Premium Bond rate boosted from 1.15% to 1.4% – should you pile in?

They’re Britain’s favourite savings product. The 21 million people with just over £70 billion saved in Premium Bonds will be delighted to hear that in under a fortnight’s time, the prize fund will increase from 1.15% to 1.4% – so your chance of winning per £1 bond will improve from 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 24,000....

British Gas customers – there’s a hidden way to cut £130+ off your bill…

British (and Scottish) Gas is the UK’s biggest energy supplier, serving over 10m homes. And no surprise for a provider still benefitting from its past monopoly advantage, it ain’t cheap! After all, why should it be – many of its customers stick with it, price hike after price hike, bill after bill. Currently though, there is a...

Is cash dead? 4 reasons you shouldn’t use it…

Cash is dead! Long live plastic (and I’m not talking about new fivers and tenners). I always try to pay on a card – as it’s like wearing a piece of invisible financial armour – and I want to urge you to consider the same. While cash feels real, and convenient, it’s risky. A woman once sent me...

A year ago Santander 123 halved its interest to 1.5% – now most should consider ditching it

Update Note: 12/12/2017. I wrote this blog just before November’s base rate rise, predicting then UK rates would rise and Santander 123 wouldn’t follow. Well UK rates did rise, and Santander’s confirmed it won’t follow. So everything below still stands. Some of the alternative accounts and rates have shifted slightly, but most are pretty similar – just click...

Warning: Parents with 2+ children who’ll go to uni, SAVE NOW, the system’s biased against you

The entire premise of our current student finance system is supposed to be “you don’t need cash to pay upfront to go to university!” Yet these days that’s simply not true.  Many parents, especially those with more than one child, will need a war chest of possibly £10,000s. This isn’t about tuition fees. University fees are automatically...

The secret of how to pick your new energy provider from a list of firms you’ve not heard of

Comparing energy tariffs is easy. Yet as I’ve learnt over the last year, it’s picking your new supplier from a list of unknown names that is putting many off. So I wanted to bash out a quick blog to show you how to navigate through that. The majority of people in the UK are overspending on energy...

Are student loans broken? What I told Uni Minister Jo Johnson

If you read the papers you’d think the answer is a clear cut yes. I too agree, to an extent. Yet the most commonly quoted problems tend not to be what worries me most, and the things least mentioned can hurt.    On Tuesday, MSE organised an event at the Tory party conference, where I debated this subject...

Have you been Plevined? A new rule means just having had PPI means you are due money

Have you been Plevined? I ask that question in the almost certain knowledge that most people reading this won’t have a clue what I’m on about. Yet the answer is YES for millions, and if so that means you’re owed big money. At the end of August, the financial regulator the Financial Conduct Authority launched a two-year...

Why cutting the student loan interest rate will only help richer graduates…

This weekend the papers have been mooting that Theresa May’s Government is looking to cut the English and Welsh student loan interest rate – now at a 6.1% headline rate for those who began uni in or after 2012 – in order to appeal to the youth vote. I find this frustrating. Not because I object; I’ve...

Five things EVERY student and their parents should know

Fear grabs votes and makes headlines. Sadly, though, both sides’ political spin and spittle over student finance have resulted in widespread rampant misinformation – and it’s got worse again this year.  So with a new academic year about to start, my message to students and their parents is simple – forget the politics – ensure you understand...