How to travel around the UK cheaply

If you don’t have a car, travel can be inconvenient and costly. Train fares seem to rise and rise every year and the British weather isn’t exactly hospitable to cycling long distances. However, whether you’re trying to travel for work or social reasons there are still ways to do this without paying a fortune. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, and good old-fashioned research, it’s not that hard to find ways to travel around the UK cheaply. Discount cards Always a good place to start, discount cards will regularly give you a percentage off travel fares. For example, a Network Rail card is available to just about anyone of adult age. For £30 a year this card will give you a third off every fare. Coach services, such as National Express, offer various discount cards for different demographics. For example, students or families travelling together can get a percentage fare reduction by buying an annual card. For a relatively small initial cost, these cards can end up sav
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How to move from a prepayment meter

UK energy suppliers tend to see a gas and electricity prepayment meter as a way for a user to manage their budget and for them to avoid energy debt. This is why they are usually the option presented to anyone who has had trouble paying their energy bills. However according to Citizens Advice the use of prepay meters could be costing each household around £80 £90 a year more than a credit arrangement. Other estimates put the typical penalty of using a prepay meter at over £200 p.a. Ofgem, the government s energy regulator, found recently that around half a million homes in the UK had been forced to install an energy meter over the past six years, and there are now around 6 million homes (20% of the UK total) using prepayment meters. But if you’re stuck with a prepayment energy meter and so are being charged more for your energy is there a way out? What is a prepayment meter? It’s a meter installed in a domestic home that requires you to pay in advance for gas or electricity. T
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What are your legal rights as a tenant?

There has been plenty of publicity in recent times about how difficult it is to get on the property ladder. For many of us this means that renting is a reality – now and for the foreseeable future. The UK rentals market is not the easiest to navigate. Rent prices are high, landlords are not that accountable and there isn’t that much security for tenants. However, you do still have rights as a tenant in the UK. Making yourself aware of both your rights and the risks of renting can ensure you have a better overall experience. What are the main risks of being a tenant? Being evicted you are protected from unlawful eviction in the UK (see below). However, you must be a tenant to benefit from this. If you are a subtenant or a lodger this won’t apply to you. The best way to make sure that you have as much protection as you can is to sign a tenancy agreement. Most standard tenancies are called Assured Shorthold Tenancies. If your landlord doesn’t have a tenancy agreement you can down
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How to car share to save you over £1000 annually

Saving money on transport costs is big news in 2016. With rail fares going up by 1.9% next year and many forecasting petrol price rises after Brexit, it’s getting increasingly harder to cut travel costs. Commuting by car share is one of those ‘vintage’ ideas that suddenly looks like a great solution. In fact, even Uber is doing it – offering its ‘Uber Pool’ service where you can car share every time you take a taxi. Setting up a car share for your daily commute could enable you to cut your annual transport costs in half. Experts estimate that you could save around £900 £1,500 a year on transport by commuting via car share. Not only that but you might meet some interesting people too. So, how do you do it? Car share with people you already know If you have a group of friends you work with and you all live relatively close to one another then a car share is a logical idea. Take turns to do the driving or come to an agreement on costs if only one of you has a car. It’s a
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Quick safe ways to borrow over the short term

If you need a quick and safe way to get some credit then there are number of alternatives available to you. We have written about payday loans and doorstep loans in our blog on a number of occasions in the past few months. The other methods that spring to mind include: Credit cards If you need to borrow a smaller amount – less than £7,500, for example – then it may be cheaper to use a credit card with an interest-free introductory period on purchases. The best option in this area is Tesco’s Clubcard credit card which gives you 0 per cent interest for a period of 16 months. You’ll also get double or even treble Tesco Clubcard points when you use it for purchases within the store. Purchases at some other stores will also earn you points. As well as interest-free purchases, the Tesco card also offers 0 per cent on balance transfers for a period of nine months although you will have to pay a 2.9 per cent fee on the balance of any transfers. The M&S credit card offers interest-fre
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How to make money on Facebook – the new eBay

When it comes to selling your unwanted stuff, eBay used to be just about the only show in town. But now local Facebook selling groups mean that the social media site is rapidly taking over from the auction giant as the place to make a profit on things you no longer want or need. While eBay is primarily an auction site with some classified listings, Facebook groups are much more like the old classified pages in local newspapers. And unlike eBay, which can charge up to 10 per cent in fees, Facebook does not take commission on any of the items sold through its pages. How does selling on Facebook work? It is very easy to sell on Facebook – far simpler than eBay: sellers post adverts for things that they want to sell, the items are listed locally and then a buyer arranges to meet the seller and pays cash once he or she is happy. While the reach of eBay is still enormous, many sellers are increasingly turning away from the auction site because of its fees. The standard commission that eBa
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How the payday loan industry cleaned up its act

The recent headline in the payday loan industry has all been about a lender – CFO Lending – being forced by the industry watchdog, the FCA, to write off £31.9 million in outstanding loans and pay back £2.9 million in fees to customers. CFO Lending (which used six different brands), was found to have taken money out of customer accounts without authorisation, sent threatening correspondence and charged exorbitant and unwarranted fees. But what is less far less publicised is the extent to which Britain’s payday loan industry has cleaned up its act over the last two years. The efforts lenders have made to comply with rules laid down by the FCA and improve self-regulation have resulted in an industry that many commentators insist provides a valuable service to hundreds of thousands of customers and people on low incomes. How payday lending bounced back In early 2015, new rules governing payday lending were introduced by the FCA. These governed the interest rates that lenders were
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