Martin Lewis: An urgent warning for parents paying for childcare…

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 customers’ new £225 a year discount

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)...

Martin Lewis: A warning to first time buyers – you’ve less than a week to decide if your Help to Buy ISA should become a Lifetime ISA (LISA) – some could gain £1,000s

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...

Should you invest in Bitcoin? Four things you need to know

Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency, continues to smash through price barriers, with one Bitcoin this week breaking through the $11,000 mark (then back to $9,000, then who knows what by the time you read this). Some early adopters have made millions and Facebook is now full of adverts to tempt the public to invest their hard-squirrelled cash in it.

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....

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...

When will your student loan be written off?

It’s a question I’m asked all the time. Many know that current students no longer need to repay their loans 30 years after the April following graduation, yet for those who started university before 2012, there are a variety of options. This information has been a long-term part of my Should I repay my student loan? guide (where...

Should you buy euros/dollars now, before the general election?

The pound is still in the doldrums. Even after a slight strengthening on the back of Tuesday’s election announcement it still currently only buys just €1.20. Against the dollar, the rate is just $1.28 – historically very poor.  Update Wed 7 June. This blog was written a couple of months ago, though the principles remain the same....

Should you switch your Help to Buy ISA into a Lifetime ISA?

On 6 April 2017 the new Lifetime ISA launches, allowing first-time buyers aged under 40 to save up to £4,000 a year, with the state adding 25% on top towards a deposit for a home. Yet there’s already a very similar product called the Help to Buy ISA many first-time buyers already have. So the big question is, should you...

An important warning to every employee in the UK

This is a warning for every worker in the UK. Have you turned down a pay rise without realising it? Millions have done or risk doing just that. It happens when your employer ‘auto-enrols’ you into a pension scheme but you decide to opt out – in most cases a huge mistake.