£1 intercity train tickets, £5 1GB memory cards
New top two year balance transfer card,
and HAPPY NEW YEAR...
2008 is likely to be the worst financial year in a long time. Sorry to be so gloomy in betwixt the festivities, but with the credit crunch biting, house prices teetering and the economy wobbling, the outlook for 2008 isn't great. There's nothing any of us can do about this except sort out our own finances to make them as strong and efficient as possible.
How to protect yourself. Ensure you're not paying over the odds for anything (you'll see the money makeover article below) and plan for the worst but hope for the best. For example, if applying for new credit, there's now more chance you'll be rejected at each subsequent application, so ensure the deal's suitable for the longer term. Of course I'll try and point out every opportunity that helps.
Help your friends and family too. Collective consumer action is the best weapon we've got. Please spread the word about the site and especially this e-mail; suggest people start to read it as a New Year's resolution. All they need do is go to moneysavingexpert.com/tips
PS. This week's e-mail's just a quicky as we're taking a wee break too! Happy New Year
Ensure you don't miss out, get these tips e-mailed each week
Got credit card debts? New top two year cheap rate balance transfer deal!
Often balance transfers are short term 0% deals, but HSBC's* new card bucks the trend allowing first time cardholders to shift other cards' debts to it for two years at 2.9% plus a one-off 2.5% fee. As the credit crunch is hitting and it's not likely to be too harsh a credit scorer, it's the top pick if you need to be sure cheap credit will be there for a little longer than normal. Alternative Best Buys: For an even longer term: Citibank's* 5.8% life-of-balance; for a shorter term Barclaycard Platinum's 0% for 14 mths with a 2.5% fee. Full Details: in the updated Best Balance Transfers article. Related Articles: Debt Problems, Credit Card Shuffle, Credit Card For New Debt
Give yourself a 25% pay rise this Christmas break. Perfect money makeover time
In this downtime between Christmas and New Year you can massively improve your lifestyle. Spend a day going through my step-by-step MoneySaving makeover plan and you should gain £2,500 to £5,000; for many the equivalent of a 25% pay rise and the most lucrative day of the year. Read The Guide: Money Makeover Related Articles: Budget Planner, Demotivator, Financial Advice
Feed the starving everyday without it costing you a penny. Annual reminder!
TheHungerSite.com is a clever website; go to it, click a link and the site's sponsors will donate a cup of staple foodstuff to someone, somewhere who's starving. This is the original 'click and give' site and it's spawned many followers. A quickly developed MoneySaving tradition now means at this time of year I like to remind people about it. ..do pay it a visit and click. Updated Article: Feed The Starving At No Cost To You Related Article: Charity - Pay Less Or Nowt, Give More!
Did you order things for Christmas that didn't arrive in time? Know your rights
If you ordered something online, by phone, fax or mail order then it's likely to be covered by the Distance Selling regulations. This means if you or the seller specified it'd be delivered for Christmas but it wasn't, you've a right to all your money back. If the date wasn't specified, then there's less cover, so get your skates on as, in any case, under the Distance Selling Regulations you've seven days to send things back anyway. Full info in the Updated Article: Know Your Consumer Rights Related Articles: Free Safer System For Online Spending, What Shops Don't Want Us To Know
Got a new mobile for Christmas? Get easy cash by flogging your old one
If you've received a new mobile for Christmas, don't treat your old phone with contempt; there's a range of mobile phone buying companies like Envirofone*, Cex and MoPay* which'll tell you what they'll pay for it in seconds and if you agree, speedily sort it. This could bag you as much as £150 and by not throwing it out with the rubbish, you'll also being doing your bit for the environment. Article: Get Cash For Old Mobiles Related Articles: Cheapest Mobiles, Batter Down Your Contract, Mobile Unlocking For Free
Reminder. Help the Bank Charges song get in the charts. Pre-order for 50p by texting bankers to 82822. Full Bank Charges song info.
Have you reclaimed missold endowments? It takes 10 minutes and can pay £1,000s
Unlike Bank Charges and PPI Reclaiming, if you were missold an endowment there's an official process and all you need to do is fill in a form or two to possibly get £1,000s. Over the year I've had more emails than I can count saying "My husband/wife said don't bother, nothing will happen, but I sent the forms off and have just got a cheque for £8,000! I can't believe it!" Article: Endowment Misselling Related Articles: Reclaim Lost Assets For Free, Reclaim Mortgage Exit Fees, Reclaim Credit Card Charges
Ensure you don't miss out, get these tips e-mailed each week
The Don't Forgets
URGENT! Do you buy train season tickets? Grab one before 2 Jan to save £100s
On 2 Jan rail fares across the UK go up an average of 5%, but up to a maximum of 15%. Buy a season ticket on 1 Jan or earlier and you'll therefore save a big whack. Annual season ticket buyers may even be better off buying now if they still have a few weeks left until renewal as the amount saved should balance out the dupilcated time. Other train fare savings: See the Cheapest Train Tickets Related Articles: Cheap Hotel Prices, Cheap Flights, Cheap Car Hire
WARNING! Mortgage deal ending soon? Don't leave it 'til the New Year!
The credit crunch means it's getting more difficult to get a cheap mortgage and rates are flying up. Even though the Bank of England dropped rates at the beginning of the month, this is unlikely to help much. Thus if your mortgage deal's ending in the new year, sort it now while you've time. It's often possible to bag a deal now to start in a few months. More info in the MoneySaving Remortgage Guide: Instant PDF Download, 30 Page Printed Version Related Info: New Mortgage Guide, Free House Prices Info, Mortgages & Home
Quick Forum Tips
Warning! Bargains listed here tend to sell out quickly
MORAL DILEMMA. Should Robbie kick up a fuss?
After the New Year celebrations, five lads are struggling to find a cab with enough space to take all home. After a bit of patience, Gary hails two cabs and decides Mark & Robbie should get in one and everyone else in the other. As each cab's charging £60, Robbie, holding back the tears, thinks it's not on that he'd be paying £30 to get home, compared to Gary's £20, and declares he'll never forget if the total bill for both journeys isn't split equally. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should Robbie kick up a fuss? Previous MMDs: Should Andy complain about Big Bob? and Should Liam roll with it?
Miles Mendoza's Top 20 websites. I asked Miles Mendoza (of Radio 2's Website of the Day fame) if he'd supply his 20 top free time filling (wasting) websites, such as route planning for pedestrians, wedding maps, getting fit, arm wrestling with Sigmund Freud & loads more. Waste time, not money!
Airline: Ryanair. Price: £5 e/w. Ends: 10 Jan '08
Ryanair's January flight sale kicked off this week with seats from a range of UK airports to around 20 European destinations for £5 inc. taxes & charges. Tickets are at this price on selected flights until midnight 10 Jan, when booked seven days in advance, for travel between 28 Dec and 12 March '08. How to quickly find the sales flights: Don't go direct, instead use the Budget Airline FlightChecker and ask it to find all flights under £6. Non-Budget Airline Tools: These are listed in the Cheap Flights article. Related Travel MoneySaving: Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance, Mobile Roaming
Festive frolics or foroughly fed up? Well, it does drag on a bit. Last week's vote
Asked the week before Christmas day: a 65% majority still loved Christmas, but that includes 40% who think it drags on a bit, since shops and ad campaigns seem to start ever-earlier. A big 35% were already wishing it was over and a no-ho-ho 15% wish the Christmas festivities be banned altogether. Read the Festive Frolics discussion.
MoneySavingExpert on the box/wireless
If you like to watch as well as read about MoneySaving, I'll be appearing on the following programme next week.
- Money Box Live, Radio 4, New Year's Eve 3pm
Keep updated on appearances: Changes and updates go in the Updated appearances list
Feedback on appearances: Discuss or add your thoughts on MoneySaving in the Media
That's it for this week. I hope this special short holiday email's been useful. The full spiel will be back next Thursday, 3 Jan. Wishing you a healthy, happy and financially fit 2008.
I hope you save some money
Explanation of * Links
FSA NOTE: Referring people to insurers or insurance intermediaries can in some circumstances require FSA authorisation. For this reason, Martin Lewis of Shepherd's Studios, Rockley Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W14 0DA is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
How this site is financed. Any links with a * by
them are affiliated. That means go via this link and a contribution may be made
to MoneySavingExpert.com, which helps it stay ad-free and free to use. You
shouldn't notice any difference, the links don't impact the product at all and
the editorial line (the things I write) is NEVER impacted by it. If it isn't
possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it's still included in
exactly the same way. As I believe transparency is important, I'm including the
following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for the same things: hsbc.co.uk, citibank.co.uk, talktalk.co.uk, icicibank.com, alliance-leicester.co.uk, energyhelpline.com, mopay.co.uk, envirofone.com. Read more about this in how this site is financed.