How to Enjoy a Luxurious But Affordable UK Weekend Break

Written by Karen Bryan

When it comes to holidays, many of us are still trying to stick to a tight budget. However, planning a last-minute getaway or relaxing weekend break doesn’t have to mean cutting corners and settling for something less than average. Instead, it’s all about finding the best deals that’ll make sure your next break isn’t just affordable but luxurious, too.

Here are our top tips for budget travel.
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How to Save More While Shopping For Home Insurance

Written by Karen Bryan

For a large section of insurance users, the home insurance premium cost tends to increase every year. For many of the homeowners, it tends to match a firmer grip on their annual budget and enhance their mental strain. However, by following the right path, you may actually lower the cost of your home insurance premium by a large extent.

Lower your rates by following these tips:

1. Raise the homeowner’s deductibles

The deductible concerning your homeowner’s insurance is an amount that you’ve committed to bear in the event of a loss. It’s a percentage of risk that you’re agreeing to bear in your attempt to collect the insurer’s payout on your claim. You may lower the risk borne by your insurance provider by raising the deductible when you experience an annual increase of your monthly premiums. This, in turn, will help in lowering your premiums.

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Which Laptop Should I Buy?

Written by Karen Bryan

My Samsung R519 laptop is needing to be replaced soon. Some of the keys have fallen off. I much prefer the flat keys of an integral keyboard of a laptop to the raised keys of the separate keyboard which I have connected to the Samsung by usb. Also the Samsung laptop is getting rather slow.

But as the Samsung is usable, I have not yet bought a replacement.

What I am looking for is a minimum screen size of 15.6 inches. I am unsure if I should pay extra to have 1920 by 1080 pixel screen, or if 1366 by 768 is sufficient for my needs. My current R519 is a 1366 by 768 screen and is adequate, but a clearer display would be a bonus.

My other requirements for a new laptop are 8GB of RAM and a processor with a speed of around 3GHz. The R519 has 4GB of RAM and a processor speed of 2.2GHz. Ideally I’d like to pay under £500 for a new laptop.

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It’s Confusing to Choose a New Mobile Phone

Written by Karen Bryan

I was really annoyed when my Sony Xperia Z Ultra  phablet started playing up. I really liked the Sony phone as it had a huge 6.6 inch screen. It was under three years old and kept switching off every few minutes.

I took the advice of doing a factory reset. That was pain as I had to set up a few things again .e.g my webmail.

Initially, it appeared that the factory reset had sorted the problem.

But no, around ten days later, the phone started switching off again. Reluctantly, I decided that I would need to replace the Sony, as the constant switch offs were driving me bonkers.

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Scotrail £17 Flat Fare for Club 50 Members

Written by Karen Bryan

Scotrail is offering members of its Club 50 a £17 flat fare return rail ticket between any two stations in Scotland. You must make the return leg of the journey within one month of your outward journey. The promotion is valid for journeys until 14 November 2017.

Within a few hours of receiving the email alert about the Scotrail £17, I had booked a return ticket from Stirling Oban.

I began by looking for tickets to Kyle of Lochalsh. As the journey takes a few hours, I wanted to stay overnight. I also thought that travelling on two different days increased the possibility of decent weather for the journey on at least one of the days. But I was deterred by the £80 price tag for an overnight stay at a hotel in Kyle on a room only basis.

As I have done the trip from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh by train previously, albeit many years ago. I decided to look into going to Oban instead. I haven’t done that journey by train, and I thought that hotels in Oban might be less expensive.

Sure enough I found a hotel in Oban, close to the railway station with reasonable reviews for £50 a night, including breakfast.

There was pretty good availability of the Scotrail £17 return ticket on various days in September for both destinations for which I searched. But I did get in their early to secure the dates that suited me.

You could save more than the £15 annual price to join Scotrail’s Club 50 if you purchase a £17 flat rate return ticket for a longish journey.

Danish Business: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Written by Karen Bryan

We all have ideas and big dreams about what we want to achieve in life. However, not everything is based on having a good idea, it has to be put it into practice.

Not everyone dares to take this big step due to the pressure and expectations that both society and oneself. Will I be able to achieve it? What if I fail? These are some of the questions that run through the head of young entrepreneurs.

Fear of failure is one of the factors that affects young people the most when it comes to fulfilling their dreams and achieving their goals. Starting is the most difficult part, for that reason, you always have to have the same idea in mind, when starting nothing can go wrong, we are as low as we can ever be. The only way is up.

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TV Licensing Not User Friendly

Written by Karen Bryan

When you are moving home, you feel like there are a million and one things to do.

Prior to the completion of the sale of our home in Berwick upon Tweed in late August, we contacted various organisation to inform them of our departure date and to cancel direct debits.

It was fairly straightforward to do this with the majority of organisation e.g. the local authority re Council Tax and our gas and electricity supplier.

However, it was such a hassle dealing with TV Licensing.

As my husband paid the TV Licensing direct debit, he completed an online from regarding our date of departure. He received a reply by email saying that as the TV Licence was in my name, that I would have to cancel it.

I phoned TV Licensing and was told that I would need to call back after the 15 August, as it was too early to cancel the licence.

On 17 August, I phoned TV Licensing. On this occasion, I was informed that I would need to call back the following week, as you can’t cancel more than ten days in advance.

At that stage, I became angry. thinking how much time do I have to spend sorting out the TV Licence.

I asked to speak to a manager, who was able to process my request.

What a palaver. Why can’t TV Licensing accept cancellations up to a month in advance?

Review of Scotrail Club 50

Written by Karen Bryan

When I moved home to Stirling in central Scotland, I decided to pay £15 to buy annual membership of Scotrail’s Club 50.

With Club 50 you get a 20% discount on off-peak and advance tickets booked online (but not on Cross Country or Virgin trains). The discount drops to 10% if you book by phone, or buy your tickets at the station.

I reckoned that I would go to Edinburgh or Glasgow by train on weekday day trips from Stirling at least once a month. As I’d save £1.90 on the standard price of an off-peak day return to Edinburgh, and £1.65 on a the price of an off-peal day return to Glasgow, I worked out that I’d recoup the £15 annual cost of Club 50 after eight or nine day trips. I also thought that I might take the occasional longer day trip to Dundee, Inverness or Aberdeen.

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Why Credit Cards are a Good Thing

Written by Karen Bryan

We live in a world of instant credit and ‘buy now, pay later’, but applying for a credit card is still a scary experience. Firstly, the lender might say “no” when you fill in an application, and secondly, what happens if you go on a massive spending spree and then lose your job? Yes, there are some pitfalls!

However, it is important to realise that owning at least one credit card is important – and here’s why.

Emergency Cover

Credit cards are a lifesaver in times of strife. Imagine going on a trip overseas and suddenly discovering your wallet has been lifted from your pocket. What do you do? How on earth are you going to manage with a week left before the flight home?

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Are Payment Apps the Future of Banking?

Written by Karen Bryan

Online-only money transfer organisations are making international money transfers easier than ever. Many online-only payment organisations have mobile applications available to their users now – which makes it possible for users worldwide to transfer money on-the-go, whenever they need to. Additionally, the plethora of online money transfer organisations that have cropped up in recent years offer money transfer services with incredibly low fees and the best foreign exchange rates available. Banks that provide similar transfer services or fund wiring have been struggling to keep up, as their fees tend to be much higher and they often use exchange rates that they can benefit from rather than the most up to date rate.

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