Everything Else

This includes everything  else I discuss on Pounds and Sense, including Health, Holidays, Relationships, and so on.

How to Jump Start a Car with a Flat Battery

How to Jump Start a Car with a Flat Battery

Sponsored Post: At this time of year flat batteries are a common problem for motorists. Batteries have to work harder in the winter, to power the lights, wipers, heating fans, and so on, and it’s easy for them to get run down.

This is even more likely to happen if – like many older people – you don’t use your car regularly or use it only for short journeys. It’s always best not to leave it too long between trips and try to fit in the occasional longer run that will power up the battery again.

But what if, despite all this, you find yourself with a flat battery? Don’t despair – as long as you have a set of jump leads (jumper cables as they are also called) and another car that is working normally, you can be up and running again in a few minutes. If you don’t have jump leads already, you can pick up a set cheaply at any local motoring store or Amazon.

jumper cables

Jump leads or jumper cables

Here’s what you need to do.

1. Park the cars nose to nose, so that there is easy access from one engine compartment to the other. Switch off both cars’ engines. Ensure that the brakes are on and the cars are in neutral (or Park in the case of automatics).

2. Open the hoods of both cars. Attach the red jump lead to the positive (+) terminal of the car with the flat battery. Attach the other end of this cable to the working car’s positive (+) terminal.

3. Attach the black cable to the working battery’s negative (–) terminal and the other end to an exposed metal section on your car, e.g. a bracket, bolt or strut. This must be at least a foot away from the battery.

4. Now start the working car and let it run for a few minutes, revving the engine slightly.

5. Then attempt to start your car. Nine times out of ten this will work. If it does, remove the cables in the reverse order you connected them, i.e. starting with the black cable attached to exposed metal on your car. Close the hood, but don’t switch off your engine yet! Drive around for at least 15 minutes to charge up your battery.

If your car still won’t start, leave it connected to the other car for another five minutes and try again. If you still have no success, it may be that your battery is too drained and needs replacing. Or there may be another fault in your car’s electrical system. Either way, it’s probably time to call in the professionals. The same applies if the problem occurs again the next time you try to start your car.

Good luck, and I really hope you don’t need to use the advice in this post too often!

  • For much more advice about buying, selling and maintaining cars, check out Cars.com.
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Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year from Nick at Pounds and Sense!

I do hope 2018 is a good year for you, and the year you achieve (or at least start to achieve) some of your financial and other ambitions.

Thank you also for visiting my blog. If you haven’t already, I do hope you will sign up to receive notifications when it is updated using the box in the right-hand column.

You can also follow Pounds and Sense on social media, including Facebook and Twitter and Google Plus.

Pounds and Sense is also on the popular Bloglovin platform. If you are a member of this free service you can get all my latest posts delivered to you with your updates (and updates on any other blogs you follow as well, of course). Just click through this link to sign up.

There is also a daily Paper.li newsletter for Pounds and Sense. This is semi-automated and curates links from a wide range of personal-finance blogs and other resources. I guarantee you will find something of interest in every issue!

Finally, if your interests also extend to writing, you might also like to check out my Entrepreneur Writer blog. I regularly share tips, advice and market information for writers and aspiring writers here. It would be great to see you there as well 🙂

Once again, I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.



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My Top 12 posts of 2017

My Top Twelve Posts of 2017

As is customary for bloggers at this time of year, here are the top posts on Pounds and Sense in 2017, based on comments, page-views and social media shares. They are in no particular order. Obviously, I have excluded any posts that are no longer relevant.

I hope you will enjoy revisiting these posts, or seeing them for the first time if you are new to PAS. Don’t forget, you can always subscribe using the box on the right to be notified of new posts as soon as they appear.

1. Who Wants to make a Shedload of Money? How to Win Big as a TV Show Contestant

2. Lights, Camera, Profit! How to Make Money Offering Your Home as a TV or Film Location

3. Nutmeg review: My Experience With This Robo-Adviser Investment Platform

4. How I won £614.53 on the Free Postcode Lottery!

5. Earn a Sideline Income as a TV or Movie Extra

6. Primestox – An Unusual Way to Make Money Investing in Food

7. Matched Betting: How to Profit from Acca Insurance

8. Matched Betting: Get a Risk-Free Bet or Guaranteed Profit with Football Index

9. How to Save Money on Days Out With Your Grandchildren (Guest Post)

10. How to Check What Your State Pension Will Be

11. How to Invest for Income from High Yield Share dividends (Guest Post)

12. Earn a Sideline Income as a Viewing Agent with Viewber

A quick mention too for my other blog Entrepreneur Writer. If you are interested in writing I hope you will check this out if you haven’t already. I look forward to publishing plenty more posts on both blogs in 2018.

If you have any comments or questions, of course, please do feel free to leave them below.




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Happy Christmas 2017!

Happy Christmas 2017!

Just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a happy and peaceful Christmas, and a fulfilling and prosperous new year.

Pounds and Sense was launched in December 2016, so it has been going for a year now. Thank you to everyone who has visited the blog during this time, and especially to all those people who have commented on my posts and/or signed up to be notified of new ones. You can do that by entering your name and email address in the ‘Subscribe’ box on the right (hint, hint!).

I hope you have found at least some of my posts of value, and they have helped you to save money and make money in these financially uncertain times. If you have any comments or suggestions for topics I ought to cover in the coming months, please do leave a comment below or contact me directly. The same applies if you would like to guest post on the blog or work with me on sponsored posts or promotions.

I’ll be back with more advice, tips and information soon, but for now I hope you have a wonderful festive season. I’ll leave you with this charming ‘Christmas Eve’ video featuring the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Enjoy!

 

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How You Can Help Beat Cancer With Your Smartphone

How You Can Help Beat Cancer With Your Smartphone

Today I wanted to tell you about a smartphone app called DreamLab. You can download this free to your smartphone or tablet, to add its computing power to a massive cancer research project. Versions are available for both Android and Apple iOS.

DreamLab was developed by Vodafone Australia and the Garvan Insitute of Medical Research. While your smartphone is charging (typically overnight; hence the name), the app automatically downloads genetic sequencing profiles provided by the Garvan Institute. This information is then processed using your smartphone’s CPU and sent back to the Institute to be used in cancer research.

There are currently two projects you can support. The first one, Project Decode, aims to decode breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancers. The second, which launched recently, is Project Genetic Profile. This aims to decode brain, lung, melanoma and sarcoma cancers.

As well as the project you wish to support, you can select how much mobile data (if any) the app uses every month. Personally I only use DreamLab with my wifi, so I have the monthly data allowance set to zero. You might, though, like to know that if VodaFone is your service provider, any data used for DreamLab processing is free of charge.

The app keeps track of how many hours of computing time you have donated to the project and the number of sequencing problems your device has solved. You can also see what proportion of the overall project has been completed. In the case of Project Decode – which I am supporting – the figure is currently 69 percent. So while the project is well past the half-way mark, there is still a fair way to go.

DreamLab is a distributed computing project, which relies on volunteers donating spare processing capacity on their computers and mobile devices to a specific cause. One of the best-known such projects is SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), which uses this method to search for extra-terrestrial life by analyzing radio waves emanating from space. You can read more about this and other distributed computing projects (including DreamLab) on this Wikipedia page.

In conclusion, I do hope you will consider signing up to this very worthwhile project. All you have to do is install the app and leave it running when you put your phone/tablet on to charge (it will start automatically when the device is up to 80%). Here’s a link to the download page in Google Play and here is a link to the version for iOS in the Apple store..

As ever, if you have any comments or questions about DreamLab, please do leave them below.

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Get Your Will Written Free of Charge in October

Get Your Will Written Free of Charge in October

Did you know that October is Free Wills Month?

Free Wills Month brings together a group of well-respected charities to offer members of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their wills written or updated free using participating solicitors in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The scheme covers simple wills only, including ‘mirror wills’ for couples. In the latter case, only one member of the couple has to be 55 or over. If you need a complicated will (most people don’t) you can still have this done but may have to pay a top-up fee.

I talked about the importance of creating a will and why you should get it done by a properly qualified solicitor in this recent blog post. An up-to-date will written by a solicitor will ensure that your wishes are respected and will avoid causing legal complications for your loved ones after you are gone.

Free Wills Month means what it says. There are no catches, although the organizers hope that you will choose to leave a donation to charity in your will. There is no obligation to do this, however.

To take part in Free Wills Month click through to the website and fill in your details. You can then pick a solicitor from the list of companies taking part and contact them to book an appointment. Appointments are limited and on a first come, first served basis, so call as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

You can also download a free Will Planner PDF, to help you plan your will prior to your appointment.

If you have any comments or questions about this subject, as ever, please do post them below.



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An Essential Guide to Writing Your Will (Infographic)

An Essential Guide to Writing Your Will (Infographic)

Today I’m bringing you an infographic created by I Will, a firm of solicitors who specialize in will writing.

I thought this summed up very well the importance of making a will and having it done properly, so I wanted to share it with readers of this blog. It’s quite a long graphic, so please take a little time to scroll down it, and I’ll see you at the other end!

Thanks again to I Will Solicitors (not an affiliate link) for permission to use their graphic. There are some valuable tips in it, not least the advice to use a properly qualified solicitor. In the last few years I have had a couple of experiences when failing to do this has caused problems..

One actually concerned the will of my late partner. We had created mirror wills some years before, using a well-known postal will-writing service. At their suggestion we named the will-writing company as joint executors, as their representative said this meant they would be able to step in and help if required.

Sadly my partner passed away and I then discovered that having the company as a named executor meant I couldn’t have the local solicitor I wanted handle the estate on my behalf. It took several months (and a lot of hassle I could really have done without) to get them to renounce their interest in the will so that my preferred legal firm could take over.

Another instance concerned a family member who passed away earlier this year. I don’t want to go into detail about this, for obvious reasons, but he had used a family friend who ran a will-writing service to create his will. The will was poorly drafted and did not make clear exactly how the estate should be divided up. The result was a bitter dispute between two of the main beneficiaries, which ended with an outcome that was probably far from what he had intended.

So my top tips with wills would be (a) make sure you have one, (b) have it drawn up by a qualified solicitor, and (c) give careful thought to whom you name as executor. For other advice, please refer to the infographic above!

If you have any comments or questions, as ever, please do post them below.




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Active 10 - A Free Fitness App to Get You Walking!

Active 10 – A Free Fitness App to Get You Walking!

According to a recent story in The Telegraph, Britain is in the middle of a laziness epidemic. This applies especially to over-40s, with four in ten failing to manage even one 10 minute brisk walk a month.

The effect of all this inactivity can be devastating. It is estimated that physical inactivity directly contributes to one in six deaths in the UK. On the other hand, Public Health England (PHE) say that one brisk walk a day is enough to cut the risk of early death by as much as 15 per cent. It can also prevent or delay the onset of disability, and further reduce the risk of serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia and some cancers.

To encourage middle-aged and older people to get more active, PHE has launched a free smartphone app called Active 10. As the name suggests, this aims to encourage adults to do at least 10 minutes’ brisk walk every day.

The app is available for both Apple and Android phones, and is quick and easy to install. Using sensors in your phone, the app measures when you’ve reached a target speed (about 3 miles an hour) and when you keep that going for 10 minutes.

The app allows for the fact that you might have to stop at traffic lights or for some other reason, so you can slow down for up to 2 minutes of any 10 minute period and this will still count as an Active 10.

You can set your own targets, maybe starting with just one Active 10 a day and going up to two or more as you build your fitness. You can also do longer walks – Active 20, say – for even greater health benefits.

Active 10 is aimed at those in the 40 to 60 age group, but in my view many people over 60 could benefit equally (or even more) by using it. I like the fact that 10 minutes a day isn’t too daunting to start off with, even for couch potatoes like me, but can still bring you considerable health benefits.

I am already enjoying using the app and there is a surprising amount of satisfaction in achieving your daily goals and seeing them recorded on the app.

As they say at the end of the Active 10 homepage, stop scrolling and start strolling 😀

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Vote for your favourite UK Money Blog

Vote for Your Favourite UK Money Blog!

In this post a few weeks ago I revealed that Pounds and Sense had been nominated in the ‘Best Money Making Blog’ category of the 2017 SHOMO awards.

The SHOMO awards (it stands for Show Me the Money Bloggers) are given out every year to UK-based independent money bloggers. The main sponsor is the cashback site Quidco.

There are various categories, from Best Frugal Food Blog to Best Personal Finance Blog. Pounds and Sense has been nominated in the Best Money Making Blog category.

Pounds & Sense is also eligible for the People’s Choice Award, which any blog reader can vote for. If you enjoy reading Pounds and Sense, therefore, I warmly invite you to vote for it for this award.

Voting is open from now until the end of August 2017. All you have to do is visit this page of the UK Money Bloggers website and vote for Pounds and Sense from the drop-down list of blogs provided.

But whether you do or not, I highly recommend that you visit this page of the UK Money Bloggers website where all this year’s nominees are listed. There are some amazing blogs and other resources here, including many UK finance blogs I follow myself.

The winners of the SHOMO awards will be announced at the Show Me the Money Bloggers 3 Conference in London on 23 September 2017. For more information about the conference, and booking information (for UK finance bloggers only), please click here.

Finally, I should like to express my gratitude to the unknown person or persons who nominated Pounds and Sense for an award..

As ever, if you have any comments or queries about this post, please do leave them below.

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Pounds and Sense Shortlisted for UK Money Blogging Award!

Pounds and Sense Shortlisted for UK Money Blogging Award!

I am very pleased to reveal that Pounds and Sense has been nominated for a SHOMO award by UK Money Bloggers.

The SHOMO awards (it stands for Show Me the Money Bloggers) are given out every year to UK-based independent money bloggers. The main sponsor is the cashback site Quidco.

There are various categories, from Best Frugal Food Blog to Best Personal Finance Blog. Pounds and Sense has been nominated in the Best Money Making Blog category.

I don’t expect to end up winning the award, as I am up against some highly professional and popular blogs in my category. However, even being short-listed in my blog’s first year is something I am very proud of.

The shortlists were produced by the SHOMO awards committee, chaired by Karyn Fleeting, aka Miss Thrifty. There is also a People’s Choice Award, for which all short-listed blogs are eligible. Voting takes place for this throughout August and is open to anyone. If you should feel inclined to vote for Pounds and Sense, don’t hold back!

In any event, I do highly recommend that you visit this page of the UK Money Bloggers website where all this year’s nominees are listed. There are some amazing blogs and other resources here, including many UK finance blogs I follow myself. If you are interested in money matters, I highly recommend checking them all out.

The winners of the SHOMO awards will be announced at the Show Me the Money Bloggers 3 Conference in London on 23 September 2017. For more information about the conference, and booking information, please click here.

Finally, I should like to express my gratitude to the unknown person or persons who nominated Pounds and Sense for an award..

As ever, if you have any comments or queries about this post, please do leave them below.

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