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
Founder and Executive Chairman Martin Lewis created MoneySavingExpert in February 2003 for just £100. The site's ethical stance and consumer revenge approach have made it the UK's official No. 1 money site. It'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 has boosted the technology resource and secured MSE'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 Bradford & Bingley Personal Finance Awards New Media winner. The site was also No. 1 for business information in the Hitwise Awards. In 2015 MoneySavingExpert won the Personal Consumer Website of the Year in the Santander Media 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 this 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 the MSE team and Martin (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 MSE's Money Tips email
Nine million receive MSE's Money Tips email every week. All the latest deals, guides and loopholes go into it. And as more than two-thirds of the best deals expire within a week, 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 and PPI Reclaiming to Balance Transfers and Budget Flight Fee-Fighting. Rather than just saying "shop around", the guides feature super-detailed product research. A good starting point's the Money Makeover guide.
Nifty free MoneySaving tools
The MoneySaving Forum
The MSE Forum is one of the UK's biggest social networks. It has more than 1.6 million members, and at any one time, thousands of users are discussing ways to save, as well as supporting and motivating each other.
The forum'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), Old Style MoneySaving (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 such as financial education, payday loans and claims management regulation, as well as making sure the consumer's voice is heard in the corridors of power.
Watch Martin's Money Rant Video
Martin Lewis explains the philosophy behind MoneySavingExpert
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 growth of the site
The easiest way is to let Martin tell the tale...
It's funny to look back at the birth of MoneySavingExpert – in many ways it went viral, before the term viral did.
I'd been working as the Money Saving Expert on TV and writing a newspaper column since 2000 – and during my research I'd often stumble across short-lived ways to save money – so I'd pop them in an email to friends with the tongue-in-cheek subject line 'Martin's Money Tips'.
I didn't think much of it until, after a couple of months, I was at a party and people I'd never met before were thanking me for the emails. My friends had been forwarding it to their friends. I thought I'd make it easier and 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 thought the site could help promote my journalism work, and paid a web designer in Uzbekistan the princely sum of £100 to design a more professional version. This was launched on 22 February 2003, which I count as the site's birthday.
By coincidence at the same time I got my first big TV slot, on ITV, and the two became symbiotic. My reputation built; the site grew; the site growing built up the demand for me as a journalist.
From that point the site's growth exploded. There were 100,000 on the email list after just a year, less than three years after it hit a million, and by 2014 10 million people had opted in to 'Martin's Money Tips'.
MSE joined the MoneySupermarket group in 2012 and in late 2016 I moved from being Editor-in-Chief of MSE to the highfalutin title of Executive Chairman. That means while I still oversee the site's content, quality, ethics and strategy, the site is day-to-day run by the brilliant MSE team now nearing 100 people.
And as I don't write all of it anymore Martin's Money Tips has become the MSE weekly email, and as I write this in August 2017, over 12.5 million people get it.
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, such that when it growls even Number 10 listens, as well as being a place millions have saved billions, is a source of great pride.
Yet the most important thing's still that this is 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 bio)||Andy. Managing Director|
|Andrea. Forum Editorial Liaison (see bio)||Aneta. HR Business Partner|
|Andrew. Energy Analyst (see bio)||Archna. Head of Clubs & Operations (see bio)|
|Anthony. Senior Deals Researcher (see bio)||Carol. PA to the MD|
|Deborah. Deals Manager (see bio)||Catherine. Martin's EA|
|Eesha. Money Analyst (see bio)||Dan L. Operations & Compliance Manager|
|Gary. Deals Editor (see bio)||David D. Data Development Analyst|
|Guy. Managing Editor (see bio)||David G. Senior Front End Developer|
|Helen. Chief Product Analyst (see bio)||David M. Assistant Front End Web Developer|
|Jason. Editor-in-Chief (see bio)||D'lena. Web Developer|
|Jenny. Lead Writer (see bio)||Duane. Senior PHP Developer|
|Jo G. Associate Editor (see bio)||Erica. Head of Commercial|
|Jordon. MSE's Coupon Kid (see bio)||Imogen. User Relations Executive (see bio)|
|Karl. Personal Finance Researcher||Jason. Service Desk Analyst|
|Kirsty. Campaigns Editor||Jennifer. Energy Product Manager|
|Lucia. Deals Researcher (see bio)||Jermaine. Assistant Front End Developer|
|Luke. Sub-editor||Katie. Press Officer|
|Matt. Forum and Community Manager||Laura. Clubs Support Coordinator|
|Megan. Senior News Reporter (see bio)||Matthew. Junior Product Manager|
|Nick. Credit Club Copywriter (see bio)||Omar. Partnerships Executive|
|Oliver. Deals Editorial Assistant||Raffaele. Front End Developer|
|Rhiannon. Deals Researcher||Rose M. Senior Product Manager|
|Rosie. Money Analyst (see bio)||Roxanne. Clubs Support|
|Sally. Senior Writer & Editorial Operations Manager (see bio)||Shaun. Head of Delivery|
|Sam D. Assistant Editor (see bio)||Stephanie. Assistant Back End Developer|
|Sam Mc. Personal Finance Writer (see bio)||Tamar. Head of Legal|
|Sarah G. Deals Researcher (see bio)|
|Sarah M. Features Writer (see bio)|
|Steve. News & Features Editor (see bio)|
|Susie. HTML Email Developer|
|Tom. Deals Researcher (see bio)|
|Tony. Insurance Analyst (see bio)|
|Weleid. Consumer Researcher (see bio)|
|Will B. External Affairs & Campaigns Officer (see bio)|
The MSE Charity Fund
This site's dedicated to empowering consumers and putting money in their pockets, and the MoneySavingExpert.com Charity Fund does it even more directly. With almost £1 million donated so far, it's MoneySavingExpert's way of giving back to users.
A large chunk of the money goes to support The MSE Charity, which offers grants to groups to provide education and information about consumer and debt issues. The rest goes to five general charities nominated by site users, and other one-off donations.
This is separate to the money Martin put into the Martin Lewis Charitable Fund when MoneySavingExpert joined the MoneySupermarket group. For more information on what Martin's donated, see his blog.