Monthly Archives: June 2015

Online identity fraud: what you need to know

locked-laptop-300What is it?  Once criminals have enough of your personal details, they can apply for credit in your name and run up debts without you knowing.

Your full name, date of birth, current address and national insurance number, and the passwords and PINs to your bank accounts are among the things they are hoping to get hold of.

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All is quiet on Father’s Day

This Sunday (21st June) is Father’s Day in the UK, so if you’re a dad or buying something for your dad, what are you getting or hoping to get – if anything?

fathers-day-giftFull disclosure here – I’m a dad to a young child, and of course it’s lovely to get a home-made card and a bit of extra-nice good behaviour thrown in. But once you get past that age, does Father’s Day matter? And what should you give?

In March we wrote about Mother’s Day and found that Mintel research reported that Britons spend 53% more on gifts, cards and the like on Mother’s Day than on Father’s Day.

Thankfully, many Father’s Day gifts are no longer the result of last-minute dashes to the larger supermarkets, and picking up some sale-price body spray, tie-and-socks combo or a mid-range electric razor. Continue reading

Get summer sport at a bargain cost

ashes-wicketFor many, a visit to Wimbledon, the Ashes and other grass-kissed sporting events are the essence of the English summer. The idea can seem dauntingly expensive but a little careful planning can make it possible.

The Aussies are here for cricket’s own Clasico – and if you want to see for yourself if England can win the Ashes back, one great way is to hope matches go on until day five, when tickets are available at reduced prices at the gate. Both home Tests against New Zealand went the distance in May 2015, with admission at Headingley on day five just £5.

You could try online, but beware of fakes. GetSafeOnline say that one in ten people in the UK have been victims of a ticketing scam online. Stick with reputable and official sites and look for guarantees that you’ll get a refund or replacement if the ones you buy aren’t genuine.

And if you can’t get to the Ashes, then all summer there’s the NatwestTwenty20 Blast – a great way of spending a sunlit evening after work, or an action-packed afternoon with the family, at a fraction of the cost of a Test match and arguably a lot more fun.

If you want Centre Court tickets at Wimbledon, they’re cheapest at the start of the tournament at £50. A ground ticket however is half the price, during the first week, and means you can see many of the big names on courts three and below for £25.

It’s even cheaper in week two, when there are still many doubles matches, and also the stars of the future, playing on outside courts. Not to mention being able to drink in the atmosphere at ‘Henman Hill’ as Andy Murray plays just the other side of the big screen at no extra cost.

And if you enter the gates after 5pm (which you’d probably have to even if you join the queue by midday), when many of the most nail-biting games are played, it’s cheaper still. 

And there’s more
You can get in to the Open golf championship on the gate for as little as £10 during qualifying, for some of that ‘I was there’ feeling. The British Grand Prix doesn’t come cheap, but Friday-only tickets (£67) can get you entry for less than half the price of race-day itself (£155), with under-16s half price and under-10s free, and you still see the same cars doing the same thing.

Get set for summer costs
One easy way to remind yourself what you already owe and see how well you’re coping, is to look at your Experian Credit Report. As a CreditExpert member you can get expert guidance to help you monitor, understand and improve your overall credit situation. Getting your Experian Credit Score up could open up the potential chance to get better loans – and at better rates.

Helping the young to develop vital money skills

It's never too early to learn about good finance tips

It’s never too early to learn about good finance tips

My Money Week, which runs from 8-14 June, is a national activity week for primary and secondary schools which aims to help young people gain the skills, knowledge and confidence in money matters they’ll need to thrive in today’s society.

It’s the brainchild of the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg), which helps teach children to understand money and how to manage it.

For the past two years Experian has partnered with pfeg on a project to help primary school children improve vital money skills.  In this time, the project has transformed numerous primary schools around the country into national Centres of Excellence for financial education, helping more than 12,000 pupils, parents and teachers improve their money skills. Continue reading

Working out the cost of fitness

cost-of-golf-300As the Great British summer (or what passes for it) comes around again, people are more inclined to get outdoors, take in the fresh air and even get some exercise into the bargain.

And professional sport is often the inspiration – for example the London Marathon, Andy Murray’s heroics at Wimbledon or the Tour de France.  Indeed, according to a survey from Sustrans, last year’s Grand Depart inspired almost a quarter of the UK population to get onto a bike for the first time or to ride one more often.

And after the phenomenal Games in London in 2012, Sport England said that the number of people in England playing sport at least once a week grew by 750,000.

While it’s great news that the nation is getting up and getting moving, the loss of a few pounds around the waist might be offset by the loss of a lot more pounds from your wallet – because it costs quite a bit to get started, or you get carried away and buy all the latest gear. Continue reading

5 ways paying household bills could help get you better credit

Millions of people could now benefit from a credit score boost, as information about some regular household bills is now being included in their credit reports.

Since 2009, millions more records have been added to Experian credit reports from providers of gas, electricity, water and fixed communications services.

These utilities agreements now make up more than 1 in 8 credit accounts on Experian reports, as a result of Experian’s on-going programme to help widen people’s access to credit and other essential services, by helping bill payers present themselves in the best possible light. It also underlines the value of paying regular bills on time.

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