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Weekly Email
This email was sent
12th Nov 2008
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email
12 November 2008
Sent: Wednesday 12 Nov 2008
Highlights below include...
Free £10.50 nail varnish Parking Ticket Reclaiming
75% off Pizza Express 2for1 cinema any night
Savings, Mortgages, free iTunes & more

Mortgage Warning!  The Evaporating Equity Trap.  Although negative equity (owing more than your house’s worth) hits the headlines, more will suffer from what I call ‘evaporating equity’; when house price decline kills your ability to get a cheap deal.

It's about Loan-to-value (LTV) ratios.
  LTVs describe the proportion of a property's value you’re borrowing (e.g. a 20% deposit gives an LTV of 80%). As house prices are falling quickly, mortgages are becoming a bigger proportion of house values.

E.g. with a fifteen percent house price drop, an 80% LTV last year would've jumped to 94%. At the same time, it's got harder to get a good new mortgage deal, now you may need an LTV as low as 75%... meaning many will be left in the lurch.

ACT NOW before the rate cut hits.  One option that'll contribute to keeping the LTV as low as possible is utilizing last week's rate cut. Unless you're on a fixed deal, your monthly repayments will drop by £100-£120 per £100,000 of mortgage.

Thus if you’ve no credit card debt or overdraft & some emergency cash saved up, then don’t get used to new extra cash start putting it (and any spare cash) towards overpaying. If the lender doesn’t allow that, save the extra cash, and at remortgage time repay some debt so you'll need to borrow less. This will help creep the LTV down.   

More Info: Read the should I repay my mortgage guide, the Free Printed Remortgage Guide or discuss the Evaporating Equity trap.


Week of Tue 4 - Mon 10 Nov '08

1. Fixed Rate Savings
2. Top Savings Accounts
3. Haggling Guide
4. Recession Proof Your Finances
5. Freebies, Freebies, Freebies

With a recession-driven 1.5% base rate cut, unsurprisingly the new Urgently Fix Your Savings guide dominated, even though it was only launched on Thursday...


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The Ones Not To Miss

Reclaim Unfair Parking Fines. Get your money back. Inc. free template letters.
It's a hideous moment: you return to your car, van or motorbike to find a parking ticket on the windscreen, a clamp on the wheel or even that it's been towed away. While often it's our fault for blocking red routes or parking outside schools, it can also be unfair; the result of bad signage, poor technology, or overzealous parking attendants. This is a brand new step-by-step guide to reclaiming all official parking fines. New Guide & template letters: Parking Ticket Appeals Related Guide: Car Insurance, Reclaim Council Tax, Breakdown Cover Coming Soon: Reclaim Private Parking Tickets & How to Park Right

Discount Vouchers: Debenhams (25%) Warehouse (20%) & Karen Millen (20%). Debenhams' is a click n print, while the other two are in Grazia mag (£1.90). Full details in the Daily Deals Note: Shopping Vouchers

Home phone & Broadband £14/mth all-in. Includes line rental & wireless router
BT basic line rental is £10.50/mth, so line rental, plus broadband, a wireless router and free eve & weekend calls to UK landlines for just £3.50/mth more is a cracker. How it works: Normally TalkTalk's Global Evening & Weekend package is £18/mth all-in over the 18mth contract. Yet sign up before 20 Nov. via a cashback website and you get PAID £75; so, effectively it's just £14/mth over the contract. While this type of cashback isn’t 100% certain, it's very likely in these cases. Full pros & cons in the Forum Note: TalkTalk Cashback and on the package itself in the Updated Guide: Cheap Home Phones Related Guide: Top Cashback Sites, Cheapest Broadband

Free 2for1 cinema tickets ANY night with McDonalds. Until 25 Nov, over 16s can get a 2for1 Cineworld/Vue voucher with large meals/deluxe salads (c.£4). Details in the Daily Deals List: Days Out

Savings News: Rates plummeting. Still time to fix above 6% before last week's cut hits.
Last Thurs base rates were slashed by an unprecedented 1.5%, which hugely affects savings. Instant Access Deals: Most will drop 1.0-1.5% over the next month, there's no point comparing & switching until rates have levelled out. Fixed Savings: Here you save without access to your cash for a set time, in return for a guaranteed rate. Since my emergency e-mail last week, many have been pulled, but there are still some available, so you can lock-in at a decent rate. All the best buys in the Updated Guides: Fixed Rate Savings, Top Savings Related Guides: Safe Savings, Repay Debt v savings, Regular Savings

Free £10.50 nail varnish with £2 mag (stocking filler?). There's a full-size Nails Inc. varnish on the cover of Dec's Glamour. See the Forum Note: Free Nail Varnish


Return P&O Dover-Calais ferry plus 6 bottles of wine, £24! Inc. car & up to nine people. Full info in the Deals Note: Ferry good indeed!

WARNING! MBNA, Virgin, A&L credit cards auto-switching people to min. repayments.
Many MBNA cardholders (inc. Virgin, A&L) are receiving letters saying their Direct Debit's being dropped to just the minimum repayment. The Excuse: Apparently some have fixed Direct Debits lower than the minimum, so it's stopping fixed repayments for everyone. The Nightmare Cost: Making the min repayment on a standard MBNA card means it'll take 67 years to repay a debt of £5,000, costing £29,300 in interest. What to do: Tell it how unhappy you are. If it forces the switch, then if possible use the 'pay off in full' option, if not ensure you manually overpay each month, or use a standing order. Guide & Calculator: Danger Minimum Repayments Been sent the letter? Please report the card.

Pizza Express 1/4 price in Tesco points & £5 off Frankie & Benny's Voucher. These join 2for1 at GBK, Zizzis & ASK in the Daily Deals List: Eating Out

Great ‘Explain to kids they may get less this Xmas' Hunt: How to break the news...
It's a tricky but crucial, explaining to kids you've less money for Christmas. So I want to tap MoneySavers' ideas for the best phrases and stories for different age groups. How can you explain Santa’s budget’s been hit? Or to teens that the designer labels their friends have are out? Plus what free or cheap ways are there to make their Christmas magical? Add ideas/read others: Great 'Explain to kids they may get less this Xmas' Hunt Related Guides: Christmas MoneySaving, Recession Proof Your Finances, Festive Fivers

Free £15 iTunes giftcard with two CDs (c. £17). Sainsbury gives a free £15 iTunes giftcard if you buy two selected chart CDs, usual cost around £8-9 each. More in the Forum Note: Save a for-tune

Mortgage-Rate Watch. Lender by Lender guide to how much/whether yours will cut
The govt's kicked most banks to ensure their standard rates follow last week's 1.5% base rate cut. The changes take effect on 1 Dec. Standard Variable Rates (SVR) cut by 1.5%: Northern Rock 7.34% to 5.84%, RBS/Natwest 6.69% to 5.19%, Lloyds TSB 6.5% to 5%, Abbey 6.94% to 5.44%, Nationwide 6.19% to 4.69%, HBOS 6.5% to 5%. SVR no change yet: Bradford & Bingley 7.09%, Barclays 6.64%, HSBC 6.25%, A&L 6.94%. Fixed Rates: No change, its fixed. Tracker Rates: Should drop by 1.5% (unless there's a min. rate condition). The Saving: A 1.5% cut means a saving per £100,000 of mortgage of roughly £90 for a repayment mortgage, £125 for interest only. Related Guides: Remortgage guide, Free Mortgage Advice

Travelodge £9 UK hotel room sale extended & more rooms. The Travelodge £9 room sale is staying open another week, and now rooms up to 4 May are available. More in the Forum Note: Travelodge Sale

LAST CHANCE! Ends Sun. Asda shoppers boost your Christmas budget by up to 4%.
Asda gives everyone with money on its electronic saving card on 17 November a boost of up to 4%, so put money in the day before to get a special addition to your Xmas spend. Full info, and details of other supermarkets' schemes, read the New Guide: Supermarket Stamps Loophole Related Guides: Cheap Supermarket Shopping, Supermarket Discounts, Loyalty Scheme Tricks

Festive Fivers Contest Reminder. Enter your most thoughtful, clever & romantic sub-£5 present idea. The winner gets £200. Full Contest Info: Festive Fivers 2008 Past Winners: Festive Fivers 2007

Did It Pay To Watch? Want to be on TV? In January I've a new 8-week series of my Five TV prog. It Pays To Watch starting. Want to appear? Full Info: Get in touch if you saved after watching or want to try saving cash on the show.

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The Big & Easy Ways to Save Checklist

More MoneySaving

Eon hikes Energy Saver Online 8. Compare & switch energy now
Eon, like all energy suppliers, upped its prices more than eight weeks ago, but its online Energy Saver 8 online tariff wasn’t increased. Now, as predicted, the millions on it face gas rises up to 26% and elec 16%. Compare and switch/cap: Anyone who hasn’t yet should now do a comparison, to check whether you’re paying way over the odds. My top pick comparison site is Energyhelpline* which via this link pays £15 cashback per fuel. For dual fuel switches Moneysupermarket* gives £30 cashback, Uswitch* a free case of wine & SimplySwitch* £35 in Amazon vouchers. Full info in the Updated Article: Switch Gas & Elec Related Articles: Grant Grabbing, Cheapest Boiler Cover

Free finance guide for women experiencing domestic violence. The charity Refuge has just published a free "You CAN afford to leave" guide. More in the Forum Note: Take control

Starbucks free coffee update. Last week we included a Guardian newspaper voucher to get a free coffee. We were told the voucher would be valid until 18 Nov, but the wrong date was printed in the paper. This is what Starbucks said: "Starbucks UK will continue to honour the offer of a complimentary Tall Red Cup Exclusive beverage (Gingerbread latte, Dark Cherry Mocha, Toffee Nut latte) for any customer who brings in a copy of The Guardian advertisement dated 5th November up to and including Tuesday 18th November." For the latest eating out deals read the Daily Updated Deals List: Eating Out

Last Chance: Top savings plus up to £60 worth of Tesco Clubcard Deals free. Grab the account by Weds. 12 Nov. Full Guide: Tesco Savings Loophole

Discount vouchers offered especially for MoneySavers...
As an experiment, a few weeks ago in this email I asked companies to give special discount vouchers for MoneySavers. We've been swamped. Some examples include 15% off Chemist-4-U, 10% off Oli fashion and £5 off football shirt retailer Toffs. These and more in the Great Hunt: Give MoneySavers Discounts

Sub £10 Manc-Lon trains. Virgin print@home sub-£10 tickets are now taking bookings up until 12 Dec (this is deliberately low down the email to prevent its temperamental website crashing). This joins 25% off a Family Railcard, £10 Birmingham to London & more in the Deals List: Cheap UK Travel

CHEAP FLIGHTS SALES ALERT Airline: Ryanair. Price: £5 e/w. Ends: Midnight Thurs 13 Nov.
My top pick budget airline sale this week is Ryanair's £5 (inc. most taxes & charges) flights to a host of European destinations from a range of UK airports. Tickets are at this price on selected flights in Dec & Jan until midnight Thurs 13 Nov. How to quickly find the sales flights: Don't go direct, instead use the Budget Airline FlightChecker and ask it to find all flights under £5. Non-Budget Airline Tools: These are listed in the Cheap Flights article. Related Travel MoneySaving: Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance, Mobile Roaming

The New IVA Board: For those with and considering Individual Voluntary Arrangements.
IVAs are commonly missold, yet in the right circumstances they're a welcome release for some of those in severe debt crisis. To help those considering IVAs and those already in one, after many requests there's a new Forum board where people can share tips. New Board: IVA Board Free Guide: IVA Guide Related Articles: Debt Help Related Boards: Debt Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy Board

 Quick Forum Tips
Warning! Bargains listed here tend to sell out quickly

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Would you dent someone's car if they blocked you in?
You park your car sensibly on the side of the road. Yet when you return to the vehicle, two cars are parked on either side, virtually touching yours, pinning you in. While they both have enough space to get out, you’re trapped. The only way to escape is by nudging them out of the way, but it’s very likely this will dent at least one of them, as your bumper is higher than theirs. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Would you dent their cars? Previous MMDs: Should you come clean about the extra refund? and Should you give cash to a homeless man?

5p to Children in Need per PAYG ATM top up in November. Full info in the Forum Note: PAYG Pudsey

Great 'Cheap Sports Tickets' Hunt Result
Last week I called upon MoneySaving sports fans to give other aficionados their ideas on ways to slice the cost of attending matches and watching budding Lewis Hamiltons. Top tips included Eat elsewhere, Support your local team and Volunteer as a First Aider

Norwich Chocolate Show Tickets. Were you picked? Find out. Plus, last chance to claim your London Motorsport Show Tickets

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Blue Peter Makes, Sigur Ros Downloads, James May Activity Pack (PDF)
50 Nectar Points (worth 27p), Haircut in Covent Garden

Odds and Ends

MoneySavingExpert on the box/wireless
If you like to watch as well as read about MoneySaving, I'll be appearing on the following programmes over the next week or so.

This week's Martin's Blog: 'The Lord Mayor, Financial Literacy and Men In Breeches'
"Poised to throw knickers... (incriminating pics)" and "Lord Mayor's Dinner". Read m'blogs (or RSS users access)

Where will base rates be in six months? This week's poll. Vote and Base rates discussion.

One in five near the financial brink. Last Week’s Vote. Almost 12,000 votes this week in the "Recession's coming: how near the brink are you?" poll. The Result: While 65% are upbeat, voting between 0 (no problem, no matter what) and 4 (will ride it out with a bit of belt-tightening), at the other end over 20% voted between 6 (It’ll be a real struggle, even if we take all precautions) and 9 (looking at repossession/bankruptcy). See Recession poll results.

Archna's Free Game of the Week! Play the dice so you don't end up with Zilch

Become a SUPER Hero.  Finally it's come true, due to this new web site, you can become a genuine mega man or wonder woman. Make me a superhero

I hope you save some money


Explanation of * Links

FSA NOTE: Referring people to insurers or insurance intermediaries can in some circumstances require FSA authorisation. For this reason, Martin Lewis of Shepherd's Studios, Rockley Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W14 0DA is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

How this site is financed.  Any links with a * by them are affiliated. That means go via this link and a contribution may be made to, which helps it stay ad-free and free to use. You shouldn't notice any difference, the links don't impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things I write) is NEVER impacted by it. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it's still included in exactly the same way. As I believe transparency is important, I'm including the following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for the same things:,,,, Read more about this in how this site is financed. is the free to use Consumer Revenge website focused on how to save you cash. It’s owned, and run by ultra-specialised journalist and bestselling author Martin Lewis. On TV amongst other things Martin has his own show It Pays To Watch on Five, is GMTV’s Money SavingExpert, presents money programmes for ITV1 Tonight. On Radio Martin has regular slots on Radio 2 Vine and Radio 1 Whiley. He’s also a columnist for the News of The World, Moneywise and the Sunday Post. Find out more: About the site and its funding.

Disclaimer: This e-mail is based on journalistic research. It does not constitute financial advice. Any information should be considered in regard to your own specific circumstances. All tips are followed at your own risk and should be followed up with your own research Full Terms & Conditions.

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