In the recent volatile market and recession (is it here yet?), people are very careful about the money in their pocket. Many had turned to the Internet to seek for “free” money advice. KCLau’s Money Tips has just broken the thousand subscribers barrier, into the 4-digit arena. The greatest surprise came last week during my hospital stay (my son was admitted due to viral infection) – the first ever direct review was purchased by The Thrifty Scot. At my advertising page, I promised a review post of not less than 100 words. This review is going to be a lot more than that because The Thrifty Scot is not only a great example of a well-designed website, its topic is also totally relevant to personal finance.
About The Thrifty Scot
The Thrifty Scot is a growing online money comparison site based in United Kingdom. Offering the latest news, articles and money saving ideas, The Thrifty Scot has built up a loyal base of returning visitors. The topics covered includes loans, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, banking, debt management and other personal finance issues.
The professional look of the web design gives me a great first impression. Frankly, it looks a lot better than KCLau’s Money Tips.
Above the fold, which is the most important area of a website, has only one advertisement. Unlike KCLau’s Money Tips, there are three ad spaces running above the fold.
The top navigation bar consists of simple and straight forward tab that lead you to the area of your interest, including loans, mortgage and credit cards section. You can find the featured story, which is normally the most important article to show to the site visitors. On the right is a list of the most popular articles viewed.
Refer the picture above, the highlighted part is the RSS subscription button. You can read the website’s update using RSS readers such as Google Reader. RSS feed is a very common feature on major website nowadays.
Let’s look at what’s below the fold.
Just below the fold, there are icons that lead to the different sections of the website. These are the same destinations provided by the top navigation bar. To the right is the newsletter sign-up box. You can view the archives before signing up to receive updates in email form.
If you go further down, you will find the most recent money tips on the left. The money tips are submitted by the community that consists of the latest money saving tips and freebies. On the right, you will find the section of constantly updated financial news.
By signing up for The Thrifty Scot free newsletter, you will receive a weekly email that gives you updates on the latest deals, freebies, money advice, and financial news. You can always browse the archives before deciding to subscribe.
In the loans section, you will find the “easy loan finder” a charm. You just need to go through the three easy steps to find the appropriate loan that meet your purpose. You will need to provide your details in the form and their partners will search the market to choose the best loan for you. Of course, this service is only available to UK citizens.
Below that, you will find featured loans article and some financial news that is related to loans.
In the credit cards section, you will be able to browse different types of credit cards in many categories. Visitors can even search credit cards based on different features such as 0% balanced transfers, 0% purchases, cashback cards, rewards cards etc. This is very convenient for visitors who want to look for the most suitable credit cards depends on your spending habits and financial needs. You can easily compare the cards offer and apply straight away using the link provided.
In the mortgages section, you can simply complete a form. A designated financial advisors will call you to provide a free quote.
When you click on the sub-tabs on the navigation bar, you will find information about the different type of mortgages available. For a developed country, there are so many kind of mortgage offers available such as discount rate mortgage, capped rate mortgage, offset mortgage etc.
The insurance section covers most insurance related matters. Beside the useful insurance articles, you will find links to obtain insurance quote. The insurance products provided are travel insurance, life insurance, critical illness insurance and also car insurance.
The banking section shows you a searchable list of current and saving accounts, and the interest rate provided by different banks. The data is provided by an independent financial instituation, Moneyfacts. You can easily compare interest rates of different accounts. At the point of writing, there are a total of 2047 type of accounts listed there!
The Thrifty Scot provides debt management programme that help you consolidate your debt. All you need to do is to make one monthly payment and this is split between all your debts. All contact between creditors and yourself is handled by the debt management company. You pay an amount that you can realistically afford but if your circumstances change this can be adjusted. You will not receive any late payment fees because all transactions go through the debt management programme, and they may be able to adjust or stop any interest on your debts.
You can use their quick and easy enquiry form to contact a debt management consultant.
This section list the money tips and freebies submitted by the public. For example, you will find how to win a hamper, where to get free samples of merchandise etc. The money tips are constantly updated and you can also contribute your part to submit a your tips.
After browsing through the pages of this informative website, it has inspired me to take this blog to the next level. This might not happen in a short period of time because the local financial industry in Malaysia is not as advanced as other developed nations. Information about the local financial products are hard to find online. Most banks and financial institutions still neglect the potential of online marketing. I believe time will change most of the thing. Ultimately, you as the consumers will get the most out of it.
Visit The Thrifty Scot now.