04/01/2014 Your Money


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Brothers, he had a string of hits in the 1950s and '60s. Now on BBC News,


it's time for this week's Your Money with Declan Curry. Hello and welcome


to Your Money, your weekly guide to making the most of your cash, here


every weekend on BBC News television - available all week on the BBC


iPlayer. This week - clearing up some of our


New Year hangovers. First, how to get rid of those hideous Christmas


gifts. We've got some tips that will strengthen our hand at the returns


counter. Then, some New Year's resolutions to get our money into


better shape. Nigel Cassidy has gathered some of


the best suggestions. And some tricks and tips to manage


our debts - how to keep the cost down, how to stop it becoming a big


problem. The debt charity Step Change shares its advice at no extra


charge. So what did Santa leave? Jumpers


that don't fit? That hideous lamp? That jewellery you wouldn't wear in


a darkened room? How do you get rid of it? Jasmine Birtles, everyday


money expert, runs the website moneymagpie.com. In some of these


cases we have right on our side. In others we are relying on goodwill


from the shopkeepers. First of all, the item does not work. Right is on


your site. You can take it back to the shop and the shop is your first


port of call. It does help if you have proof of purchase. If it is


broken, then you can go back to your aunt and uncle and say you love it,


just a bit of a problem in that it is broken. Do you have proof of


purchase? It could be a receipt or credit card statement. If it has the


name of the shop, then it is much easier. You can take it back and say


obviously it is yours. You should be able to get your money back. But you


have to have that proof of purchase? Unless it is branded. Who brings it


back? Is it the person who bought it or received it? Ideally the person


who bought it. If it is one of those chains and you have proof of


purchase, then you can take it back yourself. The shopkeeper deals with


this. The shopkeeper is the first port of call. If desperate you can


send it back to the manufacturer. You are entitled to a full refund


but they might say you are entitled to a credit note. You are entitled


to a full refund. Something you bought for Christmas did not arrive


on time. You bought something else instead and now the wretched thing


has turned up. If you bought it and it is supposed to arrive by


Christmas and it did not come when the sellers said it would come, you


can send it back. Does it have to have that agreement with the seller


beforehand, a contract that said delivery before Christmas?


Absolutely occurs otherwise you could have bought something and you


get it and don't like it. There has to be a reason. There has to be a


type of contract that it would be there in time. Of the rules


different if you ordered online? Yes. You have a seven-day cooling


off period from when you get the item and unlike with piling it on


the high street, if you don't like it, it is the wrong size, colour,


you can send it back for whatever reason. There is a time limit. You


have a cooling off period of seven days. The reason I ask is Christmas


was more than seven days ago. It does depend on the sellers. Some say


you have 14 days, 30 days. If you buy something from a high street


brand, sometimes they will take it 30 days back. Something you bought


on the high Street, there is nothing wrong with it, it is just a bile.


Yes, if you have some sort of proof of purchase, if it has the brand,


you are really going to have to take their goodwill and the goodwill now


is not quite as much as it used to be.


Train tickets have gone up in price again this week. There are some


useful tips to keep the price of train travel as low as possible.


Obviously, buying online, in advance is way cheaper than just turning up


at the ticket office on the day. And if you make the same journey over


and over, a season ticket is likely to be cheaper than buying each time.


Here are a few more. If you travel after the daily rush-hour or at


weekends, a network railcard could save you up to a third off of most


tickets. It costs 30 quid and is valid for a year. Sometimes two


single tickets are cheaper than a return ticket. Not always, but


sometimes. Some websites will let you set up an alert, so you'll get


an email when cheap advance tickets become available. That could save


40%. And it's worth checking for alternative routes. You may find


that a longer journey by an indirect route is cheaper than the direct,


express service. To find them, use the advanced search settings when


checking the timetable online. Ding dong! Some news about the


housing market. More than 6,000 people have applied for a mortgage -


under the Government's latest Help to Buy scheme. But only 750 homes


have actually been bought. The rest are still in the pipeline. The


scheme helps us buy a home if we've only got 5% of the price saved as a


deposit. The Nationwide, the biggest building


society, claims house prices rose by over 8% last year. Of course, that's


one average figure for the whole nation. London prices jumped by


nearly 15%. In the north of England, prices were up around 2%. And


typically, houses are still worth less now than they were in 2007. The


Bank of England's interest rate is unlikely to rise this year, say the


UK's top economists. The BBC rang them up and emailed


them, and 93% of those asked predicted no change to the bank rate


this year. Of course, the Bank's rate is one thing. Wat you actually


get for your savings, or pay for your mortgage is quite another.


Those actual rates were driven down hard as the high street banks were


flooded with cheap money. Many people who were left without


electricity over Christmas because of the weather are set to get some


compensation. UK Power Networks, which owns electricity lines and


cables in London, the South East and East of England, and Electricity


North West with customers in the north west of England both say


they'll stump up. So too will Scottish and Southern Energy Power


Distribution. It says it will pay ?54 to customers who were without


electricity for 48 hours. There's another ?54 for each full 12-hour


period that you didn't have electricity after that. If you were


cut off on Christmas Day itself, you'll get ?75. The company said it


will write to its customers over the next five week, but you can also


make a claim online. Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution


covers the area from Yeovil in Somerset to West London and from


Oxfordshire to the Isle of Wight. It also supplies northern Scotland.


New Year. Time for a make over for your money. Here's Nigel Cassidy.


Last month the post brought good cheer and Christmas cards. Now it is


mainly is bills. All the evidence is millions get into a financial mess


because of a poor grasp of the basic financial tasks. Judging by the kind


of calls flooding into debt lines like this one, Paul money-management


is as much a factor as reckless borrowing. People do not understand


their payslip, interest rates all the interest risks. Do you know how


much money is in your account? Not really. I check every fortnightly. I


check daily. Rarely. I let you check it. Checking your statement is one


thing. Understanding it is another. People don't know how much money


they have got in their accounts. One in six not knowing whether the


number at the bottom is the mud in their account or it includes the


overdraft. The new centre for the Public understanding of finance has


been setup to promote knowledge personal finance. You make a start


by not turning a blind eye to your financial position. Check your bank


statement and reconcile it, put together a household budget. That


will tell you if you have scope to save or whether you have a problem


spending more than you are earning. Think about what your long-term


plans are and how they need to be financed. We all live for today for


eight degree but eventually we will need a pension and if you start to


plan too late it is financially disadvantageous. With half of us


finding it hard to pay our bills, it is not surprising people are out


looking for bargains. Many will resolve to get a grip on our


finances but inevitably we will buy financial products we cannot


understand and borrow money we cannot repay. The advice is to get a


firm grip on your income and expenditure, make a budget, stick to


it and do not commit to anything unless you understand the cost,


benefits and risks. Let's get more advice on how to deal with those


Christmas debts. Edward is from the debt charity step change. The New


Year bills are only just arriving. What is the plan for dealing with


them? The first thing is to draw up that detailed household budget, that


list of your incomings and outgoings and covered your essential household


bills, your rent, mortgage, council tax, utility bills and then you can


work out what you can put towards repaying your debts. It is a good


idea to take a look at your bank statements and credit card bills


anyway because there might be things you are paying for that you have


forgotten. Absolutely. You can have that clear out of your finances


every year. Cancelled those direct debits you are not using. There are


some signs that your debt is running out of control. There are things


that people tell us that in retrospect they realise their


finances were getting out of control. Are you juggling your


household bills, are you borrowing to pay off existing debt? Are you


borrowing just to make it to payday? Those are signs that your debt


problem might be more serious and you really need to think and get


advice and support at that stage. That point about advice is important


because there are lots of companies that say they will help you deal


with your lenders but they will charge a fee and their risk free


advice available. There is high quality, free and impartial advice.


If people are struggling, those free and independent sources of advice


are the best places to go. If you are finding it a struggle to meet


your payments, there is no shame in going to your lenders and asking for


a deal. Absolutely. If your lenders are not as helpful as you would


like, come to one of the debt advice organisations. That is all from us


this week. You can go online to find out more advice and information. You


can also follow our feed on Twitter. Thank you for watching. More next


week. See you then. Let's bring you a statement from the


family of the British man killed in Libya. The family are shocked and


devastated to hear about his death in Libya.


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