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Weekly Email
This email was sent
05th Sep 2012
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email

Quick message from Martin - Get this emailed

"Hi. This free, spam free weekly email is the key way to save. We put all the latest deals, guides and loopholes in, yet many close within hours. Don't miss out, join the 12m who get it each week."

05 September 2012
Martin's Quick Briefing

Saucy September Savings
Made you read. Summer's over, 10 must-dos to save £100s

The kids are back at school, the path to winter starts and it's time to get prepared to prevent costly problems later. Here are our 10 must-do September savings.

1. Back up files and photos for free. It can be costly and emotional if your PC goes kaput & you lose precious holiday snaps/work. An easy solution is use a free online back-up site, which gives up to 5GB storage at no cost.
2. Save £100s on boiler cover costs now. Energy providers use a fear of winter crises to sell pricey insurance. Don't just stick with your energy provider; our Cheap Boiler Cover guide may save you £100s. Tips include...

a) Renters - your landlord is usually responsible for the boiler, not you.
b) Compare via uSwitch*, which does the widest-ranging search and you could then add Energyhelpline* & Boiler Choices* for belt 'n' braces.
c) If time, add in those named, incl Npower*, Direct Line, & Eon.
3. september savingsCheck your tax code. You may be due £5,000 back. Millions have been given the wrong tax code for this & past years. Use the MSE Tax Code Calculator to check. As Chris Kendall says:

"I got the MSE email, checked my code, rang HMRC and it told me I'd get £5,000 to £7,000 back. Incredible."
4. Do you know where your stopcock is? Frozen pipes can play winter havoc, causing £100s of damage. So find your stopcock (mains water 'off' switch) now. Don't wait for an emergency, when every second counts.
5. Don't fall for auto-renew car insurance hikes. Never just auto-renew, massive savings are possible with little effort. In a nutshell...

a) Combine comparisons for max coverage. Top 2: MoneySup* & Confused*
b) Add those missed: Aviva*, Direct Line* and for 2+ cars, Admiral MultiCar*
c) Haggle & check cashback. See Cheap Car Insurance & Under 25 Car Ins
6. Don't miss out on £1,000s of childcare cash. Three checks... a) If you work 16+ hrs/wk (or in a couple, both work 16 hrs+) you may be eligible for payments which avg £3,000/yr+, see Childcare Tax Credits. b) Otherwise, speak to your employer about Childcare Vouchers. These can save £100s/yr by letting you pay from PRE-tax income. c) If you've a 3 or 4-year-old, you're entitled to 15hrs/wk of nursery or child-minding via Early Learning Classes.
7. Sell back unused holiday cash at best prices. Use TravelMoneyMax buyback comparison to see which online bureaux pay the most. Though for smaller amounts, if it's for somewhere you go regularly, eg, euros, avoid conversion commission and just keep it for next time.
8. Get £30 free M&S vouchers to bag free £300 insulation. Loft & cavity wall insulation can reduce bills by £300 a year. Each normally costs about £150. But to fulfil energy efficiency obligations, some firms do it free and pay £30 M&S vouchers (£200 if on benefits). See Free Insulation.
9. Can you flog old mobiles for £100s? It's been a year of upgrades, but don't just sell your old handset to anyone. The MobileValuer comparison speedily finds top payers, eg, HTC Desire Z top is £95, some pay just £13. Or the iPhone 3GS 16GB, top is £135, some pay just £41.
10. More or same bedrooms in your house than people? If so, a water meter should save you large (not Scotland). To check it out, see the Cut Water Bills guide. As proof, Helen Bevington tweeted: "Thanks to your newsletter we've water metered - monthly DD down from £80 to £25." That's £660/year saved.

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Use the Money Mantras If you're skint, ask - do I need it, can I afford it If you aren't, ask Will I use it, Is it worth it?

The Ones Not To Miss

Wed 5 Sep 2012
Last chance. Cheap energy fixes ending any minute
Lock in cheap gas & electricity - many will save £250+ a year for TWO WINTERS

Scottish & Southern Energy's announced 9% October hikes, others are predicted (no guarantee) to follow. Yet there are still two fixes left which let you lock in SUPER-CHEAP prices pledging NO PRICE HIKES and with NO EXIT PENALTIES, so you can easily leave if other prices fall later. Yet these are likely to be withdrawn imminently...

  • cheap energyEDF Blue 30 Apr '14 fix (closing soon): This long fix's links have gone from comparisons. It's still available direct at EDF Blue*, but could close any min. It's c.£250+/yr cheaper than typical standard tariffs (sadly, no fixes allow prepay customers). Closed to new customers at 4pm Fri 7 Sept.
  • Scottish Power, cheaper 31 Dec '13 fix. Scottish Power's* extended its fix by 2mths, closing the gap on EDF, plus it's a bit cheaper (can be much cheaper in Ldn/SE Eng) and via the links below you can get cashback.
  • Compare and get cashback/free wine on top. Exact savings depend on region & use, so check via comparison sites (some won't save). Plus get cashback via these special links if they switch you (after c.3mths). Top comparison: Energyhelpline* £15 per switch. Dual fuel: MoneySup* £30 cash, uSwitch* a crate of wine.

FULL updated help (incl for key meters) in Cheap Gas & Electricity Related: Free Insulation, Energy Grants, Boiler Cover

Back to top ^

Tip-off. 5,500 lines 10p in Superdrug 90% clearance. Starts Wed. At the time of writing we don't know what they are, but check our Superdrug Sale note, which'll be updated during the day as we get more info.

50% off Domino's, Zizzi & more

Domino's 50% off £15+ | Zizzi 50% off pizza & pasta till Thurs | Pizza Hut £5 pizza & unlimited salad |
'Free' BHS fish & chips on Fridays (buy hot drink) | La Tasca 5 dishes £10. For more: Restaurant Deals

Forum Hottie

£5ish Rocket Dog shoes (RRP £30ish). Get women's sandals and flip-flops for a fiver in the sale. Forumites are soled on this Rocket Dog Deal

Print summer snaps FREE. New tool
Photo Print Finder exposes freebies & compares cheapest | 40% off photo-books & codes

If you've papped away and want to print beautiful pics without an ugly price, our new tool helps you snap up a bargain...

Back to top ^

Drive 250 miles, get free £25 (needs Android phone). First 5,000 to download free Android driving monitor app and drive 250 miles get £25. Just do normal driving & see. Free £25 with smartphone app

Premier Inn £19 room sale, includes Xmas & NY. Starts today (Wed). 500,000 rooms for Oct 2012 - Jan 2013 stays. Works over hols so great for visiting families. Full info in Hotel Sales

MSE Blagged

10,000 free £19 Grand Designs tix. We've blagged 10,000 freebies for you. See Grand Designs Code

B&Q 15% off code. Sign up to its club (or if you're a member already) for 15% off this weekend. B&Q Deals

Balance transfer 0% price war
Big card companies are fighting to cut your debt costs - let 'em. Save £100s or £1,000s

We've just seen a flick-flack of new deals scrapping to top best buy tables. A balance transfer lets you shift costly debts to a new card, so you owe it instead, at a cheaper rate. All are new customers only and you need to pass a credit score.

  • price warNew longest 0% deal: 23mths. New cardholders shifting to Barclaycard* now get 23mths 0% (was 22) and a lower fee of 2.8% of the amount transferred. Repay before the 0% ends or it's 17.9% representative APR.
  • New top non-Barclaycard 0%. Tesco* is 22 mths 0% (2.9% fee), pipping NatWest* / RBS's* 22mths 0% (3.2% fee). After the 0% ends they jump to 17.9%-24% rep APR.
  • Low fee 0% if you can repay quicker. The Fluid* card's 15mths 0% with a 1.5% fee, as is Lloyds* if you shift over £1,500 (as then it halves usual fee). After 0%s end they're 18.9% and 17.9% rep APR.
  • Important must-knows. 1) Repay at least the monthly min or you can lose special rates. 2) Don't spend on these cards, it isn't usually at the cheap rate. 3) Uncertain repayments or need longer? Lock in at 5.9% for LIFE. 4) For help deciding, use Which Card Is Cheapest? tool. 5) Step-by-step help in Best Balance Transfers & Official APRs.
Back to top ^

Eurostar £59 Paris & Brussels 2012 rtns. Rarely discounted, also Lille & Calais. Eurostar Deals

New top 3% easy-access savings. Rates are plummeting, but you can still get 3% AER from Santander*. Includes a year-long bonus (diarise to switch then). See all in Top Savings. Has full £85,000 UK Savings Safety protection

MSE Blagged

20% code for hot games, incl CoD Black Ops 2 £34 pre-order. Tesco code for £29.50 Warfighter (next cheapest £35) and Assassin's Creed 3 for £45.50 (£53). Call of Duty Deals.

Click titles for full info & all top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
23 mths 0%, 2.8% fee

(17.9% rep APR)

Low fee 0%: Fluid*
15 mths 0%, 1.5% fee

(18.9% rep APR)
Get quotes in this order...

Direct Line*
Admiral MultiCar*

Sainsburys* (£5k - £7.5K)
7.1% rep APR
(Need Nectar card)

Derbyshire* (£7.5k - £15k)
5.8% rep APR

(via MoneySup link)

Manchester BS 3.06% AER
Min £1,000. Incl bonus.
Postal only. Transfers allowed.

Santander* 3% AER
Min £500. Incl bonus.
Transfers allowed

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Free tank of petrol? Big spenders' extreme couponing. For each £10 gift card for stores incl Debenhams, Currys & House of Fraser, you can get 1p/L off fuel. So £100 gets 10p off, £1,400 gets it free. If you're due to make a big purchase at one of these stores, buy gift cards to get freebie petrol. Full how-to in Cheap Petrol

'I'm on benefits, but I'm no scrounger.' With the Paralympics on, and disability issues in the spotlight, a reminder of this brilliant I'm No Scrounger piece written for us by Ross Goodall, who has an arm tumour.

Tell friends about us. They can get this free every week.

'Free' £8.50ish L'Occitane goodies. Shower gel, shampoo etc, via £2 paper. See L'Occitane Deals

Ends Fri. £30 Amzn/M&S credit card freebie. Amex Rewards* gives accepted newbies 16mths 0% spending. If accepted, do normal spending on it of £500+/mth for 3mths to get £30 vouchers. Fully repay before 0% ends (it's 19.9% rep APR after) and there's no cost, so it's a freebie. Full help: Credit Card Freebies & Official APRs

'I got a £338 uniform tax rebate in 3 weeks'
If you wear/wore a uniform for work and wash or repair it, you could get £100s back

Whether it's full nursing or police attire, or perhaps even just a simple T-shirt, provided you DON'T ever wear it for owt else, if you wash and maintain the clothes you may be due an extra tax-free allowance each year.

  • tax rebateIf you wear or wore ANY uniform, try it. It just involves writing a letter, step-by-step help in our Uniform Tax Rebate guide. Claims can be backdated for 4yrs, so even if your uniform days are behind you, you may be able to claim. Armed forces? Shouldn't need to claim as it's done automatically for you.
  • "£338 back in 3 weeks." Most successes are £20-£60, but some, such as forumite Polomint, got much more: "I work for the police & recently reclaimed laundry allowance. Three weeks, and £338 later, I'm very happy. A bonus, as the girlfriend does the washing. Should I split it? Nah." We hope you at least took her out to dinner...
Back to top ^

Instant London Eye & Alton Towers 2for1s (Sky custs). Sundays only: Theme Park Deals

FREE £10 Body Shop hair kit (O2 custs). Get voucher, go in shop, get freebie. See O2 Deals

Want a paid MSE editorial or web developer internship? We've three-month editorial and web development placements in MSE Towers, west London, starting ASAP. Full info: MSE Intern Opportunities

Click titles for full info & all top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines
Compare, switch & get cashback

£15 per switch

£30 dual fuel

6 bottles of wine

First Direct*
£100 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)
Get quotes in this order...

Direct Line*
Get quotes in this order...

Primus Line Rental Saver*

BT Line Rental Saver*
£10.75/mth (pay a yr upfront)
Do a Money Makeover Free Budget Planner Free MSE car sticker £16 Travel Insurance

the moneysaving community

spill beans

Spill the beans... on how to cut the cost of learning to drive
As if tax, insurance and petrol weren't enough, the cost of learning in the first place can be huge. You can't get around the price of the tests, but there are ways to save on learning the theory and practical skills of driving. (Be warned parents and children: DIY lessons can be stressful...) Spill 'em: Ways to save on driving lessons Related: Cheap Young Driver & Provisional Insurance Past Spill the Beans: View all

Free book giveaway. Ouch! 25 copies of the book that promises to "pull the financial system's pants down" blagged for MoneySavers. Want one?

Campaign of the week

Tell Govt its ban on credit card surcharges should start ASAP
The Government said it'd ban excessive credit card fees by the end of 2012, rather than the EU-scheduled June 2014. Complete BIS's surcharge survey and tell it to keep its promise. Don't be put off. The form looks complex, but the key is answering Q1, and if you've more time, Q6 & Q8. Or for ease, leave views on the Which? surcharge conversation (which BIS will look at).
Spotted a campaign?
This space is for MSE to support money-based work by other organisations. Send us a Campaign of the Week suggestion.

Money Moral Dilemma

Should I give former colleague an undeserved reference?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...
A few years ago, I arranged with my boss to get an old colleague I socialise with some part-time work. But she messed it up, and didn't deliver as expected. Now she's applied for a new job and asked me if I'll be a referee. Her husband has disabilities and she's been struggling to get work. But if I told the truth, it wouldn't exactly be a glowing report. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I give an undeserved reference? Previous MMDs: View All Suggest: A Money Moral Dilemma

Cheap, nutritious back-to-school lunchboxes. Spill the beans... revealed
What with the restrictions some schools now impose on lunchbox items (no nuts, hot food from home or even chocolate), it can be difficult to know what to feed 'em. But it's clear yogurt remains a firm favourite, along with homemade flapjacks. Many report a great way to get kids to eat their lunch is to let them help make it.

Cheap Flight Sales

Aer Lingus Price: From £30 each way Ends: Fri 7 Sep
Our pick this week is Aer Lingus' from £30 each way flights. It's on flights to Ireland for travel from 1 Oct 2012 until Sun 31 Mar 2013, and includes some taxes and charges. Flights include Birmingham to Dublin for about £35 each way. To find flights quickly, use the FlightChecker on a £50 one way max search. Extra charges warning: Avoid payment and check-in charges - see the Budget Airline Fee Fighting guide. Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance

Back to top ^

Cheap Travel Money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 125.36 114.58
US Flag $ 158.06 144.39
Turkish Flag TL 280.50 252.34
Rates correct at 4pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Should car insurers be banned from auto-renewing?

Some car insurers automatically renew policies. The advantage is you can be fined for not having insurance if you've a car, even if you're not driving. The disadvantage is it can lock you into their overpriced policy.

Which of these do you think is right?

Ban all auto renewals

Allow auto renewing only if premium not increased

Allow auto renewing

Auto renewing allowed only if people opt in

Auto renewing allowed but must offer an opt out

Poll Results

Is the landline dead?

Predictably, of the 20,608 that voted, the majority that rarely/never use the home phone for calls were in the sub-60 age categories (7,566). Of the 4,467 voters in the 60+ age category, only 5% don't have a home phone, compared with 57% who use it for all/almost all calls. See Full Results.

Question Of The Week

Q: Can I reclaim mis-sold PPI on behalf of my late father? Jackie, by email.

MSE Wendy’s A: If your father was found to have been mis-sold a PPI policy, then yes, you can reclaim. Any monies owed become part of his estate, so the person who inherits is entitled to any refund.

If there's no will to decide who inherited any of your father's assets, this follows the rules of intestacy. It's worth noting there may be problems proving what happened at the time of the sale if only your dad was present. But if you believe he was sold inappropriate insurance, contact the lender to complain.

Please suggest a Question of the Week (we can't reply to individual emails).

Board Of The Week

The Over 50s Money Saving Board

Share offers and tips. Discussions include Care Home costs if name not on deeds, Cataract treatment and Moving closer to a parent

Back to top ^
Game Of The Week

Drift Runners 3D

Awesome map of thousands of planes in flight...

It's geek heaven, even for non-plane spotters. Check out this PlaneFinder map of thousands of planes in the air around the world.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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