Sunscreen, spiders & golden pigs – this week's MSE Forum highlights

Step into the MSE Forum and benefit from the wisdom, support and humour of its MoneySaving members. We've compiled a few of this week's best bits.

Success of the week

We spotted a satisfying post from maz052 on the Reclaiming Mortgage Fees, Council Tax, etc board, detailing how they got a chunk of change back from the council when they successfully challenged their council tax band.

See if you could lower your band and save £1,000s using our Council tax bands guide.

Success thanks to the MSE team

Delighted to say I have just been paid £6,950 after challenging my council tax band. I did try a few years ago but was told by the powers that be that 'as I had lived in the property for more than 6 months, I wasn't eligible to challenge the band'.

I decided to pursue again using your steps. The valuation office form was simple to fill in. I received a reply within 4 weeks saying I had a case. Two weeks later – 'Yes, you have been rebanded'. Two months later £6,950 appears in my account.

Thank you so much. You are doing such good work. You really should be proud of yourselves.

~ maz052

Photo of the week

Over on the Savings & Investments board, PiggyBankCollector posted a picture of their vintage Natwest golden pig. It's sparked a flurry of nostalgia as other MSE Forumites dug out their banking freebies and keepsakes, awarded when they opened an account or reached savings milestones. Visit the thread to see all the photos of vintage figurines and novelty moneyboxes.

Please note: We love seeing your photos in the MSE Forum, but if you're uploading one, make sure it doesn't include any personally identifiable information such as your face or address.

New month, new challenge

May is about to launch itself onto the calendar, which means the time is ripe for a new MoneySaving challenge. Here are a couple that are just starting:

  • May 2022 Grocery Challenge
    Decide on your grocery budget for the month and stick to it, while drawing encouragement and ideas from these frugal Forumites.
  • NST May: Mischief and Mayhem
    The NSTs (Ninja Saving Turtles) launch a new challenge every month to help each other cope with financial difficulty. The theme this month is 'mischief and mayhem' – click to learn why.

Money Moral Dilemma

Every week, the Money Tips email features a real-life Money Moral Dilemma (MMD for short). They're intended to encourage debate and, as such, they're usually among the most discussed threads each week.

Should I ask for my daughter's school-leavers' celebrations to be cheaper?

My daughter's leaving primary school in July. The parent committee has organised a trip, T-shirts and yearbooks to celebrate. They've asked parents to contribute £75 each and although I can scrimp elsewhere to find the money, it won't be easy. I want to ask the committee to scale back the plans so it's cheaper, but I'm also aware the kids have had no trips or parties at all over the last two years due to the pandemic and I don't want to be the one to ruin their fun.

You can find out what our MSE Forumites think and add your own two cents on the Money Moral Dilemma discussion thread. Remember the MSE Forum rules: keep it kind and keep it clean. Remember, there's a real person behind every Money Moral Dilemma.

Got a Money Moral Dilemma of your own? Email us at and it could be featured.

Latest comping wins

One of the most frequented boards, Competitions Time, is where compers come to find and share competitions. There are countless success stories, but here are a few of the most recent: dreamfish_2 had their very first win: tickets to see The Osmonds Musical, and Samjade97 won £120 for a Feel Amazing app membership.

Your two cents

Over to you. Now that wholesale gas prices are at their lowest since November 2021, we'd like to know: what fixed energy deals are you being offered by your current provider? Join the conversation by dropping a comment in the thread.

If you're not a member yet, it's easy to register to the MSE Forum.