Money Saving Tips

Friday 31 December 2010

Longest ever 0% and new FSCS limits

From today the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) upper limit rises from £50,000 to £85,000, this is per person per institution. But there are some points to note the maximum per person is £160k ie just two accounts so if you have your money spread to minimise the risk it is now worthwhile looking at combining some accounts up to the maximum £85k to get the best rate of return.

Some EU banks are not fully UK regulated and hence are not covered by the UK scheme e.g. ING Direct is Regulated in Holland.

Also the scheme is per institution so sister banks that share a banking licence are considered to be one institution e.g. Halifax and Bank of Scotland share a licence, so total protection's £85,000 for all accounts in both. Where as sister banks NatWest and RBS have separate licences so you get £85,000 in EACH.

Apparently the 1st of January each year is the day that most people feel depressed about their finances so why not make your New Year’s resolution to take control of your finances in 2011.

In the UK the 4th of January sees the VAT tax rise from 17.5% to 20% so if you have any large ticket items that you need to buy now is a good time to do so as you have the January sales on and you will beat the tax hike, just remember that it is only a bargain if you can afford it and not push you into more debt than you can cope with.

Barclaycard are giving new platinum card members the longest 0% interest debt shifting deal I have ever seen a whopping 17 months for a fee of just 2.9% on balance transfers. Also if you transfer more than £3,000 you get a £20 rebate. This offer is only open to new card members who must earn a min of £20k per year and pass a full credit check. Also remember to pay the min payment each month else you will lose the 0%.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Keep Warm and Save Money

Here in the UK with the current cold weather set to continue here are some tips to help keep warm while keeping the cost of heating your house down.

Eliminate draughts and wasted heat by installing a cheap, easy-to-fix brush or PVC seal on your exterior doors.

Letterboxes and keyholes should be covered, too, and do not leave the front door open more than necessary.

Draughts also get in through gaps in floorboards and skirting boards, which allows heat to escape in the winter months. Filling them with newspaper, beading or sealant will help you stop throwing heat (and your money) away.

An insulating jacket for a hot water tank only costs a few pounds and pays for itself within months. Fit one that is at least 75mm (3") thick and start saving both money and carbon.

Insulating your loft is one of the simplest ways to save energy. By installing loft insulation to a depth of at least 270mm (10").

Around 33% of the heat lost in your home is through the walls, so insulating them can be one of the most cost-effective way to save energy in the home.

Cavity wall insulation will also keep you cool in the summer and warm in winter. It's straight forward, inexpensive and hassle-free.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

5 Steps to save money on Holiday Gifts

If you are worried about the cost of buying all those holiday gifts etc. here are 5 steps you can take to keep those costs down.

1. Set expectations with friends and family. Let them know if you'll be cutting back on the number of gifts or how much you plan to spend. This is especially important for children, who often have unrealistic expectations about gifts and don't fully understand the cost factors. Also consider price-limited charitable donations in the family's name.

2. Look for ways to cut back on the number of gifts you buy. There are many ways to shorten your gift list. If you have a large family or group of friends, ask if they'd like to draw names out of a hat and give one gift per person. Or give family gifts, such as a board game, a "movie night" with gift certificates to a video rental store and snacks, or a pass to a local museum rather than individual gifts.

3. Consider homemade gifts. There are many heartfelt, thoughtful gifts that don't come with a sales receipt. You could cook some treats; put together a photo album; make a themed gift basket full of smaller items, like tea, paperback books or gardening tools; or give the gift of your time by making homemade coupons or certificates. There are some ideas on Christmas Decorations.

4. Make a shopping plan. Don't head out to the mall without a specific list of gift ideas. This is how you end up spending more than you budgeted for. Look through catalogues or on Internet sites for ideas and develop a list before you even step foot in a store.

5. Look for bargains. Take the time to look for ways to save money on gifts. Try to buy several things from one catalogue or Internet site to save money on shipping, or better yet, look for sites that offer free shipping. Comparison shop using the fliers that come in the weekend papers to find the best deal around or use websites that do price comparisons for you.

Happy Holiday Shopping

Tuesday 14 December 2010

5 Tips for saving cash in 2011

1. The use of scoial media has exploded over the last few years and many brands are now using sites such as facebook to increase their brand awareness. You can get the inside information on upcoming savings by liking their fan pages etc. Another good one is @earlybird on twitter.

2. There are any number of sites that are now providing free samples or add free sample to your order, some of the best are,,,, and

3. If you have a smart phone there are apps that you can use to scan the bar code while you are in the shop and it will then compare the price in the shop with prices online.

4. Switch to supermarket own brands they can be upto 60% cheaper and just as good quality.

5. Paying by credit card? then use one that has a cash back scheme.