Launching his new run of The Martin Lewis Money Show with a special live instalment this week ahead of Black Friday – when many retailers unveil big one-off price cuts – Martin will invite viewers to “ask me anything”.
“There will be a studio audience asking questions, there will be cameras at places around the country where people can pop in, and viewers can also get in touch on social media,” says the 45 year old.
“I will have to fly by the seat of my pants, so I’m hoping it won’t be car-crash telly."
So in that inquisitive spirit, TV Magazine decided to probe Martin with some money-saving queries of our own…
What are your top tips for saving money this Christmas?
“Make a list before you go Christmas shopping and check out the prices online first.
"If you head out thinking: ‘What am I going to buy?’ it always ends up more expensive.
"Also, please be wary of gift cards and vouchers because they are worthless if the company goes bust.
If you want to give money, give cash. Cash is the most flexible gift voucher out there.
As for groceries, don’t think that Tesco Finest is better than own-brand just because it has got ‘Finest’ on it. Up-branding doesn’t mean you will enjoy Christmas more.”
What’s the biggest waste of money in the average household?
“Sixty per cent of people reading this article are burning money on their energy bill and should switch supplier.
"People tell me it is difficult to switch and that is just not true. These days we have a lot of energy providers that are smaller firms that people haven’t heard of, but they are cheaper.”
Is mobile phone insurance a con?
“Mobile phone insurance is one of the few insurances that doesn’t have risk-based pricing. You pay the same to insure your phone whether you lose it every year or you’ve never lost it, so it’s no bad thing.
But you don’t have to insure with your network provider. Nationwide’s Flexplus bank account costs £13.50 a month and it insures all the family’s mobiles.”
What advice have you got for getting the best deal on a TV package?
“Work out what you watch. Many people like lots of channels, but it’s a bit like the gym – having them and using them are not the same thing.
"Get a Now TV pass and watch sports or movies online for a one-off fee.
"If you’re a subscriber, just before the end of your contract it’s always worth calling up your provider and asking for a better deal.
"It’s the customer-retention team’s job to keep you, so make them fight harder for your business.”
Do supermarket loyalty cards make it worth staying loyal?
“If I happen to be in a shop and I have a loyalty card for that store I would definitely use it, but I would never choose to shop based on the fact that they have a loyalty scheme because they have a vicious cycle that traps you in.
"When you earn points you tend to have to redeem the points at the same store, and you have to spend more to earn more points.”
With Christmas around the corner, Martin Lewis dishes out some must-know money advice
If I’m in debt, is it a good idea to cut up all of my credit cards?
“Cutting up your credit card is a purely physical act that does nothing.
"If you already have bad debt, cancelling your credit card makes no difference to your credit score because you still have the debt.
"The most important thing is to get a balance transfer and move the debt to where it is cheapest to pay back.
"Then, rather than cut up your card, put it in a bowl of water and then place it in the freezer!”
Should I use my savings to pay off my credit card or hold on to them?
“A lot of people have savings and credit-card debt because they don’t like to use all their savings to pay off the debt.
"However, a savings account only pays around one percent in interest, whereas credit card debts cost you 20 per cent in interest. If you cleared your debt by using your savings, you would be £180 better off for every £1,000.”
Source: The Sun