Why Discount Vouchers Are Better Than Cashback

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently purchased a fridge freezer on the AO.com website. The price was £279. A0.com were offering £30 cashback on the model of Hisense fridge freezer which I decided to purchase.

I always prefer discount codes to cashback. As long as the discount code is valid, the money off is guaranteed at the point of purchase. Whereas, with cashback, you can never be sure that you will receive the cashback.

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Beware of Sending Long Texts on TalkMobile

Written by Karen Bryan

I set up a maximum £1 additional spend limit on my TalkMobile X-Large 30 Day SIM account.

I wasn’t anticipating spending any more than the £15 a month, as the package included 2,500 minutes, 5,000 texts and 15GB of data.

There wasn’t an option to set the additional spend to zero, which would have been my preferred option.

However, one month I was charged 60p for two picture messages. I couldn’t understand this, as I don’t even know how to send a picture message, but I didn’t get around to querying it.

The following month, when I logged in to check how much data I had used, I saw that there was another 30p charge for a picture message. I contacted TalkMobile to try to get to the bottom of these additional charges.

Evidently, TalkMobile charge you for a picture message if you send a text comprising of more than 160 characters.

I found this strange as with both my other current provider Three, and my former provider BT Mobile, when I sent a text message which was  over 160 characters it was sent as two separate messages, thereby avoiding breaching the 160 character limit.

TalkMobile were unable to give me a reason why they didn’t split a longer text message into separate texts.

I can only assume that it is make a bit of extra revenue by charging unsuspecting customers who send an occasional long text message.


Recycling Has Become an Complicated Pain

Written by Karen Bryan

Recycling your rubbish has become such a pain. It was so much simpler when you had one black bin which was emptied every week.

Now with most bins being emptied every fortnight, or even every four weeks, if you miss a bin day e.g. you are away on holiday, your bin could be sitting umemptied for weeks. This isn’t ideal, especially with food waste in the Summer. Also if you are a large family, your bin is likely to be overflowing.

In Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland Council don’t even offer roadside recycling for glass. You are supposed to take it glass recycling points yourself.

Why am I paying so much in Council Tax to be told that all the rubbish won’t be collected from outside my home?

It’s confusing remembering what can go into your blue recycling bin in Berwick-upon-Tweed. You can put in thin cardboard .e.g. a cereal box, but not thick cardboard. I thought that all types of cardboard could be recycled.

I’ve never sure if all plastic wrapping can go into the recycling bin.

Tetra packs (used for long life milk and fruit juice cartons), can only be recycled in a few areas of the country, which doesn’t include Berwick upon Tweed.

What a palaver. And that’s living in a house where your bins are just outside the back door. What about living in a flat? Where are you going to find the space for several containers into which to place various categories of rubbish?

In some flats there are communal bins for some types of rubbish. Who is going to wheel out these bins on the correct bin days? Whereas if each flat only has one refuse bin, it is the responsibility of the occupier of each flat to take out their own bin weekly.

Then you have the expense to the local authority of buying different bin lorries for the different types of rubbish, plus buying all the different bins. Wouldn’t it be simpler to force food suppliers to use less packaging?

Why Are There So Many Different Types of Light Bulb?

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently bought a couple of table lamps. The assistant in the store offered me a twin pack of  the required 40W light bulbs for £3.

I thought that sounded a bit expensive. I thought that we’d either have some in our home store of light bulbs, or I’d be able to buy them for less in a discount store.

Well, my first attempt ended up with me buying the wrong 40W light bulbs in B&M Bargains.

I had another look at the type of light bulb required, a screw in golf ball, prior to heading for Poundland. I bought two light bulbs for £1, thinking that I was glad I hadn’t paid £3 for two light bulbs in the shop in which I purchased the table lamps. But no, I had bought that wrong light bulbs again.

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Review of the Intex Downy Raised Airbed

Written by Karen Bryan

I decided to buy a posh queen size airbed for guests. I didn’t want to buy another standard bed, as it would take up so much space. A good quality airbed seemed a sensible option, offering comfort, but requiring minimal storage facilities.

My husband did quite a bit of research online to find airbeds with good reviews. He came up with the Intex Downy Queen Raised Airbed model #64440, which had an inbuilt electric pump. This airbed received very good reviews.

I found it on eBay for £49 with free delivery. I contacted the supplier by email to ask about the warranty on the airbed. They replied quickly saying that there was a one year warranty, which excluded punctures. As I only planned to use the airbed indoors. versus on camping trips. I thought the chance of a puncture was minimal.

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6 Great Alternative Funding Options for Small Businesses

Written by Karen Bryan

If your business is in need of cash to get it through a lull or needs money to expand, the first thing you’ll probably think to do is head over to the bank and apply for a loan. However, that is not the only option available to you today. Here are six great alternative funding options for small businesses.

Online Lending

A growing number of websites allow you to apply for a loan online. They may be located in your city or on the other side of the world. Online lending sites may let you apply for a loan at a lower interest rate than is available in your country, a major attraction if you’re afraid interest rates will skyrocket after Brexit. You can find loans for Ltd companies at very reasonable rates online, and you should shop around online before applying for a business loan at a brick and mortar institution.

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How to Make the Most of Restricted Free Entry to Museums

Written by Karen Bryan

We are fortunate that in the UK that it is free to visit the permanent collections of UK state museums and galleries. That’s not the case in many European countries, where the majority of museum and galleries charge an admission fee.

In the Spanish city of Malaga, many museums offer free admission from late afternoon on Sundays. If you want to try to visit more than one museum, the museums will have to be located close to each other, ideally with a few minutes walking distance. Also, you need to decide if you would rather see one or two museums or galleries in a fairly relaxed manner, or just take a quick look in a few. Another factor, is the time for which you will have to queue to gain free admission.

During my recent trip to Malaga, I decided that I would probably visit the Picasso and Carmen Thyssen museums when they were free to enter on the Sunday afternoon. They were located a 7 minute walk apart. The Picasso offered free entry between 5-7pm, and the Carmen Thyssen between 5-8pm.

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AO.com Too Pushy When Trying to Sell Their Extended Warranties

Written by Karen Bryan

Recently, I’ve bought several electrical products from the online retailer AO.com, including a washing machine, fridge freezer and a Humax Freesat box.

Their products are competitively priced, and AO.com offer free delivery on a weekday of your choice.

However, what I dislike about AO.com is their concerted attempts to sell their extended warranty.

With a couple of days of making the online order, sometimes even before my goods are delivered, I’ve received a phone call from AO.com pushing their extended warranty. The sales rep is always very persistent, implying that you’d be silly not to buy the extended warranty.

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The Cost of Living Abroad

Written by Karen Bryan

If you have itchy feet and are thinking about relocating from the UK, the Netflight’s cost calculator offers an insight into how much you would spend to live in various countries around the world.

In order to work out your monthly expenditure, you need to enter how much you spend on various categories living the UK. The first category is Food and Drink. I eat out an average of 8 times a month and spend £175 a month on food shopping. The next category is Transport. I hardly use public transport and never use taxis, my one expense here was 80 litres of fuel for my car. In the Lifestyle section, my sole expense was £50 a month on clothes. Working from home has the advantage that you don’t need to dress up for work. You can sit at the computer in your jogging bottoms and slippers. For the final category of Living, I live in the three bed property outside the city centre.

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The Best Budget Eyebrow Pencil

Written by Karen Bryan

I don’t wear much makeup, but I do like to define my eyebrows.

Until recently I’d been using Rimmel’s brown/black eyebrow pencil, which costs £3. I was quite happy with the quality of the Rimmel product. It was a good consistency, not too hard and not to soft, making it straightforward to apply it in light short strokes, avoiding harsh solid lines. It fairly easy to sharpen the Rimmel eyebrow pencil using a standard pencil sharpener. I found the brush on the tip cover very useful.

When I spotted two eyebrow pencils for £1 in Savers, I decided to give them a try. I could only find these eyebrow pencils in black. When I tried to apply the product, i ended up with black smudges everywhere. The built in sharpener in the pencil tip cover was useless.

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