Christmas

Why are retailers clamping down on returns and what does it mean for consumers?

A shoppers, we appreciate the convenience of sending something back if it isn't quite right. But with some people stretching the rules, retailers have been clamping down on their returns policies lately and becoming more strict about customer behaviour that isn't acceptable.

Some...

Claire Roberts

Claire Roberts

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Here’s what you could do right now to save money this Christmas

Authored by Paula_D

Think it’s too early to start planning for festive spends? Preparing now could save you huge amounts of money.

It may be way too early for many people to want to think about Christmas (unless you’re one of those hyper-organised festive types who starts preparing almost a year in advance!).

But right now could be a golden opportunity to do some planning, which will help you...

Seven things you’ll only know if you’re really organised with your Christmas shopping

Authored by Paula_D

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

You know that cliché of a frazzled parent running around the 24 hour supermarket just hours before Christmas, trying to buy gifts for the whole family and enough food to feed the five thousand? Well frankly, it’s a scenario that some of us just can’t relate to.

You’re such a fan of forward planning that you’ve ticked off all your...

Home security: 12 ways to deter burglars this Christmas

Authored by Paula_D

A former burglar and the police reveal how to keep your house secure over the festive season. Lisa Salmon finds out more.

If you’re looking forward to Christmas, bear in mind that thieves are gleefully anticipating it too – last year, there was a substantial increase in insurance claims for burglaries in winter, particularly over the Christmas period.

Halifax Home Insurance...

These are the books to put on your Christmas wish list

Authored by Paula_D

From history to thrillers, celebrity tales and prize-winning novels, Hannah Stephenson leafs through some of the books you’ll want under the tree.

Whether you’re after history or humour, murder or memoir, there’s a book out there to give a loved one this Christmas – or just to keep for yourself to escape the festivities for a few hours.

The big hitters expected to make it...

All I want for Christmas is . . . a new mortgage?

Authored by Paula_D

When is the best time to investigate a house move or new mortgage deal? Statistics show that many people choose the Christmas holidays to get the ball rolling. Here, Michael Usher – owner of Michael Usher Mortgage Services – considers the seasonal trend...

As Christmas fast approaches, most people are frantically shopping for gifts rather than thinking about house moves, mortgages or...

How to find the perfect gift for impossible-to-buy-for types this Christmas

Authored by Paula_D

Buying Christmas presents is something you either love or hate, but even the ultimate festive fan can struggle when it comes to those who are just plain difficult to buy for.

We all have them in our lives – the relative who seems to own everything already, the elderly aunt we buy the same thing for year after year, and the ones who are so picky that it's impossible to find anything...

Nine Christmas markets in the South West

Authored by Mary

Hoping to find yourself some Christmas treats? Slip away from the hustle and bustle of a town centre to one of these Christmas markets in special places cared for by the National Trust and shop safe in the knowledge that every penny you spend is helping to care for them. Plus there’s a chance for wintry walks and a festive treats in the cafés.

Devon

Arlington Court Christmas fair...

11 tips for hosting Christmas for the very first time

Authored by Paula_D

If ever there was a time to shine, it's Christmas – from the twinkly star on the top of the tree and the snowglobe on the side, to the celebratory bubbly waiting to kick-start the festivities and the crowd-pleasing feast.

But what if it's all down to you to put the fizz into the merrymaking, provide the crackers and keep your uncles from fighting? Hosting can be a tough gig,...

Here's what you could do right now to save money this Christmas

Authored by Paula_D

It may be way too early for many people to want to think about Christmas (unless you're one of those hyper-organised festive types who starts preparing almost a year in advance!).

But right now could be a golden opportunity to do some planning, which will help you stick to a budget when the festivities come around. Leaving preparations until the last minute can mean paying top dollar...

Want to sell your home before Christmas? Six expert tips to make it happen

Authored by Paula_D

If you want to sell your home before Christmas, there's still time – just about, if you act fast. New analysis suggests those wanting to secure a buyer before Christmas need to get their property on the market by Monday, October 21.

This comes from estateagent4me – a free estate agent performance comparison tool available on the HomeOwners Alliance property advice website, hoa.org.uk...