Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mobile Calls Again 1p per Min

Update 21/02/06
The price has now gone upt to 4p min at the time of writing.

Update 3/02/06
Discount Dial Have increased the price to 2p per min.
The dial up number is now 0844 462 19 19.

Original Article
Discount Dial are offering calls to mobiles for 1p per minute.

Dial 0844 861 64 641 then the number eg 07712 345 678 becomes 0844 861 64 641 + 07712 345 678

A bit complicated & again, watch out for price rises.
Related: Free landline Calls, Free Calls: VoIP

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Money Watch: Personal Loans

Fellow Finance Professional Rob Lewis has an excellent Financial Blog, Money Watch.

He has written an article
5 Tips on Personal Loans

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5.6% Personal Loan

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Reduce Home Insurance Premiums I

When you take out a mortgage, the bank/building society normally tries to sell you their Buildings Insurance. (which is compulsory).They will also mention Contents Insurance.

A typical quote will include £35 000 of contents & £7 000 of valuables (basically jewellery).
For most people this is over insurance. Often you are not given the chance to lower the amount insured. This is also true if you try to buy home insurance online. (Alternatively this could be under insurance if you have a lot of valuables....)

Remember, you can get Buildings & Contents Insurance from an IFA (Independent Financial Adviser).
1 They can tweak the value insured…..
2 Also worth considering when you renew your insurance

To be Continued

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Arsene Wenger is insured by Arsenal for £5 million under a Critical Illness Insurance Policy (CIC). What exactly is it?

It insures against the risk of some common illnesses which will make you unable to work. These include

• heart attack,
• cancer,
• strokes,
• multiple sclerosis,
• kidney failure,
• major organ transplants
• coronary artery by-pass surgery

Costs of Critical Illness Cover

With ordinary life insurance about 2.5-3x ordinary life assurance

How does it work

Either pays out a lump sum or provides an income if you are diagnosed as having one of a number of illnesses, including cancer, strokes and heart disease. It will pay out even if you make a full recovery.

Cash resulting from a CIC policy is paid directly to you, unlikemortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI), where the policy is paid direct to your mortgage lender.

More information:
ABI's web site

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How to Obtain your Credit Reference File

Each lender has an individual system for working out your credit risk. They use data from credit reference agencies. The main ones being Experian & Equifax

The agencies collect information from such as banks & building societies. They also add information on County Court Judgements (CCJs) and the electoral register. The different sources are combined to form individual credit reference files

You can obtain these files for £2 by contacting the 2 main agencies

Experian, PO Box 8000, Nottingham N61 5GX

Equifax, PO Box 3001, PO Box 3001, Glasgow

How to Slash your Fuel Bills

Go to a price comparison website & it will shop aoundfor you.
The best one is probably
Simply Switch which pays you £15 to do it for you. The well known site uswitch, doesn’t pay you anything

Martin Lewis did some sums & calculated a typical family can save up to £420. (Would normally recommend his site but his fuel page is out of date)

You can get a more detailed factsheet by
emailing me.

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Related: Free Landline Calls

Monday, January 23, 2006

Lower Your Credit Card Bill

Paying off your credit card bill or coming to the end of a 0% rate period?
Want a better deal? Here's how it's done

1 Have a look in the money part of your newspaper for a better deal, you'll find one.
2 Phone up your credit card company & tell them you want to close your account
3 You'll be a transferred through to a Special Department
4 Tell them about the better deals elsewhere
5 They'll almost certainly offer you a better deal then you currently have
6 Decide whether it's worth it

Remember to pause while negotiating, it shows you can walk away at any time.

Thanks to

Related: 5.6% Personal Loan

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cleverates not so clever

Cleverates have already increased their introductory rate to call mobiles to 3p a minute. The dial up number has also changed to 0844 896 2525 then 00 44 + mobile number. eg 07712 345 678 becomes 0844 896 2525 7712 345 678

All in all a bit of a palaver

The next best is 18185 you need to register online & give your credit/debit card details. It is 5p/min.

5.6% Personal Loan from Cahoot

Cahoot have introduced a new Personal Loan rate of 5.6%.

It is the cheapest rate available for loans between £5000 & £20 000. (at the time of writing)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

3 Things Men Don't Like Admitting

1 They are bad drivers.
2 They are rubbish in bed.
3 They could benefit from some financial advice.

Discuss.....add your comments below

Monday, January 16, 2006

Digg & Wikipedia feature Money Swindon

Digg has featured Money Swindon's Haggling articles (where & when, how to).

Related: Lifehacker Feature, Thrifty Living Feature

ISAs Part 2: Mini & Maxi

ISAs come in 2 flavours Mini & Maxi.
In each tax year you choose whether to have Mini or a Maxi, you can’t have both.
The company supplying your ISA is called your ISA Manager

Here are the differences

Mini: Minimum Age 16 (for Mini Cash ISA)

You can invest your money in either of the following

Cash: up to £3,000
Stocks and shares: up to £4,000

You can have a different ISA manager for each part (Banks forget to tell you….)

Maxi ISAs: Minimum Age: 18

With a maxi ISA, you can mix and match how you spread your money as follows, subject to an overall tax year investment limit of £7,000:

Cash: up to £3,000
Stocks and shares: up to £7,000

You can only pay into one maxi ISA in a tax year and all your investments must be held with the same ISA manager.

ISA Deadline 5 April. Use your Allowance or Lose It!

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Related: ISAs Part 1, Best Share ISAs, Maximise ISA Potential, ISA Deadline 5 April
Banks are Coy About Part 1 , Award Winning Current Account, Financial Advice: 1st Question to Ask

Friday, January 13, 2006


Financial & Consumer
FSA Consumer The Financial Service Authority's Consumer site
Money Watch Personal Finance Blog

No Monkey Business Heavyweight Financial Blog
Price Runner Probably the best of the price comparison sites
Say No to 0870 Freephone Numbers
Tax Blagger Wry Look at Tax & Accountancy

Lifehacker Essential. The one site I visit every day.
Wikipedia The web's encyclopedia

Swindon Businesses
Bannana Productions Corporate & wedding video shoots. DVD mastering

Web Design


Virgin's Insurance Gimmick

Richard Branson's Virgin Money Life is launching a new cancer cover insurance product called The Big V which, it claims, is 45 percent cheaper than standard critical illness cover.

People in the UK have a one in three chance of getting cancer and a one in six chance of getting cancer before the age of 70 according to the Institute of Cancer Research.

However, what Virgin is not telling potential clients is that 85 percent of those who die of cancer are over the age of 65 and would probably not be working anyway.

Be careful....

Thursday, January 12, 2006

What is....Home Insurance?

Home Insurance comes in 2 parts

1 Buildings Insurance: Covers the cost of rebuilding your house.
2 Contents Insurance: Covers the contents of your house.

Building Insurance is compulsory with Mortgages. Lenders insist on it.
Contents Insurance is optional.

Most people however pay way too much

Continued in
Reducing Premiums

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

FAQs: IFAs/Financial Advisers

What does an IFA do?

1 Listen to your present & future financial needs
2 Look at all the products on the market
3 Recommend products suitable for you & your family
4 Will not recommend something you don't need.

What kinds of products?

a Mortgages & Mortgage Insurance
b Buildings & Contents insurance
c Pensions
d ISAs
e Unit Trusts/Investment Trusts/OEICs
f Specialist Insurance

Who can benefit from your services?

Anybody can benefit.

How do they differ from my bank/building society?

They are not tied to 1 company so they can offer products from across the market.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Simply Thrifty Recommends Money Swindon

Frugal Living site Simply Thrifty has also recommended the Money Swindon haggling posts.(3 tips: Where & when to Haggle, 7 Tips: How to Haggle)

It describes itself as: "Learn to live simply, wisely, and with frugality. Simply Thrifty is a blog that appreciates the important things in life"

7 Ways to Beat the Taxman

1 Rent out a Room. You have a tax free allowance of £4 250 per year.

2 ISAs. Invest up to £7 000 per year and your gains are tax free.

3 Use your husband/wife or
civil partner. Divide your assets (shares/property) into both names. Each person has a tax free allowance of £8 500 for Capita gains Tax

4 Invest in Forestry or Classic Cars! There is no Capital Gains Tax

5 Make a will. Die without a will (intestate) & 40% can go to the taxman.

6 Use Tax Credits. Billions of tax credits are unclaimed each year.
More details Tel: 0845 300 3900 or

7 Free money from Pensions. Some employers match your contributions, then the tax man tops it up eg £1000 + employer’s contribition=£2 000+tax=£2 564

Monday, January 09, 2006

ISAs: Tax Free Gains Part 1

ISAs will be heavily promoted by financial institutions in the next few months. Individual Savings accounts (ISAs) are simply savings vehicles which allow you to keep gains without tax being deducted.

Eg you make 5% gain on £1000 you keep everything
Normally you tax would turn it into a 4% gain (standard rate) or a 3% gain (higher rate tax band)

There are 2 basic types:

Mini ISA: Maximum Investment £4 000 per year
Maxi ISA: Maximuum Investment £7 000 per year

To be continued in
Part 2

ISA Deadline 5 April.Use your Allowance or Lose It!

Related: ISAs Part 2: Mini & Maxi, Best Share ISAs, Maximise ISA Potential, ISA Deadline 5 April
Award Winning Current Account, Banks are Coy About Part1, Financial Advice: 1st Question to Ask

Lifehacker recommends Money Swindon

Thanks to the reader who recommended my Haggling Articles (Part1: where & when, Part 2: How to) to Lifehacker.

Page Views went through the roof! Lifehacker is an excellent site with lots of technology & lifestyle tips.

Thrifty Living Recommendation

Thursday, January 05, 2006

"Free" Landline Calls

Want to make “free“ landline calls? Have a BT line?
Then get free calls from
Call 1899. You register online & then pay monthly by credit or debit card.

You pay a 3p connection fee then calls are free to 01 & 02 numbers. at all times.
(The basic BT deal only operates at evenings and weekends plus the connection fee is 5p)

Again Thanks to
Martin Lewis & his newsletters
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Call mobiles 1p/min, Free Calls: VoIP, How to Slash your Fuel Bills

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Banks are Coy About: Part 1

When you see a mortgage or financial adviser at a bank they usually only have their own products or sometimes from a limited (tied) range.

Under legislation, if they don’t have a suitable product for you, they are supposed to tell you & recommend you see an Independent Financial Adviser.

Has this ever happened to anyone?

Top Value Current Account, Award Winning Current Account, Financial Advice: 1st Question to Ask

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Premium Bonds, Better than the Lottery

£1 million is won by 2 people through Premium Bonds every month. Ernie the computer which makes the draw pays out a million prizes every month.

Unlike the Lottery you don’t lose your money, plus you are re-entered into the next months draw. The minimum investment is £100, which you can cash in at any time.

Purchase them at Post Offices,
Online or Tel: 0845 9645000.

Thanks to the