Hand holding house

What to read right now…

There’s been some reshuffling of the FTSE 100, which is an interesting indicator of economic trends.

Bradford apparently has the cheapest properties for first time buyers.

Holiday scams have increased by 41% – which makes this quite a good time to resurface this guide on what to do if you’ve fallen victim to a scam.

The Financial Conduct Authority has banned debt advisors from receiving referral fees. This is huge news for those facing problem debt – this guide on the different debt solutions explains why.

And finally, I liked this really humanising take on the rise in shoplifting.

The deal that’s a steal…

We are at last having some warm weather – not just sunny but windy and cold – so if you haven’t broken out the barbecue yet, it may be time to.

Need a cheap one that’ll do a better job than those single-use numbers? Try this portable one from Millets*, which is an unbelievable bargain at £7 (it’s normally £15).

It is admittedly very basic, but it has a decent grill surface, weighs just 1kg and can be folded away for storage.

On the other end of the scale – and definitely not a deal – are the ceramic grills from Kamado Joe*.

I mention this only because I’ve tested a few barbecues over the last few summers and this was by far my favourite.

I have the Joe Jr, which starts from £529, so it’s one to invest in for serious barbecue fans.

And an actual freebie…

This is a sort of freebie – Which? has just released its list of the best free days out in the UK.

St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff has come up top. The rest of the list is made up of small museums and art galleries around the country.

Actually, Art Fund announced its shortlist for the Museum of the Year award last week. You can read about the contenders in my piece for The Times here.

Many of these are free to visit, too.

A favourite of mine (not on either lists) is the V&A – especially the top floor where you can see how different types of furniture are made. Very niche I know.

If you only do one thing…

Check your bill carefully if you’ve just had a smart meter installed.

I’ve had quite a few hiccups since having mine installed – I’ve tweeted about it here – which after about three months I’m still trying to sort.

Basically I was moved to a different tariff without my consent, and I only realised because I had checked my bill, which was more than double of what it would be normally.

And then a few weeks later, I was told my monthly direct debit would be going up to over £300 a month – from £41!

Needless to say, it hasn’t been plain sailing…