Browsing "Guest Post"

Getting Your Home and Contents Insurance Right

Sep 2, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Guest Post, Insurance  //  Comments Off on Getting Your Home and Contents Insurance Right

Flooding (a609)Following our piece on speeding up an insurance claim, this guest post from Insurance Claim Solutions focuses on choosing the right policy. To ensure you never face a shortfall after theft, loss or damage, it’s important to get your home and contents insurance right. Having the right cover for the right value is the surest way to an adequate pay-out should it come to it.

Getting the right cover

The first thing is to make sure you get the right policy for your needs. Most home insurance policies are broadly similar, but be careful when reading through the policy, you may find your property doesn’t meet all the requirements, or that extra cover will be needed.

In particular, you’ll need to make sure your security meets the minimum requirements specified by the policy. Not only will this help guard against burglary, but not meeting these requirements will invalidate your cover against break-ins, making your monthly premium a waste of money.

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Why local is best for savings: the story of small lenders

Jul 10, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Banking and Savings Accounts, Guest Post  //  Comments Off on Why local is best for savings: the story of small lenders

Cambridge Building Society

Chris Taylor, representing the Cambridge Building Society, shares a few ideas about why smaller banks and building societies might be preferential to larger high-street competitors.

Besides friends and family, money is just about the most important thing in most people’s lives. It’s something that affects the kinds of lifestyle we lead, ruling over the choices we’re able to make, and – while I shouldn’t say this – to a certain extent, how happy we are.

Considering this, it makes sense that we should be in complete control of our money; our savings and future – and that of our family’s future.

While there might be thousands of institutions out there whose job it is to be responsible and measured when it comes to looking after our savings, arguably there’s a case to say that saving with a local firm is best.

Why is this, you ask? Well, there are a handful of reasons.

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British Gas: Top Money-Saving Tips

Jun 14, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Guest Post, Home and Living, Money Saving Tips  //  4 Comments

British Gas' energy monitor, the "Pebble" in domestic settings

Top Tips for Making your Money Go Further

In this day and age, it’s not just sensible but absolutely crucial to keep track of your spending habits and figure out where you can improve your finances in order to enjoy a better future. It’s amazing, just how easily money can be flittered away without even realising and, while sometimes, it’s on the frivolous luxuries we all love, much of the time, it’s because we’re not careful enough with our day-to-day spending. By learning how to make our money go further on the mundane things, we can ensure that there’s more leftover to spend on the nicer things on life. Here are some top tips on how to do so.

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Good news for first-time buyers across Scotland

May 31, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Guest Post, Home and Living  //  Comments Off on Good news for first-time buyers across Scotland

Bristo Square, Edinburgh

Ian McGrail, Managing Director of FirstMortgage, an independent mortgage advice service, comments on the ‘shared equity scheme’ that has been announced to help new homebuyers based north of the border.

Ever since George Osborne announced the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme in March’s spring budget, potential first-time buyers north of the border have been feeling rather left out! Our English neighbours have been able to buy newly built houses with a deposit of only 5%, a distant dream for Scots looking to take their first step onto the property ladder – until now.

This week, I am delighted to announce that our Deputy First minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has answered our prayers and revealed a £120M shared equity scheme. This funding will be available over the next two years, to both first time buyers and existing homeowners, who are buying a new build home.

The Scottish government’s decision to introduce a shared equity scheme should see our already busy offices receiving record numbers of enquiries, in what’s set to be an extremely busy year for all involved at FirstMortgage.

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Living the Dream – The Hard Way

Apr 26, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Guest Post  //  Comments Off on Living the Dream – The Hard Way

Which4U is delighted to bring you the remarkable story of Anna Francombe, a former BRIT School star who was offered a place at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. Despite being offered an academy scholarship, she still had to find $25,000 dollars for college fees on top of living expenses. What follows is a remarkable story of perseverance, learning, and discovery, for a talented young performer to fulfil her dream.

At the age of 20, I was offered a place at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles following a successful audition. I received a performance-based scholarship of $5,000 towards my tuition fees, which totalled $30,000 for the year. I was determined to go. It was my dream.

Firstly, I contacted the BRIT School for advice, and they referred me to the Obie Bursary. I presented my situation to the Obie Board, who kindly donated £2,000 towards my cause.

Next, I applied for a Career Development Loan from Barclays. At first they refused me based on my credit score. But when I checked my credit score and found it to be ‘Excellent’, I queried Barclays’ judgement and sent them a screen-cap of my credit score along with a letter of appeal. My appeal was accepted, and I was given a £10,000 loan – to be sent directly to the school each term.

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Nokia Lumia 900 vs Lumia 920: Is Windows Phone 8 Worth The Extra Cost?

Dec 17, 2012   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Guest Post, Technology  //  3 Comments

Phones4U NokiaLumia

Money is pretty tight for the majority of people these days, but that doesn’t stop us wanting the newest bit of cool technology as soon as it hits the shelves. However, we all know that living beyond our means can land us in sticky financial situations, and no-one wants to be in debt just because they splashed out on a mobile phone.

So if you’ve been eyeing up the hot new Windows Phone 8-powered Nokia Lumia 920 but are a bit strapped for cash, you may want to consider investing in a slightly older and more affordable Windows Phone 7 model, such as the Lumia 900. So just what are the differences between the two?

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