LOYALTY is for losers – especially when it comes to money.

It’s that time of year again, when I renew the car insurance, house insurance, the AA membership and sort out our savings.

Stick with the same firm because they appreciate me as an old and valued customer? No way!

Newcomers get the best deals. Old clients are taken for granted. Suckers, even.

So before you let your savings roll over in the equivalent of a shoebox in the basement of the big banks, check those interest rates. Even the best are pathetic but you might as well get the least pathetic available. Why should they have more of your money? These days you might get only enough more for a few drinks or a night out – but it’s still your drinks and your night out, so go for it.

As for the AA: two years ago they wanted £200 to renew my membership. When I objected, they instantly got it down to £100. This year it had crept up again. Another phone call, another reduction.

No apologies for saying again – before you renew any insurance policy, get more quotes. My insurance company wanted nearly £700 to renew. If I applied as a new customer it was just over £500. A phone call soon sorted that…

We can no longer trust the companies we deal with to have our best interests at heart.

A lot of people make a lot of money from us. The least we can do is make it harder for them.

ACTRESS Emma Watson was stopped in the street by an anxious mother who asked her to give an encouraging message to her daughter at home studying.

“Study hard!” said the obliging Emma on face time.

Not exactly the secret of the universe but brief and to the point and enough to send Facebook into ecstasies.

But as the exam season traps the country’s teenagers under the black cloud of doom, it’s probably too late for studying hard to make much difference. Last-minute cramming just encourages last minute panic.

Anyway, years ago I read somewhere that a decent breakfast before an exam is worth at least half a grade extra, so am happy to pass on this advice to this year’s panicking parents.

Never mind their books, just give your exam children a bacon sandwich and a hug and let them get on with it. They’ll be fine.

SHADOW Home Secretary Diane Abbott, caused hilarity in her car crash interview about Labour’s election promises on policing. Was she going to pay policemen £30 a year, £8,000 or about half a million? She hadn’t a clue. She was just pulling figures from the air with no idea of what they meant. Oh how we laughed.

Let’s just be glad she wasn’t a doctor with such a vague idea of numbers. There have been quite a few confused by all those noughts – and patients given dramatically wrong doses have died as a result.

Not understanding numbers really is no joke. Even if it’s been the best bit of the election so far.

DIDN’T David Cameron’s £25,000 shepherd’s hut look wonderful? All handcrafted wooden boards, stylish interior and Farrow and Ball colours. Very classy.

Such a shame that real shepherds are more likely to be camping out in something made of rusting corrugated iron and smelling of wet lambs. They’re not likely to have £25,000 to spend on a glorified Wendy house, either.

GOLD cutlery, silver plates, a walk in wardrobe the size of a house and a chandelier in the garden – Catherine Zeta Jones’s home is not when you would call quietly understated. It’s certainly a long way from Swansea.

Each to their own and all that and she’s not asking me to pay for it.

But in among all that extravagant opulence I’m puzzled by her handbags. She apparently has two identical £40,000 orange ostrich-skin Birkin bags. Why? Having them in every colour is extravagant enough, but two the same? One on each arm? In case she loses one? In case one wears out? Or did she buy one completely forgetting she already had one at home?

Truly, the rich are different from the rest of us. Even when they’re Welsh.

WHEN former Lord Chancellor Kenneth Clarke forgot his microphone was still on and referred to Theresa May as “a bloody difficult woman” she, quite rightly, took it as a compliment.

And so it’s proving.

Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission , can’t say he hasn’t been warned…