How to Handle Money When Someone Has Dementia

Written by Karen Bryan

Dementia can originate due to multiple factors such as age, Alzheimer’s, vitamin deficiencies, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, side effects of prescription drugs, an overactive thyroid, depression etc. Whatever the cause or origin might be, it’s not really a disease but rather a symptom that something is affecting one’s ability to function normally in daily life. The effects of dementia usually include memory loss, impairment of verbal and written communicative abilities, inability to focus, impaired judgment and reasoning and changes in perception of the world from a visual and conceptual perspective.

Handling Money and Dementia Together is a Bad Idea

Whatever your cause for developing signs of dementia might be, the fact is that it’s a bad idea to try and handle money when you are suffering from its effects. The same goes for someone you know or someone close to you as well. It isn’t uncommon for people with dementia to accuse others of stealing money because they cannot explain how they lost it. This would of course, lead to frictions with others and subsequent problems.

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How to Save Money When Shipping a Parcel Overseas

Written by Karen Bryan

Christmas is now less than two weeks away, which is exciting news for both businesses and consumers alike.

It’s certainly a time for giving, and the chances are you will shipping out quite a few parcels to friends, family and customers across the globe.

This can be a costly pastime, so in this post we’ll look at how you can save money on overseas shipping in the modern age:

  1. Measure Your Parcel and Compare the Market

There are many factors that will determine the cost of your international parcel, including its weight, dimensions and final destination.

You’ll therefore need to have a precise address where you intend to send your parcel, along with precise measurements (including the final packaging).

You can then use this information to compare the market and achieve the best possible deal, across a range of potential service providers.

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Revenue Scotland Charge You More Than Five Times the Rate of Interest Which They Pay You

Written by Karen Bryan

As we bought our flat in Stirling, Scotland before we had sold our house in Berwick upon Tweed in England, we had to pay the 3% additional Stamp Duty (called Additional Dwelling Supplement in Scotland) to Revenue Scotland on the day which we purchased the flat in Stirling.

Our intention was to sell the house in Berwick. But as we had paid the 3% surcharge in Scotland, we had to sell the house in Berwick within 18 months of making the purchase in Scotland in order to reclaim the surcharge.

Fortunately, our house in Berwick sold within 7 months of the purchase of the flat in Stirling. Our solicitor had paid the Additional Dwelling Supplement, so I had to fill out a paper refund form and post it to Revenue Scotland.

The refund was paid by bank transfer into my current account within three weeks. Around another three weeks later, I received a letter from Revenue Scotland confirming the refund.

In that letter, it stated that £10 interest had been paid. I was sure that I would have earned a lot more than £10 in interest if I’d had that money in an instant access savings account.

Sure enough, I went to the Revenue Scotland website to find out the rate of interest made on repayments. It was the higher of either 0.5% or the Bank of England Base Rate (which at the time was 0.25%). Therefore, I’d received 0.5% interest on that cash.

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How Electric Vehicles Are More Affordable Than Many Believe

Written by Karen Bryan

It is becoming more common to see electric vehicles on UK roads as more and more motorists are making the switch. This has been accelerated by the Government’s clean air plans, which include a proposed ban on diesel and petrol cars by 2040. It appears that the public is switching sooner rather than later, with diesel sales plummeting by 30% and the sale of Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles rising by 33% in November.

Why People are Hesitant

So, what is currently stopping people from making the switch? Energy provider OVO carried out a 2000 person survey to find out why some motorists were hesitating, which revealed that financial reasons were one of the primary factors in stopping people. Over 50% of people aged 55+ said that expenses would put them off, whilst 43% of people aged 16 to 24 agreed.

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The Stress of Paying For Christmas On People Aged 55+

Written by Karen Bryan

Research by Damart has highlighted the increasing stress of affording Christmas gifts to many residents of the UK and the Republic of Ireland in the 55+ age bracket.

More than half the people (54%) taking part in survey said that they were worried about affording Christmas presents. An even higher proportion (64%) were finding that Christmas was an increasing source of strain and worry.

The was a noticeable difference in the responses between males and females, 62% of females were worried about the affordability of Christmas, and 72% of females were finding that Christmas was increasing stressful.

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4 Easy Ways to Make Your Small Business More Green

Written by Karen Bryan

Ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution, the world has been facing a pollution problem. Many signs of global warming are being experienced all over the globe like increased temperatures, a rise in sea level, extreme weather conditions, among others.

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As a result, there is increased emphasis on the need for the world to come together and work towards promoting sustainability in all aspects of life. To achieve this goal, everyone has to try incorporating elements of green living at home, and more importantly at work. Below are some of the ways to make the workplace more eco-friendly.


Lighting is the most basic form of energy consumption in any workplace. While many may not notice, lighting contributes to over 40% of the average energy bill of most businesses who don’t use heavy machinery in their operations. A simple way to decrease energy consumption is by turning off the lights when not in use. It helps to have many sources of natural light so that you don’t have to rely on bulbs. Modern technology has also helped come up with ways to cut your lighting costs. For instance, you can install motion sensors to control lighting efficiently.

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Tips for Expanding a Chain of Retail Stores

Written by Karen Bryan

If you’re the owner of a successful shop, you’ve probably thought about opening up another location and expanding your retail business with a chain of lucrative stores. Things may be going great at your current location, but facilitating the launch of additional locations could impact the cash flow of the original business if the founder doesn’t have access to adequate financing. The ideal approach to starting any commercial chain is to have each location pay for itself without investing a considerable sum of money out of pocket. With that said, here are a few tips to heed if you’re planning on tackling the challenge of multi-faceted entrepreneurship:

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    1. Obtaining the Necessary Financing

First and foremost, retail shop owners need to compile proof of revenue and maintain a decent personal credit score to ensure approval for small business loans. It would be best to opt for a loan that can be paid back in the short-term to avoid entering into a long-term debt commitment during the initial phase of the new store’s operation. You can visit to learn more about short-term business loans and how they can be used to benefits companies in the retail sector. Founding the second store from scratch with no financial assistance is not a recommended course of action due to the potential risk of the store not performing well.

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BT’s Partial Price Freeze

Written by Karen Bryan

I was pretty hacked off when I received an email from BT informing me that they were increasing the monthly cost of our fibre broadband by £2.50 and the monthly price of our Anytime Calls by 50p.

On this occasion, BT weren’t increasing the price of the line rental. The higher costs for broadband and calls equated to a price increase of around 8%, more than twice the rate of inflation (measured by CPI).

This was BT’s second price increase in 2017, as our monthly bill rose by £2 in April 2017.

BT did inform me that I could leave my contract without penalty due to their above inflation price hike.

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Scotrail Delay Repay

Written by Karen Bryan

My rail journey from Stirling to Kyle of Lochalsh in late October was delayed for more than two hours.

This was caused by a broken down train at Gleneagles, around mid way between Stirling and Perth.

The Glasgow to Inverness train which I was due to board at 07.36 in Stirling arrived a few minutes late and into a different platform to the one originally announced. I boarded the train which sat in Stirling station for more than one hour. I was given a free hot drink from the trolley.

There were several announcements informing passengers that they could claim a refund through the Scotrail Delay Repay scheme for delays of more than 30 minutes.

Around 9.00,  it was announced that our train was cancelled and that there would be a bus replacement service.

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How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Using Mobile Card Readers

Written by Karen Bryan

If you are a small business owner, you could benefit from accepting payments through a mobile card reader. This allows you to accept card payments in any location.

A retailer such as supermarket can used fixed location card readers, as the customer is physically in the supermarket picking up purchases and then going through the check out process.

In a restaurant, the mobile card reader brought to your table, needs to be physically close to the base unit to process the transaction.

A fully mobile card reader, can be used anywhere that you can connect to WiFi or a mobile broadband signal on your phone or tablet. This is very useful for businesses which don’t operate from a fixed physical location, but have face-to-face contact with customers e.g a food vendor selling at various markets or a tradesperson working in customers’ homes.

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