Save money

  • How is the current financial state of the UK impacting individuals?

    We hear about the economic state of the country daily, but what happens when you look into it at a granular level? Different people will be impacted in different ways during these times and it’s important to have an awareness of how you can support not only your loved ones and others around you, but also yourself.

    Increased costs of living

    Understandably, the rising cost of living has been on the tip of everybody’s tongues. Consumer prices were 10.1% higher in January 2023 than one year before, which has caused serious problems for people across the country. The rising inflation rate has stemmed from several factors, like the increasing cost of energy, road fuel, food and consumer goods, all of which has been tied in with supply chain issues and rising demand. Energy prices in particular were exacerbated by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

    An impact on people’s health

    These societal influences are impacting the general public in more ways than one. While the financial squeeze is evident, so is the toll it’s taking on people’s mental health. 

    There’s a clear link between economic downturn and the public’s mental health. This might range from poor mental health due to the stress of increased financial pressures, from paying energy bills to seeing the weekly food shop increase in price. A large proportion of this stress stems from those worried about being able to support and provide for others during these times. 

    Aside from this, physical health problems can also arise, particularly in response to a reluctance to turn on the heating with bills at the current level. Mould and damp can exacerbate underlying health issues and even create new respiratory issues and impact the immune system. 

    Getting through the tricky times

    Remaining financially astute during times of economic downturn is important. This might look like saving where possible by cutting back on usual luxuries, or it might look like improving your credit score to assist with purchasing a home

    Whatever your financial goals, try to consider all the possible routes to securing them while navigating the current scenario. Diversifying your income where possible may also help. Consider whether you can run any side hustles alongside your main job so that more money is coming in each month. 

    Remain optimistic

    Despite the current situation in the UK, there is still hope. Recession and poor economic conditions follow a cycle, which means they won’t last forever. Remain diligent, look out for loved ones and keep hopeful – you’ll be out the other end soon. If you need to seek help from someone outside your circle, remember to seek help from your GP or through charities like Mind and Samaritans.

  • Why Consider a Debt Arrangement Scheme?

    Debt is a common problem for many people, and it can feel overwhelming and never-ending. However, there are solutions available to help manage and eventually eliminate your debts. One such solution is a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS). In this article, we will discuss what a DAS is and why it is worth considering if you are struggling with debt.

    What is a Debt Arrangement Scheme?

    A Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a government-backed debt management program that is available to residents of Scotland. The purpose of the scheme is to help people who are struggling with debt to repay their debts in a more manageable way. The DAS allows individuals to make a single monthly payment towards their debts, which is then distributed to their creditors on a pro-rata basis.

    The DAS is a voluntary scheme, which means that creditors do not have to agree to it. However, if a DAS is approved, all creditors are legally bound to the terms of the agreement. This means that they cannot take any further action against you for the duration of the scheme, as long as you keep up with your payments.

    Why consider a Debt Arrangement Scheme?

    There are several reasons why you may want to consider a Debt Arrangement Scheme if you are struggling with debt.

    1. It is a formal debt solution

    The DAS is a formal debt solution that is backed by the Scottish government. This means that it is a legitimate way to manage your debts, and it is recognized by all creditors. By entering into a DAS, you can demonstrate that you are taking your debt problem seriously and are committed to resolving it.

    2. It can protect you from legal action

    If you are struggling with debt, you may be at risk of legal action from your creditors. This can include actions such as wage arrestments or property repossessions. However, by entering into a DAS, you can protect yourself from these actions. Once a DAS is approved, your creditors cannot take any further action against you, as long as you keep up with your payments.

    3. It can reduce the stress of managing multiple debts

    If you have multiple debts, it can be difficult to keep track of them all and ensure that you are making the necessary payments on time. By entering into a DAS, you can consolidate all of your debts into a single monthly payment. This can reduce the stress of managing multiple debts and make it easier to keep track of your finances.

    4. It can reduce your monthly payments

    One of the key benefits of a DAS is that it can reduce your monthly payments. By consolidating your debts into a single monthly payment, you may be able to negotiate lower interest rates or reduced payments with your creditors. This can make it easier to manage your finances and reduce the overall amount of debt that you owe.

    5. It can help you become debt-free

    The ultimate goal of a Debt Arrangement Scheme is to help you become debt-free. By making regular payments towards your debts, you can gradually reduce the amount that you owe. Once you have repaid your debts in full, you will be debt-free and can start to rebuild your financial future.

    How to apply for a Debt Arrangement Scheme?

    If you are interested in applying for a Debt Arrangement Scheme, you should contact a licensed Money Advisor. They will be able to provide you with more information on the scheme and help you to determine whether it is the right solution for your needs. If you decide to proceed with a DAS, your Money Advisor will help you to complete the application and will liaise with your creditors on your behalf.

    If you’re interested – find out more about a debt arrangement scheme


    Debt can be a stressful and overwhelming problem, but it is important to remember that there are solutions available to help manage and eventually eliminate your debts. 

  • Smart Financial Moves to Make in Your 20s

    One of the biggest regrets that adults have is often not developing smarter financial habits when they were younger. It can become a lot easier to improve your long-term financial situation and develop positive habits in your 20s, so what are some of the best financial moves to make during this time of your life? Keep reading to find out.

    Create Good Money Habits

    First, you want to try and create positive habits that you can continue into adult life – the earlier that you start these, the better. This should include saving as much money as you can into your pension so that your pot has plenty of time to grow and compound. It is also a good idea to continue to an emergency fund that can cover between 3 and 6 months’ worth of expenses. An emergency fund can provide important financial cover, but it can also provide a great deal of reassurance (which is especially helpful during challenging economic periods like this).

    Pay Off Debts

    You do not want to have debt following you around for life, so it is a good idea to prioritize debt clearance in your 20s and then to try and stay out of debt (having an emergency fund could be key for this). You should pay off high-interest debt first and adjust your budget so that you can clear debt sooner rather than later. If you are due a large amount of money like an inheritance, you could look into a probate loan that would allow you to clear your debt much faster. 

    Budget Your Spend

    Budgeting is a great way to control your spending and improve your financial situation – starting this in your 20s could make a big difference to your finances for life. You want to calculate your total take-home income and then list all of your regular expenses. One of the best ways to create a budget is to designate a percentage of this income to different pots, such as rent/mortgage, car costs, bills, food, savings and non-essential spending. You can then go through your regular expenses and look for ways to cut back so that you have enough to go into each pot each month.

    Spend Money on What Enriches You

    It is certainly important that you spend money on yourself and have a good time in your 20s, but you should also look for ways to spend money to improve your life in the future. You can invest in yourself with courses and qualifications, hiring a career coach, gym membership and even things like a good bed and mattress can make a difference to the rest of your life. 

    Hopefully, this post will give you a few ideas and encourage you to make smart financial decisions now that will benefit the rest of your life.

  • How to save money in the kitchen

    Not many people are aware of how much money their kitchen consumes, but it’s surprisingly high. From higher-than-expected gas bills due to using the oven frequently to eye-watering water bills and an expensive weekly shop, our humble kitchen requires a great deal of monetary input for it to function properly.

    Many of you will be noticing this more recently, due to the cost-of-crisis. Luckily, there are ways to save money in the kitchen, be that switching to more efficient appliances to growing your own food at home. Here’s everything you need to know about running an affordable kitchen. 

    Use your microwave or air fryer instead of the oven 

    Ovens are major culprits when it comes to expensive bills. By turning on your oven for short periods often, you are using much more gas or electricity than you thought, and you’ll be hit with a shocking bill at the end of it. 

    By switching to an air fryer, you could save up to 50% of your energy usage. Some air fryers allow you to fry an entire meal in one go, and thanks to them needing little to no oil, they also offer a healthier alternative. 

    Don’t underestimate your microwave either. Ingredients like potatoes that take a long time to fully cook in the oven, can be done in a fraction of the time in a microwave. 

    Grow your own vegetables

    Growing your own vegetables is a no brainer if you’re trying to reduce your shopping bill. For those lucky enough to have their own garden or allotment, you can grow all kinds of fruits and vegetables according to the season and enjoy a plentiful yield month after a month. 

    To enjoy an even bigger crop, protect your vegetables from hungry eyes by installing some fruit cages that keep the foxes, rabbits and snails at bay. 

    Save leftovers and store your food correctly

    Did you know that the average UK family wastes £470 a year on food? That could feed you for almost an extra month! Avoid wasting your food by packaging leftovers in sealed boxes and storing them in the fridge for lunch the next day. 

    Vegetables are also notoriously difficult to keep fresh. To make them last longer, employ simple tricks like removing them out of the plastic bags or cling film you bought them in. These create moisture and encourage mould to grow. They also give vegetables like mushrooms an unpleasant, slimy texture. 

    Salad is also a tricky beast, so try storing it submerged in water. Not only will this make it last longer, but you also won’t get the wilted leaves that signal for many consumers that it needs to be thrown away.

  • Three Savvy Tips for Saving on Tax

    The cost-of-living crisis continues to exact a heavy toll on many of us up and down the country, as the price of energy and common household items alike remain high against stagnated wages. Naturally, efforts to minimise outgoing expenses have increased across the board, whether in cutting down daily costs or finding new routes to saving.

    One key consideration when thinking about saving is tax. There are loads of routes by which taxation can impact our financial situation, whether our income tax bracket or the tax applied to savings and gains outside of employment. What follow are just a few ways you could think about your own tax obligations, and ways in which they might be reduced to create a little more money in your pocket.

    Use Your ISA Allowance

    Firstly, each of us have something called a ‘personal savings allowance’, which dictates how much interest we earn on savings remains tax-free. It is a negligible concern for many on the lower end of the wage scale, or with minimal savings, but amounts to £1000 in tax-free interest – something worth considering if you have savings over £10,000.

    But, separately to your PSA, you have another kind of allowance, relating to the use of Individual Savings Accounts, aka ISAs. ISAs are vehicles that enable you to keep interest or stock gains tax-free, outside of your PSA. How efficient this is on top of your PSA depends on your specific financial situation, but a tax guide can be a useful route to planning how each allowance works for you.

    Double-Check Your Tax Code

    Your tax code describes how much your income is taxed by HMRC. The code itself comprises letters and numbers, each of which stand for specific situations, or eligibility for certain allowances. This is usually fine to leave alone, but can sometimes be subject to change – and could be costing you money.

    This is especially important if you have recently changed jobs or industries, where shifts in either salary or average hours can have relevant impacts on your income. In these circumstances, an emergency tax code can be used to tax you beyond your personal allowance. By ensuring your tax code is rectified, you can have the excess tax money rebated and continue on with a lower, correct tax obligation.

    Maximise Your Pension Contributions

    This tip is a doubly effective in addressing your finances, being an efficient route to long-term security in two distinct ways. Your pension is extremely powerful as a financial instrument, especially if you’re a salaried worker. 

    Your employer has a legal obligation to pay at least 3%’s worth of your wage into your pension each month, on top of your own contributions. Not only do you enjoy this significant top up, but also tax relief – either ‘net’ or ‘at source’. Net relief happens where your pension is deducted from your payslip before tax, reducing your taxable income and increasing your take-home pay in the short-term. At-source relief occurs where pension providers claim back Income Tax from the government, and add it to your pension balance.

  • 5 Budget Boosting Money Saving Tips

    These days, money is too tight to mention. The costs of pretty much everything is on the way up, and showing no signs of stopping. Here are some budget-boosting tips to help you find a little more each month to make the ends meet or build up some savings for the future.

    Make Some Sensible Changes

    Every day we spend money when we shouldn’t. There are probably at least one or two things you buy on nearly every trip you take to the shop that you do not need to, or when there are better value options available. If you are a smoker, for instance, you could switch to vaping for a much cheaper alternative. Grey Haze has a huge range of vape pens, including the ever-popular elf bars, that could be smarter and better value alternatives to your regular tobacco products.  

    The same is true with food and beverages. There are many cheaper alternatives that are just as good, if not better, than the brands and products you buy. Take a long hard look at your regular spending in shops and supermarkets. There are probably many places you could save a few pennies or pounds here and there, which will all add up every week. Small savings should never be overlooked. You will be surprised how quickly just a few pounds can add up to a significant saving over time.

    Streamline Your Subscriptions

    Many people have signed up for multiple subscriptions which can be for streaming media services, coffee pods, toothpaste, and even boxer shorts. They may all seem like they are excellent value on the face of it, but once you have them all running at once, you might find they are a major drain on your finances. Streamlining them and putting some on pause or cancelling them all together will give you extra money every month.

    You do have to be a little ruthless. It is easy to become addicted to the ease of apps like Spotify or Netflix, but there are alternatives out there, and many of them are free. You can also search around for deals that can save you money without losing one of these services. If you are a Sky TV subscriber for instance, they may be able to offer you a Netflix subscription as part of your package. Alternatively, you could cancel your Sky TV subscription and just stick to Netflix instead. Look at all your options and work out the best balance between cost and convenience for you.

    Start Switching Your Suppliers

    Whether it is gas, electricity, car insurance, or broadband internet supply, there is a lot of competition for your business. It is easy to leave your direct debits alone and just stick with the same suppliers for all these things and more, but they will slowly creep up the costs while keeping the service the same. Why should you pay more for the same service? Take advantage of the competitive market and do some comparisons online to seek out better value providers for everything you can think of.

    Make sure you check your current contracts. You may face a financial penalty for switching suppliers suddenly, and this will change the maths. Energy suppliers are a good example of this. They will often charge a customer £25-£50 per fuel for switching while in their existing contract. These are called exit fees. Usually, if you have had a supplier for longer than 12 months, you will not have to pay any exit fees to make a switch. Some broadband providers can have these fees too. Before you click to make a switch, make sure you have found out if you will be liable for a financial penalty from your current suppliers.

    Manage Your Debt

    Most people have some form of debt on their books. It could be an overdraft, a credit card, or some form of micro-financing that helps to pay for big purchases like an arrangement with Klarna or Clearpay. These are all convenient ways to pay for things, but convenience comes at a price. The price is often interest charges that are essentially money for nothing for the bank or creditor that you have your agreement with. Every week or month, you are paying them money out of your account and getting nothing for it.

    If you want to ensure some long term savings, you need to take a long hard look at your finances and find ways to pay off any debt more quickly. The sooner the debt is paid the sooner the interest payments go away, and you will have more money in your pocket. Consider refinancing your debt too. This can be useful if you can make a new arrangement that consolidates all of your debt into one lower payment. This can give you back more of your money every month. New debts will take longer to pay off, but if you have more money in your pocket, you will be a little more financially flexible.

    Change Your Mobile Phone Deal

    If you want to get serious about saving money, you are going to have to change the way you pay for and use your mobile phone. Keeping the latest smartphone in your pocket year after year is incredibly expensive. One of the reasons for this is that a new phone is released pretty much every year. There is always an upgrade on the way, ready to tempt you into a new and expensive monthly deal. If you decide to stick with what you have and take a look at your current plan, you may find you can make some huge savings.

    Once the smartphone is paid for, which often takes 12-24 months, it is yours. All you need is a service plan that gives you the calls, texts, and data you need to get by. These deals are incredibly inexpensive compared to paying for your phone every month. You can often save yourself as much as £40 a month, or £480 a year. This is a staggering sum when you think about it. Be strong and say no to the next iPhone. Keep the handset you have going. You do not have to change your number either.

    Put all these top tips together, and your financial future will look a lot brighter. The prices at supermarkets and petrol pumps are not going back down any time soon. Give your future self a helping hand by utilising these top tips.

  • The Hidden Costs Of Poor AC Maintenance: How Neglecting Your AC Can Affect Your Finances

    When it comes to home maintenance, air conditioners are often at the bottom of the list. It’s easy to forget about AC servicing and regular check-ups – until something goes wrong. But what many people don’t know is that poor AC maintenance can lead to a range of hidden costs which can have a serious impact on your finances. 


    In this article, we look at the invisible financial consequences of neglecting your air conditioning unit and how you can avoid them.

    1) Increased Energy Bills

    One of the most obvious effects of poor AC maintenance is an increased electricity bill. So if your indoor air services are costing you a fortune, it may be time for a change. An AC unit that has not been regularly serviced will be less efficient than one that has been well-maintained. 

    This means it will require more energy to power the unit, leading to a rise in electricity bills over time. To reduce your electricity consumption, get regular AC maintenance and make sure to replace any filters or parts as needed.

    2) Major Repair Costs

    If you fail to take care of your air conditioner on a regular basis, you may end up paying for costly repairs down the line. Neglecting regular maintenance can result in dirt and debris accumulating in the system, which can eventually lead to breakdowns and malfunctions. 

    Regular servicing will help catch minor issues before they become major problems, saving you hundreds of dollars in repair costs.

    3) Unnecessary Replacement Costs

    Failing to keep up with your air conditioning unit could also lead to unnecessary replacement costs. If you don’t service your AC regularly, it will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Replacing an inefficient AC unit can be expensive, so it’s best to take preventative measures and get regular maintenance.

    4) Health Costs

    Poorly maintained air conditioners can also affect your health and wellness. Without the right maintenance, dirt, dust, allergens and other contaminants can accumulate in the system, resulting in poor indoor air quality that can cause respiratory problems. 

    Regular check-ups and servicing will help keep your AC free from pollutants and ensure good air quality throughout the house.

    5) Comfort Loss

    Another hidden cost of poor AC maintenance is the loss of comfort. If your air conditioner isn’t working correctly, it will be harder to keep your home cool and comfortable during hot days. This can not only affect your mood, but also lead to higher energy bills as you try to make up for the lack of cooling.

    6) Loss of Manufacturer’s Warranty

    Many AC units come with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers any defects or malfunctions within a certain period of time. However, without sufficient maintenance or servicing, these warranties may become void and you may end up having to pay for repairs out of pocket. 

    7) Increased Risk Of Fires

    Poorly maintained air conditioning systems can put your home at risk for fires due to overloaded circuits or malfunctioning parts. Regular check-ups will help reduce this risk by ensuring that all parts are functioning correctly.

    In Conclusion

    The hidden costs of poor AC maintenance are often underestimated but can have a major impact on both your finances and wellbeing. To avoid these costly consequences, it’s important to get regular check-ups and servicing for your air conditioning unit. Regular maintenance will help reduce energy bills, cut down on repair costs, prevent unnecessary replacements, improve health outcomes and restore indoor comfort – all while saving you money in the long run. 

    Taking care of your AC doesn’t have to be expensive – but neglecting it certainly can be. Invest in regular maintenance and keep your air conditioner running smoothly for years to come.

  • How to get the best prices when shopping online

    Savvy shoppers love a bargain. After all, why pay more for something when you can get it for a better price? 

    This need to haggle isn’t anything new. From talking traders down on market stalls to comparison sites, there are plenty of ways to get money off. Plus, there are major players like Amazon, where we can buy books that have only been read once before for a much cheaper price.

    Now, more than ever, shoppers are looking for ways to save. The cost-of-living crisis means budgets are tight for many right now. Whether you’re trying to plan your finances, or you simply love a bargain, here are some tips to help you get a good deal online. 

    Block trackers

    Third-party trackers – or cookies – aren’t anything new. These are things that are there every time you browse the internet. They collect data about how you browse so that you can receive targeted advertising that reflects what you appear to be interested in. 

    However, these trackers can prevent you from accessing the best deals. This is because you’re receiving such specific results based on what you appear to be looking for. This means you might not see good deals on the products that you actually want. Here, online shops can present you with higher prices based on the things you’ve bought before.

    To avoid this, you can use a VPN to block trackers and enjoy private browsing. This will give you the chance to get an accurate picture of the products that are available at prices that suit you. 

    Join the mailing list

    There are mailing lists for most online outlets now. While it might seem like you’ve signed up to lots already, they can come in handy. As well as keeping you up to date with the latest releases, these newsletters tell you about any deals or promos that are happening. Better still, there are often special discounts for those who are signed up to the mailing list. 

    Be loyal

    Like the mailing list, if there’s a loyalty scheme for an online brand, it’s worth looking into signing up. Again, there are discounts available and often rewards for those who shop with the brand. In some cases, it’s possible to use rewards for other things. For instance, if you opt for a loyalty card with a hotel chain, you could save on hotel rooms but also on other things, like trips to the onsite spa. 

    Leave it in the cart

    If you put some items in your online basket then leave it for a little while, some online stores have a function that triggers an email or notification. This usually asks if you’re still interested in the product you were thinking of purchasing. In some cases, you’ll then be offered a discount to tempt you to buy the content of your virtual trolley. 

    Click and collect

    Save on delivery costs by ordering online and collecting in store. While this isn’t always possible, if you can, it can save you money in the long run. In some cases, delivery can be more than the price of the items you’re buying, so going to the store can make sense. 


  • Ted Baker size guide

    Ted Baker Size Guide

    When I had weight loss surgery, one of my biggest goals was to go down from a size 24/26 sometimes 28 into ANYTHING from Ted Baker. I didn’t have a specific dress in mind, but for me it was all about the brand. When I finally tried on my first Ted Baker dress I was so confused about the sizing for dresses. Ted Baker dresses are labelled as sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 – which meant nothing to me. That’s why I’ve put together this Ted Baker size guide.

    Ted Baker Size Guide

    Who is Ted Baker?

    Ted Baker is a British high-street and online clothing retailer founded in Glasgow in 1988. 

    They are at the higher end of the high-street, known for men’s suits and shirts as well as ladies’ coats and dresses. 

    If you are looking for a dress to wear as a wedding guest then chances are that you would consider a Ted Baker dress.

    What UK size does Ted Baker go up to?

    Ted Baker goes up to UK size 18 for women’s clothing.

    Ted Baker Size Guide For Women

    The Ted Baker size guide is as follows:

    Ted Baker Size 0 = UK Size 6

    Ted Baker Size 1 = UK Size 8

    Ted Baker Size 2 = UK Size 10

    Ted Baker Size 3 = UK Size 12

    Ted Baker Size 4 = UK Size 14

    Ted Baker Size 5 = UK Size 16

    Ted Baker Size 6 = UK Size 18

    Ted Baker Size Guide for Menswear

    Ted Size UK Dual Chest Collar European Collar Waist Inside leg Short Inside leg regular Inside leg long
    1 XS 86cm 37cm 37cm 71cm 76cm 81cm 86cm
    2 S 91.5cm 38cm 38cm 76cm 76cm 81cm 86cm
    3 M 96.5cm 39cm 39/40cm 81cm 76cm 81cm 86cm
    4 L 101.5cm 41cm 41cm 86.5cm 76cm 81cm 86cm
    5 XL 106.5cm 42cm 42cm 91.5cm 76cm 81cm 86cm
    6 2XL 111.5cm 43cm 43cm 96.5cm 76cm 81cm 86cm
    7 3XL 117cm 44.5cm 44.5cm 101.5cm 76cm 81cm 86cm

    Ted Baker Size Guide For Women’s Footwear

    UK Europe USA China Japan
    3 36 6 215/76 21.5
    4 37 7 225/78 22.5
    5 38 8 235/80 23.5
    6 39 9 245/82 24.5
    7 40 10 255/84 25.5
    8 41 11 268/86 26.5

    Ted Baker Size Guide For Men’s Footwear

    UK Europe USA China Japan
    6 40 7 245/91 24.5
    7 41 8 255/94 25.5
    8 42 9 265/97 26.5
    9 43 10 275/100 27.5
    10 44 11 285/102 28.5
    11 45 12 295/105 39.5
    12 46 13 305/107 30.5
    13 47 14 315/109 31.5

    Ted Baker and sustainability

    Ted Baker the brand is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact.

    These sustainable moves include reducing waste as well as managing sustainable packaging and transportation.

    They also create high quality clothing, footwear and accessories, encouraging customers to buy high quality and less.

    How To Save Money On Ted Baker

    One of the best ways to save money on Ted Baker is to shop second hand.

    By purchasing Ted Baker items second hand from charity shops, eBay or Vinted you can grab yourself a fantastic bargain.

    Another great way to save money on Ted Baker is by using the app JamDoughnut.

    JamDoughnut offers you cashback when you buy gift cards for different brands.

    You can earn up to 6.9% when you buy a gift card for Ted Baker through JamDoughnut.

    What’s more, enter code DJ5J for a bonus when you sign up.