Review of Virgin Regular E-Saver

Written by Karen Bryan

virgin-money-logoThe Virgin Money Regular E-Saver pays a fixed rate of interest of 2.25%. This is a fixed term account, which runs until 20 October 2017. The account can only be opened and operated online,

You can open the Virgin Regular E-Saver account with as a little as £1. The maximum deposit is £250 per calendar month. You do not have to pay into the Virgin Money Regular E-Saver every month. The maximum balance is £3,500, which equates to 14 monthly payment of £250.

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Review of the Principality Building Society One Year Regular Saver Bond

Written by Karen Bryan

principality-bs-logoThe Principality Building Society One Year Regular Saver Bond (Issue 17) pays a fixed rate of interest of 2%.

The minimum required to open the regular saver account is £20. The maximum monthly investment is £500. You can make more than one monthly payment, as long as you don’t exceed the £500 monthly limit.

The fact that I could open the Principality regular saver account online, plus the £500 monthly maximum deposit were appealing to me. Quite a few of the highest rate regular saver accounts need to be opened by post or in a branch and have maximum monthly deposits of around £250.

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Beware of Early Repayment on RateSetter

Written by Karen Bryan

ratesetterI have some cash in RateSetter’s rolling market (where money is invested for a one month period).

I received an email from Ratesetter informing me that part of my investment had been repaid early.

I have my reinvestment instruction set to automatically reinvest repayments at 3.2%.

Fortunately, the repayment was reinvested within six minutes.

However, this does highlight potential problems with having money invested with RateSetter.

For example, if you need the money by a specific date, then an automatic reinvestment on an early repayment will mean that the end of one month period will be later than expected.

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How to Boost Your Pension Income

Written by Karen Bryan

The Pension Savings Hacks infographic below, from chartered accountants Alexander & Co, highlights some ways in which people who are already retired, or approaching retirement, can save money and boost their pension income.

If you are retired and your total income (from the State Pension, any private pensions, employment, interest on savings or some benefits such as Carer’s Allowance), adds up to less than £155.60 a week for a single person, or £237.55 a week for a couple, then you are entitled to Pension Credit to top up your income. Even if you don’t receive much income from Pension Credit, being in receipt of Pension Credit can give you access to other benefits such as a reduction in Council Tax.


If you can afford to delay taking your State Pension, called deferral, then you will receive more money at a later date. There are two State Pension deferral options.

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How to Save Money When Shipping Important Items

Written by Karen Bryan

parcelAs a successful business, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to send some parcels abroad. At first glance, this might sound arduous, but it’s an exciting adventure. If you can successfully ship parcels abroad, then the world really becomes your oyster, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a large multi-national.

However, many SMEs struggle to post abroad due to the associated costs that soon pile up. However, if you’re well informed, then you can avoid many of these costs. Here are just three ways to do just that.
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How To Make Money From Your Car

Written by Karen Bryan

car-with-piggy-bankCars are costly to run. From maintenance, fuel and insurance we are constantly paying to keep them in working order. However, if we put our creative hats on we can actually use our cars to earn extra cash. There are several ways you can make cash using your car and below is a short list of just a few.

Become A Courier

If you have extra time why not consider becoming a part-time courier. All you need is your car, insurance and your phone and you are good to go. You can start small with parcels etc just in your area. Put up notices in your local supermarket, create social media accounts or advertise in the local paper. You can also sign up to websites like Shiply to find local deliveries and customers. Shiply lets you bid for deliveries and you only pay once work has been secured.
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Effects of the Recent Bank of England Rate Cut on Consumers

Written by Karen Bryan

The effects on consumers, caused by the recent 0.25% reduction in the Bank of England Base Rate from 0.50% to 0.25%, are highlighted in the infographic below.

icount infographic

The Bank Interest Rate Drop infographic was created by icount

While you might assume that a cut in the Bank Base Rate would lead to mortgage holders paying less, with 46% of mortgages being fixed rate, that’s not the case for many buying their own homes. Borrowers on the Standard Variable Rate (SVR) aren’t guaranteed a 0.25% reduction in the rate of interest that they pay. There is no legal obligation for the lender to cut the SVR in line with the Base Rate. It’s the 20% of borrowers on tracker mortgages who should benefit most, unless there is a minimum rate payable set by the lender (known as a floor).

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Review of Yorkshire Building Society Monthly Regular Saver

Written by Karen Bryan

yorkshire-building-society-logoThe Yorkshire Building Society Monthly Regular Saver pays a variable rate of 1.75% (effective from 2 September 2016. You can save up to £500 a month over a period of two years. There is a minimum initial deposit of £10 and a maximum balance of £6,000.

You can make one penalty free withdrawal on first anniversary of opening the account. However, you can close the account at any time, with no penalty.

The downside of the Yorkshire Building Society Monthly Regular Saver is that it can only be opened and operated either through the branch and agency network, or by post.

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What Does the Financial Future Hold Now the UK has ‘The Brex Factor’?

Written by Karen Bryan

brexitSo, the UK voted out. The UK had our say and then we felt unsure. In fact, the whole country seemed to be in disarray in the aftermath of this historic vote. It will take two and a half years for us to experience any real change, but there’s been lots in uncertainty over our economic future. 17.4 million British voters backed Brexit and the following morning the pound plummeted to its lowest level since 1985. The FTSE 100 index also fell by over 8% when trading began. This is its biggest slump since 2008 although it was recovering slightly by mid-morning.

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Review of the Acorn Hotel Glasgow

Written by Karen Bryan

I stayed at the three star Acorn Hotel, in the Finnieston area of Glasgow, for one night in mid May 2016.

I paid £40 booked on ebookers, after using a 15% discount code and a £3 ebookers Bonus+ credit.

As I was driving to Glasgow I was looking for a hotel outside the city centre where it would be cheaper to park the car. On-street parking close to the hotel is free between 6pm to 8am on weekdays and at weekends. You can buy Visitor Parking Permits at the Acorn Hotel. It costs £2 per 6 hour period. If you only need to park for a couple of hours during a chargeable period, it’s cheaper to buy a ticket from the parking bay machine. The cost is 20p for the first thirty minutes, then 20p for every additional ten minutes, with a maximum stay of three hours.

I planned to arrive at the Acorn Hotel soon after 6pm. I hoped this would make it easy to find a parking space close to the hotel and avoid paying for any parking that evening.

There were parking spaces available directly opposite the hotel.

acorn hotel glasgow exterior

After check-in, I purchased two parking vouchers. The friendly receptionist assisted me to scratch off the relevant panels so that I could park for the following day. Read the rest of this entry »