Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Payment Methods and What You Should Know - Standing Orders

This post is the fourth in my Payment Methods and What You Should Know series.

Standing Orders

These are the best method to use for regular scheduled payments, simply because it is a kind of payment that is

Friday, 1 March 2013

New Rules on Pension Annuities

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By the end of this week, the rules governing annuities in the UK will change.
Previously, the rules in force for using your pension pot were as follows: 
  • You could cash out a maximum lump sum of 25% from your pension pot
  • The remaining 75% of the pot HAD to be converted to an annuity by the time you reached 75

Friday, 22 February 2013

Payment Methods and What You Should Know - CCA's

This post is the third in my Payment Methods and What You Should Know series.

What is a CCA?

CCA stands for continuous card authority, and this is a payment method that not many people are aware of, even when they have one set up!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Payment Methods and What You Should Know - Direct Payments and Transfers

This post is the second in my Payment Methods and What You Should Know series.

Direct Payments

What is a direct payment? This is a bank transfer from your account, to another person, or organisation's bank account, for the purpose of paying a bill. A reference number or code is usually attached to the process so the other party can see the payment and tie it up with the relevant transaction at their end.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Payment Methods and What You Should Know - Direct Debit

On the way home from work last night, I was chatting with a friend when the subject of monthly bills and banking came up.
It turns out my friend didn't realise Direct Debits are entirely controlled by the other party who bills him!
He's a bit older than me, so I was shocked.
Then I started paying a bit more attention to what some of my peers knew about basic banking, and where they stood with what - oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...!

So this is the first of a series of posts to do with everyday banking, and covers such things as payment methods, the rules regarding them, and personal bank accounts.

Friday, 1 February 2013

10 Tips for Buying a New Mobile Phone

So I finally got round to replacing my battered mobile...
(This is a continuation of my previous post: Coming to the End of My Mobile Phone Contract)
I'd been keeping an eye on the prices for a couple of phones over the last few months, hoping the contract rates would drop in the New Year.
It seems to me that newer models, and more fashionable models are often sold at prices that are a little over the odds, but then that's business for you. If there's the demand for a product, the price will go up!
So what did I do in the end?

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Should I Convert My Car to LPG?

I like cars.

I like fast cars, but with a new family and a restricted budget, I don't really have the funds for it.

Or do I? I've been eyeing LPG conversions and apparently, a car running on LPG is only slightly less powerful, and will give slightly less mileage, (I'm led to believe it's about a 10-12% loss).

But have you seen how cheap LPG fuel is??

Let's do the maths...

Friday, 25 January 2013

10 Blog Posts I Liked This Month

I've noticed several bloggers often post a list of posts or sites that they like on a weekly or monthly basis etc.
At first I thought this was just lazy blogging to be honest, but then it occured to me, that some of these are themed, or just have a certain "flavour", so reading one that fits with your out look can actually be immensely helpful, (and all too often very time consuming!). So, I decided to do the occasional one myself as well.
This one isn't themed as such, (future ones will be), it's just posts I happened to have recently read and liked.
Here's my first short list:

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Zulu Principle

Currently I'm reading a book, called "The Zulu Principle"*, with a view to making some selections this year to start up my investment portfolio with.
*amazon affiliate link

It's a book outlining a particular investment strategy based on your own "circle" of knowledge.

Warren Buffet refers to the "circle" of knowledge and advises you don't invest outside it.

So what is this "circle of knowledge"?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

When Should You Buy A House?

Both here in the UK and abroad, housing markets have been somewhat unstable over the last decade, and it appears to have inspired a lot of debate.

As someone from the UK, buying a property has always been seen previously as a no brainer. Over time, property prices always go up.
Traditionally, renting a property has been thought of as like flushing a lot of money down the drain every month, but is that still the case?

What are the options??

Monday, 14 January 2013

Save on that Gym Membership!

OK, I nearly gave in.
I've been working on my fitness at home recently, mainly because I've been unlucky enough to catch the damn norovirus. I've pretty much fought it off now, but it's parting gift has been a nice rash all over my body. The doctor tells me it will pass in about 4 weeks(!), so my usual trips to the swimming baths are totally out of the question.
Anyway, following that, over the weekend, I also managed to break my rowing machine >:(
As a result, I'd been edging ever closer to that gym membership, until I discovered: Youtube!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Save Your Shoes!

Once upon a time I took up what I thought was a really good offer. Two pairs of shoes for £55, (that's about $90US) from a shop that looked like it was closing down - oh fool that I was!

Within literally 4 months, both were falling apart. I'd worn through the soles on one pair, the soles were coming away on the other, and I needed to spend more money to have something professional looking to wear on my feet to work.

And the shop is stil there, advertising it's "bargains".

It reminds me of a fictional character (by authorb Terry Pratchett) called Capt. Vimes and his theory of "socioeconomic unfairness".

It goes something like this:

Monday, 7 January 2013

New Year's Resolution - Getting Fitter

OK, so this post isn't exactly about personal finance per se, (there are obvious parallels if you look for them), but from chatting to my work colleagues I thought it might be relevant. It seems the three of us have kicked off the New Year, with different personal fitness training regimes.
Colleague A has decided to plumb for the P90X program, colleague B has gone for something called, "Cardio!", and I read and decided to try something called the "Afterburn Effect".
It's all part of that New Year's resolution thing of course, so my posting on this blog also means I can be held accountable to it!!
So, first things first, what are they?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year's Resolutions

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Terms like #NYE, #2013 and the like have been rife on twitter these last few days. Not surprising really with 2013 being round the corner, but reading some of the tweets has left me a bit saddened.

Most of them have been along the lines of:

"...I hope 2013 turns out better than 2012".

And it's the same every year.

Every one looks to the future in hope, lamenting the past/passed year.

This year, my resolutions are going to be slightly different...