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Managing your finances better

The days of generous corporate ‘defined benefit’ pension schemes, related to final salary and index linked, are numbered (at least for the private sector) and increasingly people are in charge of their own pension arrangements and financial affairs generally.
Are you up to it , and are you up to date, or would some financial education be a wise investment?
Even if you are quite familiar with dealing with a ‘defined contribution’ pension plan or a Self Invested Pension Plan ( SIPP), are you remembering to review the asset allocation of your financial reserves from time to time?   
There are a variety of investment seminars and training sessions available if you want to take an interest in managing your finances.   Some may be poorly disguised sales pitches for your custom, but a bit of common sense and caution should enable you to identify  those.


General advice

Set up by the FSA, the Money Advice Service gives free unbiased advice on retirement.

The Government website on 'managing money' is:   




Backgound reading and courses on personal finance   Open University distance learning course on personal finances   for the wit and wisdom of Warren Buffet  




Checking the market for prices  

There are a growing number of 'comparison websites' which compare the prices of a range of products.  

See:- is the 'Which'  site for comparing energy prices :  a price comparison site covering money (savings and mortgages), insurance,travel, motoring, gas and electricity, mobile phones and broadband   everything from travel insurance to bank accounts

  Motley Fool gives an independent comparison of financial products from credit cards to insurance to mortgages  if you are interested in the minutiae of how  to get the cheapest rail fares, telephone calls etc this site may  interest you.  There is an associated blog at compares prices on any branded product  compares prices for gas , electricity and water suppliers,also covers broadband, phone and TV  register on this site to find the cheapest fuel in any particular area



Cheaper Air Fares

It may be cheaper to book international flights through a US agent :see Cheap flights.



Getting a discount on your purchases  Voucher codes are discounts provided by retailers when they want to increase sales on particular lines.  This site accesses the discounts available from a wide range of well known retailers.   



Cut down the cost of eating out  

  Be a food critic and eat for free in restaurants in UK and overseas.  



Swap your books after reading  

See  You just  pay the postage on the book you send away.  




Blogs on this subject.  see  - a Maths Phd's views on aspects relevant to personal investment.  




Avoiding Scams  

  For information on how to recognise a scam (viz an offer which sounds too good to be true and indeed is not true) see

 'Phishing' scams are designed to steal your identity by getting information from you such as account details and passwords.   For information  on these see 




Debt    If all else fails and you need a free confidential service to help you with your debt problems, see  which is run by a charity, Money Advice Trust, and is backed by the Treasury and the DTI.


Lost bank acounts. is a FREE central tracing scheme spanning banks, building societies and NS&I. It draws together the three central tracing schemes first introduced in 2001.   It is designed to help where the customer is unsure of which bank or building society holds an account to which they have entitlement, including instances where the bank or building society has since closed or merged. NS&I investments can also be traced using the online application form.



Saving on electricity bills   The Energy Saving Trust has a calculator which  will help you find out how much you could earn and save through solar electricity panels, wind turbines, hydroelectricity and micro combined heat and power systems using the Feed in Tariff scheme.

.  See


NEW  Saving on Grocery bills say that 'short date shopping' (buying food close to or past its 'best before' date) could save up to 80% off grocery bills.