A Day Out at Salts Mill in West Yorkshire

Written by Karen Bryan

If you’re in the Bradford area of West Yorkshire, I recommend that you visit Salts Mill in Saltaire village. The former mill building is now home to art galleries (which are free to enter), shops, a restaurant and a cafe.

painting of Salts Mill

Salts Mill is open every day, but opening times vary, so you should check before you visit. Saltaire railway station is opposite Mill, and there’s free parking if you come by car.

The 1853 Gallery (named after the year in which the Mill first opened) is home to lots of art by David Hockney, who was born in Bradford. It’s a very relaxed, informal gallery, with plenty of seats and retail displays of books and art supplies.

salts mills 1853 gallery1
Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

A Breakdown of Car Insurance Prices

Written by Karen Bryan

car-insurance-where-does-money-goResearch done by Co-op Insurance revealed that, almost half (48%) of motorists surveyed, found motor insurance confusing.

A similar number (51%) didn’t understand how the price paid for car insurance is calculated. As an example, 41% of drivers didn’t appreciate that the insurance premium that they paid, covered them for personal injury claims brought against them by another driver and/or passenger(s), as a result of an accident caused by them.

The fact that motorists aren’t aware of the various constituents of the cost of car insurance, probably contributes to the finding that 43% of drivers view insurance as a grudge purchase. 15% of drivers said that they would not buy car insurance if it was not a legal requirement. I assume that some of the people are unhappy paying hundreds of pounds for insurance when there car is worth around the same amount.

The results of this survey spurned Co-op Insurance to make car insurance pricing clearer to drivers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

Beware When Using Comparison Sites

Written by Karen Bryan

£1 coin stack2For years I’ve used comparison sites to help reach buying decisions for all sorts of services and products, e.g. finding the cheapest electrical appliances, energy and insurance supplier, hotel rooms and the highest rate of interest on savings accounts.

It’s a lot quicker to use a comparison site than to look on each individual suppliers website.

But I am aware that some comparison sites don’t always display the best deal for consumers in their results.

This can be because of the comparison site’s desire to earn referral fees from the service or  product provider.

Now you could argue that the comparison site is a business. Therefore, decisions will be driven by making as much profit as possible.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

Review of Holiday Inn Express Bradford City Centre

Written by Karen Bryan

I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Bradford City Centre for five nights in April 2016. I used the HotelsCombined price comparison site to find the lowest price. That was £195 (£39 a night) on the advance payment non-refundable rate booked through Amoma.com.

holiday inn express bradford city centre exterior

If you arrive by car, parking is available in the Bradford Exchange, where there is a cinema, bowling alley and several restaurants.. We purchased a £10 weekly ticket. If you are only staying for one night, parking costs £4 for up to 24 hours. It is a bit daunting driving around Bradford city centre and finding your way back to the car park.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

Teaching Your Kids About Money

Written by Karen Bryan

The mutual society Shepherds Friendly has produced the ‘Parent’s Guide to Teaching Children About Money‘ infographic.

In my opinion, it’s crucial that parents give their kids a good grounding in money management. It doesn’t appear that this is always happening, as according to Shepherd Friendly’s research only 25% of parents regularly discuss savings and the importance of money with their children. Roughly the same percentage (25%) of parents rarely, or never, discuss the topic with their kids.

how-to-teach-your-child-about-money-management
Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

Bank of Scotland Current Account with Vantage Will Require Two Direct Debits to Earn Interest

Written by Karen Bryan

bank of scotland debit cardFrom 2 September 2016, holders of a Bank of Scotland Current Account with Vantage will need to pay a minimum of two direct debits each calendar month in order to earn interest. This new requirement is in addition to funding the account with at least £1,000 per month.

I have the maximum permissible three Bank of Scotland Current Accounts with Vantage. I keep the maximum balance of £5,000 in each of these current accounts, allowing me to earn 3% interest on the £15,000. I don’t have direct debits set up from any of these current accounts.

It seems that the door is closing on the counter intuitive ploy of using high interest current accounts to earn more interest on your money that you can in a savings account.

The monthly fee for the Santander 123 Current Account, which pays 3% interest on balances between £3,000 to £20,000, increased from £2 to £5 earlier this year.
Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

TSB Platinum Credit Card Offers 20 Months Interest Free Plus 1% Cashback

Written by Karen Bryan

tsbThe TSB  Platinum Credit Card currently offers 20 month interest free on both purchases and balance transfers, but there is a 2.95% balance transfer fee. There is no monthly fee on the credit card.

II you are a TSB Classic Plus Current Account holder, you can also earn 1% cashback on purchases, up to a value of £500 per month, until 30 September 2017. I like the fact that there most purchases (excluding gambling) qualify for cashback, and there is no annual fee. Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

New Cash ISA Flexibility Extends to Previous Years’ Subscriptions

Written by Karen Bryan

£20 and £10 notes diagonal 240When I first read about the new Flexible ISAs, I thought that being able to replace any money withdrawn from a Cash ISA during the current tax year was a good idea.

Previously, any money that you took out of a Cash ISA could not be replaced. For example, if you put in the full annual ISA allowance of £15,240 into a new instant access Cash ISA on 6 April 2015, then withdrew £10,000 on 1 July 2015, you were left with £5,240 as your Cash ISA contribution for the tax year 6 April 2015 to 5 April 2016.

Whereas, in the current tax year starting 6 April 2016 with a Flexible ISA, you would now have the option to replace the £10,000 withdraw by the 5 April 2017, allowing you to the retain the full £15,240 annual allowance.

What I hadn’t realised is that this flexibility extends to previous years’ Cash ISA subscriptions. Again, the rule is that any money withdrawn must be replaced by the end of the tax year in which the withdrawal was made.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

The MON£Y SAV£R free monthly newsletter from Help Me To Save helps you -

  • Save more money
  • Spend less
  • Live well

Take control of your money now