A story of true glove

Some tales, need a telling, so it is time for me to tell. ‘Tis a story of lost glove refound, and it may well surprise. ‘Twas a Tuesday in late May in the year 2015. The end of the bank holiday fest, and I was back at my desk. Lying in wait, fingers poised at my keyboard,...

Mental Health care waiting times can devastate finances

Break your arm or leg or have a heart attack and you get sent to Accident & Emergency. The NHS target is to see everyone within four hours, and while a few people fall foul of that, most don’t. Yet if you develop a mental health condition and need talking therapy, the stats show in some cases...

I sent my first email 20 years ago, to a girl, obviously – you?

I’ve just realised it’s now two decades since I first got online and sent an email. I believe it was May 1995. I’d just excitedly returned from a remarkable experience at the United Nations Youth Conference in Seoul, where I’d been as the President of the LSE Students’ Union. Out there I met the president of the...

I’m taking on the EU Mortgage Credit Directive – it’s going to create many mortgage prisoners

Ensuring people can afford their mortgage is crucial.  Yet the EU Mortgage Credit Directive, which officially starts in March 2016 (but in practice much earlier), will see many being told they “can’t afford a cheaper mortgage”. This isn’t right, so MoneySavingExpert.com and I are going to make it a campaign priority. I’m not sure how much we...

Why you should ignore the “You can throw away bank statements after six years” rule

The conventional wisdom is you only need to keep bank, credit card and other personal finance documents for six years. This is because HMRC (the taxman) can only ask you to go back that far if you’re being investigated for tax purposes. However, I think the landscape has changed in recent years, and therefore everyone needs to...

Can you pass the election numbers test?

How good is your knowledge of the election?  I popped into Radio 2 yesterday to chat to Jeremy Vine about the sheer joy of election maths. I feel a certain frisson at the massive complications and bizarre nature of a first past the post general election. It’s a bit like Eurovision, some watch for the songs and...

Smart-Pig student ad is thankfully deemed ‘irresponsible’

Back in October, while in the lift on the way to the tube, I spotted an advert from payday lender Smart-Pig, which targets students. After scanning it, as I often do, I noticed there was no APR and disgracefully, no mention of cost whatsoever. When I went on to its site to check out its charges, I...

Retailers booed me for saying ‘don’t blame the delivery company, blame the retailer’

The internet revolution has turned the clock back to a 1950’s delivery culture, though these days it’s more often a (wo)man in a van, than a boy on a bike. Getting and receiving parcels has become a regular part of many of our weeks – yet this last mile of delivery has turned into a regular nightmare....

End car insurers auto-renewal rip-off! 10 rule changes needed

It used to be that you had to be insured to drive a car, but since 2011 you have to be insured to own one (unless you’ve a SORN). Car insurers have taken advantage of these continuous insurance rules to lock customers in by auto-renewing. In itself auto-renewing isn’t a bad thing – continual cover is a convenience...

Unbelievable! A news presenter just admitted on air ‘I don’t understand a thing about politics!’

I was just listening to the radio. A news presenter had just had a point about economics explained (rather well) by the in-house correspondent. Yet he replied, with an almost audible shrug of his shoulders and a laughing lilt in his voice, by saying: "I don’t understand a thing about finance."  Now, apologies for deliberately mistitling this...