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Spain Money Saving Tips and Offers

Save money in Spain and get help during "La Crisis". Providing regular money saving tips, tricks, offers, cheap deals and guides for people living in or visiting Spain. Covers shopping, supermarkets, insurance, bank accounts, utilities, phone/mobiles etc.

Carrefour Spain: 40" LCD Television for €399
24 July 2010

Carrefour in Spain are currently selling an OKI 40 inch LCD Television with built in TDT for only €399, reduced from €499.  I remember that around a year ago, this was the typical price for a cheap 32 inch LCD television.  Remember, it will automatically come with a 2 year warranty in Spain.

Here's the technical specs:

- Display LCD 40 "Full HD
- Full HD Resolution 1920 x 1080.
- Brightness 500 cd/m2.
- Dynamic Contrast: 20,000:1
- Viewing angle 178/178 HV
- Freeview Digital Tuner
- PCMCIA slot
- 2 x HDMI connection
- USB (JPEG, MP3, XVID, MPEG4)
- Dimensions: Height: 71 x Width 101 x Depth: 28 cm



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Lidl Spain: Espresso machine for €49.99
24 July 2010

Lidl Spain will be selling an Espresso machine for €49.99 starting from 31st July 2010.  They usually have their offers in stock for a few days but I think this one will sell out quickly.  It comes with a 3 year warranty for peace of mind.

Here's the technical specs:

  • 1100 W
  • Pump pressure 15 bar.
  • Removable drip tray.
  • Includes 2 filters for 1 or 2 cups, ground coffee or pods.
  •  Integrated presser.
  •  Removable water tank with max. 1.5l
  •  Base slip.
  •  3 Year Warranty



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Lidl Spain: Case of Jumilla wine for €6
24 July 2010

Lidl in Spain have a special offer on at the moment.  It is selling a case of Jumilla joven red wine for €6.  That's only one euro per bottle.  The wine is called Cinglano Vino tinto

I've had this wine before and it is perfectly drinkable.  I think the offer is only one for a few more days, so you need to be quick.



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4 Car Tyres for only €99
24 July 2010

Aurgi, the national chain of garages with branches across Andalucia, Alicante, Barcelona and Madrid are doing anoth special offer on car tyres.

Aurgi always seem to have some excellent offers on.  Their current offer is for four tyres (including VAT and fitting) from only €99.

I haven't used Aurgi yet but I know where I will be going for my next change of tyres!



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Reclaim Air Tax if you don't fly
15 July 2010

Anyone who doesn't take a flight that they have booked is entitled to a refund for the air tax/duty element of the ticket.  This is done via the airline you booked the ticket with.  I had no idea you could do this until I was reading an online forum recently.  I was unable to make one of my flights during the recent volcanic ash disruption, so I contacted Easyjet and got a refund of £11.  I did everything online and via email so no expensive premium rate phone number to call.  I had to wait about 6 weeks for it to come through, but I got it.  Easyjet do not charge andy fees for processing the tax refund, but Ryanair (no surprises here!) and other airlines do.

Here's the Administration charges for reclaiming Air passenger Duty with some of the major UK airlines:

  • Easyjet - Free
  • Ryanair - £17
  • Flybe - £25
  • Virgin Atlantic - £30
  • British Airways - £30


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Costa del Sol Outlet SALE: 16th-18th July in Estepona
12 July 2010

There's a big brand name Outlet sale on 16th, 17th and 18th July at the Palacio de Congresos in Estepona.  They claim there are discounts of 70%, 80% and 90% off brand name items.  There's a children's area as well as a lounge area where they will be serving mojitos.

The following items will be for sale:

  • Fashion
  • Clothes
  • Sportswear
  • Surf
  • Shoes
  • Children's Wear
  • Computers
  • Furniture
  • Electrical Items



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Spanish omlette from the supermarket
12 July 2010

All of the Spanish supermarkets sell ready made Spanish omlette (tortilla) for around €1.50.  They don't taste as nice as the proper home made version but I still really like the supermarket version.  I've tried making my own tortillas and everything goes fine until I have to flip it over.  I always end up destroying it.  So from now on, I just buy these ready made supermarket tortillas.  All you need to do is take it out the packaging, bang it in the microwave for 4 minutes and it's ready.

It's perfect with a nice salad.  Not bad for around €1.50.

My favourite is the Lidl one, which you can see below:

 



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Bill limits for EU data roaming usage begins
05 July 2010

Greater protection to prevent mobile phone and computer users from running up large data bills when overseas has come into force across the EU.

New rules mean that users will be automatically cut off when their monthly bill for using the internet abroad reaches 50 euros (£41), excluding VAT.

Customers will receive a warning when they have used 80% of this limit.

They can set their own monthly cut-off point by contacting their provider.

Accessing the internet via your mobile phone while abroad is called "data roaming".

'Bill shocks'

The move follows cases where people built up massive bills by watching videos or downloading music while abroad.

One German traveller faced a bill of 46,000 euros ($56,436; £37,593) for downloading a film while in France. A UK student was also reported to have received a bill for 9,000 euros ($11,031; £7,349) for one month while studying abroad.

"There will be no more bill shocks for tourists or business travellers surfing the internet with smart phones or laptops while in another EU country," said the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes.

Under the rules:

  • Operators must send details of data roaming charges to customers when they enter another EU country
  • A warning when 80% of the limit is used must be sent by text message, e-mail, or pop-up window on a computer
  • Customers should be cut off when they reach the agreed limit or the default maximum of 50 euros.

Holidaymakers travelling in the EU will also see a fall in the maximum tariff when making a call, from 43 cents (37p) a minute to 39 cents (33p).

The existing top limit of 19 cents (16p) a minute when receiving a call will also drop to 15 cents (13p)

Now that data downloading has been capped and the cost per minute of calls within European countries limited, what more can be done to keep bill costs low?

Turn off data roaming. If you switch off the service on your phone which allows you to check e-mails or access websites when you are away from your home network, it will prevent you racking up big bills.

Consider buying a local Sim card. This can be even more useful when travelling outside Europe, although you will need to let people know your new, temporary number.

Consider texting. It can be cheaper and you can easily control the size of the text, rather than worrying about how many minutes you have been speaking for.

Call less.

Source: BBC News



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Media Markt Dia Sin IVA (VAT free day) 4th and 5th July
04 July 2010

Media Markt, the Spanish electrical store is having another one of it's VAT free days (Dia Sin IVA) on 4th and 5th July 2010.  With VAT now at 18%, this is therefore a saving of 18%.
 
Media Markt sell a range of electrical items such as televisions, mp3 players, PCs, laptops, video games, washers, dish washers, cameras etc.  If you were thinking about buying an electrical item, it may be the perfect opportunity to bag a bargain.



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Ryanair to sell £5 tickets for standing-room only flights
01 July 2010

Ryanair is planning to run flights where passengers stand during the journey at a cost of just £5 per ticket.

Michael O'Leary, the airline's chief executive, will set out proposals today that include charging customers to use the loo.

A standing area with "vertical seats" will be introduced at the back of its fleet of 250 planes.

He said that charging customers £1 to make use of facilities would encourage travellers on one-hour flights to use lavatories at the airport instead of on the aircraft.

The Irishman said he intended to introduce coin-operated loos and added: "The other change we've been looking at is taking out the last 10 rows of seats so we will have 15 rows of seats and the equivalent of 10 rows of standing area."

A Ryanair spokesman said that Boeing had been consulted over refitting the fleet with "vertical seats" which would allow passengers to be strapped in while standing up, which would cost between £4 and £8 per person.

Safety testing will be carried out next year.

However, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said the plans would struggle to meet safety requirements.

He said: "It's aviation law that people have to have a seat belt on from take-off and landing so they would have to be in a seat. I don't know how Mr O'Leary would get around that one. During turbulence passengers also have to have a seat belt on."

Mr O'Leary was interviewed for ITV's ‘How to Beat the Budget Airlines’ which airs on Thursday night at 7.30pm.

Source: The Telegraph



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Budget 2010: what does the Budget mean for expats?
01 July 2010

The UK Emergency Budget might seem “out of sight and out of mind” for many British expatriates, but there are measures which could have significant implications for them. In some cases, Isle of Man-based financial products can help ease the pain

What was left out of the Budget was just as significant as what was included. Offshore life assurance is one example, as the Budget left intact the tax regime on offshore single premium bonds which allows tax liabilities to be deferred.

But while sales of offshore life bonds will benefit, higher rate tax relief on pension contributions remains under threat. The Treasury plans to simply cut the maximum amount of contribution per tax year that attracts tax relief from the present £225,000 to between £30,000 and £50,000.

According to Craig Brown, director of IOMA Solutions, a leading life assurance company on the Island of Man, Isle of Man-based pensions could mitigate this problem. “This could be a boost to the island’s pension industry, as higher earners in the UK consider the use of an Isle of Man based pension as part of their retirement planning, something which might previously have had adverse tax consequences for their contributions,” he told me, adding that investing into an offshore bond is particularly useful for UK high earners who plan to move, or retire, to a low tax jurisdiction.

Other types of offshore schemes such as Employee Funded Retirement Benefit Schemes (EFRBS) are less attractive, however, as they will fall within the scope of an anti tax avoidance review currently being carried out.

Established expatriates can still move their pension plans offshore through QROPs, a growing business on the Isle of Man.

The rise in Capital Gains Tax to 28 per cent for higher rate taxpayers will affect some British expatriates selling property they own in the UK, unless they have spent five consecutive tax years as a non-resident. If they haven't spent five consecutive years away, it may be a wise move for expatriates who might be affected by the rise in CGT to defer their return to the UK.

Any capital gain is added to income, so a one–off large gain from selling a property could push the owner into the higher rate tax bracket, and liability to 28 per cent on part of the gain. The Chancellor left open the prospect of a further rise in CGT in the 2011 Budget.

The Chancellor deferred decisions on changes to domicile rules. Louise Somerset, tax director of RBC Wealth Management of the UK and Channel Islands said she was not surprised at the lack of an announcement on domicile, as the government has appointed a commission to review the area. She added: “But we will need to wait and see if it amounts to anything positive or simply kicks the problem into the long grass.”

There was also no mention of residency rules. There have been several tax cases where wealthy businessmen who made frequent visits to the UK and kept strong UK connections despite living overseas were ruled to be tax resident. However, many UK expatriates work overseas under employment contracts and only return for brief holiday visits. Ms Somerset said that many ordinary workers "do not know where they stand."

Mr Brown commented: “The planned review of the tax status of UK non-domiciled individuals and the possible introduction of a general anti avoidance rule may have an adverse impact on the international financial services industry in the Isle of Man, but until the results of the reviews are known we cannot say this with any degree of certainty.“

Dean Power, a senior tax executive at The Fry Group said: “Domicile is certainly an issue the government will examine during the course of this parliament but there are differences between the Coalition partners. The Conservatives favour one off annual payment by non domiciled residents while the Liberal Democrats want to deem them domiciled after seven years as residents. As for residency, I would like to see a statutory residency test, for the sake of certainty."

One potential crumb of comfort for some expatriates is the raising of the personal allowance from next April by £1,000 to £7,475. This might cut UK tax bills for expatriates who derive some income from the UK.

Mr Power said: "A married couple jointly owning a property can make £2,000 more per year in net rent before being liable to income tax - provided that’s their only source of UK-based income - as the personal allowance can be doubled up in this case to nearly £15,000.”

And remember that expenses such as a mortgage, management fees and depreciation are allowable expenses against rental income.

Mr Power also welcomed the continued tax concessions for holiday lets, as “many of our expat clients own holiday lets in the UK”. The number of days per year the property has to be available or let will however be subject to review.

Source: The Telegraph



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