Here’s How Having a Financial Spidey-Sense Could Save You Money

Over the years, I have developed an ingrained value alarm. It’s my own financial “Spidey-Sense”.

If I am faced with a price that is too high for what is offered, I will say no thank you and I will move on.

But if I think a high price is justified compared to other options, then I’ll hand over the money.

That’s why I rarely take taxis when I can walk or take public transport, but I still buy craft beer and have an iPhone even though much cheaper options are available.

So you can imagine my reaction when I spotted a £21 bowl of granola on our hotel breakfast menu. I was tempted to order it just so this column could be a (presumably) scathing review of some toasted oatmeal and yogurt, but I couldn’t bear to do the same.

Still, it’s on the menu at that price, so some customers have to order it and be willing or wealthy enough to pay way above the ratings.

That’s fine for them, but it won’t be for the rest of us. And while I imagine most of you would also be shocked by the £21 cereal, you might be more willing to ignore the prices for your other expenses. And that might be just about manageable.


Andy’s Top Picks: Credit Card Welcome Offers

I tend to collect cash back rather than airline points, but an enhanced welcome offer from Amex might make the latter worth considering, especially since it’s available for most existing customers, not just for beginners.

Until February 28, new British Airways American Express Premium Plus cardholders can earn 40,000 Avios points if they spend £3,000 in the first three months, up from the usual 25,000. It’s worth £320 if converted into Nectar Points, or it can be used for flights.

The card comes with a hefty annual fee of £250, but if you cancel after collecting your bonus points, these will be refunded on a pro-rata basis.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card

Welcome bonus: 20,000 Amex Reward points if you spend £3,000 in three months

Equivalent value: £160 (in Nectar Points)

Costs: £0 the first year

British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card

Welcome bonus: 40,000 Avios points if you spend £3,000 in three months

Equivalent value: £320 (in Nectar Points)

Costs: £250

American Express Platinum Cashback Card

Welcome bonus: 5% on first spend of £2,500

Equivalent value: Up to £125 (cashback)

Costs: £25

But if the cost of living crisis hasn’t hit you already, it could be coming soon. Telephone and broadband bills are on the rise again, and the expected spring energy bill rise could be around £600+ a year. And more.

So now is the time to really start thinking about how much you’re paying, whether you can live without it, or find ways to get the same thing for less. Not to buy the £21 granola.

Your own value alarm may be very different from mine, but at least if you start developing one, you have more choice about what your money ultimately gets you.


Andy is who to follow: The Money Fox

Fran’s Reels (@the.moneyfox) constantly appear on my Instagram timeline. It’s a fun way to draw attention to money matters, but when you click on its descriptions, you also get some much-needed additional information.

Fran’s top budget tip: “Write down a list of things that bring you joy and add them to your budget.” You’ll want to include a range of costs – so things that are free (like going for a walk), small things like going out for coffee, then bigger things like vacations. Ideally, small fees should be more frequent, but it’s up to you! »

Follow Andy on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram via @andyclevercash.

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