Why I Love My Mondo Card

Girl with Phone

Banks are, generally, kinda crap. They charge you for your money, they probably have a basic website where you still have to go into the branch to do anything more complex than look at your statement, and their help desk is probably best avoided. (Maybe I’m still grumpy about the last time I had to deal with Barclays help desk)

When I first learnt about Mondo, I was intrigued – at the moment, it’s a pre-paid card that you load with cash, and you top it up as and when you want to. They (literally – just a few days ago!) became a bank, but launched as a prepaid card to allow them to test out the functions and build on them as necessary.

Mondo (at the moment) is phone based, and allows you to add notes to transactions, attach photos of the receipt, and categorise them. You can then search by the merchant, by the category, by location, and by amount. There’s a little graph as well that will show you how quickly you’re spending your money.

I have been looking for a way to be able to look at what I spend on a monthly basis, but none of the main banks have anything built in, so you have to download your transactions into another program like YNAB and then work through them to sort them out. That’s fine for some people, but I found it was more detailed than I needed it to be, and would take a bit of time to get everything categorised. Having Mondo on my phone makes it easy to make a note of items when I spend the money. Alex and I both have a card, and use them for our daily spending – another bonus for me is that it’s contactless.

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However, it’s not the technology side of things that makes me recommend it (although I really like what they’re doing!) but how quick they are to deal with things. Last month, we just got home from a long drive and as I checked my emails, my Watch vibrated to tell me a charge had been made to my card from Nike. Of course, this wasn’t something I had done, so I opened up the app and could see that this was a Paypal transaction. Getting the notification so quickly that a charge was made meant I could deal with it quickly, and after half an hour, I had made sure the order was cancelled, my Paypal password was updated, and I had the ability to freeze my Mondo card through the app so no further charges could be made.

A few days later, we went to the Zoo, and my card didn’t go through their system the first time, although the charge showed on my statement. I put it through again, and it went through fine. I then opened up the chat in the Mondo app and said that it looked like I had been charged twice, although I had confirmation from the till that said the first transaction didn’t go through. Within 10 minutes, the first charge had been removed and my balance was as it should be.

It’s silly that these things are surprising but I would recommend Mondo to anyone – just download the app and join the waiting list.

You probably already know this, but this post isn’t sponsored in anyway, I just really love my Mondo card

Another Apple Watch Review

Every review I’ve read so far about the Apple Watch has been written by a bloke who works in technology. That’s great, but as a woman who works in finance, it’s not always relevant to how I would use a product.

I knew I wanted an Apple Watch from the first rumours that went round. I was off work on the day of preorders, so I bounced out of bed and had my laptop open at 7.59 to try and buy it through my company discount link (annoyingly that didn’t work!) and I had my iPhone open to the Apple Store app to buy the Watch I had saved in my favourites, which is how I ended up with a 38mm Watch with classic buckle.

I had it delivered to my office, and when it arrived, I had to put it on my colleagues desk on the other side of the office until lunchtime because I felt like I would be like this minion wanting to eat the banana in his lunchbox:

As soon as 1pm hit, I strapped the watch on and we headed to our favourite sandwich shop. It’s super easy to set up – turn it on, and use the Watch app on your iPhone to take a pic. By the time I had ordered a delicious and over filled sandwich, my Watch was ready to go. Except I had no idea what to do!

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Now I’ve had it for about a month now, it’s not a distraction at all. I have it on silent most of the time, so I just get haptic feedback for notifications (which is like vibrations). It’s useful for notifications, like reading a text message while I’m cooking dinner without having to put everything down to find my phone.

I went for the 38mm, while Alex went for the 42mm. It doesn’t sound like a huge difference in size, but I’m glad I went for the smaller one because it’s the right size for my wrist. If you’re considering one, go to an Apple store to try it on. I did (after placing the preorder) which was an interesting experience. The way it was dealt with was unlike anything I’ve experienced at an Apple Store, and more like buying a watch at a jewellery shop. 

I read a review recently where someone said they were asked about the watch and felt like they were disappointing others when they said it wasn’t life changing. I’ve come across that as well, people want you to say THIS IS AMAZING! IT CAN DO ALL THESE THINGS! It’s cool, don’t get me wrong. I’d still buy one, even after trialing it. I’ve only had one day where the battery died in the middle of the day – still havent worked out why, but it’s not a normal occurrence. I like being able to pay for my Starbucks with a flick of the wrist (wait that sounds wrong) and when we get Apple Pay in the UK, it will be awesome to pay for things. 

So. Apple Watch. Get one if you want one. Don’t bother if you aren’t that bothered.

I’m a great reviewer.

Review: Samsung Galaxy S6

I bought my first iPhone about 7 years ago. The iPhone 3G was only available on O2, you couldn’t switch between apps and you couldn’t copy and paste text. It’s strange the things we thought were pretty normal because it was so exciting that you could use this phone for more than just calling people.

I’ve never really used an Android phone other than trying to take photos for other people, so I was really excited when Three got in contact to ask if I’d be interested in reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S6 for them. They sent it to me with a PAYG SIM card so I could get the full benefits of using it on Three – I’m with Vodafone with my iPhone and it is painful to use, especially at lunch time.

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The phone is slightly bigger than my iPhone 6, but smaller than an iPhone 6 Plus. I’m so used to the silver, whites and golds of the iPhone family that it was a really nice change to have a blue (“black sapphire”) phone.

You can customise the Galaxy S6 so much to suit your style – I didn’t realise this for a few days, but once I found the themes shop, I was trying out all of the available items!

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The strangest thing to get used to (besides menus, etc) was the responsive feedback from the screen. Whenever you tap something, or type on the keyboard, the phone sort of vibrates back at you.

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My favourite feature of this phone was the camera. It’s just so good. My outfit post on Friday was taken with this camera – in fact, I didn’t bother taking any camera to the Laura Ashley event, I just took everything with the phone! There is a bit of snobbery in the blogging world that if you don’t have a big dSLR camera for your blog photos, then your pictures aren’t going to be very good, but I found the camera on this phone was so good, even for super close up photos.

Apps wise, I didn’t miss too many of my most used apps from the iPhone. I thought that I would be unable to use my iCloud calendars, but since I use Sunrise, I was able to get all of my calendars. I used Snapchat more than I have previously (have you noticed more bloggers using Snapchat lately?), and I especially liked the two apps that came with the phone, Flipboard Briefing (a nice way to get lots of different news stories to you – I’ve used Flipboard previously, but this wasn’t customised to my feeds – still useful though!) and Google Now which was surprisingly very useful. It brings together lots of items like stories that it thinks you would enjoy based on your previously reads and Google searches – a little creepy when you think about it like that, but the stories were generally pretty interesting. It also brought out things like shipping notifications from Gmail, told me how long it would take to get to work, and the weather at home and work. Nothing in Google Now was set up specifically for this app, they were just things I already had set.

Would I make the switch? It’s difficult to say. I really enjoyed the phone, and I liked some of the features that were better than my iPhone, but I’ve been an Apple girl for over 10 years now, so it’s just so much easier to stick with Apple. Perhaps if I were to have a second phone for work, etc, then I’d probably choose this one – features like the camera, the detailed reports on how you use your phone and Google Now are things that I found surprisingly useful.

The phone was provided for a short period to review. This review has not been viewed by Three, Samsung or any representatives before it was posted. No wording on links in the review were requested.