MoneySavingExpert.com is the UK's biggest consumer website, with about 15 million users a month. The site's dedicated to cutting your bills and fighting your corner with journalistic research, cutting-edge tools and a massive community – all focused on finding deals, saving cash and campaigning for financial justice.
The average person in the UK can give themselves the equivalent of a 25% pay rise by being an active, savvy consumer and shifting to the very best deals. This site's here to show you how. To get started, see the Money Makeover guide.
In this guide
A brief intro
Created in February 2003 by founder and editor Martin Lewis for just £100, MoneySavingExpert's ethical stance and consumer revenge approach have made it the UK's official No. 1 money site. The site's won many awards and is now a constant port of call for consumers and policymakers alike.
In September 2012, the site joined the MoneySupermarket group (see Martin on joining MoneySupermarket). This will boost the technology resource and secure the site's future, meaning even more people will benefit from its unbiased, campaigning stance. Yet the site continues to operate as an entirely independent entity and its stance of 'putting the consumer first' is protected by an iron-clad legal Editorial Code.
Honours: The site's honours include Radio 2's Most Useful Website of the Year, a Parliamentary Motion commending the site and the B&B Personal Finance Awards New Media winner. The site was No. 1 for business information in the Hitwise Awards.
How the site works
The site never charges to save people money, nor does it take any advertising. Companies cannot pay to buy space on the site (see the How the site is financed guide for more info). Any top deals, best buys, tips or suggestions on the main site are purely down to journalistic research from Martin and the team (see the Editorial Code).
The underlying philosophy is that we live in an adversarial consumer society:
A company's job is to make money. A consumer's job is to maximise their cash. Companies spend billions on advertising and teaching their staff to sell, yet we don't get buyers' training.
We want to redress the balance and aim to do it in a number of ways.
The weekly Martin's Money Tips email
This isn't a site with an email, it's an email with a website to back it up. All the latest deals, guides and loopholes go in the Martin's Money Tips weekly email. More than two-thirds of the best deals expire within a week, and the email's aim is to ensure you don't miss out.
Super-detailed MoneySaving guides
The main site has a huge range of guides, from Cheap Gas & Electricity to PPI Reclaiming, Balance Transfers to Budget Airline Fee Fighting. Rather than just saying "shop around", the guides feature super-detailed product research. A good starting point's the Money Makeover guide.
As well as directly writing a good chunk of the guides, Martin's directly involved in all product analysis and top picks.
Nifty free MoneySaving tools
The MoneySaving Forum
The MSE Forum is one of the UK's biggest social networks. It has more than one million members, and at any one time, thousands of users are discussing ways to save, as well as supporting and motivating each other.
It's split into different subject boards, each with its own mini-community, including Debt-Free Wannabe (working together to get out of debt), Grabbit While You Can (top bargain spotting), MoneySaving Old Style (thrifty ways from older days) and Freebies (free stuff grabbing).
New to the Forum? If you're unsure where to start or find it daunting, watch our Forum Intro Guide to help you find your way around.
MoneySavingExpert now has a small campaigns team, who work alongside Martin to liaise with charities and politicians to put the consumer's point of view across.
We lobby over issues like financial education, payday loans and claims management regulation, as well as offering a free conduit for opinion formers to ensure the consumer's voice is heard.
Watch Martin's Money Rant Video
Martin Lewis explains the philosophy behind Money Saving Expert
Terms and conditions of use
It's important to let you know information on this site does not constitute financial advice. All information is based on journalistic research and analysis rather than tailored advice aimed at individuals.
Decisions should be taken only after considering the effects on specific circumstances. Please read the full legal terms and conditions. To protect the site, Martin Lewis is a registered trade mark belonging to Martin S Lewis and Money Saving Expert, MSE and MoneySavingExpert.com (among others) are registered trade marks owned by MoneySupermarket Group PLC.
The history and the growth of the site
The easiest way is to let Martin tell the tale ...
I'd been working as the Money Saving Expert on TV as well as writing a national newspaper column since 2000. During the course of my research, I began to send tips to my friends as and when I spotted a good deal and jokingly used the subject line 'Martin's Money Tips'.
After a couple of months, I was at a party and people I'd never met before were thanking me for the emails. It turned out my friends were forwarding it to their friends. To make it easier, I set up an email list built around a basic homepage so anyone could get the info.
The email grew quickly and soon hit 1,000 recipients. I decided the site had potential to help me promote my journalism work, and paid a web designer in Uzbekistan £100 to design a more professional version. This was launched on 22 February 2003, which I count as the moment this site was born.
By fortune, that coincided with a step up in the profile of my broadcasting and the two became symbiotic, building my reputation and thus bringing people to the site.
After that the growth was nothing short of exponential. Now, 12 years later (February 2015), that same Martin's Money Tips is sent to more than 10 million email addresses. And there are nearly 26 million visits a month to the site, from 15 million different people in the UK.
For years now, running the site has been my main job, and still is, though since we joined MoneySupermarket I've now got the high-falutin' title of “Editor-in-Chief”. As you can probably imagine, I don't do everything on this monster site by myself. There's a loyal and dedicated team – who suffer my extreme MoneySaving pedantry to ensure everything is up to standard.
Looking back, I'm staggered by how it all happened. I wish I'd been clever enough to design the growth with a masterplan, but, in truth, it's been a gradual instinctive thing over many years.
The fact this once little site is now a campaigning beast, as well as a place to save people money, is a source of great pride. We're now called upon by charities, policymakers, ministers and even Prime Ministers to help communicate and discuss policies that shape the nation's personal finances.
Yet the most important thing's still that this a place consumers can call home.
The MoneySavingExpert Team
At first, the site was a one-man band. Then, in May 2004, the first team member joined as full-time web manager to look after the technical side of the site. Now based at what we lovingly call MSE Towers in central London, there are just a few more.
The MoneySaving Team
|Editorial and Forum Teams||Technical and Office Teams|
|Amy. Senior Money Writer (see biog)||Andy. Chief Operating Officer|
|Anna. Deals Researcher (see biog)||Archna L. Head of Clubs (biog)|
|Andrea. Forum Editorial Liaison (biog)||Carol. Team/COO Assistant|
|Anthony. Deals Researcher||Catherine. Martin's EA|
|David P. Consumer Team Analyst (biog)||Dan L. Clubs Operations Manager|
|Deborah. Senior Deals Researcher (biog)||David G. Web Developer|
|Eesha. Money Analyst (see biog)||David M. Assistant Front End Developer|
|Freddie. Deals Researcher (see biog)||D'lena. Front End Developer|
|Gary. Deals Editor (see biog)||Duane. Senior Web Developer|
|Guy. Managing Editor (see biog)||Eleanor. Development Manager|
|Helen K. Senior News Reporter (see biog)||Erica. Head of Commercial|
|Helen S. Money Desk Leader (see biog)||Jason. IT Technician|
|Jenny. Lead Writer (see biog)||Jermaine. Assistant Front End Developer|
|John N. Sub-editor||Joe. Back End Developer|
|Jo G. Money & Insurance Editor (see biog)||Joseph. Front End Developer|
|Megan. Community Researcher||Josie. Commercial Executive|
|Nick. Utilities Analyst (biog)||Julia. Senior Search Executive|
|Paloma. News Reporter (see biog)||Kate. Office Manager|
|Rebecca. Insurance Desk Leader (see biog)||Mark. Web Designer|
|Sally. Consumer Desk Leader (see biog)||Neil. Head of Technology|
|Sam. Money Writer (see biog)||Peter. Assistant SEO Executive|
|Sarah. Deals Researcher (see biog)||Rachel. Finance Business Partner|
|Steve B. Deals Researcher (see biog)||Richard. Head of Product Development|
|Steve N. Consumer & Features Editor (biog)||Rose M. Clubs Product Manager|
|Susie. HTML/Email Developer||Sam. Assistant Designer|
|Tara. Features Desk Leader (see biog)||Sarah M. Commercial Executive|
|Tony. Insurance Analyst (biog)||Sarah E. Press Officer|
|Wendy. Campaigns Manager (biog)||Shrey. Web Developer|
|Zorica. Forum/Community Researcher (biog)||Tamar. Head of Legal|
|Weleid. Clubs Support|
|Yasin A. Development Administrator|
|Yasin D. Operations/Projects Manager|
The MSE Charity Fund
This site's dedicated to empowering consumers and putting money in their pocket and the MoneySavingExpert.com Charity Fund does it even more directly. With over a million pounds donated so far, it's MoneySavingExpert.com's way of giving back to users.
Two-thirds of the money goes to support The MSE Charity, which provides grants to groups to provide education and information about consumer and debt issues. The rest goes to five general charities nominated by site users.