93 articles Articles posted in Money

My Bucket List (The Lottery Win Edition)

My Bucket List (The Lottery Win Edition)
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Unless you’re already completely loaded, you’re probably like me and spend a fair amout of time thinking about what you’d do if you won the lottery. Aside from the obvious ones of buying a house and going on holiday, there are a few things that I’d love to do and so I thought it would be fun to share a few of them with you today:

A New Motorhome

Husband and I absolutely LOVE the idea of buying a new motorhome and spending time travelling around, seeing the UK and Europe. We’ve spent many an hour online looking at everything from top of the line Winnebagos to old converted school buses that people have made into the most incredible mobile homes and it’s something that would be really high on our list, should we win the lottery.

A Greener Car

I wrote a blog post a few years back about how “saving the world” seems to be reserved for the middle and upper classes, as they’re the ones who can afford to buy greener cars, install solar arrays etc. and I still feel that this is relevant now. We’re currently using my Dad’s car while we’re saving to buy our own, but it’s unlikely to be an eco-friendly electric model, so if we won some money I’d definitely be investing in an electric car.

A Treehouse

This one might sound absolutely bonkers, but I’ve always had a thing about houses in trees! I don’t know if I’d want to live in one full-time, but if we had a big house with a decent bit of land and some big trees, I’d definitely get someone to come in and build us a super treehouse for fun camp outs and even to have family over to stay in!

My Own Book

Bear with me here, again, I know this sounds strange! I’ve been in the process of writing a children’s book for a couple of years now and once I finish, I’m hoping to get it in front of the right people to get it published. However, if I had the money, I think I’d skip this step altogether and just self-publish and distribute it without a third party. It would be a lot easier and I wouldn’t have to deal with the inevitable rejections from editors!

An Education

I started my OU degree back when Sausage was a toddler but between life getting busier and tuition fees TRIPLING since I started, it’s been well and truly shoved onto the back burner. If I have the money, I’d start some sort of course just for the fun of learning. We all focus on education being a gateway to a career, but wouldn’t it be nice to just pick something you’re interested in and learn all about it?

What would you buy if money was no object after a lottery win? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your ideas.

5 Inevitable Costs You Must Be Prepared For

Keeping your finances on the right track is always going to be a matter of making sure that you are preparing for the worst even when you are hoping for the best. Here are some inevitable costs that you probably won’t be able to escape in your life. 

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A Funeral

Though it might seem peculiar, we can start with the very last cost that you will need to think about that is completely unavoidable. What makes this cost special is that you won’t be paying the price. Instead, this will fall to your dependents. That’s why, believe it or not, a lot of people once they reach a certain age, will set up a funeral fund. This is designed to pay for all the costs of a funeral including the casket, tombstone, funeral photography and even plots of land. It might sound morbid, but it’s something that you might eventually want to think about. 

Children’s Education

You could also think about the cost of your child’s education. Now, it’s worth noting that you are under no obligation to pay for the costs of your child’s higher education. However, this is something that many parents will aim for to help their child avoid unnecessary levels of debt later in life. If you are worried about the cost, then it’s recommended that you do think about looking at the average cost that you will need to pay for your child’s college tuition. This will help ensure that you can set a saving goal. You should also look at savings accounts and investment opportunities that will ensure you can quickly grow these funds. 

Home Renovation

It’s also worth thinking about the cost of a home renovation. You might think that you can avoid this cost, but don’t be so sure. If you buy a home, then at some point, you will need to complete renovation work. Renovating your home will mean that you can deal with issues related to wear and tear that will limit the value of the property overtime. 

It can also ensure that your home continues to be a safe and comfortable place to live for you and your family. This means that you might also be able to avoid selling your house to move to another property. Instead, with the right renovations, your house could become a forever home. It might also be worth thinking about emergency renovations that you might need to complete. There are lots of examples including flooding damage that will need to be corrected without any delays. 

Retirement

Next, you should think about your retirement. It’s never too early to start thinking about saving for your retirement. In fact, experts agree that you should be putting money away for your retirement as early as your twenties. In doing so, you can guarantee that your retirement does not catch you by surprise. Don’t forget, once you retire, you won’t have a fixed income to fall  back on. As such, you will need to make sure to save enough money overtime to afford everything that you want during your retirement. This could include a trip around the world or something more practical such as care facilities when you begin to lose your independence. A financial planner will explain exactly how much you need to save for your retirement plan. 

Transport

Finally, if you have a family, then you likely will need to consider the cost of transport. Most people will want to buy a car at some point that is large enough for everyone in the household. This can be quite an expensive purchase and, similar to a home, a choice like this probably won’t fit squarely into your budget. Instead, you need to make sure that you look at other options. You can save up the money to buy a vehicle. Or, you can think about purchasing a vehicle on finance. If you purchase a vehicle on finance, then you can make it easier to afford over an extended period. If you live in a city you might want to skip the car purchase and instead rely on public transport. It’s a great way to keep things cost friendly. 

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You can also think about purchasing a car second-hand rather than brand new. This is another way to save and spend less overall. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key costs that you do need to be prepared for in the future. By recognizing that these costs are somewhat inevitable, you will be able to make sure that they don’t catch you off guard.

The Benefits of Car Leasing

The Benefits of Car LeasingWhen it comes to being a motorist, there are a lot of expenses to consider. Aside from the initial purchase price of a car, there’s the tax, insurance, MOT costs, maintenance, fuel…it all adds up. There are, however, cheaper ways of running a car, such a leasing, so we’ve teamed up with Car Lease Supermarket to talk to you about all of the benefits of leasing a car instead of buying outright. Here are a few of them:

You’ll Get More for Your Money

When you lease a car, you usually find you’re driving a better vehicle than you would if you had bought one. This is because, with a car lease you only pay the car’s depreciation for the lease period, not the value of the car (because you don’t own it). As a result, your monthly payments are usually lower compared with other forms of finance, so you can lease a better make, trim or option.

You’ll Always Have a Newer Model

After the initial lease period ends, you will be able to exchange the car for a brand new vehicle. This means that you will be able to reap the advantages of having a new car on a regular basis, allowing you to get the maximum benefits of fuel economy, performance and safety. It also means that you will be able to avoid massive depreciation costs, as you do not own a vehicle that is likely to be rapidly losing value.

You’ll Reduce Your Monthly Outgoings

Apart from fuel and insurance, when you lease a car you know exactly what motoring is going to cost you because your expenses are rolled into one – monthly payments, Road Tax and breakdown cover. And if you include a maintenance package, your ability to budget becomes even stronger because you’ll know what’s going out of your account all in one go.

Cheaper Maintenence

Leasing provides much lower maintenance costs than other forms of buying. This is because the person leasing the car does not retain ownership, so general maintenance costs are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty period. If the car being leased requires servicing or repair, the costs will be covered; this usually includes tyre and exhaust replacement.

No MOTs to Remember

Generally speaking, lease car are less than a year or two old, and cars don’t need to be MOT’d until they’re three years old. This means that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to worry about MOTs with a lease car because you’ll have upgraded to a newer model before it’s even due.

Bonus Tip

If you really don’t use a car that much but still need one to get around occasionally, why not think about using All Transportation Network to book reservations for chauffeured transportation? You’ll be travelling in serious style and saving yourself a whole lot of hassle.

Tips For Helping Your Children Learn About Money

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One of the best things about being a child is that you don’t have the responsibilities of an adult – including the financial ones. Yet while it is nice to leave our little ones in the ignorance of bliss, it can also be a real blessing to them in later life if you teach them about responsibilities as soon as you can. If you are good with money, then you will have a lot more control over your life, more freedom to do what you want to do with your life, and also the flexibility and fewer constraints with your choices in life. You will be able to go on more holidays or have the luxury to quit your job if you don’t like it and live off your savings while you search for a new one. The benefits from having financial stability really are innumerable.

This is why it is a good idea to teach your children about money and how to save from a young age. They should grow up with a better understanding of finances and be on a more solid foot in their adult life. You can teach them about everything from how to save, what a mortgage is, and about Safety Net Credit should they need it (perhaps this is also something that you have experience with, so can impart this wisdom too.) Here we have put together some top tips for helping your children to learn about money.

Give them a budget and see how they spend it

It is a good idea to give your child some pocket money each week or month and then see how they spend it. Take them out shopping and let them purchase things that they think are important or that they need and see what they spend their funds on. Remind them that once that money they have is gone, they will have to wait another week or money before they get any more. If they ask for extra, don’t just give it to them. Instead, see if they can earn it through doing jobs around the home. This teaches them that in order to get more money they will have to work for it – it doesn’t just magically appear in front of them when they need it.

Teach them about the value of things

As a child, it can be hard to learn the different values of things and this can be a skill that when taken into adult life, leads to people getting into large amounts of debt. To avoid this, teach your child about the value of things. Explain how the same item (such as TV, cars, or even fruits and vegetables in a supermarket) can vary greatly in price. Explain why this is and the differences between them. This should help them to learn the value of items. You could also play a game where they have to guess the prices of items before you show it to them. They might be a bit surprised at some of the answers – and you might be a bit shocked at some of their guesses! If you play this game each time you go shopping, see how they improve and soon have a better indication of the value of things.

Let them earn money by doing household chores

As an adult, the way that you will earn your money is through doing work. Teach your child when they are young this lesson by giving them jobs to do around the house in exchange for money. You could set different tasks at different prices, for example, they get money for washing up, for hoovering, for tidying their bedroom or for washing the car. By showing them this is the best way to earn, they will learn that the harder they work, the more money they can potentially earn and it will also be a good way to teach them responsibilities too. 

Lead by a good example

Children pick up habits from their parents – both the good and the bad ones. This is why it is so important that you lead by a good example. Try not to take them fun shopping all the time and show them that there are just as many other fun pastimes. Try not to be super frivolous with your cash, purchasing items such as fast fashion pieces that you wear a few times and then either breaks or you get rid of as you don’t like it anymore. If your child asks you questions, be as honest as possible with your answers and explain about credit, debts, and overdrafts so they know about these.

Have your child come with you to open up a bank account

A bank account is something that your child will have right from when they are a little child up through their adult life. This is why you should take them to open up their own account when you can. There are a host of accounts out there that are tailored for children, where you can put in a budget each week or month and it is restricted with what they can use it on. They also can’t have things such as an overdraft. If you put money into their account and teach them how to use their bank card, they will learn the value of money digitally. They can even have an app that shows them what they have spent – something that you could go through with them each week, showing them further the value of money and what their spending habits are. 

These are just a few ways that you can help your children to learn more about money and become spending savvy. It is very important that your child is as financially secure in the future as they can be and by following these top tips you know that you are setting them up for as much success as possible. What are some top tips you do to ensure that your children are as financially savvy as possible? Let us know in the comments below!

Making Money At Home For Your Loved Ones

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The pandemic last year hit many of us hard for many different reasons. There are many people around the world who have lost jobs, been put on furlough, or have had to close down their small businesses during the time where people had to stay at home. 

One of the important things to try and do during these difficult times is find new ways to make money for yourself and to support your loved ones. There are many methods for making some extra money at home whether it be via a hobby or setting up a passive stream – and here we have some ideas for you to try today. 

Sell artwork 

One of the first things you can try to do this year is sell some artwork. Whether you are a dab hand with a paintbrush, delicate with a pencil, or you take amazing photographs – people will pay to have these framed in their homes as decoration. Set up your own Facebook page or an Etsy site and it will allow you to sell your work to people and make some extra money doing something you enjoy. 

Create a YouTube channel

One of the most lucrative and wide ways to make money in the modern world is to start a YouTube channel and share content with the world. When you create a YouTube channel you are able to share any type of content you want from makeup tutorials to crime stories and more. You can choose whatever subject you love and share it with the world. The great thing about YouTube is that you are able to put your video out there into the world and over time you’ll start to make passive income as people view it. It is a useful way to make money but can also become a great hobby for you to destress and enjoy. 

Trade currency 

If you are looking for a more investment focused way to make money, trading currency is a great idea. The forex market has been the most lucrative market in the world for years and recently cryptocurrencies such as Polkadot (DOT) and Bitcoin have been introduced which are growing rapidly in popularity over time. Take the chance this year to start trading on the forex market and see what a difference it can make to your income over the years. 

Take on freelance jobs 

If you have a specific skill that you want to share with the world, one helpful way to make some money this year is to join a network such as Upwork and look at signing up for freelance jobs posted by others on the site. This can be a great way to make money at your own pace when you have some free time and it will ensure that you get some income when you need it most and you won’t be tied into doing work every day if you don’t have the time. 

Consider some of these methods of making money this year for your loved ones and start to invest for you family’s future.

Making Your Savings Go Further

Saving should be part of every financial strategy. You can’t plan budget management without making sure you can put money aside. Indeed, your savings could keep your budget afloat in case of an emergency, whether it’s an unexpected bill or prolonged unemployment. There’s a reason it’s called savings. It’s because your savings can save you. 

The typical 50/30/20 rule suggests that the household should spend 50% of the net income on essentials, 30% on non-essential purchases, and put the remaining 20% into the savings pot. Ideally, to make the 50/30/20 rule work, you need to monitor cash flow closely. Indeed, the best way to turn 20% of your income into savings is to reduce your essential and non-essential costs. Could you cut down your electricity bills by switching providers, for instance? How much can you save through meal preps that prevent food waste and takeaway expenses? The bottom line, if you’re going to make your savings work harder, you need to make saving money possible in the first place. Unfortunately, successfully grown savings come at a cost. You could pay taxes on your savings. Here are some ways to make savings more affordable. 

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Look out for options to cut unforeseen taxes

Less than 5% of tax-payers in the UK pay tax on their savings interest. The personal savings allowance (PSA) lets you earn up to £1,000 in interest without worrying about taxes. However, your income tax rate will determine the PSA. High-earners may not benefit from any allowance, which means that savings do cost money. Yet, there are still strategies that can cut down tax expenses. Retirement savings, for instance, as highlighted in a post on Mega Backdoor Roths can be subjected to financial strategies that maximise savings for high-earners. ISAs are also left tax-free for as long as you don’t take money from those accounts. 

Invest it in a small business

Sometimes, your savings are going to work better for you if you keep investing them further. Investing in a small business, for instance, can cut down your tax expenses, and ensure that your savings can carry on working for you. When you join a small business as an investor, you ultimately build an investment path for your savings. While there is no guarantee that you’ll receive a return for every pound you invest, the idea is to select companies that are more likely to become successful. 

Alternatively, you can consider investing in your own venture. This could be the opportunity to launch your side hustle and grow it. 

Reach out to a financial advisor to create a portfolio

An investment portfolio is designed to bring your savings and finances to the next level. Unfortunately, unless you know what you are doing, it can be tricky to create the right portfolio for your budget. Financial advisors tend to recommend low to medium risk investments with the highest returns to their clients who are unfamiliar with risk management strategies. Typically, this would include a combination of safe bonds, real-estate crowdfunding, dividend-paying stocks, annuities, and even peer-to-peer lending. 

Savings, and especially savings for high-earners, tend to come with a tax expense. This can make it tricky for individuals to build up an effective savings strategy. However, there are different tips to avoid the tax hassle while making your savings work harder for you. An investment portfolio, for instance, can make sense of your income, dividing it into actively invested savings, and savings kept into designated accounts.

How to Make Some Extra Cash Without Leaving the House

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With Christmas a not-so-distant memory and most of us still feeling the ache in our wallets after spending an absolute fortune, many of us are starting to think about ways that we can make a bit of extra cash for the year ahead. If you’ve already got a full-time job, finding the time to earn extra money can be tricky, but there are lots of things that you can do which can give you a cash injection without you needing to spend hours and hours every day working on them. Here are five ways for you to make some extra cash in the months ahead, without having to leave the house.

Betting

If you’re looking for ways to have fun AND possibly make some money, bingo is now at Lottoland! It’s a great way to feel like you’re having a night out with your friends without having to leave the house and the possibility that you’ll make some cash makes it even more appealing. Grab a glass of something and some snacks and have a lot of fun in your own living room!

Selling Things

The beginning of Spring is a really common time for people to have a declutter, usually because of the influx of stuff from Christmas. While you’re decluttering, put to one side all of the things that you think would be sellable and list them on Facebook, eBay, Gumtree and other selling sites. A lot of these things, once they are listed, just simmer in the background, coming up with a sale every now and again, and it takes only the amount of effort to take a few pictures and post them online.

Check your Bills

Take a look at all of your outgoings on a monthly basis – things like mobile phone contracts, TV bills, and other services that you might subscribe to, and really think about whether or not you use them. If your Sky or Virgin Media contract is up, you may be able to call them to negotiate a better deal, same with your mobile phone contract. There are probably better off options out there which could be saving you a packet every month.

Quit the Gym

Just recently I realised that I haven’t been to the gym a single time in the last 12-months, what with everything being closed during lockdowns. My gym membership is only £9.99 a month, so it doesn’t exactly break the bank, but when you consider the fact that I’ve paid £120 for absolutely nothing, it can start to seem a little bit too much. Consider whether you’re actually getting your money’s worth out of your gym membership or if all of the things that you do once you get there could be done from home and you might end up saving yourself a small fortune by quitting the gym.

Meal Planning

One of the things that we absolutely terrible for in our house is buying food and leaving it to go out of date, before throwing it away. This year, I have decided that meal planning is going to be something which features a lot more heavily in our lives. I’ll be choosing meals for the whole family and buying only the ingredients that we need to make them. If somebody doesn’t want to eat what we’re having on that day, unfortunately that will be their tough luck because that’s what we’ll be having and that’s what I’ll be putting on a plate in front of them! I reckon this will probably save us a small fortune in wasted food not to mention will go towards stopping us being so wasteful.

Ways to Increase Your Income

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If you are like most people, finding a way to increase your income could be life-changing. A little extra cash each month can help you pay down debt, save up for a major purchase, or help become financially independent. From learning to invest, starting a side hustle, or finding other ways to increase your income, you need to decide what the best route is for you.

Go Back to School

Furthering your education is not an easy way to make more money, but it can help you transition to a different position within your career or switch to a new profession. Earning a bachelor’s degree can open up new career doors to you. Going back to school to earn a master’s or doctorate may be able to help you advance in your chosen career. You should always do your research to make sure that the money you invest in your education will come back to you in the form of increased salary and opportunities.

Another way some people increase their income is through a side hustle. This will take some effort to get set up, but eventually, it could really pay off. Things like blogs, influencer marketing, and YouTube channels are all ways people choose to pursue extra income. Some of these options may even lead to passive income streams eventually.

Side Hustles

You can also look into other ways to start a side business. Tangible products can be sold on e-commerce websites and shipped all over the world. You can also try out a freelance writing service or start a photography business. The choices are as endless as your interests.

If you love dogs, why not start up a dog walking service? This offers added benefits of having flexible hours, getting to look after cute dogs and getting out of the house! It’s a win win.

Employee Benefits

Your current job may also be able to help you open up some more money in your monthly budget. Look into it and see if there are employee benefits that will help you save money. Things like an FSA account or 401(k) can help you lower the amount of taxed income and help you save money for retirement.

Speaking of employee benefits, you can also modify the amount of taxes that are withheld from your paycheck each month. This will help increase your income as quickly as the next paycheck. You will still have to pay taxes at the end of the year, so this is really only a short-term solution to a cash flow issue. NewLogbookLoans.com is another short-term solution that you can consider if you need money quickly.

Advancements at Work

You can also look for advancements in your work. Asking for a raise or promotion is another way you can see an increase in your income. If you have been at your job for over a year and have a record of being a reliable and dependable employee, then you should be able to get a raise. If you notice open positions at your company, you should consider applying. If you are actively seeking out ways to advance at your job, then you will be more likely to move up the ladder.

How to Earn Money Investing

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The global economy is changing rapidly with so much uncertainty around industries and political decisions. This is good news for traders who know how to leverage the markets to earn profit. If you’ve thought about trading now is a good time to get involved, however, make sure you go into it with your eyes open. If you want to earn a realistic income with trading and curtail your losses then read on.

EDUCATION IS KEY

If earning money from trading sounds a bit inaccessible for you there’s a reason for that. The fact is that trading can be confusing until you understand the nuts and bolts of it. However, when you know the basics, it opens doors. Using a service like Metatrader 4 can really help, as it will take care of the fine details for you.

First things first, don’t trade any of your money or start registering for a trading account until you’ve watched some online videos, read some articles, and played around with a practice account. These measures ensure you have the education to make responsible trades.

SET FUNDS ASIDE 

Investing is also a form of gambling, even though it gives a different impression. When you place a trade you are making a guess about the direction of the market. You might be right and you might be wrong. 

When you get into trading you need to be aware of the risks involved. You may lose some of your money. To mitigate this you should decide how much you are willing to lose and set stop losses on your accounts.

SET TIME ASIDE 

The other thing you will need to trade effectively is a lot of time. Trading is also known as ‘day trading’ and not for nothing. Traders tend to watch the markets moment to money and make spontaneous decisions about the movement of the market. 

You will need time to do this yourself if you want to earn an income investing in the markets. It may not suit some people but if you have some time in your life to check your platform regularly it should still be possible to trade. 

START SMALL

You might have heard about an excellent trading opportunity, perhaps online or for a promotion. No doubt it will offer huge returns on large investments. This may be viable but be sensible about your money – it’s not advisable to invest large sums if you’re unsure about trading. 

The way to start trading and earn a realistic income is to start small and learn from the ground up. Begin with a practice account and teach yourself the ropes, then you understand better what risks to take with your money. 

STAY REALISTIC 

Most people get into trading on the promise of big wins and easy money. The reality is that trading requires time, skill, and attention to be successful. If you don’t have these attributes there’s a strong possibility of getting stung and losing money. 

Conversely, if you’re willing to invest some of your time and resources into learning trading and you’re realistic about it, it can be a very viable source of income. Remember to start small and do your homework.

It Is Time to Set Clear Financial Goals

Before you get started on planning your financial goals, it is a great idea to check out one of the previous posts on debt if that is a specific area you wish to tackle:

Dead Set on Resetting Your Debt – it has great times for managing your debt correctly.

It is just as important to set financial goals for your business as it is to set them for the rest of the areas of your life.

Each person will have some financial goals that are personal to them. They might be because you want to save up for a particular thing, or it could be how you can begging to live a more comfortable life.

No matter what your financial goals are, it is important that you set them with the intention of making them a priority. From Forex trading to automatic saving. Every action you take has an impact on your goals. So make them count.

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What are ‘financial goals for your business’?

Even if you are at the start of your business journey, you will need to have a plan to grow forward. You can use your mission statement and vision as a guide for the steps you will need to take.

Here are some examples of small business goals that you might consider:

Decreasing overheads and general costs

You might be using multiple online tools and platforms – but do you need them all? Make a note of all of your overheads and look to see where you can cut back. Decreasing your general costs will aid in the next steps.

Increase revenue

A decrease in your overheads will automatically see more money put back in the kitty. However, to truly increase your revenue you might want to consider how you can see a bigger profit.

It is key that you set solid numbered goals here.

Vague = to increase my revenue this year.

Solid = to increase my revenue by in the first two quarters and then even more for the last two quarters.

Ideal = to increase my revenue by $250 dollars a week for the next 6 months, and then by $500 for the following 6 months.

It is important to remember that your financial goals can be much more or much less than this. Be specific.

Cashflow planning

If you are still guessing your income and outgoing, and then checking your bank at the end of the month you are doing yourself a disservice. You should be the king, queen, and master of your cash flow.

Make it a priority to sit down and look at your income and outgoings correctly.

If a cashflow just makes you shudder at the thought, then check out the following:

How to make a cashflow forecast

And you can even get some great templates on Microsoft Office (for free) too: Check out these cashflow templates.

Running a business isn’t just about doing what you love, although that should be the biggest part. It is also having firm goals that can help your business grow, and you to prosper too.