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 Sun, The Mirror, LoveMoney, and Moneywise Magazine. I have also worked for a range of lifestyle and travel publications and in my spare time set up my own successful baking blog and social media network. 

Budgets, bills and emergency savings: How to financially brace yourself for a coronavirus recession

The coronavirus pandemic has not only caused thousands of deaths, including more than 50,000 in the UK alone, but has also triggered a worldwide economic crisis, with rising unemployment, falling wages, and a slowdown of business. On 13 May, Office for National Statistics figures showed the UK economy contracted at its fastest pace since the 2008 financial crisis during the first quarter of 2020. We won’t know until the summer if the UK is officially in recession – technically classified as a

How to live the good life (and save a fortune at the same time)

Have you ever dreamed of growing your own fruit and vegetables or rearing hens or bees for an endless supply of eggs and honey? It may sound idyllic, but just how achievable is the good life – and will it save you any money? Getting back to nature and shifting away from buying everything at the supermarket is becoming increasingly popular. There are around 100,000 people currently on allotment waiting lists and it’s not just a hobby for the retired either. According to a recent study by Wyeval

'My smart meter is spying on me' and nine other myths busted

Are you keen to have a smart meter installed or do you worry about the negative stories surrounding them? Here, energy experts help to debunk some common misconceptions Smart meters are designed to save households money and give people more control over their energy usage. This type of gas and electricity meter works by sending your meter readings digitally to your energy supplier and bringing an end to estimated bills. However, the £11 billion government rollout, which began in 2016, has been

The small businesses delivering food and essential supplies across the UK from Bristol to Birmingham

SMALL businesses across the country are going above and beyond to deliver food, drinks, and essential items to households during the coronavirus crisis. While the supermarkets are experiencing a surge in demand, and online shopping slots are hard to come by, we’ve rounded up the small shops you can buy from. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates Shoppers across the country are desperate to get their hands on essential items and because of panic buying, many items are

I earn £33,000 a year but my divorce left me in debt so how can I save for a wedding?

MARK Barber earns £33,000 a year but a divorce has left him nearly £20,000 in debt, which he's desperate to clear so he can afford to marry new partner Kerry Hyde. The couple, aged 46 and 31 respectively, live in Cambridgeshire where Mark earns £2,150 a month after tax and pension contributions as a fire alarm engineer. Mark's two sons, aged 17 and 15, live with his ex-wife in Surrey and he sees them twice a month. But while Mark is savvy when it comes to switching and monitoring bills, he's

Change careers and do something you love: We share stories of four people who have done it

Stuck in a rut at work and feeling unfulfilled? Four people who have successfully changed careers share their stories We are expected to know from an early age what career we would like, but what happens if you decide you no longer want to do the job you have? We spend an average of 3,507 hours working in our lifetimes, according to a study by the Association of Accounting Technicians, which is a lot of time if you are stuck in a job you hate. Here, four workers share their stories on how the

I earn £35,000 a year but owe £5,000, have an IVA and struggle to manage money - can I buy a home?

BUYING her own home is Stacey Gould’s dream but with £5,000 of debt and an individual voluntary agreement (IVA) she doesn't know if she will get accepted for a mortgage. The 33-year-old recruitment partner earns an annual salary of £34,670 - or £2,259 a month - and has recently moved into a rented one-bed cottage in Leeds. But she's desperate to get debt-free and step onto the property ladder. Our Cash Clinic expert Rebecca Goodman doesn't pull any punches - she tells Stacey to stop fritterin

How to save £268 a year through Switchcraft

MILLIONS of UK households are overpaying for their energy, even though switching providers could save an average of £268 every year. There are 11 million households paying too much for their gas and electricity with a standard variable tariff from one of the big six energy companies. But while switching energy companies is the easiest way to cut your bills, not enough of us are doing it - and the savings really add up. Those with an average consumption with a standard variable tariff from Bri

How low income families can get free or cheap cookers, fridges, and washing machines

HARD-UP households can get cash grants or discounts to help buy essential white goods including cookers or fridges. They are offered by charities, not-for profit organisations, the Government, and even companies - but you have to meet the requirements. Usually you will need to be on a low income, receive certain benefits or suffer from illnesses or disabilities. While other schemes are available to those who’ve worked for particular firms or charities. Last year charities alone charities dis

Cat food: should you spend more on posh brands?

Something of a revolution is under way in terms of what we eat, with growing numbers of people opting to go vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian. But what about the food we give to our pets? What’s in it, and is it worth spending more on premium brands? My two cats are generally not fussy eaters, but last year, after one became ill, I started to look into the ingredients in their food. Oscar and Dennis are two-year-old moggies and, apart from killing sprees of the local wildlife in our London neig

First-time mum starts a £1m business because she was sent too many flowers

When she had her first child, Buster, Steph Douglas received eight bouquets of flowers. She found it overwhelming - eight more living thing that you needed to care for. But flowers are one of the most popular gifts for new mums - with friends, relatives and colleagues frequently heading straight to a florist when choosing a gift. Steph - now a mum of three - disagreed, and has gone on to build a business based around sending anything but flowers to new parents. “When friends had babies, I wou

Can black box device Lightfoot save you money?

Lightfoot promises to save drivers around £150 a year on petrol, but how does it actually work, and could it actually save you any money? We test it out. Do you think you’re a good driver and if so, why? Maybe you’ve avoided having any accidents and don’t have any points on your licence, or you’re generally confident in your driving skills. What would you say if you could buy a small black gadget to fit into your car, which would monitor how you drive and possibly save you money? Lightfoot, a

Are Aldi’s ‘copycat’ brands good value for money?

Are Aldi’s copycat products any good and should you switch to them? Rebecca Goodman tested out 10 to see how they stack up. Aldi is well known for beating the high street supermarkets for cost and is often praised for creating products which are better than the big brands. Since the first shop opened in 1990, it’s gone from strength to strength. It has hundreds of new shops planned and this year was named the Best Grocer of 2019 and the best supermarket for Own Brand Range products by Retail

‘My flat was built in 2017 so why can't I get BT or Sky broadband?’

Water, gas, electricity and broadband are essential household utilities, but a large number of new homes are being built without the infrastructure for a decent broadband connection – or, in some cases, with no service at all. Jennifer Offord, 36, bought her new-build flat in Hackney, east London, in February 2018, four months after it had been completed, only to find out she was not able to sign up to any of the standard providers. “I had assumed it would be fine as I had never had a problem b

Have solar panels had their day in the sun?

Energy bills have been rising steadily and now cost an average of £1,137 a year. But what if you could generate your own solar power? We do the sums to see if it’s worth the initial outlay There are currently 920,000 homes in the UK with solar panels installed, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It is also possible to store self-generated electricity in a home battery pack, reducing the need to buy it from the national grid even when the sun isn’t o

Ski trip? Late Easter could mean you're not covered for piste closures

You’ve booked your ski holiday and packed your bags but what happens if you arrive at your resort and there’s not enough snow? Usually your winter sports travel insurance will cover lost days under piste closure. This will include prepaid ski passes or lessons, and extra costs for travelling to a different resort, of around £30 per day up to a limit per person of around £400. But because the Easter holidays fall later than usual this year, from April 8 to 22, at least 10 insurers including Sag

I had no idea how difficult it would be - dad's key lessons on parental leave

“I wanted to take time off so I could experience first-hand the important milestones in my youngest son’s early life,” explained Ewen Murray, 37, who took shared parental leave when his second son was born. Ewen, who lives in Kent, took a month of leave at full pay when Arlo was four months old, and then tagged on a month of annual leave giving him two months at home. He admits he was slightly naive beforehand. “I had no idea how difficult it would be to look after two children all day long, s

Baby on board? Here's how new parents can cut their costs

There’s no escaping it: having a child is an expensive business, with surveys suggesting it costs the average couple £75,000 to raise someone to the age of 18. But there is a world of freebies and discounts available to help parents cut the costs and here we’ve rounded up 10 of the best. If you have a weekly, monthly, or annual season train ticket it might be possible to get a free first-class upgrade for your journey. Most train companies will offer a “mums-to-be” pass which lets pregnant wo

What to do if you’re struggling to pay your credit cards | MoneySuperMarket

If you’ve overstretched yourself and are struggling to meet your credit card repayments, there are a number of steps you can take to get back on track. The sooner you take action, the sooner you’ll start paying back what you owe, and always remember no debt is unsolvable. 1. Work out exactly what you owe Grab a cuppa and sit down with a pen and paper or laptop and list out all your outstanding credit card balances. • The total amount left on each card • The interest rate you are currently pay
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