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 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

How to enjoy the summer holidays without going bankrupt

Let’s be honest. For parents with school-age children, the reality of this six-week summer break can be anything but breezy, especially when costs and work demands start ramping up. Nearly two-thirds of working parents with primary school-age children say they did do have sufficient childcare for the six-week school holidays, according to research from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and campaigner Anna Whitehouse. The pandemic means many summer clubs are shut, with many family members not abl

Save the slog and buy an oven-ready small business

Owning your own business can be richly rewarding, although setting one up can be tough work and all-consuming. But what if you could skip the initial stage and buy an established business instead? Michelle Ovens is founder of small business champion Small Business Britain. She says: 'There can be lots of benefits to taking on an existing business – such as its established reputation, customer base, staff and assets.' Small business owners work so hard to build up a company that it may seem sur

'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.
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