Martin Lewis: A glimmer of hope for excluded new-starter self-employed

In March, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Chancellor was rightly lauded for putting together decades' worth of financial support measures in days. Millions of people, then and since, have had their incomes covered in a desperate time. Yet that has created a society of the helped and helped-nots. Up to three million people have been excluded from specific support schemes.

Martin Lewis: Payment holidays coming to an end – but should you take one? Mortgages, credit cards, loans, payday loans, car finance and more

Update Tue 3 Nov: Payment holidays extended. Since the announcement of the second English lockdown from Thu 5 Nov, the financial regulator the FCA, is set to extend payment holidays for mortgages, and likely credit cards, loans, car finance and more across the UK. I have put updates to the original blog in red below. 

Is it time to ban 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: Working from home due to coronavirus, even for a day? Claim a year's worth of tax relief

If your employer requires you to work at home, you can – and always have been able to – claim for increased costs due to working from home, eg, heating and electricity.

Martin Lewis: How much the Govt expects parents to give their children while at university 2020/21

The new university term is starting for many, and millions of supposedly independent students will be heading off. In fact, though the system doesn't say students are independent, the system incorporates an expected 'parental contribution' to their finances. 

Martin Lewis: I confess, I did a 'decoy effect' experiment on my Twitter and Facebook followers… and it may be why they're buying more Jaffa Cakes

Behavioural economics is a powerful science. Some retailers are undoubtedly using it to make us pay more to get less. One element is the 'decoy effect' – where a higher-priced item is sold, to make items next to it look like bargains. So I wanted to do a little experiment to test it.

Martin Lewis: Money and mental health 2019/20, what a year - 'Stop the Charge', 'Mental Health Accessible' and Covid…

In 2016, I founded the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity. It very quickly established itself as the go-to institute for trying to divorce the marriage made in hell that is debt and mental health issues.  

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

The PPI deadline may have passed, but if you're one of the millions of people who have reclaimed part of the £37,500,000,000 paid out so far, or you're one of those 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.

Martin Lewis: My Coronavirus Fund – £3.4m donated to 415 charities – how we selected, who got it, and some thanks

We've just agreed the final payments for my Coronavirus Poverty Emergency Fund. The total distributed is £3,414,143 to 415 small local charities (or organisations with charitable status). That's an average of over £8,000 per charity. For transparency, I want to run through how we organised, selected the charities, and where the money has gone. I hope this may also help others planning similar things in future.

I'm making £1.9m available to fund urgent small-charity coronavirus poverty relief

We face an unprecedented challenge to our health, economy, businesses, personal finance and way of life. And many of those who normally help society – our charities – are going to face similar pressures right now too.