As many of you know, we support local schools with fundraising, and we love this work as we get to know some incredible volunteers who work tirelessly to raise money for their children’s schools. We caught up with Seonaid Bentley recently as she has been one of the brilliant people we’ve worked with. She’s been involved with Lingfield Primary School PTA since her children started school in 2012, and she found herself as chairperson for the last couple of years, she is stepping down to welcome a new team and we wanted to celebrate her achievements and all those of the LPSA.
What events have you run?
We have lots of sub groups within the LPSA who run events throughout the year. These include: quiz nights, fashion shows, story telling afternoons, ice lolly Fridays, coin trails, bake sales as well as Festive Fridays and the Summer Fête which I coordinate. Festive Fridays are when we sell crafts, cakes and other lovely Christmas things which parents from the school have made.
Which one did you love the most!
My favourite event though is the summer fair. It is the biggest event of the year and every class runs a stall, the teachers and staff come along and help and (hopefully!) the sun shines. There’s always a really lovely atmosphere. This year as well as all the traditional stalls we had a dog agility display by Clever Paws, pottery painting with Kate Creative, dancing shows by Evolution Dance and the ever popular reptiles and mammals on display from Animazing. The local community also help by generously donating raffle and silent auction prizes and of course Move Revolution sponsor our fair and provide fantastic marketing materials and this year Paul and Tom also hosted the bar at the fair and learnt how to mix their first Pimms, which were very yummy!
What Competitions have you run?
Design a cake competition, Design an Easter egg, coin trail, fancy dress, Great British Bake Offs
What was your favourite and why?
I really enjoyed our coin trail comp. The children had to work together and collect coins as a whole class, they then got to spend part of an afternoon outdoors on the playground laying their coins down to see which class had the longest line.
It was great seeing the children all work together and they really seemed to enjoy getting some extra outdoors time. The school came together as a whole which was lovely: The LPSA set the competition, the pupils collected and laid down their coins, the teachers organised the afternoon itself and one of our office staff will count the coins. It was a real joint effort. The very lucky class 2b, who had the longest trail, won ice lollies for the whole class.
What has made you laugh the most… the Fun in funraising!
Quiz night is always a really fun night! The parents get to relax and have fun, we provide nibbles, there’s a bar and a raffle. We have a fantastic compère who hosts the night, Richard Leader, who is a Meridian FM DJ and also a parent at school. He really sets the scene and it makes for a very entertaining evening. Building towers from spaghetti and marshmallows and a some Mums forming a human pyramid were highlights this year!!!
How much money have you raised – what has it been spent on at the school?
Last year we raised over £15,000.This money was used to purchase many things for the school, items which they otherwise would be unable to get due to the huge budget cuts schools are facing. The LPSA aims to raise funds for “added extras” which really enhance the children’s time at school. We have purchased: Interactive whiteboards, tablets, picnic tables, eco planter tables, resources for reception year group, storage play equipment, play bark, sand, outdoor gym equipment as well as contributions to school trips, leavers presents and commemorative coins for ever child.
This year, the money we raise is being used to improve many outdoor learning areas including a fantastic outdoor, forest school class room.
What has been great about working with the Move Revolution team?
We love working with the Move Revolution team. They are so positive and enthusiastic and have fab fundraising ideas. It is really great to sit down with them at the beginning of the year and plan events and competitions. The marketing materials they design for us are fantastic. The competitions they sponsor, such as this years design an easter egg competition are great. They allow the children to enter something just for fun and we always get a fantastic number of entries. This year Move Revolution awarded 3 pupils a lovely arts and crafts set for their brilliant efforts. Move Revolution have also set up an initiative whereby if any parent or carer of a Lingfield Primary School pupil sells their house with Move Revolution then they will donate £250 to the school. This will really help to boost our fundraising targets. Thank you Move Revolution, we really appreciate everything you do for our school!
What are you going to do next?
I got involved in The LPSA when my children started at the school in 2012. In the beginning I got involved helping at events and became a class rep. After a couple of years, I found myself in the vice-chair role along with a friend and then when the Chair person left our school I took on the role. I have been Chair of The LPSA for the last two years. It’s been really lovely to be part of a team who have raised so much money for all our children to benefit from and I’m really proud of what we have achieved. However, I have some projects of my own going on and it is therefore time to hand over the reins to a new team of parents.
I will be focusing on finishing a huge renovation project that we have had going on at home for the last 6 months and then I hope to start a cake business supplying celebration cakes and cupcakes and maybe even teaching the odd class. Exciting times, watch this space for Mrs B’s Bakes…!
We’ve tasted and seen your cakes Seonaid, and we know they are utterly delicious so your business will be a great success! Good luck! (if you would like to chat with her about making you a cake email firstname.lastname@example.org
We really love giving back to our local communities, and in order to do more of this, we’d love you to give us a call if you’re thinking of selling or letting your home. We’re on 0330 223 1000.
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/10/a-chat-with-seonaid-bentley-all-things.html
We track the best 12 month CD rates of 2017. You’ll find information on fees, penalties, and minimum deposits for these certificates of deposit, too.
If you compare today’s best 12 month CD rates with historical rates, they may not be impressive. With the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates low for the near future, deposit accounts will not command the interest rates that were common before the recession.
Therefore, it may not make sense to lock in a rate for a long period of time. Once you agree to a term like five years, you’ll be stuck with it. Even if rates rise in the meantime.
This is a good approach in an environment where rates are high and possibly falling, but not a great idea when rates are low and possibly increasing. Nevertheless, you can often find better rates for CDs than for savings and money market accounts. So if you know you won’t need your savings for three months, six months, or a year, you might be able to achieve slightly higher interest payments from the bank. One drawback is there is often a penalty for accessing your cash before your term is up.
For the uninitiated, a certificate of deposit (CD) is considered a “time deposit.” CDs are generally considered cash or savings when it comes to asset allocation, but the “time” requirement presents a maturity date like a bond. This probably doesn’t matter for most individual savers and investors. But it does carry an important distinction for businesses whose investments are reported to regulatory authorities.
Like savings accounts, CD interest rates are compared using APY, annual percentage yield.
Best 12 Month CD Rates
Synchrony Bank just made a few shock waves by offering a 15 month CD at a 1.65% APY. Yes, that’s three months more than the standard 12 month CD, but the 1.65% APY is as good a rate as you’ll find anywhere. Especially for any CD under 24 months. They require a $2,000 minimum deposit to open the 15 month CD and Synchrony even increased their savings rate to a robust 1.30% (just a week ago).
Synchrony Bank also has a 12 month CD with a term of 1.50% APY. As you can see from our list below, that’s still the best of the best so you can’t go wrong with either CD term.
Discover Bank offers a hassle-free banking experience. I am a current, happy customer. Discover offers a rate of 1.35% APY for their 12-month CD. Discover Bank also offers up a cash back checking account and high yield online savings account.
Ally Bank offers two unique types of CDs in addition to a traditional CD. The Ally Bank Raise Your Rate CD has a feature that mitigates the risk of CD rates increasing while you’re locked in. You’ll have one opportunity during the term of the CD to lock in the market interest rate. The shortest term offered is two years, though, not 12 months. The rate for this 2-year product is 1.50% APY as of June 21, 2017.
Ally Bank also offers a No-Penalty CD, where you can withdraw your money at any time without a penalty. This term is slightly less than a year at 11 months, and the current rate is 1.50% APY for balances of greater than $25,000. For balances between $5,000 and $25,000 the rate is 1.25% APY and for balances less than $5,000, the rate is 1.00% APY.
The standard 12 month high yield CD nets an APY of 1.35%. There is no minimum balance required
GS Bank – Goldman Sachs recently threw their hat into the consumer deposits ring and are offering a 12 month CD at a great 1.50% APY. GS Bank also has an online savings account which offers an APY of 1.20%. There is a $500 minimum to open a CD and no minimum deposit to open a savings account.
GS Bank was recently named the best Stand-Alone Account for Savings by MONEY magazine. It’s rates are always in the top 1% of banks. However they do not offer any deposit products beyond savings and CD’s.
Capital One 360, the brand that emerged from Capital One’s acquisition of ING DIRECT, remains a mainstay of online banking and continues to set the standard for all other online banks. Like ING before it, Capital One 360 offers state-of-the-art banking products and delivers excellent customer service. The interest rate for Capital One 360’s 12-month CD is 0.90% APY
American Express is a relative newcomer to online banking, but their products are compelling to offer here. I like my account with American Express. This bank offers a wide range of terms for CDs from six months to 60 months, with many intermediate terms. The interest rate American Express offers on their 12 month CD is 0.55% APY.
Sallie Mae Bank is also new to offering banking products, having been established in 2005. My account with Sallie Mae was the easiest to open. My only criticism is the lack of integration with Quicken and online tracking tools. Sallie Mae offers a strong 1.50% APY on the 12 month certificate of deposit.
Sallie Mae also offers a variety of other deposit options, including a Upromise Goal Saver account which allows you to save for college! (For yourself or one of your children).
One Year CD Rates vs. Online Savings Accounts
You may notice that a lot of CD rates above are better than the rates that a high yield online savings account can provide. So why not simply take your money and invest in a 12 month CD? Well there are two main reasons that banks can provide you a slightly higher APY.
If time deposits aren’t right for you and you’d like the ability to withdraw your money as needed, consider a high yield savings account from one of the best online banks. If you do like the idea of saving with CDs, consider creating a CD ladder to make the most of the highest CD rates.
Do you have a favorite bank, offering a compelling CD product, you’d like to see added to this list? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/12-month-cd-rates/
It has to be said we have a couple of creative geniuses in our midst in the form of our two photographers, Ush and Jack. We wanted to know more about that makes them tick so this is the first of a two part creative journey, beginning with the musings of Ush:
How long have you been a photographer?
4 years in Property photography, 5 years freelance event photography, 5 years event production and photography
How long have you been at Move Revolution? How many photographs have you taken?
A year and 10 months. My shutter count lies at around 40,000 for that duration.
What photographer/s do you admire most and why?
Ansel Adams for changing the way landscapes were photographed on a technical level. Also for creating his own methods for developing and printing to accommodate for the massive scale of his prints. It was groundbreaking at the time and his prints are still incredible in person. If you ever get the chance to visit an exhibition of his prints which tour the world. Don’t hesitate.
At the other end of the spectrum, Ryan Brenizer for embracing new technology and pioneering some methods for compositing that go relatively unnoticed to the casual viewer other than to create a visually appealing effect. One which is out of the realms of capability for the equipment used.
Don McCullin. Again, out of my realm and I think that’s what I’ve enjoyed most about his work. It’s so beyond comprehension. Don was an utterly fearless documentary photographer from London. He was born in the midst of World War II and quite literally lived with war his whole life. Be it the conflicts close to home in Northern Ireland, to far afield in Vietnam. One story he’ll always have under his belt is that his Nikon stopped a bullet which was sent his way. His work has been some of the most moving photography you could ever lay your eyes on. One of the first, along with Eddie Adams, to really go out of his way to communicate what war-time suffering is like. So much so that he was banned from shipping out to the Falklands conflict for fear of his photography scaring the Brits at home. Government level censorship at it’s best.
What is your favourite all time photograph, that you have taken & why
I change my mind far too much to nail this down to one photograph. I often like to revisit old photos to re-edit them. One image I’m I’ve really loved recently was this photo from Scotland when I visited with my Girlfriend and some friends. I love that the trees fill the frame and continue off the top, while my friends stand at the bottom of the frame, tiny in comparison. If I ever get a long tall wall. I’d love to get this printed out.
Here are some other more recent shots from a trip to Canada.
What is your favourite photograph (that you didn’t take!)
Again I could easily change my mind, especially with Ansel’s work. It’s easy to get caught up with some of the amazing images that are taken every day around the world and shared on social media. Standing back to appreciate the effort involved in a capture is worth a moment if your time. In this case. Ansel Adams has an image called Winter Sunrise, taken in Sierra Nevada. At first it’s a simple landscape shot, but it’s so striking with the intensely detailed snow caps on the mountains to the still-in-morning-shadow foreground peaks cutting straight through them. With the cloud cover, dark sky and grazing cattle on the bottom of the frame there is multiple horizontal layers of this image. Look at the way there’s a stream of light hitting the area where that cow is grazing! Ansel had a habit of getting up in the middle of the night to reach these places and staying there all morning or evening to wait for the right shot. If he didn’t get it one day, he’d check the weather and return the next. Now imagine this image printed by hand in a dark room on paper 4 metres wide. The monumental effort at the time is verging on overwhelming to somebody such as myself who’s more akin to shooting hundreds of images a day and sitting infront of a computer to edit them for an afternoon.
It’s this kind of image that drives me out to shoot for myself, and take the time. Photography can be therapeutic and relaxing if you know how to slow your pace down.
What is a normal ‘day’ like being a photographer at Move Revolution?
Every day and every house will throw a new challenge at you. It’s always nice to see photos taken by a previous agent and even other professional photographers and then visiting a property knowing you have to produce better work. Getting feedback from customers and on social media is addictive and motivating.
Thanks Ush, we love the fastidiousness you bring to the photography team and know you go the extra mile to bring out the best in every property you photograph.
Next time we’ll be with Jack, the other half of the creative team. Stay tuned for more insights!
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/10/introducing-one-half-of-our-photography.html
Is half term really nearly upon us?! We’re wondering where the last few weeks have gone since the children went back to school, are you?
Read below for a handful of suggestions from some of our Area Sales Managers for places to go with your family during half term, to keep everyone occupied:
Louise Simpson, Reigate and Redhill
Louise suggests Denbies near Dorking and this half term they have some great sounding activities, from spooky crafts, spooky storytelling, “The Spookiest Fairy Tale Ever Told”, and birds of prey. Many of the activities can be booked in advance here. We think the kids will love it!
Priory Farm in Nutfield has the great Spooky Trail, and fun is guaranteed as you wind your way up the hill and down again with lots of ghostly surprises in store. There is also the Witches Cavern across the road where you can go and choose your pumpkin to take home and carve.
Zac Ship, Tonbridge
Zac is planning to take his daughter to “Wear ‘m out” in Tonbridge, as a brilliantly handy place to go on a rainy day, he regards it as “always a winner”! There is a café there with healthy treats, so it’s easy to spend a few hours there while the childen have fun.
Paul Mulligan, Croydon
Paul recommends Kidsspace as somewhere to go on a wet weather day, it’s a fantastic soft play where the children have a great time running around the play frame.
He also enjoys the World of Golf, with the Dragon Quest course for children, which looks like great fun for a dry day!
Mathew Gurr, Haywards Heath
Mathew is planning to visit Washbrook Farm at Hurstpierpoint, where you can have a go at the “Guess the weight of the pumpkin” competition and the “cuckoo in the nest” quiz. There are even Halloween specials in the tearoom. Yummy!
Nicola Jordan, Marketing Director
Nicola has recently been to the Sealife Centre in Brighton with her daughter, and recommends following it with a walk through the tunnel to the seafront and having fish & chips on the pier.
She also wholeheartedly recommends Drusillas in Alfriston, especially as they have a special offer this half term for a child to go for £5 with a full price paying adult.
Sam Webb, Land and New Homes Manager
Sam loves taking her daughter to Hobbledown where they have pumpkin bowling, creepy crawlies and ‘The Spider’s Lair’ a puppet show which will take place in Topperpot’s Tepee Theatre. Sounds like great fun!
Mark Waldron, Sevenoaks
Mark has spotted the excellent sounding events at The Hop Farm, and let us know about it. With Pumpkin carving, face painting and a Zombie Shoot Out and Monster Mash Disco among other themed events, it sounds like a great day out.
He also spotted that Igtham Mote have a spooky spider web trail and a spider craft (craft on Thurs 26th Oct only) – dare you enter?!
One final place to mention is the delightfully named Pumpkin Moon, where you can grab yourself a colourful wheelbarrow, choose from 50 different types of pumpkins and squashes to take home and decorate for Halloween. It sounds wonderful!
Another place for great pickings, is Crockford Bridge Farm just round the M25 near Weybridge. They have a fun play area, faceprinting and an outdoor theatre performance (pre-booked tickets only). A great place to go for Halloween related fun.
We hope these ideas are helpful and you have a brilliant half term with your little monsters!
If you’re thinking of selling or letting your home, please give the team a call on 0330 223 1000.
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/10/october-half-term-places-to-go.html
Cell phone plans don’t have to be expensive or complex. In our Tracfone review, we cover plans, smartphones, and costs of this low-cost cellphone option.
TracFone is an appealing option for many people looking to escape from the contracts of major mobile carriers.
TracFone stands out among all of the prepaid and budget carriers out there because it actually has coverage contracts with the four major wireless carriers in the country. What does this mean? It essentially means that TracFone customers get the coverage and reliability of major carriers without the high monthly rates or ironclad contracts.
There’s a lot of variety when it comes to TracFone’s plans and coverage tiers. The lowest plan possible costs $9.99. Prices are then offered in tiers that can go as high as $199. Here’s a look at what you’ll have to choose from:
Most plans offer customers the option to save between 5 percent and 10 percent when they sign up for TracFone Auto-Refill. Be sure to factor this in when doing a price comparison. Your discount can be set up during the checkout process once you’ve selected your plan.
TracFone currently offers seven coverage tiers to choose from when selecting a plan. Smartphone-only plans provide minutes, texts and data. These plans offer service periods of 365 days, 90 days, 60 days or 30 days. Here’s a look at the current plans available for smartphones through TracFone:
TracFone Pay As You Go Plans
TracFone currently offers eight pay-as-you-go plans. Pay-as-you-go plans include talk, text and web. These plans offer service periods of 30 days, 90 days or 365 days. This plan type works with both smartphones and non-smartphone models. Here’s a look at the pay-as-you-go plans available through TracFone:
I don’t own a smartphone, and I use my TracFone exclusively for when I’m on road trips, away from my family. That only happens a couple of times a year, for a couple of days a year,so I try to keep my cell phone spending to a minimum.
Every three months, I auto enroll in the $19.99 plan for 180 minutes and 90 service days. By auto enrolling, I get a 10% discount off the cost, so my annual cell phone cost is $71.96. As I only use this phones a few days every quarter, I never run out of minutes and by renewing, I keep the same cell number. For ~$6 a month, I think the service is more than worth it.
TracFone Service Add-ons
It’s okay if TrackFone’s plans don’t quite offer everything you’re looking for. The company provides add-on options that allow you to bulk up your plan and create a custom situation. All add-ons that are purchased will roll over and remain active for as long as service remains active. Here’s a look at the pricing for the extras you can add on to the plan you choose:
The more expensive plans with longer service periods tend to break down to be much cheaper per month than less expensive plans with shorter service periods. For instance, an annual plan that costs $125 works out to be just over $10 per month. The other big perk of going with an annual plan is that you won’t have to worry about renewing your service.
There’s no need to wait until the evening to make calls with a TracFone plan. All minutes, text and data can be used at any time. Anything that’s left over at the end of the period you’ve signed up for will carry over into the new service period if you choose to renew your plan.
What happens if you end up needing more talk time or data than what’s provided in the plan you’ve purchased? You always have the option to purchase additional cards and add more airtime to your plan. This can be a cost-effective, non-permanent option to cover the months that you have more activity.
TrackFone Q and A
Can You Bring Your Own Device?
Does TracFone Sell Devices?
Where Can TracFone Phones Be Used?
Can I text internationally?
TracFone doesn’t offer international text messaging. The biggest drawback of TracFone is that costs can add up very quickly if you’re not careful. Heavy phone users can become frustrated easily by the extra costs that are incurred.
Is TracFone a Good Cell Provider?
TracFone is a discount carrier that has been around since 1996. It stands out among similar options because of the strong network that it provides. TracFone actually uses the same towers as Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. The exact network your service runs on will depend on factors like the type of phone you’re using and your geographical location. You can technically choose the network you want if you bring over a compatible phone that is branded by that network.
TracFone is an ideal option for anyone who needs a plan for light to moderate monthly usage. The plans offered are extremely inexpensive once you break them down by month. The coverage provided by other pay-as-you-go carriers can barely come close to the dependable and clear service offered by TracFone. Unlike many discount carriers that offer spotty coverage, service is available virtually everywhere in the country with TracFone.
What is offered by TracFone is about as close as you can get to what’s offered by the major wireless carriers without actually making the commitment to sign a contract with one. Its versatile options and low per-month costs make TracFone a solid pick for anyone looking for an affordable and flexible wireless option.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/tracfone-wireless-plans-review/
Walmart checking cashing service offers a low cost way to cash a paycheck. But is it the best way to get paid? We give you several free alternatives.
Google the words “cashing checks.” Below the paid ads and a Google map of various check cashing locations in your area, you will find Walmart.com.
A one-stop shop where at some “supercenters” you might pull up to the automotive department, drop your car off for servicing, and get your complete list of to-do’s done. Need to pick up a gift? Grab a carton of milk? Cash a check to pay for this latest excursion? If you belong to one of the 9 million American households reported not to have a bank account, cashing your paycheck at Walmart might be your best option.
We’ll look at the pros and cons of Walmart’s check cashing service. We’ll also cover some important alternatives. First, let’s cover why some use check cashing stores.
Unbanked & Under-banked
According to the FDIC 2015 Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Americans, 7%, or nine million, U.S. households were “unbanked.” As unbanked, not one person in the household had a checking or savings account.
The survey also found nearly 20 percent of U.S. households were “under-banked.” In this case, at least one person in the house had either a checking or savings account at an insured institution. But they still sought out services like check cashing elsewhere.
Walmart Check Cashing Services
Many Wal-Mart locations around the country now have Money Center departments. This makes for great convenience. You can get your check cashed at the Money Center, and then use the cash for your shopping trip. With Wal-Mart’s trend to become a one-stop shop for all household needs, each location is becoming its own small village.
The Wal-Mart Money Centers are not full banks. They offer check cashing services, bill payments, outgoing wires, and reloadable debit cards. There are no checking accounts or savings accounts. Wal-Mart abandoned earlier plans to become a bank. In doing so, is able to offer certain financial services while not being held to the same regulations as Chase, Bank of America, or your local bank branch.
On the spectrum of financial institutions, Wal-Mart Money Centers are closer to establishments like payday loan companies and check cashing storefronts. These businesses charge high fees and cater to lower-income communities and the unbanked population.
Now back to the checking cashing service.
While it might not be the ideal permanent solution, using Walmart’s Money Centers for your banking needs can be a better option than other check cashing services. The hours are convenient and the fees are low. Check cashing costs $3 for checks up to $1,000 and $6 for checks over $1,000, with a $5,000 cashing limit. It is worth noting from January to April, the cashing limit is increased to $7,500 to accommodate tax returns.
You may also be able to avoid long lines as Walmart offers customers the option to cash their checks at any open register. Their services are not just for paychecks. Customers may also cash government checks, tax checks, cashiers’ checks, insurance settlement checks, 401(k) retirement checks, and MoneyGram money orders purchased at Walmart.
If you find yourself at Walmart with a pocket full of cash, you will have to exercise self-control. Cashing your paycheck at Walmart might tempt you to spend that money on impulse purchases. This could be an unwise decision if you are already struggling to save money or to keep up with your bills.
Walmart also does not cash personal checks. So what if you need to cash a personal check but don’t have a bank account? Your best bet is to go to the financial institution of the person who wrote the check.
You should know check cashing is not available at every Walmart location. To find one, visit the check cashing page of their website at Walmart.com.
The Financially Healthier Alternatives
Consider opening a bank account and using direct deposit for your paychecks. Even if you had a poor history with a financial institution in the past, it is worth speaking with someone at a bank. They may be able to offer you an account. Another option is to talk with your local credit union. Here are lists of the best checking accounts and savings accounts available today.
Another option is a prepaid debit card. Look for features including free direct deposit, free ATM access, and zero monthly fees. Walmart offers a BlueBird American Express prepaid debit card with those features. But the downside to that card is American Express is not accepted as widely as Visa or MasterCard.
Check cashing services are similar to fast food — inexpensive and convenient, but unhealthy in the long run. The best “food” for your financial health is a nest egg. With a bank account, you can store your hard-earned income, pay your bills without extra fees, and, most importantly, begin saving.
Originally published November 10, 2011, the Consumerism Commentary editorial team updated this post on October 10, 2017.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/wal-mart-check-cashing/
It’s possible to make good money from home taking online surveys. To help, we’ve assembled 21 of the best paid survey sites.
Have you been looking for an easy, low-lift way to make money online? Paid survey sites are a popular option. There are literally hundreds of these sites around, though not all of them are legitimate. Before we dive into the best paid survey sites, let’s talk about how and why these sites work and how to make the most of them.
Why Surveys are Paid
Companies, government organizations, and nonprofit are all interested in consumers’ needs and opinions. But they know getting those answers takes time on your part. So they pay market research companies to pay consumers for their opinions.
Sometimes the market research companies dole out these rewards in the form of cash. Other times, you get points that you can use to purchase prizes or gift cards. It’s a little like some credit card rewards programs, actually.
Typical surveys don’t pay much–just a few bucks per survey. But many only take a few minutes. I don’t know about you, but getting paid $5 for 15 minutes of not-very-difficult work–or $20 an hour–isn’t a bad deal in my book.
Making the Most of Paid Surveys
Filling out paid surveys will never be a full-time income. But it could be a tidy little side gig income that you can do in your free time. But before you can make decent money with this strategy, you need to know how. Here are our top tips:
The Best Paid Survey Sites
Now that you know how to make the most of these survey sites, here are a bunch you should check out. These sites cater to varying types of companies and surveys. Sign up for several, and then you can eventually weed out the ones that don’t pay off for you.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/21-best-paid-survey-sites/
Using rent payments to improve your credit is now easier than ever. We cover the websites that can help you report your rent to credit bureaus.
If you’re among the 36.6% of US households that rent, you’re probably missing out on the single biggest credit reference: Your rent payment!
Traditionally, the only way that your rent payments affect your credit score is if unpaid rent goes into collection. Your many years of making rent payments on time aren’t even recognized. Fortunately, that situation is changing. You may be able to help your own cause by learning how to report rent payments to credit bureaus.
Here are several services that can help you do just that.
Experian has been moving forward in reporting rent histories through its Experian RentBureau. The service started in December, 2010, when Experian became the first credit reporting agency to include on-time rent payment data on its credit reports.
RentBureau will show your rental arrangement as a trade line, and includes your payments for the past 25 months. The data in the trade line will also show the date you started renting and your monthly payment amount.
There’s some really good news here, too. Experian will only include positive rental history. The reason is that negative rental information will usually show up as a collection account, which is already reported by the collection agencies.
Of course, there is a bit of a catch in the way this works. Your landlord won’t likely automatically report your rental history. That may be true even if you live in a very large apartment complex.
If you rent and you want your rent history included in your credit report, you’ll have to ask your landlord or property manager if they report to Experian RentBureau. If they do, you’re all set. But if they don’t, you’ll have to encourage them to do so. They may not want to. But there’s a workaround on how to report rent payments to credit bureaus.
How to Report Rent Payments to Credit Bureaus
To do that, you’ll have to have the landlord or property manager contact Experian RentBureau to set up the reference. Since there are fees (and extra work) involved, your landlord may have little interest in participating. If that’s the case, you can sign up for a rental payment service that works with Experian RentBureau.
When you do, you’ll actually make your rent payments through the rental payment service. The service will forward the rent to your landlord and then report the payment to Experian.
The downside to using a rental payment service is that you will usually have to pay a fee. Some services have a setup fee that could be as high as $50. But almost all have a per-payment fee as well. That fee can be a few dollars for each check payment or a percentage of either a debit card or credit card payment.
For example, if a service charges a 2.75% fee for a credit card payment and your rent is $1,000 per month, you will pay $27.50 per payment.
That’s obviously a bit steep. But if you’re looking to build a credit rating, it could be an expense worth paying.
Rental payment service providers that cooperate with Experian RentBureau include:
With services where the fee is paid by the landlord, it’s almost certain that the landlord will pass those fees on to you.
Rental Kharma is a service that reports your rent payment history to TransUnion. They do this after verifying your lease and your monthly payments with your landlord. After that, each payment that you make will be verified. You could also add your last 24 months of rent payments to fast-forward the process of building your credit score.
Rental Kharma isn’t a rental payment service. Instead, they contact your landlord once you’ve made your payment and verify that you made it on time. That means that though you will subscribe to the service for credit purposes, you will still make your rent payment directly to your landlord.
Rental Kharma also has what could be a big advantage for certain tenants. Rent payments are only considered late if they are more than 30 days past the due date. So if your rent is due on November 1, it will not be reported late to the credit bureau as long as it’s paid by November 30. But they do recommend that if you sometimes go beyond 30 days, you may not want to subscribe to the service. That is, rent payments more than 30 days late will count against you.
In order to join the service, you have to pay a one-time validation fee of $25. After that, you pay a monthly subscription fee of $6.95 for ongoing reporting. If you want to add your previous rent history, the fee is $5 for each month verified, up to a maximum of 24 months.
Your landlord must be willing to participate in the service, since they will need to verify your rent payments. But Rental Kharma is an easier sell to a landlord because the landlord isn’t required to pay any fees.
You can also get TransUnion involved directly in rent reporting through their RentReporters service. Like Rental Kharma, they verify your rent payments with your landlord and then include the history on your TransUnion credit report.
Their website advertises that “The average credit score can increase 35 to 50 points in 15 days” as a result of adding your rent history to your credit report.
RentReporters has a one-time enrollment fee of $45.95. That fee includes both the landlord verification process and reporting up to two years of previous rental payments. To continue reporting future payments, there is a monthly subscription fee of $9.95.
If you have had different landlords in the past two years, RentReporters can verify your rent payment history for an additional fee of $50 for each landlord.
So that’s how to report rent payments to credit bureaus. All you need is a few extra dollars and a willing landlord, and you can have your rent payment history added to your credit report. If that history has been a good one, you could see an almost immediate increase in your credit score.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/how-to-use-rent-payment-to-improve-your-credit/
Quicken online is gone. But there are plenty of great options. Here are the three best Quicken alternatives (and #1 is totally free).
Not all that long ago, Quicken was the leading giant in the personal financial planning market. It did everything you could want in a software. Then, Quicken one-upped itself by launching Quicken Online. Not all that long after, though, Quicken Online became obsolete. Here, we’ll talk about the history of Quicken Online, and talk about today’s best Quicken alternatives.
What Was Quicken Online?
Quicken software was created way back when people still used MS-DOS. (To the under-thirty crowd, you don’t even want to know!) It was built on a database structure. This make it a good option for managing complicated financial systems. But it also made cross-platform compatibility difficult. So Intuit, Quicken’s creating company, had to keep coming up with new models.
And, in fact, they still do. Quicken software is still a great option if you want a robust way to manage your personal or business finances. But it wasn’t doing what millennials wanted it to do.
This is why by back in 2007, Intuit launched Quicken Online. The tool was meant to help “young and responsible” individuals manage cash flow. At the time, the data seemed to say that the most pressing question for younger earners was whether or not they could actually pay the bills. So Quicken Online didn’t begin by tracking investments and other long-term goals. Instead, it focused on tracking checking, savings, and credit card transactions.
Intuit could have made a major misstep here by simply moving their old-school database-style software online. But that’s not what they did.
One of Quicken Online’s major differences was the fact that it did not track investments, which Quicken software users had come to expect. But it also made tracking everyday spending much easier.
At the time, financial software that actually synced with your bank accounts was a new concept. So Quicken Online jumped on that bandwagon early. You could connect your checking account directly to Quicken Online, and it would automatically import your transactions.
That’s not something unusual today, of course. But in 2007, it was still a pretty new concept.
What about the problem of uncashed checks? Today, that’s not as much of an issue. I, for one, use checks for only two or three monthly bills. But in 2007, I was still writing checks pretty often. So Quicken Online allowed users to manually enter written but unposted checks. Then, it calculated your actual account balance based on these numbers.
This was a great solution for those up-and-coming professionals struggling with day-to-day cash flow!
Quicken Online also helped people become more aware of their overall financial situation. For instance, new users would get a list of recurring bills suggested from their previous 90 days’ worth of transactions in each connected account. Then, users could set up bill reminders.
Quicken Online’s interface was sleek and user-friendly for the time, though today it would feel clunky and out of date. But it still gave users a quick way to get insight into their spending, saving, and other financial patterns.
Quicken Online also acted in an app-like way for iPhone users, specifically. These users could log into their account to view their updated balances and five latest transactions in each account. With transactions downloaded nightly, the feature is a far cry from the to-the-minute financial insight today’s apps offer. But it was still pretty high-tech for a decade ago!
Finally, Quicken Online eventually rolled out an online bill paying option. This was meant to help users manage short-term cash flow and to make their online bill paying easier. And Intuit, of course, tied Quicken Online into its TurboTaxOnline products, as well.
So What Happened to Quicken Online?
In short, it seems that other platforms were quicker to innovate than Intuit. They offered consumers better options than Quicken Online, and for cheaper. So in 2009, Intuit announced its $170 million acquisition of the still-popular financial management platform Mint.com.
Quicken then moved its Quicken Online users over to Mint.com, which was already a well-functioning platform for the most part. It did not go well. Quicken customers weren’t happy to lose their data, and the change was a frustrating one.
With that said, Mint.com still consistently ranks in the top ten lists for personal financial management software options. It’s in my personal top three!
In more recent history, Intuit has been trying hard to preserve Quicken, which was overshadowed by its more popular products, QuickBooks and TurboTax. But many consumers still benefit from using Mint.com on a regular basis.
What Other Options Are There?
If you are looking for a review for Quicken Online, you may be a bit disappointed. It just doesn’t exist anymore. But don’t despair! There are many excellent money management tools online these days. Here are the top three to consider:
Want a tool that accounts for everyday spending but has a heavier focus on long-term financial planning? Personal Capital may be exactly what you’re looking for. Like Mint, it features a user-friendly, image-driven interface. And like Mint, it syncs with your existing accounts to bring in data automatically.
Unlike Mint, though, Personal Capital has always had a heavy focus on investments. It helps you keep track of your net worth, and it also offers a variety of advising tools. For instance, you can use the investment checkup tool to find out your current asset allocation compared with Personal Capital’s suggested allocation. You can read our full review of this tool here.
It’s no surprise that Mint.com took over the Quicken Online space pretty quickly. And it’s evolved quite a lot since I started using it back in 2010. Back then, the syncing of transactions was sometimes sketchy, and users had now way to track financial goals or investments. These days, things are different.
Mint isn’t just for tracking your cash flow. You can also use it to set up financial goals for the near and long term. And you can automatically import your investment information to keep an eye on that piece of your finances. In short, it’s a comprehensive, visually-driven financial management tool that’s an excellent replacement for the older Quicken tool. Check out our full review here.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Of these three tools, YNAB is the weakest when it comes to the visual interface. With that said, it’s still very user-friendly. It is based on a different type of financial management. One that focuses on using last month’s cash for this month’s spending. This is an excellent way to build more financial stability into your life.
YNAB imports transactions when you tell it to, but it does so fairly cleanly. It lets you categorize transactions and set goals. One of its unique features is that it tells you how old your money is. The longer your money sits in your checking account, the older it is. And that’s a good thing!
Not sure which of these options will work best for you? Get our breakdown of the best budget tools here.
via billwells https://www.consumerismcommentary.com/quicken-alternatives/
Are you looking for a fabulous family friendly fireworks display (that isn’t easy to say is it!) … then look no further than Reigate Parish Church Primary School! We love sponsoring and getting involved in events at the Reigate Parish school – and this event is a real treat, perfect for all ages.
Gates open at 5pm, as you go into the playground there is lots of fun going on.. dancing, glow toys on sale and a yummy cake stall. You will be able to pre-order your ‘Robert & Edwards’ banger in an ‘Oven Fresh’ bun as well as a vegetarian banger. Prosecco, mulled wine, beer, fine ales and soft drinks will all be available to purchase on the evening. For little ones (and big ones) that prefer things to be a little less noisy there is a quiet room with activities!
The spectacular fireworks display start promptly at 6.30pm – if you haven’t been before you will love this highlight of the evening.
We hope to see you on the evening, please remember that tickets can ONLY BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE.
Please download the order ticket order form HERE.
Looking forward to seeing you!
Thinking of selling or letting your home? Our team would love to help; call Louise on 01737 888220.
via billwells http://moverevolutionestateagents.blogspot.com/2017/10/family-fireworks-in-reigate.html