Money Matters

Welcome to our newest page on the BBB where we will hopefully give you an insight as to how you can save yourself £££'s. All the articles or products listed have been used or tested by our staff and while they will not always be suitable to all our readers, we are confident that there will be those of you who can gain from our experiences. We welcome your feedback on any of the content shown below.

The easy way to save on your energy bills!

We are constantly being advised to save money on our energy bills by switching supplier. This is good advice but can be quite a hassle. Did you know that there is now a company who can make this switch for you - and it's completely FREE!

Not only that but if at a later date it would pay you to switch again then no problem, they will switch again and continue to search for the best deals while you are signed up with them.

The company is called 'Look After My Bills' and to find more about them then visit                 If you like what you see you can then sign up and follow the instructions - and it gets better! If you sign up on this link then you and the BBB will receive £20 (ours will be donated to Derian House Children's Hospice.)                                                 Read below the mission statement from the company. 


Our mission is to save you money, each and every year. Here’s just how we’re working to keep your energy bills low:

We evaluated the market in search of a great deal that would save you at least £50 on your bills.
We are constantly checking the market for you, keeping an eye on how what you pay stacks up.
When your current deal is nearing its end, we assess the market in detail to find you another great deal that’ll save you at least £50.                                                When we find it, we automatically get you set up to switch and save again!
So, whether it’s your first switch, or your fiftieth, you won’t have to worry about overpaying for energy every again. We’ve always got you covered.

We at the BBB reckon that this deal is a 'no brainer' and all our staff have now signed up to it - and some are already reaping the benefits.

Why not take the plunge today. You have absolutely nothing to lose but the potential of saving yourself £££'s - Go on! - You know it makes sense.


Our editor, famous for his attitude of not spending more than is necessary, recently joined 'Look After My Bills' and was pleasantly surprised when within a matter of days the company found him a new supplier that would reduce his overall energy bill by £215 per year. Did he make the switch? You bet he did.       You to can benefit from this service which is completely free. Why not give it a try and like our editor you may also be equally delighted that you did.


         The Pro’s and Con’s of Equity Release

All things being equal, obtaining money through equity release is certainly not the cheapest option. However, all things are far from equal where your house is concerned. No one ever likes to think that they will end their days in a care home but statistics show that as we are an ageing population, many of will in fact do just that.
It is good to know that if and when we need the support and attention offered by care homes that they are there to give us that assistance. It would be nice to think that after a lifetime’s toil; such care would be free. Unfortunately, this is not the case unless you reside in Scotland.
A quick check today revealed that the average cost for living in a care home in 2017 is £29,000/year in the North West and a staggering £48,000/year in the South. This is dramatically increased if nursing care is required. At the present rate these costs are increasing by between £1,000 and £2,000 annually.
So, if the time should come when you need to move into care, how are you going to fund it? In many cases, people’s incomes prove inadequate and when savings are all used up then the difference is met from the value of your house. It does not need a genius to work out that after a few years in care, the value of your property will have reduced dramatically. In the simplest and most cynical of terms you will have ‘lost’ the value of your home while sitting around with a reduced quality of life, just waiting to ‘shuffle of this mortal coil’ – Unpleasant thoughts but true. This is the moment of realization when equity release, while you are reasonably well and healthy, becomes much more appealing.
Using the value of your house as equity allows homeowners to release a substantial part of that value in hard cash to do with what they will. The 64-dollar question boils down to this. Do you want the value of your home to fund time in a care home against having extra money in hand to fund all those desirables on your bucket list? To us at the BBB there is no contest.
Now let’s be realistic. At the present interest rates, the payback on whatever sum of money you release will double in about 14 years. Sounds a lot and it is. The consoling factor is that you will have enjoyed the benefits that the money has brought you against seeing it drain away, year by year for little more than basic food and shelter.
Have we convinced you to at least look a little closer at the benefits of equity release? If the answer is yes then it is worth noting that there are a number of specialist companies around that can assist in the venture. These include; Age Partnership, Aviva and Key Retirement.
We then asked our resident ‘Bard’, who has often discussed equity release with other staff members, to carry out some investigations on the various providers. After many hours of dedicated research, he decided that after taking everything into consideration, Key Retirement appeared to tick most of the boxes.
And so Key Retirement was contacted and a home meeting set up. Within days, Jeff Major, a company rep’ was seated in the Bard’s lounge where he proceeded to explain to him and other family members, the ‘why’s and wherefores’ of equity release. At no time was there ever any sales pressure applied and all our many questions were answered openly and honestly.
On Jeff’s departure a family conference took place. All agreed that despite it being a costly way to acquire money, it would probably be worth grasping the nettle. What swayed it was the Bard’s twin vision of cruising the Rhine, a glass of champagne in hand and hearing the call to another sumptuous 5-course dinner surrounded by loved ones, against sitting in a cheerless lounge with a cold cup of tea in hand and hearing the dinner gong for yet another tasteless meal surrounded by a sea of sullen faces and probably costing more than the cruise!
If we have aroused your curiosity then it’s well worth making that initial enquiry. It won’t cost you a penny and there is certainly no ‘arm twisting’ to contend with; and who knows in a few months from now you may be sitting next to the Bard on that luxurious cruise on the Rhine.

For more information, why not do what the bard did and contact Jeff Major, an independent equity release advisor for Key Retirement on 07711631617 or by email on – You won’t regret it!


If you do contact Key Retirement, please tell them that your curiosity was aroused by this article in the BBB.



                     The Tax Man is Giving Money away!

Hard to believe but it's true. Nearly half the couples eligible to claim marriage tax allowance are still failing to do so. This particular tax allowance - worth £230 a year - can be claimed by married couples or those in a civil partnership if they meet certain conditions. However, since it was introduced in 2015, only 2.2 million couples have claimed it, from 4.4 million eligible.The government said it had now simplified the application process. See the table below and find out if you are eligible.

How Marriage Allowance works
1. Partners must either be married, or in a civil partnership.
2. One partner needs to be earning at least £11,500 a year, and paying tax at the basic rate of 20%. If he or she is earning over £45,000 (£43,000 in Scotland) they are not eligible.
3. The other partner must be earning less than £11,500 in 2017-18, meaning they pay no tax.
If the above conditions are satisfied, the partner not paying tax can transfer 10% of his or her tax allowance to a partner, so saving £230 in this tax year.
Back-claims can be made for previous years.

Simple and straightforward isn't it. If you think you qualify or know someone who does, then this is what you do next. Just log onto and follow the simple instructions and who knows; you might just have an extra £230 to spend over Christmas!

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