Browsing "Home and Living"

The Cost of Studying Abroad

Jan 6, 2014   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Guest Post, Home and Living  //  Comments Off on The Cost of Studying Abroad


As technology makes the world smaller, more of us are keen to experience life in other parts of the world. One way of getting such an experience, particularly if you are interested in learning other languages, is to study abroad at university. But is an overdraft with your student account enough to meet the cost of studying abroad?

Just as many foreign students come to the UK to study for a degree, many UK students choose to study abroad to get theirs. The popular places to study tend to be the USA, which boasts some of the best universities in the world, and European neighbours including France, Germany and Italy.

All have their unique attractions. However, one question is likely to be uppermost in your mind if you’re considering a move overseas: what will it cost to study abroad? At the time of writing, a UK student studying at home may be charged up to a maximum of £9,000 per year in tuition fees.

How does this cost compare to universities abroad?

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Brits Spend a Year on the Sick. How Do You Protect Your Earnings?

Nov 27, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Home and Living, Insurance  //  Comments Off on Brits Spend a Year on the Sick. How Do You Protect Your Earnings?

The average Brit misses almost a year and a half of their working life through illness, according to a new report. But over a third of workers receive no sick pay cover from their employer, leaving them vulnerable to a damaging loss of earnings. So, what can you do to protect yourself against illness or injury? Read on for more!

article_639A report from insurance company London Victoria (LV=) has shown that the average Brit spends 360 days on the sick. Across the British workforce, an average of six days per person per year is lost to sick days.

Around a tenth of all sick days are a result of stress and depression, with sufferers needing over two months (or 81 days) to recover on average. Workers with chronic back pain have taken an average of 57 days off work, while those reporting severe migraines have taken an average of 18 days.

Some have experienced a more severe plight, with around 650,000 people taking more than a year to recover from stress-related illnesses.

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Earn Financial Rewards for Recycling with Greenredeem

Nov 11, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Home and Living, Money Saving Tips  //  Comments Off on Earn Financial Rewards for Recycling with Greenredeem

The notion of working together to save the planet is no longer a self-fulfilling prophecy, it seems. The majority of people believe that the government should incentivise recycling, according to a new survey, while a quarter have confessed that they would make more effort to recycle if there were more financial rewards available. Well, the chance is now there, so it’s time to get our act together.

Greenredeem aims to meet this demand for incentives and improve recycling through a rewards scheme that could return between £75 and £100 per year.

The Worrying Truth

A study by the firm (formally RecycleBank) found that one in five respondents showed no interest in preserving the environment. Some said they found it too tiresome, while some of the Clarkson mould are convinced that recycling makes no difference at all.

Almost two-thirds said that the government could do more to encourage recycling, while more than a third of respondents believe that local government could be rewarding people financially for their efforts, by offering tax rebates or lowering council tax.

  • 27% don’t recycle because they don’t get anything out of it;
  • 19% are not interested in being green;
  • 37% of adults think that companies, government, local government should be rewarding people for being green and recycling;
  • 24% would be encouraged to recycle more frequently if they received a financial benefit for their troubles.

Greenredeem aims to improve recycling rates through a reward system that allows people to earn points for recycling and then redeem them through commercial partners.

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John Lewis Launches Christmas With Traditional Tearjerker

Nov 8, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Home and Living  //  1 Comment

Plaudits to John Lewis – they’ve done it again.

The luxury department store’s tear-jerking adverts have become the true ‘launch’ of the Christmas season. And the 2013 advert, which will premiere tomorrow on television screens across the country, does not disappoint.

The animated advert, ‘the bear and the hare’, is set to the dulcet tones of Lily Allen, who covers Keane’s 2004 hit ‘Somewhere Only We Know’.

Which is Your Favourite John Lewis Christmas Classic?

Anyone not familiar with the John Lewis tradition can cast away their inner-Scrooge by watching the sequence below. Which is your favourite of the bunch? Drop us a comment below and let us know!

2010 – ‘For those who care about showing they care’.

feat. Ellie Goulding, ‘Your Song’.

2011- ‘The Long Wait’.

feat. Slow Moving Millie, ‘Please, Please, Please’.

2012 – ‘The Journey’.

feat. Gabrielle Aplin, ‘The Power of Love’.

2013 – ‘The Bear and the Hare’.

feat. Lily Allen, ‘Somewhere Only We Know’.

Which is your favourite of the bunch? Drop us a comment below and let us know!

Saving Money on Electricity With LED Lighting

Nov 5, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Home and Living, Money Saving Tips  //  Comments Off on Saving Money on Electricity With LED Lighting

Given the imminent rise in gas and electricity prices, it’s important to consider as many energy-saving techniques as possible. A frequently overlooked area is lighting. Louise McCurry of Meteor Electrical tells Which4U about the money-saving opportunities available through LED lighting.

30 Watt LED FloodlightThere aren’t many places that we can go today without seeing some sort of floodlight – whether that be in a public car park or in a football stadium.

Why are there so many floodlights? Well, the answer is that floodlights have much more power than standard outdoor lighting. One floodlight alone can do a better job than hundreds of standard bulbs. Many choose LED floodlights as these give a stronger sense of security in homes and work places and act as a deterrent against crime.

Floodlights are sturdy and durable, meaning they can withstand harsh conditions such as rain and snow. This is perfect as you won’t have to worry about extreme weather destroying your lights and having to fork out money to replace them!

LED floodlights are economical and eco-friendly. They use far less electricity than halogen floodlights, meaning you will save on energy bills while helping the environment.

The LEDs can also be directed towards certain areas. If you need light to focus on your gates, for example, this can be done easily and it is far cheaper than standard halogen lights. Halogens cannot focus directly on objects because the light inside them splits to cover a surface evenly.

So, you may ask, how can you save on money within the home? Well, the answer is domestic LED lighting. LEDs have been around for many years and they are best known for Christmas lights and traffic signals. However LED lighting in our homes has become more popular and is rapidly replacing standard incandescent light bulbs. The most popular LED lighting that can be seen in homes today are LED spotlights and LED floodlights.

The advantage of LEDs having a smaller chip is that the bulb lasts far longer, meaning lower ongoing costs as you won’t have to replace the bulbs as often. The LEDs themselves require less energy to power than standard light bulbs; this means you will have a reduced energy bill! LED lighting can use up to 80% less energy than standard bulbs and they have been known to last up to 100,000 hours.

The only disadvantage is that LEDs do have a higher purchase cost, but they are worth the extra expense as you want to keep your energy and maintenance bills as low as possible – especially with rising energy costs.

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Check Your Entitlements With Charity’s New Benefits Tool

Oct 17, 2013   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Guest Post, Home and Living  //  2 Comments

With 13 million living in poverty in the UK and a radical shake-up of the UK benefits system, charity Turn2us has launched a free Benefits Calculator to help people find out if they are entitled to additional financial support. Below, the charity tells us what it’s all about.

Critical Illness InsuranceAs a charity that helps people in financial need, we hear many different stories from people of all backgrounds, and know that anyone can be hit by financial hardship at any time in their lives.

Unforeseen circumstances such as job loss, family breakdown and illness are just a few of the factors that can significantly affect household income. The rising costs of everyday essentials, reduced incomes and continued public sector cuts have also had an enormous impact, and increasing numbers of people are struggling to make ends meet.

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