Sunday, 31 March 2013

Read your mail. (and why you should leave your bank before your husband)

Letters from the bank. What an annoyance. Now we're all online and paperless, all they're ever doing is updating terms. Leaflets destined for the recycling.

NO. Let me stop you there.

Changes in terms more than likely means that the change is bad news for the customer - for you.

Businesses rarely make changes that benefit the lowly consumer.

So this week, the change of terms from Natwest was telling me, in barely readable point size 7 font, that the interest rates on my savings account was going down. Now of course it didn't state that explicitly - it provided a table of figures for me to decipher under the heading, 'Our rates are changing.' Sneaky.
Magnifying glass may be required

Now, I'm sure you'll have noticed that savings rates aren't too hot at the minute, so my rate can't really cope with taking a hit. And the hit is a whole percentage. So now they'll pay me just over a percentage to loan out my money. Charmed I am not.

But Natwest, unluckily for you, I read your change of terms. And do you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to move my savings account to a different bank who'll pay me more.

But of course most of us just can't be arsed.

The internet confirms how loyal we are to our banks. 26 years is the average length of time we'll stick with our bank. Now considering the average marriage is 11 years this is a very worrying statistic indeed.

So if your bank has changed your terms for the worse, for goodness sake, leave. Move your money. Every percentage makes a difference.

Don't stay with a bank longer than you'd stay with your spouse. That really is just silly.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A beginners Guide to Life by the Sea

One month into seaside living and I'm really getting a taste for the sea-air. In fact today, I saw dolphins playing off the coast. As they say in Scotland, "cannae complain lass." And complain I will not.

In summary, the last month has gone something like the following:

Bloody tourists.
Colleague: "Can you believe at the weekend I saw someone with their top off on the beach? In February? Bloody Tourists."

Me: ( internally.) Best not mention that I was there in my shorts. 

Don't anger the sea.
When it's windy by the coast, you really do notice.

Don't be deceived.
Sunshine on a February day will not a warm sea make*

*Surfing attempt no1 was called off after 15 minutes, when, upon submersion in the icy water of the Atlantic, neither the Boyfriend nor I could remember our own name.

Room with a view
Who knew offices could have views? Naturally, it's impossible to concentrate on any work at all.

A back-end issue
There are downsides to sea-side living.

Looking back
When you miss the city you left and your friends, you will feel momentarily better when you hear it's snowing up there.