The death of the high street, and the rise of the £1 shop
It’s nearly the end of 2012, and for shoppers and their high streets, what a year it’s been. We’ve seen the departure of Peacocks, the demise of Game and the downfall of Comet. We’ve said adios to JJB Sports, Past Times and Ethel Austin. And we’ve seen Clinton Cards, Jane Norman and Blacks face difficult and uncertain...
MoneySaving for Doomsday
I’ve discovered Doomsday Preppers, a programme about American families so concerned the world is going to end at any moment, they are preparing now to survive the fallout. But while most of their actions are utterly incomprehensible, a lot of what they do is MoneySaving. They concentrate on being self-sufficient and preserve what they get, which makes...
Christmas present cost-cutting: the Talbot way
When it comes to Christmas, I like to consider myself pretty MoneySaving. I build up a steady stockpile of presents throughout the year, so I don’t have to buy too much in December, and I set myself a budget. Shopping around for the cheapest prices is easy thanks to the MegaShopBot, and I always check for discount...
Hospital theft: what we did after my mum’s handbag was stolen
It was devastating enough to find out my mum had suffered a heart attack. But when she called in hysterics after her handbag was stolen from a London hospital, we had to act fast to ensure everything was secure. Nothing can ever prepare you for having your personal possessions stolen, especially in such a difficult time anyway....
‘I saved shopper from PPI vultures’
There’s a shopping centre I walk through most days. It’s seen better days, but it still draws in a crowd. It’s busy enough for people to set up stands there: gold-buyers, pay-TV sellers, charities, and, inevitably, PPI reclaimers. You may well know it can be reclaimed for free, and so do I. But millions still don’t know...
The curse of dodgy ‘Boris bike’ charges
If you’ve spent time in central London over the past couple of years, you’ll be familiar with the blue hire bikes parked up on street corners. ‘Boris bikes’ have changed the lives of many Londoners – they even got me cycling again for the first time since I was a teenager. But there remain serious concerns about...
My number 1 Christmas shopping rule: start early
I’m not the most organised person in the world. I frequently forget birthdays, double-book everything, and I never know where my bag/phone/keys are. This ‘unorganised me’ changes magically once a year when I buy Christmas presents. I’ve better skills than Santa’s elves. I adore Christmas (and shopping) and prefer giving presents to receiving them. I know it...
Tourist traps: avoid the overseas scams and dodgy charges
Going on holiday is great, but even while you’re off relaxing you often need to beware of scammers, or even well-known brands that try to sneakily get their mitts on your cash. I’ve recently returned from two-and-a-half weeks in Australia and the far east and have come back with three tales of dodgy charges many holidaymakers are...
Canning spam texts
Spam texts are frustrating. You hear a ping and scramble for your phone, only to find it’s from an unknown number, asking you to give out personal details in exchange for either more spam, unwanted messages you have to pay to receive, or worse, it’s just plain fraud. Spam texts are as frustrating as not knowing who...
I’m paying in sterling, so what’s wrong with my cash?
Have you ever had your sterling banknotes turned away in the UK? I have, so has my wife and her family, and this has been going on for as long as I can remember. I know I’m not alone. Picture the scene. I go into a food store, somewhere in England. I select my groceries and go...
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