It’s Getting Harder To Fulfil the Requirements for High Interest Current Accounts

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently got caught out by not reading the change in terms and conditions to my Tesco Bank Internet Saver accounts. The change which would have the biggest impact on me was the end of the being able into a Tesco Bank Internet Saver account by direct debit.

In order to fulfil the requirement for two monthly direct debits to be paid from each of my Bank of Scotland Vantage current accounts, I had set up three direct debits for £1 from two of my Tesco Bank Internet Saver accounts.

So when I actually read the reminder of the change to the Tesco Bank Internet Saver accounts from 22 April 2018, I realised that I wouldn’t be earning any interest on my three Bank of Scotland Vantage current accounts, as I wouldn’t be fulfilling the requirement of the two monthly direct debits.

At present, I earn 2% interest on a maximum balance of £5.000 for each of the Bank of Scotland Vantage current accounts, as long as each account is credited by at least £1,000 month and two direct debits are paid out. This compares to earning 1.35% in interest on an instant access Tesco Internet Saver account. This equates to around £80 more per year in gross interest by having £15,000 in the three Bank of Scotland Vantage current account, compared to keeping the £15,000 in a Tesco Internet saver account.

I didn’t think that I couldn’t come up with six direct debits to move to the Bank of Scotland current accounts. I already pay household direct debits for council tax, water, electricity, gas, broadband and mobile phone from the Santander 123 current account in order to earn cashback on that account to almost cover the £5 monthly fee. I need two direct debits to earn the £3 a month from my Halifax Reward current account.

I  also reckoned that if I set up six more direct debits to charities, as I have done in other high interest current accounts, that the total paid out in direct debits to charities could well wipe out any extra interest earned in the Bank of Scotland Vantage current accounts.

I am so fed up of having to mess around so much to end up earning a rate of interest on my savings which is still well below the current rate of inflation.

All I want to achieve is to maintain the spending power of my savings, but that is nigh on impossible and getting harder by the day.

I can only hope that the rate of UK inflation falls and that the interest rates paid on savings accounts increases.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Credit Card

Written by Karen Bryan

There are many different things that you should take into consideration before getting a credit card. While it’s true that a credit card can be very helpful in certain situations, it can also be a source of crippling debt. If you want to get the best deal on a new credit card, you will need to be careful when going through this process.

We highly recommend that you use the following tips and advice when searching for the right credit card so that you can avoid any disastrous results later on. The more careful you are when shopping around for a credit card, the more you will benefit as a result.

What is Your Credit Like?

The first thing that you should do before applying for any credit cards is to check your credit. By taking a close look at the state of your credit, you will be able to get a better idea as to what your chances will be like of getting approved. You can check your credit score for free. Read through your credit report to check for any mistakes, and if you find some, contact the agency to have them removed.

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5 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Pays Same Rate As Standard 5 Year Fixed Rate Account

Written by Karen Bryan

Today for the first time in ages, you can earn the same rate of interest on a fixed rate Cash ISA as on a standard fixed rate savings account.

UBL is paying 2.65% on their five year fixed rate Cash ISA. The highest rate which I could find for a standard five year fixed rate savings account is the same 2.65% with Vanquis Bank Savings.

In the recent past, standard fixed rate savings account have paid an interest rate of around 20% higher than fixed rate Cash ISAs.

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Scotrail Cub 50 Renewal

Written by Karen Bryan

I received an email from Scotrail reminding me that my Club 50 railcard was due to expire in a couple of weeks.

I decided that it was well worth paying the £15 annual charge for the Scotrail Club 50 railcard. During the preceding 12 month period, I bought two £17 flat return fare tickets and, after deducting the £15 charge, saved around £20 on day return tickets to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

You don’t receive a new railcard when you renew. I paid for my renewal online a few days before the expiry date. Then I received an email from Scotrail instructing me to re-activate my current railcard by presenting it to any member of staff, who would use their smart device to upload my new annual membership.

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The Drawing Room at the Scottish National Galleries

Written by Karen Bryan

If you are interested in contemporary art, why not go along to the Drawing Room sessions, organised by the Scottish National Galleries?

The Drawing Room usually takes place at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art between 17.30 and 18.45 on the second Thursday of the month, This venue is very handy for me. I can park free of charge at the car park there (the standard charge is £2), as I am a friend of the Scottish National Galleries.

However, the March 2018 session was held at the Royal Scottish Academy in Princes Street. The workshop focused on book making. The idea was to bind to together a small book by making three holes in the spine, and then stitching through these holes.

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Three Reasons a Temporary Warehouse Could Benefit Your Business

Written by Karen Bryan

Having adequate storage can be a problem for many businesses. Too much and you could lose profits, paying overheads for unused space. But too little and you could run into issues.

Investing in or building new storage facilities takes a lot of time and funds. While a good solution for some companies, if your additional storage needs are short-term or your business lacks the capital required, it may not be the most financially viable solution.

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Teaching Teens About Personal Finance

Written by Karen Bryan

The only thing most teenagers know to do with money is spend, spend and spend until it’s all gone. This behavior won’t change without their parents’ help and guidance. As a parent, it’s your job to ensure that your teens become financially responsible adults. If you need some tips for this job, this article will help you make your rapidly growing teens into financially responsible young adults.

Get Your Teen Their Own Bank Account

Get your teenager a checking account that they can use for things like food, clothing, and entertainment. They should also have a savings account for longer-term goals like a vehicle. In some cases, you might need to get your child an account that will make you a joint account holder. However, let your teen have access to their money through the bank website and app.

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Renewing Your UK Passport Online

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently renewed my UK passport online.

Until that time, I had applied for my passport renewal by post. The application form wasn’t the easiest to complete. If I went to a photo booth, I was never sure that the photo would be accepted. Therefore, I usually paid an additional few pounds for the Post Office’s Check and Send service.

My old passport was due to expire in a couple of months (you can renew your UK passport up to 9 months before it expires with that remaining period added to the new  passport). I thought that it was a good idea to make my application in low season, so that I would receive my new passport quickly.

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Comparing the Peer-to-Peer Lending Sites RateSetter and Funding Circle

Written by Demetrius Vouyiouklis

I have been investing with both RateSetter (RS) and Funding Circle (FC) for different periods of time and they have both common and different approaches to investing my money and achieving my returns.

Both RS and FC are peer-to-peer lending sites, meaning that your money is not currently protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Your investment is either lent to individuals (RS) or small businesses (FC), both of which represent a higher-than-average risk. In return, earnings are higher than those achieved through traditional FSCS-covered deposits and investments (e.g. via banks, building societies etc).

During my time of investing, pre-tax returns have been 3.5-5% (RS) and 6-7.5% (FC), depending on the category of investment and/or risk level chosen.

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Bargain Room at Travelodge Helensburgh

Written by Karen Bryan

In early January 2018, Travelodge ran a 50% off Friday and Saturday nights promotion.

It was a bit frustrating, as several of the Travelodges at which I tried to book a room displayed a message saying that all the available codes had already been used at that hotel.

I also observed that Sundays nights were generally quite a bit cheaper than Friday nights.

With some perseverance, I managed to book at room at Travelodge Helensburgh Seafront for only £17.50 for the night, on the flexible rate for a stay on the last Sunday night in February 2018.

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