Why Bother Running the Tram from the City Centre to Edinburgh Airport?

Written by Karen Bryan

It costs £1.60 for a single ticket between any two stops in Edinburgh, except for the Edinburgh Airport stop, when the price of a single ticket shoots up to £5.50 (£8.50 for a return). It’s not as though there is an express tram going to the airport, every tram halts at each stop on the route.

Why should passengers have to pay more so much more for a tram ticket to travel to the airport?

This pricing structure is incoherent, You can take a the 35 standard service Lothian bus to Edinburgh Airport from the city centre for flat fare of £1.60. This journey takes approximately 60 minutes. Unfortunately, the 35 doesn’t go along Princes Street past Waverley railway station, so it’s not that convenient for most passengers.

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Have You Thought About Care Home Fees in Your Retirement Plans?

Written by Karen Bryan

You may believe that you have planned for a comfortable retirement. Ideally, you will receive income in retirement from a variety of sources such as the State Pension, personal or occupational pension, investments and cash savings. If you have paid off your mortgage, it may look as though your retirement income is generous enough to leave a decent disposable income after paying living expenses.

But have you thought about the impact which care home fees could have on your finances?

According the Money Advice Service (MAS) the average annual UK care home fee is £29,270, rising to £39,300 if nursing care is required.

Any income which you receive, such as the state or personal pensions, benefits and interest on savings, would be used towards paying your care home fees. If your income doesn’t cover the full fees, then your assets would be assessed.

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Will You Be Able to Afford to Retire?

Written by Karen Bryan

Recent research by Lending Works highlights that 34% of non-retired UK residents are not saving any money towards their retirement. This doesn’t bode well for their post-work years. Even if they have paid the required 35 years of National Insurance Contributions to be eligible for the full new State Pension of £155.65 a week (which is payable to those retiring since 6 April 2016), it will be hard to achieve a comfortable retirement on that amount of cash.

Infographic: 22 per cent of Brits think they'll never be able to retire

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Profile Of Popular eToro Trader Jaynemisis

Written by Karen Bryan

The eToro social trading network, which launched in 2007, now has over 6 million registered users.

The benefits of a social trading platform are shared knowledge and communication between users, making eToro a more fun, transparent and social way of online trading.

The eToro platform recently won the Best of Show award at FinovateEurope 2017.

You can set your own Contract for Difference (CFD) on a variety of trades including the Dow Jones and NASDAQ, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), currencies or commodities.

If you are not that confident, or knowledgeable, about trading, there is the option to follow successful eToro investors. You can watch other users trading in real time to get a feel for their modus operandi. If you wish you can elect to automatically copy other users trades.

One of the most popular eToro investors is Jay Smith, known as Jaynemesis. Over the last 12 months Jay has turned a profit of over 85%.

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Three Mobile Offer Existing Customers Good Discounts

Written by Karen Bryan

Last year, when the 12 months term was up on my Three Mobile SIM only contract, I was happy to continue on a flexible one month rolling plan.

The  £15 a month plan included 200 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data (with a 4GB tethering limit) suited my needs. The plan also included Three’s Feel at Home scheme, enabling me to use my UK plan in several European countries free of charge.

I had read about some Three customers who, like me, had stayed on their original plan after the initial 12 month contract expired, being told by Three that they could no longer continue on these plans, with less favourable plans being offered as an alternative.

I had a feeling this might happen to me soon. Sure enough, I recently received a letter from Three informing me that it was time to select a new contract.

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Airbnb Should Offer the Option to Pay in Local Currency

Written by Karen Bryan

I’m going to Malaga in southern Spain for one week in April 2017. I am meeting up with Gary,  one of our sons, who has given up his senior developer job in Scotland to become a remote worker.

I said that I would organise our accommodation.

I had a quick look at hotels in Malaga. It appeared that a twin room with a private bathroom, on a room only basis, would cost around £300 for one week

I then looked at apartments in the city centre with at least one bedroom. We thought that renting an apartment would enable do our own things without disturbing each other. I usually go to bed and get up earlier than Gary, so sharing a hotel room doesn’t work very well for us.

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Review of Talkmobile

Written by Karen Bryan

As the editor of two websites, I need to be able to get online to work. I like to have two SIM cards on the go with different providers to ensure that I can get online when I am out of the office.

I am happy with my Three All-You-Can-Eat data, minutes and texts 12 month contract which costs £19 a month. With that contract I have a 30GB monthly personal hotspot allowance and I can use my plan abroad in a fair number of countries through Three’s Feel at Home scheme.

My back-up option for the last 18 months has been a BT Mobile 500 GB SIM only plan which offered 200 minutes and unlimited texts for £5 a month. Discounted by £5 a month from £10 a month, as I am a BT Broadband customer. Once the initial 12 month contract expired, I was on a one month rolling contract.

I decided that I should really have a back up with a higher data limit, so I did some research into available options.

One thing that you need to check is if a mobile provider allows you to set up a mobile hotspot. I found a good deal with Virgin, but their plans don’t allow tethering.

I thought that Talkmobile, a virtual provider, which piggybacks on the Vodafone network, had some good SIM only deals. I was a bit nervous about signing up with them, as I read rather a lot of negative reviews about their customer service.

Talkmobile upped their monthly data allowance on their £15 a month X-Large 30 Day SIM to 15GB, with tethering permitted. That plan also included 2500 minutes and 5000 texts.

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BT Hike Our Broadband and Call Prices by 17%

Written by Karen Bryan

As our 12 month contract with BT for unlimited fibre broadband and unlimited anytime calls was due to end in January 2017, I started shopping around for the best deals.

After doing some research, I contacted BT to ask if they would match the price offered by EE.

The first issue I had was that BT said that in order to offer me a discount that I would have to sign up for a 24 month contract. I told them that I wasn’t very happy to be tied in for two years, as in the past I had been able to sign a one year contract.

As I’d have had to sign up for an 18 month contract with EE, the additional six months for a BT 24 month contract wasn’t a deal breaker.

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Huru – Are You Worried That Your Energy Prices Are About to Rise?

Written by Karen Bryan

We all worry about our energy bills. We worry about when we are going to be billed, we worry about are we getting charged too much and we worry about getting them paid.

In fact, I bet that I’m a lot like others out there. I know I should probably sit down and work out what is the best energy deal for me, research it, compare it and then make sure I keep track of it so I know when to switch again. But the reality is, that takes up a lot of time. I mean, am I really going to spend my Friday evening going over my bills and working out which energy tariff I should switch to?

This is how I stumbled upon Huru. A one stop shop to get all your utilities set up under one account with only one bill a month. It is great to help people like you and me know exactly what we are spending on water, energy and internet services each month. They send you just one bill for everything, and you can see every month what you are spending.

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Many Short Term Motor Insurance Policies Exclude Unemployed Drivers

Written by Karen Bryan

I had read that being unemployed could increase the cost of your motor insurance. What I hadn’t realised was that it may also mean that you can’t get short-term motor insurance.

One of our sons recently gave up his job as a senior developer with the thought on doing some long-term travel, perhaps combined with some freelance or remote work.

He is 29 years old, but hasn’t done much driving since he passed his driving test aged 17. Therefore, he thought it would be a good idea to get some practice behind the wheel, as he may hire a car on his travels.

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