Jan
13
2021

Archive: MoneySavingExpert's Money Tips Email

13 January 2021

Over 50 ways to save, incl... Martin’s 0% masterclass, free Lidl £5, buy Prem Bonds, £15 b'band, Tesco alert, £13/mth unltd Sim, Ted Baker code, Martin’s £10m charity update, learn languages etc free

This info may be out of date. Read this week's emails
Plus... £13/mth unltd Sim, Ted Baker code, Martin's £10m charity update, learn languages etc free
                                                           
 


 

Martin's 'how to slash all debt costs' January masterclass
Can't afford to clear your debt? You can't afford not to try to move it to 0% - save £1,000s

Cards, mortgages, overdrafts, loans, store cards, BNPL and more

Debt is a problem right now. It is often depressing, dangerous and debilitating. Tackling it may take a deep breath, but leaving it to fester is not an option - the interest will keep accruing and things will get worse.

The priorities are to stop borrowing more (or you risk a debt spiral) and to try to reduce the interest you're paying. That way more of your repayments clear the actual debt rather than just cover the interest, so you can be debt-free quicker.

So it's time for my annual interest-cutting masterclass. From loans to mortgages to buy now, pay later - it's more important than ever in this year with millions of people's finances hit by the pandemic.

1. CREDIT CARD DEBT: Balance-transfer it to 0%

A balance transfer (BT) is where you get a new card to repay debt on your old cards, so you owe it instead but at 0%. While 0% lengths are shorter than a few years ago, there are some pretty decent newly-launched deals right now, though we're not sure how long they'll last.

- DON'T just apply. First, find which cards will accept you. Our BT eligibility calc shows your acceptance odds for most of the top cards, helping you to minimise applications and protect your credit score - crucial as many lenders have tighter acceptance criteria currently.

It works, as MoneySaver Frank emailed: "Half my £300/mth card payment was swallowed up in interest. After reading Martin's article, I immediately used your eligibility calculator and within a few minutes I'd been accepted for new, long-term 0% interest. Thank you so much."

Go for the lowest fee (incorporating cashback) in the time you're sure you can repay. Unsure? Play safe and go long. Here are our current top pick new customer BT deals.

Card Balance transfer offer
Barclaycard. Best route: Check acceptance odds first. Or apply*
15mths 0% NO FEE, 21.9% rep APR after.
Plus £20 cashback if shifting £2,500+ within 60 days
Santander. Best route: Check acceptance odds first. Or apply*
18mths 0% NO FEE, 18.9% rep APR after
Ends 3pm Fri. Sainsbury's
Best route: Check acceptance odds first. Or apply*
Up to 29mths 0% with 3% or 4% fee (min £3), shorter for some depending on credit score, 21.9% rep APR after.
Plus £20 Sains vch if shifting £1,000+ within 30 days via this link
Virgin Money.
Best route: Check acceptance odds first. Or apply*
26mths 0%, 3% fee, 21.9% rep APR after


Always follow the Balance Transfer Golden Rules:
a) Never miss the min monthly repayment.
b) Clear the card before the 0% ends, or you pay the higher APR.
c) Don't spend/withdraw cash. It usually isn't at the cheap rate.
d) Usually you must transfer within 1-3mths to get the 0% deal - check.
e) You can't transfer between two cards from the same banking group.

Full help and info in Best Balance Transfers (and see APR Examples).

Covid help: If you are struggling financially due to the pandemic, you can request a credit card payment holiday, but only do it if needed as interest still mounts up.

2. STORE CARDS: Shift these to 0% like credit cards

Store cards are just credit cards you only use in one store chain, but usually with far costlier interest, eg, New Look is 28.9% rep APR, Argos 29.9%. But you can balance-transfer store card debt too, so just follow the help above.

3. OVERDRAFTS: Beware. 40% rates are the new normal - there are ways (some urgent) to shift it to 0%

Many people think credit cards bad, debit cards good. Not if you're overdrawn - almost all major banks now charge about 40% for overdrafts, double even a high street credit card - making them a serious danger debt. If you're paying that, take action. See 10 Overdraft Cost-Cutting Tips, but here's the key info...

a) Ends 31 Jan. £500 0% overdrafts if struggling financially due to Covid. Banks are no longer required to give official Covid-related 0% overdrafts, but Lloyds, Bank of Scot, Halifax and Santander do; with 3mth-long up-to-£500 0% on request until 31 Jan for those struggling. With other banks, if keeping afloat is tough, speak to them as many can offer help. Full info & how to apply in Covid overdraft help.

b) Switch to a 0% overdraft. If you can't get or aren't due the help above, or want 0% for longer, many accepted newbies to First Direct* and M&S Bank get an ongoing £250 0% overdraft - great if you owe a smaller amount.

Alternatively, Nationwide FlexDirect* offers some a bigger 0% overdraft for a year, though the size depends on your creditworthiness. So see this as respite and aim to clear before then. With all these, go over that limit and it's 39.9% EAR variable. Full info and eligibility help for all of these in top overdraft accounts.

c) Use a 0% money transfer credit card. For larger overdrafts, a few specialist cards also allow 0% money transfers for up to 18mths - where the card pays cash directly into your bank account, clearing your overdraft, so you owe it instead.

It can be a big help, as Tricia emailed: "Had a £3,000 overdraft, so I took advantage of a 0% money transfer at a one-off 1.9% fee. The account is now in credit and the card will be cleared in 12mths. Result."

4. PERSONAL LOANS: Can you slash interest to 2.8%?

If you've a loan, can you get a new one to clear it and pay less? As MoneySaver Sean emailed: "Two years ago, we took out an 11.9% loan. After reading your guidance, we got a new 5.9% loan to pay it off, saving £2,164 in interest. Wouldn't have had the confidence without you. Thanks."

This one's trickier though, as it's not just about getting cheaper APRs. Full help's in Cut existing loan costs, but here are my quick steps (shall we dance) to check...

- STEP 1: Ask your current lender for a 'settlement figure'. Ie, how much it'll cost to clear your current loan, including any early repayment costs (which tells you how big a new loan you'll need to get to clear it).

- STEP 2: Find the cheapest loan for the settlement figure - and if you can actually get it. Our Loans Eligibility Calc shows your odds of acceptance for many loans, and that's the best route.

The current cheapest rates incl Ratesetter* 6.9% for £3k-£5k, Ratesetter* 2.8% for £5k-£7.5k, Cahoot*, TSB* and Ratesetter* 2.8% for £7.5k-£15k. More in cheapest loans. For loans under £3,000, 0% money transfer cards are usually cheaper.

Yet do be warned all these loan rates are 'representative APR', meaning sadly only 51% of accepted customers need get that rate.

- STEP 3: Find out if a new loan's cheaper than your current one. Multiply your monthly repayments by how many months you have left (ask the lender if you don't know) to find how much you'll pay if you stick, then plug all the figures into the MSE Loan Switching Calc.

Covid help: If you are struggling financially due to the pandemic, you can request a loan payment holiday, but only do it if needed as interest still mounts up.

5. MORTGAGES: Slash your mortgage costs by £1,000s?

The UK base rate is at a record low 0.1%, and that has an impact on mortgages, so this should be the perfect time to find a cheaper deal. The problem is, for those with little equity in their home, (ie, your mortgage is a high proportion of your home's value) many mortgages have been pulled.

Yet it's still worth everyone checking, as the very cheapest rates are down at 1.05% for 2yr fixes and a stunning 1.29% 5yr fix. So if your mortgage deal's near ending, or already has, check. As Helen emailed: "I remortgaged - the rate changed from around 5% to 1.48% fixed for 5yrs. This equates to a saving of £45,000 over the 5yrs. Thanks to your site." Here are four quick tips to help:

a) Grab my free 66-page remortgage booklet (or 1st-time buyers' booklet).
b) Benchmark your cheapest rate using our Mortgage Comparison tool.
c) Consider using a mortgage broker to find the best deal, as they have information about acceptance chances not available to the public.
d) Use the Ultimate Mortgage Calculators to work out savings, compare deals, see the gain from overpaying and more.

Covid help: If you are struggling financially due to the pandemic, you can request a mortgage payment holiday, but only do it if needed as interest still mounts up.

Mortgage prisoner? MSE and I are still campaigning on this. I recently met the Treasury Minister responsible to discuss it - see our Mortgage prisoners need Govt help MSE News story for the latest.

6. BUY NOW, PAY LATER: Interest-free maybe, but it's still debt, and be careful, it's unregulated

You can't cut costs from interest free, so this is just a warning. Klarna, Clearpay, Laybuy and other buy now, pay later (BNPL) firms have rapidly become a near-ubiquitous way to pay at many online retailers, offering to spread the cost over a few weeks or months.

While there's no interest, if it goes wrong, you can face late fees, marks on your credit file or even bailiffs. These firms make money because they're so good at tweaking our spending nipples to make us want to buy more and more. So be very careful.

Worse still, BNPL is unregulated, so you've few rights if things go wrong, and you can't take them to the ombudsman. This must change - see my 'BNPL must be regulated' Treasury Committee evidence.

7. PAYDAY LOANS/HIGH-COST CREDIT: You may be able to reclaim and get a payment and interest holiday

Payday loans are an interest and financial nightmare. Try to avoid them if at all possible. If you've got them, check out our Payday Loan Help guide and, crucially, if you're struggling financially due to lockdown, you can apply to request a 1mth payment & interest holiday. Uniquely, for payday loans the interest is frozen during the holiday, so it's a good option.

If you previously had one, you may also be able to reclaim payday loans. As Jimmy, wonderfully, emailed: "Followed your guidance and contacted about a dozen payday lenders. Altogether I've now received over £7,000 back. Makes me shudder what state my finances were actually in... but your guidance helped me into a much better position. Thank you." It's also worth noting you can reclaim guarantor loans too.

8. TRICKS TO CUT COSTS: It ain't just what you do - it's the way that you do it...

Whether you're accepted for cheap deals or not, always aim to pay as much off as you possibly can, as quickly as you can (without damaging your financial stability). A few things help with this...

a) Prioritise repaying the highest-interest debt first. It grows fastest. List all debts in order of APR (highest first), then use all spare cash to clear that and just pay minimums on everything else. Once it's clear, focus on the next costliest.

With overdraft interest now so high, for many that'll mean paying minimums on your credit card to get your overdraft in credit. Really tricky to manage sadly.

b) Got savings? Use 'em to clear costly debts. Many people are emotionally attached to savings in the bank, but remember when you save, in practice that's just you giving your bank a loan. However, it usually pays you less than it charges when you borrow from it. So if the interest cost of debt is higher than you earn saving (it will be for most), pay off the debt with the savings - provided there are no penalties for doing so.

In most cases, it's worth holding back 3-6mths' worth of bills in an emergency savings fund. However, with credit cards, as it's an open facility and costs a lot, you could use your emergency fund to clear it. Then if an emergency happens, borrow back so you're no worse off, but save in the meantime.

c) Do a budget and manage your money. Get control of your spending - do a budget to see where the cash is going. What really counts is how you control it - try my piggybanking system.

d) Boost your credit score. You'll be eligible for better debt cost-cutting deals in future. See my 27 ways to boost your credit score guide.

e) Debt fighting is best done with friends. You may find great inspiration in our Debt-Free Wannabe and Mortgage-Free Wannabe MSE Forum boards.

9. IN DEBT CRISIS? Get free, non-profit help

If things are tough, the solutions above about cutting costs may not be right for you. Three quick questions:

a) Are you struggling to meet your min monthly repayments?
b) Do you have non-mortgage/student loan debt over a year's salary?
c) Do you have sleepless nights or depression/anxiety over debt?

If the answer is yes to any of those, instead of the solutions above, I'd get free, one-on-one debt counselling help from Citizens Advice, National Debtline, StepChange or CAPThey're there to help, not judge. The most common thing I hear after is: "I finally got a good night's sleep."

And BELIEVE THINGS CAN IMPROVE. Read inspiring stories in our Debt Help forum and also see our Mental Health & Debt guide. Full info in Debt Crisis Help.

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It's BILL BUSTER week - time to slay a few fiscal pelicans
8.30pm Thu, ITV: Martin's Money Show Live


A MUST-WATCH show this week, my annual bill buster, where we take down pelicans (big bills) - energy, broadband, water and lots more. I'll run you through how to save £100s or £1,000s without you feeling a thing.

And of course, as it's live you can tweet suggested questions to @MartinSLewis, but you must use the show's hashtag #MartinLewis. Do tune in or ask a friend to transcribe on papyrus.

 
 

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.

 

 
 

HALVE broadband costs with raft of super-cheap NY promos. Mega-fast 108Mb '£18.40/mth' or basic '£15/mth' all-in (incl phone line)


New Year is a time when telecoms firms launch a host of short-lived promos to draw people in who are working through their finances. So we follow suit to try to get 'em to squeeze prices down further. And it worked - the best buys below are all MSE Blagged deals. This is doable as firms must now alert existing custs of the tariffs they offer newbies, but they don't always tell 'em about the incentives they use to target switchers via comparison sites (and MSE), which are usually the best deals. So if you're one of 9m out of contract, you may be able to halve your costs.

top NEWBIES' broadband & PHONE line deals
Links go via our b'band comparison, which shows your postcode eligibility
DEAL + EQUIV COST (1) HOW GOOD IS IT?
BENCHMARK: Many pay £30-£45/mth for standard speed Terrible value. Even if you don't want to switch, use the prices below to haggle.
New. Virgin Media 18mth contract
108Mb mega-fast £18.40/mth


Cheapest MEGA-FAST b'band & line (incl weekend calls), but only 52% of homes can get it. Apply via our Virgin Media link by Thu 21 Jan (it'll tell you if you're eligible), and it's £23.95/mth, but you get an AUTO £100 bill credit, so effectively the first 4mths are free. Factor that in over the contract and it's £18.40/mth on avg. MSE customer service feedback grade: 'OK'. (2)
Ends today (Wed). 
Plusnet (owned by BT) 18mth contract 36Mb fibre £17.83/mth (3)
Cheap FAST b'band & line + good service rating. Apply via this Plusnet link by 11.59pm today (Wed), and it's £21.99/mth over the 18mth contract, but you also get an AUTO £75 prepaid Mastercard (almost as good as cash). Factor that in and it's £17.83/mth over the contract. Plusnet is part of the BT Group, though existing BT custs (not Plusnet custs) can get this. MSE customer service feedback grade: 'Good'. (2)
Shell Energy 12mth contract
63Mb fibre £19.50/mth
35Mb fibre £17.25/mth
11Mb basic £15/mth
Three cheap b'band & line prices (incl market's cheapest). Shell packages are very competitive at £20-£26/mth depending which of its 11Mb35Mb or 63Mb deals you choose. It also gives an AUTO 3mths' bill credit (worth £60-£80), which when factored in over the 1yr contract, gives the prices we list. MSE customer service feedback grade: 'OK'. (2)
(1) To compare, we use 'equivalent costs' - adding all costs, deducting promo credits and averaging over the contract. (2) From our Aug poll, it's a relative grading as few broadband firms set the customer service world alight. (3) Plusnet's announced an inflation + 3.9% price rise (£1ish/mth more) from Jun - but we've not factored it in as we don't know what inflation will be then.


  • Will I get the advertised speed? At least 50% of custs must get the advertised speed at peak times. All providers above tell you the estimated max you're likely to get before applying. Do check your current speed and see our eight speed boosting tips.

  • Switching usually means only about two hours of downtime. You're told the switch time in advance and it's often quick (though nothing is perfect).

  • Engineers won't usually need to visit, though they may do with some switches involving Virgin. You're allowed an engineer visit during lockdown, and they should obey social distancing rules. About 60% of Virgin customers won't need a visit (and they'll be told this BEFORE signing up). Of the remaining 40% it won't always be clear if an engineer needs to visit their home or just the local exchange. Also, some leaving Virgin may need a new line installed if they don't have an Openreach one (as it supplies most other firms), and that may be delayed as it's prioritising urgent issues.

 

Cheapest UNLIMITED data, mins & texts Sim we've ever seen - '£13.34/mth'. Newbies to Three* (via MobilePhonesDirect) can get unlimited data, mins and texts for '£13.34/mth' (£15/mth over a 12mth contract, but automatic £20 cashback). Compare all Sim & mobile deals: Cheap Mobile Finder.

Tesco Clubcard vouchers warning. It's culling Avios and Now TV rewards - find what's best for your points NOW. Read our Tesco Clubcard shake-up news.

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: 'I got (not just my) tax back for working from home'
"I told my teaching colleagues about working-from-home tax relief - no one knew a thing. It took me five minutes at best and my tax code changed in two days. My head teacher was over the moon as she dropped her tax band too. It's a hard time for teachers just now. Thanks for the ray of sunshine."
(Send us your successes on this or any other topic.)

£5 off a £25 spend at Lidl. For app newbies, coupon valid in stores in Eng, Scot & Wales. Save a Lidl more

Martin: 'What happened to my pledge to give £10m to charity'. Martin does this every two years for transparency, as it was a public pledge. Find out the total donation, who it's gone to and how he decides.

Don't trust energy comparisons (even ours) right now - many save typically £90/yr MORE than they say. lf you're one of the 50%+ on a big energy firm's standard tariff, its price is governed by the energy price cap. When you compare deals, savings have to be against your current tariff. Yet the price cap (set 6mthly) is almost certain to jump by about £100/yr on typical use in April. So savings over the next year will be far more than comparisons currently tell you, eg, typically many can save £250/yr, not the £160/yr listed. So don't be put off switching. Find your top tariff: Use our Pick Me A Tariff every year (MSE Autoswitch) or Pick Me A Tariff just for now tools, or do a normal energy comparison.

£50 of Lottie London make-up £19 delivered. MSE Blagged. 10-piece cruelty-free set, incl foundation, concealer, lipstick etc. 20,000 avail. Get a lottie for less

HMRC waiving fines (for some) if you file self-assessment after 31 Jan. Though fines for late-payment still apply. See self-assessment news.

 
 

Martin: 'At 1%, Premium Bonds are now the top easy-access savings for millions with larger amounts - should your money be there?'

The Premium Bonds prize fund rate dropped to 1% in Dec. While that's miserable, everything comparable is even worse. I've never been a great fan of Premium Bonds - the thrill of 'a monthly win' can make people feel good - but most'd usually get more each month with normal savings. Yet right now, relatively, they're a winner for many, though not all. My quick briefing below explains, and watch my 4min Premium Bond video from Dec (a few rates have changed, but the principle's the same).

  • Premium Bonds interest is a lottery. Each individual can own up to 50,000 x £1 bonds. The money saved is safe. Each bond is entered into a monthly prize draw, and the prize rate dictates how much that pays out. At the current 1%, that means for every £100 of bonds, £1 is paid out annually (in maths, the 'mean' average). But in practice that doesn't happen, as the smallest prize is £25, and for a few bonds to pay out the £1m top prize, most bonds must pay nothing.

  • The key is 'what'd someone with average luck win?' Imagine everyone with the same number of bonds lined up in order of winnings - the one in the middle defines average luck (in maths, the 'median' average). It's complex to work out exactly, so years ago I had our Premium Bond Probability Calc built. It uses multinomial probability to show your odds (I had to get a post-doctoral cosmology statistician to design it). It shows, currently with AVERAGE LUCK OVER A YEAR:

    - £100 of bonds wins NOWT - in fact, 29 in 30 with £100 win nothing.
    - £1,000 of bonds wins NOWT - as 7 in 10 still win nothing.
    - £10,000 of bonds wins £75 - ie, equiv 0.75% interest.
    - £50,000 of bonds wins £450 - ie, equiv 0.9% interest.

  • Top normal savings pay just 0.6% easy-access, from 0.8% fixed. To compare this to savings, here is the key best-buy info: Top easy-access 0.5% | Notice 0.63% | 1yr fix 0.6% | 2yr fix 0.81%. Much higher rates are possible via Help to Save (50% boost for those on low incomes), Lifetime ISAs (25% boost for first-time buyers), regular savers (up to 3% interest on monthly savings) and current account savings (2% on smaller amounts).

  • Who are Premium Bonds likely to be a winner for right now? While most people will win less than the 1% Premium Bond (PB) prize fund rate, many will still earn more than the top 0.5% easy-access savings rate. That's a fair comparison, as Premium Bonds are 'no-notice', meaning it should normally take 2-3 working days to withdraw money, though it has had some customer service issues. Full info in Are Premium Bonds worth it?, in brief...

    - They're better if you're saving £5,000+. 
    Above this, with average luck, PBs tend to beat easy-access savings. If saving less, it makes more sense to go for certain higher rates, eg, Virgin Money's 2.02%* AER variable on up to £1,000 or top easy-access.
    - They're not better if you're saving for longer, unless you need access. With average luck, top fixed savings beat PBs for many apart from the biggest savers. Yet with fixes your money's locked away, while PBs allow access to your cash. So if you want to save for longer, but keep access to your money, PBs are a decent option.
    - They come into their own for the few who pay savings interest tax. PB prizes are tax-free - then again, so is saving for 95% of people. But if you earn more interest than the personal savings allowance, you'd have to be very unlucky for PBs not to be the winner (especially as cash ISA rates are similarly poor).
    - They're better if you don't really care about interest. If the prime aim is to protect your capital and keep it safe, and the interest isn't a big deal, you may as well enjoy the ridiculously small chance of winning large.

    PS: My comparison is PBs vs other savings. Investing is a different kettle of fish. Nowt wrong with it, but there you risk your capital (your original money) - not what most PB holders tell me they want.
 

Ted Baker EXTRA 20% off its 'up to 50% off' sale. MSE Blagged. This is the strongest discount we've seen it offer on a sale, just use our code to get it. Ready teddy go

12 FREE ways to learn from home, incl languages, beauty tips, coding and more. With lockdown biting and many of us at home again, our popular blog rounds up ways to keep busy and boost skills. Learn baby learn

2,000 left. Get £40 cashback for investing £400. MSE Blagged. If you plan to 'robo-invest' - where investments are selected for you based on your attitude to risk - then after fees, this Wealthify deal is equiv to a 9.6% head start, provided you keep the full investment for a min 6-7mths. (The fact we've included it doesn't mean we recommend Wealthify - we don't do investment tips, it's just if you're going to use Wealthify anyway, you can get cashback). See Robo-investing cashback - incl info on the deal + how robo-investing works.

Rental eviction ban extended. Bailiffs are banned from enforcing most evictions till 21 Feb in Eng and 31 Mar in Scot & Wales. Full help, incl NI info and what to do if you can't pay, in coronavirus renters' help.

Ends Thu. £25 Amazon vch when you send £200+ abroad. MSE Blagged. Use our special Azimo link to send £200+ by 11.59pm on Thu and you get a £25 Amazon vch. Its exchange rates are competitive, so the vch means it's often unbeatable. Yet foreign currency is an under-regulated area, so for full safety info + full offer info, see Sending Money Abroad.

 
 

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AT A GLANCE BEST BUYS

Longest 0%: Ends 3pm Fri. Sainsbury's Bank up to 29mths 0%, 3% or 4% fee + £20 voucher (check eligibility / apply*) (21.9% rep APR)
No-fee 0%: 
Santander 18mths 0%, no fee (check eligibility / apply*) (18.9% rep APR)

Cheapest variable: Green variable, save £253/yr
Cheapest fix: Simplicity Energy 12mth fix, save £241/yr
Cheapest big-name fix: British Gas 12mth fix, save £174/yr
Want us to help you pick a tariff and switch you yearly? Try MSE Autoswitch

Savings include £25 MSE cashback, where available. Assumes typical use vs price cap over the next 12mths. Links go via Cheap Energy Club.

Get comparison site quotes in this order:

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

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Ratesetter (check eligibilityapply*), 2.8% rep APR
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k: 
Cahoot (check eligibility / apply*), TSB (check eligibility / apply*) or Ratesetter (check eligibility apply*) 2.8% rep APR

Standard b'band & line rent: Shell Energy equiv £15/mth
Fibre b'band & line rent: Shell Energy equiv £17.25/mth
Superfast fibre b'band & line rent: 
Virgin Media equiv £18.40/mth

Free case of wine for switching + 2.02% interest: Virgin Money
1-3% cashback on bills: 
Santander 123 Lite

 

THIS WEEK'S POLL

How much data do you use on your mobile? Smartphones are an essential part of everyday life for many, with streaming, gaming, social networking and more all increasingly done on data-hungry mobiles. But with the pandemic leading many to spend more time at home (often on Wi-Fi), how much data are you now using?

DPD Local tops MSE's annual parcel delivery poll. Last week, we asked you to rate parcel delivery services - more than 11,000 people voted. DPD Local took the crown, with 71% of those who've experienced its service rating it 'great'. Sister company and previous winner DPD was a close second (68% 'great') and Amazon Logistics third (61% 'great'), while CitySprint was bottom of the pile (just 11% 'great'). See full parcel delivery poll results.

 

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA

Should I ask my girlfriend to repay me or let it go? My girlfriend owes me about £2,000 for previous holidays, rent, house bills, weddings etc. Most have been small amounts, but have accumulated over time. Whenever I raise the topic of money with her, she gets very defensive and quite aggressive. Other than this, we have a really good relationship and I don't want to end it over a money issue. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I ask my girlfriend to repay me or let it go? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

 
 

MARTIN'S APPEARANCES (WED 13 JAN ONWARDS)

Wed 13 Jan - Ask Martin Lewis, BBC Radio 5 Live, 1pm. Listen again
Thu 14 Jan - This Morning, phone-in, ITV, 10.55am
Thu 14 Jan - The Martin Lewis Money Show Live, ITV, 8.30pm

MSE TEAM APPEARANCES (SUBJECTS TBC)

Sun 17 Jan - BBC Radio Leicester, Mid-morning with Summaya Mughal, from 10am
Mon 18 Jan
- BBC Radio Manchester, Drive with Phil Trow, from 2.25pm
Tue 19 Jan
- BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Mid-morning with Jeremy Sallis, from 12.20pm

 

THINGS YOU WON'T BE DOING DURING THIS LOCKDOWN - INCLUDING SHOWERING EVERY DAY...

That's all for this week, but before we go... most of the UK is in some form of lockdown again, and with experiences gained from previous lockdowns, you've been sharing what you WON'T be doing this time around. Not making banana bread you won't eat, not showering every day to save water and not getting fully dressed every day to save on washing were popular suggestions, while one MoneySaver said they're going to try not to stress too much about homeschooling and will just do their best. Let us know what you won't be doing this lockdown on our Facebook post or on the MSE Forum.

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