For How Long Should You Fix Your Energy Price?

Written by Karen Bryan

Our 12 month fixed price contract for gas and electricity supply expires in mid March 2017.

I’m in a quandary over which new tariff to choose. It will definitely be a fixed price tariff, as there are several fixed price energy deals which are cheaper than the standard rate.

The question is for how long a period to fix.

The one year fixes are the cheapest, and some don’t even have an exit fee (charged if you want to leave the contract early).

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Claim a £5 Zeek Promo Code to Buy Gift Vouchers

Written by Karen Bryan

Zeek is an online marketplace for gift cards. Many people receive gift cards that they don’t use. These gift cards can be sold on Zeek, for a service fee of 7% of the value of the card, with a minimum fee of £3.

Zeek then resells these unwanted gift cards on their website.

I heard of Zeek on the Money Saving Expert website, which was offering a £10 off first purchase code.

As I was planning to buy an item costing £37 at Argos, I thought why not save some cash. I found a £25 Argos gift card, which could only be redeemed in-store not online, which cost £24 on Zeek. The £10 code brought the price paid for the £25 voucher to £14. The £25 Argos gift voucher which I purchased was valid until April 2017.

Click here to claim a code to get £5 off your first purchase on Zeek.

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Nationwide Reduce Rate on My Flexclusive ISA by 0.3%

Written by Karen Bryan

I was dismayed to receive a letter from Nationwide this morning informing me that the interest rate paid on my Flexclusive ISA Issue 12 is reducing from 1.05% to 0.75%.

The rate cut kicks in on 1 March 2017. That’s just over two weeks notice, not much time to organise a transfer to an Cash ISA paying a better rate. Assuming that you can find one.

Nationwide made a big thing in the aftermath of the 0.25% reduction in the Bank of England Base Rate last Summer by proclaiming that they wouldn’t cut the interest rate paid to their savers by more than the 0.25% cut in the Base Rate.

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Save Money With Combo Deals: Your Phone, TV & Broadband Bills

Written by Karen Bryan

Many people are looking back over the holiday season and regretting their vociferous spending. They’re looking at ways to take control of their money in 2017 – ways to spend less and save more and get the finances back on track again.

There are so many ways to save money on your monthly bills, whether they’re on grocery bills or your phone, TV & Broadband bills. The question is – why pay more for TV, your phone calls and broadband when you could pay one low-cost amount for all of them?

Make some Immediate Savings

Some of the savings are so blatantly simple and obvious such as Whatsapp. Some people who don’t know about Whatsapp, for instance, will pay 30c to send a picture message on their mobile device instead of sending it free on WhatsApp. Downloading the WhatsApp Messenger app onto your smartphone can save you a tidy sum in text and picture messaging charges.
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When to Book to Save Money on Flights

Written by Karen Bryan

We all like to pay as little as possible for our short breaks and holidays. As the cost of flights may constitute a fair proportion of the money spent on a trip, you’ll want to find the cheapest flights. Research by Opodo highlights that the time at which you book flights influences the price which you pay.

Opodo’s findings, based on their average flight price database for the return flights originating in the UK during 2016, reveal that the  lowest flight prices are available in September and October. Booking your flight in September saves an average of 10.18%. In October, the average saving is slightly higher at 10.60%. Again, there are variations according to the geographical location of your destination. October yields the largest average saving of 13.89% for domestic flights. Booking in September offers an average saving of 7.81% for short haul flights, and an average of 13.67% for long haul tickets.

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My Experience with the Candy Telecom £6 2GB SIM

Written by Karen Bryan

I’ve been looking at SIM only options for my mobile phone.

A £6 a month deal from Candy Telecom caught my eye. The package including unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 2GB of data (with tethering permitted), on a 30 day rolling contract, is normally priced at £14 a month. But Broadband Choices was offering this package for only£6 a month.

However, there is a cancellation fee of £20 if you cancel within the first 12 months. This made me categorise the deal as a 12 month contract. Still at £72 a year it sounded like a great deal.

I am currently paying £5 a month (£60 a year) for a BT Mobile SIM only package which includes 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.  As a BT Broadband customer I received a £5 a month discount on the standard price of £10 for that package. That package started out as a 12 month contract, but as that expired, I was on a 30 day rolling contract.

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Interest Rates on Savings Accounts Still Falling

Written by Karen Bryan

I thought that I would have some respite from reductions in the rates of interest paid on my current and savings account.

In the wake of the 0.25% fall in the Bank of England Base Rate in August 2016, the rates of interest paid on virtually all my current and savings account dropped, in some cases by a lot more than 0.25%.

But I was wrong, the cull continues, despite no change in the Bank of England Base Rate.

The rate of interest paid on my Newcastle Building Society Big Home Saver is being cut by a further 0.20% from 1.25% to 1.05% from 7 February 2017. The interest paid on this Newcastle account is made up on a variable underlying rate and bonus. The bonus is paid each month as long as you have made a deposit into the account and not made any withdrawals.

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An Expensive January

Written by Karen Bryan

It’s proving to be an expensive January in our household.

The first appliance to go was our digital TV box. We chose a Humax HDR-1100S_BK Freesat Box as replacement.

The lowest price which we could find for a replacement was £171 at several retailers. We decided to buy the box from AO.com as we were very happy with their service when we replaced our broken fridge freezer and washing machine a couple of years ago.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Gold

Written by Karen Bryan

The investment world can be utterly daunting at times. There are so many options to choose from, such as: stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, countless commodities, real estate, exchange traded funds, venture capitalism, and currency. There’s an overwhelming amount of choice and it can feel like the investment world is reserved purely for the super-rich and economics experts. But this isn’t the case at all. If you take a little time to research one type of investment at a time, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and you can arm yourself with the practical knowledge required to start making well-informed investment decisions. This guide will look specifically at gold – helping you understand more about the merits of investing in gold and how you can get started.

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Take Control of Your Finances and Still Have Fun

Written by Karen Bryan

It’s extremely common to be stressed about money. We live in a world where people are spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need, thus creating an annoying amount of debt that just won’t go away. In the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) space, it’s common to see high earners in their 20s and 30s outspend what they make.

Saving money is easier said than done, especially when most consumers are frequently swiping their cards, signing up for subscriptions, and not thinking twice about how much those little purchases add up. You may even think that it’s impossible to have fun while saving money, but that’s not always the case!

There are lot’s of ways you can make budgeting enjoyable and spend money in a smart way so you aren’t depriving yourself. Any of the following tips below will help you take control of your finances without sacrificing fun.

1. Search for Deals

If you’re in saving mode, you never pay full price. Look online for discount codes or deals. There are sites out there dedicated to finding the best deals for certain products (Goldstar, ScoreBig, Groupon, RetailMeNot, and many others) that you can use so you never have to pay full price for fun events and products.

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