12 months half price Sky

I have just dropped Virgin Media for Sky – 12 months half price!

imageHave you been considering Sky or looking at ways you can cut the cost of your satellite TV, phone & internet?

Over the last few years, I have learnt that you need to switch to get best value, it may be a bit of a hassle, but it is worth it in the end. New customer always get the best offers.

Currently by clicking here, you can get 50% off the cost of Sky for a full year! No cons, honest.

I have just cancelled my Virgin Media subscription (I was not in contract) and changed my package slightly as a result of the switch over to Sky, but I will be saving over £400 for the year.  Even if I have to switch back at the end of the 12 months, that is a saving you can not ignore.

For some it may be more, for some less, but there is a few £100 to be saved, not to mention the added bonus of anywhere up to £100 of Marks & Spencer’s vouchers included too.

The offer is valid until the 5th September, so hurry as there is not much time. 

You get a full 12 months discount, on any package as well as free installation!

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Get yourself a Tastecard

18 months ago I got introduced to the tastecard.

Essentially it is a subscription based service that gets you 50% off food at selected restaurants & cafes around the country for up to 6 people.

Sometimes it is 2 for 1 instead of the 50% and few locations offer up to 6 people.

It does not cover drinks and many locations do not accept the card on popular nights like Friday and Saturday.

The membership is £80, but in all reality you need pay no more than £30.

Whilst I do not know how exactly their pricing campaign works, I took the 1 month FREE trial and used it 2-3 times.  I then did not sign up immediately and within about 2 months I had emails offering it for less, with the final one offering it for just £30.

As you can essentially cover the cost of the membership in just 1 meal it was well worth doing.

A year on, I would guess that I have saved somewhere in the region of £300 and it has been renewed automatically at just £30 again. I did get emailed in advance to cancel if I wished.

You can find out which local restaurants accept the card through the tastecard website, and app available for iOS and Android.

Many major restaurants are part of the scheme which is always a bonus.

You do not need to eat out often to make this card pay so it is a worthwhile investment.  Whilst I do not encourage it, I wouldn’t mind betting that you can even share it amongst family to get even better value from it.

My biggest issue to date has been occasionally forgetting that I have it, thus not looking at local places to see where i can get the discount.

Interested? Head to http://www.tastecard.co.uk/ to get your FREE trial.

If you support one cause this year…

Livability - Livability creates choices for disabled people and brings life to local communities. 

We offer a wide range of services to around 8,000 disabled people and their families, including residential care, supported living, education and accessible holidays. 

We also provide community organisations with the resources, advice and confidence to transform their neighbourhoods. 

Livability is a new charity, created by the merger of John Grooms and the Shaftesbury Society, two charities which have been hard at work among the UK's most marginalised people for over 160 years.I am going to try and keep this relatively short & sweet and say that if you could support one charitable case this year, please make it this one.

If you know me or my employer Clove Technology, you will know that my cousin the son of Chris & Jill, the founders of Clove was involved in an accident a few years ago where he was knocked off his bike by a police car.

Politics and circumstances aside he has been left with serious brain damage and has since the accident been undergoing rehabilitation in specialist centres around the country.

One centre was that of Victoria Education College that is financed by the charity Livability.

They work tirelessly to provide the best care for the pupils within their facility and have really helped Greg.

The college are currently in the process of building a brand new Hydrotherapy centre that provides much needed exercise and pleasure to individuals like Greg who do not have full use of their limbs.

My good friend Aron Lucas has already run the London Marathon twice before, but intends to do it again for this fantastic cause.

I ask you to dig into your pockets, behind the sofa, or in your bag to find a few spare pennies that you can donate to the cause.  Be it a £1 or £500 every penny makes a significant difference.

To find out more about the new hydrotherapy centre just click here.

BUT to pledge your support please CLICK HERE.

Charity collectors the perfect excuse not to donate

Charity, a donation isn’t expected.

I will start this off by saying I am certainly not against charity in fact very much for it.  However there is an increasing number of charity collections taking place in the street through friends and family and if you genuinely donated to all that asked, you would be broke.

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Is that loan on the TV really worth it?

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I know that there are a lot of debt consolidation companies who can genuinely do good for people and there are also many that need short term loan and cash advances.

I am fortunate enough to have a stable income and realise that I am one of the lucky ones.

But I want to pose a thought to any that may be enticed be adverts for wonga.com and similar services.

Is the short term loan really necessary? I know there are cases where it is, but have you thought that it might actually be better letting the direct debit bounce or failing to pay the company you owe money too in the pretty likely circumstance that by the time they send a reminder for payment or demand for payment before they cut services off you will have the money.

If you can’t pay your phone bill one month, you are unlikely to get penalised by the network unless the situation drags out.  But if you were getting paid in 7 days time, by the time the network does all the necessary paperwork to say you haven’t paid, you have been. Then you can make the payment.

This applies to many other everyday purchases/payments too.  Even if a penalty is put in place, it might be smaller than the short term loan.

I do not encourage this tactic but it may be one that saves you paying more than you need to.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your time is worth money

ID-10029237There are many things in life that we can do to save money.  Often doing a job like DIY ourselves can save us money, but there are many times when it isn’t worth it.

It can be cheaper to actually get someone else in to do the job for you.  Their knowledge experience and abilities are worth money to you. To different people the places and things you need to get someone in to do the job will differ, but do consider that your time is worth money.

Lets say for example you can earn £12 per hour at work.  You don’t particularly enjoy washing your car and it is £10 for a car wash.  Pay the £10.  If you find work easier than the task in hand and can get the work to cover the cost then do it.  Why waste your own time and feel pressured to do it yourself just to save a few pounds?

This goes for people who quibble about prices in a shop and will shop around be it in the high street or online.  There might be £2 or £10 difference in the price but consider how long you spend trying to save the few £.  If you can again earn more money in the time it takes you to make the saving then don’t worry about the saving because all you are doing is wasting your own time and that time is worth money to you.

Image: Keattikorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Join the National Trust–Especially if you are under 25

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5 years ago I would have been one of the first to label the National Trust with a day out for the over 60’s and families.

However I am converted and support the National Trust and am an active member. I recommend that you at least consider it, for several reasons and here is why.

 

 

1. Rebranding – I believe the the trust have done wonders regenerating their brand over the last few years.  A more modern approach to their marketing with bright vibrant colours and a new outlook on the way they portray themselves.

2. Support our heritage – There is lots of history and culture in our country that we are at risk of loosing if someone doesn’t do something to support it.

3. Good days out – They won’t all be to your taste but there are actually some very good days out even if history and culture isn’t really your thing.  You don’t know until you try it, so try it!

4. It is cheap – If you are under 25 for £25 or less (if you pay by direct debit) you can join the trust.  It roughly works out that you would need to go to only 3 locations in a whole year to make it pay.  That is incredible.  For an adult its £53 but still that is good value!

5. Something different – In our modern life it can be hard to find new or fun things we haven’t done before.  The trust offers lots of different things.  From gardens, to walks, to houses, to castles there is a whole variety of things to do.

6. Free parking – Join the trust and display the badge in your car window and you can park for FREE at any National Trust car park.  In Dorset a few of my favourite places have trust car parks and it can save quite a few £’s. 

So that is just a few of my thoughts and reasons as to why to try the National Trust, because you might just like it if you do.