Noticed some changes? You can read all about the improvements we've made on the Forum in our latest announcement. We also have a new set of Forum rules so please take the time to give them a read and familiarise yourself.

Saving money = means spending more!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
4 replies 1.1K views
While I would agree that a lot of advice given in this forum is good advice, I do have to question the mailshots produced by Martin.

Several times something has caught my eye and I've clicked on it to see what it's all about, then much to my disappointment the article has meant that in order to save money I have to pay out more than the offer is realistically worth - and you can get 'whatever' a lot cheaper elsewhere.

The latest incident was with the Nationwide Free Travel Insurance - received in an email dated the 13th February 2013.

We are planning travelling abroad this year, we have a Nationwide Flex Account. But when examining the details, the terms and conditions state we have to pay £750 into our account for 3 months prior to qualification! I'm not sure how many of us have £2,250 to simply dump into an account just to qualify for this 'Free Insurance'. Not many people I would bet. Then you have to carefully read the T&C's to see if any of the exclusions apply.

But I have noticed this a lot with these weekly emails from Martin and it all boils down to having to spend more money in order to save a little. A lot of the offers are for items we wouldn't ordinarily buy and if anything they are encouraging people to buy items just to get the freebie (or not as the case may be).

The questions I have is, how can this all be deemed as 'Money Saving'? How can this be seen as "Expert" advice? How can it be seen as saving money when we have to pay out more on, in most instances, stuff we may not or do not need?!!


  • Did the Nationwide offer specifically say the money had to stay in the account for 3 months? I've seen this type of thing before where the current account will give a specific benefit if £xx is deposited per month but it does not mean it has to remain in the account untouched.

    I've also seen many offers where you get a freebie if you buy x amount of items but if the items are not something I buy, then I ignore it. However, I'm sure there are many other people who will buy that item and therefore will benefit from the saving.

    Everyone has free choice. If an offer is made which appeals then take it up, if it doesn't suit you then ignore.

    MSE is not forcing people to avail of offers, simply advising that they are available.
  • aliamaaliama Forumite
    242 Posts
    In the example you cite, you're not having to pay anything out. The Flex account doesn't have a monthly fee. Nationwide is assuming that the minimum monthly deposit would be your WAGES, and it's a requirement because they want you to use the account as your primary account, not as a spare account you set up just because you wanted to get the free travel insurance.

    Assuming you use this account as your main account, exactly how is that costing you money?
    NSD May 1/15
  • pjcox2005pjcox2005 Forumite
    860 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    As I believe Martin has often said, the advice is to be financially savy on purchases made, not to not spend money at all.

    For example, you'd save more by not taking a holiday each year but that's fairly useless advice. Better advice would be to show where savings can be made on taking the same holiday as previously intended e.g. cashback on websites, flightchecker for lowest cost flights.

    As a result, the e-mail is going to include a range of things that aren't going to be written for purely one individual who will benefit from everything.
  • grenjs wrote: »
    But when examining the details, the terms and conditions state we have to pay £750 into our account for 3 months prior to qualification! I'm not sure how many of us have £2,250 to simply dump into an account just to qualify for this 'Free Insurance'.

    You can pay in 750 and then take it out again, three months in a row.

    Or pay in 375, take it out, pay in 375 again, take it out. Three months in a row.

    Also, not everyone on MSE is utterly skint! I wouldn't call 2250 a vast amount of money, that's a small emergency fund... It'd last me about three months of unemployment, max.
    Said Aristippus, “If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.”
    Said Diogenes, “Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king.”[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT]
This discussion has been closed.
Latest News and Guides

Coronavirus travel rights

Latest on travel restrictions, refunds help and more

MSE Guides

This weekend: 'Open Farm Sunday'

Free entry to 90+ farms. Excludes NI

ME Deals