In our detailed Zions Bank review, we cover its savings products, rates, and fees. We also compare it to other online banking options.
As of today, Zions Bank offers one of the highest interest rates among high-interest savings accounts. But is it worthwhile to move your money there to take advantage of this interest rate? Today’s interest rate environment is not the best for moving money from bank to bank in search of the highest rate. So the more appropriate question is whether Zions Bank is a good choice for someone who is not currently taking advantage of a high-yield savings account.
If the money you keep for short-term expenses like emergencies is earning only 0.25% APY or less, open a high-yield savings account anywhere and start giving your cash a chance against inflation. Even if it’s not at Zions Bank, any high-yield savings account is better than none.
Banking Deal: Earn 1.30% APY on an FDIC-insured savings account at Synchrony Bank.
I’ve gone through the process of opening a Zions Bank savings account. This article contains a review of my experiences.
About Zions Bank
Before opening an account with the bank, I performed cursory research to understand the company that would be holding my deposit. Deposits at Zions Bank are FDIC insured up to the federal maximum. I wouldn’t even consider opening a savings account at a bank that did not offer this protection or the equivalent protection available at credit unions.
Zions Bank is based in Utah and has been in business since 1873. The corporation was formed by Brigham Young as Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Company and was the territory’s first banking institution. The Church of Latter-Day Saints was involved with the bank’s operations until 1960, following a merger with other Utah banking institutions. After a series of name changes, the bank’s parent corporation is now known as Zions Bancorporation.
Zions Bancorporation operates 130 Zions Bank branches in Utah and Idaho. But the investment company’s operations span the western United States. The parent company is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange (ZION). Zions Bank has a two star rating in Bankrate’s “Safe & Sound” system.
Opening a New Zions Bank Online Savings Account
The first page of the savings account application asks for your personal information. As expected, Zions Bank asks for your Social Security number, as well as your mother’s maiden name. You will use this information for identity verification when communicating with the bank. For communications, Zions’s customer service is available from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm Mountain Time every day except Sunday.
Zions suggested I open the bank’s free checking account after completing the application, but I declined. The bank offered several additional features. I declined the ATM account access option because there are no bank-owned ATMs local to me. I also declined the Visa credit card as I have no need for another credit card at this time.
Click the image to the right to zoom in.
Funding the Zions Bank Online Savings Account
New customers have three options for funding the initial deposit, which carries a minimum of $100. The application offers electronic funds transfer (EFT), check, and wire. If you select to fund your account via check, the opening process takes longer. This process requires you to send a check through the mail and wait for the bank to receive it. The EFT process is the quickest, but it requires finding your bank routing number and account numbers. If you’re funding the account from an existing checking account, you can easily find this information on your checks.
I will be funding my new Zions savings account with an electronic transfer from ING Direct. Although I have the bank’s routing number memorized from the many times I’ve used it to fund new bank accounts, I always verify the number by logging into my account at ING Direct.
USA PATRIOT Act and Government Regulations
You may have noticed that opening a bank account in the past few years has involved more scrutiny for the applicant. To fight against terrorism–or against the funding of terrorism–banks are required to ask more questions about your purposes for opening a bank account. You will need to let Zions Bank know if you are a foreign government official, whether you plan to make deposits of physical cash (not electronic transfers), whether you plan to send or receive more than three wire transfers, if you plan to keep more than $1 million on deposit at the bank, and whether you are a business owner. You will also need to provide your occupation or industry and the name of your employer.
Like all savings accounts, Zions Bank will limit your withdrawals by internet, ACH, or telephone to six per thirty-day cycle. This is a federal regulation for savings accounts. But each bank can choose how it wants to handle violations of this rule. Zions charges customers $15 per withdrawal over the limit of six in each statement period. However, ATM withdrawals are unlimited. The Zions Bank Online Savings Account charges no other fees.
Once you provide all the information requested and agree to electronic disclosures, terms, and fees, the application is complete. Zions Bank will process the application within two business days. But your confirmation already includes your new account number.
Zions provides instructions for accessing your new account right away. But you won’t be able to access your account until you receive confirmation by email. Your login name is the same as the email address you provided during the application process, and your default password is the first two letters of your mother’s maiden name followed the month and year of your birth.
Accessing Your New Zions Bank Savings Account
Twenty-six hours after completing my application, I received my second email from Zions Bank to notify me that I could now access my account online. Using my email address and the password described above, I logged into ZionsBank.com.
Note: The password is case sensitive. And though I entered my mother’s maiden name capitalized properly, my password worked only when entering the two letters in lowercase.
After entering your default password, you will have the opportunity to select a security image and phrase, now a common practice when banking online. And you’ll pick three challenge questions that will be used to verify your identity and register your computer the first time you log in and any time you view your account from a new computer.
After assigning answers to your chosen questions, your account will bring you back to the main Zions Bank home page. You’ll need to log in again. Once you are logged in and choose to register the computer, you will have the option of turning off paper statements and will see your account listed. If you log in right away, you will probably be viewing your account before your initial deposit makes its way to the bank. Zions Bank will present you first with your balance screen, which shows you the balances across all the accounts you hold at Zions Bank. You can click on the name of any of your accounts to see that account’s activity. In my case, there was still nothing to see.
The process of opening my account at Zions Bank was flawless.
Zions Bank Rates
So opening an account with Zions is easy. Zions Bank also recently revamped its entire online presence and interface, which makes the banking experience much better. But the primary reason why Zions Bank isn’t a well-known national brand is simple. They have lousy interest rates.
Zions Bank provides a variety of deposit products. Savings, Money Markets, IRA’s and CD’s can all be opened with no minimum deposit. Here’s a rundown of the interest rates you can expect to receive on each offering.
Simply put, those are awful. Zions Bank used to be a good high-yield online savings opportunity; but it has become the opposite. If you’re looking to stash money away into a quality online bank, look elsewhere. Checking out our best high yield savings account page is a great place to start.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/zions-bank-online-savings-account-review/
A credit card hardship program can help you deal with mounting credit card debt. This guide walks you through these programs, including what they are, how they work, how to apply, and their effect on your credit score.
No matter how particular you are with your budget, life can always knock everything off-kilter. Illness, injury, job loss… all of these have the ability to impact your monthly income. This makes it difficult to meet your financial obligations, including minimum credit card payments.
So, what can you do when credit card bills keep coming but you’re having trouble making payments? This is where a credit card hardship program can come into play.
What It Is
Some credit card companies make hardship programs available to their customers in times of need. These programs allow you to temporarily reduce monthly payments to a manageable level if you are having trouble paying your bills due to unforeseen circumstances.
Credit card hardship programs typically last somewhere between six months and a year. They don’t allow you to bypass monthly payments altogether. But they will often involve a lowered interest rate, altered repayment plan, or a combination of the two. Some companies will even offer to waive certain fees for late payments, over-limit charges, and the like.
So, why would credit card companies even offer these types of programs? Well, at the end of the day, it’s really a mutually-beneficial relationship. The consumer is able to continue managing their debt. This means they avoid defaulting on the account. The company will continue receiving a monthly payment, even if it’s a smaller one. And it doesn’t have to worry about chasing the customer down, sending the account to collections, or even charging off the debt.
Who It’s For
If you are struggling to make your credit card payments each month and have some sort of hardship going on in your life, you may be eligible to enroll in this type of program. Eligible hardships could include situations such as:
If you feel your circumstance is compelling enough to warrant enrollment, give the company a call. But don’t simply contact them with woes of accidentally overspending this month. These programs are meant to be a last resort for those who have tried every possible way to make their payments on time.
Of course, a hardship program shouldn’t be your first option for managing monthly expenses. In fact, it’s far-from-ideal. We’ll talk more about the impacts in just a moment.
If you’ve exhausted all other avenues, though, including cutting your monthly expenses and implementing a bare bones budget, a credit card hardship program could be next on your list.
If you are thinking about enrolling in a hardship program, it’s important to have a come-to-Jesus moment with your finances first. And you’ll want to do it before you get behind on payments.
Sit down and look at your situation. How much are you obligated to pay each month? How much are you realistically able to afford at the moment, due to the situation at-hand? Could you do more to trim expenses to a more manageable level each month?
Ask yourself whether there is an end in sight to your hardship. If you recently lost your job, can you reasonably speculate that you will indeed find a suitable replacement at some point, bringing relief to your financial crisis?
If your struggle is due to an illness or injury, do you expect another source of income to arrive in the future? Perhaps you are applying for Social Security Disability or other needs-based programs. In that case, you can estimate a timeline for your financial hardship.
Once you have a good idea of where you stand (and how long it will continue), you can lay out your situation to the credit card company. This way, you’ll know how much you can realistically offer to pay through a hardship program.
How to Enroll
These types of programs are far from advertised, so you will have to work at it if you want more information. After all, credit card companies aren’t keen on telling customers that there are ways to not pay their full bill each month.
Chances are, the average customer service representative won’t be able to give you all the information you need, if they know about the program at all. Call customer service and ask to speak with someone in the customer hardship department or a customer assistance representative. You may be able to look on the credit card company’s website to find a directory of departments, as well.
When you call, explain that you would like more information on any available hardship programs. Don’t immediately dive into your story or tell the company that you “can’t afford to pay your bills.” That will raise some serious red flags and could prompt the company to lower your limit or make other credit-impacting changes. Instead, simply ask for information and see what the representative offers.
They will likely ask what your situation is that warrants enrollment in such a program. This is the uncomfortable part. You’ll need to give them a rundown of what’s going on in your life and why you are suddenly unable to pay your bills in full.
While you do need to make your case for hardship eligibility, be sure to still keep some of your cards close to the chest. Give the basic facts about your situation, but let the representative do most of the talking. That way, you can hear a solid, neutral overview of the program and how it would look.
Then, once you’ve gotten the specifics about the program – the duration, how it works, your new interest rate, what the approval process is – it’s time to hash out what you’ll actually pay.
At this point, the representative will likely ask you what you can reasonably afford each month. This is where your previous calculations will come into play. Let them know that you’ve crunched the numbers and believe that you can successfully manage XYZ payments.
No, the company may not accept your offer as it stands. However, crunching the numbers beforehand allows you to know how far off their proposed payment schedule may be from your bottom line.
The most important thing to remember here is to be cautious of what you say. For example, don’t propose a payment schedule that you aren’t sure you’re able to pay for the duration of the agreement.
As mentioned, also don’t zero in on a flat-out “inability” to pay on your debt. This can spook the credit card company. In turn, they could lock your card, limit your access to the account, or even drop your credit limit without notice. You don’t want to add insult to injury by negatively impacting your credit in additional ways.
Will a Hardship Program Hurt My Credit?
While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about how a credit card hardship program will impact your credit in the end.
Every credit card company approaches a hardship arrangement differently. It’s important to ask exactly how your creditor plans to report your enrollment in the program, if they report it at all. If possible, get a copy of this policy in writing before you move forward.
Some companies will report your account negatively to the bureaus, even though you’re paying each month. This can include notations such as “paying partial payment agreement” or that the account balance is “settled.” Neither of these will help your credit score. In fact, they may set up red flags for lenders in the future.
Also, many creditors require you to close the existing account in order to move forward with a hardship agreement. You won’t be able to make new charges on the card, of course, but this will also impact your credit report.
Closing an account will negatively affect your average age of accounts and total credit limit. They should typically be avoided. But in this case, you may have to grin and bear it. However, be sure to ask how the closed account is notated.
Will they report your account as “closed by consumer” to the bureaus? If so, you’re good to go. However, if they report it as “closed by creditor,” you’re looking at another negative impact that may not be worth it to you in the end.
Deciding whether or not to enroll in a hardship program is, in the end, contingent on your exact situation. Are you feeling an uncomfortable pinch due to your unforeseen circumstances, or are you truly at the end of your financial rope and in need of a life raft?
If the former, it might be worth looking into other ways to put more wiggle room into your budget. This may include a 0% balance transfer offer, a short-term personal loan from family, or even just cutting all unnecessary expenses for a while.
If you’re truly in dire straits, though, a hardship program can save you from defaulting on your debt. Be sure to seek out as much information as you can about the program beforehand, and get it in writing if possible. Figure out what you can actually afford each month before making your offer to the creditor, and then be sure to keep up with those payments.
Before you know it, you’ll have paid off your debts and (hopefully) your hardship situation will have improved.
Have you ever considered–or enrolled in–a credit card hardship program? What was your experience?
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/credit-card-hardship-program/
Celebrate Christmas and the New Year in style if you purchase No. 4 or No. 5 of the gorgeous Birchwood trio of distinguished detached homes. 50% off your Stamp Duty if you reserve with our Move Revolution team before 31st January 2018
We highly recommend a viewing of these luxurious detached houses all of which have incredible attention to detail. Each property has been carefully designed for the modern family, finished to a high specification. The gorgeous kitchens feature free standing Ringmaster stainless steel range cookers and cooker hood, integrated Bosch dishwashers and full height fridge/freezers. Utility rooms complement the kitchen finish with laminate work surfaces, stainless steel sink and free-standing Bosch washing machine and tumble dryer.
The bathrooms and en-suites feature luxurious white suites by Villeroy & Boch with Hansgrohe fittings.
The finishing touches include high quality oak finish internal doors with chrome ironmongery, fitted carpets to living room, stairs and all bedrooms. A feature fireplace and log burner are provided to the living room perfect for a winter evening. For those of you who love technology…to meet the latest needs, TV/Sat and BT/Data points are provided to all principal rooms with a provision for Sky HD box (box, dish and subscription not included). We love the fitted dressing room to master bedroom – make sure you have a look when you book your appointment to view the Birchwood collection.
The houses have gas fired underfloor heating throughout the ground floor, via radiators to first floor. They feature double glazed UPVC windows and doors with multi point locking system. In addition, a mains fed smoke alarm is fitted to the hall and landing with a battery backup, and a mains fed carbon monoxide detector is fitted adjacent to the gas boiler.
The quality of a Brookworth Home
We are delighted to be working with Brookworth Homes, a private property development company known and respected for their exquisite portfolio of properties. Based in Reigate, Surrey, Brookworth Home are house builders leading the way in creating homes that surpass expectations in terms of design, quality of construction, and vision for sustainable development. They have a reputation for specification, sustainability and sensitivity of design throughout the South East.
Brookworth Homes are carefully constructed using the highest standard of materials, appliances, technologies and finishes. They work with established architects and skilled craftsmen to create truly beautiful places to live.
A hidden gem – Kenley, Surrey
Kenley is a hidden gem, surrounded by the picturesque North Downs and Surrey Hills yet within easy reach of central London, Kenley offers relaxed semi-rural living within a thriving community. At the heart of this leafy suburb, off a private tree-lined avenue, Birchwood is an exciting new collection of just three distinguished detached homes.
Superb schooling – both private and state – and, inspiring recreational facilities are hallmarks of the area, with excellent local amenities available. Golfers will be in their element, with the Surrey National Golf Club nearby, while Couldson Manor Hotel and Golf Club also offers a leisure and fitness centre, tennis and squash courts and fine dining in addition to a challenging 18 holes.
Kenley is just 14 miles from the centre of London and just over six miles from the M25, with the M23 just a few miles further along. Trips to the South Coast will take around an hour, while travel further afield is equally accessible, with Gatwick 19 miles away and Heathrow reachable within the hour Less than a mile from Birchwood, Kenley station serves East Croydon, which has trains to a wide range of destinations, from St Pancras to Portsmouth and from Brighton to Bedford. Kenley to London Victoria takes around 33 minutes, with trains every 10-15 minutes, however, just over 2 miles away, from Purley station, there are direct trains to London Bridge and Victoria that take less than half an hour.
We look forward to showing you the Birchwood collection call Paul Mulligan on 020 8819 3272 to book an appointment. If you are thinking of selling or letting your home in the Croydon area please chat with Paul who will arrange a free valuation at a time which is convenient to you.
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/12/lets-celebrate-50-off-stamp-dutyon.html
401(k) contribution limits can change every year. We’ve got the latest limits released by the IRS for 2018, as well as prior years.
401(k) plans are the primary retirement savings vehicle for the middle class. This is particularly true as more employers automatically enroll new employees in the plans. And for those who have the ability to maximize their contribution each year, the new calendar year offers an additional opportunity.
In 2016 and 2017, the maximum contribution limits were the same. For retirement accounts–which include 401(k) accounts, 403(b) accounts, most 457 plans, and Thrift Savings Plans–these stayed at $18,000. In case you were holding out for an increase, I have good news: for 2018, these contribution limits will go up to $18,500.
Of course, savers and investors aged 50 or older can take advantage of an additional catch-up contribution. This effectively increases the limit for those approaching traditional retirement age. In 2018, these taxpayers can contribute an additional $6,000 above the regular maximum of $18,500. As a result, if you are 50 or older, you can contribute a maximum of $24,500 into these tax-advantaged accounts in 2018.
Resource: Maxed out your 401(k) or looking for better investment options? Check out an IRA at WealthFront.
Total Contribution Limits and Examples
The total contribution limit, including employer contributions, has also changed. It is now at $55,000, up from last year’s $54,000.
The benefits of a 401(k) plan are, by design, directed primarily at people who most need an incentive to save for retirement. This may help contain the tax benefits within the middle class. The government does this by applying a maximum level of compensation to which matching benefits apply.
In 2017, only the first $270,000 in an employee’s compensation over the course of 2017 may be applied to the company’s matching formula. That goes up to $275,000 in 2018. That’s a sufficiently high maximum. It should cover more than just the middle class.
To illustrate,say a company matches an employee’s contributions at a rate of 50% up to a limit of 5% of the salary. An employee with a $100,000 salary contributes $15,000 to her 401(k). She will receive, at most, a $5,000 matching contribution (5% of the full $100,000 salary).
An employee at the same company earns $400,000 in compensation. She defers $15,000, so the matching contribution will be $13,750 (5% of the $275,000 maximum compensation, not $20,000).
The IRS has additional rules that require a company to balance benefits between employees earning $120,000 or more and all other employees.
Finding Account Fees
Beginning in 2013, new regulations required 401(k) plan administers to explicitly state in quarterly statements how much investors are paying in fees. Previously, this information was not easy to discover. You could (and should) look at the various prospectuses in search of management expenses fees or expense ratios, expressed as a percentage of assets. But there were at least two obstacles:
Now finding those fees is easier. The regulations that started in 2013 are still in place today.
Maximizing Your Contributions
To maximize your 401(k) contribution in 2018, spread the $18,500 across the number of paychecks you plan to receive throughout the year. That’s a contribution of about $1,541 each month for those age 49 or younger. The calculation for those over 50 who want to max the contribution is about $2,041 per month.
If your employer records your contributions as a percentage of your paycheck, remember to change them to account for raises and bonuses. If you are expecting your company to match your contributions at some level, and you reach your 401(k) contribution limit before your last paycheck, you may miss out on free money.
The following table illustrates the change in 401(k) contribution limits over the past several years.
Take Control of Your 401k
Track and Analyze your Investments for Free: The easiest way to track and analyze all your investments, regardless of where they are located, is with Personal Capital’s free financial dashboard. By far the best financial tool we’ve ever used, Personal Capital enables you to connect all of your 401(k), 403(b), IRAs, and other investment accounts in one place. Once connected, you can see the performance of all of your investments and evaluate your asset allocation.
You can also see the fees you are paying through Personal Capital’s Retirement Fee Analyzer. I was stunned to learn that the fees in just my 401(k) could cost me over $200,000, requiring me to put off retirement for three years! They also offer a free Retirement Planner. This robust tool will help you plan for retirement and show you if you are on track to retire on your terms.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/401k-contribution-limits/
A wonderful part of our job is seeing gorgeous homes…we recently met Dominique Ashbee Latowsky the owner of ASH & SKY Interiors who has the most incredible style (we have had so many comments about her gorgeous property)
With so many of you looking to find out more about the inspiration for Dominque’s gorgeous home… we took the opportunity to find out more about her inspiration for her design work… and importantly how to recreate her style in your home!
Dominque it is so lovely to meet you – tell us about how you came to be an Interior Designer?
While I was growing up I watched so many black and white Hollywood films, it really influenced my sense of style and passion for Interiors and Fashion. I love the elegance and sophistication of each Era & film that was portrayed. This guided my way into going to University for Fashion Design in California, where I grew up. While at University in California I was very much influenced by the 20’s/30’s/40’s/50’s and all my clothes were vintage, hair style and all. Always with a unique twist of course.
I had many jobs working on TV show sets in the wardrobe and props departments. Once I finished with my degree I travelled the world, which allowed me to experience different textiles, interiors, fashion and really a sense of diverse culture. I then moved to the Middle East where I taught Secondary and University level Art at the American International School. This allowed my love of Art History to be enhanced even more, which also influenced my love of Interiors and Fashion. My final move was here in the UK, and I knew after all my travels and knowledge I had experienced, my love of Interiors was now my main devotion and priority, so I went back to school and got another Degree in Interior Design….leading the way to eventually starting ASH & SKY.
How would you describe your style?
With all my travels, I’d say this has definitely influenced my eclectic sense of design and style. I love vintage furniture and accessories (ex: my grandmothers cut crystal decanters, Antique hand carved Omani house front door I have used as a coffee table and now a stunning wall hanging, vintage jewellery which I have a soft spot for, & Industrial and Nordic calm ) I like to mix my styles with modern elements.
Can you share with us a one of you top tips!
It is always best to invest in neutral large pieces that can adapt over the years with your accessories, mood, and season. Style is always changing. It is easier to change a vase, or a pillow than a large sofa. In the winter I bring out fur cushions, throws, white pompoms hanging from my ceiling. In the summer I will introduce more of a colour palette – say a soft and hot pink with greys for example. I love candles and this can add a pop of colour too. I will try to add a reflective element into my schemes to add that sight sense of glamour. Even if you have a Bohemian style, add a brushed silver footstool or gold/bronze accents.
Remember to allow your style to be adaptable threw out the year. Choose your favourite colour or the colour that is in vogue at the moment and accessorise.
As you know we had amazing comment about your style. Can you share with us your design tips for a few of your rooms!
I have 2 children and my son asked me to design a room for him that allowed him to transition into his teens, so again my love of vintage steered me into the Industrial feel (with a extra large star, which reminded me of an old shop sign, this is from MADE.com) It is a room he can add to over time. The paint colour was Myland’s Leadenhall. There are so many shades of grey and this one was perfect for this particular room and light. The vintage locker style cabinet was influenced by American school lockers I grew up with so I had to put these in his room. Very teenage. They are from a company called KARE. Purchased through Taylor Jane, Reigate. The vintage school desk was purchased on Ebay. I go to lots of vintage fairs, Ardingley, Kempton and car boot sales. I am always sourcing new items to put into my Interiors for myself or clients. I knew I wanted a vintage school desk but couldn’t find one that wasn’t outrageously expensive or the wrong size, then started looking at eBay. The desk was in a state so we sanded in down, restained it and sprayed the legs with automobile paint. It turned out stunning. The iconic stool is from the designer Tolix.
My daughter’s room evolved when she was very young. I wanted a room that would take her into early teens and was adaptable by adding layers and accessories. I got the vintage mirrors one at a time at car-boot sales, or passing vintage shops while out sourcing other pieces of furniture for clients. I will always scan and find items wherever I go. Painting the furniture a bold dark colour that compliments the theme is a statement. It can always be repainted years later if you change your style, to be ever adapting. I sourced the fabric from America, designers Anna Maria Horner and Michael Miller. I lined the curtains and wardrobe panels with contrasting fabric the complimented the scheme.
We are very lucky to have a dressing room area so we made a feature of the wall and painted in Charleston Grey, Farrow and Ball. The wallpaper that was used was Vivian Westwood’s close up Vintage Lace. The french style bed was from Graham and Green and the cushions were created by ASH & SKY as were most in the house. The beautiful woven throw was from my mother. I love that has has history but still fits into any room as if just bought recently. Timeless. The Venetian mirror was bought through a company similar to, Masion du Monde. The black side table is from Heals, the lights are vintage from the 1920’s. Marrying vintage, old and new together. For accessories there is vintage lace placed on the table for texture, a Middle Eastern jewellery with multiple little draws, this brings that reflective element into the room, a vintage black Wedgwood vase and a modern black porcelain whale by Abigail Ahern for a twist. (whom I love her approach to colour as a designer)
Open Plan Kitchen
The sofa (from Heals) with the Nordic-Bohemian woven textural cushions are my favourite right now and are very much influencing my ever changing interiors.The walls are painted with Mylands paint, Chambers Gate (its a very tough paint that is extremely hardwearing and can be painted on a variety of surfaces.) The large Indian mirror was bought at a Antique flea market. The hanging soft pink glass and silver lantern was from my travels in the Middle East and the cushions are sourced from may different companies, example: Bloomingville, La Redoute, a wonderful independent shop Freyr & Fell and Voyage Maison sequinned cushion for that bit of glamour.
Many of us are so busy… and need someone like you in our life, how can we contact you to design and style our homes or a room!
I would love to hear from your readers – I offer and Interior Design service, and made to order bespoke cushions, headboards & upholstery. Please contact me via
Facebook : ASHandSKYinteriors,
and Website. www.ASHANDSKY.co.uk
If you have fallen in love with the gorgeous house, please contact our Reigate & Redhill Team on 01737 888220 to book a viewing.
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/12/style-guide-with-ash-sky.html
Perhaps it’s because we love houses, perhaps it’s because we love Christmas..
All the team are unanimous that we love Gingerbread Houses. We know you loved our Pinterest board last year – so we have made it even bigger and better! – Gingerbread Houses 2017!
New ‘styles’ that we have added include gorgeous Gingerbread House inspired cakes
Clever ways to store all your goodies ready to go onto your Gingerbread House … perfect if you have little one’s looking to help!
We know you can’t beat a traditional style Gingerbread house and love one packed with sweets!
We can’t take the credit for any of the photography! All images from Pinterest.
If you’re thinking of moving, the team would love to help. Just give them a call on 0330 223 1000, or fill in the valuation form.
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/12/feeling-love-for-gingerbread-houses.html
We’ve been chatting about those “hard to buy for” men in our lives and in the interest of not buying any more socks(!), here are some ideas for inspiration…
(1) Crumbs Brewing
We love this local brewery. With the combination of local bakery cast offs and beer – what is not to like? We’ve sampled their Amber Lager and having successfully crowd funded to create two further blends, we’re excited about what’s next for Crumbs! For now though, a 3 back of Amber for £10 is a great stocking filler price for the man in your life. To see where you can buy locally, see their website, and you can also buy direct with free delivery if you’re local to Reigate.
Cantina is a secret supper club in Brighton and comes highly recommended by our Marketing Director, Nici Jordan. A fantastic gift for a foodie or party person! Book in to one of the January secret supper clubs meetings! Cantina has been reviewed local and all featured in Grazia, BBC Olive and Stylist magazine as one of the best supper clubs in the UK. She has a cosy dining space, formerly known as her sitting room and has space for up to 18 guests, diners are seated on a long sharing table…it’s BYO Booze and chatter!
(3) Cullenders Club
Cullenders Deli are adding another offering to their deli kitchen with the launch of The Cullenders Club. A gift subscription available via their website which enables the customer to sign up to a monthly, bi monthly or just a one off gift box full of carefully selected deli treats or a Gin box with craft gins and goodies to match. We think the options sound fantastic; you can choose from a gin or deli box – I mean, what is not to love about that! They’re launching the gin box with some amazing Gutsy Monkey gin as featured in our recent gift guide for girls, but of course being a drink, it’s UNISEX and it also comes with rosemary tonic and a pack of gorgeous olives from Olives et align. The deli box comes with wine, (launching with a lovely sounding Italian white), a couple of bottles of beer from brilliant Crumbs Brewery and a pack of the Brindisa cocktail snack mix, some sumptous cheeses straight from the Cullenders cheese counter. As if that wasn’t enough to satisfy even the sternest lover of all things Cullenders, there is a pack of Kernow Chocolates from Cornwall. What a great way to pass a cosy winter’s evening! Watch this space for competition news that if you love Cullenders, you’re going to want to be a part of! Follow the Move Rvolution Facebook page for more details….
(4) Brands Hatch Driving Experience
What to buy the petrol head in your life? How about the chance to get behind the wheel of an F4? Offering 185 bhp and a paddle gear box, it’s only available at Brands Hatch so a bit of an exclusive too! Following tuition in the BMW M4, they can their racing driver dreams around the track. They get to take away a print-out showing their progress and lap times to keep forever, along with a certificate. You can watch a video of the car here, and buy the voucher here.
(5) Chocolate – Monty Bojangles
Yes we know we talked about these in the girls guide but heck, we don’t want the boys to be left out! A fab stocking filler, the only decision to make is which flavour? You can’t go wrong with the Winter Wanderland truffle assortment with 6 flavours: Choccy Scoffy, Milky Mischief, Scrumple Nutty, Orange Angelical, Pistachio Marooned and Popcorn Carousel. YUM! Available online or from their Reigate truffle bar.
(6) Hunter Gather Cook
For a fantastic experience, what about a Gift Voucher to go foraging for food with Hunter Gather Cook near Lewes? A seasonal day experience begins with a steaming cuppa and an introduction to HUNTERGATHERCOOK, the off grid treehouse HQ and a few basics about foraging. Followed by butchery field camp, a foraging walk, returning to make lunch with what you find, and ending with wild cocktails, it’s perfect for someone who loves cooking and the outdoors, but who might already own enough *things*. You can buy online here.
(7) Cabin Pressure Gin – Small Batch Cabin Distilled Gin
Cabin Pressure Spirits are a husband and wife team based in Horsham, West Sussex. Thinking there must be a way to produce a more flavoursome gin, David set about experimenting in the garden shed. A year later, it turned out he was right! His experimenting sounds fascinating, sure to interest anyone mildly interested in science, but super into their gin! Just the words “nano-still” had us hooked! Find out where to buy here.
(8) Cookery course
A cooking course with Rosemary Shrager is like the foraging course above, a perfect gift for a foodie who already has all the kit! The School is housed within The Corn Exchange, a beautiful three-storey regency building in Royal Tunbridge Wells. We love the sound of the course called Absolutely Foolproof British Dishes which is over a weekend so good for a larger budget, or for an essential part of cooking, how about Knife Skills which is run over half a day. We think foodies would love any of the courses and you can check them out here.
We hope you love our present ideas! We love supporting local independent businesses throughout Surrey, Sussex and Kent. If you are thinking of moving or letting your home we would love to chat with you please call 0330 223 1000.
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-ultimate-christmas-wish-listfor-boys.html
No reason to give the same boring gifts this year. Our holiday gift guide offers creative and inexpensive gift ideas that your friends and family will love.
Christmas is right around the corner. Do you have all of your gift shopping done yet?
If you’re anything like me, the answer is no. This isn’t because I’m a procrastinator, though. It’s because I would prefer to give a gift that’s unique and has meaning instead of some stereotypical consumer item that will probably wind up in the Goodwill pile at some point.
That’s why I’ve put together this list of ideas, so that you can change the way you give gifts this holiday season. Some will save you money, and some will be incredibly useful. Others will give you (and your recipient) a warm fuzzy feeling inside, which rivals that of any mug of hot cocoa.
Get out your gift-giving lists, and let’s get started!
There are some wonderful opportunities to do good while also giving to your friends and loved ones. Regardless of your budget, you can make charitable causes part of your family’s holiday season.
You can donate to one of your favorite causes, or one which aligns with the interests of the recipient. No matter which you choose, there are simple ways to make a doubly-impactful gift this holiday season.
Buy holiday cards that support your charity of choice
If you’re going to buy cards this year anyway, why not see if your favorite charity has anything to offer? Not only do you show your support, but you may find interesting, unique cards that stand out.
Buy gifts that provide a percentage to charity
Donate to charity as a gift
Not sure what charity would be most fitting? JustGive.org sells gift certificates recipients can redeem for any of 1,000,000 charities and nonprofit organizations.
Another unique holiday gift option if you want to avoid waste is to buy clutter-free gifts. These can be in the form of experiences or consumables. I usually opt to do both. In fact, in my family, we’ve opted to buy “experiences, not things” for our primary gifts to one another. Then we buy useful (consumable) items for stocking stuffers.
While experiences are great gifts that bring memories for years, consumables give you something to open and enjoy Christmas morning.
Eat, Drink, Be Merry
Unclutterer.com has some nice suggestions for theme-based consumable gift collections, such as bulbs and seeds for a gardener, spice collections for someone who enjoys cooking, and the always-popular bath sundries collection for anyone who enjoys self-pampering. There’s even a very utilitarian garage-themed collection idea with motor oil, work gloves, etc.
My tastes run a bit more colorful. I believe the holidays provide a great chance to give premium consumables, little luxuries life might not otherwise afford us.
My favorite food and drink gifts include:
You may be seeking truffles from France or salumis from Italy. Either way, finding a great source is key. If you can’t find these imported items at a local market, you can find them at a markup at places like Dean & Deluca. You can also try your luck finding better deals and culinary rarities at sites like eFood Depot, Gustiamo (Italian), La Tienda (Spanish), and French Feast.
If food isn’t your ideal gift (or you’re unsure whether the recipient has dietary concerns), you can always opt to pamper them.
Make Something With Love
Homemade gifts can be so much more than the sum of their parts, which makes them a great frugal gift option. They are redolent of effort, of “I thought of you all year and worked on this for you.” This is a nice contrast to “I realized I needed a gift for you ten minutes ago and picked this up as I was driving here.”
MoneySavingMom has an extensive collection of frugal gift ideas. Some of my favorite homemade gifts from her list include:
I’ve been blessed with some very creative friends, so in the past I’ve received amazing scarves, jewelry, gorgeous embroidered pillowcases, and even original artwork. This year, one of my good friends knitted me some very chic, pure-white cashmere gloves.
My own talents are more culinary than crafty. So this year, I’m giving out tins of several varieties of homemade cookies and a few premade freezer meals, like lasagna, for those in my life who don’t enjoy cooking as much as I do. If you’re not inclined to create gifts yourself, you can buy amazing and unique handmade gifts of all sorts at Etsy.com.
From the Heart
This ties in a bit with the last section. But the ultimate “handmade” gift may not be a thing at all but, instead, a service. I love the concept of lending your personal services to someone else, especially in this age of so little free time.
If you’re good at sewing, what about giving certificates for mending and tailoring clothing? Or giving proofreading or resume help to someone still in school? Know someone who travels a lot? A few certificates for rides to and from the airport could be just the thing. Or create a scrapbook or photo album for someone with lots of memories and no time to compile them. Babysitting, yard cleanup, etc. are all gifts that cost little except your time.
What are the best gifts you’ve ever received (or given) that weren’t “typical” or even store-bought? Can you think of any other unique holiday gift ideas? Share them below!
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/holiday-gift-guide/
On Free Shipping Day (December 15) 131 retailers will ship your purchases to you for free. Here are all the details you need to know.
According to the latest statistics, over 55 percent of shoppers are now buying their Christmas gifts online. This isn’t surprising to me personally. With Amazon’s free Prime shipping, I do most of my shopping from my computer, too.
However, if you want to buy from a retail store other than Amazon, the cost of shipping can be a deterrent. This is especially true if you have waited this long to finish your gift-buying. You may need to upgrade your shipping speed to ensure delivery by Christmas Day.
This is where Free Shipping Day comes into play.
What Is Free Shipping Day?
Held on December 15 this year, Free Shipping Day is a one-day, promotional shopping event where hundreds of retailers come together to help facilitate the remainder of your holiday shopping. On this day, not only do retailers agree to offer free shipping, but they also guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve.
Free Shipping Day was originally started in 2008 in an effort to extend the holiday e-shopping season for consumers. Stats showed that Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving/Black Friday) was the peak of online shopping for the holidays, with a steep drop immediately following.
The reason for that drop? Consumers didn’t want to pay for expedited shipping and assumed that without it, their purchases wouldn’t arrive in time to be placed under the tree.
Enter Free Shipping Day.
When retailers originally started the event, most required a minimum purchase to qualify for the guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery and free shipping. Since then, however, the consumers have spoken. Retailers no longer require minimum order amounts for buyers who make Free Shipping Day purchases.
The response to Free Shipping Day has exploded as a result. In fact, in recent years, sales from the promotional day have exceeded $1B. Talk about a turnaround for last-minute online gift sales!
Who Is Participating This Year?
On December 15, you’ll be able to shop at over 130 online retailers. You can get not only free shipping and guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery, but also additional savings offers from many of them.
The actual offers and savings for each store will be revealed beginning at 12:01 am on the event day. Simply visit FreeShippingDay.com to view them and begin your shopping experience.
If you want to take a look at the (growing) directory of this year’s participating stores, you can visit the site now. That way, you can make your shopping list and plan what else you need to buy. Then, on the big day, simply visit the homepage to see what additional savings you’ll snag and take advantage of your complimentary shipping offer.
Current retailers that are participating for 2017 include Target, Bass Pro Shops, Under Armour, Lands End, Stride Rite, Fat Brain Toys, Talbots, the Vitamin Shoppe, and more. You can also view stores by categories, such as Electronics, Department Stores, Bookstores, Children’s retailers, and the like.
How Much Will You Save?
The amount you’ll save varies from store to store and depends on what you order.
The last time I placed an online order (for two children’s shirts), I paid $7 for standard Ground shipping. Had I expedited the order–which some retailers would typically require to receive holiday delivery in nine days or less–I would have paid as much as $35. Imagine if I had ordered a piece of furniture, shoes, or another bulky or heavy item!
Buying on Free Shipping Day not only saves you a trip out to the mall in the holiday shopping chaos but also potentially saves you hundreds of dollars in shipping fees in order to receive your order in time. Plus, that doesn’t even include the additional savings and coupons that many of the retailers will unveil at 12:01 am on the 15th.
If you’re still a few gifts short of being Christmas-morning ready, Free Shipping Day may be your saving grace. Not only will you snag some great discounts, but you’ll have your items delivered by Christmas Eve, guaranteed, and for free. That’s a great deal, and worth the visit to FreeShippingDay.com for me.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/131-retailers-will-ship-for-free-this-year/
It’s Christmas time and we have an early Christmas present for you! Have you looked at Aquavista, a small exclusive development of exceptional new homes and apartments? Have a look at these gorgeous properties and see if one of them catches your eye.
If you reserve one prior to 4th January 2018, and exchange within 28 days you will receive 25% off your stamp duty! (that is a lovely present – so you can treat yourself to something gorgeous for your new stunning home!)
Aquavista consists of just nine homes which have been designed for this very special location. There is a choice of apartment or three-storey living including a stunning penthouse, two family 4-bedroom houses and 6 beautiful apartments all finished with designer kitchens and luxury bathrooms. Each apartment has a spacious, open plan living area featuring an expanse of floor to ceiling windows and doors opening onto a stunning sea facing terrace/balcony offering glorious sea views to capture the vista year round.
The penthouse benefits from a large, full width terrace as well as a balcony to each bedroom. Outside, electronic security gates open onto secure garaged parking and space for visitor parking. In addition, there is a gated pedestrian entrance, video entry system, secure cycle store and communal landscaped gardens for the enjoyment of all owners.
Aquavista are intelligently designed homes, with sleek interiors, superb specifications and large open plan living spaces to maximize the breathtaking panoramic views, ideal for those seeking a second home or downsizing, but also perfect for young discerning professionals who seek a high quality living environment. Each property has been built to an exceptionally standard with a real attention to detail – windows and doors have been designed to allow as much light into the apartments as possible, but are also acoustic glass meaning the noise disturbance from outside is very minimal.
What we love about Rottingdean…
AquaVista is located in the gorgeous Sussex Village of Rottingdean. We thought we would share what we love about this gorgeous location.
The pubs in Rottingdean are very special, the White Horse on the seafront has a fantastic outside area overlooking the sea which is perfect for enjoying a drink in the evening sun. The Black Horse is a much older pub up the high street and serves very good food in traditional pub surroundings and the Queen Victoria is another old traditional pub that offers a lot of live music, most famously Jazz evenings.
The newly opened Costa is at the centre of the village, with outside seating in located in a special old building in the high street – perfect for either an iced latte on a day filled with sunshine or a flat white in readiness for a bracing Autumn walk along the sea front. Rottingdean also has a lovely selection of small individual independent shops including the traditional butchers and Green Grocers.
This location is really very special with beautiful walks along the beach. If you are sporty, there is a Multi Use-Games-Area which is a sports court offering 5-a-side football, basketball, and cricket stumps nearby.
Who are THS Homes?
AquaVista has been built by THS Homes. Based in Surrey and established in 2004, award-winning THS Homes are a family run boutique development company working on projects throughout London and the South East.
As a highly skilled team they pride themselves on their attention to detail. They have a hands on approach with every development they undertake creating exciting and very individual high specification homes.
The THS Homes team have worked closely with well-respected architects, planning consultants and structural engineers throughout the planning, design and build process to create AquaVista. Employing a team of skilled craftsmen they create beautiful homes, both inside and out, finished to a high level in luxury detail.
Excited to find out more!
We are excited to be the exclusive agent for the beautiful AquaVista properties. Our local Brighton team would love to discuss the properties with you in greater detail – they’d be only too pleased to help.
If this has tempted you, and you would like to book a viewing – call Paul and Joey on 01273 921500
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/12/an-early-christmas-present-25-off-stamp.html