Travelodge Peterhead Review

Written by Karen Bryan

We stayed at the Travelodge Peterhead in Aberdeenshire on a Saturday night in early May 2018. The room cost £23 on the non-refundable Saver rate. The original price was £33, but there was a £10 a night reduction during Travelodge promotion which ran earlier in the year. It’s unusual to find such a cheap Travelodge room on a Saturday night.

We arrived at Travelodge Peterhead around 8pm. There is a free car park for guests at the back of the hotel. There were only a couple of spaces left. I reckon that if you arrived late when the hotel was busy, you’d probably have to either go to the nearby public car park or find free on-street parking. There’s an entrance to the hotel from the car park.

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Order Stickers Online, Save Money and Time

Written by Karen Bryan

Whether it’s at the home or office, a sticker is deeply useful. But if you have specific needs and you want to get something custom printed, you may think your options are limited. Not so! Spend a little while browsing around the website of any number of specialist online printing services and you’ll see the exceptional level of choice available to you. Ordering stickers online, for any purpose, has never been easier. And you will find out that stickers can be a real time saver. And as they say – time is money – so indirectly you will also be saving money.

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Mountain Warehouse Review

Written by Karen Bryan

As I was putting away my warm clothes when the warmer weather finally arrived, I noticed that a couple of my favourite pairs of leggings were starting to go at the seams.

I decided to replace them in order to have new leggings ready for the advent of lower temperatures later this year.

My first port of call was Mountain Warehouse. Over the years, I have bought a number of items from them over the year included a lined winter jacket, fleeces, leggings and waterproof over-trousers. Although, I always also check out what’s available from other online retailers and if I can spot any good discount codes.
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Should I Keep My Cash ISAs?

Written by Karen Bryan

My four year fixed rate Cash ISA with the Coventry Building Society matures soon. I am swithering over whether to retain the tax-free ISA status of this tranche of savings.

The issue is that, for a number of years, the rate of interest paid on many Cash ISA account has been lower than that rate paid of standard savings accounts.

At present, I don’t require the tax-free Cash ISA status, as all the interest which I earn from savings accounts is tax-free. This is through a combination of my earnings and annuity being below my annual personal allowance, using the £1.000 annual tax-free Personal Savings Allowance and the up to £5,000 Starting Rate for Savings allowance.

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To Fix Or Not To Fix?

Written by Karen Bryan

That old chestnut of to fix or not to fix an interest rate on your savings is back on the cards for me. I have a couple of fixed rate savings accounts maturing soon.

At present, I can earn 1.5% on up to £20,000 in the instant access Santander 123 Current Account.

If I put the money into a one year fixed rate account, I can earn around 1.9%. that’s an additional 0.4% annually. I don’t expect that interest rates paid on savings will increase by more than 0.25% in the next twelve months.

But even a 0.25% increase in interest rates would reduce the differential between the Santander current account (assuming that rate increased by 0.25%) and a one year fixed rate account to a measly 0.15%. That doesn’t seem like a very attractive proposition for tying up the cash for one year.

If I opt for a two year fixed rate account, the interest rate on offer is around 2.15%.  Trying to predict what rates will be paid on variable rate savings accounts over the next two years is tricky.

Over the last few years. I have kept making the mistake of thinking that the interest rates paid on savings would increase in the near future and have held back from opting for longer term fixed rate accounts. That was a mistake. For example, I should have opened the Leeds Building Society Five Year Fixed Rate Bond paying 3.05% in September 2013.

However, if I now go for longer term fixed rate accounts, who is to say that interest rates won’t increase soon and I’ll have made a bad decision again?

Then I think that even if I earn around 2% on my savings. that’s still well below the current rate of UK inflation of 2.3% (as measured by CPI). This means that my savings are losing their spending power.

I either take that loss in spending power on the chin (in the hope that inflation doesn’t increase too much), or go for more risky investments such as peer-to-peer lending or stocks and shares.

How to Save Money on Monthly Expenses

Written by Karen Bryan

Are you creating a budget and getting your personal finances in order? When breaking down your monthly expenses, most of us are shocked at how much we pay on bills, food, transport and so on. However, there are a number of different ways in which you can cut back these monthly expenses and provide yourself with extra resources. Here, we are taking you through our top tips on how you can save on your monthly expenses.

Saving Money on Transport

A good way to start reducing your monthly expenses is to look at how much you are spending on transport. For the majority of us, a car is a necessity for both work and pleasure but they can be a big drain on our monthly expenses when you factor in financing the car, petrol and other maintenance work. All of this added up can work out to be thousands every year! One of the first things that you can do is take public transport to work instead. You’ll save lots of money on both fuel and maintenance doing this and for most people, it is actually more convenient as you can miss the horrible rush hour traffic.

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Travelodge Glasgow Central Review

Written by Karen Bryan

I last stayed at the Travelodge Glasgow Central in 2012. At that time I thought that the hotel was in need of refurbishment. When I booked a room at the Travelodge Glasgow Central for £25 for a Sunday night, during a recent Travelodge promotion, which offered £10 a night off rooms for Friday and Sunday night stays in Spring 2018, I was hoping that the refurbishment had been carried out.

Travelodge Glasgow Central is in a fairly central location, just up from Sauchiehall Street, around a 15 minute walk from Glasgow Queen Street station. The hotel doesn’t have a car park. In most of Glasgow you can park free on Sundays, except in the area around Travelodge Glasgow Central, where you have to buy a voucher which is only valid for one hour. I decided to leave my car further along Sauchiehall Street (in the Kelvingrove Park direction) where it’s free all day on Sundays. It took me around 15 minutes to walk to the Travelodge Glasgow Central from there.

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Companies Relying on Customer Inertia

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently received the renewal letter for our SSE central heating cover, which includes an annual boiler service and breakdown cover, with zero excess payable on call outs.

I was astounded that the price had increased from £19 to almost £22 a month. We hadn’t had any breakdown calls outs over the 12 month period

That £3 increase in price for our central heating cover equated to a percentage increase of 15%. That’s ridiculous when the rate of UK inflation is under 3%, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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Can You Be Bothered to Shop at Different Supermarkets?

Written by Karen Bryan

I am beginning to question our habit of visiting several different supermarkets.

At present, I’d say that we do around 50% of our food and household items shopping at Tesco. The rest of the monthly spend is split between Aldi, Lidl, Farmfoods, Home Bargains and B&M Bargains.

The problem is that visiting various shops takes up a lot of time. You could argue that if you have the free time, then why not spend an extra couple of hours a week doing shopping to save money?

It’s hard to quantify how much more money we’d spent in a month if we did all of our shopping in Tesco.

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Automate Your Financial health – Smart Apps That You Should Install On Your Phone

Written by Karen Bryan

While having kids, saving money for their future and for all other responsibilities can sometimes feel impossible. Once the bills keep piling one on top of the other, they don’t just seem to end. You keep trying to remind yourself about how important it is for you to save money for emergencies but once you get your paycheck, you wait desperately to spend it on things that you need and that you don’t need. Once you fall short of funds, you seek help of loan lending companies like Lendgreen which gives you the most affordable loans.

Nevertheless, you’re lucky enough to note that codes, algorithms and data analysis have always helped increase the number of personal finance apps which takes all jobs in their own hands and helps the user save money and stay on track. If you’re someone who is not acquainted with some of the best financial apps, here are few that you should consider.

#1: Mint

If there is something called the ‘Beyonce’ of all apps, this is definitely the one. It is more like a small powerhouse which allows you to track all kinds of financial activity from all accounts, savings, checking and retirement. You name a transaction and it is recorded and categorized at the right place. The app takes note of your budget and your spending behavior in accordance with your budget. This app is password protected and you can always deactivate the access from your phone via the website of Mint. The best thing is that the app is free.

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