Financial abuse – the hidden storyline

Whether a stabbing was the best cliffhanger for the domestic abuse storyline on Radio 4’s The Archers is still being hotly debated. But for us at Money Fight Club the screaming and the violence mask a more pernicious and malevolent type of abuse that leaves no bruises but scars its victims in ways that may never heal. Financial abuse Financial abuse can start quite subtly and often masquerade as sensible money management. Sharing the bills and sharing a bank account can make perfect financial sense for couples saving for a home. Cutting up credit cards or curbing independent spending decisions […]

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Fuel prices – measly reductions just add to the confusion

The final two members of the Big Six energy suppliers, British Gas and EDF, have announced that they will reduce gas prices by… wait for it… a measly 5.1% and 5%, respectively, from next month. The six have all reduced their prices in a narrow range (from 5% to 5.4%), with the first reductions on February 1 and the last ones coming in on March 31. Yet wholesale gas prices fell a whopping 57% last year. The energy giants always say that they buy their gas or oil years ahead of selling it on to us – pre-buying – and […]

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E.on and Age UK in the hot seat

Some 50 gas and electricity fixed rate tariffs will have expired in the two months to the end of February 2016. Customers are supposed to be told by their supplier what is their cheapest new tariff. Yeah right… E.on and Age UK As the story breaks today about Age UK allegedly earning millions each year to recommend one of E.on’s less attractive tariffs, it seems – yet again – that suppliers do not want us to save money (or, at least, as much as they want to make money for themselves). What should happen… and does Customers nearing the end […]

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The money diet challenge

We’ve been talking a lot recently about how easy it is to confuse a “want” with a “need”. The fact is we need very little – food, water, somewhere to shelter and rest. Everything else is a want (yes, even new shoes and fast cars). Christmas spending is just around the corner (Black Friday, identified as a pre-festive spending peak, will take place on November 27 this year), so how can we get fighting fit and avoid wasting money on purchases that don’t really bring us any real, lasting benefit (or joy)? Welcome to the money diet challenge The aim […]

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Why spending money feels good

There are various ways of slicing and dicing consumers according to their psychological profiles. Instant gratifiers and deferred gratifiers is one broad cut. Deferred gratifiers are prepared to wait. Instant gratifiers less so. Fine when it comes to chocolate, more of an issue when it comes to high end consumer durables and credit cards. Why spending money feels good Chocolate and money are not so very different in terms of the impact they have on our brains. Think about our response to chocolate as it melts in our mouths… Long before chocolate has actually started to act on our body […]

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New rights in time for Christmas shopping

From today we all have new rights under the Consumer Rights Act.  This new legislation bolsters the Sale of Goods Act and should make it easier for all of us to get a better deal if something we pay for is faulty.  The new shopping rights arrive just as the shops get busy for Christmas. But it will still be up to us to shop well as there will be plenty of cowboys trying to pass off substandard goods to the unwary.  It will also be up to all of us to use these new shopping rights whenever something goes […]

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Insurance renewal beware v.2

For the second time in a month an insurance company has tried to rip me off with its auto renewal notice.  Hundreds of thousands of other drivers are likely to be at risk of being caught out. Now that car owners have to insure a vehicle whether it is used or not, unless they provide a statutory declaration that it is off the road and will not be driven, the motor insurance companies provide the helpful service of auto renewal to make sure none of us fall foul of the law. Insurers take the opportunity to rip us off The […]

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Packaged bank accounts – insurance you don’t want

Many years and billions of pounds of compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) later, customers are still being sold insurance they do not want. This week the Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO) revealed that just over half of its new complaints are still from people who were sold PPI that they did not need.  THE FSO also revealed that non-PPI complaints were up by 45% in the first half of the year. And the star performer in the complaints hit parade was packaged banks accounts. These accounts cost anything from £2 a month to £25 and offer insurance for travel, […]

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Cut home insurance costs – in minutes

I’m worth £600 an hour My time became worth £597.84 per hour this week when I challenged the price that my home insurer was planning to charge for my contents and buildings insurance. The policy is due for renewal at the end of August. It would be renewed automatically (auto renewal). It’s not a bad thing to set up, just in case, say,  you were away on holiday and forgot to get the policy renewed before departing, or had a family emergency and were distracted. Auto renewal means you are never without cover. Don’t wait for your insurer But you […]

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Get down and give us 10! Training to be money smart

If you’ve read the Money Fight Club book you already know that every chapter starts with an inspirational quote, most from boxers. As  the great Ali once said: “I’m a fighter. I believe in the eye-for-an-eye business. I’m no cheek turner. I got no respect for a man who won’t hit back. You kill my dog, you better hide your cat.” Wise words and just as applicable to your finances as your potential prowess in the ring. But, for the purposes of this blog, we want to focus on another quote in the book; from Smokin’ Joe Frazier: “You can […]

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