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Money / Finances

The Cost of Living Crisis

By Money / Finances, Political, ThinkingNo Comments
Image Copyright © Sye Watts/Antony Simpson, 2014.

I’m not generally a fan of the word crisis. It is used far too frequently in the sensationist media. But the cost of living in the UK is definitely heading towards a crisis point.

The costs of the basics, food, water, shelter, electricity and clothing is rising at an alarming rate and much higher than people’s wages. Add to this a rise in Taxes (National Insurance). Some of the poorest in our society are simply put not going to make ends meet.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Our openly corrupt Government could make some different choices, ones that would help all. For example, they could:

  • Scrap the planned rise in National Insurance Tax (due in April 2022).
  • Reduce or Scrap the taxes raised on Food and Fuel. This action alone would benefit everyone and significantly reduce people’s outgoings.

But the rich, those who are most resilience to increases in the cost of living, decide our fiscal policies. They have no idea what it is like to be poor or to struggle.

I can only hope that the economy starts to nose dive and that they make some real decisions then to deal with the cost of living crisis.

Write soon,


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Chester Zoo: In need of £1.6 Million (per month) to Prevent it from Going Under

By Money / Finances, NatureNo Comments

Chester Zoo is in need of £1.6 Million (per month) to prevent it from going under and closing its doors for good.

97% of Chester Zoo’s income comes from visitors; but it is currently closed due to lockdown to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Chester Zoo Logo © Chester Zoo, 2020.

Currently it doesn’t know what support it will get from the Government. Zoo Keepers fear that the financial support won’t be enough until they are able to re-open again. They have taken the dramatic step of stating their financial state and are asking for donations.

Chester Zoo is one of my favourite zoos and one that I have many happy memories from. I will of course be making a donation. And you can here. But I don’t think they’ll be able to raise £1.6 million every month.

Chester Zoo needs to look at diversifying their income streams. Here are some ideas:

  • Get your merchandise online – You have a huge range of products in your shop that would sell well online.
  • Do pay-per-view/pay-to-download animal talks and feeding times on online.
  • Do virtual tours with a tour guide. This would be an exciting way to see the zoo and it might mean that we get to see all the animal talks and feedings in one day.
  • More corporate sponsorship of exhibits and consider a sponsorship page on your website.
  • Independently publish a series of Chester Zoo Insight books on Amazon Kindle Direct. Independently publishing will cost you the time to create the content (the photos and text) but won’t cost you anything to print and you won’t have to deal with shipping (Amazon will take care of that).
  • Publish back copies of your Z magazine online. Sell them at a low cost and you’ll sell more.
  • Consider setting up a lottery. Cats Protection do this well here.

It will be really sad if Chester Zoo closes. There are some aspects of life that shouldn’t involve money and caring for animals is one of them.

Write soon,


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The Small Safe Review

By Home, Money / Finances, Reviews, ShoppingNo Comments

I recently purchased this small safe:


Small safe: ideal for passports, cash and jewelry.


Inside the Small Safe: Has holes on back and bottom for bolting.


Small Safe Key: Double bit lock, modern aiming to prevent the use of the Bulgarian pick method.


Bolts for securing to wall or other surface (such as inside a wardrobe).

The Pros are:

  • Small – Doesn’t take up much space and perfect size to be hidden away somewhere. It is the ideal size for passports, cash and jewelry.
  • Easy to install and secure into place with bolts.
  • Double Bit lock.
  • Three keys provided.
  • Lightweight.
  • Colour black means it may not be noticed by a thief or others whom you might not want to know about it.
  • I imagine it would be more difficult for a thief to get into than a standard key lock cash tin.
  • No need to remember a combination code.
  • No electronics therefore no chance of electronic failure or the requirement of replacing batteries.
  • It would take a thief quite some effort to get into it. However an expert lock smith could probably open it easily (should you ever loose your keys).
  • Price and availability are good.
  • Lots of positive reviews on amazon.

The Cons are:

  • The safe is so lightweight that it requires bolting to a surface. Otherwise a thief could literally pick it up and walk off with it. I would also recommend that you hide it away somewhere e.g. in the wardrobe, or under the bed, or at the back of a cupboard, or somewhere similar. However if you had a cash tin the thief could do the same, the difference being that this small safe gives you the option to bolt down whereas a cash tin can’t be bolted down.
  • It isn’t fire resistant or fireproof. However it probably is more secure than fireproof safes.
  • Only someone with a key can access. This means if someone hasn’t got a key but you need them to gain access for you, they wont be able to. Unlike a combination safe were you could give them the code.
  • There are probably more secure safes on the market. This is not necessarily a Con, just a fact. But this is the only one of this small size that I could find.
  • It isn’t big enough to keep documents in. This is not necessarily a Con either. It’s just something to be aware of if you’re looking for a safe to keep documents in.

A tip if you choose to buy this safe: There is a trick to getting the key into the lock. You need to line up the missing bit out of the key head to the red dot on the lock. Then the key will slide easily into the lock.

There are more pros than cons for this small safe. I’m happy with my purchase. For obvious security reasons I’m not going to tell you where I’m keeping my safe or what I intend to put in it.

Other Similar Products on Amazon

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Blog soon,


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Wonderful Websites – Money

By Money / Finances, The WebNo Comments
wonderful-websites-image This is the fourth blog post in a series titled Wonderful Websites. The first focused on general health and can be read here. The second focused on mental health and mental illness and can be read here. The third post focused on shopping and can be read here.

Here is a list of Wonderful Websites for money:

1. Money Saving Expert is packed with information all about money. Saving it. Borrowing it. Earning it. There’s too many useful sections of this website to name them all, but I like the bit about consumer rights, their campaigning for PPI and the online forum.

2. Go Compare is my number one price comparison site. My car insurance renewal is always cheaper on Go Compare than other price comparison websites. You can also compare prices of home insurance, home utilities, travel insurance, broadband and other things.

3. uSwitch gives me the best electricity prices and make moving from one company to another hassle free.

4. The Money Advice Service is a Government funded website filled with information covering: debt & borrowing, homes & mortgages, budgeting & saving, work & benefits, retirement, family, cars & travel and insurance.

5. Financial Ombudsman deals with disputes between customers and companies providing financial products. So if you’ve had a bad experience and feel you’ve been treated unfairly, first complain to the company. If you get no satisfactory conclusion then you can make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

6. Skint Dad gives some really good ideas for saving money, earning money and deals on cheap food.

Have I missed a great money website off the list above? If so, leave a comment below and let me know.

In the next post in my Wonderful Websites series I will list websites for Gigs, Shows and Theatres.

Blog soon,



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