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This email was sent
22nd Apr 2015
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 This info may be out of date.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."

22 April 2015
         

This week

The complaining revolution - new free tool to fix gripes for millions
Free £100 bank switch & NO pay-in
Cheapest EVER first-time mortgages
Manipulate Meerkats to bag a year's cinema 2for1 for £2
Barclays customer? Get a free £48
Sky TV 40% off + £100 credit code
Year's 2for1 at 340 gardens incl Kew
Don't fall for British Gas 'fix & fail'
'Free' £35 pet vet check
NO FEE 16mth 0% debt shift
Codes: Havaianas from £11, Tesco 1,250 extra pts, Matalan £10 off £50
2 specs £25 code & 'free' tint
Free EE £20 mobile charger update
£25 Thorntons Easter egg £9 code
Avios changes winners & losers
Important: Watch for Sentinel letters
£15 cashback on credit rebuild card
Free £8 gin & tonic or £4 cider
Free Ascot race day tix
Personalised photo deals: £28 huge canvas, £9 mini, £19 photobook
Online currency sales boost
London Marathon freebies
Jobs: Researcher for Martin
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs
Learn how to use a tablet/computer

MARTIN'S QUICK BRIEFING: For more tips, alerts & awful puns, follow Martin on Twitter

50 over-50s MoneySaving tips
A clarion call to silver savers to take up arms and cut their costs

Like Kylie or Clooney, some things just get better with age. Sadly, your finances aren't always one of them. So to help, our 50 Over-50s Tips helps you make the most of your cash. Here are some new, big & easy ones to get you started...

1. New. Beware SunLife's over 50s plan. It may pay out LESS than you put in (Parky, stick with chat shows). He's a lovely fella, but Michael Parkinson's caring voiceover makes Axa SunLife's over-50s plan seem simple, yet for many it's a seriously bad bet, locking you in with payments until you die, and oft paying out less than you put in.

For when it's good (some being clever make £10,000s), when bad & the best buys, see my new Over 50s Plans - Winners & Losers guide.
2. Fight hideous travel insurance costs - a YEAR's cover from £15. Older travellers get milked by insurers. Yet scour hard (we've done it for you) and there are still decent rates. Here are the cheapest annual policies (cover a year's trips) for individuals that meet our min cover levels. For full info, incl couples' policies and more, see our new Over 65s Travel Insurance guide.

50+: Holidaysafe Lite* £15 Europe; £25 world
66+: Holidaysafe Lite* £39 Europe, Leisure Guard* £64 world
70+: Holidaysafe* £39 Europe, Leisure Guard* £65 world
80-85: via Castle Cover* £325 Europe, £512 world
Over 85: For cheapest single-trip deals use the MoneySup* comparison
.

Alternatively, the fee-free Nationwide FlexAccount* bank account includes annual European travel insurance up to age 75 (needs £750/mth income to qualify), and if older you can often pay £50 to get it.

In Europe, ensure you've an in-date free EHIC card to get treatment in an EU state hospital at the same cost as a local. Some may find the EHIC+* insurance policy (not a Govt policy) which covers the costs of treatment on EHIC cards, plus usual baggage delays etc a winner. If you've had medical probs, always declare them. See Pre-Existing Conditions.
3. Warning: Pensioner Bonds close in 3 weeks - get 4% ASAP. Pensioner Bonds, or officially "65+ guaranteed growth bonds", have brought a little cheer for over-65s' savings. Yet the deadline to apply is 15 May, and while it's been extended before, as it's just after the general election, that's unlikely this time.

You can put up to £10k in both a 1yr bond at 2.8% and the 3yr bond at 4%. If only doing one, the 3yr wins as even if you withdraw after a year its rate is roughly the same as the 1yr. For why & full help see Pensioner Bonds.
4. over 50sOver-50s discounts, freebies & entitlements. Age has its privileges. Many older people are eligible for exclusive discounts, passes and freebies. Even if not, if you're a pensioner and you see "student discount", try asking for a pensioner discount. It often works.

- Over 50s discounts & deals:
From a free over-50s' dining card to over-60s 25% off at Specsavers, 10% at B&Q and more, see Over-50s' Discounts.
- Over-60s: 1/3 off train tickets with a Senior Railcard, free prescriptions (in Eng - free elsewhere) and are you entitled to free bus & tube travel?
- Anyone in your home born pre-5 Jul 1952? You're due up to £300 in tax-free winter fuel payments. See Winter Fuel & Cold Weather.
- Lower-income pensioners: Free Insulation & Boilers, worth £1,000s.
- Over-75s: Bag a free £145.50 TV licence covering the whole household.
5. Cheap car insurance - can you get it for 96p/yr? While older drivers can find it tough to access cheap cover, our all time record cheapest was 96p/yr (after cashback) from gran Barbara Wakerell. For full step-by-step info on how this happened see our Cheap Car Insurance system.
6. Have the 'unpleasant issues' chat. Hopefully you'll live healthily and happily until you're 190. But in case problems arise, it's best to deal and communicate sooner and openly with your family - they're the ones who'll be impacted most, but may be too scared to broach it with you.

a) One in three over-65s have dementia when they die.
Unless you've a Power of Attorney which allows loved ones to take over your affairs, they need go through the usually hard, horrid & costly attempt to apply in court. Far better is to sort it in advance, (I have one at 42), to kick into effect only if and when you lose your faculties. See Power of Attorney for help.

b) Death happens. These are issues for us all to consider, but of course the older you are the higher the chance it'll be sooner. Go through our Death Happens Checklist, including arranging who'd look after any dependants, planning your funeral and how you'd like to be cared for if needed.

c) Don't die will-less. If you've assets, ensure you're choosing what happens to them. See Free and Cheap Wills (includes what happens if you don't). Plus do an Inheritance Tax Plan to make use of allowed exemptions.

d) Are you hurting your spouse by looking after the finances? More than 60% of couples say one person deals with all the home's money issues. If you're reading this, my guess is that's you. Yet if you were hit by one of the three Ds - death, divorce or dementia - it could heap financial misery on the grief. That's because often the other partner is in the dark.

Too often people have asked me: "My partner just died, I'm in dire straits, I simply don't know where to start with the finances, what do I do?" One even struggled to access her husband's money to pay the mortgage.

So why not create a financial factsheet naming all product providers - from roadside recovery to investments, boiler cover to bank accounts. Keep it somewhere safe, but don't put too many security details in just in case. Then have a kitchen table briefing every few months to update & discuss.
7. Are you missing out on pension credit worth up to £35/week? Up to 1.5m eligible pensioners miss out on pension credit - those with total income under £151/wk, or above that if you've small savings. Do check. For help see our Pension Credit guide, and the Benefits Check-Up tool.
8. Warning. Equity release is NOT a no-brainer. Equity release loans are sold as a way to spend the value of your home while you're still living there.

Yet rates, at 5%-7%, are far higher than mortgages, and more importantly, as you usually don't make repayments, interest compounds at rocket speed. Taking £20k aged 65 can take c.£90k from your home's value 25 years later.

If you can, the best way to get cash from your home is to downsize & do it early. Many wait, and when the time comes decide they're too old to move and constantly regret it. See Equity Release Need-To-Knows.
9. Don't be loyal to gas & elec firms - it costs you. It's a national disgrace that I pay far less to boil a kettle than a 90-year-old on a state pension struggling to understand the system. That's why switching to a cheap tariff that could save £250/year to break the energy loyalty habit is vital.

Switching isn't a big faff. It's the same elec, same gas, same safety. Only service, billing & price changes. Sometimes YOUR OWN ENERGY FIRM offers a cheaper deal, but you need to ask to move to it.

To make it easier, use the MSE Cheap Energy Club which compares for you, shows you top long-term cheap picks and alerts you when to switch again.
10. Pension Freedom - what does it actually mean? Two weeks ago, sweeping changes mean that anyone aged 55 or over can withdraw cash from their pension whenever they wish - and spend it.

Yet for most that's a bad move. Even if you want the cash, there may be ways to withdraw it more tax efficiently. My Pension Freedom - everything you need to know in 5mins guide will give you a quick briefing and we're working on a full 40-page booklet (I'll tell you about it here when done).

Lots more info in 50 tips for over 50s and if you want more from your bank account, but can't pay a minimum see free £100 and no min deposit below.

Blagged for MoneySavers

Did you miss?

Get constantly cheap energy
Our club ensures you're always on the cheapest tariff.
Join free: Cheap Energy Club
Reclaim PPI for FREE
Claims handlers aren't more successful.
Free help & templates: Reclaim PPI

MSE News

Top story: Virgin Media to up Sky Sports and Sky Movies prices
Co-op Bank customers to pay less after overdraft fees revamp
Bet on the Grand National? Check you're not charged dormancy fee
RBS axes its YourPoints credit card reward scheme: Are you hit?
Airline ombudsman-style scheme moves one step closer
Saved cash? Shout it from the rooftops.
If this email's ever helped you, please forward it to friends and suggest they get it via moneysavingexpert.com/tips
Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 22 Apr 2015
Join the complaining revolution. Free tool to help MILLIONS fix gripes
It drafts a letter to banks, shops, energy firms, etc, sends it, monitors replies & escalates to ombudsmen if needed

Our aim's always been to cut your bills and fight your corner. Yet complaining isn't always easy for everyone - they often ignore or fob you off. So often it takes a certain type of person to get their due. Now we want to level the playing field...

  • resolver Resolver - helps you complain for free to 3,500+ firms & public bodies. The free Resolver tool* is a unique new automated complaints system, to take out the pain and cost. It works with energy, finance, legal, leisure, motoring, retail, food, travel, telecoms, water and other firms. Full help in our Resolver guide, but in brief:

    - It tells you your rights.
    Select your issue and it gives you the lowdown.
    - Drafts a letter. You get to make a bespoke version of one of 44,000 templates, incl the bit most people forget: what resolution do you want? Alternatively, you can call and it will record it.
    - Monitors replies. It will keep an eye on whether there's been a response and prompt you to act if not.
    - Escalates if needed. If you don't get a resolution, it works with many ombudsmen & regulators - eg, the Financial, Energy, Parking, Flights - and some even take complaints directly from the system.
  • If it's free with no ads, how does it make money? It plans to make money selling firms' info on how their complaint system compares to others (it'll never sell your personal info) and consultancy to improve processes. Plus, if you're complaining, eg, about an energy provider, it may encourage you to switch, too.
  • Resolver's "in association with MoneySavingExpert". What does that mean? Over to Martin: "For years we've used template letters to help - over 10m for PPI, flight delays and bank charges campaigns alone. Resolver's system can take this further. Sorry to do a Victor Kiam (if you're old enough to remember), but when I saw it I wanted to get involved. So we're now committed to marrying Resolver's tech with our campaigning background."

    This means incorporating it into MSE guides, even where before we haven't added "what to do if it goes wrong". For the big reclaims, we're feeding our template letters & experience into Resolver's process (once done, we'll update you via this email). As part of this, MSE is taking part ownership of Resolver. Full info in MSE & Resolver.

A YEAR'S 2for1 cinema for £2 by manipulating Meerkat Movies. See our Deals Hunters' Meerkat trick blog.

Got a Barclays bank account? How to get a free £48 a year. Barclays has launched a Blue Rewards option, where you pay £3/mth but get back at least £7/mth. Not a reason to switch to it but if you're one of the 5-6m who have its account it's a winner. Full info pros & cons in Barclays Blue Rewards but also see below for how to make far more.

Last chance. Sky TV 40% off & £100+ bill credit newbies code. MSE Blagged. Ends Thu 11.59pm. Sky newbies (ie, if you haven't had it for 12mths) using this specific Sky link* get a code for 40% off a year's contract on all its TV packages (excl HD upgrade fee) plus a £100 bill credit (£125 on Family/Complete packages). A one-off £10 set-up fee applies. You can also get half-price broadband if you get its landline. Full info: Sky 40% off

A YEAR'S garden pass gets 2for1s for 340 UK gardens, incl Kew/Eden. With £4.25 mag. Gardens pass

Don't fall for British Gas 'fix & fail'. This tariff is all hype, no trousers. Read Martin's British Gas fix & fail analysis.

Free £100 for switching bank - and you NEEDN'T pay-in owt
Most hot bank account deals require you to pay cash in each month, but NOT all. Here's how top deals compare

Many with uncertain incomes tell us they fall foul of the "minimum pay-in terms" for the current rash of hot bank account deals. Yet M&S Bank* gives a £100 M&S gift card for switching, a £100 0% overdraft & linked 6% savings, with no min...

  • What 'minimum pay-in' really means. It doesn't mean you must be in credit, just that you must pay in a set amount - banks' way of ensuring your income/salary goes through the account. Eg, £1,000/mth equals a £13,200/yr pre-tax salary. Use the table below to see what deals you're eligible for. Remember: all accounts will require you to pass a (usually not too harsh) credit check and most to use the bank's switching services. Full switching help in Best Bank Accounts.
BEST-BUY CURRENT ACCOUNTS - ranked from lowest to highest pay in
Account Switching bribe In-credit interest (AER) Main highlights Min monthly pay-in
(equiv yearly salary)
M&S Bank* Free £100 M&S None £100 0% overdraft, 6% regular saver None
Santander 123* (1) - 3% on £3k-£20k Cashback: 3% on phone, b'band, mobile & TV, 2% gas & elec, 1% water & council tax £500 (£6,000) (2)
TSB Classic Plus* (3) - 5% up to £2k - £500 (£6,000)
Halifax* Free £125 £5 every month (4) Cashback at selected retailers £750 (£9,150) (2)
First Direct* Free £125 - No.1 for service,
£250 0% overdraft, 6% regular saver
£1,000 (£13,200)
Clydesdale* (5) Free £150 2% up to £3k Low 9.9% EAR overdraft rate £1,000 (£13,200) (2)
Club Lloyds* - 4% on £4k-£5k 4% linked regular saver £1,500 (£22,000) (2)
(1) £2/mth fee, but the cashback usually more than covers it. (2) Also requires at least 2 direct debits. (3) Must register for online banking. (4) Paid regardless of amount, if you're in credit. (5) And sister bank Yorkshire*. FULL info: Best Bank Accounts
  • Can I jemmy the pay-in? Yes. Quite simply, the rules say you need to pay in a set amount from external sources. So let's say you want a £1,000 pay-in but only have £500 coming in. If you get the £500 paid in, withdraw it either as cash or to an account with another bank, then pay it back in, and BINGO, you've qualified.

Tesco £10 spend gets free £35 vet check-up for cat or dog. Voucher valid at 400+ local vets' practices (excl NI) when you buy pet supplies online or in store by Tue 5 May, redeem by Nov. Full info: Pet check cheque.

Shift credit card debt to 16mths 0% NO FEE. Accepted new cardholders can get a Halifax 16mth 0%* (eligibility calc) or Santander 15mth 0%* (eligibility calc) balance transfer for no fee - so zero cost. Need longer? Barclaycard's 36mths 0%* (2.99% fee) (eligibility calc) or Lloyds is 28mths 0%* (1.5% fee) (eligibility calc). Clear these before the 0% ends or they jump to 18.9% rep APR. FULL info: Top Balance Transfers (APR Examples). Some may get shorter 0%.

BIG CODES & DISCOUNTS: Havaianas from £11, Tesco 1,250 pts, Matalan £10 off £50...
MSE Blagged: Havaianas extra 20% off | Tesco.com 1,250pts on £60 newbies code | Boux Avenue 20% off
Quick Codes: Amazon selected home & garden £5 off £50 till Thu | Watches2U 10% off | £5 Foxglove plant norm £13
Morrisons £12 off £60 for newbies - ends Sun. | Matalan £10 off £50 Ends 11.59pm Wed. See ALL Codes & Vchs.

2 specs £25 code + 'free' £10 tint. MSE Blagged. Use £30 off code on 2for1 info. Full details in Glasses Direct deals.

EE pauses 'free' £20 mobile charger giveaway - redeem codes ASAP. If you haven't got a code then you'll have to wait. Find out when, see EE charger.

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
36mths 0%, 2.99% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

No fee 0%: Halifax*
16mths 0%, no fee

(18.9% rep APR)
Get comparison site quotes in this order...
Compare The Market
MoneySupermarket*

Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*
Aviva*
Admiral MultiCar*

Cahoot* (£5k - £7.5k)
4.6% rep APR



M&S Bank* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.6% rep APR


West Brom BS 1.55% AER
Min £1,000, clean rate
Online. Allows transfers.


Coventry BS 2.1% AER
Min £1. No transfers
Loophole: Fixed till May 2019


See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

£25 Thorntons Easter egg £9 code. MSE Blagged. Extra 25% off 50% Easter sale, some eggs £3. Ends Sun. Thorntons

Avios all-change 28 April - winners & losers. Full rundown of the flight reward scheme's changes in Boost Avios.

IMPORTANT: Watch out for letters from AI Scheme - Sentinel. From Wed, 2m will get letters asking them to vote for compensation scheme for mis-sold card insurance policies. See Sentinel 'yes' for redress for full help.

Ends Tue: £15 cashback on credit (re)build card. The Barclaycard Initial* card (eligibility calc) accepts some with past CCJs and defaults. Spend £50/mth on it, repaying IN FULL to avoid interest and over a year it can help (re)build your credit history. Currently it gives 3mths 0% spending (be careful) and £15 cashback after 3mths if used within the rules (eg, paying on time). When the 0% ends, beware. It's a big 34.9% rep APR. Full help in Barclaycard Initial (APR examples).

Cheapest ever first-time-buyers' mortgages
With rates now well under 2% for some: 6 steps to bag your first mortgage, incl Help2Buy ISAs, best buys & more

Rates are rock bottom, a new Help2Buy ISA's due, and politicians are fighting for homeowner votes. It's a good time to get a mortgage, though whether it's a good time to buy a home is a trickier question. Yet if you're buying for the long term, with affordable repayments (possibly even cheaper than renting) it's a reasonable aim. Here are six steps to take...

Selected Top 2yr fixes
Our Mortgage Comparison finds YOUR best-buy
Deposit Rate Fee (1) Annual cost on £150k for first 2yrs (2)
35% 1.29% £999 £7,520
20% 1.83% £995 £7,990
10% 3.09% £495 £8,860
5% 3.99% £499 £9,740
(1) Lower fee deals are available, these were picked for a fair comparison. (2) Fee spread across the deal period plus the repayments, assuming 25yr term
  • Step 2. Deposit, deposit, deposit. Every 5% bigger deposit up to 40% cuts the rate - so a little more can have a big impact.

    Eg, a £14k deposit on a £150k home is a 9.3% deposit, where a top 2yr fixed rate is 3.99%. Scrape up an extra £1k and you've a 10% deposit, and a top rate's 3.09%, cutting repayments by £880+/yr
    .

    From autumn, as our Help to Buy ISA guide explains, for every £200 saved for a deposit you can get £50 added.
  • Step 3. Speedily compare to benchmark your cheapest. Our Mortgage Best Buys comparison tool shows all deals available, including "direct only", which many brokers don't cover. Plus as fees have a huge impact, especially on smaller mortgages, it has a "Total Cost comparison", which factors the fee and rate together to show the true cheapest. Also see the Ultimate Mortgage Calc to work out costs. 
  • Step 4. Two things that can kibosh application. a) The credit check. It's crucial to manage your credit score, preferably months in advance, eg, never make late payments, minimise other applications, put a landline not a mobile on applications. See 35 credit score boosting tips. b) Affordability checks. Lenders must stress-test if your mortgage is affordable, even if rates were 6-7%. They'll want evidence of income, big bills, expenses, even eating out. So being frugal in advance helps. See affordability help.

    One way to navigate through these checks, is to use a top mortgage broker - they have info on how harsh each lender's checks are, and can help ease acceptance.
  • Step 5. Don't fall for 'Help to Buy Mortgage' branding. While much hyped, the main Help to Buy scheme (ie, not the original only for new builds) is about the Govt giving LENDERS a guarantee to enable them to offer more 5% deposit mortgages, meaning more are available. If you're looking for a 5% deal, it makes no difference to you whether it's a Help2Buy or not. Just go for the best available. See Help to Buy & other mortgage help schemes.
  • Step 6. Fixed or variable? A fix gives you certainty you'll know exactly what you'll pay; variable deals move with UK interest rates (sometimes just at the provider's whim). Currently you pay a little more to fix. The more important security is to you, the more you should err towards fixing and fixing longer. Fixed v variable help.

Free £8ish gin & tonic or £4ish cider. Sign up to get Pitcher & Piano voucher. Pls be Drinkaware.

Free Ascot race day - tickets usually £13. For Wed 29 Apr. 10,000 avail. Similar race days norm £13+. Ascot Deals

Personalised photo deals incl £28 huge canvas, £9 mini canvas, £19 photobooks...
Canvases: £28 for 90cm x 50cm | £9 20cm x 20cm | £22 60cm x 40cm Photobook: £19 for 100-pages. See all Photo deals.

Post Office & Travelex online currency sales. Until Fri 8am the Post Office online is boosting its euro, US dollar & more rates. On Thu & Fri at 11am-1pm Travelex is boosting all currencies. Use our Travel Money Comparison to see how they stack up. Not going yet? The Halifax Clarity* credit card (eligibility calc) gives near-perfect, far better than cash, rates on spending worldwide. Pay off IN FULL each month, or it's 12.9% rep APR. Cheap Travel Cards (APR Examples).

London Marathon freebies. Free burgers, pizzas & more (but shame, not Snickers) if you finish. Marathon freebies

MSE Jobs: Personal researcher for Martin Lewis. To work across all his media & campaigning. See MSE Jobs


Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines

Compare, get £30 dual fuel cashback & alerts if your deal's no longer cheap. Go via the free MSE Cheap Energy Club Top Pick Fixes Comparison.

The savings can be huge. Someone with typical dual fuel usage on a big 6 standard tariff pays £1,159 a year, the cheapest deal's around £900.


First Direct*
£125 bonus and top cust service


Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

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

GoCompare*
MoneySupermarket*

Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*
Aviva*

Direct Save Telecom*
with weekend calls
£11/mth (pay a yr upfront)



Post Office*
with weekend calls
£12/mth (pay a yr upfront)


Do a Money Makeover Budget Planner MSE car sticker £13 Travel Insurance
Show Vouchers and Top Deals

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers & sales

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

New-look Forum. We've spruced it up a bit. Why not have a look and let us know what you think? Email forum spruce.

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK
Learn how to use a tablet, computer or smartphone.
The Spring Online campaign helps older people see the benefits of using the web, so pass this on to those who need help. Until 26 April 'intro to IT' events are taking place in libraries, community centres and sheltered housing schemes UK-wide. Whether you or someone you know wants to learn how to send an email or use an app, find an event nearby on Spring Online or discuss in the Over 50s Money Saving MSE forum board.

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA
I took someone's unused money-off receipt, should I use it?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... Last week at the supermarket self-service till, the customer before me forgot to take their money-off receipt. I took it to use on my next shop as it was worth £4. However, my boyfriend thinks it's stealing. Who's right? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I use money-off vouchers that aren't mine?| Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

Terms and conditions change. Our lawyers have tweaked our t&cs & privacy policy this week mainly to do two things: a) Reflect the fact we’ll be working with Resolver as explained above. b) To set out our policy on extremism and terrorism on the forum and our social media. We just wanted to let you know.

THE GREAT HUNT
Tips and tricks to slash the cost of home improvements
Costs can quickly soar - whether you're just adding a lick of paint or refurbishing the whole home. We want to tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge on where to get cheap building and decorating materials. Do you stick to local shops or go to the big chains? Do you use builders' merchants, reclaim yards or even go skip diving? Share yours/read others': Tricks to cut the cost of home improvements Past topics: View all

CHEAP FLIGHT SALES ALERT
Airline: Aer Lingus* Price: Flights to Ireland from £19.99 one-way Ends: Fri 24 Apr
Our pick this week is Aer Lingus'* offer for flights between 1 May and 31 Aug 2015 to six Irish destinations from 17 UK airports. The sale ends Fri 24 Apr and includes taxes and charges. There is no code to enter, the price appears automatically. 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

THE GREAT HUNT... REVEALED
MoneySavers shared their top tips to slash the cost of hotel stays

We asked for your favourite tips and tricks to getting yourself a suite deal on a hotel room. Top tips included going via cashback sites, combining bookings to nab a freebie, finding the hotel on a comparison site then booking direct and nabbing unwanted room reservations at a discount.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances (from Wed 22 Apr onward)

Thu 23 Apr - Good Morning Britain, Deals, ITV, 7.40am. Watch last week's
Fri 24 Apr - This Morning, Martin's 90 Sec Savers, ITV, 11am. Last week
Mon 27 Apr - This Morning, ITV, Money Monday, ITV, 10.30am. Watch previous
Mon 27 Apr - Consumer Panel, BBC Radio 5, 12pm-1pm. Subscribe to podcast

MSE team corner

Team blogs:
Dump your junk in time for summer

Homebase secret furniture sale

Regular team appearances:

Fri 24 April
BBC Radio Manchester, 4.50pm
Tue 28 April
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 2.15pm

Discussion of the week

Splitting the bill with extravagant friends
You're on a budget and having a meal with friends. You order tap water and everyone else gets champagne and when it comes to settling up, they want to split the bill equally. Join the debate on negotiating these murky waters.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 137.56 123.80
US Flag $ 147.56 132.80
Turkish Flag TL 386.30 339.33
Rates correct at 3pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Would you buy shares in a Lloyds Bank sell off?

The Tories say they plan to let the public buy up to £10,000 shares each in Lloyds Bank at a 5% discount (paid for by the tax payer) to the share price plus 10% extra shares if you hold them for a year. Labour & Lib Dems have pooh-poohed the idea.

If it happens - would you apply? Which of these is closest to your answer?

Poll results

Which coalition would you vote for?
The top three coalitions were, in order: Tory/UKIP, Tory/Lib Dem and Labour/Lib Dem. Once drilled down to individual parties, 54% wanted the Tories to be part of a coalition, while 40% wanted Labour.

Fighting for third place were the Lib Dems and UKIP, which took 35% and 34% of the votes, respectively. The DUP was least likely to form a coalition, taking 2% of the votes.

23,682 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q: I don't understand how savings interest works on a normal savings account. I see interest is quoted as being annual interest, so do I need to have my money in my account for a whole year to get the interest? Nav, by email.

MSE Eesha's A: While interest rates quoted are annual, ie, what you'd earn in a year, with most accounts you accrue interest daily. So, if you had an easy-access account paying 2% AER (annual equivalent rate) you would get this rate on the days you keep the money in the account.

However, calculating this is complex, but in its simplest form it means dividing the annual interest rate by roughly 365 to give you a daily interest rate. You then use this interest rate to calculate daily interest based on your balance each day.

So if you kept your money in the 2% account for the full year, you'd have earned the full whack: £20 per £1,000. But if you'd kept the cash in for only half the year, you'd earn only about half the interest: around £10 on £1,000. Read our Top Savings guide for more info and the best buys.

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

 Sam's free game of the week: Golf is Hard

The wurst speling mistakes of the electioon so far...

That's it for this week, but before we go, check out these corking spelling and gramer bloopers from the election paperwurk. If you can do better, let us know.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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