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

The best financial advice I heard in 2016

financial planningThere’s nothing quite like the end of the year for taking stock of your finances, and budgeting for the year ahead.

So to help us out, we asked some of our favourite finance and budgeting bloggers to tell us the best financial advice they’d had this year.

Cass from family blog Diary Of A Frugal Family told us: “This year I’ve found out that changing energy suppliers is so much easier than I thought it would be. 

I’d been putting it off for ages because I thought it would involve lots of time and energy for not very much return but it took me a total of about 10 minutes and I saved enough each month for a treat takeaway. ;-)” 

Nicola, who runs budgeting blog The Frugal Cottage, has this to say: “When you invest, you are always going to take a risk. However, if you’re in it for the long term, then ignore the ups and downs that happen daily and enjoy the ride.”

And Francesca From Pennies To Pounds told us she’d learned this year that: “You can only squeeze so much out of your budget – earning more money should be one of the key focuses when you are paying off debt or working towards a financial goal.” Continue reading

Autumn Statement 2016: a summary

The Chancellor announced his first (and last) Autumn Statement on 23 November, and some of the main focuses were in housing, allowances and infrastructure.

We went into the streets to ask what people would do if they were chancellor. Watch the video to find out!

The main headlines – a brief summary

Housing

A £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund is to unlock land for housing, which in doing so is set to create 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand.  There’s also a further £1.4bn to build 40,000 affordable home, as well as a new venture that aims to give the Right to Buy for housing association tenants.

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How well do you know yourself?

How well do you know yourself? We decided to try and find out, one day last month in Nottingham.

And it turns out that while there’s a lot we do know about ourselves, one thing not many of us know is our credit score.

We set up a booth where people could pop in and answer some simple questions in our quiz – but one question above all foxed them.  Watch the video to find out how and why!

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Black Friday? What’s that all about?

Black Friday and Cyber MondayChristmas shopping season is about to really get into gear.  Black Friday (November 25th) and Cyber Monday (28th) book-end a long weekend of huge online discounts aimed at tempting Christmas shoppers. 

These two imports from the USA – the Friday after Thanksgiving and the Monday that follows – combine heavily discounted ‘physical’ shopping ins-store with widespread online deals.

And now Amazon.co.uk are beginning their Black Friday over a week earlier than the ‘official’ day, by featuring special offers online on large-ticket and luxury products every day now until 25 November.

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7 ways to handle the Cost Of Christmas

friends-shopping-xmas-300“Christmas is a-coming, the geese are getting fat…” goes the old festive rhyme. The one thing that probably isn’t getting fat when it comes to Christmas, however, is your wallet. 

Last year it was expected that households would spend, on average £796 on Christmas – with £596 going on gifts, £159 on food and drink and £41 on cards, trees and decorations.

Read more
: Black Friday – what’s all that about?

Depending on the size of your family and friends, and on how generous you are, it’s quite possible that you spend more than this every Christmas. And this doesn’t even take into account the cost of going out, and the endless round of parties. Continue reading

A new US President: what about our finances?

If you’re planning to get a new card for your holiday spending, check your Experian credit report before applyingNow that the US presidential election has reached its conclusion, what does a victory for Donald Trump mean for UK and global finances?

A Clinton win had been on the cards for some time, but Trump’s victory surprised many all over the world.

Before election day
After she was cleared earlier in the week by the FBI of criminal wrongdoing with regard to emails, the dollar immediately rose in value, with US markets easing back on risk-aversion measures. Continue reading

Experian CreditExpert has a mobile app

Did you know we now have a mobile app for CreditExpert members? Yes, that’s right – you can now use CreditExpert on the go to see your Experian Credit Score and a whole lot more.

How to use the CreditExpert app

If you’re an active CreditExpert member, you can get quick access to key important information from your Experian Credit Report, see your Experian Credit Score and get alerts to certain changes to your report.

To see a full score history for the last 6 months you must have had an active account and logged in at least once a month.

It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later), as well mobile phones that run on Android 4.0.3 and up. At the moment it is not yet available for tablets. All you have to do is download the app on either iTunes or Android.

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What’s the average Experian Credit Score where you live?

Average Experian Credit Score in Edinburgh What’s your Experian Credit Score?  We wanted to see if there were any significant differences in the average Experian Credit Score in different UK cities – from a variety of locations.

The Experian Credit Score runs from 0-999, and usually a higher score means you’re seen as lower risk, which means you could be more likely to get a credit card, a loan or a mortgage, and at better rates too.

You may have seen some of our posters beside major roads, or if you’re in London, on tube platforms. If you have, I hope you saw your local area listed!

We looked at the average Experian Credit Score in ten of the largest local authority areas outside of London, based on Experian customers who joined between January and September 2016. Continue reading