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...

Is the BBC costing Brits a fortune when they go on holiday?

I’ve recently come back from my sabbatical and you’ll be unsurprised to hear that I was abroad for part of it – and that was during the Olympics. As an Olympics lover and more specifically an athletics fan geek (to show off – I recently fulfilled a lifelong ambition of infield presenting at the London Anniversary Games), I...

Santander 123 to slash interest to 1.5% – should you ditch it?

Update, 1 November: Santander has now slashed the headline rate paid from 3% to 1.5%. Read my Santander 123 slashed – should you ditch it? analysis for what to do if you’re one of its customers. Depressing news for savers. Santander 123, the bank account that’s topped savings tables for over four years, will take a hammer...

If Santander 123 drops interest to 2% is it still worth it?

Update, 1 November: Santander has now slashed the headline rate paid from 3% to 1.5%. Read my Santander 123 slashed – should you ditch it? analysis for what to do if you’re one of its customers. The Santander 123 bank account has been my and this site’s top savings pick for four years. It pays 3% interest if...

First-time buyers’ trick: Max LISA and Help to Buy ISA gains by timing it right

The new Lifetime ISA (LISA) launches next April. It allows eligible savers to put away up to £4,000 a year. Then if it’s used for a first-time home purchase or retirement, the state adds a 25% bonus on top – a possible £1,000 a year bonus for up to 30 years. While the already up-and-running Help to Buy...

Panicked about interest on your student loan statement? For many it’s nonsense!

You graduate from uni, ready to face the world – check your student loan statement online and discover £150 a month interest is being added. It’s a frightening prospect. However, for many people this statement and the interest added is irrelevant and may as well be ignored. I’ve often heard it said that all English students in England who...

Tell your MP to fight disgraceful retrospective student loan hike

It’s against all forms of natural justice and good governance. The Government, without asking Parliament, has changed the terms of student loans, long after many students signed up to them – indeed some had already graduated when they did it. More than 130,000 people signed a petition forcing a parliamentary debate on this hike that will cost...

Should you buy euros/dollars now before the EU referendum vote?

The pound has tanked in recent months. Last year £1 bought you as much as €1.43, now it’s just €1.26. Against the dollar, last year’s high was $1.58, now it’s just $1.42. Some of this is on the back of the uncertainty about the EU referendum. Back in March I wrote a blog responding to the huge number of questions about the...

Citizens Advice launches the (gulp) ‘Martin Lewis Fund’

Citizens Advice is an amazing charity of professionals and volunteers who help people with debt, legal, consumer rights and a range of other issues.  This week the organisation is announcing it’s setting up the ‘Martin Lewis Fund’ using money from a recent donation I made, and I thought it’d be good to explain what it’s doing. And...

How to vote in the EU referendum

It’s the biggest consumer decision any of us will ever make. It affects our economy, foreign policy, immigration policy, security and sovereignty. Our vote on whether the UK should leave the EU will reverberate through our lifetimes, and those of our children and grandchildren.   If you’ve already made up your mind how to vote, good. I’m...