwide's Regular Saver* 2.5% AER deal (min £1, no transfers) is designed to save in each month, but you don't need to as long as you've £1 in it. As the max monthly contribution's £1,250, if you've less, dunk it in. If more, drip-feed it. Plus Santander 1.6% AER (min £500, allows transfers) is the top straightforward deal. The rate on both'll likely drop in a year, so diarise to transfer. Full best buys, incl 3% fixes, in Top Cash ISAs.

Tesco wine promo stack. EXTRA 25% off half-price cases. Till 21 Apr, automatically get 25% off when you buy at least two cases. Incl wine already up to 50% off, eg, Pinot for £45 (was £120). Del £6. See Wine Deals. Drinkaware.

Fight Barclays' overdraft hike - cut costs to ZERO. We're swamped with complaints as it's hiking many charges in June. Some will pay double. Option 1: Accepted new Nationwide FlexDirect custs get a year's fee-free overdraft - use that to give you time to clear it. If not, it's 50p/day, still cheaper than Barclays. Option 2: Shift your overdraft to a 0% money transfer card (see above). Both options need a decent credit score. If you can't switch, see tips in Barclays Hike news.

Book holiday car hire NOW from £8/day
Whether for Easter or summer, the earlier you book, the less you pay

Holiday car hire can cost a fortune done wrong. Wait till there & it can cost £28/day, yet our tips can slash it to £8/day. So it can be cheaper to hire a car than get a taxi to and from the airport. See our Cheap Car Hire guide, here's the core info...

  • Book ASAP for savings. The table shows you could pay £100/day more if you wait till you step off the plane...
CAR HIRE PRICES - based on 'compact' family car
Destination 14-21 Jun,
booked now
14-21 Jun, booked on the day (estimated) 9-16 Aug,
booked now
9-16 Aug, booked on the day (estimated)
Malaga, Spain £8/day £28/day £22/day £52/day
Pisa, Italy £26/day £68/day £31/day £90/day
Faro, Portugal £17/day £32/day £37/day £140/day
Estimated prices based on current book now, pay-on-the-day rates. Source: TravelSupermarket
  • Speedily find the cheapest with comparison sites. Don't go direct to one car hire firm when you can find scores of prices in seconds via a comparison. To bag the best deals, try Kayak*, TravelSupermarket* and Carrentals*. Full info for which comparison to use in the Cheap Car Hire guide.
  • Check out the fuel policy charges - they can add €100+. In Europe, hire for 3+ days, and some charge for a full tank and say "return it empty". If you won't drive too far, the unused fuel can cost more than the hire. If this'll hit you, AutoEurope* and TravelSupermarket* let you filter hires by fuel policy. More in Fuel Policy Tips.
  • Beat the excess insurance scare trick. When you collect the car, hire firms often say: "Without our excess insurance, you'll pay big for a scratch." Buy it from them and it can be £27/day, yet you can get it for £2/day from a specialist standalone firm. First use Moneymaxim's excess comparison*. Then see if you can beat its best prices with our blagged deals: 15% off via this link at Direct Car Excess Insurance* or 15% off at Questor* using the code MSE2072. Many policies exclude breakdown, so check. See Beat Car Hire Firms' Insurance Trick.

£22 all-in acrylic photo print code (£58 elsewhere). MSE Blagged. Get 40x30cm print till June. Photo Deals

New cheapest energy deal - could save £190/yr. First Utility's iSave Fixed July 2015* has just launched. Those with a typical bill on a standard tariff, paying quarterly, shell out £1,180/yr. On this deal, the same energy by monthly direct debit costs, on average, £994/yr. Plus the rate's fixed till July 2015, though there are exit fees if you leave early. See how it stacks up for you with our Cheap Energy Club Top Pick Fixes Comparison (it can also give £30 cashback).

Homebase 15% off sale. Easter weekend cross-store sale, incl discounted items. See all DIY Deals

Free Fairy Platinum dishwasher tabs sample. They're flying off the shelf, go quick. 3 tabs/pack. SuperSavvyMe

FREE £4.50 Debenhams kids' meals - NO SPEND NECESSARY. Under-13s, every day till 27 April. Debenhams

Free mini Easter eggs via O2 Priority Moments. Plus free Malteaster bunny and 2 giant eggs £10. Easter Eggs

Watch Breaking Bad & Homeland for FREE (legally) online
Huge TV box sets are all the rage. By picking the right web streaming service, do it at a fraction of the cost

If you've broadband with unlimited downloads, forget box sets. Most blockbusters are available online and if you can watch it quickly, it could be free. Even if you pay the monthly charge, it'll almost certainly be cheaper than the box set. See our Watch Movies & TV Online guide for top tips, here's a preview...

  • Max free trials. It's about 30-day free promos (1 per service per person) but cancel before the end to pay nowt. There's also a £5 M&S voucher with Now TV, see table. Our Top 20 Box Sets guide includes where to buy the actual box sets if you want 'em. Here are the top five:
Top 5 box sets (see the full top 20)
Show Cheapest DVD/Blu-ray (i) Cheapest stream Monthly streaming cost How many hours to watch it all?
1. Breaking Bad seasons 1-5 £50/£75 Netflix* 1mth free, then £5.99 49
2. Game of Thrones 1-3 £37/£55 Now TV* £4.99 + £5 M&S vch with code AFFENTMARKS5 (ii) 26
3. Homeland 1-2 £24/£36 Netflix* 1mth free, then £5.99 20
4. Downton Abbey 1-2 (iii) £18/£20 Amazon* 1mth free, then £5.99 16
5. House of Cards 1-2 £11/£27 Netflix* 1mth free, then £5.99 20
(i) Cheapest we found for all series. (ii) Full voucher info in the Now TV deals note, voucher will come in 28 days.
(iii) Seasons 3 & 4 not streamed online, DVD/Blu-ray cost for seasons 1 & 2.

Beware broadband limits & speed. At 500MB/30mins of TV, streaming eats data for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So consider unlimited broadband. You also need a quick connection to watch uninterrupted and in HD.

P&O Ferries £23 car day rtn + 6 bottles of wine. Till 9 May (excl Easter Sun/Mon). Dover-Calais from £23. P&O

CODES: Matalan 15% off £40, Ralph Lauren 20% off etc...
Ending TODAY: Ralph Lauren 20% off | Currys 5% off iPad Minis | Space NK £10 off £40
Ending later: Matalan 15% off £40 | Topman 15% off | Body Shop £10 off £25 code/in-store | All Discount Vouchers

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
31mths 0%, 2.99% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

Low fee 0%: Lloyds*
24mths 0%, 1.5% fee

(17.9% rep APR)
Get quotes in this order...

MoneySupermarket*
Gocompare*
Direct Line*
Aviva*
Admiral MultiCar*

Hitachi* (£5k - £7.5k)
5.6% rep APR



Clydesdale* (£7.5k - £15k)
4.4% rep APR

Santander 1.6% AER
Min £500, no bonus
Online. Transfers allowed.

Halifax* 1.55% AER
Min £1, incl bonus
Online. Transfers allowed


See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Forum Hottie. Sainsbury's Tu 25% off everything. In-store clothing sale, incl school uniform. Sainsbury's Tu Deals

£10 bottle of Louvel Fontaine champagne. Available online and in-store at Asda (usually £24). Asda. Drinkaware.

Dolce Gusto coffee machine with Churchill home insurance - 500 available
Hot deals you won't find on comparison sites. Hone down the cost of insurance on bricks, mortar and contents

There's no one cheapest home insurer. So in the words of the sage that is Harry Hill, "you gotta have a system". And we do. You'll find full info in our Cheap Home Insurance guide, but here are the quick snippets and latest deals...

  • home insuranceStep 1; Ensure you're getting the right cover. Generally, only freeholders need buildings cover. For leaseholders and renters, it's the freeholder/landlord's responsibility. Everyone should consider contents cover.

    For buildings cover, you to need insure the cost of rebuilding, not the home's value. With contents, beware you don't underestimate their value, or when you claim your payout could be lower. See Contents Cover Calculators.
  • Step 2: Combine the comparisons. Never just auto-renew. Companies often fine us for apathy, charging existing customers more than newbies. Start by grabbing as many quotes as possible at speed by combining comparison sites (they don't all search the same insurers). Our current order is Confused.com* and Compare TM*, plus Tesco Compare* (see full comparison site order info).
  • Step 3: Bag hot deals you won't find on comparison sites. Now compare the comparison sites' cheapest with prices from insurers never included on them, and with our MSE Blagged deals:

    - £50 coffee machine with Churchill. The first 500 new custs who buy a joint buildings & contents policy via this Churchill* link get a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine (£50 at Amazon) in 3 mths - link'll update when all gone.
    - £60 M&S vouchers with L&G. Get an Essentials or Extra buildings and contents policy via this special L&G* link using the code APRMSE and you'll get £60 worth of M&S vouchers after 2-3 months.
    - £40 Amazon voucher from Aviva. Never included by comparison sites. Buy a combined buildings and contents policy using this Aviva* link, then use code AVIVAMSE40 to land a £40 Amazon gift card after 3 mths.
    - Direct Line. Direct Line* is never included by comparison sites. It can be competitive, so it's worth a check.

3 audiobooks £3, incl Game of Thrones (next best £12). MSE Blagged. 3mth trial, cancel to avoid extra fees. 100k titles avail. Audible

2for1 Grand Designs London tix code. For 3-11 May show. Tix £12-£15 + £1.70 fee. Grand Designs

Ending B'band & phone equiv £13/mth + £120 Amzn (if line rent paid upfront)
Hottest deal for a long time. Most people pay around £16/mth for line rent ONLY, so some can save £100s a year

Phone and broadband have become substantial utility bills - check yours, many people typically pay £300+ a year before calls. This deal is ridiculously cheap in comparison. Full help in our Cheap Broadband guide, here's a hot deal (ends Weds).

  • cheap broadband£120 Amazon voucher on hot broadband & line rent deal. MSE Blagged. Officially just for existing EE* contract or PAYG mobile custs new to its broadband, yet as we'll explain in a moment, there's a way for anyone to grab it. Until TODAY (Wed), on a 1yr contract, you get:

    - Compulsory line rent: You pay £15.40/mth. But we suggest, if you can afford it, you opt to pay £132 for the year upfront during the sign-up process (equiv to £11/mth).
    - Unlimited broadband: Just £2/mth, so £24 for the year (avail to 85% of UK - click link to check). Note that after the first year the price will rise, so check then if you can get cheaper elsewhere.
    - Call costs: Weekend calls to landlines are included, other costs mostly on a par (or a touch more) with BT.
    -You get a £120 Amazon voucher after 3mths.
    Sent automatically, if you go via this EE deal* link and use code EEHBB120 to get the voucher (the voucher code also works on fibre optic deals).

    Analysis: This is staggeringly cheap. Excluding calls, pay line rent upfront + broadband, and the year's cost's £156, equiv to £13/mth (pay line rent monthly, it's £209 - £17.40/mth), plus £120 Amazon voucher. If you were going to spend that at Amazon anyway, factor it in and it's effectively just £36 over the year, so equiv £3/mth (£89 a year or equiv £7.40/mth).

    Need a new line? If you don't have a line (or only have a cable one), installation's £60.

    How to access it if you're not with EE. To count as an EE customer, you just need an active PAYG Sim. They're available for free, but you must top up with £10. As long as you call once every three months, it's valid. For full step-by-step help, see our full How To Count As An EE Customer info.

FREE The Other Art Fair tix - 500 pairs (usually £14). Unsigned artists, London 25-27 Apr. Art Fair

Coming next week: Top Samsung S5 deals. The latest smartphone is here. We've highlighted top early deals in our Samsung tool, but the cheapest are only just starting to emerge, so next week we'll have full top picks. Samsung


Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines
Get constantly cheap energy.

Our club ensures you're always on the cheapest tariff.

Join free: Cheap Energy Club

Up to £30 cashback for dual fuel, £15 for single switches.

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)

First Direct
£100 bonus and top cust service
Get quotes in this order...

Confused.com*
Compare The Market*
Direct Line*
Aviva*

Post Office*
with weekend calls
£10/mth (pay a yr upfront)



BT Line Rental Saver*
£11.75/mth (pay a yr upfront)
Do a Money Makeover Budget Planner MSE car sticker £13 Travel Insurance
Show Vouchers and Top Deals

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK
Find a new home for your surplus stuff

Planning a spring clean? Did you know various charities are encouraging donations of good quality, unwanted household items? Find one that collects for free on the Furniture Re-use Network, or if you're near one of the 150 British Heart Foundation shops it can collect clothes, books, homeware and electrical goods. To sell your stuff, see the eBay Selling Tips guide.

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA
Should I profit from laptops I buy with student discount?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I'm a student who can get 15% off laptops. I've bought a few laptops with the discount and then sold them on eBay at a small premium. The buyer pays less than they normally would and I make a profit too - only the computer firm loses out. My friend thinks I'm abusing a student discount offered as goodwill. Is she right? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I sell student discount laptops? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

THE GREAT HUNT
What are your tips for saving cash in coffee shops?
Have you worked in a coffee shop? Got any crafty tricks that could save MoneySavers some cash? Are there unadvertised 'short' sizes or cheaper drinks if you bring your own mug or come at the end of the day? Spill the (coffee) beans... Share yours/read others': Coffee shop MoneySaving Past topics: View all

CHEAP FLIGHT SALES ALERT
Airline: Ryanair Price: Flights from £9.99 Ends: Thu 17 Apr
Our pick this week is Ryanair's sale, which ends at 11.59pm Thu 17 Apr. It's for flights in May and June on selected routes from the UK and includes taxes & charges. We've found flights from Manchester-Dublin for £9.99. Extra charges warning: Avoid payment and check-in charges - see the Budget Airline Fee Fighting guide. Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance

THE GREAT HUNT... REVEALED
Your new tax year's resolutions

Last week was the first week of the tax year - so what are your MoneySaving resolutions? Not wasting so much food,
keeping track of cash and slicing mobile and broadband bills are among them.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances

MSE team corner

Discussion of the week

We'll let you know about the job

It's often tough to tell how well a job interview has gone. Is "we'll let you know by the end of the week" the nice way of being told you've been unsuccessful? Have your say.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 119.91 107.91
US Flag $ 165.61 149.04
Turkish Flag TL 345.00 310.44
Rates correct at 4pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Do you pay for domestic services?

Is housework still a preserve of the family, or in our growing service culture, are more people spending money on help in and around the home?

Do you pay for domestic help? If so, what do you pay for?:

I don’t pay for any Dog-walker/cat-sitter
Au pair Gardener
Babysitter Handyman/woman
Carer Ironing help
Cleaner Window cleaner

Poll results

What wouldn't you downshift on?
The vast majority of voters will happily drop a supermarket brand on painkillers and tinfoil - but not sausages and tea bags.

- 93% would drop a brand on painkillers.
- 85% would on tin foil.
- Only 35% would on tea bags.
- Just 16% would on sausages.

11,156 voted. See full results.

Question of the week

Q: Dad's moved into a care home and we're selling his bungalow for £440,000, meaning his total assets are about £600,000. Will opening a joint savings account with my dad mitigate against inheritance tax? Sue, by email.

MSE Helen S's A: Sadly not. As all the cash in the account is from your dad, you must declare it as part of his estate. The only way opening a joint account would mitigate against inheritance tax is if you and your father both paid into it - then, you'd only need to declare his cash.

Inheritance tax planning is often complex - it's one area where seeking independent financial advice can pay off. One warning for now: with £600,000, it's best to spread it across at least four joint accounts, as each one only has £170,000 FSCS protection - any more, and you'd lose it if the bank went bust. See our Savings Safety guide for more.

Please suggest a question of the week (we can't reply to individual emails).

Free game of the week: Fly Hard

How things are made - we challenge you not to be mesmerised

That's it for this week, but before you go, take a look at these captivating animations showing how things such as bullets and ballons are made. Caution - they're pretty addictive - you have been warned. Find out how things are made.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

Important. Please read how MoneySavingExpert.com works

We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of this email and the site. We're a journalistic website, and aim to provide the best MoneySaving guides, tips, tools and techniques - but can't promise to be perfect, so do note you use the information at your own risk and we can't accept liability if things go wrong.

What you need to know

  • This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances - and remember we focus on rates not service.

  • We don't as a general policy investigate the solvency of companies mentioned, how likely they are to go bust, but there is a risk any company can struggle and it's rarely made public until it's too late (see the section 75 guide for protection tips).

  • We often link to other websites, but we can't be responsible for their content.

  • Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion.

Please read the Full Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, how this site is financed and Editorial Code. Martin Lewis is a registered trade mark belonging to Martin S Lewis.

More about MoneySaving Expert and Martin Lewis

What is MoneySavingExpert.com?

Founded in February 2003, it's now the UK's biggest consumer help website with over 9 million people getting this email and nearly 13m using the site. In September 2012 it became part of the MoneySupermarket Group PLC. Its focus is simple: how to save cash and fight for financial justice on anything and everything. The site has over 30 full time staff about half of whom are editorial researching, analysing and writing to continually find ways to save money. More info: See About MSE

Who is Martin Lewis?

Martin set up and runs MSE, and still writes this email each week (unless it says so). He's an ultra-focused money-saving journalist and consumer campaigner with his own ITV prime-time The Martin Lewis Money Show, weekly slots on Radio 5 Live, This Morning and Daybreak, amongst others. He’s a columnist for publications including the Telegraph and Woman magazine. More info: See Martin Lewis' biography

What do the links with a * mean?

Any links with a * by them are affiliated, which means get a product via this link and a contribution may be made to MoneySavingExpert.com, which helps it stay free to use. You shouldn't notice any difference; the links don't impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things we write) isn't changed due to it. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it's still included in the same way. More info: See how this site is financed.

As we believe transparency is important, we're including the following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for content too:

Unaffiliated web-addresses for links in this email

mbna.co.uk, sainsburysbank.co.uk, paybyfinance.co.uk, kayak.co.uk, travelsupermarket.com, carrentals.co.uk, auto-europe.co.uk, moneymaxim.co.uk, direct-carexcess.co.uk, questor-insurance.co.uk, nationwide.co.uk, netflix.com, nowtv.com, amazon.co.uk, barclaycard.co.uk, lloydsbank.com, moneysupermarket.com, gocompare.com, directline.com, aviva.co.uk, admiral.com, cbonline.co.uk, halifax.co.uk, confused.com, comparethemarket.com, churchilltreat.co.uk, tescocompare.com, legalandgeneral.com, postoffice.co.uk, productsandservices.bt.com.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Note

Referring people to insurers or insurance intermediaries can in some circumstances constitute an FCA regulated activity. For this reason, pages with links which take you to the sites of insurers or insurance intermediaries are hosted by MoneySavingExpert.com Limited on behalf of MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC. MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 303190). The registered office address of both MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC and MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited is MoneySupermarket House, St. David’s Park, Ewloe, Chester, CH5 3UZ.

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