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Bring On The Ice Bucket Challenges

Isn’t it fabulous that the Ice Bucket Challenges to raise money for charity have taken off so well? Most of the people I know have done one or more and Facebook is covered with videos of people getting wet.

No matter what charity you are making your donation to, the fact that there has been such a worldwide uptake of this challenge which has helped raise so much money has to be a good thing.

In these times of foodbanks and zero hours contracts there are many who are struggling to make ends meet. That so many people have come together in taking the challenge is heartening to see and the donations will make such a difference to the charity of their choice.

I have seen in recent days a small number of negative reports about these challenges.  Some saying that the challenges should not be done and people should just donate time or money etc without becoming involved in the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Why would you be negative about something that has done so much for good causes?

How or why the donations are given is not really what this is about, it is about donations being made which would not normally have been made.  So if a crazy challenge which is in itself relatively safe, has caught the public’s imagination, I say “go for it”.  Any donations to charity are welcome so there is no reason to denigrate the method or intention behind them.

So to all those who have known that fully clothed, soaking feeling and to those who have yet to experience it, I say well done.  Remember to donate and enjoy being part of a world wide phenomenon that just may increase donations to charity for some time to come.

Keep An Eye On Your Meter Readings

Last year my electricity payments were supposed to be increased by £50 per month.  As you can imagine I was not terribly impressed with this thought and declined to keep my direct debit in place.

I continued to pay the same amount as I had before but did it by debit card every month on payday.  The payments were made without fail however because payment was not made by direct debit I was seen as a payment risk and got warning letters pretty much every month about being behind in the amount payable.  I pretty much ignored them as I was paying £150 per month which for a 2 bedroom semi is quite sufficient I feel

Eventually after almost a year of this, the electricity company started threatening to cut off my supply and actually sent someone to the house to cut off the supply.  I eventually went online and checked my readings etc.

It turned out that the reason I was so far behind in payments was that the last 3 readings had been estimates.  I guess that’s what happens if you are working most days and not sitting in waiting for the meter reader.

On taking my own readings, the actual reading was less than the first estimate.

Obviously I called the electricity company and got this fixed, it turns out my monthly payment should only increase by £6 per month.  Happy with that I set up a direct debit for that amount.

A few months later, I suddenly had less money available in my debit account than I expected.  I went online to check it out and found that the electricity company had again estimated my usage and increased the payment to £208 per month instead of the £156 I expected.

I cancelled the direct debit and will again be paying by debit card each month.  I will however be taking my own readings to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again.

So the moral of the story is, if you have missed the meter reader a couple of times, you really want to be taking your own readings to ensure your direct debits do not skyrocket for all the wrong reasons.

Back Again

Welcome to this first post in the new Lang Toon Times.  After burning the candle at both ends trying to produce a printed edition it was time for a break.  I am now bringing the online edition back and will be using this for the forseeable future.  If you catch this site at it’s first reincarnation please forgive me it will be a bit ropey.

Improvements to come soon.

 

Karen