Most Economical Cars In The UK

Buying a new car is hard enought without having to take its green credentials into consideration. Instead of searching the web for the most fuel efficient cars of 2012, I’ve done the hard work for you and created a list of the 20 most economical new cars in the UK.

As you’ll see, most of them sit in the supermini class but I’ll also be creating a list of the most economical family cars. I’ll update you when it’s complete. Continue reading

Has Ryanair Been Playing Russian Roulette With Aircraft Fuel?

Hollywood would have you believe that pandas make great Kung Fu artists but it’s not true. Likewise, passenger jets don’t make great gliders. Now will someone please tell Ryanair that?

ryanair girls strip

Ryanair stewardesses forced to strip to pay fuel bills

Ryanair – loved and hated in equal measure. This is the kind of company that likes to brag about its low cost credentials. To me, having the qualities of a cheap carrier bag that you put your heavy shopping in is not how I’d want my company to be viewed. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary seems happy to accept that applause coming from the cheap seats. Continue reading

Why Payday Loans Will Become A Recognised Disease

pills for the payday loan disease

Ever wondered how far over the edge you could be tipped by an addiction to payday loans? Let’s take a look at the potential health related risks you run by running the gauntlet.

The Payday Loan Question Mark

I’m not going to tell that payday loans are the spawn of some hellish creature from a nightmarish hinterland filled with pain and despair. I’m not going to tell you that you should avoid payday loans on pain of a lingering death of your finances. In fact, I will go so far as to say that, in some cases, payday loans can actually benefit you.

Submitting your bank account to a punishing 4000% interest for the sake of a night out on the town is definitely off the cards. But emergencies tend to require snap decisions and, sometimes, small sacrifices. What if a family member falls seriously ill at the end of the month but you can’t afford to travel? In a one off instance like this, the cost is worth bearing.

So, do you REALLY need the loan or is it a nice to have? How easily could this ‘need’ for fast cash become an addiction? In fact, before you answer that second question, let’s take a look at some of the health-related risks that await you.

Addiction

If you’ve ever been addicted to anything you already know about the cravings. Take gambling addiction as a prime example; you become secretive; You gamble even when you don’t have any money; At the most extreme, you’ll steal from friends and family to for what you tell yourself is just one more throw of the dice. Trust me, it’s not nice.

Then there’s the withdrawal symptoms. Sweating, itching and palpitations. In some cases, former gambling addicts have been diagnosed as having mental disorders.

Scary thought? Yes but it serves a purpose…

Debt related nervous breakdown

Could payday loans lead you to have a nervous breakdown? Not directly but they can contribute. Last year, the BBC reported on a man who suffered a nervous breakdown due to his massive debts. I have to admit that, in this case, the cause of his problems came for a £9,000 that he could no longer afford to repay. If you develop a habit of using payday loans on a regular basis you run the risk of running up massive debts.

Payday loan heart attack

I’m not talking about the heart attack you have when you see the interest rates you’re being charged. In this case, the heart is real. Although it’s not directed caused by your loans and repayments it’s still related. Your inability to repay your debts causes stress. Once you apply enough stress the threat of having a heart attack becomes much more real. If you’re a little sceptical take a look at this WebMD article on stress and the heart.

Debt related obesity

Obesity is fast reaching epidemic proportions. By 2030, it’s estimated that 42% of all Americans will be obese and, currently, about 23% of the UK’s population is classed as obese. But what does that have to do with payday loans? Research has shown that individuals with heavy debts tend to eat cheaper food which, in many cases, is loaded with fats and sugar. There’s also a marked decrease in the amount of exercise performed by people with heavy debts.

Mental health and debt

Debt can have a massive affect on your mental health. The Royal College of Psychiastrists give an example how easy it is to fall into debt (the bullet points follow one persons journey into debt and show how even a few missed bills can set off a downward spiral). Depression and anxiety are two points addressed as being two, very real examples of how debt can harm your mental health.

Why aren’t payday loans recognised as an illness?

Normally, at this point, you’d expect me to start giving you advice on how to break your debt habits (but I won’t because you can simply follow the link. What I will say is that debt would appear to be far more than just a problem that affects our finances; if you’re not careful, you run the very real risk of falling foul of one of the payday loan diseases.


How Much Is The New iPhone?

Worlds biggest iPhone

Tim Cook introduces biggest iPhone ever!

How much is the new iPhone 5? To buy it off the shelf without a contract will set you back £549 but how much is the new iPhone 5 really going to cost you?

The latest version of the Apples iPhone landed to much applause and fanfare a on 12th September. As usual, the official unveiling of this must have gadget was surrounded by the usual pomp and pageantry associated with everything Apple (including a very nice update to the iPod Touch… in which I may indulge). Continue reading

The Ultimate List of Cheap Places to visit in the UK

Are you looking for a cheap day out in the UK? In that case, you need to check out our ultimate guide to cheap and free destinations around the country.

I spent a fair amount of time mulling over whether I should write up a list of the top destinations. However, after a little bit of searching round the web I came to the conclusion that there are already plenty of excellent guides out there.

I’ve created a list of some of the very best resources I could find. If you know of any others that you think should be on the list then send me an email or leave a comment below with the link. If it’s good, I’ll add it to this guide.

Here we go…

Cheap places to visit in Bristol

Yeah, I did say Bristol! Actually, you’ll probably he surprised at how much there is to see. The official capital of the South West, Bristol straddles the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire. During the 15th century, the city was the second most important in England. Amongst some of the more interesting places to visit include the city museum with its displays of Bristol through the centuries and Ashton public gardens.

Best list of cheap places to visit in Bristol

Cheap places to visit in Cambridge

Originally a Roman settlement, Cambridge has gone from strength to strength. Over the centuries, the city has morphed from a heavily fortified centre of trade and commerce into the world famous university city that we know today. Among Cambridge universities more significant former students include Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. Going beyond the walls of the university, you can visit Shepreth wildlife park, go on a bike tour or take a punt down the river Cam.

Best list of cheap places to visit in Cambridge

Cheap places to visit in Cardiff

Dating back over 2,000 years, the city of Cardiff owes its creation to the Romans (AD 55 – 60). The city name literally means “the fort on the river Taff”. Significant points in the history of the city include its destruction in the 15th century by Owain Glyndwr’s army, the granting of city status in 1905 and the birth of Dr Who’s arch-enemies; the Daleks. A long established association with sports can be traced back the hosting of the British and Commonwealth Games of 1958.

Best list of cheap places to visit in Cardiff

Cheap places to visit in Edinburgh

The capital of bonny Scotland, Edinburgh is crammed full museums, gardens and events to cater for just about every taste. One of the historical centres of the Enlightenment, the Old Town and New Town districts are listed as UNESCO World Heritages Sites. The old town area has retained many of the buildings that were standing during the Reformation era of history. With over 4,500 listed buildings and 40 conservation areas, Edinburgh is a lesson in how to protect the UK’s heritage.

Best list of cheap places to visit in Edinburgh

Cheap places to visit in Exeter

The origins of Exeter date as far back as 250 BC and is now home to the Met Office. The old industrial areas of the city itself provide visitors with a glimpse of Exeter’s former glories. The city itself also can be used a great launchpad to tourists and visitors looking to explore deeper into the South West.

Best list of cheap places to visit in Exeter

Cheap places to visit in London

As the capital of our fair country, London is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the United Kingdom. Aside from those world famous cheeky chappies in their black cabs, London contains some of the most historic buildings in the world. From the Houses of Parliament, to Churchills wartime command bunker – there’s an absolute bargain bucket of places to visit. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to see all the sights of London in your lifetime.

Best cheap places to visit in London

Cheap places to visit in Manchester

Now officially classed as our second city, Manchester is another great place to expericnce some of the history and culture of Britain. A former centre of industry and a key port during the years of the British Empire, the city still retains many of the buildings and architecture of the era. Some of the most impressive sights can be found in the old docklands area. Like London, there are a lot of places that allow free or very cheap access.

Best cheap places to visit in Manchester

Cheap places to visit in St Davids

The smallest city in the United Kingdom, St Davids in Wales is the perfect destination for visitors wishing to step back in time. The tiny city centre offers various attractions including the cathedral and the ruins of the Bishop’s palace.

Best cheap places to visit in St Davids

I’ll be adding more links in the coming weeks so make sure you come back and see if there’s anything useful to. Why not follow me on Twitter? I’ll tweet updates to the post to make it easier for you.

Watchdog to Investigate high petrol prices

fuel prices

Let's hope fuel prices never hit these highs!

In a long awaited move the spiralling price of petrol is to be investigated by watchdog to ensure that you, as a customer, aren’t being ripped off.

Opinions on the UK’s £32 billion petrol and diesel marketplace are being asked of both motoring groups and consumers in order to get a broad range of views on the sector.

Between mid-2007 and the same time this year, petrol prices has risen by over 38%. The cost of diesel has sky-rocketed by about 43%. Continue reading

How To Retire At 55: The Bad And The Good

How to retire at 55 with a few tips from Scrooge

Honestly, how many of you really want to retire at 55? Spending your childrens inheritance and taking numerous holidays to sun-kissed shores might seem appealing but you need some serious funding.

So, with that thought in mind, here are a few pointers on how to build a tidy retirement fund (bearing in mind that you’ll need roughly £550,000 to be comfortable).

We’ve already had some tongue in cheek money saving tips from Scrooge. Now you’re about to get some more advice on how to power up your pension pot. Continue reading

Rate-Jacking: How To Beat Credit Card Interest Rises

Have you been on the receiving end of a rate-jacking bombshell? It’s hard enough finding the money to pay back your credit card debt and unwanted interest hikes don’t help. What is rate-jacking and how can you stop the increases to your credit card interest rates?

Rate-jacking explained

What is rate-jacking? Quite simply, it’s an increase in the interest you pay on your credit cards. The increases vary from company to company but some card holders have been hit with hikes as large as 10%. Continue reading

Why We Should Be Paying More For Green Energy

green energy

Want to know why we should be paying more in taxes for our green energy?

We need to speed up the production of technologies used in the creation of green energy. There are countless reasons why we need to start pushing a cleaner, greener future. Most importantly, we need to be thinking about how quickly we can do this.

The obvious problem is that, in order to move from where we are today to more environmentally friendly sources of energy, will cost money. Lots of money. Where will the money come from? Taxes.

It’s not what you want to hear now but here are 7 reasons why it makes sense to pay now: Continue reading

Could You Live On £7 A Week Pension?

Data released by the Department of Works and Pensions has highlighted a staggering difference in state pension payouts. Figures show pension incomes ranging as little as £7 a week up to over £230 a week.

The huge difference in payments stems from the baffling array of additional top-ups available in the existing pension system. The government is planning to remove these variations by introducing a new flat rate pension scheme. Continue reading