Review of Premier Inn Dundee Monifieth

Written by Karen Bryan

I stayed at the Premier Inn Dundee Monifieth on a Friday night in early September 2018. I booked the room around three weeks before my stay. The room cost £31 on the non-refundable advance booking Saver rate. It’s unusual to find reasonably priced accommodation on a Friday night, even if you book months in advance.

The hotel is located just off the main road between Dundee and Arbroath. Premier Inn Monifieth and the adjacent Brewer’s Fayre share a car park. When I arrived around 6pm, there were still plenty of parking spaces available.

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Review of UK National Art Pass

Written by Karen Bryan

A National Art Pass offers free or discounted admission to many art related venues and special exhibitions in the UK. In Scotland, where I live, there are 21 galleries and museums which offer free entry to National Art Pass holders.

I’d been thinking about buying a National Art Pass for some time. The standard adult price is £67. If you sign up to pay by direct debit, you receive a 25% discount on the price for your first year of membership, bring the price down to just over £50.

If you have family or friends who would regularly visit art venues with you, there is an option to add Plus One for an additional payment of £38. It’s good that it’s not another named person on your membership, so you could take different people with you.
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How Leasing a Van in Your Business Can Save You Money

Written by Karen Bryan

More and more businesses every year are deciding to lease vans and fleets of vehicles as a way to save money in their business. Here, we are taking you through the main advantages of business van leasing and why we think it is definitely something that you should consider investing in for your business.

It Gives You More Money to Spend on Other Business Areas

Buying a fleet of vans is, as you can imagine, very expensive and so one of the great things about van leasing is that the money that you have left over from the company vehicle budget will then be able to be spent on other areas of your business. When leasing vans, you will be required to pay small monthly instalments and companies will only have to pay small expenses as part of their contract. This extra money can be used in variety of different ways such as helping to grow your business. However, we would recommend that you keep some of the money saved aside as you may be landed with a fee at the end if the van is in worse condition that the general wear and tear.
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Harry’s Ramsden’s Club 60 Meal Deal

Written by Karen Bryan

I  regularly stop in South Queensferry when I am driving from Stirling to Edinburgh for a walk and a drink from my flask. I’ve always thought that Harry Ramsden’s Three Bridges must have good views over the Forth estuary and bridges, either from the exterior or interior tables. But I’ve been in South Queensferry too early to want to eat there.

When walking past Harry Ramsden’s recently, I decided to have a quick look at the menu to check out the prices. I noticed that there was a Club 60 meal deal. For £8, you could have a hot drink, fish and chips, and either ice cream, or bread and butter pudding, for dessert. I thought that I should sample Harry Ramsden’s Club 60 deal soon, before the offer was withdrawn and before the end of the Summer.

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How to Save Money on Auto Insurance

Written by Karen Bryan

When it comes to thinking about auto insurance most people would probably prefer to not think about it at all – like a trip to the dentist or cleaning out that back closet. To make matters worse is the fact that if you want to drive you will need coverage and this often leads people to get the first policy they can find without even thinking about how they can save money. However, it shouldn’t be like this. Yes, you might be required to have it, but here are some tips on how to save money on auto insurance.

Tip 1: Shop Around

As mentioned, many people don’t even bother to compare quotes when they are renewing their auto insurance, and this often means that they are paying too much for too little in terms of coverage. In fact, some reports estimate that the average American driver is overpaying by about $400 per year – this is money that could be used for better purposes but instead is wasted on car insurance.

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Ridiculous Fees of 20% On a Theatre Ticket

Written by Karen Bryan

When I was in Glasgow recently I noticed a poster for a Saturday Nigh Fever production as I walked past the King’s Theatre.

As dancing to the music from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in 1977 at discos in London is one of my most vivid memories of being a 18 year old, I thought that I might treat myself to a ticket.

My first port of call was Lastminute.com, as I’ve purchased very reasonably priced tickets for theatre shows in London on their website e.g. £17.50 to see War Horse.

Unfortunately, the Saturday Night Fever production in Glasgow did not appear to be listed on Lastminute.com.

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The Importance of Knowing Your Rights As a Consumer

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently bought three new tyres for my car.

It was really annoying as all four tyres were quite evenly worn and I thought I’d get at least another year out of them. However the discovery of a screw embedded in the side of a rear tyre put paid to my plans.

I was advised that for safety reasons that it wasn’t a good idea to just buy one new tyre to use with three tyres that were past their best. This necessitated buying three tyres, using the spare (which had been in the boot since the car was purchased over five years ago) as the fourth new tyre. Then the least worn existing tyre would become the new spare.

As I wanted to replace the tyres with the previous brand, Continental Contact, I went to the Asda Tyres price comparison site to find the cheapest tyres which could be fitted as soon as possible.

The price was £80 per tyre, the same I paid when I purchased four new tyres months previously. I wasn’t happy at parting with £240 for the three new tyres, but safety is paramount.

Unfortunately, I had to wait three days for the tyres to be fitted at a local garage.

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Three Mobile’s Hands Free Promotion

Written by Karen Bryan

I received a text message from Three Mobile informing me that they had added a travel benefit for pay monthly customers called Hands Free, in conjunction with easyJet.

Three already offers free roaming in the 71 destinations. I found this to be a very valuable perk when travelling in the EU and the US, so I was curious to find out more about the new travel perk.

With Hands Free, you can drop off you cabin bag at the easyJet Plus Bag Drop Off, board the plane early and your cabin bags will be amount the first to arrive on the carousel at your destination. You will be given a free Three tote bag in which to place any items which you want to take on board with you. I assume that if subject to availability, so I’d recommend that you have a carrier bag in your pocket just in case the Three bags have run out.

I’d much prefer to take my cabin bag onboard with me, so I don’t need to bother going to pick it up from the carousel.

As for early boarding, what’s the point when all seats on the plane are now allocated?

To claim the perk, you need to text easyJet with the word ‘upgrade’ along with your flight number, date of travel and surname. Hands Free is only available on your outgoing flight.

Call me cynical, but is sounds like a ploy by easyJet to get fewer customers to take their luggage on board, in order to reduce the length of boarding and disembarkation times. I can’t see any real advantage to Three customers.

I Can’t Open a New TSB Monthly Saver Online

Written by Karen Bryan

My TSB Monthly Saver account recently matured.

I planned to immediately open a new TSB Monthly Saver online, in order to earn the fixed rate of 2% on the maximum monthly deposits of £250.

However, it wasn’t possible to open a new TSB Monthly Saver when logged into TSB. When I clicked on apply for a new savings account in the right margin of my TSB home page, I was taken to another page which informed me that “to build a better bank for you, we’re currently upgrading our systems. You can still open a new savings account in our branches and we’re introducing our products online over the coming weeks”.

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Nationwide Not Increasing the Interest Rate of Loyalty Single Access ISA

Written by Karen Bryan

I am astounded that in the wake of the recent 0.25% increase in the Bank of England Base Rate, that there will be no increase in the interest rate paid on my Nationwide Single Access Loyalty ISA. The rate will remain at 1.4%.

Nationwide is supposed to be a mutual, run for the benefit of its members i.e. borrowers and savers.  Nationwide claims to reinvest profit back into the business to improve customer service, develop new products and offer better interest rates to more of its customers.

This just doesn’t seem to be the case for savers such as me.

Nationwide is rarely spotted in best buy tables for savers. You can often earn a higher rate of interest in standard savings products from other provider than in Nationwide’s loyalty saver accounts.

Despite being of the opinion that best course of action is to vote with your feet, i.e. move my Cash ISA from Nationwide to another provider. There seems little point, as I can’t earn a higher rate of interest from any other provider, as none of them have upped the rate of interest paid on the their accessible Cash ISAs.