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. 

'Ring' doorbells and other “affluence clues” that…

'Ring' doorbells and other “affluence clues” that could make your home a target by burglars Smart technology has come on in leaps and bounds in the past decade, especially after lockdowns forced us to turn to technology to replace human interaction. For the most part, it can be useful. It means friends, family members, and co-workers can communicate with each other from anywhere in the world and it’s completely transformed the way we live and work. From turning on a light switch with an app on

How to find affordable PCR tests for your holiday

There’s a new cost to a summer holiday and it can be a big one. If you’re counting down the days before you jet off on a well-deserved foreign holiday, you’re probably keeping a close eye on the latest government rules around foreign travel. We’ve all been stuck indoors for what seems like forever thanks to months of lockdowns and last year travelling abroad was pretty much off the cards for everyone. A relaxation of rules means we’re now able to book a trip away, but unlike in the pre-pandemic

How to cover your home from flooding when you can’t find insurance

From heatwaves to flash flooding, extreme weather conditions are becoming more common but if they cause damage to your home, what can you do if you can’t find insurance? After a week-long heatwave, thunderstorms rocked the UK last week, followed by flash flooding – including along my street. But these increasingly common incidents are having a damaging impact on UK homes, many of which are not designed to sustain extreme weather conditions. One in five properties are currently at risk of at l

How to fight the financial impact of long Covid

You might, after the prime minister’s pronouncements on Monday, be starting to think we’re done with the pandemic. It’s all but over, it seems. But almost 400,000 people are suffering from symptoms of long Covid more than a year after their initial coronavirus infection, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The true numbers are expected to be higher and the ONS has said around one million people have self-reported signs of the illness. And for them, this is nowhere near over.

Why should we care about inheritance tax?

It has always felt like a problem only the rich have to worry about. But as rumours circulate over an inheritance tax raid and warnings grow over the impact of house prices on the value of our personal estates, more of us need to start taking this eye-watering 40 per cent tax seriously. Or do we? The first thing to look at is the numbers, which unhelpfully, are always a little out of date. The last recorded figures are from 2017 to 2018 when just 3.9 per cent of deaths reported the charge. T

Is a house swap the affordable answer to your battle for a break?

If you’re eyeing the upcoming school holidays with increasing trepidation, you don’t need us to tell you there’s a problem when it comes to cost. Nor do you need us to spell out that the price of taking a break in the UK has risen significantly because we’re staying put. Again. You’ll pay a third more to stay at some seaside destinations, according to Which? , while with owners of accommodation cashing in on the fact that millions of us aren’t able to go abroad. One alternative is to house sw

Parking fines on private land – to pay or not to…

While if it’s issued by a local council, it’s usually called a ‘Penalty Charge Notice’. It’s a tiny thing but it means the difference in who you contact to challenge a ticket (and how likely you are to succeed). The first thing to do is work out if the ticket is genuine and who issued it. If it’s been given on private land - which can include supermarkets, hospitals, or private streets - a privately-owned company will have done the deed. The wording is important here as it will be called a ‘Par

Going it alone: how to make it as a freelancer

Freelance workers operate in all areas of working life, from writers and designers to hairdressers and chefs, and what makes them freelance is not only their ability to choose when and how they work (hello morning lie-ins) but also the fact they usually pay tax at the end of the year because it’s not taken from their wages before getting paid. The thought of not having a regular wage, benefits, or company pension contributions can make most people panic, but it doesn’t have to be scary and for

How to find insurance you’re a ‘high-risk’ traveller

It has been a long time coming but finally, the summer of (a bit more) freedom is here. The Portugal debacle notwithstanding, we’re embracing the chance the travel, even if it is mostly within our own shores for now. But as we settle in to a new normal some of the old restrictions are coming back to haunt us – not least when it comes to insuring that summer break. “We went into 2020 as a normal, healthy family that could pick up cheap travel insurance quickly,” says Kate MacKenzie, from Somer

What to do with savings if you’re steering clear of the property frenzy

If you’re one of the nation’s savers you’d be forgiven for experiencing an overwhelming sense of frustration. A year’s worth of headlines suggest you should be laughing all the way to the bank – having, perhaps, saved far more than usual thanks to a unique set of circumstances. But that cash probably hasn’t done you many favours since, especially if it is languishing in a savings account. Interest rates are dismally low, and providers have snatched away those that once paid out anything approa

House prices rise 10% in a year, the fastest growth since 2007, government data shows

The average price for a house in the UK rose to £256,405 in March, up 10.2% in 12 months, according to the government’s latest Land Registry house price report. It’s the first time annual house price rises have hit double digits since 2007 and means that buying a house is now £25,000 more expensive than it was a year ago. The average price for a house in the UK rose to £256,405 in March, up 10.2% in 12 months, according to the government’s latest Land Registry house price report. On a mont

The new financial tools supporting those hit hardest by Covid

By now you really won’t need us to tell you that the pandemic was devastating – from lives lost to livelihoods destroyed. In financial terms alone, the economy shrank by a record 9.9 per cent last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. The overall decline in output was more than twice as bad as the 2009 recession. With the UK now reopening, and further relaxations of the rules this week, rapid recovery is widely expected, thanks in part to the vaccine rollout and the government

The real price of friendship

We’ve all been there, out for dinner with a group of friends and someone orders the most expensive thing on the menu. You, however, still have three days until payday and are looking at just a side salad. When it comes time to settle-up, do you become ‘that person’ and ask if everyone can pay exactly what they owe? Or do you just reach for the credit card and agree to split the bill for the sake of keeping the peace? Managing money is hard but when you throw friends and social situations in

UK house prices rise to another record high of £258,204 in April, Halifax reports

House prices are expected to remain on the same upwards trajectory for the next few months largely thanks to the extension to stamp duty which is not due to return to pre-pandemic levels until October. Separate data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) shows that property transactions for March were at their highest ever levels of 190,980, a rise of 32.2% from February. Between January and March this year, transactions were also 31.2% higher than for the three months at the end of 2020. Why have h

How National Insurance Works

You can pay National Insurance (NI) through your wages or via a self-assessment tax return and the amount you need to pay depends on factors including the type of work you do. National Insurance is paid by both employees in a pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system and self-employed workers. The amount of National Insurance you need to pay depends upon which system you’re in, how much you earn, and your personal circumstances. Not everyone has to pay National Insurance and some people are exempt, so it’

What is Universal Credit and How Can I Apply?

Universal Credit is the means-tested benefit system paid monthly to those with low or no income. It was first introduced in 2013 and gradually rolled out across the UK, replacing six previous benefits for workers with low incomes, those who have lost jobs, and those who are unable to work. It is paid monthly (twice monthly to some in Scotland) and is means-tested, so the amount of money you receive will depend on things like your wages, how many hours you work, and if you have any existing sav

Bank of England holds interest rates at 0.1% in March 2021 |

What the MPC announced this week What has happened with the base rate? What do Bank of England interest rates mean for borrowers and savers? When are rates expected to rise? “There was an expectation in the market of negative bank rate (it was priced in), but the BofE has managed to steer clear of doing that as financial institutions were not operationally ready for it until August 2021. By that point though the economy will be in a much better place, so it will not be needed.” What is the

Government-backed 95% mortgage deals launched |

The new scheme means more lenders are accepting borrowers with just a 5% deposit, but it comes as house prices reach record highs - forcing new buyers to take an even bigger step to reach the first rung on the property ladder. So will the new scheme actually have a meaningful impact on those struggling to afford their first home and are the deals worth grabbing before they run out in December or is it better to hold out for a bigger deposit and a standard mortgage? We take a closer look. It wi

Women won’t benefit from flexible working until childcare costs fall

Trillions of US dollars were set officially aside this week to help boost the post-Covid economy by lowering childcare costs. Just like they are in the US, childcare fees are one of the biggest expenses for UK parents or carers with young children. Childcare costs are up 2 per cent in the past year, to an average of £263 a week for a full-time place and £138 a week for part-time care, according to the Money Advice Service. That’s around £14,000 a year for just one child in full-time care, alth
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