Shock news for SAVERS. If inflation's 0.1%, you’ve never had it so GOOD!
Inflation's nosediving as the economy plummets, so savers must fundamentally change their thinking to deal with the new savings reality. I hope my shocking - but not wholly inaccurate - headline’s grabbed your attention: please read this...
What about those living off savings income? This is where it really has to hit home. Many have entrenched, psychological "don’t spend your capital" rules. Yet we may need to change that in coming climes. If we do get a true low interest, deflationary environment, you CAN spend some capital to live off without diminishing purchasing power – and in fact if you need to, you should.
My great worry is people will unnecessarily take hugely decreased lifestyles or even risk heat and food to protect their capital. Discuss This: New Savings Reality Max your interest: Top Savings, Top Cash ISAs
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Urgent! Cheapest EVER broadband. £5.99/mth or £6.75/mth unlimited download
Two brand new packages tear up previous records; both are from providers with good feedback & come with free wireless routers. Limited Download: Plusnet Value* is £5.99/mth on a 18 mth contract. Its download limit's a generous 10Gb a month, which should suit all but heavy gamers, downloaders, or online TV watchers. Unlimited Download: Until the end of Feb only, go to O2 subsidiary Bethere* and enter code "broadbandchoices" (we've permission to use this) and you can get a year's unlimited download (fair usage) for an avg. £6.75/mth (free for 6mths then £13.50/mth). Pros, cons & alternatives in the Updated Guide: Cheap Broadband Related Guides: Cheapest Home Phones, Free Wireless Internet
New 2for1s: Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge & Giraffe plus £5 Sainsbury dine-in deal. Full details of these easy click n prints in the Daily Deals List: Restaurant Vouchers
NEW Top Instant Access Savings. Earn 4% if you've £10,000 or 3.56% if you've less
The Citibank* Flexible Saver pays 3.56% AER if you're saving £1 or more (1.65% is an intro bonus lasting a year). If you've £10,000 or more, Ulster Bank's e-savings account pays 4%; though 0.5% of it's a bonus lasting six months and withdraw money during this & you'll only get 0.5% interest that month. So only use it if you won't need cash access soon. Monitor the rate: These accounts are 'variable' rate meaning the interest can and probably will drop. Fix at 3.9%: You can get a guaranteed 3.9% for a year at ICICI* if you're willing to lock your cash away. While some stability concerns have been raised about it, importantly it has the full £50,000 UK savings safety protection. For more see the Updated Guides: Top Savings, Fixed Savings, Top Cash ISAs
10,000 FREE Ideal Home Show tickets worth £5 each. The show's at London's Earls Court from 20 March to 13 April. Tickets can be used any weekday after 5pm. I'll be speaking there too! See the Deals Note: Ideal Home Show
Lastminute launches 'Top Secret' supercheap worldwide flights & we show how to uncover 'em
This week, Lastminute's* launched a new ‘top secret flights’ section with some dirt cheap prices, to match its hotel one. How it works: You know the departure & arrival cities, flight length and whether there’s a stopover, but aren't told the exact airports, airline and flight times until AFTER you’ve paid. Beat the system: Put similar criteria into a comparison site like Kayak* then check to see where flight times & stopovers match up, and you can often narrow down which flight it is. It also means you get to compare whether it really is cheapest. The Savings: When the cheapest London-Dubai was £240, Lastminute’s secret flights had a non-stop for £190. Full details in the Updated guide: Cheap & Free Flights Related Guides: Holiday Haggle, Cheap Travel Insurance
HELP YOUR FRIENDS GET RECESSION-PROOF. TELL THEM ABOUT THIS EMAIL
Direct Line Car Insurance 17% off. Lock-in this price, as the quote lasts 90 days
Competitive insurer Direct Line*, which bars comparison sites from including it, has launched a new customer-only '12 months for the price of 10' deal (ie 17% off). As the quote lasts 90 days, grab it now to lock in the low price, even if you won't activate it yet. Don't assume it's cheapest: This won't work for everyone, always follow the full system. The record cheap car insurance deal is £14/year for fully comp. This was done by checking prices & cover with the top three comparison sites, GoCompare*, MSM* & CompareTM* and then searching for hidden cashback. Full info in the Updated Guide: Cheap Car Insurance Related Guides: Cheap Home Insurance, Cheap Travel Insurance, Cheap Hotels
Energy Price Cuts. E.ON & EDF announce changes for 31 March. Switch with Caution!
Now four of the big six energy providers have announced cuts, but they're all small. E.On: Will cut its standard & online electricity prices by an average 9%, no change to gas prices. EDF: It'll cut elec. bills (not gas) by an average 8.8% but ONLY for those in London, South East, South West, Wales & Scotland. Switch with Caution: It seems like there aren't big cuts to come, so there's not much harm for those itching to switch and save doing it now, though others may prefer to wait until all providers have declared their intentions so the playing field is level. Full info in the Updated Guide: Cheap Energy plus cashback Related Guides: Fight Energy Direct Debits, Cheap Boiler/Heating Insurance
Student loan interest rate cut to 2%. The latest base rate drop means rates (for post-1998 loans) have been cut again, from 2.5% to 2%. Full info in the Updated Guide: Repay My Student Loan? Related Guides: Student Loans, Student MoneySaving
Recession Proof ALL Spending. Video of the week. Financial Self Defence Class - HIIIYAAA!
WARNING! Airmiles collectors... new rules mean you could lose out. Act quick
Outrageous new Airmiles rules say if you've OVER 500 Airmiles (worth c.£40) but haven't earned any new ones in the last two years you WILL soon lose them or be charged £30 for spending them. What to do: Earn just 1 new Airmile to protect your stash; easy ways are buying a little petrol at Shell, or converting a Tesco voucher. Credit Card Airmiles: This rule seems designed to hit NatWest cardholders who used to accrue Airmiles that way hardest; now the top Airmiles earning card is Lloyds Duo*, which also gives 1,500 miles (worth a free European Flight) when you spend a tenner on it. Though do repay in full so there's no interest. Full info in the Forum Note: Expiring Airmiles Related Guide: Credit Card Freebies
Reminder: Half Term Days Out Vouchers. Free sports, 2for1s, bowling and more. Cheap ways to entertain the kids in the Daily Deals List: Cheap Days Out
The Big & Easy Ways to Save Checklist
Got Sky+ HD? Check your box isn't faulty. Sky's recalling early batches of the Pace Sky+ HD box due to a manufacturing fault. Yet it's not all bad news; if yours is affected you'll get a new one, plus 3 months' free HD subscription for your trouble. How To Check: Sky Fuss
MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. You spotted the voucher. Should you keep the cash?
Mystery Shopping £50 for roughly 1,000 people. A marketing group is willing to pay volunteers for doing insurance comparisons. See if you qualify in the Forum Note: It's a mystery
Airline: EasyJet. Price: sub. £35 e/w. Ends: When seats sell out.
My top pick budget airline sale this week is EasyJet's sale, with flights to a host of European destinations from a range of UK airports for between £19.99 and £34.99 each way (including most taxes and charges). Tickets are at this price until they sell out, on selected flights travelling between 17 Feb and 31 March 09. 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 £35. Non-Budget Airline Tools: These are listed in the Cheap Flights guide. Related Travel MoneySaving: Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance, Mobile Roaming
Great 'Cheapest Way To Go Fairtrade' Hunt
Next week is the start of Fairtrade Fortnight. Whilst traditionally not MoneySaving, Fairtrade products often don't cost much more than own brands and are usually cheaper than brand name equivalents, so I'd like to tap MoneySavers collective knowledge for the most cost effective ways to get them. Add your ideas/read other peoples': Great 'Cheapest Way to Go Fairtrade' Hunt Past Great Hunts: MoneySaving While Job Hunting, Financial Harmony In Relationships
Quick Forum Tips
Warning! Bargains listed here tend to sell out quickly
Board of the week: Up your income
If you could use a financial bit on the side to help tide you over in these tough times, the Up Your Income board's packed full of inspiration. From selling parking spaces outside your house to starting an ironing business, with a touch of mystery shopping along the way, it's bursting with quick & easy ways to bag extra cash. Also check out the Boost Your Income guide, which compiles top suggestions. Recent discussions include Pheonix Trading Hints & Tips, Becoming A Private Tutor and Easiest way to sell books
Great 'Split Ticketing' Hunt Result
Last week I asked for your help spotting new split ticketing routes - where buying separate train tickets for a journey's constituent parts drastically cuts the overall cost. There were some great split ticket routes and savings suggested, including £20 off Oxford-Coventry, £30 off Preston-Cheltenham and £40 off Leeds-Birmingham.
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.
- GMTV, ITV1, Wednesday 18th February, between 7:30 & 8:30am. Half Term Days Out.
- GMTV & LK Today, ITV1, Tuesday 24 February, between 7:30 & 9:30am. News Reactive.
- Past appearances: Listen/watch back, plus keep updated on future appearances.
This week's Martin's Blog: Just been to see the Queen.
"Is this site a Coronation Street Star?" and "Milk Teeth Sprouting at Consumer Focus". Read m'blogs (or RSS users access)
You CAN use a voucher on a first date! Last Week’s Vote. The consensus is, done right, there's nowt wrong with using a 2for1 voucher on a first date; 28% thought it showed money-savvyness, 45% weren't bothered and only 27% thought it outrageous. See Valentine's Voucher poll results.
Try cooking with Creme Eggs. Online supermarket’s are supposed to give near equivalents when they run out. Yet some MoneySaver’s have had weird alternatives. Hen's eggs can’t replace creme eggs and Pedigree Chum doesn’t do for Whiskas. Weird supermarket substitutions
I hope you save some money
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MoneySavingExpert.com 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 is GMTV's Money SavingExpert and 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.
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