Save money with TalkTalk bill busters

January is always a month for re-evaluation. Most of us have made resolutions to lose weight and get more healthy and have started taking positive steps towards this. January is also a time for realising how much you have spent over Christmas and often drastic saving measures are needed. It is a time for writing up a budget and working out where you can save money. TalkTalk have just launched a range of ways that their broadband, tv and phone customers can save money, called bill busters.

Bill bustersBill busters hands over control to the customer, you can look easily and work out ways you can save money on your services. This allows you to stay in control and helps you budget.

Smart ways to save

  •  Save 10% on your bill with a speedy payment discount. If you pay your bill within 24 hours you will get 10% off.  Payment is easy online or on your mobile using the TalkTalk app.
  • Save 10% with value line rental by paying a year in advance. This can be done at any time, without affecting your contract time or bill date.
  • Reduce mobile call costs with Talk2Go. This allows you to save your mobile minutes by redirecting landline minutes to your mobile and make calls from abroad at landline rates.
  • Privacy calling features are free so you can add 1571 voicemail, anoymous caller reject, last caller barring and caller display at no extra cost.
  • Opt for paperless billing and view your bills online saving yourself £22.80 a year.
  • Set up a calling circle and call friends and family at a discounted rate. Up to 16 numbers can be added.

Your Bills, Your Way

  • Choose how you want to pay your bill. There are plenty of different ways. You can set up a reoccurring card payment, use a Keyfob and pay at the Post Office, make a one off card payment or set up a direct debit on whatever day is best for you.
  • Set up a monthly usage allowance. This allows you to limit your spending on calls and movie rentals. You get alerts when you reach 50% and 90% of your allowance so you can stay in control.
  • Add and remove call boosts. This allows you to add extra minutes for mobile and international calls into your call allowance. These can be added on a monthly basis so if you need to call abroad one month you can just add an international boost and save money.
  • Add and remove TV boosts. If you want to watch a movie on sky you can add a movie boost for a month. If you want to watch a football match add a sports boost. These can be removed at the end of the month allowing you to dip in and out of telly as you wish and keep on top of your spending.

I feel more confident that I am in control of my bills and can budget for the year ahead. You can find more information on the TalkTalk website.

I am a TalkTalk family blogger

Keeping Fit with a Fitbit Flex

I like to think I am pretty fit. Although I work in an office I get out for a long walk with the dog every day and running around after the family keeps me in trim. I used to run regularly but recently I have not been doing as much exercise as I should have and have started to gain weight again. One of the reasons for this is that the colder weather and dark mornings put me off. It is fine running along country paths in the Summer when mornings are light, but it is not so easy to see your way on a dark Winter morning. Once you get over 40 it is much harder to keep the weight off, it seems to go on if you just look at a slice of cake, never mind eat it.

I needed some motivation to get me doing more regular exercise again. I definitely feel much happier when I exercise as well as being healthier. When Legal and General sent me a Fitbit Flex to try out, I was delighted. I do try and keep track of how many steps I do each day, but my pedometer keeps going missing in the house and I can never find it. The Fitbit Flex is a wireless activity and sleep wristband, it tracks steps and works out the distance you have travelled per day. It also monitors how well you sleep and it can also be used to check your calorie intake. Even better it is worn as a wristband so there is less chance of mislaying it.

Fitbit flexIn the box you get two wristbands, a small one and a large one,  a usb charging cable, a wireless sync dongle and the Fitbit tracker which is inserted in a wristband. Getting started is as easy as charging up the Fitbit using the usb charger, inserting it into the wristband and snapping the wristband onto your wrist. To track your progess you need to install the Fitbit app on your computer, which is download from the website. Once you have done that add the wireless dongle into a usb port, sign up for a free Fitbit account and sync your wristband. It then proceeds to track your activity.Fitbix flexThere is also a Fitbit app available on android and ios which allows you to sync the fitbit using bluetooth so you can view your progress during the day. Once the wristband is in place it feels secure. Even better it is splash proof so you can wear it in the shower, although I did take it off to have a bath. It is comfortable to wear and after a while you do not notice it.

fitbitAs well as tracking your progress via the app the Fitbit also uses LED lights to show you how close to your goal you are. Each light represents 20% of your goal. You can set the goal to be steps walked, calories or distance. Just tap the Fitbit and it will light up showing you how near your goal you are.

fitbitIf you want exact numbers just log into the app and it will show you.

fitbit flexI wore my Fitbit just to monitor my normal activity and see where I could increase my exercise. I found that on weekdays I was managing to fit my target of 10,000 steps per day. I was amazed to find that during my normal weekend activity on a Saturday I had actually walked 7.5 miles. This was just doing the shopping and cleaning, it was no wonder I was tired at the end of the day! I did find that I was motivated to walk more just to see all the little LED lights lit up. The fitbit also sends you emails to notify you when you have earned badges, which you get for walking certain distances. This makes you want to do more exercise to see what bad

The other thing I like about the Fitbit is that it monitors how well you are sleeping. At night you just tap it to put it into sleep mode and it tracks how well you have slept that night and how often you have got up. Even better you can set a silent alarm so that the Fitbit will buzz in the morning. This is great for waking me up but not my husband.

The Fitbit Flex is RRP £79.99 but it is a great motivational tool. Since I have had it I have found that I have wanted to get my exercise routine back on track and you may even see me out running again soon. I found out that the Fitbit Flex will also integrate with Runkeeper, the app I use to keep track of my running distances, so I will be trying that out soon. Hopefully I will also lose some weight in the process.

I was sent a Fitbit Flex in return for an honest review.

Christmas TV Bingo with TalkTalk

I love watching TV at Christmas. It is the one time I get a chance to actually sit down, relax and catch up on my viewing. When I was young I used to get my parents Christmas radio times and make a point of going though it, circling everything that had to be watched. In those days we had less channels, no video recorders or DVD recorders and on demand TV did not exist. If you wanted to watch something you had to watch it when it was on. I have great memories of watching Christmas shows like the Morcambe and Wise Special with the whole family, including my grandparents.

There are always lots of new films on at Christmas, and old favourites. Who secretly does not like watching the Wizard of Oz or Elf? If you prefer a good disaster movie then you can normally find The Towering Inferno or the Posiedon Adventure. There are usually lots of Christmas specials as well, who does not like to watch their favourite soaps?

These days, with TalkTalk TV I have much more choice. Not only can I record movies and series I want to watch later, I can also watch them on demand. I can add and remove channels like Sky Movies as and when I want by adding TalkTalk boosts. This means I can subscribe to sky movies over Christmas and catch all the latest blockbusters for a small extra cost. There is also a great range of the latest releases over on TalkTalk Box office which cost around £4.00 and are then available for 48 hours.

To make viewing more fun this Christmas TalkTalk have provided a Christmas TV Bingo card. Why not play with your family whilst you are viewing and make the prize some Christmas sweets.

Christmas TV BingoWe had a game the other night and it was amazing how quickly we managed to tick off a number squares on the card. It was quite good fun seeing who would be the first to get a row or a full house and added a bit of excitement to our viewing.

I am a TalkTalk TV family blogger.

Arcadie Desktop Arcade for iPhone

These days most homes have a computer, technology is common place and even a TV can be used to access the internet. When I was young computers were not found in the home. They started to make an appearance in the early eighties with the advent of the ZX81. Games had to be loaded with a cassette tape and it took ages. We were really excited to get a games machine that could be hooked up to the TV and spent ages playing tennis and brick buster, games which consisted of a bat and a ball. When we were on holiday in America we discovered Arcade machines. Our hotel had a number of these machines in the lobby where you could play space invaders and Pac Man. A new addiction was formed, my brothers and I spent lots of our pocket money putting quarters into these machines. There was something exciting trying to clear the space invaders as they dropped from the sky, their beating drums getting louder as they neared. Now technology has got a lot more advanced and games have high quality graphics and are much more involved

When GiffGaff sent me an Arcadie Desktop Arcade for the iPhone and iPod Touch I was quite excited to be able to play some old arcade games again. I was also really interested what my son would think of them.

Arcadie desk top arcadeThe Arcadie is designed specifically for the iPhone 5, 4 and 3GS and the iPod Touch 3, 4 and 5. It is a tiny arcade cabinet with a joy stick and buttons that you slide your iPod or iPhone into allowing you to play arcade games. The games can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store, just search Arcadie to find them. There are a range of games available like Blasteroids, Alien Invaders, Ping and Stacker.

ArcadieThere is a button on the  back of the device  allowing you to open it out and insert your iPod or iPhone easily. At the bottom is a  30 pin connector dock to connect your device to the Arcadie. There are two rubber bumpers which rest on your devices screen which protects it whilst it is in the Arcadie device. A couple of springy bumpers hold the device securely in place, these adjust to match the size of the device so it does not move whilst in the Arcadie.

ArcadieThe front of the device has a joystick that moves eight ways and an A and B button. We downloaded Alien Invaders. Once the app starts there is a short calibration period before the game begins and then it is just like being back in the arcade. It is great fun trying to shoot them down and we soon became competitive as a family trying to beat each others high score. The buttons and the joy stick were responsive.

Arcadie desktop arcadeMy son really took to the game and spent ages in front of the screen pew pew pew-ing away. The Arcadie retails for £14.99 so it would make a great gift either for a teenager or for an older person who remembers their youth in amusement arcades.

I was sent the Arcadie in return for an honest review

TalkTalk Mix Off Makes You a Star

Have you ever wanted to star on the X-Factor? If you watch the X Factor on a regular basis you will be aware that the show is sponsored by TalkTalk. The new TalkTalk Mix Off app allows you to create music videos, with you as the star. If you create one of the best you might find yourself starring during the shows ad breaks. With a range of great tunes to choose from and some great effects you can choose a song, get singing and upload the video to the Mix Off gallery. Perform Solo or with friends, do a dance routine and have fun belting out your favourite songs.

TalkTalk Mix OffThe app is really easy to use. You can choose from a range of different popular songs by sliding your finger. across the screen to show all the songs available. You can also choose from a range of different video effects in the same way. These can all be customised with different colours to make them unique.

TalkTalk Mix OffOnce you are happy with the effect choose record and start singing out the song.  You can see yourself on the screen so you know what the video is likely to look like when you have finished. If you are not sure of the  lyrics you can choose for them to be shown on the screen as you sing.   Dance, sing, pull funny faces and above all have fun. When you are happy with your video you can mix it up by adding up to three more songs to it.

If you are not sure about creating a video the TalkTalk Mix Off app also offers some great tips on how to make a good video and make it stand out. Get glammed up and bring out your inner pop star. When you have finished you can upload your video to the gallery and watch other peoples. You never know you might even find yourself starring on The X Factor.

 

I am a TalkTalk family blogger and get to try the TalkTalk services in order to tell you about them