Who’s been making a positive difference to your money in 2015, and who’s been taking more for themselves at your expense? Well I’ve teamed up with other money bloggers to reveal the best and worst of the year.
One of my side projects is a group called UK Money Bloggers (you might remember I ran awards back in September as part of this). The idea is I bring together other people who also write about personal finance and money saving to come up with bigger ideas and events than we can manage on our own. I’m a bit like Nick Fury in the Avengers movies, assembling a team of money saving superheroes!
Our first joint project has been to decide the 2015 money heroes and villains of the last year. There were quite a few different people and companies we considered, but eventually cut them down to two lists of six.
Here’s my summary of who we chose. If you want more information on what they did, you can read short summaries written by other bloggers in the community via the links below.
The Money Heroes
Doing good with money is always great to see. Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis gave £2 million donation to charities such as Citizens Advice, while Timpson Dry Cleaners were just the ticket with free dry cleaning for the unemployed.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall showed us just how much we waste and campaigned for change. Ros Altmann was also recognised for her work helping us all understand pensions.
The ridiculous “Tampon Tax” hit the headlines, largely thanks to a petition from student Laura Coryton and speech by Stella Creasy MP. Elsewhere Channel 4 documentary series Dispatches had a great year, including exposing the poor working rights at Sports Direct.
The Money Villains
This list is dominated by people and organisations who we felt didn’t play fair with their finances. Pizza Express was just one of many high street restaurants whose dodgy tipping policy was exposed. Clothing giants Next are on there thanks to their opposition to the living wage despite posting healthy profits.
We aren’t fans of Smart Pig who push payday loans to students, while TalkTalk‘s awful year didn’t make their customer service any better.
George Osborne nearly made the list, but we were outraged by his fellow conservative MP Philip Davies who blocked reforms that could really help those struggling. Finally there’s Martin Shkreli who bought an AIDS drug and promptly tried to make a fortune.
Do you agree? Is there anyone you would have put on the list?