Update Wed 14 Mar – childcare voucher deadline extended. Parliament has just voted to extend the deadline for joining the Childcare Vouchers scheme by around six months (no final end date is confirmed). It’s still worth following the logic of the original info below to decide which scheme is best for you though (but I haven’t updated it...
British Gas is the UK’s biggest energy firm, and millions of customers stick with it through thick and thin, even if they know they can get much cheaper deals elsewhere (as I constantly nag about). Yet right now there’s a route that enables existing British Gas direct debit customers, who use dual fuel (ie, gas & electricity)...
Student loans are a political hot potato and widely misunderstood. I recently blogged on why, bizarrely, cutting tuition fees risks hurting not helping most graduates and within the logic of that I explained it is predicted that 83% of university leavers under the newest English system won’t repay their loans in full within the 30 years before they wipe....
For those saving for a first-time residential property, Help to Buy ISAs and Lifetime ISAs are no-brainers, as an unbeatable 25% bonus is added as well as interest. In other words you get an extra £250 per £1,000 saved towards any mortgage. Yet as you can only get the home-buying bonus on one of them, you need to pick which is...
The news again has been full of talk about cutting English tuition fees from £9,250 to, say, £6,000. While psychologically attractive – as it reduces the perceived ‘debt’ – the practical impact is to take money off universities, risking the quality of education, and handing it to very high-earning graduates. I bashed out this explanation on my...
I’m obsessed with fitness tracking statistics. I’ve just checked and I did 9,278,393 steps in 2017 – a ridiculous amount. So much so that this year one of my resolutions is to do a little fewer, as getting these steps has taken over my life to an extent. So I thought it worth bashing out the stats,...
So what piqued your interest most in 2017? I asked the MSE data team to let me know what my top 10 most read blogs were for the year. Now, of course, these aren’t the most read things on MSE – just the bits of my musings you most picked up on. At a vain attempt to...
We live in one of the world’s most competitive consumer economies. Companies spend billions of pounds on advertising, marketing and teaching their staff to sell. Yet consumers don’t get buyers’ training. Financial education is crucial to address this misbalance. I was delighted to be part of the campaign that put financial education on the English national curriculum...
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 (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...
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12 September 2023
11 September 2023Update 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...
4 September 2023The 2023 academic year is about to start, and it'll see the biggest shake-up to student finance in England for a decade. The changes are both subtle and massive. On the surface they look like a tweak, in practice they will increase the eventual cost of going to university by over 50% for many typical graduates.