Tag Archives: saving money

Save money by planning your summer holidays now

Dreaming of a summer holiday?

Dreaming of a summer holiday?

The price of summer package deals is soaring, with places like Mallorca, the Canaries and Portugal in great demand as ‘safe bets’ with a lot of cheaper destinations considered vulnerable to terror attacks. And that’s before you consider the strength of the Euro against the pound.

Google Trends figures show us that web searches for certain hot phrases are higher in January/February now than at any time of the year other than mid-summer, when most people are searching for the best crumbs of what’s left.

The term Package deals was searched more in the week 5-11 February than at almost any time in the previous 12 months, while Flights to Algarve reached a 12-month peak. Other terms to be significantly higher than at other times were Hotels in Spain, Flights to Portugal and Flights to Alicante. 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

Spring clean your finances!

Spring is *finally* now in the air, and it’s time to spring clean your finances!

Spring clean your finances

Spring clean your finances

For many of us thoughts are turning to summer holidays, days out – and numerous other ways to get spending. The days are longer, and there’s a lot of temptation to make hay while the sun (literally) shines.

Review what goes in and comes out
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.

Continue reading

Make it the mother of all Mother’s Days

mothers-day-250This Sunday (6 March) is Mothering Sunday – the day when Mums up and down the country get spoiled rotten, and why not?

Where and why?
Mothering Sunday is said to date back to the 16th century, when worshippers returned to their ‘mother’ church on the fourth Sunday in Lent.

The tradition had begun to fade by the middle of the 20th century, until the influence of American troops in the UK, and within Allied forces, during the Second World War drove a link between Mothering Sunday and the US’s own Mother’s Day, which had been declared a nation holiday in 1914.  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

Around the world in as many days as you like

It’s a dream that many people have – to step away from their everyday lives and travel to the places they’ve always wanted to see.

caravan-in southwestWork and family life can often get in the way but according to a recent Experian survey, travelling is the one thing that most people dream of doing. Indeed, 45.9 per cent of people questioned said they would go travelling if there was nothing to stop them.

Some of the reasons that people gave for not being able to indulge their wanderlust included a lack of finance, motivation, knowledge and confidence. After all, travelling costs a fair bit of money and can take a considerable amount of time and effort to organise.

But is it really as complicated as you think and could you actually be stopping yourself from fulfilling your travelling dream, just because you think making it happen might be too difficult?

Here are a few things to think about that could make that dream become reality. Continue reading

Best Thrifty Blog finalist: Awesome Austerity – My Dream

Morna Macneill’s super blog Awesome Austerity certainly is, as she calls it, “a blog about money-saving, parenting, crafting, baking and anything else I can think of.”  It’s one of the finalists in the Best Thrifty Blog category at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards, held in September.

Experian is delighted to sponsor the Best Thrifty Blog award, which recognises the mum and dad bloggers helping people make savvy financial decisions every day.

morna's family-300We asked Mum of two Morna, a pathologist in her day job. to tell us what her greatest ambition would be if there were no restrictions. She writes for us here about a long-time dream she managed to realise.

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When I was a young thing, I’m sure I could have reeled off a long list of fairly shallow dreams……I’d buy a horse, no, a whole stable, I’d travel the world, I’d engage a personal trainer so I could be really skinny and wear designer clothes. Continue reading

Best Thrifty Blog finalist: Baby Budgeting – My dream

Becky Mads 2013-250Becky Goddard-Hill is a parenting author and blogger, whose main focus is writing about how to have a creative and happy family life on a budget. She writes the popular thrifty parenting blogs Baby Budgeting, Family Budgeting and she writes about interiors at Thrifty Home.

Becky has been blogging since 2008, and lives in Nottingham with her husband Jonny and 2 children Frankie (11) and Annalise (8). She says blogging gives her a great work/life balance.

Baby-Budgeting-logo-300Baby Budgeting is one of the finalists in the Best Thrifty Blog category at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards, to be held in September.

Experian is delighted to sponsor the Best Thrifty Blog award, which recognises the mum and dad bloggers helping people make savvy financial decisions every day.

We asked Becky to tell us what her greatest ambition would be, if there were no restrictions, and how she’d make it a reality.  Here Becky shares her dream with us of making a difference to the world.

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.

Ashes
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.

Wimbledon
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.

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