How to get some free cash to see you through to January pay day

James Walker (inset) on being smarter with your finances to see you through to the January pay day. Picture: Resolver/Getty

James Walker (inset) on being smarter with your finances to see you through to the January pay day. Picture: Resolver/Getty


This week, James Walker of complaints support company Resolver, talks us through finding some free cash to see you through to January pay day.

Are you starting to get that sinking feeling about your finances?

Worrying that late night online shopping binge has gone too far?

Afraid of what's lurking on your credit card? You're not alone.

There are countless ways you can claim back a bit of cash if you need some funds to get you over the hump to the January payday. Check out our top tips!

MORE: Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert: An urgent warning to anyone who's never owned a home
- Mystery debits

The sound of a paper bank or credit statement popping through the letterbox is increasingly rare these days.

Online banking is great, but it means we've become less vigilant about checking our spending.

Yet there are countless errors that can occur on bank and credit card statements, from duplicated transactions, services that you cancelled that are still being billed and honest-to-goodness errors.

If you spot anything you don't recognise, ask your bank or card provider to 'charge

back' the money.

You might have to sign a statement saying you didn't authorise the payment but usually there's no delay.

- Flight delays and cancellations

If your flight is delayed over three hours (or cancelled) then you're entitled to statutory compensation.

The rules are a little complicated at first glance, but to paraphrase, if the airline is based in the EU or takes off from an EU country - even if it's a connected flight - and the airline could have anticipated the problem (including when their staff strike) then you should be able to claim.

Oh, and it's not just your ticket cost, it could be up to €600! Don't use a claims company - it's a total rip-off.

In theory, you can go back six years too.

- Double insurance

Millions of us are paying for insurance policies that we don't use or need.

Check your regular payments and debits from your bank account - you may be surprised to spot a mobile phone insurance policy for a phone you've upgraded years ago that you're still being charge for.

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Or you might find an expensive gadget insurance policy is much cheaper if you update your home insurance - ditch it!

You could be able to claim back hundreds if you've been overcharged if you asked for an

insurance policy to be cancelled.

And if you have a packaged bank account and you're over 70, then your insurance is unlikely to cover you and you might get some cash back.

- Water companies

It's frustrating that we're stuck with the one water provider no matter how bad the service.

But there are loads of statutory payments water companies should pay for errors, from missed appointments to leaky sewer pipes.

MORE: Martin Lewis on avoiding fights at the tills by knowing your rights

Check online to find out what you can claim - even if the incident happened a while


They aren't going to automatically compensate you so make sure you know

your rights.

- Packaged bank accounts

For many people, packaged bank account mis-selling will be a distant, if annoying, memory. In the early noughties you couldn't walk in to a bank or speak to a call centre without staff desperately trying to flog you a packaged account - a bank account with a monthly fee for a few extra perks.

But the accounts are still lurking around in their millions. Check your statements.

If you didn't want or need an account but they shoved you on it anyway, you might be able to reclaim the fees.

- Premium phone charges

If you've entered a completion by texting an answer or signed up to receive text updates from a business, there's a chance that you're actually being charged for those annoying texts cluttering up your phone.

Some firms charge over £2 (and often more) for each one of those texts.

If you didn't know about this, you can make a complaint and demand your cash back - and the Phone Paid Services Authority can help if you aren't happy with the response.

Remember to regularly check your mobile phone bill - a lot of sneaky charges can find their way on to the bill.

We're seeing a spike in unauthorised data roaming charges lately too.

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