You now have more protection against banks going bust – but they have till June to tell you about it

Money you’ve saved with providers that are part of the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is now protected up to £85,000 per institution – though banks and building societies don’t need to tell you about the updated figure till the end of June. Update: This blog was published last month, but the information in it is accurate...

Less than £1 a bottle? Now that’s craft(y) beer buying

Craft beer is all the rage at the minute, and I must admit I have a bit of a weakness for the stuff myself. But with (small) bottles typically going for £1.80+, it’s not the cheapest penchant to sustain. So here are some tips to down the cost of indulging. Be warned – some of these tricks...

How I bagged a last-minute flight to the Philippines for £375 return – and what you need to know about smaller online flight brokers

When it comes to finding cheap flights, our usual rule is to book as early as possible. But it’s as much about how you book as when you book – and I’ve been lucky enough to bag some real bargains. Take my recent trip to the Philippines. It cost me just £367 return from London Gatwick (+ a £7.35...

My Sky TV customer service horror show

I’m going to tell you about the worst customer service experience I’ve ever encountered, with huge errors and then an inability – and in some cases unwillingness – to fix the cock-up. Step forward, Sky. I’ve written previously about appalling service from Sky, but here’s a horror show with my Sky Q TV service on another level....

Smart meter stopped working? It’s probably because you switched

So you get a call from your energy supplier, offering you a new ‘smart’ meter that can take the hassle out of paying your bills. It can send automatic meter readings – no more estimated bills, and no more need to give meter readings online or over the phone. You also get a neat little wireless device...

Found a better energy tariff? You CAN discard your fixed tariff and avoid hefty exit fees

Fixed energy tariffs are frequently cheaper than suppliers’ standard variable tariffs, which makes it a good idea to keep moving from fix to fix. But what do you do when a super-cheap tariff is launched and you’re facing early termination fees on your current tariff? You could actually still grab a slice of the action and avoid...

How I got £230 off fibre broadband – you can do it too

I love to haggle. It may be ‘un-British’ but this week it’s netted me a £230 saving on my broadband. Hopefully it can show you how easy it is to give it a go. My fibre contract is up at the end of the month, so I called my firm’s cancellation department and told it I planned...

How to switch your parents in 10 minutes – and make an energy saving

Last week, I switched my mum in under 10 minutes flat. Don’t worry, this isn’t a rather public display of parental disownment, I’m talking about switching energy providers. Ever since I joined MSE last year I’ve been dropping larger and larger hints to my parents that they should review all household bills, as I was pretty sure...

‘I returned a used toilet brush’ – what’s the most extreme thing you’ve taken back to the shop?

“So I returned a toilet brush at the weekend,” said my friend as we were watching TV. “Because it broke after one use. I told them it wasn’t fit for purpose.” I don’t know who was more shocked – me, that she had returned a used (albeit clean) toilet brush and successfully argued her point, or her, that...

Designer retail outlets – are they worth the schlep?

If you live near Bicester, Gretna, York or any of the UK’s other outlet villages and have a penchant for designer goods, it’s likely I’m preaching to the choir. If you can’t resist a bargain, maybe it’s time you planned a trip to one. Designer brands are by definition not MoneySaving. But if you’re a slave to...