I know we shouldn’t be encouraging you lot to breed, but if any of you do have kids, you’d better get them into the money saving habit early, or they are destined to be crap with their cash forever.
Current Government-oracle-of-the-month on all things financial, the Money Advice Service has released a new report that “highlights the power which parents and caregivers possess to shape the money habits of their children”. In simple terms, if you haven’t encouraged them save up their pocket money for something by age 7, you may as well give up now.
Authored by behaviour experts at Cambridge University, the report reveals ‘key findings’ about how and when core behaviours and habits are formed in young children, for example:
- by the age of seven most children have grasped how to recognise the value of money and to count it out; and by this age they will also have come to understand that money can be exchanged for goods, as well as what it means to earn money and what income is;
- by the age of seven, most children in the UK are capable of complex functions such as planning ahead, delaying a decision until later and understanding that some choices are irreversible; but children under eight years old have not developed an understanding of the difference between ‘luxuries’ and ‘necessities’.
The report urges parents not to underestimate the effect their own money habits will have on their children. Clearly Bitterwallet readers’ offspring will all have excellent money management skills, while all those bad parents with bad habits will end up with financially idiotic children. Not that they are thrusting their sticky beak in, but the Money Advice Service thinks “simple and playful parenting… is required in order for children to develop good money management skills, which are essential to help them become financially capable adults.” Hard cheese if you are not simple nor playful then.
Caroline Rookes, CEO of the Money Advice Service said, ominously:
“This study really demonstrates the power of parental influences, and illustrates how much of what you learn and absorb when you are young, both consciously and subconsciously, affects the choices you make throughout the rest of your life.
Co-author of the new study, Dr David Whitebread, of Cambridge University was similarly cheery, saying:
“The ‘habits of mind’… including financial ones, are largely determined in the first few years of life,” and adding that “simply imparting information is now recognised as being ineffective in this area.”
As a result, the Money Advice service plans to create products and services for parents to use to help children understand money skills. Look out for their fun ‘financial education’ picture story book coming your way soon.
Dramatically, Britain was six hours away from running out of gas in March. We can only imagine the apocalyptic world that would’ve happened minutes after that. Public floggings, cannibalism, people using electricity… all manner of weird shit.
Anyway, high demand during the record cold snap in March, combined with a pipeline fault saw gas stores “dangerously low”, the Crown Estate said.
At the time, reports said we were actually 2 days away from running out of gas, but the Crown Estate, which manages the Queen’s property portfolio including vast underground gas caverns (which sound like insane James Bond places) said it came even closer to doom.
Rob Hastings, energy and infrastructure director at the Crown Estate, was reported by the Financial Times as saying: “We really only had six hours’ worth of gas left in storage as a buffer. If it had run any lower it would have meant interruptions to supply. The bottom line is that in the UK we are in a place where the gas supply is dangerously low.”
Nick Winser, executive director of National Grid, said: “It is true that there wasn’t a huge amount of storage left – but there never is at the end of winter. The UK has low storage levels by international standards, but there is a large diversity of (supply) sources. Our gas supply resilience is quite substantial.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always used Stan Ogden as my template for health and wellbeing. String vest, an alcohol problem, a fry up every morning, and a blocked pulmonary artery by lunchtime. Soap characters influence everyone’s daily habits, don’t they? I mean, we’re always driving our cars into the canal and being taken hostage at the knicker factory.
Well, so John Moore’s University Business School in Liverpool seem to believe. Today they warned that soap characters are responsible for promoting unhealthy lifestyles, after assessing 830 scenes from Coronation Street, Eastenders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks. (Apparently this is an actual job).
Researchers found that the only character seen eating fruit was Denise Fox from Eastenders, who was eating a tangerine while lying on the floor pissed out of her head.
Diorean Maddock from the British Heart Foundation got stuck in, saying:
‘Walford, Coronation Street and Emmerdale would be much healthier places if their famous residents were served up a more balanced diet, got active and drank only the recommended amount of alcohol when the cameras are rolling.’
Will soaps take this on board? Will we see Phil Mitchell eating his five a day and everyone drinking 2-3 units at the Rovers? Or, maybe someone could come to their senses and realise that soaps are FICTIONAL?
Nationwide is experiencing a deluge of new customers – over 1,000 day – who are turning their backs on high street banks and running wildly towards the building society with their bags of cash.
Despite their monumental e-banking crashes of a few weeks ago, it seems that people are going crazy for Nationwide’s FlexDirect current account, which pays 5% interest rate on balances over £2500. In fact, their new customer figures are up by 58% on last year.
According to Which! over a quarter of banking customers have some kind of problem with their current account and have made complaints. And although we tend to remain with our banks for years, it’s more likely we’re staying because we’re worried something will go wrong, rather than out of a sense of loyalty.
But with plenty of other places such as the Post Office, M&S and Tesco offering good current account deals at the moment, it looks like the established banks are going to have to come up with something.
Just to demonstrate how much banks are losing the plot, First Direct is offering customers £100 to switch to them – and an extra £200 if you LEAVE.
Yes, if you decide they suck, they’re going to give you £200 anyway. Quick, switch now! Then set up an account with Nationwide and get 5% interest on your readies.
New research commissioned by data analytics company Guavus found that cash-strapped consumers are willing to exchange their time for money-off. Almost half (47%) of respondents said they would be keen to watch adverts on their smartphone in exchange for commercially-funded or part-funded line rental. Forced advertising has allowed free use of apps for years, so why not extend the model to mobile phone contracts?
“According to eMarketer, advertisers spend more per user on mobile advertising in the UK than any other country…The latest IAB (Internet Advertisers Bureau) figures shows mobile advertising in the UK grew by 148%; with total digital ad spend reaching £5bn in 2012” said Louis Brun, senior vice president of Guavus.
But the survey of 2,545 UK smartphone users also revealed that customers would be prepared to go even further, with up to 46% of consumers willing to sell their data to third parties to get cheaper or free upgrades. However, appetite for giving away personal data varies with age, with over half of 16-24 year olds up for it, as opposed to just 26% of those aged 55-64. Who probably don’t have a smartphone anyway.
> 43% of consumers would be willing for operators to sell their aggregated anonymous personal data; such as, age, profession, location etc., to third parties
> 46% would be willing for operators to sell their anonymised usage data, such as which apps they downloaded and how often, to third parties
The research also stated that 84% of users think that operators should be using their data to offer them a service tailored to their specific requirements.
So what do you think? Is consenting to explicit mining of your data for financial reward just plain stupid, or it is more idiotic not to, given data giants like Google just use it for free anyway? Would you sell your soul personal information to the marketing devil in exchange for cheaper services?
Since Ocado did a dirty deal with Morrisons behind Waitrose’s back, Waitrose boss Mark Price is refusing to speak to them. He may even stay in his bedroom for the whole day, apart from to go to the toilet and get a bowl of cornflakes from the kitchen.
Sulky Ronnie Barker lookalike Mark hasn’t replied to any emails or calls made by Ocado’s CEO Tim Steiner. ‘It’s a joke,’ said Tim, who tied up the deal with Morrisons last week. ‘Ocado has gone from a toddler to an unruly teenager. Now we are an adult,’ said Steiner. ‘Sometimes the parent doesn’t like it when the child grows up.’
Waitrose just turned up its System of A Down album and slammed the door, saying that they have to consult their lawyers on the matter. They warned that they would be studying the Morrison’s deal carefully to see if there had been a breach of contract. Until that was completed, they wouldn’t contact Ocado or meet up with them in the skate park – I mean, boardroom.
Steiner says that the deal will be good for Waitrose because it means the company will finally be financially secure, but he also thinks that Waitrose has been shaken by the tie up with Morrisons.
On Wednesday, Waitrose said they WOULD meet Ocado, but only if it promised to bring Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and stop going on about how great Morrisons is. Let’s hope these two sort it out before an adult gets involved.
Remember when Nissan had to recall 51,000 cars after a customer’s steering wheel came off in their hands? Well, they’re recalling around 841,000 vehicles worldwide thanks to… you guessed it… a faulty steering wheel!
In the UK, there’ll be 133,869 models of the Nissan Micra recalled, built between 2002-2006. Apparently, the bolt used in the steering wheel hasn’t been screwed on properly, which isn’t particularly exciting, but it is a worrying sign for Nissan.
Earlier in the month, Nissan had to recall 500,000 vehicles globally over a defective passenger airbag.
The carmaker are offering to tighten the bolts or replacing steering wheels entirely.
It is worth pointing out that, thus far, no accidents involving the cars have been reported, but drivers will notice if the steering wheel is getting loose.
You won’t have to be without your car for too long as a Nissan spokesperson in the UK said that the repair should only take around 15 minutes to rectify.
The murder in Woolwich was beyond grim, undertaken by a crazed individual using a religion as his cause, thereby damning all other Muslims for the rest of the week by blokes who have a problem with Islam. It’s a sensitive, tricky issue and everyone would be well advised to take stock, have a think, and then talk.
Unless you’re Friends Reunited that is, who wasted no time in getting some promotional material out on Twitter, with the body still warm on the tarmac.
Friends Reunited there, with a bizarre idea of trying to capitalise on something that was trending on the social network. Someone in the digital promo team is probably getting sacked today.
Elsewhere, the EDL were rallying their troops so they could don balaclavas and try burning down some mosques. However, as we know, the EDL aren’t the brightest bunch, leaving EDF Energy explaining that they don’t really have anything to do with Woolwich, apart from putting people’s bills up.
An engineer had something of a fright when he found a nest of reptiles in a Virgin TV cable box.
Martin Burgess-Moon, a man with a wonderful name from Devon, noticed he had a problem when his TV signal started buggering up and his internet access failed.
Turned out to be something akin to a Chris Morris sketch.
“The internet at our home in Whitleigh went down and our TV picture was dodgy, so we called Virgin who sent an engineer out,” Burgess-Moon said. ”When he opened the box outdoors he discovered what looked like a nest of snakes.”
“It appeared to be a mother with lots of babies, all wrapping themselves around the cables. He was worried but soldiered on nonetheless. Thankfully our internet and TV are now working. Our guests remain in the box and can stay as long as they like.”
The killjoys at Nutella have decided to put the kibosh on World Nutella Day with a cease-and-desist letter. This is the same people who said the correct way to pronounce the product name was ‘new-telluh’, because the product is clearly filled with ‘newts’.
Ferroro SpA, the owners, ordered the closure, and the founder of the day said: ”Seven years after the first World Nutella Day in 2007, I never thought the idea of dedicating a day to come together for the love of a certain hazelnut spread would be embraced by so many people!”
Founder Sara Rosso continued: ”I’ve seen the event grow from a few hundred food bloggers posting recipes to thousands of people tweeting about it, pinning recipes on Pinterest, and posting their own contributions on Facebook!”
“There have been songs sung about it, short films created for it, poems written for it, recipes tested for it, and photos taken for it.”
“The cease-and-desist letter was a bit of a surprise and a disappointment, as over the years I’ve had contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero SpA. and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants. I’ve always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration of a spread I (to this day) still eat.”
“I have hope that this is not a goodbye to World Nutella Day forever, for the fans’ sake, and hopefully it will live on in one form or another in the future.”
This is truly our generation’s JFK moment.
When it comes to dirty burgers and rat-infested branches of Chicken Cottage, there’s something of hygiene postcode lottery going on, according to a new Which! report. The worst place to satisfy a fast food craving is apparently Bexley, where 45% of businesses fall below the official hygiene rating of ‘generally satisfactory.’
The report took stats from Food Standard Agency hygiene reports up and down the UK and found that Bexley was bogging, followed by Birmingham’s B35 postcode, which was the second place most likely to find a verucca plaster in your kebab.
Established UK fast food chains were also exposed as well dodgy, with 29% of Chicken Cottage outlets and a quarter of Dixy Chicken shops rated below satisfactory. On the higher end of the scale, 18% of La Tasca branches are crappy too – so don’t think you’re getting away with botulism just because you’re eating tapas instead of a dog burger in the street.
If you don’t want to end your night peering at the toilet bowl, though, you should head to Carluccios, Zizzis, Eat or the Premier Inn, which had no low scores at all.
Which! are calling for clearer hygiene ratings in restaurants, but surely this undermines the whole point of a grubby late night fried chicken blow out – whether you can still eat it and wake up alive?
Quick, stock up the shed with booze: a champagne which costs just £12.99 from Aldi has beaten loads of other fancy champagnes in a blind taste test at the International Wine Challenge 2013. And that includes Veuve Cliquot, which retails at £130.
Wine boffins and spittoon filling tossers gathered at the event and tasted several vintages. One of the best was Aldi’s Champagne Veuve Monsigny by Philizot and Fils. The judges said it was ‘classy and complex’ – which sounds like a ghost written novel by Kim Kardashian – but apparently that’s wine speak for ‘ace.’
The champagne won the silver medal at the Wine Challenge – with the panel decreeing that it offered ‘an intense nose of baked apple, brioche and stone fruits with gorgeous flavours of apples, red fruit and minerality on the palate.’ (But does it get you pissed?)
Last month Aldi’s £10 own label gin also scored highly in a similar taste test at the International Spirits Challenge, beating brands that cost five times as much.
So if you’re a booze enthusiast – or just a common or garden alcoholic – get down to Aldi today with an articulated lorry.
Apparently, the majority of you lot would rather go without sex than go without your mobile phone. Two thirds of young Britons reckon that they “couldn’t live without their phone” and, astonishingly, 9% said they’d rather part with their own children than part with their gadgets.
The survey by Mobileinsurance.co.uk found that 94% of people in the UK would rather live without sex than their mobile phones while almost a quarter of those polled said they were ‘very dependent’ on their handset, while 10 per cent felt they could ‘take or leave’ their device.
Remarkably, the poll also found out that nearly half of the survey would rather live without ‘basic meals’.
Either people weren’t taking the survey very seriously or we, as a nation, have reached a stage where we’re so jaded that only our phones are our friends and we’d actually rather die than face that realisation.
Which is nice.
Over in Prague, a place so pretty that it makes you vomit when you look at it, they plan to create a humiliating ‘love carriage’ on underground trains so single people can find love.
This is a move to try and encourage people to use public transport more. Of course, the mystifying payment system for Prague public transport doesn’t help either, where you have to pay for ‘time’ rather than ‘distance’.
Filip Drapal, spokesman for the capital’s transport company, told AFP: “People meet there, pass by each other, and if they like one another they can start a relationship. We do not know yet whether the dating car will be the last carriage on each train, and whether it will work [for a] day, a week, or one an hour.”
If it works, the trains might have to stop for rubbers on the line.
There are doubters. Commuter Petr Voracek said: “When I’m in a rush, I enter the first open door I see. I should watch out now and make sure no-one starts seducing me.”
The Shake Weight prank has been performed on drive-thru workers. In the clip-compilation, the driver
In a compilation of clips, the driver is seen pulling up to a number of drive-thrus and instead of ordering, he uses the modified dumbbell which makes himself look like he’s tugging himself off.
Have a look at the video below.