Student loan hike: Meeting with Universities Minister to propose mitigation measures

Student loan repayments are being retrospectively hiked from April 2017 – so 100,000s of students and graduates who started uni since 2012 will pay more than they signed up for. In my view, this is against natural justice. So, I’ve been campaigning on it, and today had a meeting with Jo Johnson, Universities Minister, to come up with...

The EU referendum’s hit the pound. Should you buy euros and other holiday currency now for the summer?

Update note 14 June 2016: I wrote this blog in March and the logic still stands (I’ve also speedily updated the products and exchange rates) and if you click the links it takes you through to the current write-ups for each deal. The pound has tanked in recent months. Last year £1 bought you as much as €1.43, now...

A bipolar spree aiming to spend £131 million

A week ago, I announced the launch of the new Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. I’ve set it up to look at a range of measures to prevent the marriage made in hell that is debt and mental illness. You can read full details on what it’s about and what it’ll do here. On the back of it, I’ve...

Tiny – the littlest elephant in the world

Story time is one of the highlights of my day – yet mini MSE won’t let me get away with just reading them out of a book. I have to make up a story on demand (or often repeat an old one she was particularly fond of). Last summer, I wrote down her favourite, my the biggest...

My first year’s fitness-tracker stats: it works, I’ve massively upped my game

On 22 February 2015 Mrs MSE gave me a Fitbit Charge HR. I’d already had a Misfit for a while, but it was one you just clipped on, with no display. So I hadn’t got that into it. Now I’m a year in with the FItbit, I thought it would be useful to quickly compile my observations and stats. ...

Our response to the regulator’s PPI time-bar consultation… it’s a gross injustice!

The regulator the FCA has proposed time limiting PPI claims. Supposedly this is meant to be a boon to consumers. Yet in reality this is just a sop to banks to help them close off the huge liability that their fraudulent selling of PPI has been. The FCA published a consultation document; today is the last day for...

The new personal savings allowance means some will be better off earning LESS interest

Until now for every £100 of interest a basic-rate taxpayer earns outside an ISA, the taxman takes £20. Yet on 6 April, the savings landscape changes.  The new personal savings allowance (PSA) means ALL basic-rate taxpayers will be able to earn £1,000 a year interest on all savings, higher rate £500, tax-free. But within the way this works...

A UK-record 135,000 people switched energy in the MSE collective switch 4

The MSE collective switch 4 closed last Thursday, and we’ve been blown away, bowled over and victim of at least four other clichés by its success. The first three collective switches had seen 67,000, 72,000 and 86,000 people change their energy supplier – and each of those was in turn the UK’s biggest ever. Yet this is...

Is it time to ditch cash ISAs – now that all savings will be tax-free?

In two months’ time there’ll be the biggest savings shake-up for a generation. From 6 April, the new ‘Personal Savings Allowance’ means every basic-rate taxpayer will be able to earn £1,000 interest from all savings without being taxed on it (higher-rate taxpayers get £500).

David Cameron snubs my retrospective student loan hike open letter

Two weeks ago I sent the Prime Minister an open letter about the disgraceful retrospective hike in student loans. Those who started university since 2012 currently repay 9% of everything earned above £21,000 – this threshold was supposed to rise annually from 2017, but the Government has now frozen it. The impact of this is substantial. It...