16/11/2013 Your Money


16/11/2013

Weekly round-up of news about mortgages, savings, credit cards, bank accounts and pensions, plus helpful tips and advice. With Declan Curry.


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calls. Hello and welcome to Your Money `

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your weekly guide to making the most of your cash here every weekend on

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BBC News television AND available all week on the BBC iPlayer. The

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service that's supposed to stop unwanted phone calls. You keep

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telling us it doesn't work. The boss of the Telephone Preference Service

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is here to defend it. Saving money for the future. It's

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never too early to start. But what's the best way to do it? The mother of

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the one on the left finds out. And how can you save if you don't

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have any money spare at the end of the month? We'll get some tips.

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PPI. Cheap holidays abroad ` no catch. Shares that are an

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unbelievable bargain. Investments in diamonds that are yet to be

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discovered. There's no end to the ways that people try to part us from

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our money over the phone. If only there was some sort of system we

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could sign up for that said ` please don't call me, I'm not interested.

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But there is! It's the Telephone Preference Service. I've signed up

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for it. You've signed up for it. And yet the nuisance calls keep on

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coming. Some of you got in touch when we last mentioned this.

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And those were the polite comments. The Telephone Preference Service is

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run by this gentleman. You are launching a new certification

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scheme. How's that going to make difference? It is an accreditation

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service for the telemarketing industry and brings all of the

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existing legislation and best practice into one place to allow

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companies to be assessed. It is there to combat the damage to

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reputation done by companies like the one you just mentioned that

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cause a lot of nuisance calls and complaints and are bringing the

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legitimate telemarketing industry into disrepute. How does it change

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the fundamental issue, which is that Telephone reference service does not

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seem to work? The Telephone Preference Service is not a call

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blocking system, it is basically a service that allows people to

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register their telephone number, it is a free service and watch your

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number is registered it is the law. It becomes a legal requirement for

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companies to screen their lists and against the CPS file before making

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the calls. The problem we have is that with companies that are willing

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to ignore the law in order to take advantage of short`term financial

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opportunities like some of the ones you mentioned, particularly PPI, and

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often some of the calls come from overseas and are there to basically

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just collected data through some sort of survey or a questionnaire

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that is passed on to other companies that make further calls. That is the

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fundamental problem. You say it is the law that if you register with

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the service, these companies should not call you. They still call. They

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do still call. There is not just one solution to this problem, there is

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not a silver bullet. There are many things being done. One of the things

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is the introduction of TPS assured, so that we can help differentiate

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the legitimate telemarketers from those rules that we discussed. But

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also there are many other things. `` those rogues we discussed. Everyone

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with a stake in this problem, from government through to telecom

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providers, one of the most serious things is enforcement. The Telephone

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Preference Service does not have powers of enforcement. All of the

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complaint data we collect we pass on to the Information Commissioner and

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they are the organisation to issue fines of up to 500,000 pounds. So

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you have no enforcement powers of your own? No. We run the service,

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collect the numbers, and we talk to the companies that make the

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complaints `` that get the complaint but all of the information is passed

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to the Information Commissioner. Though these cold calling companies

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should look at you register and note who does not want these calls, but

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you cannot force them to do it and they carry on making the calls and

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there is nothing you can do about it. There is nothing that the

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Telephone Preference Service can do. What is the point of it? Today legal

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requirement. But these companies keep ignoring it. `` it is a legal

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requirement. Why is the law not enforced? The organisation with the

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power to enforce the law is the Information Commissioner. One of the

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things that the government is trying to do at the moment is lower the

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threshold of the burden of proof for the Information Commissioner because

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at the moment they have a high burden of proof to issue a fine. The

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Information Commissioner has been issuing a lot more find recently, he

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had been working hard on the issue of nuisance calls. But if the law

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could be amended slightly to lower the burden of proof so they did not

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have to prove significant damage or distress, they could law that to a

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nuisance, I believe they will be able to issue a lot more find that

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that would have a huge effect on the number of nuisance calls. Is it not

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time to change the law a stage further and license direct marketing

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companies and create a regulator with the power to strike them off if

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they pester people? I think that that is something that has been

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brought up in the past, the current government is not really, does not

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want to introduce a amount of extra burden on businesses with additional

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legislation. `` introduce a huge amount. Just out of curiosity, who

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pays for the Telephone Preference Service? It is paid by the companies

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that benefit from the calls being made. So this is self regulatory,

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you're a creature of the cold callers, just a PR front. It is a

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legal requirement. Any company making outbound sales calls need to

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use Telephone Preference Service. These companies pay for you, that

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means that you are never, ever going to get tough with them. I would be

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happy to get tough with them. There are other people get with them, the

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more people will want to use the Telephone Preference Service and the

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less nuisance calls there will be. OK. If someone is getting these cold

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today, aside from unplugging the phone, how should the deal with it?

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How can people stop these calls? The first thing I recommended they must

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make sure they are registered on the Telephone Preference Service. Then

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they have the ability to make a complaint about any of the calls.

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They can complain to the Telephone Preference Service or if it is about

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a recorded message, that goes to the Information Commissioner. Thank you

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for coming in. So now we are six. The last of the

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Big Six energy firms has said it will put up its prices. E.ON has yet

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to tell us by how much prices will rise ` the wicked tease ` but it's

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coming. Three of its rivals ` SSE, Npower and EDF ` says they'll cut

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their bills if the Government reduces green taxes. That might

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happen in the autumn statement on the 5th of December. But the public

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spending watchdog ` the National Audit Office ` has warned we face 17

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years of energy and water bills going up by more than other prices

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or wages ` as we've got to pay for new pylons, wires and pipes. Savers

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suffered too long from low interest rates, meaning you've got less to

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live on? Don't bank on an earlier rise in interest rates just because

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the economy is revving up. The Bank of England had said interest rates

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would go up if unemployment fell below 7% ` now the bank's key

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figures say unemployment might fall to that level faster than expected `

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but they might leave interest rates on hold anyway. What else is

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happening with money? The cost of renting a house or a flat is up

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again, 11% higher than last year. And one of the biggest banks is

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scrapping the fee for bouncing a cheque or other payments. HSBC and

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First Direct customers won't have to pay the current ?25 fee ` from

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November 24th. It's something grandparents ask every Christmas and

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every birthday ` should we save some money for the little darlings? What

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IS the best way to save for children? The Government has a

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savings plan for young people. It's the Junior ISA. One problem. Few

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seem to have heard of it ` or know how it works. That may or may not

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include new mum and Your Money reporter ` Maryam Moshiri. We asked

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her to look into them. These babies are too young to know

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what a piggy bank is for but many parents and grandparents believe

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saving for their children or grandchildren now is the best way to

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ensure they do not lose out in later life. Take`up of Jim Muir ISA since

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their launch has been disappointing, with research showing some parents

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find them too confusing to consider. `` take`up of junior Isa. There is

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not a lot of time to go and investigate all of those issues. So

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it gets really confusing where to start. You end up doing nothing.

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Junior ISAs come in two forms, a cash ISA and a stocks and shares

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one. The latest research shows that of the nearly 300,000 people who

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chose to invest in an ISA, only a small number to us to invest in

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stocks and shares. This did make the fact that stocks tend to outperform

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cash, meaning the returns you get if you're kept back is invested in the

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stock market could be much higher. For example, cash deposited in

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stocks and shares Junior ISAs would give you a return of over 15%,

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whereas the same amount invested in the Best Buy cash E.ON will divide a

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return of just under 3%. Inflation, the rate at which prices increase,

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is growing faster than the amount you get in interest. Over a

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long`term and for a child that could be the next 18 years until they get

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the money, that money could buy a very small proportion of what it

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would buy today. Stocks and shares are risky and many parents are

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unsure and prefer not to take that risk. It can beat him for parents

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try to work out which kind of E.ON Jews. If they choose stocks and

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shares, issued over the long`term do better. `` which kind of Junior ISA

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to choose. You have to look at the charges. They can make a difference

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over the longer term. Junior ISAs are not the best way to save for

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your children. The advice is to save for your children. The advice and

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image you shop around for in the long`term even the smallest amount

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can make a big difference. It is harder to save money when

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energy bills and food prices are rising so much. Many of us just

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don't have spare money to put aside for a rainy day. Research from HSBC

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this week says one in three adults would not last a week if we mist a

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single pay packet. Around 9 million households have less than ?250 set

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aside for safety set. A quarter of those people have nothing in saving

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at all. Some people will have money left over, they just don't know it

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is there. The first thing is to do a budget. Absolutely. Ideally, we

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should have enough money to cover ourselves or six months, really. So

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you should do a budget, work out how much money you need a month to keep

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the roof over your head, multiply that by six, and that is the amount.

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So if it costs ?1000 a month, you would need 6000 in a savings account

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which you can access. That will sound like an impossibly high figure

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for some will stop `` for some. Even one month is better than nothing. If

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you lose your job, it usually takes six months to get back on your

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feet, but even one or two months that you do not touch until it goes

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pear shaped is a help. If you take a cold, hard look at how you spend

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your money, some people will find things they can cut back on. You are

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right, many are genuinely struggling, but with others it is a

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lack of organisation. So if you look at what you don't have to spend on

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and cut back on that for a couple of months. Concert tickets? Yes, going

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out to eat, just go cold turkey and put the money aside. There are other

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ways of looking at this, and that is to do something which owns you some

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money. Yes, on my website, we are always advocating making some extra

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money on the side. It could be making cakes, walking dogs. ?15 per

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dogs per hour on it is good money. There are lots of ways of doing it

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and it will help you sleep at night. That is all from the

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programme this week. Advice on savings, borrowing and spending all

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week long on the website. And you can get updates by following us on

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Twitter.

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Weekly round-up of news about mortgages, savings, credit cards, bank accounts and pensions. Helpful tips and advice on how to get the best deals, consumer rights and making your money work harder for you. With Declan Curry.


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