Blue Monday, the most miserable day of the year!

Blue Monday falls on the third Monday of January, just inside the start of the New Year but far enough from Christmas for the glitter to have faded. This is (apparently) the most miserable day of the entire year when we all realise we are failing at our resolutions and summer is nowhere to be seen. But what is it about this particular Monday that makes it such a depressing day? The Blue Monday formula Blue Monday was actually conceived by a PR company so the scientific basis for its existence is sketchy. However, there is some sense behind the idea that the first day back to work after the weekend in one of the greyest, coldest months of the year could make all of us want to take a duvet day. The various factors involved in calculating the “Blue Monday formula” are: The weather – often grey, windy, stormy, cold and generally not much fun to leave the house in Debt – according to comparison service uSwitch 9 out of 10 people end up with a debt hangover after Christmas. It’s o


How to max out your savings in the New Year Sales

There seem to be more retail sales than you can shake a stick at these days. However, while Black Friday or the summer sales can deliver some great discounts, it’s the New Year sales that often offer the most potential for savings. Many stores refresh their stock for the new year so it’s out with the old (at heavily discounted prices) and in with the new. Whether you’re looking for Christmas themed items to put away for next year, sports gear, technology, fashion or toys, the New Year sales are worth doing properly. So, how do you maximise the savings potential at this time of year? Top Tips to get the most in the New Year Sales In-store Sales Get up early. If you’re going to do your New Year sales shopping in-store then there’s just no substitute for being the first through the door. Discounts don’t change over the course of the day but the best items will inevitably be snatched first off the shelves so if you want to get them for yourself you need to be up with the birds

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

Rules of Council House Right to Buy

Last year, the Government introduced a new Right to Buy housing scheme which allows council tenants to benefit from a new £77,900 discount on the market price if they want to buy their council home. The figure is £103,900 for tenants who live in London. Who has the Right to Buy? Only those who have been a tenant in the public sector for at least the last three years qualify for Right to Buy. So, the scheme is only open to people who live in a property owned by a local council, an NHS trust or a local housing association. But you don’t have to have lived continuously in the house for a period of three years – it can have been in other public sector homes – and it doesn’t have to be in the home that you want to purchase. However, the home must be your sole property and it must be self-contained. These are the main exclusions from the scheme: Where the house or flat is not your main home If you share a part of it with other tenants – for example, a common kitchen or bathroom

Is 2017 the year of the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things has become a term of common currency. All it really means is that equipment and devices are connected by the internet, sharing data. The most common example is a fridge that could let you know when you were out of butter or milk. Aside from the more ridiculous Internet of Things fantasies, 2016 was a big year for pushing this concept forward, as it began to get traction outside of just businesses and geeks. So, in theory 2017 should be the year in which Internet of Things enters all of our lives, whether we like it or not. It all depends on 5G For the Internet of Things to really take hold, 5G mobile communication needs to happen. Before it does, most experts predict that networks won’t be fast enough or have the capacity to create an effective Internet of Things. Speed is one of the key differences between the 4G networks we have now, and 5G. An SMS takes 40 milliseconds to send on a 4G network and just one or two with 5G. While that might seem like a pointle

Diet & Fitness tips for the New Year

It’s that time of year again when carb intake shoots up and exercise frequency drops down. What with all the mince pies, alcohol and late nights of December, most of us end up a little out of shape come New Year’s Eve. But, with a fresh year on the horizon, it’s time to think about some healthy changes for 2017. Whether you want to lose weight, or just get stronger, there are lots of ways to slim down and shape up in 2017. Try the GOLO diet GOLO was actually the most searched diet online in 2016 and yet somehow managed to stay mostly under the press radar. The diet is designed to help control weight by managing insulin. Meals are designed around fresh food and are low in processed ingredients. Insulin is the hormone that the human body uses to turn sugars from food into energy. The aim of the diet is to eat in a way that allows insulin to work properly and to encourage weight loss, rather than gain, from properly using food as fuel. Work your exercise around your life Tough Mudd

Is 2016 the year of the personal loan?

At the end of 2015 the Bank of England revealed that it was a significant year for the personal lending industry, with lending reaching the highest level since before the 2008/9 banking crisis. In October 2015, consumer lending increased at an annualised rate of 8.2%, the highest level since February 2006, indicating that the personal finance industry in the UK is more popular than ever before – with no signs of slowing in 2016. It’s also worth noting that car loans were one of the most popular types of lending, with an increase of 9.6% the highest increase for a decade. So, what is it about the lending industry that is so attractive right now? Loans for everyone The diverse nature of the UK lending industry means that there is a loan option for just about everyone. If you don’t want to deal with mainstream lenders then doorstep loans offer a more traditional, face-to-face type of lending. If you’re looking for short-term loans for small amounts then payday loans are perfect.