Is It Time to Ditch High Interest Current Accounts?

Written by Karen Bryan

I’m beginning to think that if’s almost time to ditch at least some of my high interest current accounts.

In the good old days, when the Santander 123 Current Account. Lloyds CLub Current Account and Bank of Scotland Current Account with Vantage were paying up to 3% on credit balances, it was a no brainer to hold these accounts.

But then the conditions for earning that decent rate of interest started getting more onerous e.g. you had to have a minimum of two direct debits paid out each month and/or the monthly fee increased. Plus the interest rate paid started falling, Santander led the way halving the top rate of interest paid on their 123 current account from 3% to 1.5%. Recently Lloyds and Bank of Scotland also reduced their top rate of interest to 1.5%.

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Art Evening Classes at Your Local College

Written by Karen Bryan

If you have an hobby or interest which you would like to develop further, you could take a look at the evening classes on offer at your local college.

I am really into art, so have attended two art evening classes at the local college. Forth Valley College (FVC) has three campuses, Stirling, Falkirk and Alloa I am fortunate that the art evening classes are held in the Stirling campus, a ten minute walk from our home.

I have looked at art classes at various venues in central including the House for an Art Lover in Glasgow and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. I’d say that on average these classes were more expensive than at FVC, plus I’d then have travel expenses and at least a couple of hours travel time door to door.

I decided to choose classes which offered me the opportunity try out things that I couldn’t do at home. Last year I did the screen printing art class. It was the most expensive evening art class, costing £200 for ten three hour sessions. But I’ve seen one day screen printing workshops priced at £70.

Later at home, I made collages from most of my screen prints.

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5 Ways You Are Not Saving Money When Buying Business Checks

Written by Karen Bryan

Buying paper checks seem like a trivial business expense especially when compared to major business expenditures such as rent, employee salaries, and utility bills. However, most successful business owners look for ways to cut down on spendings that do not add value to the firm. Even little cutbacks can make a huge difference. Earlier this year, United Airlines announced that they are saving 170,000 gallons of fuel just by making their in-flight magazines a little bit lighter. That’s a savings of $290,000 per year.

In this age of cutthroat competition, keeping afloat when the times are tough is all about keeping business operations lean and productive. Now, if you are still ordering printed checks from the bank for your business then you are forfeiting a huge opportunity to save. To ensure you always get the best deal when ordering checks, following are 5 things you are doing when ordering checks that are actually costing you money.

Not Buying Checks Online: If you still believe that you should always order checks from banks then you are in for a reality check. There is no legal mandate that states you need to buy checks from your bank. To top it off, banks almost never print the checks themselves. Banking institutions get checks printed by vendors and they sell them to you for a profit. Thankfully, a lot of these check printing vendors have their own websites through which they sell directly to customers. Not having to give the banks their cut, these websites can sell the checks at a much cheaper rate.  

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There’s No Winning With Car Insurance

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently had a close encounter with a wall when parking the car in the lane at the back of our son’s flat in Glasgow.

It was so stupid. I knew that it was tight to park there. I thought I was being careful, but as I turned in the back passenger door of the car scrapped along the edge of a wall. The car door was scratched and slightly dented.

I was cursing myself, but the damage was done. I wasn’t keen to claim for the damage through the car insurance. Although I had protected the no claims discount, next year’s premium would still increase. So although I’d get the same discount, I’d still pay more.

Initially, I thought that it would probably cost around £200 to do a repair. As the car insurance excess is £100, it seemed to make more sense not to claim on the insurance, but pay the garage directly myself.

I was amazed when I went to a local garage to ask for quote for the repair. They said it would cost £600 to £700. They told me that the cost would be higher through an insurance claim, as the door would be replaced, as opposed to being repaired.

It just didn’t make sense to spend so much on a repair, when the five year old Fabia is only worth around £4,000.

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Top 10 Ways for Making Some Fast Cash

Written by Karen Bryan

The reasons may differ from person to person, but most of us have found ourselves in some position or another where we could really use some fast cash. It could be personal or business, but the need is often too serious to wait and that’s where the following ten tips come in.

Look for Odd Jobs

Thanks to the likes of Upwork and Freelancer, people can sign up for odd freelance jobs near them whenever they need to. If you have a skill like photography, writing experience, cooking, playing musical instruments, coding, and designing among others, your chances of landing odd jobs with high pay are even better. Even if you don’t have any particular sets of skills, there is always work available if you are willing to put in some manual labour necessary for cleaning, basic construction work, moving, etc.

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Top Tips to Create an Eye-Catching (and Profitable) Website

Written by Karen Bryan

It seems as if nearly anyone possesses a website. From the largest multinational corporations to the smallest of start-up businesses, these online portals are invaluable. Are you hoping to offer a product or service to the virtual community? If so, you will need a quality and responsive website. You are still likely to have a number of understandable concerns; particularly if you have never undertaken such a process in the past. Let’s take a quick look at what the experts have suggested.

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I Paid More for a Meal By Buying a Travelzoo Voucher

Written by Karen Bryan

When Travelzoo were running 10% off restaurant deals promotion, I bought a voucher for a meal (lunch or dinner) at Jamie’s Italian. The original price of the voucher was £29 to two courses from the set menu for two people, but I paid £26.10 after the 10% discount. I was also attracted to the voucher because it was valid for several months until the end of June 2018.

I planned to use the Travelzoo voucher at Jamie’s Italian in Glasgow. I reckoned that as I am Glasgow at least twice a month either to visit our son or to see an art exhibition, that it would be straightforward to use the voucher.

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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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