Are you hoping to find a home away from home for spending a special cosy Christmas in? There are plenty of choices for an idyllic Christmas getaway without jetting off to a sunny beach on an expensive holiday abroad. Check out these options for some of the possible Christmas getaways in the UK.
Christmas is one of the busiest times for the postal service, but even the Post Office has to close over Christmas. One thing we know for sure is that there will be no deliveries or collections on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Otherwise, the Post Office Christmas and New Year opening times can vary.
Just as benefit payment dates are affected by the bank holidays at Christmas and New Year, so are Jobcentre opening hours. Over the Christmas holidays, Jobcentre Plus offices will either be closed or have restricted operations on certain days. Check below to find out when Jobcentres will be open or closed.
Seasonal workers do not work all year round, but rather have a cycle of work in a particular season. For example, picking fruit and vegetables in summer or autumn is a popular seasonal job. Christmas is a busy time of year for lots of industries, so this is also a popular time for seasonal workers to find jobs. However, tax liability can be confusing when you are working a temporary job. Read this guide to find out whether Christmas workers have to pay tax.
Christmas came early for Costa customers when the nation’s biggest coffee shop chain introduced their 2019 festive menu on 1st November. The iconic Christmas cup designs are back, along with limited-edition premium drinks and showstopping seasonal snacks. Check out the full range of products and their prices below to find your new favourite festive treats for winter 2019.
Less than 1% of the 3 billion disposable coffee cups used every year in the UK are recycled. The single-use cups are difficult to recycle due to a lining of polyethylene, so these throw-away paper coffee cups are contributing to the high levels of waste that have a harmful effect on the environment. To cut down on waste without cutting out your daily caffeine dose, swap to a reusable coffee cup. This guide will help you to find the best reusable cup.
One of the most fun (and equally the most stressful) parts of Christmas is shopping for presents. However, people are often so busy figuring out what to buy for everyone else that they forget to think about what they actually want. Wishlists might seem presumptuous, old-fashioned, or even childish, but creating a wishlist is a great way to help people out if they’re struggling to find a gift for you. Even if people don’t get you the exact items on your list, it will give them an idea of the kind of things you’d like. This will help to avoid unpleasant surprises or the awkwardness of asking for a receipt.
How to Make a Christmas List
Most people turn to online shopping these days, so it makes sense to create your Christmas wishlist online too. This also makes it easier to circulate to your family and friends, or post on social media to give them a more passive hint. There are plenty of handy websites that you can use to make a wishlist. If you can find most of the things that you want on Amazon, you might find it easier to just make an Amazon wishlist. However, if your gift ideas range across multiple retailers, then a website that can compile all of the sources in one place is best. There are lots of free sites like Giftster, Gifthero, Things to Get Me, and Addwish. There are also sites for Secret Santa such as Elfster.
What to Ask For for Christmas 2019
Once you’ve chosen the platform to record your Christmas wishlist, you need to decide which gift ideas to add. It’s not cheeky to compile a list of things that you would actually want to receive, especially if you will use them a lot. It saves other people from wasting money and yourself from wasting valuable storage space when you get a present that you don’t want and won’t get any use out of. Christmas, like your birthday, is a chance to get a bunch of things that you’ve had your eye on for a while but couldn’t afford yet. You’re doing everyone a favour by listing what you really want.
If you need a practical item for everyday use but haven’t been able to invest in the purchase yet, let someone else treat you to it. Maybe you need a new watch or alarm clock, a new pair of headphones or a new bag. Do you need a pair of fancy shoes for special occasions? Is your kettle or toaster kaput? If there’s anything that might seem too boring to spend your own money on, let somebody else do it! It might be less exciting, but you’ll definitely use it.
Christmas is the peak occasion for novelty gift-giving, especially for Secret Santa operations. People aren’t going to find it too weird if you add a quirky item to your Christmas wishlist. If money is tight for you and there’s some shiny cool gadget that you really want but don’t actually need and you can’t justify buying, then it could make a great gift for somebody else to get you. It could be the perfect opportunity to get that silly board game, mini robot, plush cushion, underwater lights, or ice cream/popcorn/candyfloss maker.
Beauty gifts are popular at Christmas, and they are also practical in some cases. For example, if you need a literal make-up case, or if your hairdryer or styling equipment could do with a replacement or upgrade. A top-up of your favourite perfume or aftershave surely won’t go amiss, or a skincare set to fight off dry skin and chapped lips this winter. Again, you might have had your eye on something cool but too expensive, like a fancy make-up brush set or a designer brand product. If it’s in a friend’s budget, why not?
Christmas exemplifies some of the best things about winter: wrapping up warm and getting cosy indoors. Scarves, throws, and socks might seem like boring gift ideas, but you will always need them and they’ll always come in handy. Some fluffy slippers or your favourite scented candle will make you feel so much comfier when you’re snuggling in on a winter evening with a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows.
Speaking of hot chocolate and marshmallows, food-related gifts are also a staple at Christmas. You don’t have to feel greedy for asking for a bulk pack of your favourite snack or sweet treat. If you regularly drink coffee or tea, or you appreciate a particular type of liquor, then ask someone to treat you to a stash of your favourite drink. If you enjoy preparing food yourself, then add a handy kitchen tool to your wishlist, such as a pastry cutter or a vegetable dicer. Or you can ask for a cookbook if you want some new recipes to try out.
Having a hobby can be very rewarding as an individual, but there are often associated costs with keeping it up. Whether you’re a serial knitter, a fitness fanatic, or always listening to music, you can ask people to buy gifts which relate to your hobby. This could be a yoga mat or fitness tracker, speakers or vinyl records, or crafting materials. You can even use Christmas as a chance to motivate yourself to start a whole new hobby. Why not ask for a gift that relates to something that you always wanted to try but never got around to?
If you’re wondering how your passport will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you can find out all you need to know with the handy guide below.
Most people know about the colour change from burgundy back to blue, this is to strip the passport of their ties to the European Union and to make the passports identifiable as British passports.
The colour change is of course not the only changes that will affect you and your travel after no-deal Brexit. The Government is recommending that when the UK leaves the EU if you have less than 6 months from the date you arrive in your desired destination that you renew your passport before travelling. This recommendation is due to the possibility that EU countries may deny you access to the country if you have less than 1 year left on your passport.
In the case of no-deal Brexit, British citizens will be classed as a ‘Third Party’ national and therefore you will be required to comply with different rules and regulations, this includes your freedom of travel and requiring a visa to visit certain EU countries as well as how much time you will need to have left on your passport.
If you would like to drive whilst on holiday in the EU after no-deal Brexit you will need to apply for an international driving permit from the post office or the passport office before travelling abroad, this is because no-deal Brexit will mean the UK driving licences will not be valid by themselves in some EU countries.
If you have any inquiries regarding the changes to your passport and travel rights after no-deal Brexit you can call the Passport Office inquiries and customer services department by dialling 0844 248 1755. The customer services team will be able to answer any unanswered questions as well as inform you of whether you need to renew your passport.
If you’re nearing pension age, are self-employed or worried about your National Insurance contributions and are thinking of paying to top-up to ensure you’re eligible for state pension as well as make you eligible for certain benefits you can find out how by reading the guide below.
Why you may need to top up your National Insurance contributions
If you have gaps in your National Insurance record you may be denied state pension and certain benefits. You may have gaps in your record if you were unemployed and not claiming benefits, you were employed but on a low wage, you were living abroad at the time or you were self-employed but not paying because of small profits at the time.
How to top up National Insurance contributions
You will need to find out if you need to make Class 2 or 3 Voluntary Contributions. You can find out online or by calling the number that is listed below. You have the ability to pay the contributions you’ve missed from the past 6 years and the cut off date each year is the 5th of April. You will need to fill out the appropriate form which can be sent to your home and then send it back to the National Insurance head office. You will be able to pay the contributions via direct debit, cheque or cash. You can also pay your contributions by calling the number listed below.
National Insurance contributions contact number
If you have some inquiries or issues regarding a top-up of your National Insurance contributions you can call the National Insurance contributions contact number on 0843 596 4155. You can call if you would like to top-up your contributions, you would like to inquire about whether you need to top-up your contributions, you would like to find out the benefits of making a top-up of your contributions, you would like to find how much you need to top-up or if you have any other issues or inquiries you would like to inquire about.
If you’re looking to sign up for a store card but you’re unsure which card can offer the best deals for your spending in-store or online, we have compiled a list of the best store cards to help you grab the best deals.
Sainsbury’s Nectar Card
The Sainsbury’s Nectar Card is a great store card as it not only allows you to earn points when shopping with Sainsbury’s but also other partner shops such as Asos, eBay, Esso, DHL, Argos, Pizza Hut, Virgin Media, Debenhams, Just Eat, Apple, Sky, Next, Groupon and more. When shopping in Sainsbury’s online, in-store, at their pump and using their bank services. You can redeem your points not only in Sainsbury’s but also in several other stores including Vue Cinemas, Caffe Nero and Pizza Hut.
The Tesco Clubcard allows you to earn points when spending money in Tesco on food, fuel, fashion and more in-store or online. 150 Clubcard points turn into £1.50 vouchers. You will also have access to reward partners which means you can triple the value of your points by redeeming them through a reward partner. You can also track your points on the Tesco Clubcard app as well as redeem your vouchers to use online or in-store.
The Co-Op Membership allows you to gain 5% back on purchases of certain products from Co-Op. You can receive exclusive prices from Co-Op stores, their insurance services, the Funeralcare services, the legal services and more. This store card also give back to local causes in your community that needs financial help. You need to pay £1 to sign up for the membership and this means you will have a share in the company, a share in the company profits as well as a right to vote on company decisions.
Morrisons More Card
With the Morrisons More Card you can receive 5 points for every £1 you spend as well as 5 points for every 1 litre of fuel you purchase and extra points on certain products. You can receive a £5 voucher for every 5,000 points you earn. You can also keep track of your points and your vouchers using the website and logging into the app.
Iceland Bonus Card
The Iceland Bonus Card is a little different to other store cards, you use the card to save money in-store or online and you can then use the money you have deposited onto the card in-store or online to purchase items. You will also receive £1 for every £20 you save, you can shop online or in-store with free delivery and you will have access to exclusive bonuses and offers with the card that you will be sent information about via email.