Jun
10
2020

Archive: MoneySavingExpert's Money Tips Email

10 June 2020

Over 50 ways to save, incl... urgent energy fix, furlough shaming, women pension boost, Covid flights, Mulberry sale, redundancy prep, 30mths 0%, free footie

This info may be out of date. Read this week's emails
Plus... women pension boost, Covid flights, Mulberry sale, redundancy prep, 30mths 0%, free footie
                                                           
 


 

Martin's coronavirus update

16 NEW need-to-knows incl: 
Furlough shaming | Covid flights | Redundancy prep | Book flight bargains? | Rent eviction ban extended | Maternity furlough good news | Self-employment grants? | WFH tax back | Equity release | Hoseasons & Parkdean refunds | Annual trav ins news

Today is an important symbolic and practical milestone in coronavirus support. Today (Wed) the door shuts on new entrants to the furlough scheme. That's because to be furloughed from July, you have to have been furloughed for three full weeks by then. So unless you were furloughed by today, it's too late (with one notable new exception, see point 4).

There are currently 8.9m on furlough, and in essence this move is the start of constricting the number who access state support. That has a huge impact for those on furlough now, as I'll explain below, yet it's also sour news for the millions who have been excluded from help, struggling on no income, as hope of change recedes too.  

As always, all new info we get is added to our constantly updated guides...

Coronavirus employees' help, incl furloughing rights
Coronavirus self-employed & small ltd co help, incl income scheme
Coronavirus finance & bills help, incl mortgages, energy & TV
Coronavirus travel rights, incl refunds & insurance
Coronavirus life in lockdown, incl MOTs, food & entertainment
Coronavirus financial FAQs, commonly asked Q&As


As always, while we strive for 100% accuracy, please give us just a touch of wriggle room - things are changing all the time.

The 16 NEW coronavirus financial NEED-TO-KNOWS

1) Furlough shaming needs to stop - furlough isn't feckless. In recent days I've heard, and seen on social media, a growing number of comments such as "people are flouting the furlough scheme" by being "in parks, or treating it as a holiday". So a note...

It's EMPLOYERS that choose to furlough staff. If so, until July, it literally means those furloughed CAN'T WORK for them. Are we saying people should just cocoon in misery and wait? That's dire for mental health and wellbeing. See my explanation (OK, my rant) from my BBC 5 Live Ask Martin show - furlough shaming must stop video.

2) Redundancy is coming for 100,000s - tool up on your rights now. I'm sorry for the stark warning. From Aug, employers need to start contributing towards furlough costs. This means redundancy is likely by then for those in roles employers don't consider viable after Oct, when furlough ends. As redundancy can require a 45-day consultation period, that means many will soon get letters.

I suspect this will impact 100,000s or even millions. We've updated our Redundancy guide - with tips to prepare financially and details of your rights to pay, notice and holiday, as well as other legals. Plus if you've employment / redundancy rights questions, on my ITV show on Thu at 8.30pm, I'll put them to employment lawyers. Pls tweet them to @MartinSLewis, importantly using the programme's hashtag #MartinLewis.

3) Flights restarting: Airline-by-airline coronavirus flight protection - masks, seat gaps & more. The skies have been empty for weeks, yet airlines are ramping up plans to start flying again. Ryanair aims to have 40% of flights running on 1 Jul, Easyjet will resume mainly UK domestic flights on 15 Jun, and BA says some flights are already running.

Many are putting safety measures in place. These include leaving seats empty, providing face masks or even making passengers ask to use the loo. See our coronavirus flights airline-by-airline table

4) STOP PRESS - CONFIRMED: Parents returning from maternity / paternity leave CAN still be furloughed after the deadline. As I explained in the intro, if you're not on furlough from today (Wed), you've missed the deadline and can't be furloughed after. Yet in my TV show last week, I was asked a question about those due to return from statutory maternity leave in the next few months, who'd miss this deadline. 

Well, we'd already been on it, and since I've been pushing even harder for change, arguing it'd be discriminatory if they weren't allowed to be furloughed if others in the firm were.  

And I'm delighted to say, just as we were about to send this email, which is also just before the deadline hits, I got a response from the Treasury saying it'd fix it, and allow parental leave returners, who work for a firm that has others on furlough, to be furloughed after the deadline. It even sent a quote from Chancellor Rishi Sunak to boot: 

"When I announced these changes [to furlough] last month, I was clear we wanted to do this in a fair way, that supports people back to work. But for parents returning from leave, their circumstances have meant they are still in need of support, and I'm pleased that they will be able to receive the financial assistance they and their family will need."

No technicals of how yet - they'll come on Friday. Full updates will go in our maternity / paternity leave furlough info.

5) Working from home? Claim TAX back on added costs, plus now if your employer reimbursed your home office equipment costs, they're tax-free. In my How to claim tax back for working from home blog, I explained that those who have been required to work from home, and who have had increased costs, eg, heating or electricity, are entitled to claim a tax break. And for extra costs of up to £6/week, receipts aren't needed.

Plus, now added to that blog is a section for those who bought home office equipment and whose firms paid them back. Normally as this is a 'benefit-in-kind' you'd need to pay tax and national insurance on it, but due to coronavirus, currently you needn't.

6) CONFIRMED: Annual travel insurance should cover you if you renewed after coronavirus hit - unless you switched firm. This has taken a while to clear up (bravo MSE Callum and Steve N), so I'm glad to finally be writing it. Millions of regular travellers have annual policies covering all their trips away. When these lapse they just get a new one.

So a June trip, booked in Jan, may be covered by one annual policy up until, say, April, with a second one starting the next day. Normally that's no problem, until this year...

- Travel insurers stopped offering coronavirus cancellation cover after it was declared a pandemic in mid-March. 
- The claim is with the company that covers you when the issue that stops you going occurs. It's tough to define when that is with coronavirus.

However, regulator the Financial Conduct Authority has now confirmed to us that if you had an annual policy before mid-March and renewed with the same insurer since, you SHOULD still be covered for coronavirus issues as long as you were covered before you renewed. Insurers we've spoken to, including the AA, Direct Line and Leisure Guard, have confirmed this. So if you're rejected, go to the Financial Ombudsman and argue the firm isn't following "standard industry practice".

It's more difficult if you switched insurer at renewal. Normally that's a good MoneySaving idea, but I hope and suspect few did it this year, for exactly this reason (which we'd pointed out). In this case you may not be covered for coronavirus cancellation by either policy. 

Some insurers (eg, Admiral, Churchill and Direct Line) tell us you may be able to claim on your old policy in this scenario, for the amount you paid towards the holiday while the old policy was in effect. 

Others are saying no, in which case complain, then go to the ombudsman, arguing "the policy was in place when the Foreign Office advised indefinitely against travel", but there's no certainty. Full info in insurer-by-insurer annual travel cover help.

7) Warning. Equity release ISN'T an easy answer to fast cash. I keep hearing from people looking at releasing equity from their homes to get them over the current financial hump / hurdle / mountain. Please be careful - it's often expensive and has long-term risks. I'm not saying it's always wrong, just don't rush in. It needs careful consideration.

For example, the average lifetime mortgage rate is 4.1%, so if you don't repay any, the amount owed doubles every 17yrs. So borrow £20,000 at the youngest age, 55, and by the time you're 72 it's £40,000. By the time you're 89 it's £80,000. Full help, including what to watch out for, in our Equity Release guide.

8) Rental eviction hearings in Eng & Wal now banned until Aug. Last week we heard mortgage payment holidays were to be extended until Oct, yet nothing had been said about renters, who are arguably even more vulnerable. However, the Govt's now extended its ban on Eng & Wales eviction court hearings until 23 Aug (from 25 June). 

If you're renting and unable to pay, talk to your landlord. Many are under financial pressures of their own, and unable to access support schemes (though they may be able to get buy-to-let mortgage payment holidays) so try to come to an agreement that works for you both. Full info (including info for Scotland & NI) in rental eviction extension.

9) Hoseasons & Cottages.com are now offering FULL REFUNDS for UK vacation rental cancellations, after competition regulator intervenes. For weeks we've been guiding you on how to try to get refunds from UK vacation rentals, after being swamped with complaints that customers were only being offered vouchers or new dates. We formally reported large numbers of complaints we'd had to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Now Hoseasons (and sister firm Cottages.com) has relented, and after reading the CMA guidance, its given a commitment that it'll offer a full refund for any bookings that are cancelled due to coronavirus. See full Hoseasons refunds info.

10) STOP PRESS: Parkdean to offer 50% credit for caravan site closures. Having just added the maternity furlough news above, now we've just been told that site operator Parkdean, which had been playing hardball on coronavirus closure refunds, has done a volte-face and is now offering a package of measures including 50% credit on 2021 fees, to cover the closure period. So as not to delay the email further, we'll add all the info to our Static Caravan Refunds guide.

PS: So that's Hoseasons and Parkdean changing tack on refunds and remedies today. My suspicion is news is getting around that the CMA is getting serious, and firms are deciding it's better to pre-empt it. Expect to see more announcements such as this. 

11) 'Am I still allowed to claim the self-employment grant - my business has only been mildly affected by Covid-19?'

Sarah emailed me this week to ask... "I'm a self-employed music teacher. My income has been affected by the pandemic, but I've lost only 20% of it. Most of my teaching is done online.

"HM Gov has been in touch with me five times to say I can apply for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). I am eligible, however I see no way of saying I only need 20% of the grant. I do not wish to be accused of making a false claim, and would prefer to be awarded the correct amount now, rather than pay back the overpayment later. Any advice? With thanks." 
Name changed to protect anonymity.

We get many emails such as this - it's likely a reason a million eligible people haven't claimed the SEISS grant. So to reiterate. If you're eligible and can declare "my business has been affected by Covid-19" - as Sarah clearly can (whether due to your/staff illness, less access to premises, reduced demand, etc) then you CAN claim, even if you're still working.

And the grant is a flat rate - you either get it or you don't. So in Sarah's case she is entitled to the whole amount. See full self-employment income support help, criteria and how to claim. And if that sits morally uncomfortably, and you need the help, take the 20% and donate the rest to a coronavirus charity (do ensure you tick Gift Aid, as you pay tax on the grant as income).

PS: I'm aware how frustrating reading this will be to those in excluded groups, such as new-starter self-employed, those with bigger profits, limited company directors and more. Sorry, but we're trying to help everyone as best we can. 


12) Bargain flights & bargain holidays. Should you book them now? There's heavy discounting of flights and holidays right now, such as Easyjet offering one-way flights from Luton to Majorca for £19.99. Yet is it worth booking right now - while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is warning against non-essential travel to any country, without an end date, and there's possible quarantine on return?

Of course, for trips later in the year, or next year, we hope the chance things will be nearer to normal is greater, but there's no certainty.

- Flight / holiday gets cancelled by them? You're due a refund, but we all know that hasn't always proved easy - see our 50 holiday firms ranked for cancellation refunds.

- Flight / holiday not cancelled, but FCO guidance against travel remains / returns? Refunds are unlikely, as most travel insurers won't cover you. 

Even if the UK lets you travel, then there's still the risk the country you're planning to go to won't let you in or will want you to quarantine. Overall, there are more buts than from a beach scene in Benidorm.

So first see if you can book something with cancellation rights - effectively just reserve a room and a price, which some hotels give. Or book via a travel agent such as Hays Travel, which offers no-quibble cancellation rights up to six weeks before travel on some holidays (though there's always a solvency risk).

If that still works out too expensive, then it's a choice between taking a punt and waiting a bit until we know more. If you can bag a £60 return to the Canaries for travel in a few months' time, you may just want to book it with your fingers crossed (not easy if you're booking online). But the costlier it is, the more caution is needed.

For more help on finding cheap deals, see our Cheap FlightsCheap HotelsCheap Package Holidays and Cheap Car Hire guides. Over the next few weeks, we'll be researching and detailing more info on how to holiday in financial (and health) safety.

13) 'Furlough & work' and self-employment grant TWO info due this Fri. We already know that furlough will now last until Oct, that firms will start to contribute to the cost from Aug, and that part-time work while furloughed will be allowed from 1 Jul. See our furlough guide for how you'll be paid if you work. 

But here's a heads-up that more technical details, which will hopefully answer the other key questions, are due this Fri 12 Jun - we'll of course update our guide then.

Similarly, we know there'll be a second self-employment income support grant, covering Jun to Aug, worth 70% of avg monthly trading up to £2,190/mth. Eligibility is the same as for the first grant (you can get both if eligible), disappointing many who were excluded. Again, full technical guidance is due on Fri and we'll update our guide then.

14) Can you cancel a holiday due to quarantining when you return? As of Mon, those arriving in the UK - including returning holidaymakers - must quarantine themselves for 14 days. This will be reviewed on the week of 28 Jun, when I suspect it'll be strongly watered down. Of course, if you travel right now, you've few rights as the Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel. 

But if that's lifted before quarantine, it becomes a sticky issue. As it doesn't stop or affect you going on holiday (it's just a problem on return), it's unlikely to become a reason firms let you cancel, nor will most travel insurers cover it. Yet be careful cancelling the holiday yourself too early, as if you cancel you've far fewer rights than if they cancel on you. 

More info on refunds rights if quarantine stops you travelling, and remember, even if the quarantine's lifted, many countries still have strict entry requirements for Brits.

15) Struggling to cover credit card & loan repayments? A (partial) mortgage holiday may be a better solution. Last Thu, the rules changed to extend mortgage payment holidays, so now you've until 31 Oct to apply if you haven't had one, or to extend by a further 3mths if you have. My rule on these is simple - if you NEED ONE, DO IT, but ONLY IF NEEDED, as the interest still racks up and it can impact your credit score (the link above details why).

We don't yet know if credit card and loan payment holidays will be extended from their current 9 Jul end date. So if you pay interest on loans and credit cards, (ie, they're not 0%,) and you're struggling with repayments, taking a mortgage payment holiday to reduce costs while continuing to repay cards or loans makes sense, as most mortgages are way below 5%, while loans and credit cards are far costlier, many at 6% to 40%.

If you can cover some mortgage costs, then just ask for a partial holiday, for example to only pay half of the mortgage. Yet as you repay a mortgage over a much longer period, while the interest is lower, it racks up for longer. So plan to pay off this extra interest, by overpaying your mortgage by what you would've paid to the card or loan each month, as soon as you can afford to.

16) Offered a voucher not a refund for a cancelled holiday? Travel insurers aren't bailing many out. Insurers are playing hardball. Those we've spoken to have said if you don't want a voucher and are legally due a refund, YOU must pursue all other avenues (even up to and incl taking legal action) before they'll let you claim.

Yet they don't make all the rules - you could always try to claim, then take the insurer to the ombudsman, which is easier than court action against the travel firm. Full help in Can I claim on my insurance if I've only been given a voucher?

If you DO accept a voucher and rebook, if you had existing single-trip travel insurance, they should cover the new trip if you tell them, but you probably WON'T be covered for coronavirus cancellation. With annual policies, ask your insurer if it'll extend your policy if it doesn't already cover the dates of your new trip.

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The ITV Martin Lewis Money Show LIVE (from home), Thu 8.30pm
Employment rights, redundancy help & your financial questions

In the week's must-watch financial briefing (if I say so myself), as well as MoneySaving tips and taking your questions on financial issues, I want to tackle your job and redundancy rights queries too. So I'm roping in some employment lawyers to tackle your questions along with me.

We're live, so you can get in touch during the show, but if you want to send questions in advance, just tweet me @MartinSLewis using the show's hashtag #MartinLewis. Do tune in or program your VCR.

 
 

DON'T believe the fake 'Martin Lewis' or 'MSE' ads
Lots of scam ads litter social media and even newspaper websites - some of these lie that we or Martin promote Bitcoin, binary trading etc. See Fake Ads Warning.

 

 
 

Ends FRI. CHEAPER THAN THE CHEAPEST gas & elec: Save £350+/yr

We've blagged a special super-cheap FIX. Or existing EDF customers can save £100s/yr WITHOUT SWITCHING

Energy prices for switchers are close to their lowest for 3yrs right now (do nowt and most pay many £100s/yr over the odds). So we were chuffed last week to blag you this Pure Planet 1yr fixed-rate deal - locking in today's low rates for a year. Last week we said it was the market's cheapest, barring one firm with a very poor service rating. Well, that deal's now been pulled, meaning Pure Planet undercuts anything on the open market. However, it ends on Fri (it's due to end at 4pm, but could always be pulled earlier by the firm).

And the savings from switching energy can be huge, as Christopher emailed: "Signed up my father-in-law to the Cheap Energy Club as he hadn't switched in over 5yrs. Saved him £1,100/yr in 5 mins - so easy. Thanks."

TOP-PICK 1YR FIXES 
YOUR winner & saving depends on use & region. All links via our Energy Club  comparison - which also gives switchers £25 dual-fuel cashback you don't get going direct 
BENCHMARK: Energy price cap (applies to 50%+ of homes). On typical use, dual-fuel standard tariffs.
£1,127/yr
CHEAPEST 1YR FIXES
PRICE (1)
Ends Fri. Cheaper than the market's cheapest, 100% green.   MSE Blagged. Pure Planet's 100% Green 12m Fixed  tariff is for new dual-fuel customers. It  scores a decent 3.9 out of 5 for customer service and the tariff has 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon-offset gas (see  green energy defined ).  It's a mid-sized firm with 120,000 custs, and when we've done deals with it before, they've gone well. You need to go via our link to get that price - which is based on its normal cheap fix, but with a £54 bill credit and the usual £25 MSE cashback. You don't need to have/get smart meters.
£770/yr
(save £357/yr)
Existing EDF customers - SLASH COSTS WITHOUT SWITCHING. EDF's Simply Online 1 Year Fix Jun21v5 tariff (not avail direct from EDF) is only for existing EDF dual-fuel or elec-only custs. It's a no-brainer for most existing custs, most of whom pay £300+/yr more for the same gas, same elec, same firm, same service - it's only the price that changes. But you must get smart meters fitted (for free after lockdown), if you don't already have them. If on an existing EDF fix with more than 90 days to go, you may pay an exit penalty to switch.
£798/yr
(save £329/yr)
Cheapest Big 6 fix for new custs - incl 1yr's 'free' heating insurance. If you prefer a biggie, the cheapest Big 6 fix is the British Gas Energy & Home Services Jun 2021 tariff (not avail direct from BG). It's for dual-fuel custs NEW to BG, has 100% green elec (not gas) and gives 1yr's free heating cover (£108/yr after, so cancel then if you want to avoid it). BG also scores 3.9 out of 5 for customer service. You don't need to have/get smart meters.

Already on BG (or don't want to be)? E.on's Fix Online Exclusive v37  (not avail direct from E.on) is the same price, has 100% green elec but no boiler cover, and has a 3.0 out of 5 service rating. You need to get free smart meters fitted if you don't already have them.
£801/yr
(save £326/yr)
(1) Prices are avg dual-fuel costs on typical use. They include MSE cashback & bill credit (if applicable). Savings are compared with typical price cap cost.
  • Switching is easy - little changes apart from service and cost. It's the same gas, same elec and same safety. The only thing that changes is the customer service and who bills you. Your supply isn't cut off as part of the process, while no one visits your home unless you want or need smart meters (though some of those installations are paused for now). See our Switching FAQs for more help. Try not to call unless you have to at the moment.
 

£15 M&S beauty bag (£99 contents) if you spend £25. The 11-part set, incl shower gel, day cream & an eye pen, sold out in a day two weeks ago, but M&S will have more stock later this week. See details of when and how to grab this M&S beauty bag. All gone by the evening of Thu 11 June

Warning. Are you one of 100,000s of married women missing out on £1,000s/yr of state pension? Many who hit state pension age before April 2016 and get less than 60% of their husband's basic state pension are entitled to a boost of up to that 60% figure, possibly backdated for years. State pension mistake

Top balance transfer credit card 30mths 0% (2.95% fee). We now know the current longest 0% debt-shifting deal, from TSB at up to 30mths 0% (for a one-off 2.95% fee)*, will only be available until the end of Jun, so if you need it, sort it soon. Always pay at least the min payment and clear the debt before the 0% ends or it's 19.9% rep APR. Full info on who it's for, how it works, cheaper alternatives if you can repay quicker and eligibility help in our Top Balance Transfers guide (APR Examples).

New. Sub-'£7/mth' Sim with 4GB/mth data + unlimited mins & texts. MSE Blagged. With this 1yr deal, newbies to TalkMobile* (Vodafone's no-frills provider) pay £3.75/mth for the first 3mths, then £7.50/mth for the remaining 9mths. So over the year, it's equiv to £6.57/mth. Full help and more deals in Top Sims.

£80ish set of eight 10ml Nails Inc polishes for £25 all-in. MSE Blagged. Gel-effect small bottles. Nails Inc

Where to watch 33 live Premier League matches for FREE. See match-by-match free footie info ahead of the 17 Jun kick-off.

 
 

'Ouch, just seen I was paying £1,000/yr council tax on my OLD house'
Take 5 minutes today to check your direct debits & standing orders


Every week, near the top of this email, you'll see Martin's Money Mantras for shopping - "Do I need it? Can I afford it?" or "Will I use it? Is it worth it?" Answer "no" and you shouldn't buy, yet we must apply that logic to all regular payments. These drip out of our accounts monthly, with no forethought. It's not just for things you might not need - some find they still pay insurance for stuff they chucked years ago. So in lockdown, now's the time to take the direct debit challenge - and let us know what you find. Here's quick info...

  • There are THREE types of regular payments - one is often hidden. Most people have heard of direct debits and standing orders - both are easy to locate. If you bank online there's usually a page that lists them, so it's easy to check (best to do it that way so it incl currently paused subscriptions). If not, you can request it. If you find firms you've not heard of, try Google or your bank. However, just because many people don't know about the third type, it doesn't mean they haven't got some of them...

    Direct debits. Typical use: Energy & utilities. You give a firm your bank details and permission to debit you when necessary & it decides what to take & when, yet you've a right to ask the bank to stop it - but check if out of contract.

    - Standing orders. 
    Typical use: Regular payments to people. Here you set up an automated instruction to pay a firm or person a fixed amount, and you set the frequency. Cancelling is easy via your bank.

    - Recurring payments. Typical use: Subscriptions, payday loans, 'blue' entertainment. These used to be known as continuous payment authorities - where you give a debit or credit card number and the firm can take payment when it feels fit. Yet they look just like single transactions so they're tougher to spot. It's generally easier to cancel these via firms themselves, but sometimes they play hardball - since 2009 you've had a right to cancel with the bank, though some staff wrongly say you can't. For more info and apps to help find them, see STOP recurring payments.

  • Don't keep paying out of a false sense of value - companies use the 'inertia dividend'. It's no coincidence many subscription firms are successful, as Martin explained in 2014 in his Hidden reason firms offer free 1mth trials blog. So sorting through what to keep and what to stop can be a tricky balance between logic and instinct.

    - If you still need & use the service. 
    Check if it's a good price via our money makeover or consider haggling.
    - If it's not core, tot up its ANNUAL cost & consider the value.
    Remember £8/mth is £100/yr - if it's a TV subscription you only use a few times, is it worth it? If not, cancel. As Jo said: "Sorted my bills in Jan & cancelled the gym (went twice in 2019), saving £300/yr." Sara emailed: "Found a £9/mth mag subscription for one I often chuck. Cancelled."
    - Or the worst, it's pointless. A cameraman on one of Martin's shows once admitted to him: "I found I pay £1,000s in council tax on my OLD home." (Martin told him to reclaim past council tax overpayments.) We also hear of people paying insurance for stuff they've chucked. If that's you, contact the firm to ask for money back, but don't bank on it.
 

New Nando's free delivery trick and 9 more Nando's hacks. As it's opened another 58 restaurants this week (now 152 in total) for takeaway & delivery, and there's a new free delivery trick, we're reminding you of our cheap, cheeky Nando's tips that proved so popular last week.

Tears, dancing, being the school 'jew', accidental entrepreneur, Mick Jagger, and fighting for financial justice. Listen again to Martin's BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs, first broadcast on Sunday.

Mulberry up to 50% off sale, eg, £425 bag (was £850), £232 shoes (were £465). Of course, Mulberry isn't MoneySaving, but this is a rare discount. So if buying anyway, now's a good time to check if you can cut costs. Bag a Mulberry discount

Father's Day deals (it's Sun 21 Jun): Incl £15 shaving set (norm £36), 33% off Scribbler cards. See our Father's Day deals round-up.

Updated: 12 free or cheap kids' books tricks, eg, The Grunts All At Sea and Scooby-Doo. Incl new tips such as how to access 40,000 free audiobooks for 1mth and get free popular Kindle titles. Free and cheap kids' books

 
 

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AT A GLANCE BEST BUYS

Longest 0%: TSB* up to 30mths 0%, 2.95% fee (19.9% rep APR)
No-fee 0%: 
Santander 18mths 0% (18.9% rep APR) or 20mths 0% if you're a NatWest/RBS customer (19.9% rep APR)

Get comparison site quotes in this order:

  1. MoneySupermarket*
  2. Confused.com*
  3. Compare The Market*
  4. Gocompare*

Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*
Aviva*

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Tesco Bank 3.4% rep APR (1-3yrs)
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k: 
Cahoot 2.8% rep APR

Standard b'band & line rent: Plusnet equiv £12.74/mth
Fibre b'band & line rent: Virgin Media equiv £15.59/mth
Superfast fibre b'band & line rent: 
Vodafone equiv £19.83/mth

1-3% cashback on bills: Santander 123 Lite
2% interest fixed for a year: 
Nationwide FlexDirect

 

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK:
"I've just renewed my home insurance and following your simple steps made a saving of just under £140. Thank you."
(Send us yours on this or any topic.)

 

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK

Experienced anxiety, difficulty sleeping or depression due to coronavirus concerns? This 20-min test could help you find mental health support. Good Thinking is a mental wellbeing service with 100+ free, NHS-approved resources to help those dealing with anxiety, poor sleep, stress and more. Take the clinically validated self-assessment to get a better understanding of what you're going through, plus helpful resources and treatment options.

 

THIS WEEK'S POLL

Have you got a summer holiday booked? It's (meteorological) summer, so normally getaway season. Yet coronavirus has put a halt to nearly all travel, and the Foreign Office is still warning Brits against all non-essential foreign trips. So we want to know what your holiday plans are - and how they've changed in light of the pandemic. Have you got a summer holiday booked?

Over a third of MoneySavers haven't checked their credit file in at least 10 years. Last week, we asked when you last checked your credit file. Over 3,800 people responded - and 37% said they'd either NEVER checked their file, or hadn't in the last 10 years. Age seemed to be the key factor though - some 69% of under-35s said they've checked their file in the past 3mths, compared to just 28% of over-65s. See full credit file poll results.

 
 

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA

Should I share my lockdown savings with my partner? We have separate bank accounts and split all shared costs, such as mortgage and groceries. We both work full-time - my partner usually from home and I usually commute. But since the pandemic began I've been working from home too, so I'm saving money I'd usually spend on travel, food etc. My partner thinks I should share this with her as I'm "lucky" to be working from home now, but I see it as my money to spend as I wish. She's not saving any more than normal. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I share lockdown savings with my partner? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

 

M&S - £15 beauty bag when spending £25+ on other stuff
Nails Inc - £80ish set of polishes for £25 all-in
Nando's - 10 hacks incl new free delivery trick till 21 Jun
Mulberry - Up to 50% off sale, eg, £425 bag (was £850)
Father's Day deals - Incl £15 shaving set, 33% off Scribbler cards

Languages - Free apps incl Duolingo & podcasts
Instruments - Incl free guitar & piano lessons
Drawing - Learn how to draw Disney characters
OU qualifications - Incl MSE's Academy of Money
General knowledge - Expand your knowledge with quizzes

Asos - 'Up to 50% off' sale
Tails - 80% off first dog food order via cancellable subscription
Mankind - £37.50 grooming set (norm £50)
Beer52 - £11 off a £35 spend code
WWE Network - Free access to 15,000 shows

Tips for straightforward sock knitting. Life socks
Competition to win a puzzle book per day. Inner piece
Ways to make extra money in 2020. It makes cents

 
 

MARTIN'S APPEARANCES (WED 10 JUN ONWARDS)

Wed 10 Jun - Heart Radio, Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden, 9am
Thu 11 Jun - This Morning, phone-in, ITV, 10.15am
Thu 11 Jun - The Martin Lewis Money Show - Coronavirus Special, ITV, 8.30pm
Mon 15 Jun - This Morning, phone-in, ITV, 10.55am
Mon 15 Jun - BBC Radio 5 Live, Ask Martin Lewis, 12.20pm. Listen again

MSE TEAM APPEARANCES (SUBJECTS TBC)

Mon 15 Jun - BBC Radio Manchester, Drive with Phil Trow, from 2.25pm
Tue 16 Jun
- BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Lunchtime Live with Jeremy Sallis, from 12.25pm

 

CHOCOLATE, EGGS AND MORE: WHAT DO YOU STORE IN YOUR FRIDGE THAT DIVIDES OPINION? 

That's it for this week, but before we go... after MSE Becca revealed she'd discovered her boyfriend keeps chocolate in the fridge, it started a huge debate on our social channels with polarising opinions. Some say it's never acceptable, others say it depends on the brand or the weather, while some opened another can of worms by saying they keep it in the fridge alongside another controversial item - eggs. However, the reply that made us smile was the user who said: "I save time worrying about this by sticking chocolate straight in my face..." Let us know what you store in your fridge that divides opinion in our Facebook post. 

We hope you save some money, stay safe,
The MSE team