My iPhone 6 buying guide

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Hi all, so I took the plunge and finally upgraded my Samsung galaxy S3 to a new Apple iPhone 6. I thought it might be worth doing my version of an iPhone buying guide to help you guys make the right decisions when upgrading your phone. Let me know your advice in the comments section below…

Should you upgrade?

So the first thing you need to think about is, should you upgrade? Well if like me and you’ve been stuck with a 24 month contract on your previous phone, by now it is probably falling to pieces, has nice cracked screen, appalling battery life and extremely slow performance. In this case it is probably a good decision to take the plunge. For those with the iPhone 5 considering the upgrade, if money is no object I would say go for it but apart from the new screen and look it will be fairly similar performance wise.

Which iPhone 6 is for you?

The iPhone 6 now comes in 2 different sizes, the ‘iPhone 6’ and ‘iPhone 6 plus’. I went for the normal iPhone 6, this is slightly bigger than my Samsung but is still fine for fitting in your pocket. The ‘iPhone 6 plus’ on the other hand is maybe an inch bigger and just seemed a little too big for fitting comfortably in my pocket. I also didn’t like being forced to use two hands when operating it. Although I appreciate the bigger screen may be a big advantage for someone looking for that type pf ‘phablet’ device. These both come in 16gb, 64gb and 128gb storage options.

Where to buy from?

Not the bit you have all been waiting for, what did I pay and where did I get it from… As you all know, I do like a good deal, so I did spend quite a while browsing the best deals online and comparing my options. In the end I went for a deal through e2save, they had it at £30.50 p/m and a one of fee of £129. This was on Vodaphone and comes with 600mins, unlimited texts and 1GB of data. I was concerned about my data use on this contract being restricted but you can increase your current contract if you need to at any time but you can’t downgrade. So my advice is always go for the lowest contract and just up the contract if you need to further down the line.

Hope this helps. Let me know your tips at mail@frugalfrank.co.uk.

Frank.

Cheap bodybuilding supplements….or is there such a thing

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Hi guys,

As you might of seen from some of my previous posts I am quite into fitness at the moment. I enjoy running and try to attend the gym as much as I possibly can. I also try to eat healthy including the odd bodybuilding supplement to help with my weight training. For those of you who do take any sort of dietary supplements, you will probably already know they aren’t cheap! I just wanted to write a post about how I get the best prices…and hopefully get some tips from you too.

Price match

I usually select what I want to buy from recommendations from friends and online reviews. This doesn’t necessarily mean I stick to one website though. Once I know what I want, I use online price match tools like Google shopping to compare prices across all the shops at once. You need to be wary of shipping charges manipulating the rankings but this is often the quickest way to save money on supplements I find.

Sign up for promotion e-mails

Companies like discount supplements, monster supplements and my protein all have monthly/weekly promotional e-shots. If you aren’t fussy on what you use, you can often get a bargain on certain products if you pick your time well.

So what are your tips? Let me know at mail@frugalfrank.co.uk or in the comment section below.

Peer to peer lending & NISA investment explained…

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Hi guys,

So I recently got approached by a company called ZOPA about peer-to-peer lending. Having not been something I have come across before I was a little hesitant about it at first but after reading further into it, the scheme seems to be a legitimate way to invest your money and best bit about it, it’s tax free if done correctly. ZOPA have kindly provided me with some slides below. I have summarised in a few pointers below the main questions I had with answers. Please read the slides for more details. Please leave comments in the section below, would be great to get your feedback.

(Please click the thumbnails to read the slides in more detail)

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So what is peer-to-peer lending?

Peer to peer lending allows you to lend money to individuals or companies through a peer-to-peer lending platform.

 

 

 

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Is this legal?

Absolutely, the Government announce in March 2014 that Peer to peer lending will be eligible in the new ISA’s (NISAS).

 

 

 

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How it works?

Minimum investment starts at £10. Loans normally run from a month to a few years and lenders are credit scored to determine how risky the investment is.

 

 

 

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ZOPA_PeerToPeer04_SLIDE 6Is it a safe way to invest?

Peer to peer lending is NOT covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Because you are lending directly to individuals, your contracts are with the individual. This does add an element of risk…but what investment is 100% safe?!

 

 

 

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ZOPA_PeerToPeer04_SLIDE 5What are the benefits?

Peer to peer lending tends to give a higher return and if you invest in a NISA it will even be tax free.

 

 

 

 

Interested to find out what you guys think, please leave your feedback in the comment section below or e-mail mail@frugalfrank.co.uk. You can find out more about ZOPA by clicking here.

7 Ways To Help Your Car Keep Its Value

We’re so used to hearing how much our cars depreciate in value, that it’s easy to forget that they can keep their value too. If you own your car or van outright, it’s an asset. While most people are guilty of neglecting their cars even a little bit, if you get into a routine of regular maintenance, it will help it retain its equity.

This is good news if you need to take out a logbook loan or sell it outright, as you’ll be getting the best possible price for your original investment. So here are our recommended basics, from the obvious cleaning and maintenance to creating your own personal ‘minimum distance’ policy.

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1. Basic checks can prevent costly damage

Don’t reply on your MOT or annual service to highlight worn parts and fluids that need replacing, like tyres, windscreen wash, wipers, brake pads, oil, coolant and so on. Checking these regularly will keep you safer on the roads and prevent permanent damage that could incur expensive replacement or repair.

 

 

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2. Your service history is your car’s future

With normal usage, your car will need servicing a minimum of once a year or every 12,000 miles, or every six months if you travel a lot. Each car is different so check your handbook to find out more. If you’re behind in your services, start now to minimise the chance of damage to expensive parts. Remember to always get your service schedule stamped – especially important if you’ve gone to your official dealership. Regular servicing also helps your car run more efficiently, saving you money on every trip.

 

shutterstock_2043075523. If you value it, clean it

Dirt and bird droppings won’t do your paintwork any good at all, and will also disguise small scratches or stone chips that need attention. You have two options – pay for someone to clean your car or, if you’re being frugal, give yourself a Sunday morning workout and clean it yourself! Consider at least one layer of wax to finish off, which will stop the build up of dirt and keep your car looking youthful into old age.

 

shutterstock_1900342644. Create a ‘mimimum distance’ policy

Make it a rule that you will only use your car when you can’t walk the distance in a reasonable time. Vehicle mileage is boosted by the small and sometimes unnecessary journeys we make – like a late night chocolate craving or the school run when there’s a bus stop at the end of the street. Lower mileage on the clock could help your car keep its value. Average mileage in the UK currently stands at between 6,700 (petrol cars) and 10,700 (diesel cars).

 

shutterstock_1504007665. Don’t run on fumes

Oh but this is a contentious issue! Some ‘experts’ insist that it’s perfectly fine if you run your petrol tank right down to the dregs because the filter will catch any lurking sediment. However, others say that a tank should never be less than quarter full to prevent damage to fuel lines and other parts. It might be prudent to err on the side of caution, and keep your tank sloshingly healthy.

 

shutterstock_1857182336. Be careful where you park

Let’s talk about protecting your paintwork from scratches and scuffs. Beware of narrow parking spaces, which present more risk from people squeezing between cars to get past. Buttons, zips, belt buckles, bag bling and even wedding rings can damage the laquer on your car. Check your paintwork regularly – minor scratches can be polished out, but a deeper gouge will need fixing as soon as possible. Where possible, give everyone ample room when you park up.

 

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7. Enjoy watching the experts do it, but …

On the TV, it’s perfectly fine for a group of enthusiastic petrolheads with skills to turn an ordinary car into a head-turning diva on four wheels. But leave the big ideas for the small screen when it comes to your own car or van, especially if you want to protect its resale value or act as security for a logbook loan. Permanent modifications can kill the market value of your motor and will most likely affect your car insurance premiums too. Don’t do it. Please.

If you need to raise a loan and you think your car has equity that you can release, contact Auto Advance or contact us on 0333 577 7002 and ask about V5 loans.