Weathering the Summer

Scotland’s summer is less 500 days and more 500 minutes.

windy weather scotlands coast

This has reportedly been one of the windiest, wettest and one of the most dreary summers in memory. The incessant rain and dreary overcast days throughout June resulted in fevered rumours of a heat blast to come in August…which turned out to be completely unfounded. However September has got to an excellent start even if we can feel the frost in the morning.

While the umbrella-strewn pavements of July are gone, it would be good to know that a last minute holiday isn’t out the question. As the high season starts to fade into the quieter off-season it’s good to know that prices also start to drop. There’s time still to make sure you have an eventful September weekend and take the time to nip somewhere a little bit different.

Many sites will begin to offer Winter Sun deals, these tend to be based around the equator as that where it’s hot in winter! There are some good   and websites like SkyScanner that will show some great low cost options. Even if you are a bit cash-strapped, if you are sensible with your money getting a holiday loan can always be a good option.

This guide by Money Saving Expert is one of the most comprehensive out there. It goes through how to turn your phone into an international Sat-Nav for those wi-fi-lacking moments, how to find cheap flights and even how to get free flights- if you play your card rights.

However if you are time strapped as well as cash then this guide covers the best tips for saving money when you are exchanging your money.

And if worst comes to worst, England has actually had alright weather so nip on down to Cornwall and have a pasty, stay on this island and experience the austerity summer; The Staycation. We better enjoy the few sunny days we do have, after all winter is coming.

Working Abroad – The How-Tos

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How to get a job when you move abroad

Travelling to a different country – a different continent even – can be very daunting, but living and working in a different country can be downright scary. Moving from Canada to the UK was a massive change for me and really quite nerve-wracking. I’ve had a range of employment since moving here 12 years ago, from call centre work, retail, bartender, admin and marketing. Not all of these have been ideal experiences and in the time I’ve been here, I’ve picked up some important tips that have helped me along the way.

Here are some of the key ones that will help you succeed in getting you that job away from home.

“How do they do it where you’re from?”

It’s great to talk about how “they do it over in…” anywhere. This gives you an edge over your potential colleagues and provides insight on different opportunities for the company you aspire to work for.  Don’t shy away from talking about your home country as this could be very beneficial in helping you land your dream job. You could mention this on your CV and in your interview by drawing on previous experiences you’ve had in your hometown that would be relevant to the job you’re going for.

Additionally, if you are from somewhere that speaks a different language or if you’re able to speak any other languages, this is something you should definitely boast about on your CV and in your interview.  Again, this will give you an edge and will give you an inimitable quality.

Are your papers in order?

There is nothing worse than losing out on your dream job because your visa, passport or whatever forms are needed to prove eligibility of employment are not up to date. In my experience, all employers will photocopy your proof of eligibility of employment with your passport, so make sure there are no issues with either of these.

Before you go to apply for any job, always check that you are eligible to work in your country of choice. Do not wait until after the interview to update these as these types of forms can take weeks even months to renew. This should be your first priority! If you’re moving to the UK, you can check whether or not you need a visa at the Gov.UK site. You can easily use Google search to find out what you’ll need for where you’re going.

Don’t be a victim of a bad business

Whether it’s your career or a job to help you earn some extra cash, always check the legitimacy of a business. Being from a different country can make you more vulnerable to working for an illegitimate company and you could end up being unemployed with no compensation. If you do have your suspicions, there are several ways you can check a company’s legitimacy. Initially, you can use Campanies House on the Gov.UK website to search for the business you’re look into. If you feel you have been duped by a company, you can also visit Citizens Advice to help you find your basic rights at work.

You should also make sure that you receive a pay slip and that your tax code on your slip is correct. This will mitigate any issues that could come your way in the future.

 

Scottish night out’s that won’t leave you out of pocket

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Scotland Flag

We all love a night out, but we also love not spending ANY money, because it’s ours and we deserve to keep it. So how do we have fun without giving too much of our precious money away?

Ghost Walk – Edinburgh

One part history lesson, one part spooky fun. Great night out, and you’ll learn a little about the city as well, prices start at £8 and go up to £15. Then once it’s over you can go for a quiet drink and discuss how you’ll ‘never get to sleep tonight’!

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Red Raw, the Stand – Glasgow & Edinburgh

Everyone loves a laugh, and Red Raw delivers. Everything from brand new, never once been on a stage acts, to some of the best in Scottish comedy (Frankie Boyle & Kevin bridges have appeared quite a few times). £2 a ticket is unbelievable pricing, with a decently priced bar as well and usually a competition to win free tickets for another red raw show. It’s well worth a try for comedy fans.

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ICW – All across Scotland

Made popular after its smash hit BBC documentary, Insane Fight Club, ICW has become a staple of the Scottish night out, and a great laugh. Only grown in popularity since the return of Scotland’s ‘Chosen One, Drew Galloway – Scotland’s most successful wrestler – who was recently released from his WWE contract and came back to where he started out. Wrestling fan or not, it will be plenty of fun, and might convert the uncoverted. Lot’s of their Glasgow shows start in Box, which has become the unofficial home of  ICW, so you can start their to get you hyped up for the event.

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The Budget 2015 – Everything you need to know

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The budget 2015
The budget 2015

What you need to know from the 2015 budget

As you probably already seen on the news, our current Chancellor George Osborne delivered our budget to parliament on 18th March 2015. However, in what may come as a surprise, a lot of people are unaware what the budget actually is. Simply put, the budget is a plan on how the government will spend the country’s money for the next 12 months. This is an annual process and is always conducted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  The government will decide how much they are going to spend, and on what services they are going to spend it on: housing, schools, and hospitals, defense etc.

Continue reading “The Budget 2015 – Everything you need to know”

Is Scottish Football Value for Money? – The Update

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scottish football

In October, when the season was still young we wrote a post asking the question ‘Is Scottish Football Value for Money?’ where we pulled data and made forecasts and made some calculations and with this and some other technical knowhow, we came to the decision of – undecided! Yes that’s right, undecided. As a lot of the data was as we said, forecasted from the games that had been played up until that point, we couldn’t really say for sure. Now we can! We think? The respective leagues of all the teams and competitions involved are now finished and we have the definitive data. The absolute data if you will. So, we’ve decided to make the updated version to the table.

Continue reading “Is Scottish Football Value for Money? – The Update”

Scottish Independence – Which way to turn?

scottish independence

With less than a year to wait until the people of Scotland decide whether or not political autonomy is the right way forward for us I wanted to put together a piece and ask you, the readers what your thoughts are.  I will highlight some of the main concerns, or so I think that the Scottish people may have about and what positive input we can muster from these same points.

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Scotland in 2014: The Place to be

the Saltire - Scotland's beautiful Flag

2014 is an exciting year for Scotland, a really exciting one.  We have some of the world’s top sports people coming to town as we host both the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.  And these are just two of the reasons that travel giant Lonely Planet has stated that Scotland is the third most essential holiday destination in 2014. Continue reading “Scotland in 2014: The Place to be”