Martin Lewis: Is it time to ban unnecessary Christmas presents?

Update September 2017: It’s eight years since I first braved this subject, expecting a snowstorm of protest. Instead, year after year more join in, like Julia who recently tweeted me, “@MartinSLewis, finally took your advice and told my family I can’t afford Christmas presents. What a weight off my mind. Thank you.” One year even the Archbishop of...

Martin Lewis: The one thing everyone aged over 66 needs to know

It is a national tragedy that getting on for a million pensioners, many of whom have been paying into the system for years, are missing out on a critical boost to their income. It's called pension credit, and this year it also means you get up to £650 extra to help with energy bills.

Martin Lewis: New guide to setting up a 'warm space' – somewhere for people to come in from the cold

Today, I'm pleased to say the new free guidelines 'A warm welcome: Setting up a warm space in your community' has been published by CILIP, the library and information association. It's jam-packed full of useful information for councils, libraries, public buildings and others who want to open a warm space this winter. Below is my introductory foreword, which explains my connection, but better, download the PDF.

Martin Lewis: Energy price freeze rumours – what it means for you, will it work?


Energy firms met the new Liz Truss administration yesterday, and it's strongly rumoured that top of the agenda was freezing the price cap at its current level (£1,971/yr for someone on typical use) and adding small business to the cap too. This is similar to suggestions made by the main opposition parties – though likely to be funded in a different way.

Martin Lewis: Had a PPI payout? If so, you can reclaim the tax on it

The PPI deadline passed a while back, but if you're one of the millions of people who have reclaimed part of the £38,300,000,000 paid out so far, or you're one of those still waiting to hear if a payment will come, you need to know about the tax on PPI payouts. This is automatically deducted, even though most people don't need to pay it. So if you've been paid out within the last four years, or you get a payout in future, you could be due £100s back.

Five things EVERYONE should know about student finance

Ignore what you've read in the papers. Ignore the political spittle that flies across Parliament. And in some cases, ignore what parents tell you too. There are more myths and misunderstandings about student finance than any other subject (my polite way of saying there's a lot of bull spoken).

Martin Lewis: Worked from home due to coronavirus before 6 April 2022? You can still claim tax relief worth up to £280

If your employer requires you to work from home, you've always been able to claim for increased costs, eg, heat or electricity, for the specific time at home. Yet in October 2020, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) launched a 'microservice' which, even if you only needed to work from home for a day, allowed you to get a WHOLE YEAR'S tax relief.

Martin Lewis: Don't shop at Zara before you go to Spain, Greece, France or Italy

Update 17 July 2017: We tend to think since Brexit that the pound’s weaker than it has been for decades. While somewhat true against the dollar, against the euro it’s only a tad worse now than when I first wrote this in 2014.   The logic of this blog stands just as strongly now. On the Spanish-English website...

Using plastic overseas? Always PAY IN EUROS (even if it says 0% commission)

Update 28 June 2022: I wrote this blog back in 2013, but while it's a little dated, and the rates are wrong, the logic is still the same. However, the video is BANG UP TO DATE!

Martin Lewis: What I asked the Chancellor to do when I spoke to him on Monday...

With the announcement of the Government's energy cost of living plans due out at lunchtime, I thought I'd speedily bash out a note down of what (from memory) I'd asked the Chancellor for when we spoke on Monday – and the other general suggestions I've been making.