Tag Archives: money-saving

How could recent inflation rises affect us?

Small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down costs Did you know inflation in the UK reached a two-year high in December 2016? We look at how this could affect all of us.

With the weaker pound pushing up air fares and food prices, the cost of weekly shopping and jaunts abroad is on the up, not matter what your budget.

The  Office For National Statistics estimates that a basket of goods and services that cost £100 in December 2015 would have cost £101.60 in December 2016.  They put the rise down to “Price movements for the majority of the broad groups of goods and services.”

*Did you know: the most recent figures show that in 2014 the average food shop was £58.80, which would have meant an extra 50p a week in 2016 with these rises.* Continue reading

Would a missed gym membership payment affect my credit report?

Gym membership and your credit reportIt’s no surprise that gym memberships rocket in January. Resolutions to shed the pounds in the new year are not uncommon, and gyms and fitness centres know full well that a high number of new members will find it hard to keep up their commitment beyond the end of the month, let alone the full year.

Even with introductory offers, gym membership can still be costly if you’re committed for a year upfront and are loathe to cancel.

Spending some time balancing out your income against your outgoings can be beneficial in the long run, and can also make you feel like you’re in control of your finances.  And the start of the year is often a good time to think about if there are any costs you can do without – outgoings you may no longer need or use.   

Besides gym membership, it might be satellite TV channels you never watch.  An extended warranty you didn’t really need to buy. It can all add up! A budget calculator may help you work out if you could live without it.

Would a missed gym membership payment affect my credit report?

Neil Stone from our Social support team says:  We’ve recently been contacted by a worried customer who was being chased by a debt collection agency over a missed gym membership payment and were concerned that it would impact their credit report. Continue reading

5 ways to get a money-saving winter break

Money-saving christmas breakWho wants to spend winter in the sun? It’s fair to say many of us could do with a break – ideally with a bit of sunshine included.

So we’ve put together 5 ways to get away from the cold and wet of a British winter without having to over-splash the cash.

  1. Book at the right time – Online ‘screenscrapers’ can instantly hunt down and compare the cheapest flights, while popular review sites have dozens of useful customer reviews to help you compare hotels and resorts. With package holidays it can pay to book late (as long as you’re flexible), as unsold seats and rooms have to get sold one way or another – and by then it can be a real buyer’s market.
  2. Credit-savvy – While many credit and debit cards charge up to 3 per cent per transaction if you use them abroad, there are specialist credit cards available that don’t charge for overseas cash withdrawals or have no foreign exchange fee. If you do get one of those cards though, make sure you pay the bill off in full when the bill arrives if you can. It’s also advisable to let your lender know you are going abroad, so as to prime them in case it raises suspicion when they see you making large purchases in duty free! Continue reading

5 half term money saving tips

Mother and kids hiking in sunny forestSummer’s gone – and so this October half-term is possibly the last opportunity for some sunshine for a few months.

But all is not lost – with some simple planning, you can entertain the kids and have a great time yourself, without splashing the cash.

  1. For short breaks and days out, you could check voucher websites for useful ‘percentage off’ code campaigns or cashback deals – there are often short-term promotional offers for specific places, dates and times. There are plenty of railcards that could save you money if you use the train a few times, like Family & Friends (up to 4 adults and 4 children) and Two Together (over 16s), or if you get advance ‘exact train’ tickets (just as you would with a plane). Continue reading

Managing debt and future finances – live discussion

Managing debt and future-proofing your finances is a target for many of us.  We hosted a video on June 15th with consumer champion and BBC Dragon Sarah Willingham, Chief Executive of the Money Charity Michelle Highman, and Experian Experts’ own James Jones to provide expert tips on how to beat debt and prepare financially for the future.

The guests spoke about three main topics –
Managing debt – Watch them discuss how and why people get into debt, what the common mistakes are and how we can try to avoid them, and give tips to beating debt and getting back on to an even keel.

Future-proofing your finances – Experian research has shown that the over-55s are worried about their financial future. Our panel discussed how people who fall into that demographic can help ensure they’re prepared for retirement and the probable loss of income that it brings, and also talked about how younger generations can future-proof their finances.

Financial education – The panel also spoke about what parents can do to help ensure they give their children the best start when it comes to financial education.

What do the new pension freedoms mean?

retired-couple-in park-300April 2015 saw the introduction of ‘pension freedoms’, which essentially gave those aged 55 and over wider access to their pension funds.

In previous years, this meant being able to take a quarter of their ‘defined contribution’ pension (ie: one based on how much they paid into it) as a tax-free lump sum, but invariably using the rest of the money to buy an annuity designed to pay out an income each year for the rest of your life.

Video: How we manage money has changed over the generations

Continue reading

7 ways Eurovision has changed over the years

Map of EuropeYes, it’s Eurovision 2016 this weekend –a feast of ‘douze points’, tacky costumes and unfathomable voting decisions which it seems Britain’s entrants never win any more.  

Still every year we watch it: an average of 6.6 million viewers on BBC1 last year, part of an estimated 197 million viewers in 40 countries worldwide.

But for those of us who’ve been watching Eurovision since childhood and the days of Abba, Bucks Fizz and Terry Wogan, like most things in life it’s gone through a whole lot of generational changes in the past 30 years.

1. The number of participants – By 1987 the number of countries taking part had reached 22, which was unofficially set as the limit. However, the fall of the Berlin Wall two years later, and the subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, quickly led to a massive rise in entrants peaking in 2018 with 43 countries. And that’s before Australia were invited to take part last year!

Continue reading

World Book Day 2016

world-book-day-300Did you know that Thursday 3rd March is the 19th annual World Book Day? If you have school-age children you may well be aware, as schools up and down the country will have children parading in fancy dress to represent their favourite books.

It’s encouraging to know that even in the age of instant online, anytime anywhere information, physical books are on the way back into fashion.  Technology comes and goes but it seems that nothing beats the feeling of holding a book, turning the pages and enjoying a more physical experience. Continue reading

6 money-saving tips for travelling by train

OTravelling by train can be one of the most pleasant ways to travel across the country. Sitting back and watching towns and scenery pass by, without having to think about traffic and motorway turn-offs. And there are several ways that you can make sure it stays low cost.

One of the best things about a recent short stay I had in the beautiful city of Bath was the satisfaction of knowing that I’d kept the cost of getting there to a minimum, thanks to advance booking, planning timings and using a railcard.

Here are six ways you could save money on train travel in the UK: Continue reading

All winners at the 2015 MAD Blog awards

Best Thrifty Blog winner Gina Caro with Experian's Jill O'Connor

Best Thrifty Blog winner Gina Caro with Experian’s Jill O’Connor

It was a great night at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards last week as Gina Caro won Best Thrifty Blog, an award sponsored by Experian, for her marvellous Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies blog.

The Mum and Dad (MAD) Blog Awards are the UK’s biggest and most exciting awards for parent blogs, and this was the seventh edition, with around 300,000 nominations being cast from all over the country. Continue reading