Find the Best Deals on Contact Lenses with VisionCompare

Written by Karen Bryan

If you wear contact lenses, you can shop around for the best deal from the major online shops on the Vision Compare website.

There are different ways to search for contact lenses on the VisionCompare website.

VisionCompare.com homepage

If you prefer a specific brand of contact lenses, you can search by brand name, e.g. Acuvue, AirOptics or Proclear.

Another search option is the length of time for which you will wear the contact lenses e.g. daily, weekly or monthly.

I carried out a search for daily disposable Acuvue lenses which come in a pack of 30 lenses. On the day which I did the search, the price for two boxes (including delivery) ranged from £31.50 to £46.68; a big difference in the price of over £15. The cheapest supplier was Lentiamo.
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High Interest Current Accounts Could Become Less Attractive

Written by Karen Bryan

green piggy bankUpdate 21 August 2016 – My fears were well founded. With the rate of interest paid on the Santander 123 current account due to fall from 3% to 1.5%, its’ likely that other high interest current account providers will also take the knife to their rates.

The outlook for UK savers is dismal.

With the rate of inflation beginning to pick up, and talk of a cut in the Base of England Base Rate, it could soon to be hard to achieve a real return (when the rate of interest paid after tax on savings is higher than the rate of inflation).

I heard a rumour this morning that Santander is planning to cut the interest rate, paid on balances between £3,000 to £20,000, in their 123 Current Account, from 3% to 2%. To be honest. I’ve been expecting something along these lines to happen for some time.

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Simples Helps Make Insurance Straightforward

Written by Karen Bryan

If you’ve ever had that sinking feeling, wondering where on earth you put your insurance policy documents when you need to check something, help is at hand.

Last week, I attended an event for bloggers in London to try out the new Simples tool from Comparethemarket.com.

simples home page

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Halifax Balance Extra

Written by Karen Bryan

Halifax logoWhen I logged into my Halifax Reward current accountt, I noticed a green box, below the account summary, which gave the estimated cash left until payday.

I was curious how Halifax had worked this out this amount, so I clicked on the box.

This took me to a page explaining the ‘Halifax Balance Extra’ function.

All your pending credit and debit card transactions. monthly direct debit and standing orders are added up, and then deducted from your current balance. The amount remaining is then highlighted as the cash left until your next payday.

My payday was correctly assumed to be on the 5th of the month, the day on which my monthly annuity payment arrives into my current account.

I didn’t find the Halifax Balance Extra function that useful to me, as I always leave a buffer of a least £200 in my current account to ensure that I don’t inadvertently go overdrawn.

However if could be useful to some customers if it helps then avoid paying overdraft charges.

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Review of China Red Buffet Restaurant Grindlay St Edinburgh

Written by Karen Bryan

The China Red Chinese buffet restaurant in Grindlay Street (just off Lothian and opposite the Usher Hall) in Edinburgh opened in April 2016. Previously, the building was home to a Jimmy Chung’s Chinese buffet restaurant.

China Red Buffet Restaurant Grindlay St Edinburgh exterior

The restaurant has had a makeover. The biggest improvement being to the toilets.

I was impressed with the selection and quality of food.

China Red Buffet Restaurant Grindlay St Edinburgh selection of main courses

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Review of Halifax Online Share Dealing Service

Written by Karen Bryan

share-price-graphI finally decided to sell some Japanese shares that I’ve owned for years.

I used the Halifax online share dealing service, which charges a £12.50 fee per trade. As I was selling a share I was able to see the price that I’d get at the point of sale.

Annoyingly although the proceeds from the sale of the shares were available to deal immediately. I had to wait two working days until the settlement day before I could request a withdrawal to my current account. Why is this when I could use the cash to buy other shares straight away?

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Secure Trust Bank Two Year Bond Pays 2.2%

Written by Karen Bryan

secure trust bankUpdate 12 July 2016 – Wow that was quick. The Secure Trust Bank Fixed Rate Bond Two Year Term (Series 13) is no longer available “due to unprecedented demand”. This illustrates how quickly you need to act if you see a savings product which offers a competitive rate of interest.

The Secure Trust Bank Fixed Rate Bond Two Year Term (Series 13) pays a fixed rate of interest of 2.2%.

This is a competitive rate, as the next best two-year fixed rate bond, from Charter Savings Bank, pays 1.91%. There’s also a lot of talk about the Bank of England reducing the Base Rate by 0.25% on Thursday this week, which could drive the interest rate paid on savings accounts lower.

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A Great Family Day Out at the National Media Museum Bradford

Written by Karen Bryan

The National Media Museum in Bradford offers a great family day out. It’s free to enter, and is open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm.

national media museum bradford exterior

Some of the exhibits brought back memories for me.

There was a full size Dalek from the 1960s Dr Who TV series. I could almost hear the Dalek saying “exterminate”.

national media museum bradford dalek

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Always Ask For a Discount If a Supplier Increases the Price

Written by Karen Bryan

gas central heating contolWe have HomeCare 200 Cover with British Gas for our gas central heating system. It’s annual cover which is paid for my monthly direct debit. It includes an annual boiler service, free call outs and repair (including labour and parts) of the whole heating system, unless it is beyond economic repair.

When I received the renewal quote, the price had increased by around 15%, up to ££22.36 per month. I felt that such a large price hike was unacceptable, given that inflation stands at 0.3% (as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

At the same time we are very happy with the service provided by British Gas. The engineers are all very thorough and professional. When we have had a breakdown, it has been repaired within 24 hours.

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Secured Loans Have Disappeared: Or Have They?

Written by Karen Bryan

£20 and £10 notes1What’s happened to the loans market?

Secured loans seemingly disappeared in March 2016 causing confusion among Britain’s borrowers. But closer inspection reveals there is nothing to worry about. Inspector Good-Deal is determined to get to the bottom of the financial conundrum and solve the mystery of secured loans.

The evidence he has uncovered proves there is no need for alarm – consider it a simple rebrand – secured loans are masquerading under a new name. Following a European directive which came into effect on 21 March 2016, ‘secured loans’ changed to ‘second charge mortgages’.

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