Sites such as Open Rent, No Agent and Homerenter match up tenants and landlords direct, though you may have to pay some low fees if a landlord wants to see a reference. (Location 191)

A landlord can end your tenancy without reason – outside of the fixed period – but needs to give you at least two months’ written notice, and provided that your leaving date falls at least six months after your original tenancy began. (Location 235)

Tags: tenancy

Note: Landlord must give 2 months notice to end tenancy

They cannot deduct money for normal wear and tear – for example, scuffs on the walls or faded carpets. Damage needs to be things like a massive iron burn in the middle of the floor. (Location 247)

Tags: cavendish, renting, deposit

You have to contact your landlord or letting agent to request your deposit back. Best do it by email or in writing, so that you have evidence of the date. You should get it back within ten days. If they refuse, or take longer, or if you don’t agree with any deductions they make, you can contact the deposit-protection scheme where your money is kept and go through their free dispute-resolution process. If your landlord has made any deductions they should write to you to explain how much and why. (Location 253)

Tags: renting, cavendish

If house prices tumble, as happened after the financial crash, you could end up in ‘negative equity’, that is where you owe the bank more in a mortgage than your house is actually worth, and you will not be able to move, becoming what is known as a ‘mortgage prisoner’. Falling into negative equity is less likely than it was, because since the credit crunch banks are much more cautious about how much money they will lend to you. (Location 329)

Tags: mortage

Note: .mortage

The amount you can borrow in a mortgage is measured in a ‘loan-to-value’ rate, or LTV, as you will see on mortgage adverts. This is just the percentage mix of deposit and loan. If you had £20,000 cash and wanted to buy a £200,000 house, you would have a 10 per cent deposit, and need to borrow the remaining £180,000 to get your hands on it. That is you need to borrow 90 per cent of the property’s value, or 90 per cent LTV. (Location 333)

Tags: ltv, mortgage

Note: .mortgage .ltv

If you can push yourself to find a 10 per cent deposit, you should. There is a particularly large interest-rate jump between mortgages offered to those with a 5 per cent deposit and those available to those with 10 per cent deposit. (Location 351)

Note: The higher the deposit you have yourself the lower the interest rate on the mortgage

Your credit history is a record of your interactions with other financial companies: banks, energy providers and so on, kept by credit-reference agencies. Your prospective lender is looking for evidence of past borrowing behaviour to assess whether or not you will be a well-behaved borrower going forward. (Location 425)

Tags: credithistory

Note: .credithistory

You are also judged on things like how long you have been with the same employer, how long you have lived at your address, and how long you have had your bank account. (Location 427)

Tags: creditscore

Note: .creditscore

Despite their opaque nature, credit scores are annoyingly important, and used for everything from overdrafts and credit cards to mobile-phone deals and, crucially, mortgages. I have received letters in my role as consumer champion at The Times from people on the verge of losing a house they want, or unable to secure an affordable mortgage, because of minor bill infractions or disputes, like forgetting to clear a small sum owed to an energy company on an account for a shared flat after everyone moves out, or missing a mobile-phone payment. These have resulted in letters from debt collectors, which damaged the reader’s credit history. (Location 436)

Tags: creditscore

What people do not realize is that although debt is portrayed as something you should generally avoid, having no credit history is as bad as having a faulty one. Banks need something to go on. (Location 451)

Tags: creditscore

Note: .creditscore

Noddle lets you check your Callcredit score and is ‘free for life’. (Location 459)

Tags: creditscore

Note: .creditscore

A monthly credit-card balance below 30 per cent can gain you 90 points on your credit score, according to Experian, which scores from 0 to 999. A score of around 780 is fair, one of above 961 or higher is excellent. A card balance above 90 per cent will cost you 50 points. (Location 469)

Tags: creditscore

Note: .creditscore

The Rental Exchange scheme records your rental payments and sends the results to Experian. You need to actively sign up to do this by paying your rent through a company called Credit Ladder, which then passes on your money to your landlord or letting agent, so run this past your landlord to check that they are happy with it first. Equifax and Callcredit don’t yet consider rental payments. (Location 474)

Tags: creditscore

Note: .creditscore count rental paymennts towards your credit score

The many other costs of buying a house When working out whether you can afford to buy you need to budget for all the many other unexpected costs that crop up along the way: stamp duty, legal costs, local authority searches, survey costs, mortgage arrangement fees, mortgage broker fees, buildings insurance, removal vans, and, only if you are selling too, estate-agency fees. (Location 539)

Tags: mortgage

Note: .mortgage

Stamp duty This is the biggest cost of moving, a tax you pay on any property you buy in the UK. The tax is based on the price of the property you are buying, and is staggered in thresholds. For example, you pay 2 per cent of a property’s value on properties priced between £125,001 and £250,000; 5 per cent on properties worth between £250,001 and £925,000; 10 per cent on properties worth £925,001 to £1.5 million. (Location 543)

Tags: stampduty

Note: .stampduty a tax on buying a house,applied in tiers

The base rate is the national interest rate set by the Bank of England, and it is to the base rate that high-street banks and building societies peg their mortgage rates (as well as their savings rates, (Location 599)

Tags: baserate

Note: .baserate

A variable rate is fairly self-explanatory. The mortgage lender sets the price of its variable rate and may at any point raise it or lower it; variable rates will rise when the base rate rises, but banks may set them as they like. All lenders will have a ‘standard variable rate’ (SVR), which is their default product that you will revert to whenever the special deal you might sign up for, say a two-year tracker, ends. (Location 607)

Tags: mortgage

Note: .mortgage variable rates are set by the bank

A tracker rate is a variable-rate mortgage, but one that is actually pegged to the base rate. (Location 613)

Tags: c1

Note: .c1

Fixed rates do not alter with the base rate. You lock into a specific rate for a set period – two, three or five years normally, but increasingly ten-year fixed rates have come onto the market. Whether you go for a variable or a fixed rate comes down to how much you want to bet on base rates rising or falling. (Location 619)

Tags: mortgage

Note: .mortgage

Help to Buy Equity loan This government scheme has been extended to run until 2021. The idea is to help those with small deposits to access bigger homes and better interest rates. By its terms, you have to buy a new-build property from an approved house builder, with a 5 per cent deposit, receiving a 20 per cent loan from the government. This means you can take out a 75 per cent LTV mortgage; those buying in London receive a 40 per cent loan, so they need borrow only 60 per cent LTV. (Location 658)

The fact that you accrue interest means that your loan will grow, which means it will take longer to pay it off. But most people will never pay it off in full within the thirty-year time frame anyway. However large your loan becomes – if it were to grow to £100,000 with interest – you still only pay off 9 per cent above the threshold each year. That is why unless you are earning a lot of money you don’t need to worry too much about interest charged, because you only pay off what you can within thirty years. (Location 759)

Tags: studentloans

Note: .studentloans

Personal loans If you need an injection of cash, to pay for a wedding, new car, new boiler, holiday, you might take out a personal loan. These are ‘unsecured’ loans, i.e. they are not tethered to anything like a house. A mortgage loan is ‘secured’ against your property: if you cannot pay the bank gets to sell your house as compensation. (Location 803)

Tags: loans

Note: .loans personal loans are unsecured

Personal loans are more expensive than the best credit cards on the market, but you can usually borrow a bit more with a personal loan, so it depends why you need the cash. (Location 809)

Tags: loans

Note: .loans perso loans are usually more expensive than credit cards

APR stands for the Annual Percentage Rate, and it takes into account not just interest but also any other charges you have to pay, such as arrangement fees, for a loan. The descriptions ‘typical’ or ‘representative’ are there because not all borrowers get the advertised APR. (Location 818)

All credit cards will set you a time frame in which you can repay your outstanding balance in full without getting charged any interest. For most, this period is a month. Watch out: usually you get charged immediate interest on any cash withdrawal you make on a credit card at an ATM. Never use your credit card for cash withdrawals if you can help it. (Location 867)

Tags: creditcard

Note: Never withdraw money with a credit card

In 2017 88 per cent of new car sales were funded using financing agreements. Most of them are not ‘bought’, however. The majority are actually just borrowing their cars and never own them outright, using deals called personal contract plans – PCPs. These are loans that help reduce the upfront cost of a pricey new car. The amount you borrow is based not on the full price of the car, but on the value of the car once the end of your loan deal is reached, usually after about three years, when the car has depreciated in price. (Location 949)

Tags: pcp

Note: .pcp

You might want to also try the 5.2 money diet: set yourself a couple of days a week where you do not spend anything other than budgeted for food or transport, or ask yourself if you could live on 90 per cent of your salary. If yes, try and do it for a few months. (Location 1097)

A loaf of bread or tickets to a football match do not cost the same as they did in 1891. If you hold on to a £20 note for forty years it will not buy you as much as it did then. Inflation is calculated in various ways, but the measures you are most likely to hear about are the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and the Retail Prices Index (RPI). These are compiled by surveying the rising or falling cost of a basket of different goods and services. RPI and CPI record different things – RPI includes housing costs, for example – and they are calculated differently, so the rates are not the same. Usually CPI is lower and tends to be what is considered the national statistic of inflation. (Location 1214)

Tags: inflation

Note: .inflation

there is a strong argument for moving away from cash savings towards investing in the stock market, which generally produces a greater, inflation-beating return. This is only really suitable if you are prepared to lock your savings away for at least five to ten years. I explain in the next chapter how to go about investing for this longer term. For shorter-term savings, cash wins, but you need to give a bit of thought to where to put your cash to minimize by how much it may be eroded. (Location 1249)

Tags: stocks

Note: .stocks the interest rate on savings accounts is so bad you should invest in he stock market

ISAs Pros Normally any interest you earn from your cash savings is taxed at the same rate as your salary is taxed. A cash ISA (short for Individual Savings Account) is a type of cash savings account that allows you to earn interest tax-free. (You can also save into a stocks and shares ISA, more in the investment chapter.) When interest rates are so low, and savings sums small, taxable interest does not usually amount to much, £2 on interest of £10, for example, but if you are saving a large sum, for a house deposit, for example, it can add up. You can save in easy-access or fixed-rate ISAs. Cons ISAs have an annual limit on the amount you can save into them, which usually changes each year, but it is generous: £20,000 in the tax year 2018–2019. (Location 1290)

Tags: isa

Note: .isa no tax on interest earned

Savings accounts to help with buying a house Help to Buy ISA If you are a first-time buyer saving up to buy a property, or even just contemplating doing so, putting your money into a Help to Buy ISA is a no-brainer as long as you intend to buy a home worth under £250,000, or under £450,000 in London. (Having said that, if you are definitely buying a property, but not for at least a year, a Lifetime ISA, below, is a more lucrative option.) Lifetime ISAs have fees for withdrawal if you do not use the money for buying a home or retirement. Help to Buy ISAs do not. (Location 1332)

You can also use the LISA to invest in the stock market. The LISA functions as an alternative to a pension: you can save into it for either a home, or until you are sixty, though you cannot deposit any new money beyond the age of 50. (More on using a LISA as an alternative to a pension in the pensions chapter). The downside is that, unlike the Help to Buy ISA, you cannot withdraw your cash unless you are buying a house, or until you are sixty, though, whichever is sooner, without being penalized by losing interest. (Location 1373)

Tags: lisa

Note: .lisa

if you follow some golden rules make it very unlikely that you will, over the long term, end up down on where you started. In fact, though it feels safer to put savings in a bank, or under your mattress, you are more likely to lose money this way because of inflation coupled with rubbish interest rates. (Location 1399)

The London Stock Exchange in the City is one of the world’s oldest. The New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, and the NASDAQ in the US are the world’s biggest. (Location 1474)

If a company has 100 shares, and each is worth £1, or 100p (which is how a share’s value is expressed), the company’s value, or capitalization, known as ‘market cap’, would be £100. The biggest companies on the stock exchange are known as large caps, the smallest, small caps, in between, mid caps. Shares for the large-cap companies can be called blue-chip shares. (Location 1483)

Shares may be divided into different categories, ‘defensive’ or ‘cyclical’, ‘growth-’ or ‘income-’producing. These are based on the characteristics of certain kinds of company, what product or service it is offering, and whether it is more or less likely to be popular at certain times. (Location 1486)

Tags: shares

Note: .shares defensive, growth and income producing

Defensive shares are shares in companies that do well even when the economy does not, things that people always need, no matter how much money they have – companies that produce pharmaceuticals, or food, or energy. (Location 1489)

Tags: shares

Note: .shares defensive shares like food nd pharma, less effected by the economy

Cyclical shares do better or worse depending on how well the economy is doing. Think banks (which suffered loads during the recession when people started withdrawing their savings, or could not pay their mortgages) or clothes companies (fewer people buy a new outfit when they are worried about their job situation, but will have a splurge when they get a bonus at work). (Location 1490)

Tags: shares

Note: .shares cyclical

In the UK the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 (FTSE 100), for example, comprises the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The index rises and falls according to the share-price performance of the 100 companies listed on it. It is assessed every three months, and if companies’ shares have underperformed they may fall out of the index and be replaced by another. Two or three drop out of the FTSE 100 every quarter. Companies currently in the FTSE 100 include Sky, Burberry, easyJet, ITV, Next, GlaxoSmithKline, Taylor Wimpey and Royal Mail. (Location 1508)

Tags: indexfunds

Note: .indexfunds

It is not just big companies that issue bonds, but governments, too, who need money to grow their countries, to build roads, railways, schools, armies. UK government-issued bonds are known as gilts, US government-issued bonds are treasuries. Bonds are also known as ‘fixed-income securities’, because when you buy one (or lend to a company) you know exactly how much money you are going to get in return for it on maturity: the interest payment or ‘yield’ is laid out at the beginning of the agreement. If you buy a bond with a value of £100, a yield of 5 per cent, and a maturity of ten years, you will receive £5 a year for the next ten years, a total of £50, on top of your £100 that you’ll get back at the end of it. (Location 1529)

Tags: bonds

Note: .bonds

There are many who think, therefore, that active management is a waste of money, that you cannot ‘beat the market’, and the only fund you need is a tracker fund: one that is passive, and simply ‘tracks’ one of the indexes I mention above. (Location 1627)

State pensions are paid out of a compulsory tax you pay throughout your working life, known as National Insurance. If you do not pay enough National Insurance you do not get the state pension. Note, however, that this National Insurance does not go into an account that is left untouched until your retirement; it is added to the government coffers each year, like all other tax that you pay. That is why people refer to the state pension as a Ponzi scheme, which is where whoever owns the scheme generates returns for established investors through money paid by new investors. Your National Insurance is currently funding today’s retirees’ state pensions. If the government of 2050 decides to abolish state pensions just as I retire I will not be able to claim a refund on all that National Insurance I’ve already paid. (Location 1684)

Tags: pensions

Note: .pensions

At its most simple therefore, a private pension is really just a tax break, or what is known as a tax ‘wrapper’ – a bit of jargon meaning something you wrap around a variety of different products to protect it from tax. The product is most commonly an investment fund, where your money (hopefully) grows by investing it in the stock market, but you can hold other things in a pension, like cash, or commercial property. (Location 1692)

Tags: pension

Note: .pension

You might be taken aback to learn just how expensive pension benefits are as we all live longer. In the financial year ending 2017, the UK government spent £264 billion on welfare, which made up 34 per cent of all government spending. Of this welfare budget,

- £2 billion – that is 1 per cent – was spent on unemployment benefit, - £111 billion – 42 per cent – was spent on pensions. (Location 1716)

Tags: pensions, welfare

Note: 40% of welfare goes on pensions

You can’t touch this pot until you are fifty-five. At that age you are free to do a variety of things with it: take out all of it, though this is inadvisable, as it will be taxed heavily; take out a bit of it at a time or take out a quarter of the whole pot, on which you will not pay tax, leaving the rest invested to hopefully grow. (Location 1768)

Tags: pension

Note: .pension

Damage by Default: the Flaw in Pensions Auto Enrolment, (Location 1794)

Tags: toread

Note: .toread

A solid, straightforward option is to take out a personal pension with NEST. This is the National Employment Saving Trust workplace pension scheme created by the government when it launched automatic enrolment. It is used by many companies but is also available to the self-employed. It offers reasonable fees, which work out at about 0.5 per cent for most savers, you can view your account online, stop and start contributions and pay in with your debit card, or via direct debit. There are five funds to choose from, which vary depending on your appetite for risk and any ethical leanings. Another option is the online PensionBee which has annual fees of no more than 0.95 per cent, and you can easily manage it on your phone. (Location 1821)

Tags: pensionbee

Note: .pensionbee

Should you save in the Lifetime ISA instead? An alternative to a pension is the Lifetime ISA. This is a savings account to save for a first home and/or retirement, open to anyone under the age of forty. As with other ISAs, you don’t pay tax on the returns on your savings. You can put in up to £4,000 a year and will receive a bonus of 25 per cent – that is up to £1,000 – from the government until you are fifty, or until you have used the LISA to buy your first home, whichever is sooner. You can use the money to buy a home worth a maximum of £450,000, otherwise you cannot take it out before you hit sixty without losing your bonus and some, the equivalent of about 6 per cent of your total pot. This is more flexible than a pension, though, where you cannot take the money out at all before fifty-five. Savers have the potential to earn a total of £33,000 in bonuses if they pay in the maximum £128,000 from age eighteen until they turn fifty. Accounts can be held in cash, or stocks and shares. If you are a higher-rate taxpayer the LISA is not as generous as the tax relief you get on a pension, however. (Location 1830)

Tags: savings, lisa

Note: .lisa .savings

The first is that you probably want an income in retirement roughly equivalent to half or two-thirds of what you feel comfortable living on at the moment to maintain the same quality of life. That is because most older people have paid off a mortgage and no longer need to cough up for children or childcare, commuting costs, or colleagues’ leaving presents. This is looking a less accurate picture these days, though, with so many young people likely to be still renting into their old age, or paying off mortgages that they could not afford to take out until their forties. (Location 1851)

Tags: retiring

Note: .retiring

Some wealth planners say that you should aim to have at least the equivalent of your annual salary saved for retirement by the time you are thirty, three times that sum by the time you are forty, eight times by the time you are sixty, ten times by retirement, in order to maintain your standard of living. Someone used to all the perks of a £100,000 salary would need to have at least £1 million saved to not feel poorer in retirement. (Location 1859)

Tags: savings, pension

Note: .pension .savings

You can find old pensions you have lost track of using the government’s pension-tracing service (, a database of contact details for past and present pension schemes. (Location 1880)

Tags: pension

Note: .pension

PensionBee is an online service that will find your old pensions and consolidate them into one of a choice of its investment plans, ‘tracker’, ‘tailored’ or ‘future world plan’, run by wealth managers BlackRock, State Street or Legal & General. All come with low fees and are super-easy to view and keep track of online or on your phone. You will also be warned if moving your old pension could result in large penalties or loss of any benefits. (Location 1885)

Tags: pensions

Note: .pensions

For us normals, tax ‘reliefs’ and allowances are in place to incentivize you to do certain things that society values: save for a pension, start your own business, get married, rear a child, cycle to work, drive a low-emissions car, donate to charity, rent out your spare room, or care for an elderly relative. (Location 1903)

Tags: tax

Note: .tax tax reliefs encourage you to do things society values

many taxes and reliefs apply to a specific year known as the tax year. This is not the same as a calendar year but runs from 6 April until the following 5 April. (Location 1911)

Tags: taxes

Note: .taxes

Income tax is paid based on three thresholds, or as they are known ‘marginal rates’: basic-rate taxpayers owe 20 per cent tax, higher-rate taxpayers 40 per cent, and additional-rate taxpayers 45 per cent. These percentages, plus what income ‘bracket’ they apply to (the point at which they start getting charged), are set by the government and can be changed on a political whim, though they rarely are, for fear that the electorate will go bananas about paying more income tax (or rich people getting away with paying less). (Location 1919)

Tags: tax

ideologically, Conservatives tend to favour people paying less tax. In the tax year April 2018 to April 2019 the allowance is £11,850, and it is expected to rise to £12,500 by 2020. That means that you owe no income tax at all until you earn £11,850, so that some very low-paid or part-time workers do not have to pay income tax. (Location 1925)

Higher-rate taxpayers who earn more than £46,350 will also pay 20 per cent on the sum between the personal allowance (£11,850) and the higher-rate threshold (£46,351), but then 40 per cent on anything above that up to a maximum of £150,000. (Location 1930)

Tags: taxes

Note: .taxes

The vast majority of people in the UK pay tax at the basic rate, 81.8 per cent (or 25.1 million people) in 2017; only 13.7 per cent of earners paid higher-rate tax (4.2 million people); and just 1.2 per cent paid additional rate (364,000 people). The top 1 per cent of taxpayers had a 12 per cent share of total income, and were liable for 27.7 per cent of all income tax. (Location 1934)

Tags: taxes

Note: .taxes

National Insurance is however ‘pay as you go’. The contributions you pay are used to fund people needing state benefits immediately, so your NICs are funding your parents’ and grandparents’ pensions, not yours. (Location 1943)

Tags: taxes

Note: .taxes

There are different ‘classes’ of National Insurance depending on your employment status. You pay varying percentages according to how much you earn. The percentages are calculated on your ‘gross’ pay, which is the money you receive before income tax is deducted. If you have an employer or are self-employed but have a boss, you pay Class 1 National Insurance. Bosses have to pay employer National Insurance contributions for their workers, too. As with income tax, there is a threshold under which you do not have to pay National Insurance: £8,424 a year for the year 2018–2019. You pay 12 per cent of your earnings on anything above that threshold up to £46,350. On any earnings above £46,350 a year you pay 2 per cent. (Location 1945)

PAYE stands for pay as you earn, and is the way you will pay tax if you are employed (for those that are self-employed skip on). Your employer will pay income tax and National Insurance to HMRC on your behalf before you receive your salary. How much that is is set out in your payslip, which is essentially a receipt for your earnings, income tax and National Insurance. (Location 1960)

Tags: taxes

Note: .taxes

You may be on an emergency tax code. This often happens if your new employer does not have your P45. Most emergency tax codes end with M1 or W1, which indicates that you are being taxed monthly or weekly rather than annually, or maybe 0T, which indicates that you do not get the personal allowance because HMRC does not have enough information about your income. (Location 1973)

Tags: taxes

Note: .taxes

Cycle-to-work scheme You can save as much as 42 per cent, for higher-rate taxpayers, and 32 per cent as a basic-rate taxpayer, on a bike to use for commuting to work via the cycle-to-work scheme. Your employer pays the cost of the bike and you pay your company back in instalments as a ‘salary sacrifice’, i.e. money that comes out of your gross pay automatically. That means you are not paying tax on it, unlike if you were to buy a bike out of your net pay. You can spend up to £1,000 on a bike and equipment. Check out for more. (Location 2001)

Tags: taxes

Note: .taxes

Now, however, there is also a personal savings allowance. This is a sum of money you can earn in interest on any kind of savings account before you have to pay tax. Unless you have loads of savings, it is more than sufficient: £1,000 if you are a basic-rate taxpayer, and £500 if you are a higher-rate taxpayer. Additional-rate taxpayers do not get a personal savings allowance. (Location 2010)

The deadline for online returns is 31 January each year, so for example you would fill out a tax return for the year 5 April 2017 to 6 April 2018 by 31 January 2019. If you have a turnover of more than £85,000 you also have to register for VAT. (Location 2037)

Tags: taxes

Note: .taxes must complete online tax return by end of january

Not only do you have to pay any tax due for the previous tax year, but you also have to pay advance payments towards next year’s tax bill, of roughly half of what it is expected to be – this is due at the end of July. (Location 2042)

There are some funny VAT anomalies. For example, you do not pay VAT on cold takeaway food, such as sandwiches, but you do pay VAT on cold food like sandwiches that are eaten in, which is why you have to pay more to eat in in Pret. (Location 2099)

Tags: vat

Note: .vat

Capital gains tax You pay capital gains tax (CGT) when you sell an asset that has increased in value. The ‘gain’ in value is taxed at 28 per cent on your gains from residential property and 20 per cent on other assets, such as shares, if you are a higher-rate taxpayer. Everyone gets a tax-free allowance of up to £11,700 for CGT, so you only pay it on any gains above that. The most likely reason you will pay CGT at a young age is if, remarkably, you own more than one property. You do not pay CGT on your main home, but it is owed if you sell a second holiday home, or a buy-to-let. (Location 2117)

The standard variable rate (SVR) is the price of a ‘default’ tariff, which, as the name suggests, varies and is usually the most expensive deal. A remarkable number of people sit on these, 57 per cent of energy customers, according to uswitch, paying way more than they need to as the cost of energy creeps up. (Location 2205)

Tags: energybills

Note: .energybills

On the other hand, you do not want to pay unnecessarily for too much data as part of your contract. You can monitor your previous month’s usage on your network’s app, or use an online service like BillMonitor, invented by three mathematicians from Oxford University, where you can upload your bills, or use their online calculator to work out how much data you tend to use and what allowance you need. (Location 2337)

Quick ways to cut your mobile data bill There are easy ways to trim your unintentional data usage. By default Instagram preloads videos. Adjust your settings in your Instagram profile by tapping mobile data use and toggle on to ‘use less data’ to stop this. (Location 2345)

You should not always opt for the cheapest travel insurance you can find. Consider what might lurk in the small print. One insurance-industry insider told me he would always buy travel insurance from a big-brand company because they will not want the reputational damage of refusing a massive claim for someone who falls ill, whereas some little fly-by-night company that can quickly change its name may be less reliable when it comes to meeting an obligation. (Location 2443)

Tags: insurance

Note: .insurance get travel insurnce from a reputable company who are more likely to pay out to avoid reputational damage

And it seems that the same goes for other nations. In the first episode of the US podcast ‘Bad with money’, comedian Gaby Dunn approaches some young people in a coffee shop in LA and asks them what their favourite sexual position is. Without much hesitation one says ‘Reverse cowgirl.’ Gaby then asks how much money is in her bank account, and she says: ‘Wow, yeah, I don’t want to answer that one!’ Too personal. (Location 2537)

Tags: money

Note: .money

Meanwhile, we are told that what we buy no longer defines us as it once did, ostentatious materialism is naff, and even the boss of Ikea says we’ve reached ‘peak stuff’. But I am not convinced. All those authentic, social-media-documented ‘experiences’, insta interiors, travel and food porn invariably require cash. I often wonder how those part-time bloggers/curators earn so much, but they probably don’t: they get their enviable lives subsidized by tourist boards or fashion brands that want the advertising. (Location 2763)

Tags: materialism

Note: .materialism