Author Archives: Roxana

Prepare to barbecue on a budget this summer with these great money-saving tips — plus win FREE tickets to Alton Towers worth over £100

WILL you be enjoying a griller thriller in the great outdoors this summer?

The days are getting longer, it is finally getting warmer — and we do not need much excuse to whip off a layer and get the barbecue out. Cooking up a storm in the garden need not be costly, though, thanks to these barbie bargains.

Getty – Contributor

Summer is nearly here and with the weather getting warmer soon we’ll be getting the barbecue out[/caption]

  • Fire up: Make your barbecue cheaper to run by using a Firemizer.
    This handy gadget consists of a flexible grid of stainless steel alloy which is placed on the base of the barbie. It then helps it reach the optimum cooking temperature 20 per cent quicker, while using less fuel — which means less money.
    It also helps to spread the heat evenly, ensuring all the solid fuel is burnt thoroughly.
    Simple — and money well spent at £19.99.
  • Burger bargain: You do not want to become known as the barbecue host who served up bad burgers. But you do not have to fork out a fortune for top-notch beef.
    Buy a four-pack of Aberdeen Angus beef quarter pounders at Aldi for £2.49 — a steal compared with Waitrose’s, which are £4.30 for a pack of four.
    SAVING: £1.8
  • Bangers and cash: Get things sizzling with bangers that fit your budget. Succulent sausages The Jolly Hog Proper Porkers are currently £2 at Sainsbury’s, usually £2.50.
    SAVING: 50p
  • Veggie good: Vegetarian guests need not miss out on all the grilled grub.
    Try some of the fantastic veggie alternatives now on offer on the high street.
    Asda is selling six vegetable sausages for £1 — a cheaper alternative to top-rated Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages, £2 at Tesco.
    SAVING: £1
  •  PRICES correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

Deal of the day

The Tractive GPS Pet Tracker Hunters Camouflage Edition is on offer for £19.99

GOT a wandering dog? The Tractive GPS Pet Tracker Hunters Camouflage Edition is on offer for £19.99 at Amazon, usually £54.99.
SAVE: £35

My Sun Savers fiver

ANTHONY HUGHES, from Larkfield, Kent, says: “I am saving my Savers fivers to buy a bike to help me get fit and lose weight.”

  • Send your Savers fiver stories to sunsavers.co.uk/fivers and you will get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Please include your name and town.

Top swap

Wayfair’s Kurtis pouffe is an expensive £76.99
But this yellow version from Homesense is only £24.99

REST your weary legs on this comfy yellow pouffe from Homesense for £24.99 less than half the price of Wayfair’s Kurtis blue version at £76.99.
SAVE: £52

Reader’s saving tip

VALERIE ROGERS, from Birmingham, says: “Don’t throw away the last bits of soap bars, you can mould them into a new bar in hot water, saving money in the long run.”

  • Send your hints to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if yours is published. Please include your name and town.

Cheap treat

This ed Baker make-up bag is now just £5 at Boots

KEEP all your cosmetics and toiletries in a Ted Baker make-up bag. Now available half price at Boots for £5, down from £10.
SAVE: £5

Grab two FREE tickets to Alton Towers Resort worth more than £100 with Sun Superdays

SUN Superdays is back – so grab your two FREE tickets to Alton Towers Resort worth more than £100!

This year, unleash the “Power of the Towers” and share even more fun and thrills as the resort launches amazing new attractions.

Ride the Wicker Man, a thrilling Alton Towers rollercoaster, for FREE
� Mikael Buck

You can enjoy the UK’s latest wooden rollercoaster experience on Wicker Man and feel G-forces greater than a space shuttle on Nemesis.

Brave Oblivion’s iconic vertical drop, ride The Smiler’s 14 loops or satisfy your need for speed on Rita – but hold on tight.

To get your tickets, download the Sun Savers app or sign up at sunsavers.co.uk. Then go to the “Superdays – Alton Towers” page in the “Offers” section and click “Start Collecting”.

Next, collect NINE Sun Savers codes from those printed daily in the paper until Tuesday, April 9. Today’s code is on Page 28.

Lastly, enter your NINE Sun Savers codes on the app or website to unlock booking.

Exclusively with Sun Savers, you can pick the date you go so no one has to miss out. You will also get the very best dates.

You can still collect TEN printed tokens and book using the booking form found in yesterday’s paper and online. But only when booking with Sun Savers can you pick your date. Today’s token is on the left.

Dare you add a visit to the new Alton Towers Dungeon?

Here, you can journey through Staffordshire’s darkest history. This does cost extra but book your free tickets with Sun Savers and you can get a Dungeon ticket for just £5 on the day, instead of £7.50.

Simply take your Sun Savers e-ticket to the Resort Box Office.

  • Subject to availability. Multiple Code Collect. Sun Savers £2.00 booking fee applies. T&Cs apply – visit thesun.co.uk/superdays.

See it first, see it free

SEE family comedy adventure Missing Link first – we are giving away 5,000 tickets to a preview screening for Hugh Jackman’s new movie.

He stars as dashing adventurer Sir Lionel Frost, who sees himself as the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters.

Here’s how to see family comedy adventure Missing Link first with a FREE ticket

The trouble is, no one else agrees. He sees a chance to prove himself by going in search of a living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry. The Missing Link.

Zach Galifianakis is Mr. Link, the slightly silly, surprisingly smart and soulful beast who Sir Lionel discovers. He’s lonely and he believes that Sir Lionel is the one man alive who can help him. Together they set out on a daring quest around the world in search of the fabled valley of Shangri-La.

You can choose from 20 preview screenings all over the UK, including London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Cardiff and more, on Saturday, March 30 at 10:30am.

To claim up to four free tickets, download the Sun Savers app or head to sunsavers.co.uk. Go to the “Offers” section and click “Start Collecting” on the “Sun Savers Screening” page. Next, collect FIVE consecutive Sun Savers codes from those printed daily in the paper between today and Wednesday, March 27. Today’s code is on Page 20. Enter your FIVE codes on Sun Savers then go back to the “Sun Savers Screening” page as soon as possible and click “Redeem”.

Once you’ve clicked redeem you’ll be taken to a booking website where you can claim your free tickets.

But don’t wait around — tickets are strictly first come, first served.

Booking closes midnight on Thursday, March 28.

If you miss out on a preview screening ticket, you can still head to the cinema on Friday, April 5 to catch the release.

  • Terms & Conditions: 18+ UK residents only (excludes Isle of Man & Channel Islands). Code collect 23/03/19 – 27/03/19. Promotion closes at 23:59 28/03/19. 5,000 tickets to be claimed. Subject to availability. T&Cs apply.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle
Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8704940/summer-barbecue-money-saving-tips/

Mum-of-one started £3million trampolining business with just £200

BORROWING money to start a business is risky – but for Kimberlee Perry, 35, it has paid off as she turned £200 into a company with a £3million a year turnover.

The mum-of-one started indoor trampolining venue Bounce with £200 that she borrowed from her husband after she missed out on a promotion five years ago.

East News Press Agency

Australian born Kimberlee Perry moved to Essex after 10 years in London and decided to stay in the UK when her mini-trampoline fitness business took off[/caption]

Now more than 35,000 people attend Bounce classes every month, in over 205 franchises across the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Kimberlee, who is originally from Sydney, Australia but has lived in London for ten years and in Essex for three years, started the business by using her own savings.

“I started my company with £200 that I borrowed from my husband”

Initially Kimberlee wanted to teach trampolining classes to make enough money to leave full-time work as a sales manager for an event company.

She used the £200 to buy eight second-hand trampolines and set up a basic website.

East News Press Agency

As a new mum, Kimberlee knew that parents can often find it difficult to commit time if they have to leave kids behind. So she created a child-friendly workout[/caption]

East News Press Agency

Bounce humble beginnings started in a small hired-studio in Harlow with just eight second-hand trampolines[/caption]

Then, she hired a room for free in a community centre in Harlow, Essex to use as a location for her first class.

She said: “I never set out to launch a company. I had no business plan and I did not seek investment. I’d simply decided to make my ideal workplace my own reality.

“I was focused on what I personally wanted from my work life: to be more passionate about what I do every day and to have flexible working hours operating on my own terms – and therefore giving myself every opportunity to earn from it what I put into it.”

Kimberlee’s tips to build a successful business:

The mum-of-one turned £200 into a company with a £3million a year turnover. Here are her tips

  • No one else has the answer – It’s important to remember that most of what you’re doing as a new entrepreneur is based on  trial and error. So don’t panic if you make any mistakes, that’s the only way you’ll improve.
  • Ask questions – The scariest part of my business was franchising. I had no idea how it worked or how to do it. But I eventually consulted lawyers who answered all my questions. It was such a valuable information – so never be afraid to ask questions no matter how stupid they might seem.
  • Bring people in as soon as you can – Building your own business can be a lonely affair. I love the fact that both my husband and my son are a big part of what I do. It makes our family life more enjoyable and I can now also share the workload with someone. So whether it’s a friend or partner, I find it great to have someone close to you to help.
  • Be passionate – Ultimately find something you’re passionate about, whether it’s a cause or an activity. It will help you go through the difficult times.

Kimbelee wanted to get back into shape after having a baby but around this time the theme in fitness was very aggressive exercise like “Insanity”, “Bootcamp” or “CrossFit”.

She said: “Those things didn’t really appeal to me. I wanted a hardcore workout but I believed many women were put-off by the war-like intensity just like me. I knew that rebounding was a rapid way to shed pounds as a cardio workout.

“I created high intensity, dance-choreographed routines performed on mini trampolines. Featuring pop music and performed in the dark with disco lights for a nightclub vibe, I created it initially just to suit me and everything I wanted from my workout.”

A year later her classes were full and she decided to create an instructor programme and turn Bounce into a franchise.

East News Press Agency

Now about 35,000 people attend Bounce classes every month, across 250 UK locations[/caption]

East News Press Agency

Participants are taught choreographed dance routines on mini trampolines in a fun nightclub atmosphere[/caption]

East News Press Agency

Kimberlee is passionate in encouraging other women to take the plunge she did[/caption]

Franchising was ideal for Kimberlee because she had the idea but not the cash to back up her business.

Rather than having hundreds of outlets, a person – also known as the franchisor – grants a licence to someone else, known as the franchisee, to run a business under their brand.

The franchisee then pays an initial fee and then ongoing management service charges, which are often based on a percentage of annual turnover.

Kimberlee said: “In 2015 I decided to create the franchise model for Bounce and it was a really pivotal point in business for me.

“Firstly I just felt out of my depth around that time and although it was a good position to be in, I didn’t want to make the next steps if I couldn’t do the brand justice.”

East News Press Agency

After Kim started Bounce in 2014, interest in the brand very quickly grew[/caption]

East News Press Agency

Soon after, a training course and franchise model were developed for others to learn how to teach and follow the company’s ideals[/caption]

East News Press Agency

Kimberlee said: “There’s no judgement at Bounce, plus, you can’t take yourself too seriously when jumping on a trampoline!”[/caption]

“I consulted various different avenues to doing this, mainly through different law firms and the men I was speaking to either didn’t understand my vision.

“After various meetings I met with a Franchising specialist who happened to be female. She was not only willing to push me to think about things I didn’t know anything about in business, but she was openly proud of my idea. ”

Since then business has soared. The company now employs 16 people and moved to a 8,000 headquarters in Essex, where Kimberlee organises massive classes each week which can fit 100 trampolines.

The mum-of-one sites missing out on a promotion in her sales job where she has worked for eight years as the inspiration for starting Bounce.

“Missing out on a promotion because I was pregnant pushed me to work for myself”

She told the Sun Online: “I felt that it was a big travesty, I was in shock. My job pretty much defined me who I was at the time, so I was absolutely crushed.

“I fully intended on coming back after my maternity leave because I believed that being a mother wouldn’t affect my abilities as a manager.

Kimberlee had always been interested in fitness and exercise and had used group classes as a way to meet people when she first moved in the UK from Australia.

East News Press Agency

Bounce organises sessions where kids of any age can attend in the studio while their parents are working out. Toys, food, prams are all welcome.[/caption]

She said: “I did a bit of trampoline back home and I was considering getting back to it to lose some of my pregnancy weight.

“My idea was to make exercise more accessible for mums so my classes were ‘child friendly’ and parents could bring the kids along for free into the studio while they work out.”

Her husband Chris, who helped her out with marketing, photography and video, also joined the company as a director in 2016.

“I want other women to take the plunge”

Kimberlee hopes that her story will inspire other women to take the plunge and start a business.

She said: “I am most proud of the fact that our teaching programme, has helped so many women to become their own boss or prompted them to launch their own businesses.

“Women are so resilient and have so much to contribute to the business world and I’m glad I am doing my part to help them take this leap.”

“Thanks to my business I find it quite easy to switch between my entrepreneur and my mum duties. My son is a big part of the company, and we’ve been doing trampoline classes together.

East News Press Agency

“I feel very privileged that my work allows me to do that and I think that for him it’s great to have a happy, healthy, working mum. I really hope more women will have the opportunity to do that.”

Dreaming of becoming your own boss? We revealed how a new mum turned her Instagram account into £250,000 business.


E-BUY IT The 11 ways you can save money on eBay, from finding misspelled entries to haggling


Last week, The Sun also spoke to a couple who delayed their wedding twice to launch their milkshake business – and now it’s set to turnover £6million.

And we told the story of how a mum went from living on the streets and begging for food to running her own £100,000 office space start-up.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8681612/mum-of-one-started-3million-trampolining-business-with-just-200/

Easter benefit payment dates 2019 revealed – when are child benefits, tax credits, ESA, JSA and Universal Credit paid?

WHILE many people look forward to the long Easter weekend, it can be stressful for those on benefits who don’t know how it will impact their payments.

The day on which you are paid your benefit changes if it falls on a Bank Holiday and there are two of them over the 2019 Easter break. Here’s what you need to know?

There are two Bank Holidays over Easter which could affect the day that you're paid your benefits
There are two Bank Holidays over Easter which could affect the day that you’re paid your benefits
Getty – Contributor

Every year, the Easter dates change but this year Good Friday and Easter Monday will be on April 19 and 21.

Most benefits, including Universal Credit, are paid on the last working day before your payment date if it falls on a weekend or a public holiday.

This may mean you’re paid either four days or 24 hours before you expect it.

Remember, being paid early means that you will have to make your cash stretch for a few extra days at the end of the month so it’s important to budget.

Here’s when you can expect to get your benefits over Easter:

Benefits will be paid on the last working day before the date their payment is due
Benefits will be paid on the last working day before the date their payment is due

Tax Credits

Tax Credit, such as Working Tax Credit, is a payment that helps boost your income if you’re working standard hours but not earning enough to live off.

You can choose to get your tax credits every week or every four weeks.

Those who expect to receive their payments on either April 19 or 22 will instead receive them on April 18.

Child Benefit

You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for one or more children under 16 or under 20 if they stay in school or are in an apprenticeship.

Usually it is paid every four weeks on a Monday or Tuesday, but you may get it paid weekly if you’re a single parent or one of you is claiming other benefits like Income Support.

If you’re due to get your payment on April 19 then you will get your money the day before on April 18.

Are you entitled to child benefits?

CHILD benefit is available to anyone with one or more children from the moment the birth is registered.

The oldest child receives £20.70 per week and any subsequent children receive £13.70 per week.

If you or your partner earns more than £50,000 you may have to pay a tax charge in order to receive it which is called the ‘High Income Child Benefit Charge’.

For those whose gross earnings are between £50,000 and £60,000, the charge to receive child benefit is 1 per cent of the child benefit money you receive for every £100 you earn over £50,000. For example, if you or your partner earns £55,000 the fee would be 50 per cent of your child benefit.

If you or your partner receives £60,000 or more per year, the charge for receiving child benefit is the same as the total amount of child benefit you’re eligible for.

You can find out exactly how much you’re entitled to with the Government’s free child benefit charge calculator.

Payments that are due on April 22, the Monday, can expect their payment four days earlier on Thursday April 18.

Normally, you can work out when you’re next going to receive child benefit by counting four weeks from your last payment but this doesn’t apply if you’ve been paid early because of a Bank Holiday.

If your last instalment was moved because of the public holiday, you’ll have to count four weeks from your usual payment date.

If your payment is late, double-check your payment date and contact your bank before calling the Child Benefit office.

Employment Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance

Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is a payment made to those who are unable to work or need personalised help with their job because of an illness or disability.

You can claim the benefit whether you’re employed, unemployed or self-employed.

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is a payment made to those who have no source of income while they looking for work.

Both payments are usually made every two weeks.

If you are normally paid on either April 19 or 22 then you can expect the money to reach you on April 18.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is the Government’s new benefit system that rolls six benefits into one.

You’re likely to be one of the millions of people who are on the scheme if you submitted a benefit claim in the past couple of years.

Claimants are usually paid on the same day every month.

Your payments won’t be delayed over the Easter period – instead you’ll be paid early.

If you’re due to be paid on the Friday or Monday then you will get your payment on the Thursday before which is April 18.

Universal Credit has been controversial ever since it’s roll out in 2015, particularly because of a crippling five-week waiting period before claimants get their first payment.

That’s why The Sun is running a campaign to Make Universal Credit Work calling on the Government to slash it down to just two weeks.

We also want parents to get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare paid upfront and the work allowance to be reduced.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8582274/easter-benefit-payment-dates-2019/

Universal Credit’s unfair 5-week wait for cash means single mum may lose her home

SINGLE mum Amanda Bailey lies awake at night worrying about losing the home she shares with 18-year-old daughter Ruth.

After being forced to wait five weeks for her first Universal Credit payment, she has fallen behind on her rent and fears she is could be thrown out of her house.

Amanda Bailey, 50, is struggling to keep up with bills after five-week wait for cash and Universal Credit’s harsh taper rate has pushed her into debt
Caters News Agency

The 50 year-old shop assistant, who has diabetes, says she regularly skips meals and if her daughter is not home she often sits in candlelight with a hot water bottle in the evenings to save money on electricity.

Amanda, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, applied for Universal Credit on December 10 after her job packing Christmas gift boxes came to an end, but didn’t receive her first payment until January 16.

She took a £500 loan out from the DWP to cover her until she received her first payment,  but it wasn’t enough to make ends meet and she fell behind on her rent.

In January, she has just £13 a week left for food after paying her bills, but in February her income wasn’t enough to cover her basic outgoings and she had to skip rent payments in order to eat.

Last week she had a knock on the door from council workers threatening to start the eviction process unless she gave them a date by which she would repay her rent arrears.

The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit Work

UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.

One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7 million will be on it.

But there are big problems with the flagship new system – it takes 5 weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.

And while working families can claim back up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.

Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.

It’s time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the Government to:

  1. Get paid faster: The Government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop 7 million from being pushed into debt.
  2. Keep more of what you earn: The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4 million families.
  3. Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.

Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.

Join our Universal Credit Facebook group or email UniversalCredit@the-sun.co.uk to share your story.

“It is terrifying and I’m so worried we will end up homeless,” she said. “I told the council I’m doing everything I can, but they didn’t seem sympathetic.

“I’ve been a single mum for 12 years and I’ve been made homeless three times in the past through no fault of my own, so I’m so scared of losing my home again.”

The Sun’s Make Universal Credit Work campaign is calling for the government to reduce the five week wait for cash to two.

‘I get up for work at 2.30am’

Amanda is thrilled to have a job again – even though this means getting up at 2.30am to fill online shopping orders for Sainsbury’s – but says that she is still struggling to get back on top of her bills after three months of very little work.

Amanda said: “I feel so hopeless and I can’t see any way out of the mess that I’m in. Sometimes I just feel like giving up.

“I’m willing to work all the hours I can just to get back on track but I can’t get enough work.”

She is now hunting for an extra job, while her daughter Ruth works part-time at a shoe shop and contributes as much as she can to try and keep a roof over their heads.

“All I want is to have enough money coming in so that I can stand on my own two feet and I don’t have to rely on benefits, but I just can’t get the hours because there isn’t enough work out there.”

Amanda has tried to get work but when shifts dried up she was left penniless
Caters News Agency

‘Taper rate means there’s no point in working’

Amanda adds: “I had to borrow money from the Government to get through the five-week wait for my first payment, which was over Christmas.

“This meant I was in debt from the very start and I’ll be paying back the loan for most of this year.”

Amanda says that she is also being hit by the harsh taper rate – Universal Credit claimant’s benefits are cut by 63p for every £1 they earn over the “work allowance”, which in Amanda’s case is set at zero.

Taper rate is based on how much you earned during the previous month – or “assessment period” – which means that if Amanda earns more during one month she has much less to live on the following month if she doesn’t get any work.

The Sun is campaigning to slash the taper rate from 63p to 50p, helping 4 million families.

“Now I see most of my benefit wiped out because of the taper rate so I don’t have enough left to cover my basic bills.

“The Government says Universal Credit is supposed to help people get back into work, but it feels like they are just setting you up to fail.”

Amanda will sometimes skip meals if her daughter isn’t home as she can’t afford food
Caters News Agency

‘I feel worthless – but keep picking myself back up’

Amanda said: “I feel worthless when I get constant knock-backs from job applications and sometimes I worry that it is my age, but I keep picking myself back up and trying again.”

She received just £94 in Universal Credit for January and £118 for February.
It means that in the assessment period between January 10 and February 9 Amanda took home just £770 including her earnings from warehouse shifts and Universal Credit.

Her monthly outgoings, including rent, council tax and other essentials, are £714 – leaving Amanda with just £13 a week for food.

Between mid-February and mid-March, she took home just £528 in earnings and Universal Credit – leaving her with a shortfall of £185.

It meant that Amanda had to miss three weeks’ rent so that she could buy food.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We are paying Ms Bailey the full housing entitlement available based on two tenants living in a three-bedroom property.

“We have also directed her to additional Local Authority support which can be provided where there is a shortfall in rent due to extra bedrooms.”

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council, was highly critical of the way Universal Credit changes have impacted local residents.

He said: “We are fully supportive of our tenants and offer both money management and welfare benefit advice, along with tenancy support to all customers who need it.

“During preparation for the Universal Credit roll-out within Ashfield, we have created a £200,000 welfare reform reserve and added several new staff to our housing team.

“They are pro-actively reaching out and assisting those across the district struggling with their rent and finances as a result of the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit.”

The council confirmed it has not yet started the formal eviction process.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8627323/universal-credits-unfair-5-week-wait-for-cash-means-single-mum-may-lose-her-home/

Get the best National Unicorn Day deals and beat the high street stampede for the April 9 event

ARE your kids obsessed with unicorns?

National Unicorn Day is on April 9 and many shops are predicting a stampede ahead of the happy event.

We've been hunting for the best unicorn deals on the high street
We’ve been hunting for the best unicorn deals on the high street

So I’ve been hunting for the best items on the high street to celebrate the mythical creatures.

Check out these magical treats . . .

Sleeping beauty: Who doesn’t love a Primark haul? It’s hard to leave the fashion favourite without a bag full of goodies. After a long day of bargain hunting, I just had to snap up the super-cute £1.50 unicorn sleeping eye mask.

Similar masks cost £3.99 at John Lewis. While you are there, be sure to nab a pair of  Unicorn flip-flops for  90p. They will be a cool buy come summer.

SAVING: £2.49

Snap up Primarks super-cute £1.50 unicorn sleeping eye mask
Snap up Primark’s super-cute £1.50 unicorn sleeping eye mask

Fairytale feet: Flying Tiger is full of fabulous and original  goodies — but unicorn slippers for  £1? Total bargain. Similar designs cost at least £7 on Asos.

SAVING: £6

Find a bedder deal: Debenhams has a wonderful range of  unicorn bedding for children, in  both single and double options.

I love the Bluezoo Awesome Unicorn bedding  for £20 — it’s double the value because  the set is reversible and has a different magical design on  each side.

Similar, non-reversible, designs cost around £26 at Dunelm.

SAVING: £6 (plus it is the equivalent of two sets)

Accessorize is full of  unicorn-themed designs. I love its  Dazzle Unicorn swimsuit
Accessorize is full of  unicorn-themed designs. I love its  Dazzle Unicorn swimsuit

Swimming savings: As we head into the warmer months of spring and summer, your little one might be in need of a  new swimsuit.

Accessorize is full of  unicorn-themed designs. I love its  Dazzle Unicorn swimsuit, available in store and online for ages three to 12, for just £15. The same  costume is  between £18 and £20 at Freemans.

SAVING: At least £3



Deal of the day

Get your Ask Italian voucher now
Get your Ask Italian voucher now

ASK Italian’s  two courses for £10.95 covers up to eight people. Get the code at vouchercloud.com. The  total food bill based on eight diners will be £87.60.

Cheap treat

Make mum happy with this cute bag
Make mum happy with this cute bag

MAKE Mum smile on Mother’s Day with this adorable tote bag  from Flying Tiger for only £2.

Top swap

Look similar and taste the same
Aldi’s Snackrite and Walkers crisps look similar and taste the same

WE can’t tell the difference between Aldi’s Snackrite salt and vinegar crisps, in a six-pack, left, and Walkers’ version at Iceland, right. Make the saving by switching to the Aldi version.

SAVE: 75p

READER'S SAVING TIP…

MICHELLE HARRISON, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, says: “Swap DVDs with friends.

If you all get together, you can enjoy lots of different films without  forking out for every single one.”

Share  tips at sunsavers.co.uk/tips and you will get 28 codes, worth £5, if yours  is used. Please include your name and town.

Shop and save

Wake up and smell the coffee with this deal
Wake up and smell the coffee with this deal

START your morning with Illy Espresso medium roast ground coffee, 250g, on offer at Sainsbury’s for £5. Was £7.

SAVE: £2

My Sun Savers fiver

DENISE THOMSON, from St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, loves a bargain and says: “I save up my Savers fivers to spend on eBay.”

  • Share your Savers fiver stories at sunsavers.co.uk/fivers and you will get 28 codes, worth £5, if yours is used. Please include your name and town.

HOT RIGHT NOW

GET up to half off Cetaphil skincare items at Boots, such as its gentle cleanser for £7.49, down from £14.99. SAVE: £7.50

Free £10 Just Eat voucher

YOU can tuck in to a takeaway on us – by winning one of 5,000 Just Eat vouchers worth £10 each.

Online food-ordering service, Just Eat, connects you with a wide range of delicious options in your area.

Get involved with this tasty offer from Just Eat
Get involved with this tasty offer from Just Eat

Available by app and online, you will find everything from local pizzerias and chippies to famous brands like KFC, Burger King, Subway and Domino’s too.

If you love putting your feet up and getting your favourite food delivered, now’s your chance to get £10 off your next delivery.

To enter this great giveaway all you need to do is download the Sun Savers app or sign up at sunsavers.co.uk.

Next, collect FIVE Sun Savers codes from the nine printed daily in the paper between today and Sunday, March 24.

Treats and prizes

Once you have entered your five codes on the Sun Savers app or website you will be prompted to enter the  competition.  Alternatively you can head to the Just Eat page, found in the “Offers” section and click “Enter” there.

Just make sure you enter before midnight on Sunday, March 24 when the competition closes.

Sun Savers is our rewards club which gives all readers the chance to take advantage of FREE cash, treats and prizes. That’s right — you can get FREE cash just for picking up the paper.

If you love putting your feet up and getting your favourite food delivered, now’s your chance to get £10 off your next delivery.
If you love putting your feet up and getting your favourite food delivered, now’s your chance to get £10 off your next delivery

For every 28 Sun Savers codes you collect, we will give you a free fiver to spend  however you like. Sun Savers codes are printed in the paper every day. Today’s code is on page 20. Find your  code then enter it on Sun Savers. Once you’ve entered 28, we’ll stick £5 in your wallet.

With Sun Savers you can also get big discounts on holidays, cinema tickets, goodies for the family, and more.

Plus you’ll get access to huge competitions like the one above where you can win prizes such as caravans, mortgage payments and  cash prizes.

So what are you waiting for? Join Sun Savers today and start pocketing from your paper!

Find full details and terms and conditions here

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle
Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8649949/national-unicorn-day-deals-sun-savers/

Couple sell £13k ‘dream’ sports car to help buy £145k three-bed first home in Chester

MOST first-time buyers have to make sacrifices when it comes to saving for a deposit – and for Jay Macklin that meant selling his dream car.

The mechanical engineer flogged his six-year-old Audi TTS for £13,000 six months after he bought it so that he and his wife Sarah, 24, could get their foot on the property ladder.

© Andrew Price

Sarah and Jay Macklin bought their first home in January 2017[/caption]

Two years on, the couple say it was totally worth it to buy their £145,000 three-bed semi-detached house outside Chester by the time Sarah turned 22.

It took more than just selling the car for the pair to get the funds together for a 10 per cent deposit and enough to cover legal fees, which worked out at £17,000 in total.

They both opened Help To Buy Isas which they paid £200 into each every month, as well as giving up eating out, shopping for new clothes and going to the cinema to help save an extra £400 a month between them.

But Sarah, who works in marketing, and Jay, 25, couldn’t celebrate becoming homeowners straightaway, as the dated decor was in desperate need of doing up.

© Andrew Price

The couple have completely refurbished the inside of the house and plan to work on the driveway and garden in the summer[/caption]

The couple spent the next six months and another £10,000 renovating the property, doing most of the work themselves in a bid to cut back on costs.

They also managed to save more than £24,000 kitting out their home by shopping for secondhand goods on eBay and Facebook marketplace – including £19,000 on an entire kitchen.

Now, Sarah blogs her money saving tips on DreamOfHome, while Jay drives a van and hopes to buy a sports car again in the future. We spoke to Sarah for My First Home.

Tells us about your house. What’s it like?

We live in a three-bed semi-detached house just outside of Chester – we bought it two years ago and we absolutely love it.

It has two double bedrooms and a small, single room which I’ve turned into a home office for when I work from home.

© Andrew Price

Jay owned his Audi TTS for just six months before he had to sell it[/caption]

© Andrew Price

The couple took down walls inside to make the living area open plan[/caption]

We’ve got our own driveway and a tiny garden. They’re not great at the moment as we’re planning on renovating them in the summer.

We’ve also got a double garage so there’s plenty of storage space.

The house was in a desperate need of modernisation when we bought it and we’ve turned the downstairs into a nice open place space.


Are you a first-time buyer who want to share tips on how you did it? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s first-time buyer Facebook group for the latest tips on buying your first home.


You go through the porch to the front door, and then you’ve got the living room and then an open plan kitchen and diner.

The whole process sounds like it cost you a lot. How much are we talking?

The house was on the market for £165,000 but we managed to knock them down to £145,000.

We didn’t bother looking at any new-build properties as we knew we wanted our home done to our specific tastes.

© Andrew Price

Sarah managed to save £175 on a coffee table from Oak Furniture land by buying secondhand[/caption]

© Andrew Price

Sarah and Jay spent another £10,000 renovating the house[/caption]

Our budget was £170,000 but we knew that an older house would be cheaper which would give us more money to spend on doing it up.

We put down a 10 per cent deposit which was £14,500 plus another £2,500 on stamp duty, legal fees and getting the surveys done.

After we got the keys, we then spent another £10,000 doing it up to how we wanted it – £7,000 of that was left over savings and we stuck the last £3,000 on a credit card which we’re now paying off every month.

So I guess, all in we spent £27,000 but we didn’t have all of that money when we made the offer as we continued to save while we did the work.

We took out a 35 year mortgage and locked in to a five-year deal at 1.5 per cent.

What help is out there for first-time buyers?

GETTING on the property ladder can feel like a daunting task but there are schemes out there to help first-time buyers have their own home.

Help to Buy Isa – It’s a tax-free savings account where for every £200 you save, the Government will add an extra £50. But there’s a maximum limit of £3,000 which is paid to your solicitor when you move.

Help to Buy equity loan – The Government will lend you up to 20 per cent of the home’s value – or 40 per cent in London – after you’ve put down a five per cent deposit. The loan is on top of a normal mortgage but it can only be used to buy a new build property.

Lifetime Isa – This is another Government scheme that gives anyone aged 18 to 39 the chance to save tax-free and get a bonus of up to £32,000 towards their first home. You can save up to £4,000 a year and the Government will add 25 per cent on top.

Shared ownership – Co-owning with a housing association means you can buy a part of the property and pay rent on the remaining amount. You can buy anything from 25 to 75 per cent of the property but you’re restricted to specific ones.

“First dibs” in London – London Mayor Sadiq Khan is working on a scheme that will restrict sales of all new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers for three months before any overseas marketing can take place.

Starter Home Initiative – A Government scheme that will see 200,000 new-build homes in England sold to first-time buyers with a 20 per cent discount by 2020. To receive updates on the progress of these homes you can register your interest on the Starter Homes website.

Be honest, was it hard saving for the deposit?

We decided that we’d buy a house shortly after we go engaged in 2016 and basically didn’t have a life over the year that we were saving.

Between us we tried to save between £500 and £600 every month.

We both opened Help to Buy Isas and put the maximum £200 each in every month – the Government top up really helped when it came to all of the legal fees and things.

Not that we paid to do loads of things before, but we hardly went out for meals, stopped shopping for new clothes and didn’t go to the cinema or anything like that.

© Andrew Price

Jay and Sarah have lived in their home for two years now[/caption]

The kitchen was dated before Jay and Sarah bought and fitted a new one
Sarah Macklin

© Andrew Price

The pair bought a £20,000 kitchen secondhand on eBay for £850[/caption]

We limited ourselves to eating out only a few times a month or getting the odd takeaway here and there.

If we did do anything together then it was for free like going for a walk.

Jay also had to sell his car which he absolutely loved. He’d bought his white Audi TTS from his step-dad six months before but he knew he couldn’t keep it if we were looking to buy somewhere.

It went through petrol so fast as well so it wasn’t cheap to run. He sold it for £13,000 which was a huge chunk of our deposit.

He was gutted at the time but he knew it was worth it in the long-run.

Now he’s driving a van which isn’t exactly his dream but it’s been super useful getting materials about.

One day he hopes to buy an old sports car and do it up himself.

Sarah Macklin

The bathroom was lined with cladding before the couple fitted a new one[/caption]

© Andrew Price

They also saved £3,000 on a new bathroom suite[/caption]

We also lived at home with out parents which helped loads. I was fortunate that my parents didn’t charge me rent but Jay paid £200 a month for his keep.

How did you decide on location?

Both of our families live in Chester but we just couldn’t afford to buy there.

Our money might have stretched to a one bed flat there but we found we could get more for our money if we moved out.

It was actually the first house we looked at – even though we went to see four more.

© Andrew Price

All in all, they reckon they have saved more than £24,000 by shopping secondhand furniture[/caption]

I’d say it took us a month to find the right area and then I found our house in September and made an offer in October.

It’s near the motorway which means it’s easy for us both to get to work and it’s on the Wirral.

Did the house need much work?

Yes. It did not look good when we bought it.

It had the original 70s kitchen which was falling apart, and there were pink carpets, green wallpaper and wood cladding everywhere.

We did all of the work ourselves apart from the electrics and the plastering which we got a professional to do, but because he was a family friend he gave us a discount.

© Andrew Price

They did the work on the house themselves so that they could save more cash[/caption]

© Andrew Price

Even after they finished the work, Sarah and Jay saved for another nine months for their wedding in April last year[/caption]

And because Jay’s an engineer, he’s hands on so he watched a lot of YouTube videos and learned how to fit a kitchen and put up stud walls.

On one of the walls we found that a doorway had been covered up with chipboard and wallpaper and it wasn’t in a good shape so we had to take it down and put up a stud wall.

Would you recommend doing the work yourself?

Yes because it saved us so much money but it was a lot of work and looking back I don’t know how we did it.

We would spend every evening and weekend at the house, working on it until 10pm at night. We’d be there four at least 10 hours a day on weekends.

Sarah's tips on how to bag a bargain for your home:

SARAH and Jay managed to save more than £24,000 on kitting out their home. From shopping secondhand to keeping an eye out on the sales, these are there top bargains:

  • £20,000 kitchen for £850, saving £19,150.

We bought this secondhand on eBay. It included the built-in fridge and freezer, the Belfast sink, solid granite worktops, and the range cooker which was only 2 years old and barely used. We did have to take it down ourselves.

  • £4,500 bathroom for £1,500, saving £3,000.

Wickes winter sale at 60 per cent off. We then used my brother’s staff discount too so it came in at £1,500.

  • £225 Oak Furniture Land coffee table for £50, saving £175 from Facebook Marketplace
  • £500 sideboard for £100, saving £400 from eBay.
  • £230 John Lewis desk and office chair, £90, saving £140 from Facebook Marketplace.

We’d only planned for it to take two months and it ended up taking six, so even though we bought it in January we didn’t officially move in until July.

We were also continuing to save while we did the work which was hard too because had to use a lot of it to buy materials for the house.

As soon as the money was tucked away, you had to take it out again to buy something else. It was exhausting.

How did you afford to furnish the place after paying to renovate?

Of course, we’d both been living with our parents so we had absolutely nothing, not even any plates or cutlery.

But I’m really good at finding a bargain and we bought all of our stuff secondhand.

I reckon we saved more than £24,000 in total by shopping on eBay, Facebook Marketplace and keeping an eye out on the sales.

Our best bargain was on a £20,000 kitchen which we bought off a lady on eBay for £850. She sold it to us so cheap because we said we’d come and take it all out ourselves.

We also bought a £4,500 bathroom for £3,000 which was in the 60 per cent off sale plus we used my brother’s staff discount.

We managed to save £175 on an Oak Furniture Land coffee table by shopping on Facebook Marketplace and £400 on a sideboard from eBay.

Do you think you’ll stay there for long?

I think we’ll be here for a while. We got married in April last year and are locked into our mortgage for another three years so we’ll be here until then.

We’ve still got some work to do on it too so I can’t see us leaving just yet.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8628028/couple-sell-13k-dream-sports-car-to-help-buy-145k-three-bed-first-home-in-chester/

Stephen Hawking commemorated on new 50p coin inspired by his pioneering work into black holes

STEPHEN Hawking has been commemorated on a new 50p coin inspired by his pioneering black holes work.

Edwina Ellis, who designed the coin, said: “He made difficult subjects accessible and engaging — that’s what I wanted to portray.”

Stephen Hawking’s 50p was inspired by his pioneering work into black holes
PA:Press Association
Stephen Hawking was one of the most renowned scientists in his field despite having motor neurone disease
Getty – Contributor

Hawking, at his playful best, invites the audience to contemplate peering into a black hole before diving in. I wanted to fit a big black hole on the tiny coin and wish he was still here chortling at the thought.”

Hawking’s son and daughter, Tim and Lucy, visited the Royal Mint for the unveiling.

Lucy said: “I hope my father would be pleased to be alongside Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin as scientists who have made it onto money!”

The physicist, who died last year aged 76, became one of the most renowned scientists in his field, despite having motor neurone disease.

He once said: “I think my greatest achievement will be my discovery that black holes are not entirely black.”

The coin is available to buy from the Royal Mint’s website — with a gold proof version at £795.

Prof Hawking is also among a large number of scientists whose names have been suggested for a new £50 banknote.

Hawking’s son and daughter, Tim and Lucy, visited the Royal Mint for the unveiling



 

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8614329/stephen-hawking-50p-coin-royal-mint/

Our simple ways to shop, save and give to charity for Red Nose Day — plus win your bills with Switchcraft

THERE’S no better feeling than helping out someone in need.

I already know how generous Savers can be, after you lot donated £16,000 from your Sun Savers wallets to our Christmas charity appeal. And with Red Nose Day happening this Friday, I’ve put together some simple ways to shop, save and give back to charity.

Tom Martin

It’s Red Nose Day on Friday and we have some great. simple way you can give back to charity[/caption]

  • Swap old clothes for vouchers. Take a bag of unwanted clothes with at least one M&S-labelled item to Oxfam and you’ll be given a £5 M&S voucher to use when you spend at least £35 in store. Or trade a bag of any old clothes to recycle for a £5 voucher at your nearest H&M. There’s a £25 minimum spend with the voucher but it’s much better than chucking your stuff in the bin!
    Get a £5 voucher for every donated bag
  • Turn your old mobile phone into cash. Got an old handset gathering dust in a drawer or keen to upgrade? Sell it to fonebank.com/oxfam and donate a percentage to charity at the same time. An iPhone 7 could make £150, so you could pocket £112.50 and donate 25 per cent to charity.
    Earn £112.50 and donate £37.50 for an iPhone 7
  • Earn money while giving. Sites such as topcashback.co.uk have a charity section that allows you to earn 10.5 per cent cashback when shopping with a range of charities including The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.
    You can also donate your cashback earnings to a charity of your choice.
    Topcashback members have donated more than £130,000 in cashback to date, so small donations really do add up.
    Donate up to £300 cashback a year while getting up to 10 per cent off purchases
  • Donate your rewards points. You can collect Nectar points if you donate to Oxfam and “tag your bag” with gift aid tags (ask in-store or get them online at oxfam.org.uk). You could then use those points to buy a life-changing gift from the charity, such as a safe source of water, from just £2.50.
    Earn 1p in ­Nectar points for every £1 your donated item sells for.

Deal of the day

The Blaupunkt Glass Blender from B&M is now only £24.99

IF you love smoothies then make your own with the Blaupunkt Glass Blender from B&M for £24.99. Was £49.99.

SAVE: £20

Top swap

Dettol’s mould and mildew spray from ­Tesco will set you back £3.50
But Astonish Mould & Mildew Blaster from B&M does the same job for just 75p

CLEAN up with Astonish Mould & Mildew Blaster from B&M,. It does the same job as Dettol’s mould and mildew spray from ­Tesco.

SAVE: £2.75

Reader’s saving tip

HARINDER KHINDA from Bedford, says: “You can remove permanent marker pen stains cheaply from furniture by using an antiseptic spray.”

  • Send your hints to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if yours is published. Please include your name and town.

 

Hot right now

GET a magic deal at your nearest Disney store and online with half-price clothing for your little ones. Hurry sale ends tomorrow.

 

Cheap treat

Mary Berry’s ready-made bakes are now just £2.50 at Asda

MARY Berry fans can grab her signature ready-made bakes at Asda for £2.50, down from £3.50. Choose from indulgent chocolate cake, lemon drizzle or classic carrot cake.
SAVE: £1

Shop & save

Products from the new Fudge Urban grooming range are just £5 each at Asda right now

ITEMS in the new Fudge Urban grooming range are just £5 each at Asda. Get the Matte Up Matte Wax for a fiver, usually £6.99.
SAVE: £1.99

My Sun Savers fiver

DOUGLAS SMITH from Bo’ness, Falkirk, says: “I’m turning 60 in July, so I’m saving my Savers fivers towards a family weekend away.””

  • Send your Savers fiver stories to sunsavers.co.uk/fivers and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if yours is published. Please include your name and town.

Pay off your bills with £5,000

YOU could be bill-free for an entire year with our latest superb Sun Savers competition.

We have teamed up with “auto-switching” service Switchcraft to give away two prizes of £5,000 to cover your household bills.

You could be bill-free for an entire year with our latest superb Sun Savers competition

To beat energy price rises, you really need to change supplier every year, but most people are too busy to search comparison sites.

The Switchcraft technology works 24/7 to keep you on a great plan. It compares energy prices from across the market so you never need to use comparison sites again.

To give you more choice, Switchcraft checks the widest range of suppliers, including the “Big Six” energy companies, independents and even solar-powered operators.

The whole process is hassle-free — from finding your new deal to telling your current supplier you want to switch.
Switchcraft does all the hard work for you, so you save money while doing nothing.

In 2018, Switchcraft’s average customer saved £219.

Since launching in 2017, the firm has been trusted by thousands Brits to save them money and time. When your deal comes to an end, Switchcraft emails you details of your energy plan. If you don’t like it, you won’t be switched.

Switchcraft will simply find you a different option.

We have teamed up with ‘auto-switching’ service Switchcraft to give away two prizes of £5,000

If you do like what is found, your switch is timed so you never pay exit fees.

And at every step, you can keep track of what is happening on any device.

To enter this amazing competition and win your yearly household bills, go to switchcraft.co.uk/winyourbills and sign up to switch your energy with Switchcraft. Once you have done this, you’re in.

You can also enter at sunsavers.co.uk or via the Sun Savers app.

Go to the Switchcraft page in the “Offers” section to opt in and enter.

Not only could you start saving money on your energy bills, but you will also be in with a chance of winning the big £5,000 cash prize.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and switch your energy to get involved.

Sun Savers is our rewards club which gives all readers the chance to take advantage of FREE cash, treats and prizes.
For every 28 Sun Savers codes you collect we will give you £5 cash.

Sun Savers codes are printed in the paper every day, today’s is on Page 20.

Not already a member? Just download the free app or sign up at sunsavers.co.uk.

Terms and conditions

Competition closes at 23:59pm on Tuesday, March 26. Over 18, residents of the UK only (excludes Northern Ireland, Isle of Man & Channel Islands).

One entry per person. Winners will be selected at random from all valid entries. There will be TWO winners of 1 x £5,000 cash.

Sign-up to Switchcraft auto-switching service required. Allow seven days from entry closing for the draw to take place. Winners will then be notified within 14 days. Please allow 28 days for receipt of prizes. Prize is non-transferable.

Your information will only be used for the purposes of this competition. Promoter is News Group Newspapers Ltd. Not open to staff of the Promoter and promotional partner or their families. The winners will be asked to participate in reasonable publicity relating to this competition.

The Editor’s decision is final. For a list of winners please send a stamped addressed envelope to News UK, Competitions Department, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF stating for which competition you would like the winners’ details.

FREE £10 voucher – 5,000 up for grabs

DON’T miss next weekend’s Sun Savers competition, where you could get a free £10 Just Eat voucher to use towards a takeaway.

With the Six Nations rugby tournament heating up and The Voice back on our TV screens, nothing beats a night in with your favourite takeaway.

Don’t miss next weekend’s Sun Savers competition, where you could get a free £10 Just Eat voucher

That’s why we have teamed up with Just Eat to give away an incredible 5,000 vouchers worth £10 each.

Getting involved is simple. Just pick up your Sun newspaper next Saturday and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily inside.

Just Eat offers delicious takeaways with a menu of all participating restaurants in your area available online and by app.

Just Eat works with local independent takeaways across the nation, from pizzerias and Chinese restaurants to kebab shops and curry houses. Plus famous brands such as KFC, Burger King, Subway and Domino’s, giving you more choice than ever before.

So whether you are craving a tasty Chinese or fiery Indian, make sure you pick up next Saturday’s Sun to see if you could be having a night-in on us.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle
Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8601670/simple-ways-shop-save-give-charity-for-red-nose-day/

New mum turned her Instagram account into £250,000 business

SARA Tasker from West Yorkshire set up her Instagram account in a bid to beat the blues of being a new mum at home all day without any grown-ups to chat to.

But what began as a way to socialise quickly spiralled into a business when she began posting tutorials about how to use the social networking platform.

�Andrew McCaren

Former NHS speech therapist Sara Tasker, 31, discovered her knack for Instagram during her pregnancy[/caption]

Fast forward five years, and the former NHS worker now employs her husband fulltime and her company, Me & Orla – named after their daughter – is aiming for a £250,000 turnover next year.

“Being a new mum can be isolating,” said Sara, 35. “I felt quite lonely.

“Photography has always been a passion of mine, so I started taking pictures with my phone. The aim was just to socialise and find like-minded people.

“I’d post pictures of my daily life from flowers to my daughter’s tiny socks but my most popular posts were about Instagram itself and how to use it.”

Within six months, Sara’s following went from zero to 35,000.

�Andrew McCaren

Sara’s business is inspired and named after her five-year-old daughter Orla[/caption]

After her maternity leave finished, Sara went back to work to her role as a speech therapist and continued Instagramming in her spare time.

‘I had to juggle my nine-to-five job with childcare and my creative work’

For two years, she worked full-time while taking care of her daughter and working on her Instagram account until as late as 2am.

“I felt really passionate about helping others online but it was a bit exhausting. I had to juggle between my nine-to-five job, childcare, and my creative work,” she said.

So she quit her job.

“When I came back to work after my maternity leave, I was missing my daughter.

Sara’s tips on how to build a business by using your Instagram account or your blog:

INSTAGRAM expert Sara Tasker shares her secrets to building a successful business

  • Find out what makes you unique –  Let yourself be different. Whether it is the type of picture you post or what you are writing about, try to find your own trademark.
  • Have a mailing list – Create a newsletter and make sure you communicate with your followers or readers on a regular basis.
  • Keep showing up – Be constant and post regularly, you need to make sure your website, blog or Instagram account is updated regularly if you want people to come back.
  • Know your worth – People will always try to underpay you or get things for free. Don’t undersell yourself or your expertise.

“Plus, I’d been working for the NHS for about 10 years, the pay was lousy and deep down I knew that I wasn’t fulfilling my potential.

“Finding an audience online gave me a taste of self-belief and I could see the possibilities of making something bigger out of it.”

‘I was terrified about not having a regular paycheck’

But it wasn’t easy. Sara recalled: “I was terrified about not having a regular paycheck, but it was a now or never moment.

“When I resigned my NHS boss told me: ‘I hope the internet bubble doesn’t burst too soon’, so I was determined to prove her wrong.”

From then on, Sara upped her game and started to treat her Instagram account as a business.

©Andrew McCaren

Sara teaches most of her classes online but she also holds occasional private training lessons. She is pictured here with her client Rachel[/caption]

The mum-of-one said: “Perhaps because my pictures were relatable and I was putting time and effort into them, my audience grew quite quickly.

“I was being spoilt with questions about my photography and how to make the most out of Instagram, so I also started a blog where I was sharing advice.”

Eventually, her audience got big enough for her to monetise her experience by launching a series of online coaching courses, making a proper business out of Me & Orla.

Since then, her company has only grown from strength to strength – and the mum-of-one can do most of it without leaving her home.

‘I have a chronic illness, so I needed a business I could manage from my bed’

By its first year in 2015, Me & Orla had an annual turnover of £35,000 – almost double Sara’s previous salary, and this financial year it is predicted to hit the £250,000 mark.

Her husband Rory, who used to be a teacher, quit his job and started working for Sara full-time in 2017 as an IT consultant to help her with the technical side of the website.

Both receive a monthly salary from the company.

It’s quite an achievement considering Sara never invested a single penny into the business.

She said: “There was no investment involved – I used a laptop I already had, and my camera was free from Canon in exchange for some advertorial work.

“Being digital means it’s a very lean business model – I don’t think I would ever have had the confidence to get started if it had meant seeking initial investment.”

Me & Orla offers a handful of programmes for people looking to take their Instagram game to the next level.

Sara’s flagship course, called the Instaretreat, is a six weeks online programme which costs £350. Lectures range from “how to find your target audience” to “nailing a visual style” or “how to set up the workflow so it doesn’t take more than 20 minutes a day”.

She also runs shorter four week courses for £110 which include lessons such as how to create “unique images” and find “photo opportunities”.

In 2017, she also launched her own podcast Hashtag Authentic, offering advice for creatives business owners online, which has had over 1million downloads to date.

It was important for Sara to build a business she can manage from home if she needs to.

She suffers from a chronic illness called dysautonomia, a condition in which the autonomic nervous system (ANS) does not work properly. Symptoms can include a rapid heart rate, severe fatigue, fainting when standing for too long and heat intolerance.

�Andrew McCaren

Sara recording her podcast Hashtag Authentic from her office at home[/caption]

Sara said: “It can be pretty disabling and there are days when I can barely leave the house. Sometimes I’ll have to take the shower sitting down or I won’t be able to take the stairs.

“The good thing is I managed to build my business around these limitations. I can run most of it from my phone or computer in bed.

“I am very human and I don’t like to pretend. It’s important to show that nobody’s life is as perfect as it looks on pictures.”

‘You can be successful without compromising who you are’

In 2018, Sara was awarded the runner-up prize in NatWest’s Creative Entrepreneur of the Year award, and won Content of the Year in magazine Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards.

Her Instagram page now has a whopping 213,000 followers.

The biggest project for the rest of the year is promoting Sara’s new book Hashtag Authentic: Finding creativity and building a community on Instagram and beyond, which was released in February. It draws on the lessons she’s learnt over the past five years online, to provide her readers with tips and guidance on growing an online audience.

Sara said: “To have a book published is both exciting and terrifying. I’ll be doing lots of Q&As, talks and book signings so it’s a bit stressful but I just hope it helps women and mums with self-doubt problems.

“Business can feel like such a macho cut throat world and I want to show everyone that you can be successful without compromising who you are.

“Of course, there are downsides to running my own firm. I am constantly working, always checking emails, I can never really switch off and sometimes I’m really tired. But I also truly love what I do and I’m there to pick up my daughter from school everyday. I feel incredibly lucky for that.”


BABY BOUNCER Single dad-of-two launched raves for kids with £1k budget now makes £500,000 a year


Keen to start your own business? In February, we spoke with Thomas Delgado who dropped out of university after two years to turn his love of cars into a £3.7million business.

The Sun also revealed how a mum went from living on the streets and begging for food to running her own £100,000 office space start-up.

And we told the story of how a 26-year-old entrepreneur who grew up on a council estate started a ticket company now worth £22million.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8576884/how-an-isolated-new-mum-turned-her-instagram-account-into-a-business-and-its-now-expected-to-turnover-250k/

Ditch sweet treats during Lent and pick up these alternatives to save money — plus how to book your £9.50 holiday

GIVEN up one of your favourite treats for Lent? The pancakes have been scoffed and many of us will be avoiding some of our biggest cravings for the next 40 days.

If you need a substitute for your usual indulgences, these swaps will save dosh . . .

Save money this lent by swapping out your fave treats for cheaper and guilt-free alternatives
Getty – Contributor

Wine not: Giving up wine? If it’s the alcohol and calories of your favourite tipple that you’re trying to avoid, you might want to stash a low-alcohol option in the cupboard for those moments of weakness. German wine brand Black Tower has a Deliciously Light range — with only only 29 calories per glass and at 0.5 per cent ABV, it’s virtually alcohol-free. Try swapping popular Black Tower Smooth Red Wine, £5 at Asda, for the light version, £3.99 at Ocado.

SAVING: £1.01

Top choice: Ice cream is one of our top treats, but if you’ve given up the real deal this Lent, try swapping for Halo Top. The US favourite has a fraction of the sugar and calories of regular ice cream, plus it’s high in protein. Nab a tub for just £2.50, down from £3.50 at Iceland until Friday.

SAVING: £1

Choc change: Nothing will come close to chocolate but a low-calorie hot choc might tide you over when you get desperate — and won’t up your calorie count too much. Stock up on Tesco Low Fat Hot Chocolate, £1.60 — a cheaper alternative to cupboard favourite Options, £4.

SAVING: £2.40

No snack-cidents here: Crisps are an easy ­afternoon pick-me-up, so if you’ve given them up, you’ll need to find a savoury replacement. Salt and vinegar fans will find a decent stand-in with Snack A Jacks, two for £3 at Morrisons, usually £1.77 each — so pop a few packets in your desk drawer.

SAVING: 54p on two packs

Deal of the day

Save £50 off the cost of this great men’s watch

GRAB this Casio men’s Edifice Watch for £89 from watches2u.com, with free next day delivery, down from £139. Use code CAS89UK.

SAVE: £50

Cheap treat

Treat yourself to a few biscuits with a cup of tea

CURL up with your favourite book whilst snacking on Bahlsen Choco Moments Crunchy Mint on offer at Ocado for £1.50. Was £1.99.

SAVE: 49p

My Sun Savers fiver

MERYL MORRIS, from Almondbank, Perth and Kinross, says: “I save up my Savers fivers to put towards my next trip with my daughter.”

  • Send us your Savers fiver stories to sunsavers.co.uk/fivers and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Please include your name and town.

Top swap

Why spend £5.29 on this eyeliner…
…when you can buy this one for only £3

AT Superdrug? Ditch your Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner, £5.29, for Revolution Pro Supreme Pigment Dip Eyeliner, £3.

SAVE: £2.29

Reader’s saving tip

STEPHEN WILD, from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, says: “If your cat scratches the carpet, use VapoRub on the area. It’s invisible, doesn’t cause damage and is a cheap alternative to other deterrents.”

  • Send us your tips to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if it is used. Please include your name and town.

Shop & save

Save £1.09 off the cost of these tasty crunch bars

STOCK up on Nature Valley Crunchy Oats & Honey bars from Asda, currently £1.25 for ten bars. Was £2.34.

SAVE: £1.09

Hot right now

LOOKING for Mother’s Day gift ideas? Make the most of the 50 per cent off sale at Cath Kidston. Go to cathkidston.com and select “offers”.

Don’t miss out on 260 holiday parks with the Sun Hols From £9.50

HERE is your chance to book one of our Hols from £9.50.

Pick from 260 parks across the UK and Europe, with holidays available until November.

Here's how to book Hols From £9.50 - and have your pick of 260 holiday parks in the UK and Europe
Here’s how to book Hols From £9.50 – and have your pick of 260 holiday parks in the UK and Europe
Getty – Contributor

Choose from a three-night weekend break or a four-night midweek break.

To book, collect SEVEN tokens, codewords or Sun Savers codes from those inside The Sun until March 9.

If you choose to collect seven codewords, go to thesun.co.uk/holidays and enter them to book.

To book by post, send back your printed tokens with the booking form found online.

Collecting via Sun Savers? Go to the Sun Savers app or sunsavers.co.uk and click “Start Collecting” on the “Hols from £9.50” page found in the “Offers” section. Then enter your seven codes to unlock booking.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle
Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/8568199/sweet-treats-lent-alternatives-sun-savers/