What happened to the £10m I promised to donate to charity?

Update: 3 November 2016: A new version of this blog is now available here: What happened to the £10m (now £20m) I promised to donate to charity? In June 2012 I pledged, as part of the announcement that MSE was joining the MSM group, that charities would receive £10 million. So for transparency’s sake I want to...

Labour’s plan to cut tuition fees to £6,000 is a financially illiterate policy

Labour has long touted that it may cut English tuition fees to £6,000 if elected. Today university chiefs wrote a letter about the proposal that made the front pages, saying that they’d struggle to survive on such a drop of income. Yet as I explained a year ago when it was first mooted, the biggest problem with...

The Lords mustn’t miss the chance to treat payday ads like gambling or alcohol

Payday lenders want to financially groom the next generation of borrowers. They’ve plastered their adverts on children’s TV channels and family TV shows, used puppets and kid-friendly slogans, and even had people in Disney-esque costumes handing out lollipops in the streets. These ads pressurise parents with pester power This is a danger for our entire society. It pressurises parents...

A staggering 10,000,000 now on the Martin’s Money Tips weekly email list – thank you

In 2002 I began to send tips to my friends, as and when I spotted a good deal, and jokingly used the subject line ‘Martin’s Money Tips’. It went to about 40 people and it was only done when I discovered some info I couldn’t use in my then Sunday Express column, or on Open House with...

Morally bankrupt: Payday lender Smart-Pig’s student targeted ad hides its 1,089% APR – I’m reporting it to the FCA and the ASA

While I was getting the lift to the tube over the weekend, I spotted a payday lender advert on the wall. I always scan these things to see how they try and sell their costly wares, and to check out the APR, but this time I couldn’t see it. I looked at the small print. Nope it...

How much is a blank worth at Scrabble?

I’ve been getting the spreadsheet out. Over the weekend Mrs MSE and I played a few games (as we do). In the first two she was rather unlucky that I got both blanks each time, which I think probably turned the game in my favour (just). Thus intrigued, I decided to enter nerdvana and calculate the value...

The Government has sold people out over Erudio student loans

Last December I blogged to put people’s minds at ease over the student loan sell-off. Many had worriedly asked me if there would be big changes and I explained that no, there shouldn’t be as the Government had guaranteed no changes to the loan terms and conditions. Well, I was wrong.  With the benefit of hindsight, the...

My secret life as a BBC reporter (the videos)…

There’s a certain voice you feel you’re supposed to develop as a junior TV news reporter – especially at the BBC. The aim is to deliver the news, without allowing yourself to get in the way of the story.  I’ve just been reminded of my own attempts at this. Thanks to a friend’s recent Googling, it turns...

Get 5% interest on your ISA money

Update: 1 July 2014: ISAs have today transformed into NISAs (New ISAs), meaning everyone can now put £15,000 into cash or shares savings without paying tax on it. But despite this bigger allowance, the principles of this blog still apply. The new cash ISA year started yesterday. Our best pick pays 2.75%, but some bank accounts pay...

The government’s energy changes mean fewer people will switch

The energy regulator Ofgem has today announced it is proposing to refer the energy market to the competition authorities. This report, which is only five years too late, contains the ‘shock’ fact there’s tacit co-ordination on energy prices – even though each year energy firms bleat like sheep and raise prices together. Within the report, a key...