What our holiday rep failed to mention…

I’ve recently returned from a week in sunny Rhodes. Having been on all-inclusive package holidays before, and after only paying £320, I wasn’t expecting 5-star luxury (it wasn’t). I did expect our rep to be a bit more helpful though. After all, his job was to make sure we enjoyed our holiday (we did, though no thanks...

Mobile roaming: Is Three’s deal a magic number?

Using mobile data abroad unnecessarily costs a small fortune, so I applaud any networks which make it cheaper.  Three Mobile’s new Euro Internet Pass costs a flat £5 a day and gives you unlimited usage — one of the cheapest deals out there. But there are two things that can catch you out if you’re not careful,...

From bed bug to cyber bug

After a week in bed nursing the flu, I’d had enough of soup, Lemsip and most of all, daytime TV. Instead, I took the time to sort my finances, showing that good can come from feeling dreadful. With the ability to focus my eyes on the screen and navigate the remote control with my fingers, I wondered...

Can you top my 2p biscuits?

I’m taking a quick break from the hard-hitting world of personal finance to talk biscuits. While at my local Asda recently, I spotted a large stash of Decorate Your Own Christmas Tree biscuit packets (6 biscuits per packet), reduced from £3.50 each to 2p. MoneySaver that I am, I couldn’t resist picking one up. Well, five packets,...

Why won’t banks give me a savings account?

You’d have thought it was easy to apply for a savings account. Especially as you’re giving banks money. Think again. I’m in week four of trying to apply for an account, with no luck. It appears the problem is an archaic mixture of banks’ bungling attempts to verify my identity, and curious information on my credit report....

Ordering online? Your address could leave you flat

If you live in a flat conversion, did you know you could end up missing out on top deals because many retailers won’t recognise your address, which could mean you fail a credit check? I’m still waiting for an application for an online savings account to go through two weeks in, because the bank’s application form did...

Would you get a bank account with a free dog?

We’re all used to banks offering freebies to lure us into lending them our cash. They start us young – remember NatWest’s 1980s free piggy banks? – before giving us railcards or cold, hard cash as students. Even for sober, sensible grown-ups, there’s a range of offers to tempt us to switch our custom. But the oddest...

Customer satisfaction forms: friend or foe?

Cycling along the canal path in Gloucester during my long weekend away, I was blissfully unaware my every move was being tracked. From picking up my wellies at Tesco, to the much needed caffeine pit stop at Costa, my loyalty and debit cards (all linked to my personal email account) had activated ‘customer satisfaction’ and ‘feedback forms’...

Battle of the bands … my council tax band success

I’m a relative newcomer to MSE Towers, having pitched up a few months back as a sub-editor. It’s my job to make sure the site’s accurate, reads well and that we don’t say anything too rude about anyone. Part of my role involves going back through the scores of guides and tools and making sure they’re all...

Just a small town girl, living in a very expensive world

OK, so technically Canterbury is a city, not a town and it’s not like I haven’t lived away from home before (I lived in South America for half of last year). But moving to London is a whole different ball game, especially when it comes to the cost of living. Rent and bills are fairly non-negotiable, so...