Review of Chutneys Vegetarian Indian Restaurant Drummond St London

Written by Karen Bryan

There are several Indian restaurants in Drummond Street, near London Euston station, which offer lunch buffets for £7 per person. On my recent trip to London, I tried Chutneys Vegetarian Indian restaurant.

chutneys vegetatian indian restaurant drummond st london exterior

The interior of Chutneys is pleasant, but a bit cramped. It would have been tight for two people to get in and out at the table which was allocated. As I was eating on my own,  it wasn’t an issue.

chutneys vegetatian indian restaurant drummond st london interior

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Inflation Busting Increases in NHS Dental Charges

Written by Karen Bryan

teethAfter the escalation of pain in my left upper molars yesterday, I had to phone my dentist this morning to request an emergency appointment.

I was relieved that I was given an appointment. My dentist was able to identify the cause of the pain and decided that a molar would have to be extracted.

When I went to reception to arrange the appointment for the extraction, I was asked to pay in advance for the treatment. I know that my treatment fell in the Band 2 payment, so I expected to pay  just over £50. The cost was £53.90.

When I came home, I did a search for NHS dental treatment charges. I read that charges increased by 5% on 1 April 2016, and will increase by a further 5% on 1 April 2017.

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Free Public Toilet Provision More Important Than Free WiFi

Written by Karen Bryan

free wifiWhen I read that Edinburgh city centre will offer free WiFi from this Summer, it made me wonder about priorities.

Many local authorities, including Edinburgh City Council, have increased charges and/or closed down public toilets in order to reduce spending.

Personally, I’d rather have plenty of clean free public toilets in a city centre than free WiFi.

In my opinion, it should be a statutory duty for local authorities to provide free public toilets. After all, it’s an essential service for both local residents and visitors.

I can usually get online either through my Three mobile broadband on my phone, or use the WiFi in my hotel. Whereas, if I am out and about and need to pee, then access to a toilet is more important to me than free WiFi.

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BT Increases Prices: No Escape If You’ve Paid for Line Saver

Written by Karen Bryan

BT logoOn 3 July 2016 BT is imposing massive prices increases of up to 15% on some broadband packages.

How can BT possible justify prices increases of up to 15% when the rate of inflation, measured by CPI (Consumer Price Index), stands at 0.3%?

In late January 2016, I signed a 12 month contract for broadband and anytime calls with BT  Although technically I can leave the BT contract with no penalty due to the impending price increase, I am tied into the 12 month contract by virtue of having paid for Line Saver (where you pay 12 months line rental in advance in order to get a discount on the price). Unfortunately, you can’t get a refund on the unused portion of Line Saver if you quit your BT mid contract.

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Review of Ramanda London Finchley Hotel

Written by Karen Bryan

I stayed at the Ramada London Finchley for three nights in late February 2016, It cost £40 a night for room only on the Agoda hotel booking website. I selected the hotel as it had reasonable reviews, the price was good, and there were some places I wanted to visit nearby e.g. Alexandra Palace and Highgate Cemetery.

As I didn’t fancy a 25 minute walk pulling my suitcase from East Finchley Tube station to the hotel, I took the 263 bus. The bus stop is located under the Tube line bridge. It’s a real wind tunnel and I was chilled through in the 10 minute wait for the bus.

To reach the hotel from the closest bus stop entailed either a dash across the road, or a couple of minutes walk down to the crossing. I managed to spot a gap in the traffic to make it across the road at the bus stop.

ramada london finchley exterior

The hotel is located in a leisure park which has a health club, bowling alley and some restaurants including Pizza Hut and MacDonald’s. I was rather dismayed by the amount of litter lying around.

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Review of Yorkshire Bank 40 Day Notice Cash ISA

Written by Karen Bryan

yorkshire bankThe Yorkshire Bank 40 Day Notice Cash ISA paying a variable interest rate of 1.75% on balances of £30,000+ caught my eye.

This is a competitive rate for savers with larger Cash ISA pots, without having to tie the money up for too long. The highest rate of interest that I could find for a one year fixed rate Cash ISA was 1.75% with the Punjab National Bank, which has to be opened by post or in a branch.

If the balance in the Yorkshire Bank 40 Day Notice Cash is lower, the rates are less attractive. Balances under £15,000 receive a rate of 1.0%. Balances between £15,000 and £29,999 earn a rate of 1.5%.

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Review of Taste of India Drummond Street London

Written by Karen Bryan

If you’re looking for a cheap Indian buffet lunch near London’s Euston station, you should head to Drummond Street. I recently had lunch at the Taste of India restaurant, which cost £7.

taste of india drummond st london exterior

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Why is Halifax Paying their Current Account Reward Net?

Written by Karen Bryan

Halifax logoI was surprised to see that the monthly reward on my Halifax Reward Current Account is still being paying net of income tax i.e. after deduction of 20% basic rate income tax.

With the new £1,000 personal savings allowance for basic rate taxpayers having kicked in, surely the Halifax reward payment should be paid gross (with no income tax deducted)?

I assume that Halifax’s decision is based on semantics in that they pay a reward versus interest.

It’s down to interpretation. The first quarterly profit (as Sharia compliant banks share profit versus paying interest) paid on my Al Rayan 24 Month Fixed Term Account was paid gross.

 

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Women Take Lead in Household ISA Investments Decisions

Written by Karen Bryan

female investorA study carried out by The Share Centre highlights that women are active in making investment choices, contradicting the stereotype of it being men who make more of the household investment decisions.

The results of the study show that 60% of women take the lead in decisions about investing in Stocks and Shares ISAs in their household. A further 12% make joint decisions with their partner. 25% of women surveyed had dealt on behalf of a male relative or partner.

The majority of female ISA investors plan to use their investment to provide an income in retirement. It’s always said that you should invest over the long-term.

However, most women appear to be adopting a ‘buy and hold’ strategy, as only 17% make monthly trades. More regular trading, especially if you can buy when the price is low and sell when the price is high, can bring higher yields.

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Review of Asda Money Products

Written by Karen Bryan

Asda Money offer a variety of financial products including credit cards, travel, home and car insurance.

Asda Money Credit Card

asda money credit cardIf you are a regular Asda shopper, you can earn 1% cashback on your Asda in-store and online shopping, plus on fuel purchases. If you spend £200 a month in an Asda supermarket and £100 a month on fuel, this would give you £36 in cashback per year. Not exactly a fortune, but a little bonus for spending that you’d be doing anyway.

It’s 0.5% cashback on all other purchases made with an Asda Money credit card. If you use your credit card to pay for as many things as possible, e.g. train tickets, household purchases, clothes and restaurants, this could add up over the year. But you do need to check if there is a fee for payment by credit card. Some travel companies charge a 2.5% credit card fee, so you’d be better to pay by debit card.

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