Saturday, 21 November 2009


This pdf template for making your own 8.50" x 4.50" envelope is a really useful tool. Once you have the hang of making one you can make them smaller or larger by just adjusting the lengths on the dotted lines. Enlarge and print once and use as a template or just print page 1 when you need it (for a slightly smaller envelope). All you need is paper and glue stick or double sided tape.

Handy if you mess up a Christmas card envelope or if you just need more! Of course you can make them out of printer paper, but you can also use any other paper of a suitable weight.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Yes, there's £200 million up for grabs - and some of it could be yours! If you have savings and are not a tax payer (i.e. you earn less than £6,475 a year) or you are retired, you could be wrongly paying tax on your savings interest. In fact some pensioners can have a personal tax allowance of up to £9,640, depending on age and circumstances, and still be owed a tax refund.

This is why. If you open a savings account with a bank or a building society, the staff often forget to mention to you that you need to fill in a form (R85) if you are a non-tax payer, in order that the interest on your savings is not taxed, otherwise it is automatically taxed at source (before you get it). Perhaps when you originally opened your savings account you were a tax-payer, but due to unemployment or retirement, you are no longer, and you have forgotten to fill in the R85.

So if you, or someone you know, is in this situation, claim back now! The good news is that you can claim back 6 years' worth of wrongly paid tax by filling in form R40. So, January 2010 is the deadline for claiming back as far as the financial year 2003-2004.

It may not be much, and you may not get it in time for Christmas - but every little helps!

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Yesterday BBC Breakfast featured an article about buying from Next online. It seems customers on the Next website are buying an article, expecting to pay for it by credit or debit card but instead, they are automatically being signed up to a store card type of loan that they did not want.

Apparently, it seems that as you proceed with your purchase there is a box somewhere which needs to be UNTICKED to avoid being given a loan you didn't want! Next have told the BBC that they plan to put this right, but not until February 2010. Surely, it can't take that long to change a small thing like that?

And what comes between now and February 2010? Yes, Christmas!
You may think that's a cynical ploy - I couldn't possibly comment!