Are there better odds than simply playing the National Lottery?

Lotteries are a type of gambling that has been enjoyed for centuries. Their history can be traced all the way back to the Chinese Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC and it was the Romans that first brought this sport to European shores. In the UK we were quick to embrace the idea of the lottery. Although the National Lottery is the most famous UK lottery, we Brits have actually been gambling like this since the mid 1500s when Elizabeth I organised the first official lottery. What are your UK lottery options? There are literally hundreds of lotteries in the UK – The Gambling Commission has records of at least 520 licensed UK lotteries. Larger games tend to have bigger prizes but may also attract a much wider range of participants and charge more for tickets. Playing a smaller lottery normally increases the chances of a successful win. However, with fewer players the prizes are smaller too. Some lotteries select the winner via post code, others via ticket. Then there are the causes


Where to shop for your Christmas & Boxing Day food and drink essentials

According to Good Housekeeping magazine, in 2017, the annual Christmas dinner will cost around 18% more than it did last year. The survey looked at a Christmas dinner for eight people with all the trimmings and found that factors such as inflation and Brexit had pushed the overall cost up from £19.82 to £23.53. Christmas is a very expensive time of year for everyone but no one wants to go without those celebratory essentials. If you want to make sure you have everything you need to celebrate this year – at the best price – where can you find it? The Christmas dinner In terms of getting the entire package of Christmas food, the Good Housekeeping survey revealed the best places to shop. This included a whole turkey, potatoes, brussel sprouts, parsnips, carrots, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Christmas pudding, mince pies and brandy butter. The cheapest supermarket for purchasing the entire Christmas dinner is Lidl with a basket that comes in at £25.53 for all the Christmas Day essent

This year’s Christmas spending is set to hit over £800 per family!

The cost of living may be rising, Brexit may be looming but when it comes to Christmas it seems most of us are determined to spend more. While two years ago in 2015, spending by British households on Christmas dropped down to £796, this year it’s set to reach £820. From gifts and food, through to festive travel and alcohol, there is plenty to help you part with your cash during the festive season. But why do Brits spend so much? The tradition of festive spending In the UK we have established something of a tradition when it comes to the annual festive Christmas splurge. 1 in 4 Brits end up spending too much at Christmas and this is a prime time for getting into debt. As a country we spend roughly 54% more than our European neighbours on Christmas festivities and this can result in some pretty depressing credit card statements come January. According to RetailMeNot, UK households expect to spend a whopping £473.83 on Christmas presents alone this year – that’s almost double wh

What does the recent Budget mean for UK households?

Two weeks aso saw the Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first budget since the general election in June. This budget was intended to get Britain “fit for the future” and was notably geared towards trying to attract the attention of younger voters. But what did it deliver for UK households in this essential period in the last quarter of the year? How will the Budget affect you? Autumn Budget 2017 – the headlines Stamp duty – the Chancellor abolished Stamp Duty for first time buyers up to a limit of £300,000. Properties over this cap – and up to £500,000 will be Stamp Duty free for the first £300,000. Brexit – the government plans to set aside £3 billion for preparations for exiting the EU. Universal Credit £1.5 billion will be applied to remove the seven day waiting period. Economic growth – the forecast was revised down from 2% to 1.5%. NHS – the government will put just £2.8 billion into NHS England. The Living Wage – an increase to £7.83 an hour. Duties on wine,

Winner of first Solution Loans Photography Competition announced

We are very happy to announce that after receiving literally hundreds of entries from all over the world we have a winner of the first Solution Loans photographic competition! Over a period of 3 months to the end of October we received photo entries via our website and via our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). We used a popular voting process to reach a short list of 25 and then our judges reviewed these to decide on a final winner and two runners up. The theme of the competition was On a Journey . Entrants interpreted this theme in dozens of ways and put their own cultural spin on it too given that we had entries from all over Europe and Asia in particular. Our First Winner We are proud to announce Jay Birmingham is the winner with a dramatic shot of the Winnats Pass in England s Peak District. Winnats Pass, England Our Judges said: We found this image more dramatic the more we looked at it. The early morning fog in the valley is in itself rather eerie. Watchin

Could your favourite soap & sitcom characters really afford to live where they do?

For many of the UK s most popular soaps and sitcoms the gentrification of their districts has passed them by. And when watching episodes of the old favourites it s easy to wonder whether they would now be situated in their original locations given the rapid rise in property prices since those shows ended. So we thought we d play a game to see what the reality is. East Enders characters short of £700/month! There’s something implausible in the dark heart of the average East Enders episode. It s not the East End hardmen who never swear, the terminally ugly who manage to have affair after affair or even that bench they all go to sit on to have a cry. It’s that none of them could even afford to live there in the first place! An average London market trader earns £1,746 per month, £684 short of the average rent of £2,431 in trendy East London. The residents of Coronation Street fair little better. Earning an average of £1,326 every month and paying an average rent of £1,043 they