Is it what you save, or what you spend that counts?

It’s been a busy week or two, but my wife and I sat down last night and acknowledged we’d made some great savings. It started when one of our boys somehow damaged our reliable, but ancient, TV – which meant a call was necessary to our contents insurer, M&S. The process was smooth and the gentleman ever...

Who’s Sarah? The scammers pretending to be from MSE

My mum’s always been a tough cookie, willing to fight for her rights and smart enough to know when someone’s pulling a fast one. So when she messaged me to say she’d had a good old chat with my colleague "Sarah" from MSE, I literally ran out of the office to call her and find out the...

10 top tips for a successful car boot sale

Doing a car boot sale is a great way to clear out your cupboard, de-clutter your home and raise a bit of extra cash (for more clutter, in my case). They require a bit of time and effort, and you’ll probably not make as much money as you would using eBay (my other favourite way to make...

How far should insurers go to market their polices?

I’m at that annoying time of year – my car insurance is due for renewal. I move my policy every year in order to get a better deal, usually saving around £50 on my renewal quote. But, let’s be honest – it’s not an enjoyable process. Using the MSE system, I check a couple of comparison sites...

‘Haggle’ is not a dirty word

I love a good haggle. In many other countries it’s as natural as breathing, an integral part of the sales process, and there’s no harm in it. Yet in the UK, some see it as undesirable, unprofessional and even offensive – all for discussing a payment. I was reminded of this while looking for a last-minute bargain...

How our Helen helped bring you the Olympics

While many are mourning the end of the Olympics, I’m not alone in suffering from London 2012 withdrawal symptoms. I was a ‘Games Maker’ for two weeks, one of the 70,000-strong "purple army" of volunteers, and what an experience it was. From Mo Farah’s double gold and all the athletes’ incredible feats, to the giant, inflatable octopus...

The danger of eBay festival ticket buying

Like many of my money-saving comrades here at MSE Towers, I am a self-confessed eBay addict. I love snapping up anything under-priced. Sites such as BayCrazy and Fat Fingers (which trawl eBay for items that have been spelt incorrectly and so have few bids) have found a firm place at the top of my favorites, as has...

FSA must act fast to stop savers unwittingly risking cash

Last week we warned savers about Re-Give, a new account provider offering very high interest — but crucially NO protection from any compensation scheme if it went bust. Despite the UK banks’ regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), being aware of the problems for over 10 days, nothing has been done. While in the past this would...

I’m loving my free books

From Fifty Shades of Grey (I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to know what all the fuss is about) to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (which I will get round to reading one day) – there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book. And it’s even better when the book is free. Now I know...

I’m an online glasses buyer convert (thanks to a free trial)

I’ve needed glasses ever since one of my primary school teachers told my parents I couldn’t read the hymns on the board in assembly (yes, I’m still bitter about this. I’m sure I could have got away with it for longer). As soon as I was allowed, I switched to wearing contact lenses as much as possible....