What to read right now…

Buying smart appliances might not be a good investment in the long run.

Here’s how much energy appliances use and what it costs to run them on standby. 

It’s a reminder that certainly energy saving tricks won’t actually save you that much money – although it does all add up.

Halifax and Barclays have both introduced cashback schemes for those who want to green up their homes.

And finally, this lawsuit made me wonder if the use of time tracking apps will increase if more people start working remotely.

The deal that’s a steal…

Need to buy something from Amazon? Right now they’re offering £5 off if you spend at least £15.

You can see if you’re eligible for the offer here* – you’ll need to click a button to enroll.

They’re also running the gift card top up promotion where if you top up £60 you’ll get an extra £5. 

This one is automatically credited to your account, but you’ll only get it if you haven’t topped up for a while.

Basically if you need to buy something big, take advantage of both.

And an actual freebie…

If you’re eligible for the Household Support Fund (HSF) – that’s the government’s initiative to help with the cost of living – you might be able to apply for appliances too.

The HSF is made available through your local council so you’ll need to check with them as to what’s available.

The Sun has quite a good list of some of the councils offering appliances, which includes things like air fryers and washing machines.

If you only do one thing…

Check if you need to file a tax return.

Essentially you have to file one if you are a sole trader and made more than £1,000 in profit, a partner in a business or earned more than £100,000 in a year.

But you might also need to file a return if you have property income or a large income from savings and investments.

Doing it now gives you some time before the end of January deadline to sort out your paperwork and get the money together if you have to pay anything.

HMRC has a handy quiz you can use to check your status.

And here are some of the things you could be claiming in your tax return to reduce your taxes.