Rebecca Goodman

I am an award-winning freelance journalist with more than 10 years’ experience working for online and print consumer publications in the personal finance sector. I now regularly write for The Guardian, The Independent, The Mirror, and The Telegraph. I also regularly take on corporate content projects and in my spare time set up my own successful baking blog and social media network. 

How to get the best deal on a PCR test

Life is never boring with Covid-19 is it? Just when we think things are returning to normal, a new variant rears its ugly head. The latest twist to the ongoing pandemic is another new variant, this time it's called Omicron, and the UK government has announced a range of new measures to try and curb the spread of the virus. It's been almost two years now since the first UK lockdown and it's fair to say things can change pretty quickly, within hours in some cases. Anyone aged 12 or over needs t

The false economies that will cost you a fortune in 2022

Many self-employed workers breathed a sigh of relief as the government recently announced a month’s grace on this year’s tax return deadline. Yet while taking the extra time may ease the strain on your finances in the short term, it will end up costing you more as interest will be applied to payments from 1 February, at a rate of 2.75 per cent, so it’s still better to pay on time if you can. The thought of anything costing more than it needs to is especially significant right now as money alwa

How to boost your bank balance in 2022

January is traditionally a month of paying off Christmas debts and beginning new resolutions but this year more than ever, it’s a time when a spotlight will be shone on our personal finances. The pandemic has resulted in an economic crisis which we are in the middle of. It has left millions with less money than they usually have, thanks to entire industries cutting back or shutting down. On the other hand, those lucky enough to keep their jobs and work from home have managed to save money. Yet

What does 2022 have in store for the property market?

From price rises to stamp duty holidays, soaring demand for larger properties to historic low interest rates and cheap mortgages, 2021 was a whirlwind. The last 18 months have taught us a lot but one of the main takeaways is that nothing can be predicted and unforeseen events, like the pandemic, can spring up and change everything we thought we knew about the world. This is especially true when it comes to the housing market. Prices have risen significantly after an initial total shutdown in 2

5 tricks to save you a fortune in 2022

This year things have been a little more squeezed than normal. Inflation is way over the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target, pushing up the price of everything we buy. But that doesn’t mean we can’t fight back. Any money saved is a benefit, no matter what your personal situation. It can go towards paying off debts or towards an emergency savings pot for unforeseen events, or towards specific savings, such as a house deposit, holiday or retirement. Here are five everyday tricks to get you star

Why the battle to protect the UK’s mutuals matters more than you think

Until recently I’d heard of most of the mainstream mutuals, including the likes of Nationwide, Royal London, LV=, and NFU Mutual, but couldn’t really have told you why they were that different to any other big, glossy financial services brand. After finally getting around to buying income protection from LV earlier in the year, I was invited to take part in the key LV members’ vote on whether to stay as a mutual or be sold to the US private equity firm Bain Capital for £530m. It wasn’t the onl

How to work from home without breaking the bank

You’re doing your job but not in the office, so is it fair for your pay to be cut? Some businesses are proposing pay cuts for home workers but what’s the legal position and how are workers’ finances affected by staying at home? Before March last year, working from home was something to do on rare occasions if you were lucky. But after everything changed when the coronavirus pandemic hit, it’s now become the norm for many. A year ago, shortly after “Eat out to help out” ended, employees were e

House swapping is the new staycation. Here’s how to make it work for you

Covid has completely upturned the travel industry. All the upheaval has brought about a boom in staycations with a 500% annual rise in people searching for the word in 2020, according to Statista. Instead of booking a hotel or self-catered accommodation – which is now 40% more expensive than in 2019, according to consumer group Which? – many people are trying house swapping. Of all the trips booked this year via the website Love Home Swap, 61% were in England, Scotland and Wales, compared to 26

Is going off grid the answer to the energy crisis?

In case you really hadn’t noticed we’re in the middle of an energy crisis. Millions of households are bracing themselves for energy price hikes, as Ofgem’s price cap increases at the end of this week. Several smaller energy firms have already gone bust and there are warnings of stock shortages at the supermarkets after wholesale energy prices shoot up by 250 per cent. There are many reasons for the energy crisis, from a surge in global demand to electricity supply issues. However, it’s also

How the pandemic changed me and my money

You hardly need us to tell you that it’s almost 18 months since the first UK covid lockdown. From those who lost their jobs and were furloughed or received the self-employed grant (SEISS) to those who weren’t able to access this government help and instead turned to benefits to tide them over, there are countless examples of lives being upturned completely. Around 12 million people have been supported through furlough (which began to wind down in July and ends completely next month), costing t

Warnings grow over unregulated salary advance schemes

The latest employment figures may make for reassuring reading, but the numbers behind the headlines tell a different financial story. Around 9 million people had to borrow more money than usual because of the pandemic, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The government’s furlough scheme, which has protected around 11 million jobs, is also due to come to an end soon, which is likely to cause unemployment figures to rise and see more people pushed into debt. If your income ha

Try these tips to protect your home from storms, floods and heatwaves

Extreme weather events are increasingly common – from flash flooding to prolonged heat waves. The insurer Aviva received 7,600 storm claims from UK households in February last year alone – around the same number it usually gets in a whole year. There were more than 2,500 heat-related deaths in 2020. This number could rise to 7,000 every year by 2050 if homes are not adapted, according to the Environment Audit Committee. The committee of MPs also predicts that average rainfall will rise by 59

From bills to food, students share 10 smart ways to save money

University life need not mean subsisting on baked beans and living like a hermit. But with course fees alone of up to £9,000 a year, students need to budget. Many will be paying for meals, housing, utility bills, books and travel for the first time. As parents prepare to wave their children off to university, The Mail on Sunday asks current students to share their top money-saving tips. 1. PLAN MEALS FOR THE WEEK AHEAD ...AND STOCK UP IN ONE GO Malcolm Marshall is studying law at Abertay Uni

Received an unexpected windfall? How to do the…

Received an unexpected windfall? How to do the right thing with it If you’ve won the lottery, received a bonus at work, or inherited a small sum of money out of the blue it might be tempting to put it towards a dream holiday but there are far more valuable things to do with the money. Most of us dream of our numbers coming up or inheriting vast sums of money from a long-lost relation but no matter what the size of the windfall you probably don’t want to blow it all in one go. Instead, there are

When does sharing become stealing? The truth…

When does sharing become stealing? The truth about handing over your memberships to your mates Subscriptions can be expensive so many of us share with family or friends to spread the cost. But is it allowed? And what, exactly, are the rules? The Covid pandemic has meant that we have spent a great deal of our spare time watching everything that streaming sites like Netflix and Disney+ have to offer. We also spent nearly £2.45bn on, and in, mobile apps with Tinder and YouTube topping the list. In

Period product requests at foodbanks are up 600%…

Period product requests at foodbanks are up 600% – what can we do to help? Remember when Covid hit the headlines and suddenly we faced the possibility that we would not be able to buy toilet roll on our weekly shop? Panic buying took over the nation and left supermarket shelves empty. One of our first lessons of the pandemic became the severe inequality in people’s access to essential goods – and made us question how we would cope without them. What didn't make the news was images of bare shelv

Self employed? Build a financial safety net

Quitting the nine-to-five and becoming your own boss is a dream for many – and in recent years more workers than ever have been taking the leap. There are more than four million self-employed workers in the UK, while the number of small businesses rose by 8 per cent in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2020. However, when you shift to self-employment, you lose the financial safety net that an employer provides if you fall ill and cannot work. That doesn't mean y

Banks under pressure to end homelessness ‘postcode paradox’

If you can’t tell a financial institution your address, the shutters will probably come down faster than you can say “financial exclusion”. Most banks won’t let you open a bank account, but without a bank account you then can’t get a job and earn any money or access benefits that are available to you. It’s a cruel catch-22 situation whereby the rules around opening a bank account are penalising homeless people and keeping them in the situation they find themselves in. Seven in 10 Citizens Advi

How to make renting your home more secure

The truth is that the circumstances are stacked against tenants - from rising rents to unscrupulous landlords. But reform is coming. So how can you protect yourself in the meantime? A decade of rising house prices, stagnant wages, and two economic recessions have resulted in people in their mid-30s to mid-40s being three times more likely to rent today when compared to 20 years ago, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Meanwhile, around three-quarters of people aged 65 years
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