The MoneyAware retro treats and desserts challenge!

posted by Rachel in Budgeting, Money saving Leave a comment

Whether it’s cake at Nan’s or custard-topped desserts in the school canteen, pretty much everyone has a favourite treat that makes them all nostalgic.

It’s normal to get a hankering for something sweet every now and then. So, with this in mind, the MoneyAware team wanted to find out what retro treats and desserts were easy and cheap to make. There’s bound to be something below that takes your fancy!

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18 smart and easy ways to save money

posted by Jasmine Birtles in Budgeting, Money maximising, Money saving Leave a comment

Saving money is something that we can all get on board with. There are lots of ways to watch the pennies, it’s just a case of spotting them. 

Moneymagpie’s Jasmine Birtles stopped by the blog to share some top tips on how the whole family can save a few pounds… 

You may be thinking ‘everyone says how easy it is to save money, but putting it in practice is another thing altogether’. The good news is that you can save money the minute you get out of bed and start getting ready for the day. This is how a thrifty life is lived – baby steps, little by little, every day.

Once you know your own budget and needs, there’s a whole wealth of ways you can supercharge your savings. For now, let’s take a look at some thrifty tips that are so crafty you might just feel hoodwinked into saving money!

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November’s debt and money news

posted by Jenny in benefits, Debt, Debt companies, Dodgy practice, Payday Loans Leave a comment

It’s time for debt news again! As usual, things have been happening. Money things. Debt things. Things for us to report to you.

What can be expected from this month’s round up? Payday loans are causing problems, married couples are missing out on tax allowances, and we’re getting a new pound coin.

That’s not all though. Voucher scams, benefits caps and a debt collection company writes off millions of pounds worth of debt. Well, I did say things had been happening! There’s a lot to catch up on, so you’d better read on…

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Are payday loans still a problem?

posted by Jenny in Debt, Payday Loans, StepChange Leave a comment

Back in 2013 the payday loan market was booming. Chirpy jingles and TV puppets were advertising quick cash solutions to get you through those last few days before payday.

Many people saw payday loans as a quick and easy way to get cash for unexpected expenses. The trouble was payday loans often caused more problems than they solved.

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Debt collection company refunds & writes off £414m

posted by StepChange MoneyAware in Debt, Debt companies, Dodgy practice Leave a comment

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that Motormile Finance, a debt purchasing and collections company, has agreed to write-off £414m of debt for over 500,000 of its customers for past failures in its collections process.

The redress will consist of £154,000 in cash payments to customers and the writing-off of £414m of debt where the firm’s been unable to provide evidence that the balance of a debt is correct and properly due to be repaid.

Bradford-based Motormile Finance are also known as MMF, MMF Debt Purchase and MMF UK.

What happened?

The FCA investigation found that the Motormile Finance had inadequate systems, and didn’t conduct the required checks when buying a portfolio of debts (commonly known as ‘debt books’) from creditors. This process, known as due diligence, meant that the firm couldn’t always be sure that the balance of some customers’ debts were correct.

Other poor practices were also found at the firm, and the company are reported to be making improvements to their processes to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

What’s Motormile Finance going to do about it?

Affected customers will receive either a cash refund, have their outstanding debt balances written off, or in some situations both. The redress will consist of £154,000 in cash payments to customers, and £414m will be used to write off debt balances.

The FCA have since authorised Motormile Finance to continue trading, after it was satisfied that the poor practices at the firm were historical, and major changes have since been made.

A spokesperson for the FCA said:

“We have agreed this package, and previous action, to protect the customers of Motormile from unfair practices. We have worked closely with Motormile, and are now satisfied with their progress and the way that they will address their previous mistakes.”

I’m a Motormile customer, what should I do?

If you’re affected, you don’t need to take any action. Motormile Finance will contact you to explain how the refund will be dealt with. They’ll be in touch by February 2017 at the latest.

There’s more information for customers who think they’re affected on the Motormile website.

I’m a StepChange Debt Charity client – what do I need to do?

If you’re on a debt solution with us and you’re told you’ll receive money or have your balance reduced or written off, you should get in touch with us to let us know. We’ll see if this affects your solution, and let you know if you need to do anything.

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October’s top debt and money news

posted by Rachel in Debt, Payday loan refund, Payday Loans Leave a comment

Payday loans were certainly a hot topic recently, when it was revealed that short-term lending giant Wonga admitted it had double-charged thousands of customers by mistake. Mortgage customers may also be due some compensation due to charges for late payments.

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8 free and local things to do when school’s out

posted by Abby King in Budgeting, Free things to do, Money saving Leave a comment

Half term breaks can be super-fun for you and the kids, but they’re not exactly thrifty! If you find yourself struggling to keep the little’uns – and the big’uns – entertained, fear not! Our pal Abby King from Latest Free Stuff has got you covered with some great activity ideas, whatever the season…

The school holidays certainly have a way of sneaking up on you. The summer break is barely over, and we’re in store for another week of frolics when schools close for the Autumn half term.

Entertaining kids in the school holidays needn’t be expensive, extravagant or difficult. There are plenty of activities for your kids to enjoy that won’t cost a penny nor require much travelling either. They’re ideal for all the family to enjoy, whatever the weather and no matter budget you’re working with.

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