I’ve been signed up on the Money Saving Expert mailing list for a while, but looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever recommended it here.
The site is run by Martin Lewis, who turns up on all sorts of magazine programmes talking about money. Amongst other things he has been influential in campaigns to get people to reclaim unfair bank charges, and more recently in getting people to check and appeal their council tax banding – something we’ve done successfully in the past.
Perhaps what he is most influential for now is his website Money Saving Expert, where his stated aim is to redress the balance between the consumer and the big corporations. As he says in his introduction to the site, we live in an adversarial consumer society, where the primary purpose of the companies out there is to make as much money from us the consumer as possible. Indeed companies will spend large amounts of money on flashy advertising campaigns to get us to by their products, ensure they have highly trained salespeople in order to sell us stuff we don’t want, and yet what do we as consumers have?
The site is a gold-mine of useful information – in the past I’ve used the tips on the site to find the cheapest telephone service for calling Canada, found cheap flights, and so on. It has won several awards, and indeed has been cited on a couple of occasions in parliament for it’s influence. Essentially the site brings together tips from Martin and many other users, all geared towards doing exactly what it says on the tin – saving money.
There is also the mailing list I mentioned at the top, which sends out details of special offers and deals, and keeps you updated when recommendations change. There is a real mix of stuff from simple two-for-one offers, to more specialist tips which would probably only be of interest to a small number of the more than a million subscribers to the list – in that vein we actually applied for another credit card at the weekend primarily due to a tip on the list, as by using the new card for a couple of months we can get 20,000 free miles for my BMI Diamond Club card – a good chunk of a free trip to Canada.
You’re not going to take advantage of every offer, indeed probably not most of them, but there are always one or two that can save you either a little, or a lot of cash, and certainly it is well worth heading over to the site and signing up for the e-mail.