The MSE Pub Quiz 2016 Answers

I suspect many of you have hardly been able to sleep since I posted the MSE Christmas pub quiz questions last week. Well finally I can pop that bubble of excitement and provide you with the answers. Phew… let the good times roll. SPOILER ALERT: If this is the first you’ve heard of the quiz – follow this MSE pub...

The MSE Christmas pub quiz 2016

Every year, in the run-up to Christmas, the MSE team get the enormous joy, pleasure and cultural delight (indeedy) of facing my annual pub quiz. This long and proud tradition is in its seventh year and I continue to take their groans as encouragement. Some of the rounds don’t work in print (eg, the round where I...

The (morally questionable) way to earn 2.25% on up to £50,000 savings

Update 10/04/2018: This is an old blog but the logic in it still stands. Though note the rate has since increased to 2.5%.  Savings rates are disgustingly low. The top easy access account is just 1%, the top one-year fix 1.4%, yet I’ve a trick that lets you save up to £50,000, in safety, at 2.25%, and withdraw...

To protect mental health, the MSE weekly email will no longer be sent between midnight & 5am

This week we’re changing our weekly email send strategy so that we will no longer send it in the wee early hours (a few will leak through, if the internet service provider initially rejects them, but the bulk won’t). This change is due to a report by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (which I founded &...

How to fight banks that keep your savings prisoner because you want to take ‘too much’ out…

Last week I tried to close down and withdraw my money from an ONLINE, EASY ACCESS savings account – as the introductory interest rate bonus was ending that day meaning the rate would plummet. I, of course, as the account name describes, assumed I would be able to take my money out via the web, and do...

Uni Minister Jo Johnson says NO to my letter asking ‘please be honest & transparent about the parental contribution’

  The amount of the living loan that students aged under 25 get when they go to university is dictated by a means test of their PARENTS’ income.  A reduction in the living loan starts for students from families with incomes of just £25,000/yr and the amount received can be halved for those whose parents earn £60,000. In...

Santander 123 rate’s dropping to 1.5% – should you ditch it?

This Tuesday 1 November, Santander 123 – the bank account that’s topped savings tables for over four years – will take a hammer to the interest it pays. It’s cutting its main interest rate from 3% to 1.5%, the one that applies to savings up to £20,000. So the key question for the four million people who...

Autumn Statement Submission 1: Unfreeze the student loan repayment threshold, stop the retrospective hike

On 23 November the new Chancellor Phillip Hammond, will present his first Autumn Statement – it’s likely to contain a range of major policy announcements. As always the Treasury has invited submissions, and this year MSE and I felt it was time to take them up on the offer – we’ve submitted two. Here’s the first (the second...

Autumn Statement Submission 2: End ridiculous affordability rules for those remortgaging

On 23 November the new Chancellor Phillip Hammond, will present his first Autumn Statement – it’s likely to contain a range of major policy announcements. As always the Treasury has invited submissions, and this year MSE and felt it was time to take them up on the offer – we’ve submitted two. The first was unfreeze the student loan...

Dear Jo Johnson: Minister, it’s time to tell parents the truth about what you expect them to pay towards university costs

Parents of students starting university in England in 2016, are facing a hidden 27% rise in university costs. We’ve been working on this for a few weeks, and as part of our campaign for a more transparent system of student finance, I have today sent an open letter to Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities, asking for him...