My Money Podcast #100

Written by Karen Bryan

The My Money Podcast #100 summarises the recent articles below.

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Why It Can Be a Good Idea to Keep Old Current Accounts Open – With all the incentives to switch bank accounts, it can be a good idea to hold onto dormant current accounts to use for the switch.

Three Mobile SIM Plans Offer Double the Tethering Limit of Phone Contracts – When researching the best deals for unlimited data plans for my mobile phone, I observed that Three Mobile SIM plans offer a monthly 4GB limit on tethering, whereas the tethering limit on phone contracts is only 2GB.

Could You Be Better Off Unemployed Than on a Zero Hours Contract? – Recent research from Scottish Friendly showed that on average someone of working age had a higher disposable income if unemployed rather than being on a zero hours contract.

Review of the Premier Inn Edinburgh Leith Waterfront – Last month I stayed at this hotel, which lies on the Forth Estuary. At £29 a night, I’d rate it as excellent value for money.

 

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Review of Premier Inn Edinburgh Leith Waterfront

Written by Karen Bryan

I stayed at the Premier Inn Edinburgh Leith Waterfront on a Thursday night in mid November 2014. The room cost £29 on the non-refundable rate, booked around three months before my stay.

I love the location of this hotel at Newhaven Harbour. I planned to check-in as close to 2pm as possible to request a room with a view over the Forth Estuary. This hotel is a good option if you have your car, as there’s plenty of free parking and a bus stop with a regular service to the city centre. There’s a Brewers Fayre next door. However, if you want a budget option, there’s an Asda a few minute walk away where you could buy food.

premier inn leith waterfront exterior

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Funding for Retirement Debate on 17 December 2014

Written by Karen Bryan

The ‘Funding for Retirement‘ debate takes place at the Hospital Club in central London on Wednesday 17 December 2014. The discussion will examine the pension options available to the UK public. With the forthcoming changes to pension legislation due to start in April 2015, there will be plenty to discuss. I wish that I lived closer to London so that I could attend the event.

funding-retirement-event

The debate is hosted by the former BBC financial journalist Declan Curry.

On the panel are:

  • Steve Webb – UK Pensions Minister
  • Neil Lovatt – Director of Scottish Friendly
  • Stephanie Condra – Pensions Specialist at AXA Investment Managers
  • Steve Bee – CEO and Founder of Jargonfree Benefits

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Are You Better Off Unemployed Than in a Zero Hours Contract Job?

Written by Karen Bryan

poundsigncoinsonsideThe information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly.

According to the latest findings of the ‘Disposable Income Index’ by Scottish Friendly, people who are unemployed have a higher average disposable income (money left over after essentials have been paid for) than zero hours contract workers (who have no guarantee of working hours, often with no sick or holiday pay).

The UK national average monthly disposable income of a working age person is £278, for an unemployed person it’s £174, but for a zero hours contract worker it’s only £130.

That’s not much of an incentive to go to work. I think it must be impossible to plan your life and manage a budget if you don’t know when you might be called into work and what your monthly income will be. It’d be hard enough to live comfortably even when guaranteed full-time hours paid at  the minimum wage, which currently stands at £6.50 for workers aged 21+.

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Top Four Reasons to Take Out Life Insurance

Written by Karen Bryan

£10 and £20 notes 240A lot of people don’t like to think about what happens when they die, but if one is to ensure financial security for their family once they’ve passed away, the subject must be tackled head-on. Taking out a life insurance plan guarantees protection for your loved ones by providing them with a cash sum, with which they can take care of any financial obligations left behind. Many people wrongly believe that they don’t need any sort of life insurance as they don’t have heirs, or because they think that a life insurance plan guarantees their debt will be inherited by their family.

The truth is that any debt left behind will be inherited by your loved ones whether or not you have life insurance, and failure to properly plan for this could ultimately result in your family being left homeless. There really is no good reason not to take out life insurance – even if you think you can’t afford the premiums, working with reliable life insurance experts such as Freedom to Insure, who compare prices from the UK’s leading insurance providers, will ensure that you find an affordable plan that’s tailored to your needs.

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Three Mobile SIM Only Plans Offer Double the Tethering Limit of Contracts

Written by Karen Bryan

three mobileI find tethering (creating a personal WiFi hotspot using your mobile phone to connect other devices) to be really handy. I can never rely on getting a decent WiFi signal when I stay in a hotel, so I often need to use tethering to get online with my netbook. Tethering is also handy for uploading photos to Flickr from my camera.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a plan which allows unlimited tethering. Neither Three Mobile’s All You Can Eat Data £15 Add-on or giffgaff’s £18 unlimited internet goodybag allow tethering.

One of the best options for tethering appears to be a Three Mobile SIM Only Plan. New all-you-can-eat SIM only plans offer a monthly limit of 4GB of data for tethering.. Whereas, if you opt for a new all-you-can-eat data Three Mobile monthly phone contract, you only get 2GB of data for tethering per month.

I’m not sure why Three Mobile have created this differentiation. It seems unfair to phone contract customers. I assume it is to absorb some of the cost of the handsets included either free or below the normal retail price with new phone contracts.

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Review of Handtec

Written by Karen Bryan

handtecOnce I finally decided which mobile phone I wanted to purchase, a Sony Xperian Z Ultra, the next task was the find it at the lowest possible price from a UK supplier.

As usual, most the lowest prices were from suppliers based in Asia, which brings up issues with having to possibly add import levies and taxes to the quoted price.

Handtec offered the phone for £240 including free super saver delivery, which can take up to seven working days. As I hadn’t heard of the company and some overseas suppliers have a co.uk web address and/or a UK customer service number, I had a good trawl around the Handtec website to check that they had a UK business address. I also noticed that Handtec were quite active on Twitter and Facebook.

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Buying Christmas Gifts on a Budget

Written by Karen Bryan

christmascardWith Christmas looming, it’s worth taking a look at TheWorks.co.uk website, as they’ve some great offers for Christmas gifts. I don’t believe in spending a fortune on Christmas and ending up in debt. So, it’s great to find some good value, attractive gifts, especially for kids, which allow you to keep the festive spend to a minimum.

If you purchase on TheWorks.co.uk today, ‘Cyber Monday’, enter the code ‘TODAY20′ and you’ll get 20% off most items and free standard delivery if the value of your post-discount order is £20+. You should receive your order with 4-6 days.

It’s probably a good idea to make any online purchases as soon as possible to ensure that they arrive in plenty of time.

I had a look at the ’10 kids books for £10” web exclusive offer. There was a good choice of fun titles, exactly the sort of story books that our sons loved when they were young.

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Why It Can Be a Good Idea to Keep Old Current Accounts Open

Written by Karen Bryan

writing a chequeMany years ago I opened a Nationwide Flex Current Account to take advantage of the then fee-free overseas transactions and ATM withdrawals.

Once Nationwide withdrew that perk, I stopped using that account. I wasn’t able to close it online. As we don’t have a Nationwide branch in Berwick upon Tweed,  the account lay dormant. Nationwide didn’t have any savings accounts offering competitive rates for a while, so the Flex account was my only Nationwide account for a couple of years.

However, I was later able to benefit from holding the Nationwide Flex Current Account, since as a continuous member fo the building society for more than 15 years, I qualified to receive the highest rate of tiered interest on the Nationwide Loyalty Saver.

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My Money Podcast #99

Written by Karen Bryan

The My Money Podcast #99 summaries the articles below.

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Using Three Mobile’s ‘Feel At Home’ in the US – My experience using a Three Mobile ‘All in One 15′ Add-on in the US, which allowed me to access my UK plan free of charge.

How to Find the Cheapest Flights – Research indicates that booking your flight 7-8 weeks prior to departure, to fly on a Tuesday evening offers the biggest savings.

The ‘Tariff Comparison Rate’ Adds to Confusion When Comparing Prices – The best way to compare various energy tariffs is to enter your annual consumption, as it may greatly vary from the average.

Things to Take into Account When You Become a Freelancer – Remember to factor in things like lack of employers payment into your pension, holiday and sick pay when working out how much income you need to generate to replace a salary.

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