Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Cheer

I have finally finished for Christmas.  I haven’t had a week or more off work since April.  I am now off work for three weeks and during that time we are going to Scotland for a few days (not exactly a holiday…) and to Iceland (the country, not the supermarket).

Battles continue with the freeholder about us taking over the management of where we live.  She and her husband totally object to this, and even more so (if it is possible to “more than totally object” – sorry grammar police, it’s Christmas and I am feeling reckless) that we have appointed a managing agent.  The freeholder and her husband currently seem to be taking a good cop/ bad cop approach with us.  Yesterday, we got an e-mail from the freeholder’s husband – who has no formal role and we don’t actually have to deal with him – basically telling us we were completely rubbish and which included a delightful assessment  saying that given we had appointed a managing agent we are either not willing to accept responsibility or are incompetent.  When I had wiped away the tears of sorrow and shame caused by his missive, I realised that he didn’t even say Happy Christmas to sign off his e-mail.  I think I might now know someone who is on the naughty list…

Anyway, if you have been receiving lots of Christmas round robin letters, you might appreciate this fictional response.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Public Service Announcement

Unless you are super organised, you might still have your Christmas shopping to start – or at least finish.  You might well be doing quite a bit of that shopping on the internet.  I thought it might be worth pointing out that you can basically be paid to do your normal shopping.  If instead of going direct to a retailer you go via Topcashback, you can often get cashback on your purchase.  (Note that if you sign up via that link I get a referral bonus.  A clean link i.e. just direct is here.)  Most major retailers are on there, but two notable ones that are not are Amazon and John Lewis.  The only way I know of to earn anything from them is via Nectar.  You earn nectar points, so if you have a nectar card it is worth going via there as it earns you extra points for just a few extra clicks.

Anyway, back to Topcashback.  You can find out more about cashback websites here.  That explains how they work, the things you should consider when using them etc.  

I use cashback websites for all sorts of things.  For example:

  • I always change my utilities provider when my current deal ends.  I normally get paid about £60 to change companies by going via Topcashback.
  • Whenever I buy train tickets (regardless of which train company I am travelling with), I book them via Southern Trains because it has no booking fees and they post the tickets first class for free.  I go to Southern trains website viaTopcashback and earn about 6% cashback on it.  We had to book G last minute tickets to go to Scotland a few weeks ago and earned about £7 cashback for booking via Topcashback and G was actually traveling on Virgin trains.
  • Booking trips on Expedia.
  • When I look for a new home or car insurance policy when they come up for renewal each year.
  • Buying books from Waterstones.
  •  When I changed broadband provider.

You get the idea…  Anyway, take a look and see if it might work for you and save you some money this Christmas season (and throughout the year!).