19 posts found under,


Valentine’s Day is almost upon us again and every year I struggle to embrace the ‘holiday’. On a material level, I reject the idea because you shouldn’t need a particular day of the year to express your feelings. That said many still use it as an opportunity to ‘give’ something to their partner or loved one. In recent years it’s become equated with buying something. If you have a fair amount of money to spend then buying chocolates, flowers and d [...]

I recently caught up with a friend who invited me out for dinner as her treat. Being my frugal self, I agreed. We chatted on the phone beforehand and she mentioned that she was a mystery diner. From my days in retail, I knew what a mystery shopper was but I had never met a mystery diner. I was intrigued. “We have to order a drink and main course as a minimum. We’re not allowed to order the same thing and you can have up to two alcoholic drinks. I [...]

We’ve all heard of inflation and if we’re savers, we’ll know that watching the rate of inflation (which indicates how much prices have risen and the fall in purchasing value of money) is important as savers: to make sure our savings interest rate beats inflation and to spenders: to understand how much more we’re paying for things. Lifestyle inflation is increasing spending in line with an increase in income. If you drive a three-door Peugeot on a [...]

Credit has a bad name. Mention it and we think of the credit crisis of 2007. Ask your parents or friends about taking out a credit card and they’re likely to gasp and question you. After all, taking out credit is irresponsible. Credit has become associated with living beyond your means, racking up huge debts that you can never repay and the first step towards bankruptcy. It’s true that taking out any form of credit may lead to the above, but the [...]

It’s just over six months since 2014 started and less than six months before we hit 2015. A shockingly low 8% successfully fulfil their New Year’s resolution. According to Scranton University, losing weight and staying fit and healthy feature in the top 10 New Year’s resolutions of 2014. Like these people, I am keen to maintain my fitness and push my body physically by exercising four or five times a week. The problem is, getting fit can often m [...]

Recently, I shared with you how I review my portfolio. I’ve been saving regularly for the past ten years and have been more than frustrated by the low rates that we’ve been stuck with since 2009. Mark Carney also announced that the Bank of England base rate will stay low and not be raised until the rate of unemployment drops. Most are predicting that we’re stuck with this lousy rate for another three years. For those with a mortgage this is good [...]

Kirstie Allsopp recently penned an article titled Getting on the property ladder has never been easy. In summary, she argues that “young first-time buyers (FTBs) are losing the concept that they need to make sacrifices to get on the property ladder”. There’s no doubt that I agree you can’t do every thing to your heart’s desire and at the same time save for a deposit on a property. A lot of her arguments fail to recognise issues faced by many youn [...]

Checking your credit rating is like going to the STD clinic – sometimes you’ll have a hunch that you’ve done something stupid beforehand, and sometimes you genuinely won’t. Either way, you won’t know you’re in the clear until you make the effort to get checked out. And you should do it sooner rather than later. Last week MM posted about what to do if you’ve been rejected for credit. Staying on that topic, I’m now going to talk about my personal e [...]

In February 2013, I will be moving a significant amount of my savings to pay off my credit card debt. I’ve been using this credit card since October 2011 and it was my first credit card that I didn’t pay off in full every month. Why didn’t I pay it off in full every month? Because this credit card only charges interest when you don’t make the minimum repayment each month. At the end of 15 months it will revert to the usual 19.9% APR interest rate [...]