6 things you didn’t know about Tajikistan

Located in Central Asia, Tajikistan is a beautiful landlocked country that was once at the heart of the famous Silk Road. With a population of 9.75 million, Tajikistan is home to (many) mountains and rivers, as well as a lake named after Alexander the Great. It’s also one of the many countries you can send money to with TransferGo.

But how much do you really know about Tajikistan? To celebrate this fascinating country, we thought it was time to explore some fun facts.

Here are 6 things you didn’t know about Tajikistan.

The capital city is named after Monday

Tajikistan’s capital city is Dushanbe, which translates to ‘Monday’ in Persian. The reason for this is because the city was once a village that sat at the crossroads of a very popular weekly market that took place every… You guessed it! Monday.

Dushanbe is a beautiful city that’s built around picturesque parklands. It’s also home to some impressive landmarks including the world’s second-tallest flagpole (164 metres high) and the 10th Century Ismoil Somoni golden statue, which sits in Friendship Square.

It’s home to (many) mountains and rivers

Tajikistan is rather mountainous. In fact, 90% of the territory is mountainous with 50% of the country having an elevation of more than 3000m above sea level. Most of the highest peaks are found in the Pamir and Alay ranges. The tallest is Ismoil Somoni Peak, which soars at 7,495 metres tall.

Tajikistan is also home to many rivers with over 900 of them stretching longer than 10km. Two of the biggest rivers flowing through the country include the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya.

The country is highly susceptible to earthquakes

Unfortunately, Tajikistan is located in a seismically active zone, making it very susceptible to earthquakes. In fact, earthquakes occur here reasonably regularly.

Qaratog, one of the world’s deadliest earthquakes was experienced in Tajikistan in 1907 with more than 12,000 people losing their lives. The 1949 Khait earthquake was another deadly one, with the natural disaster event taking thousands of lives.

The national flag symbolises many things

Approved in 1992, the National Flag of Tajikistan consists of three horizontal lines. The top line is red as a symbol of state sovereignty and represents the sun, victory and triumph. Meanwhile, the middle white line represents the cotton that made Tajikistan famous. However, some say it also represents the snow found on top of the country’s many mountains.

The green line at the bottom stands for agricultural production while the crown in the centre with an arc of seven gold stars represents unity among the country’s many different social classes.

Iskanderkul Lake is named after Alexander the Great

One of Tajikistan’s signature sights is Iskanderkul Lake in the Fann Mountains. It’s shaped like a triangle and surrounded by rocky peaks. Its water also changes colour from turquoise to milky white throughout the day.

Iskanderkul takes its name from Alexander the Great and is believed to be where his horse, Bucephalus, drowned in a battle. (‘Iskanderkul’ translates to ‘the Lake of Alexander the Great’). In fact, some locals claim to occasionally see the horse during a full moon. Apparently, he comes out of the lake and grazes on the shores.

Over 25% of Tajikistan’s GDP comes from immigrant remittances

Tajikistan is one of the poorest countries to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2019, its national poverty rate was over 26%. To help reduce this poverty, many locals travel abroad for work and send money back to their families. It’s estimated that somewhere between 30-40% of households in Tajikistan have at least one family member working abroad.

The country is now one of the most heavily remittance-dependent countries in the world. In 2020, around 26.88% of the country’s GDP came from remittances. To put that into perspective, the world average for that time was 5.31%.


Do you have some fun facts of your own about Tajikistan? Share them with us on Instagram. We’ll reshare our favourites! Don’t forget to tag us at @transfergo.

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2022 11 03
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The Top 5 highest-grossing Nollywood films of all time

Did you know that Nollywood is the world’s second-largest film industry? Thanks to impressive storytelling and premium production qualities, Nollywood films are considered one of Nigeria’s major exports.

This is seen in both their international recognition and heavy revenue. In 2021, the industry was worth $6.4 billion, contributing roughly 2.3% and $660 million to the country’s GDP in 2020. 

Here are the top 5 highest-grossing Nollywood films of all time.

1. Omo Ghetto: The Saga

Released in 2020, Omo Ghetto is a comedy directed by Funke Akindele and her husband, Jjc Skillz. It stars Akindele as Lefty, who struggles between the choice of living life in the ghetto with her friends or enjoying the comfortable lifestyle offered by her wealthy adopted mother. It ruled the Nigerian box office for 10 weeks, grossing a total of N636 million.

2. The Wedding Party

When The Wedding Party was released in December 2016, it broke the record of the highest-grossing Nollywood movie. Directed by Kemi Adetiba, the rom-com follows the chaos and drama over a day as a wealthy family tries to prepare and pull off a lavish wedding. The film was a box office success, grossing over N453 million in total.

3. The Wedding Party 2

After the success of The Wedding Party, its sequel, The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai was released in 2017. Directed by Niya Akinmolayan, it’s set across Nigeria and Dubai as a British and Nigerian couple (Deirdre, the London bridesmaid and Nonso, Dozie’s elder brother from the first movie) plan to wed. It grossed over N433 million overall.

4. Chief Daddy

Another Niya Akinmolayan directorial smash was Chief Daddy, the fourth highest-grossing Nigerian movie of all time. The comedy-drama tells the story of the billionaire industrialist and polygamist, Chief Beecroft and the effects on his dysfunctional family after his sudden and unexpected death. When it was released in 2018, the film grossed over N387.5 million.

5. Sugar Rush

Directed by Kayode Kasum, Sugar Rush follows the three Sugar sisters as they discover $800,000 in the house of a corrupt man, Chief Douglas. After the sisters lavishly spend the money, they end up in serious trouble when the mafias come to claim their share of the money. The heist comedy was an instant success in 2019, grossing over N287 million. 


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2022 10 31

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7 tips to improve your credit score

As the cost of living crisis deepens, a good credit report is becoming more and more important. Not only does it affect your chances of getting a mortgage, loan or credit card, but it also determines your eligibility for bank accounts, car insurance and even, mobile phone contracts. 

Looking for tips on how to improve your credit score? Our helpful guide tells you everything you need to know.

What is a credit rating and credit score? 

A credit rating (or credit score) is a system that determines how likely an individual or business will be given credit by a lender. Its aim is to try and predict how likely you are to repay your loans. 

Different lenders have their own methods of judging whether to offer you credit or not. But as a general rule, if you can demonstrate a consistent history of responsible borrowing, regularly pay your debts off on time and keep your records up to date, your credit rating will likely be good. The higher your credit rating, the better your chances of being accepted for credit at the best rates.

How to improve your credit score

There are many credit reference agencies that allow you to check your credit score. These include the likes of Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. If your credit rating needs improving, try the following steps…

1. Sign up to the electoral register

Keeping your details up to date on the electoral register is super-important. Whether you’re living alone or in shared accommodation, always inform the electoral roll whenever you move as this is how lenders verify your identity. If you’re not eligible to vote in the UK and so are unable to be on the electoral roll, ask all three credit reference agencies (listed above) to add a ‘notice of correction’ to your credit file so that you can provide alternative proof of residency to lenders. This could be via a utility bill or your UK driving licence.

2. Avoid moving house regularly if possible

If you can avoid moving house on a regular basis, do so. Frequently switching between different residences can raise alarm bells to lenders. They may think you’re having trouble paying rent or other issues, for example. If you stay in one property for a long period of time, then lenders will see stability in your circumstances.

3. Build your credit history

You may think that not having a credit card will improve your credit score. But actually, not having any credit at all makes it very challenging for lenders to assess your creditworthiness. The less credit you have, the lower your credit score will be. If you’re new to the country and have no credit history, building it up doesn’t take long. Ways to build your credit history include opening up a bank account, taking out a small form of credit (a mobile phone contract, for example), managing your household bills well and getting a credit card and making regular payments on time.

4. Keep your credit utilisation low

If you have a credit card, it’s a good idea not to max out your limit completely. Doing so could raise alarm bells to lenders. If possible, try to keep your credit utilisation lower than 30%. For example, if your credit card limit is £5,000, try not to use more than £1,500. This will send a positive signal to lenders and may help to increase your credit score.

5. Keep your old accounts open

When you take out a credit card with interest-free periods, it can be tempting to do a balance transfer and immediately close your account. But actually, demonstrating that you’re able to successfully manage multiple credit accounts over a long period of time can do wonders for your credit score. If you have a long-held credit card account and you’re only accessing a small portion of your credit limit, you will likely be rewarded.

6. Monitor your credit file and report any mistakes

Small errors such as a mistyped address can hinder your creditworthiness and cause lenders to refuse credit. That’s why it’s a good idea to regularly check your credit report to ensure all the information is accurate. If there are mistakes, contact the provider directly and request changes. Monitoring your credit file also makes it easier to spot fraudulent activity. If a fraudster takes credit out in your name and you spot an application you don’t recognise on your credit report, you should report it straight away. Experian has a helpful guide explaining what to do if you’ve been a victim of identity fraud.

7. Utilise Experian Boost

When you sign up for an Experian account, you can choose to link your current account. Experian Boost then analyses your responsible financial behaviour. It looks at information such as mortgages, mobile phone contracts, regular household bills and credit cards and shares the data with participating creditors (subject to your consent). If you’re making regular payments and you’re not spending more than you earn, your credit score could get an instant boost.


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2022 10 19

5 things you didn’t know about Azerbaijan

How much do you know about Azerbaijan? Bordered by Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and the Caspian Sea, the landlocked Asian country is home to roughly 10 million people. Oh, and lots and lots of oil. 

Azerbaijan is also one of the many places where you can send money with TransferGo. To celebrate everything we love about Azerbaijan, we thought it was high time to explore some fun facts about this incredible country.

Here are 5 things you didn’t know about Azerbaijan. 

Azerbaijan is often referred to as The Land of Fire

Why is Azerbaijan often referred to as The Land of Fire? Well, where do we start? Not only is it home to many of the oldest hearths on earth, but it’s also the centre of fire-worshipping and its name literally translates to ‘protector of fire’.

Whatsmore, there’s a famous site in Azerbaijan called Yanar Dağ (or ‘Burning Mountain’), which is a natural glowing fire that’s been blazing for at least 65 years, thanks to the natural gases seeping through the ground underneath that continuously feed it. Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku is also home to the famous Flame Towers, a group of three skyscrapers that symbolise the elements of fire. 

Azerbaijan’s flag represents different cultures

Azerbaijan’s flag consists of three horizontal stripes in blue, red and green with a star and crescent in the centre. The blue of the flag and the eight-pointed star represents the Turkic-speaking people of the region. Meanwhile, the green represents Islam and the red represents Europe. (Although Azerbaijan is in Asia, some of its northern districts are deemed to be geographically in Europe).

The crescent to the centre of the flag is also one of Islam’s symbols. Adopted in 1918, the flag has become the predominant and most recognisable symbol of Azerbaijan.

Neft Daşları was built on stilts

Azerbaijan is home to some truly impressive oil reserves and once supplied more than half of the world’s oil. During WW2, the country supplied the Eastern front with most of the oil required for the Soviet tanks to victory over the Nazis.

Its city, Neft Daşları (meaning Oil Rocks) is the world’s oldest offshore oil platform and was actually built on stilts above the Caspian Sea by the Soviets in 1949. Although the city is mainly used for oil drilling, it is fully functioning. It includes hotels, hostels, a power station, a bakery and lots of separate ‘islands’ connected by more than 200km of trestle bridges.

Baku is home to many interesting attractions

As well as the Flame Towers, Azerbaijan’s capital city, Baku is home to some striking landmarks. This includes the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, a head-turning building designed like a stylised roll of carpets that’s home to the largest collection of Azerbaijani carpets and rugs in the world.

There’s also the Museum of Miniature Books. This attraction houses thousands of tiny books. In fact, some are so small that visitors are required to use a magnifying glass to read the pages. The smallest book in the collection measures just 2mm x 2mm. 

Azerbaijanis love drinking tea

Tea drinking is a favourite in many countries, from the UK to India. But in Azerbaijan, their tea-drinking habits are rather unique. Served in small glasses similar to Turkey and Egypt, the tea in Azerbaijan is often accompanied by a side of jam. Yes, that’s right. Jam.

The jam is more jammed fruit than actual jam and is meant to be held in the mouth while drinking the tea. This way, the tea passes through the jam to pick up its sweetness. Usually, this serves as a replacement for sugar but sometimes sugar will be offered alongside it, too. The tea also usually comes with a slice of lemon to counter the sweetness if required. It all sounds rather delicious to us.


Do you have some fun facts of your own about Azerbaijan? Share them with us on Instagram. We’ll reshare our favourites! Don’t forget to tag us at @transfergo.

And if you want to send money to Azerbaijan, sign up now for easy online money transfers with TransferGo.

2022 10 14
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IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE: A guide to English language proficiency tests 

Thinking of studying abroad? If you’re considering an English-taught degree, you’ll likely have to prove your English language proficiency first.

There are three major English language exams you can take. They are the IELTS Academic, the TOEFL® iBT and the PTE Academic. 

Here we’ll discuss the IELTS, TOEFL and PTE Academic in detail so that you can decide which is the best test for you.

IELTS Academic

An acronym for International English Language Testing System, IELTS takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. The test is structured into four parts: Listening (30 minutes), Academic Reading (60 minutes), Academic Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11-14 minutes).

If you’re studying in the UK, the test will cost 162-180 GBP. It costs between 215-240 USD if you’re studying in the US and 340 AUD in Australia. After completing your test, you will be graded on each section on a scale of 0-9. The four scores are then added together to make an average, which will then become your overall score. You’ll have to obtain a minimum score of 6.0 for most universities; however, some may accept scores as low as 5.0. 

The IELTS is valid for 2 years. You’ll need to retake the exam if you have to prove your skills again after this period.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL® iBT) is another four-part test. Taking around 3 hours to complete, it includes sections on Reading (54-72 minutes), Listening (41-57 minutes), Speaking (17 minutes) and Writing (50 minutes). 

Each section has a maximum of 30 points, taking your overall score up to a maximum of 120. In order to receive an official score, you must answer at least one question in the Reading and Listening sections, write a minimum of one essay and complete at least one Speaking task. You’ll usually be required to have a score of at least 70-80 but some universities may accept scores as low as 65.

The cost of TOEFL depends on the country you’re studying in. In the USA, it’s 205 USD. It’s 210 USD in the UK, 290 USD in Norway and 255 USD in Germany. In Australia, it costs 300 USD. Again, the test is valid for 2 years. If you need to prove your English skills after this period, you will have to retake the exam. 

PTE Academic

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a shorter exam at around 2 hours. It is split into three sections: Speaking & Writing (54-67 minutes), Reading (29-30 minutes) and Listening (30-43 minutes). Usually, test takers get their results back within 48 hours.

Its grading system uses the Global Scale of English to give a score between 10-90. Most universities will require a minimum score of 55, however, some may accept scores as low as 50. Again, the costs depend on the country you’re taking the test. It costs 200 USD in the USA, 155 GBP in the UK, 255 USD in Spain, 231 USD in Germany and 357 AUD in Australia.  

Again, the PTE is valid for 2 years. After which, you will need to retake the test if you have to prove your English skills once again


Most major universities in the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Australia accept at least one of these three English language tests. Before you study abroad, it’s important to check which exams the university of your choice will accept.

Always use the official IELTS, TOEFL and PTE pages to find your closest exam centre and register. The above prices quoted may increase if you register past the deadline. 

Deciding on the best English language test for you will depend on various factors. These include which test/exam is recognised by your university, costs and budgets and the availability of exam centres near you. Another important thing to do is to check out the free online materials to see if you find one exam easier than the other.

Good luck with your English language test! We hope you have a wonderful time studying abroad.


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2022 10 10
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How to stop impulse buying

As the cost of living continues to increase, many of us are looking for ways to tighten our purse strings. We recently published a guide on easy ways to save on energy bills, but what about the other things we spend money on?

It may come as no surprise that many things we purchase are not essential. Impulse purchases (things you buy without planning to) definitely fall into this category.

Impulse purchases can include anything from a chocolate bar in the supermarket check-out queue to a new sweater you spot in a shop window while passing. Spending spontaneously is exciting and adventurous but it’s not good for our bank balance.

Sound familiar? Here’s how to stop impulse buying…

Try the 24-hour rule

Be strict with yourself and try not to purchase anything without some forward planning. If you spot something in the shops or add something to your online basket, try the 24-hour rule where you wait a whole day before actually making the purchase. This will give you time to properly think things through and decide whether you really need the item. A lot of the time you may decide it’s not worthwhile, after all.

Make and stick to a budget

It’s easier said than done but making a monthly budget is a great way to stop impulse spending. Be clear about your disposable income, limit your spending and set yourself realistic goals on savings. After a few months, you’ll have a much better idea of how much money you actually have and you might appreciate the cost of things more. And what better way to motivate yourself to stop impulse buying?

Let yourself spend some money

But at the same time, don’t be too harsh on yourself. Allow yourself some flexibility with your budget (if it’s possible) and let yourself spend money on fun things (within reason). After all, it’s important to enjoy yourself. If you’re too strict with yourself from the start, you may end up rebelling and going on an even bigger splurge. And nobody wants to deal with the guilt hangover from that.

Distract yourself

A lot of the time, we impulse buy because we’re bored and looking for things to do. Keep your mind occupied to stop the temptation of shopping. This could be anything from meeting a friend for a walk or listening to your favourite music at home. If you find different ways of self-soothing and entertaining yourself, you’ll be much less likely to go on an impulse spending spree.

Find a partner

If your impulse spending is getting out of hand, it can be a good idea to seek support from an accountability partner. This could be a friend, spouse or family member. Try to meet them once a month to discuss your finances and help you to establish a healthy approach to spending.

If you’re really struggling with your impulse spending, UK Rehab offers counselling services on shopping addictions, while Mind charity also provides information and support on spending money for comfort.


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2022 10 10
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How to get a mobile phone in the UK

If you’ve recently moved to the UK or you’re planning a move soon, you’ll want to stay connected with friends and family while you’re here. Setting up a local SIM card and getting a UK mobile phone number is a great way to stay in touch and feel settled in.

But with so many mobile operators offering different deals, it can be difficult to know where to begin. 

Here, we’ll tell you how to get a mobile phone and SIM card in the UK. 

Choosing a mobile phone operator

There are many mobile phone operators in the UK. These include EE, O2, Vodafone, Virgin, Three, Sky and BT Mobile. BT, which owns BT Mobile and EE, is the largest mobile phone operator, while O2 is the second-largest. This is followed by Vodafone and Three. 

When looking at contracts, price and mobile signal are the two biggest factors to consider. You’ll want to consider your budget and the importance of decent network coverage. If you’re living in a major city, you’ll usually get a good signal, while more rural areas can sometimes be patchy.

The best option is to buy online if you can. This way, you’ll be entitled to a 14-day cooling-off period, meaning you can leave your contract and switch to another mobile phone operator if you’re not satisfied. If buying online isn’t a possibility, some mobile phone operators (EE, for example) still allow you to cancel penalty-free under certain conditions when buying in-store. 

To find out which networks have the best mobile signal in your area, Which? Have a handy mobile network coverage map here. 

Prepaid vs mobile contracts

When setting up your mobile phone, visitors and expats in the UK have a choice between a mobile contract or a prepaid SIM card. If you already own a mobile phone and it’s unlocked, you can choose whichever operator you like. Or if your previous mobile phone operator has a presence in the UK, you may find it easier to stick with them. 

Prepaid SIM contracts are often the easiest option for expatsparticularly those who already own a mobile phone. They allow easy access to a UK phone number to make calls, send texts and use mobile data. If you’re not sure how long you’ll be staying in the UK, SIM cards also offer flexibility since they don’t require you to sign up for a lengthy contract.

But, as with many things offering convenience and flexibility, you may end up paying more. Mobile contracts usually offer better value for money—particularly if you plan to use your phone a lot. 

How to get a mobile phone contract in the UK

Once you’ve decided on the right mobile phone operator, you can go ahead and sign up for a contract. You can do this by going into the store or ordering online. You can usually expect your mobile phone to arrive within the week when buying online.

In order to apply for a contract, you’ll need to provide proof of identity, proof of address and a UK bank account for payment. Depending on the operator, you may also be subject to a credit check before your contract is approved. 

How to get a prepaid SIM contract in the UK

SIM cards offer freedom and flexibility to those who are understandably reluctant to sign up for a lengthy contract in the UK. And if you don’t plan on using your phone much, it could prove easier and cheaper. 

Getting one is relatively straightforward. You can buy one online or from a mobile phone shop, supermarket or convenience store. The process of buying a SIM and having a working phone can take minutes. Topping up is also painless. You can do so by going into the shop, using your phone or topping up online. 

But if you think you’ll be using your mobile phone a lot, a mobile phone contract will be more cost-efficient. 

Only you know what’s best for you.


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2022 10 05
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The Top 10 best Afro hair salons in the UK

Maintaining an afro or multi-textured hair can be tricky. 

You need a specialist hairdresser. Somebody in the know, who’s passionate about cutting, styling, weaving and braiding your Afro-Caribbean hair.

But when it comes to the best Afro hair salons in the UK, there aren’t many. Of the roughly 35,000 registered hair salons, only 10% of these cater to Afro-Caribbean hair.

If you’re looking for the best Afro hair salons in the UK, read on. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best Afro hair salons in the UK. 

Peckham Palms, London

Address: 1-10 Bournemouth Close, Peckham, SE15 4PB

Situated in the heart of Peckham, this specialist hair salon is home to over 30 professional hair stylists who know what they’re doing when it comes to natural hair. They offer braids, weaves, locs and custom wigs, as well as a range of specialist hair products for Afro-Caribbean hair. Food and drinks are also served as you wait. 

Cococheno, Bristol

17 Nelson St, Bristol BS1 2LA 

Founded by Leonie Northey after spotting a gap in the market, Cococheno provides a unisex afro hair service in the heart of Bristol. It specialises in styling and hair care for all hair textures and prides itself on being accessible to all. The salon also recently won “Hairdressing Retailer of the Year” at the Broadmead Bristol BID Retailer Awards for the third year in a row so you know you’re in good hands. 

Hair Lounge by Charlotte Mensah, London

347 Portobello Road, W10 5SA

Founded by award-winning hair stylist, Charlotte Mensah, this specialist hair salon launched in 1999 and is now one of the most well-known hair salons in London. Situated on the stylish Portobello Road, it offers everything from cornrows and braids to weaves and extensions. Hey, if it’s good enough for Janelle Monae…

The Traphouse Salon, London

711 Barking Road, Plaistow, E13 9EU

Home to highly trained stylists specialising in wig fittings and Afro-Caribbean hair, The Traphouse Salon is one of the places in London to get your natural hair done. Not only does the salon offer hair services, but they also do nails and lashes. There’s a famous flower wall to pose in front of, too. 

GlamGorgeous, Manchester

290 Barlow Rd, Manchester M19 3JB 

Looking for weaves and braiding in Manchester? GlamGorgeous is your place. The salon specialises in natural-looking weaves and provides a variety of cuts, braids and treatments at a very reasonable price. And if you can’t make it to the salon, GlamGorgeous offers flexible home, work and hotel visits. 

Estate Hair Salon, Edinburgh 

267b Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8PD 

Estate Hair Salon is a specialist in the cutting, braiding and weaving of Afro-Caribbean hair. One of its founders, Ify Oweka has been doing hair for over 18 years and was actually self-taught in Nigeria. The Edinburgh-based salon also offers locs, micro-ring hair extensions, curly perm and cream relaxing and wedding and prom-do hairstyles.

Afrotherapy, London

235 Fore St, London N18 2TZ 

If you’re looking for a specialist afro hair salon north of Tottenham, look no further than Afrotherapy. Specialists in afro and mixed-race hair, the salon gets consistently good reviews for its straightening, weaving and extension services. The salon interiors are also stylish and minimal—perfect for unwinding while someone sees to your natural hair. 

Beauty Splendour, Glasgow

2C Clelland avenue. Bishopbriggs. G64 1RL 

Founded in 2013 by Promise Okoye, Beauty Splendour are the Afro-Caribbean braiding and extension specialists in Glasgow. With over 25 years of braiding and weaving experience, the salon consistently gets 5-star reviews and prides itself on its excellent customer service. The salon also welcomes all hair types—from Afro and Asian to mixed race and Caucasion. 

Amadife Salon, Cardiff

79 Grand Avenue, Cardiff, CF5 4LE

Offering everything from standard haircuts and colouring to natural hair extensions, box braids, locs, weaves, cornrows and more, the Amadife Salon is one of Cardiff’s ultimate hair salons specialising in both Afro and European hair. Located in Ely, the specialist hair salon boasts 30 years of experience and many award wins including the Diverse Hair Salon Award in 2018.

The Curl Bar, London

210 Middle Lane, London, N8 7LA 

For curls, coils and waves, the Curl Bar London is the place to be. Founded by hair enthusiast and content creator, Nia The Light, the specialist hair salon near Crouch End caters to females with naturally curly hair. The service offered is tailored and bespoke, with stylists offering clients thorough consultations before carrying out the service. The interiors are pretty chic, too.


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2022 10 03

7 things you didn’t know about Armenia

Ah, Armenia. Home to the world’s oldest church and schools of keen chess players, this ancient country borders Europe and Asia. Armenia is also one of the places where you can send money with TransferGo.

To celebrate everything we love about Armenia, we thought it was high time to explore some interesting facts about this historic, culturally rich and fascinating country.

Here are 7 things you didn’t know about Armenia.

Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity

In Armenia, 97% of the population are Christians. It was also the first country to adopt Christianity as its state religion after Gregory the Illuminator (Lusavorich) converted Armenia from paganism to Christianity in 301. The first church in the world was built in Armenia. Holy Etchmiadzin is now one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world.

Armenia has its own alphabet

Here’s a fun fact… Armenia has its own alphabet. And it’s one of the most advanced alphabets in the world. Created in 405-406 AD by scholar and monk Mesrop Mashtots, the Mashtots’ alphabet is 36 letters long. It was originally designed to make the Holy Scriptures and liturgy more intelligible. Many Armenian locals are so proud of their alphabet that they have it framed and hanging in their living room.

Armenia dates way, way back

You already know that Armenia converted to Christianity in 301. So, you probably have a general idea that Armenia is a pretty ancient country. Well, the country’s rich, cultural heritage actually dates as far back as 12,000 BC. This puts Armenia as one of the 6 ancient countries to have survived thousands of years along with Iran, China, Greece, Egypt and Japan. 

All public schools in Armenia teach chess

The game of chess has been gaining attention and popularity in Armenia since the 9th Century. Then between 1960 and 1969, an Armenian called Tigran Petrosyan became the 9th world chess champion. Since then, Armenian chess players have dominated many prestigious chess tournaments including the European Team Championship and Chess Olympics. In 2011, the game of chess was officially added to the school curriculum. Keep an eye out for future generations of famous Armenian chess players!

Ararat Mountain is the main symbol of Armenia 

If you look at photos of the skyline of Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, you’ll often see Mount Ararat in the background. Comprising two extinct volcanoes, this mountain is significant to Armenian culture. And even though it’s no longer in Armenia’s current territory today (it’s actually on the eastern side of Turkey), Ararat is considered to be Armenia’s national symbol. It also appears in Armenia’s national blazon. 

More Armenians live abroad than in Armenia

During World War I, the Ottoman empire committed a genocide killing approximately 1.5 million Armenians. During and since this time, millions of Armenians fled abroad for safety. Many found refuge in countries such as the USA, Italy, France and Lebanon. Today, approximately 3 million Armenians live in Armenia. Meanwhile, around 7 million Armenians live in other parts of the world.

Armenians have created many famous inventions

Many famous Armenians have created many famous inventions. And many of them we live with and use today.  From colour television (Hovhannes (Ivan) Adamian) and ATM machines (Luther George Simjian) to the vast and complex industry of plastic surgery (Varazdat Kazanjian), Armenia has some very impressive inventions in its repertoire.


Do you have some fun facts of your own about Armenia? Share them with us on Instagram. We’ll reshare our favourites! Don’t forget to tag us at @transfergo.

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2022 09 20
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5 fun facts about famous Nigerians

As a nation celebrated for its diverse culture, it’s no surprise that Nigeria has produced a wealth of famous people—from basketball players to novelists and musicians.

So what better excuse to celebrate these successful people than with a post dedicated entirely to them? Here are 5 fun facts about famous Nigerians.

Helen Folasade Adu (Sade Adu)

The Nigerian-British singer, song woman and frontwoman of the soul band, Sade is one of the most successful female artists in history. Not only has she sold more than 75 million records worldwide to date but she’s also been nominated for 42 awards including Grammys, Brit Awards and BET awards.

Sade’s sultry jazz sound with soul, funk and Afro-Cuban rhythms struck a chord around the world when she first burst onto the scene in the 1980s. Her most well-known songs include No Ordinary Love, By Your Side and Smooth Operator

Fun fact: Over the years, Sade has turned down some pretty impressive offers to collaborate including Jay-Z back in 2010. It ended well though with the rapper appearing on Sade’s 2011 album, The Ultimate.

Chinua Achebe

Born in Nigeria in 1930, Chinua Achebe is one of the most celebrated African writers of all time. His famous works include the novel Things Fall Apart, which is one of the most read books in Africa, selling over 10 million copies worldwide.

The late writer, who passed away in 2013, has earned many awards and honours including the Man Booker International Prize in 2007. His brilliant flair for writing means he’s often described as Africa’s greatest storyteller with his work centring on African politics, culture, identity and society. 

Fun fact: Chinua Achebe is officially the most translated African writer of all time. Things Fall Apart was translated into 50 languages. 

Hakeem Olajuwon

With a nickname like The Dream, it’s no surprise that Hakeem Olajuwon is considered to be one of the best basketball players of all time. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Hakeem immigrated to the USA as a teen in 1980 to play basketball at the University of Houston under Cougars coach, Guy Lewis.

Between 1984 and 2001, Hakeem played for the Houston Rockets, winning two back-to-back NBA championships whilst there. He also played for the US national team during the 1996 Summer Olympics, at which they won the Olympic gold medal, before going on to retire in 2002. 

Fun fact: Hakeem Olajuwon may have become an instant star in the NBA but he didn’t actually first play basketball until he was 15 years old. 

Israel Adesanya

Often described as one of the best strikers in MMA, Israel Adesanya is a kickboxer, mixed martial artist and former boxer. Born in Nigeria, Israel moved to Auckland, New Zealand in 2010 at the age of 21. There, he began training in mixed martial arts. 

Soon after, Israel went on to win multiple championships and is currently the UFC Middleweight Champion. In 2020, he was named Fighter of the Year at the prestigious 12th World MMA Awards.

Fun fact: Not only is Israel Adesanya passionate about fighting, but he’s also a keen dancer. This is clearly evidenced in his walk-outs and celebrations, as well as his incredible footwork while fighting and his ability to move so well inside the octagon.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the most celebrated writers of her generation. Born in Abba but raised on the campus of the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, where her father worked as a professor and her mother was the first female registrar, Chimamanda studied medicine for a year before emigrating to the US at the age of 19.

After picking up a degree in Communication and Political Science and a Master’s in Creative Writing, Chimamanda went on to write her most famous works including the novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was shortlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize 2004, and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2007. 

Fun Fact: Not only did Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie pick up the prize for Women’s Prize for Fiction, but she was also crowned ‘Winner of Winners’ from 25 years of Women’s Prize for Fiction winning books.


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2022 09 19

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5 quick tips to help kids settle into a new school

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new school day.

The first day of school is a big day for any child or parent. Nerves, excitement, curiosity and uncertainty are all part of the process. 

If your child has just started his or her new school, here are 5 quick and easy tips to help them settle in.

Be positive

Positivity is key to making your child embrace the idea of school. Keep any feelings of anxiety and concern to yourself and instead focus on the positives. Remind your child of all the fun things they’ll do at school including meeting new friends and playing in the playground. Also, remind them of any other instances where they’ve been nervous about something and everything turned out well.

Talk, talk, talk

Keep an open stream of communication with your child so that if he or she has any concerns about their school, they feel comfortable enough to discuss them with you. It’s also a good idea to learn as much as possible about their school before they start. Get advice from neighbours with school-aged children and check the school’s website and social media for information. Knowledge is power, after all.

Make sure your child is well rested

Studies show that children who get enough sleep find it easier to concentrate in school. Make sure your child is back into a good sleeping routine at least a week before they start school. This way, they’ll be used to a regular bedtime and early start ready for the school day. You may find that your child is so tired from school that they need a little nap when they get home from school. If this is the case, just go with it.

Get involved

Getting involved with school activities is a great way to help your child settle in—particularly when they’re very young. Many schools welcome volunteers for various functions, which are an excellent way of getting to understand your child’s environment. Join any parent groups and organisations and attempt to participate when possible. And if work and other commitments permit, be there to take them to school on their first day.

Take the pressure off at home

Starting school is a big moment in any child’s life. In fact, it’s common for their behaviour to change a little for the first couple of months after they start. Take off the pressure by cutting them some slack. Relax a little when it comes to household chores and concentrate on making them feel safe and relaxed. You don’t have to be permissive but temporarily relaxing your boundaries is absolutely fine. 


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2022 09 13
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The 5 best destinations for African students to study abroad

Decided that you would like to study abroad? Great choice. Studying abroad has so many benefits. Not only will you discover an entirely new country, but you’ll also expand your horizons and (hopefully) make new friends from all walks of life.

Here are the 5 best destinations for African students to study abroad.


Languages: English, French

Thousands of students flock to Canada each year and it’s easy to see why. Its top spots to study include the lively and multicultural cities of Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa, with Montreal and Toronto often voted among the best student cities in the world.

Canada itself is a prosperous country with a strong economy and natural beauty aplenty. You’ll also find that most Canadians are very friendly and its public healthcare system is one of the best in the world. 


Languages: German, sometimes English

Germany welcomes over 400,000 international students each year and no wonder. Many of its universities offer publicly funded degree programs to international students and there are many specialised education institutions providing courses in engineering, technology and business.

The country is also noted for its relatively low living costs. Berlin and Munich are regularly voted among the most affordable cities for students and the locals are very warm and friendly to migrants—as evidenced by its high level of support for refugees in recent years. 

United States

Languages: English, sometimes Spanish

The USA has also long been a sought-after destination for Nigerians with Nigerians making up the largest African immigrant group in the nation. In fact, almost a million Nigerians immigrated there in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As a result, issues like homesickness may be less of a risk factor if you decide to study in the USA.

The country is also a great choice from a studying perspective. In the QS World University Rankings 2022, five American higher education institutions featured in the top 10 with 177 making the overall list. Studying here can be costly but there are scholarships available so it’s worth doing your research.


Languages: Norwegian, Sami, English

Another country with a high Nigerian immigrant population is Norway. In fact, Nigerians make up 35% of the African student population in the country with Oslo being home to one of the greatest communities of Nigerians. Looking at the benefits, it’s not hard to understand why. 

The people here are very warm, friendly and accommodating with the majority of residents being foreigners themselves. There’s also a very high percentage of people that speak English and the country boasts a consistently low crime rate, as well as a good welfare system and low employment.


Languages: French

The higher education system in France is considered to be one of the very best in the world—particularly in the city of Paris. Some of the best-ranked universities in the world include France’s very own Université PSL, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Sorbonne University and Universit Paris-Saclay. 

Although the country’s living costs can be high, studying in France is often free or at least relatively cheap (but it is worth bearing in mind that you will have to pay an annual admin fee of $250 as an international student). Students of any nationality can also work part-time on or outside of campus while they study. And if you fancy travelling, France’s central location makes it easy to explore the rest of Europe.

So, where will you decide to study? The world is your oyster.


And if you need to send money to Africa when you’re studying abroad, TransferGo can help. Sign up to TransferGo today for easy, fast and affordable online money transfers.

2022 09 12
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How to be smart with your money abroad

Travelling abroad can be fun but it’s important to be smart with your money.

Whether you’re trekking in Thailand or skiing in Switzerland, there’s always the potential for surprise expenses and nasty scams.

To help you make the most of your next trip, we’ve compiled 5 travel money tips on how to be smart with your money abroad. 

1. Let your bank know about your travel plans

If you’re planning a trip, it’s always worthwhile letting your financial service institution know about your plans before you go—particularly if you don’t go away very often. Transactions abroad can throw up an instant red flag, which might lead to your bank deciding to freeze your account. You definitely don’t want this while you’re paying for a local bite in-between sightseeing!

2. Be savvy with exchange rates

If you have a clear idea of where you’re heading, it’s always worth being aware of the local currencies and exchange rates. This way, you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect when you’re exchanging and spending money. For the best exchange rates, change your currency before you leave your home turf. 

3. Budget, budget, budget

It’s amazing how quickly we can become swayed by the ‘you only live once’ mindset when travelling abroad. But don’t get carried away! Create a realistic travel budget and stick to it. Include everything from day-to-day expenses on food, transport and accommodation to last-minute excursion costs. Numbeo has a really useful Cost of Living Index guide to help you get an estimate of how much things cost in your destination. 

4. Change your mobile phone plan

Thanks to social media, many of us are using our phones more often. It’s therefore really important to call your mobile phone provider to set up an international phone and data plan so you don’t get a nasty shock when your monthly phone bill arrives! It might cost you a little extra but trust us, it’s worth it to avoid those hefty international roaming charges. If you’re planning to stay abroad for a long time, it might be worth looking into swapping your SIM card for a local SIM card for convenience and cost efficiency.

5. Be smart with those ATMs

As we previously mentioned, the most cost-effective way to get your local currency is by exchanging before you go. But if you have to use the ATMs, be aware of the hefty transaction fees that can occur and follow our smart and savvy ATM tips…

  1. Only use ATMs in languages that you understand.
  2. Use reputable ATMs only. To be ultra-safe, pick ATMs that belong to banks.
  3. Stay alert when using an ATM and if you feel uneasy, just walk away.
  4. Withdraw cash in daylight hours only to avoid a (very) sticky situation if the ATM eats your card.
  5. Inspect the ATM for a card skimmer/shimmer. This helpful guide tells you how to spot and avoid credit card skimmers and shimmers

Now that you know how to be smart with your money abroad, stay safe and have fun!

2022 09 09
Home Blog Guides

The 5 best superfoods for autumn and winter

With autumn and winter fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about diet. Colder weather allows viruses to thrive so it’s important to include as many disease-fighting superfoods into your meal plans as possible.

Here are the 5 best superfoods for autumn and winter to introduce into your diet now.

1. Kale

Packed with vitamins A, C and K, kale is a delicious and nutritious food choice. It’s full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And because it thrives in cool weather, it stays fresher for longer during the autumn and winter months. Not only does kale contribute to good bone health but it also helps to protect the heart, aids digestion and potentially prevents certain cancers.

Kale recipe ideas: Kale works excellent as the base for a winter salad and can be easily layered into burgers and sandwiches. Or throw it into your soups and stews for a hearty winter dish.

2. Pumpkins

Packed with fibre and low in calories, sodium and fat, pumpkin is a great autumn superfood. It may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and certain cancers. Also loaded with protein, magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamins A and C, they’re great for our immune system, helping our bodies to heal, preserving our taste buds and even deterring some aspects of ageing.

Pumpkin recipe ideas: Stir a dollop of puréed pumpkin into your spaghetti or toss some pumpkin seeds into your salad after roasting.

3. Cauliflower

Containing four times the recommended amount of vitamin C and loaded with potassium and fibre, cauliflower is a cheap and cheerful superfood that’s a great staple for a healthy winter diet. It’s also high in sulforaphane, a compound with anti-cancer properties and vitamin B6, which contributes to metabolising fats in your body. 

Cauliflower recipe ideas: Make cauliflower the basis of your next winter casserole or break it up, fry and mix with cream for a tasty side dish.

4. Beets

Consisting of 90% water and packed with nitrates, these root veggies are great for improving blood flow and getting more oxygen to the muscles. For this reason, they’re an athlete’s best friend, helping to lower blood pressure and reduce the risks of heart attacks. They’re also great for regulating blood sugar levels and bowel movements.

Beetroot recipe ideas: Swap the tomato for beetroot for a delicious alternative pizza sauce base, or try your hand at this delicious beetroot gnocchi recipe.

5. Apples

As the saying goes, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’. And for a good reason too. Rich in fibre and antioxidants, apples help to lower the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes. They also improve gut and brain health and help to lower cholesterol with their bowel-regulating pectin and phytonutrients.

Apple recipe ideas: Apples make a great basis for desserts like apple tarts, apple muffins and apple crumble, or cook some Bramley apples with cinnamon to make a tasty chutney

2022 09 09
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How to be healthy: 5 quick and easy health tips

Summer’s here and the sun is shining. This makes it the perfect time to reassess your lifestyle and consider new ways to be healthy.

If you, like many of us, are looking for quick and easy tips on how to be healthy, read on.

Here are 5 quick and easy health tips that don’t take much effort.

Drink in moderation

On hot sunny days, there’s nothing more tempting than a chilled glass of wine or fizz in the garden. But limit it to one or two—particularly if it’s a very hot day. Drinking alcohol can make you become easily dehydrated and the heat can make things worse.

To stay hydrated, aim to have a glass of water after every alcoholic drink you have and be mindful of how much you consume. Trust us, it’s not worth the headache the next day, anyway.

Limit fast food and ready meals

If you’re working long days, it can be tempting to quickly pick up something to eat on the way home. But often, ready meals and takeaways are loaded with salt and fat and low in other nutrients. They’re also usually high in calories, causing you to gain weight. 

Aim to eat at least five home-cooked meals a week and go easy on the salt and heavy on the veggies. If you’re short on time, try batch cooking and freezing portions for another day. Delicious have written a great article featuring 88 healthy dinners you can cook in 30 minutes

Move your body

We can’t stress the importance of physical exercise enough. Save time in your day for a workout or yoga flow as they can do tremendous things for your health and fitness. But if you don’t have the time, make a conscious effort to walk more and take the steps instead of the lift.

Being more active is a great way to lower your blood pressure and reduce your belly fat, which can be harmful if it builds up around your organs. But it’s also really good for your mental health, too. And if workouts fill you with dread, put on your favourite music and dance! Those feel-good endorphins will soon come flowing. 

Step outside

Being outdoors is so beneficial for your health. Firstly, it gives you your fix of Vitamin D, which helps to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy, strengthens your immune system and lowers your risk for cancer. Secondly, fresh air can really boost your mood and make you feel good.

Unfortunately, many people in the UK are Vitamin D deficient. If you don’t get out in the sunshine much, your levels may also be low. This can be corrected with Vitamin D supplements if required. And remember—stay safe in the sun. Wear adequate SPF protection whenever you step outside.


Did you know that good social relationships help you live for longer? Studies show that people with close friends and family are much more likely to be healthier than those who do not. 

If you’re new to a country, read our 5 easy ways to build your network in a new country guide. It has lots of helpful tips on how to connect with different people. In the meantime, call your family and friends back home. Socialising is paramount to your mental wellbeing.


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2022 08 16
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20 quick and easy tips to save money (part 4)

Today, we’re sharing five final tips as part of our 20 quick and easy tips to save money series. We’ve already shared tips 1-5, 6-10 and 11-15 and today we’re looking at tips 16-20.

If you’re looking for ways to save money as a result of the cost of living crisis and other factors, read on.

Here are some quick and easy tips to save money.

Stop smoking

There are so many reasons to stop smoking. Aside from being tremendously bad for your health, it’s also pretty harsh on your bank balance. The NHS Inform smoking savings calculator helps you work out how much you’re spending on cigarettes each week, month and year. It also calculates how much your cigarette habit could set you back over 10 years. Seeing this figure should come as shock—even if you’re smoking as little as one cigarette a day.

Limit your time on social media

These days, social media platforms like Instagram are a marketing trap. The volume of advertisements and sponsored posts can really put pressure on you to buy this and that. Try to reduce your screen time to limit your exposure to these posts. Or click the ‘Hide ad’ option, which is available on Facebook and Instagram to remove these posts from your feed. 

Borrow don’t buy

Now that the world has opened up again, your social calendar is likely to be a lot busier. If you have a lot of events like weddings and parties planned, avoid the temptation to buy new clothing. Instead, see if you can borrow your friend’s dress or your brother’s tie.

The same goes for household gadgets and tools. If you need to pressure water your patio or cut your grass, ask around for a jet washer or lawnmower. Perhaps you could return the favour one day.

Do things yourself

While paying people to do your garden or clean your windows is a good way to help the economy, it can be so much more expensive. Next time something needs doing in the house, consider doing it yourself. The amount you save can be considerable.

Ditch the disposables

Reducing your plastic is not only good for the environment but it can really save you money over time. Ditch things like face wipes and kitchen towels and use reusable towels instead.

And if you have a baby, consider the option of cloth nappies instead of disposables. Your initial outlay will be more expensive but you can really save money over time. Remember, disposable products were created for convenience—not to save you money. 

Of course, we do realise that these tips won’t solve issues like the cost of living crisis overnight. These are testing times for a lot of households and we’ll do all we can to help.


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2022 08 10
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7 easy ways to save on energy bills

Looking for ways to save on energy bills? With October’s energy price cap set to rise from £1,971 to £3,549 for dual fuel for the average household, many couples, individuals and families are thinking of how to reduce energy consumption.

Since the price cap is almost doubling and future increases are predicted, it won’t be possible to bring your energy bill to what it used to be. But there are ways to save on energy and keep your bills as low as possible. 

Here are 7 ways to save on energy bills.

Turn off standby mode

Leaving appliances on standby mode can cost us an average of £55 a year. So turn your appliances off if and when you can to save energy. If you’re unsure whether turning an appliance off at the wall might upset its programming, check the instructions first. The most energy-consuming home appliances are washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, fridges and freezers (although you might want to avoid switching the latter two off every time you leave the house!).

Switch off your lights

Leaving lights on in rooms that are not in use can shave £20 a year off your annual energy bill. Another way of reducing the costs of lighting is to use LED bulbs, which use a lot less electricity. They also last a lot longer than incandescent, halogen and CFL equivalents.

Install a smart thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat can save you around £75 a year on average. They work by learning how long it takes to heat your home and only warming the rooms that you’re using. Smart thermostats can also be controlled by your phone so that you can make sure your house is heated at the right temperature by the time you come home. 

Turn down your thermostat

Heating and hot water account for almost half of your total energy bill. But by turning down your thermostat by 1 just degree, you can save you upwards of £80 a year. If you think you can reduce the temperature further, do so. The savings will be more than worth it!

Wash and dry mindfully

Using your washing machine and tumble dryer can be costly. Save on energy by washing at 30 degrees and avoiding hotter washes when possible. Reducing your washing machine use by one cycle a week can also make a big difference to your annual bill. Finally, try to avoid the tumble dryer and use a clothes rack instead. Doing so can save you a whopping £60 a year!

Limit your shower time

If you’re a long-soak-in-the-bath person, it might be time to start thinking about swapping to a shower. Doing so can save you £12 a year in energy bills. And when you’re in the shower, try to keep it short. Cutting your showers down to 4 minutes can save a typical household £70 a year.

Draught-proof your windows and doors

Draughts around doors, windows, chimneys and gaps around the floor can lead to a lot of heat loss. Cover any draughts where possible and you can save up to £45 a year. If you’re not quite sure where to start, you can enlist a professional for around £225. But if you plan to stay in your home for a few more years, the costs will be more than worth it!

2022 08 09