Ask Andy #34: Your money questions answered

My regular round-up of your personal finance questions.

I love hearing from you, whether it’s on the blog, social media, YouTube or email. Often you’re asking me questions about your finances, and I’m always glad to help if I have the time.

But I realised that my answers could also be useful to other followers. So I’ll be putting my responses to the best questions into regular articles here on the blog.

Keep reading for some of the questions I’ve been asked, plus the video live from this week with even more!

Watch the latest live Q&A

Most Tuesday evenings you’ll find me live on YouTube and Instagram answering your questions. It’s probably the best place to ask!

Here’s the latest video:

This week’s extra questions

If you’ve asked me a question elsewhere, you might find the answer below!

Which card should I use when I go on holiday?

I am visiting the US but have no credit card so I was trying to see what kind of reloadable card to buy to be able to use

Kimani, via Instagram

Hi Kimani. Take a look at the Chase Bank current account. It’s fee-free to use overseas and you’ll earn 1% cashback. Here’s my review with more details.

When can I get the Lifetime ISA bonus?

Quick question Andy, every financial year starts in the 6th of April. Would I obtain the £2000 if I add £4000 into my ISA before the end of the financial year, add another £4000 after the start of the next financial year and then buy a house by the end of April? Thanks you for your time

Eric, via YouTube

Yep you definitely could. You just need to make sure that the Lifetime ISA has been open for at least 12 months before using it. That can be with just a quid. Here’s a video with more on the Lifetime ISA.

Andy’s YouTube

Watch new videos every week on the Andy Clever Cash channel, plus a regular live Q&A

Should I bother with a credit card?

I’m in a dilemma. I spend 600 a month on my debit card and never run out of cash. I’m good with money and I don’t see the need to borrow money. Yet I want to build up my credit score without paying interest

Gary, via YouTube

As long as you clear the balance of the credit card each month (how much you’ve spent on it) then you’ll avoid getting charged any interest. 

You could easily spend just a little on the new credit card – say £50 to £100 of normal expenses (petrol maybe) – and over time your score will improve. Here’s more on building your credit score.

Can I get vouchers for my old clothes?

Hi quick question I heard that I can take my old clothes to few stores that I can get some cash back or get vouchers please can I have some more information about it and how do I do that’s? Thanks 

Lana, via email

Yes! You absolutley can at Marks and Spencer and H&M. Here’s more on these and similar schemes.

Andy’s podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

Should I switch to a direct debit energy meter?

Do you think it’s cheaper to pay your energy bills through direct debit or through topping up the metre. At the moment I live with my parents and we top up our meter per week. Roughly we are spending £40 per week topping up (£20 for gas & £20 for electricity) oh and we are with utility warehouse.

Rabya, via the Facebook group

Usually a pay-as-you-go meter is more expensive than a direct debit. However, sometimes people prefer these top-up meters as it controls their budgeting. Also, your existing energy company might not want to switch you over for free (and if you’re renting you will need check with landlord). But if you can, it’s usually worth doing it.

How do I avoid the Club Lloyds fee?

Does anyone know how the Club Lloyds £3 fee reduction works. Can I just transfer the £1500 minimum and then transfer it straight back out?

James, via the Facebook group

It’s just as you suggest. As long as £1,500 goes into the account each month you won’t get charged the £3 fee. In fact it doesn’t even need to be in one go. You could pay in £500, take it out, pay it back in, take it out again, and pay it in once more. Here’s more on the Club Lloyds account

How to ask me questions

The best ways to get in touch is in the Andy Clever Cash Facebook community

Just post your question any time, or ask me live in my weekly Q&A each Tuesday (which is on Instagram and YouTube).

You can also comment on individual blogposts and videos or ask me questions via these channels:

I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer all questions but I’ll do my best. I tend to look once a week at all the messages, so you might have to bear with me for a reply!

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