81 articles Articles posted in Money

Fun Ways to Make Money Without Huge Investment

Fun Ways to Make Money Without Huge InvestmentPhoto by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

While many of us love the daily routine of having a set place of work and defined working hours, for others, having a flexible way to make money is the only way they can work around their family. Obviously, we’d all love to be able to run successful, and more importantly, profitable businesses, but most businesses require some form of investment to get up and running, and that’s not always available. With this in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some ways that you can make money without needing to make a huge investment first.

Personalised Gifts

There are companies which allow you to make custom-made gifts and merchandise to order. Dropshipping is becoming a really popular way for people to make money and basically just allows you to act as the middle-man between customers who want things and companies who make them. You don’t pay for anything until someone has ordered it from you and the potential to make money is pretty decent.

Blogging

A lot of bloggers aren’t that open about how they make money, but it’s simple. When you start a blog, your website starts to gain “authority” from Google. In time, this authority will make you valuable to other websites if you link to them. SEO companies will pay you to post links on your site and sometimes companies will send you items to review and write about, which you can either keep or sell.

Write an eBook/Course

Do you have a particular skill that would be valuable to other people? It could be anything; writing, gardening, baking, parenting, car mechanics – if you’re enough of an expert to teach other people then writing and selling an ebook or online course could be a lucrative way to make money. It’s also what’s known as “passive income” because once it’s done, you just have to sell it and thee things often simmer quietly in the background.

Virtual Assistant

If you have good admin or organisational skills, becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA) will allow you to ue this skills from your own home. A VA does everything that PA or admin assistant does, but virtually. You’ll often have a weekly Skype call with your clients to see what they need you to do that week, and you’ll usually share documnts through something like Google Docs so that everyone has access to the work being done.

Sell Photos

If you’re a decent photographer and already have a good camera, selling stock imagery online could be another good way to make cash. There are number of big sites like Unsplash, ShutterStock, Fotolia, iStockPhoto and Photobucket where you can submit your photos. Whenever a customer wants to purchase your photos, you will get paid as per the price you fix and the best part is, you can get paid multiple time for the same photos.

4 Easy Ways to Make Your Money Go Further

Making your money go further as a parent can be tricky. You don’t want your kids to miss out, yet you don’t want to be splurging out on things you can’t afford.

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There are many different ways you can save money, but did you know you can also take advantage of different options to save money on things you need to pay for or buy. 

So how can you save money on your household expenses without cutting back?

Check your subscriptions

If you are finding you are paying for a tv subscription you aren’t using, then it may be time to find alternatives. Check out a TV sale clearance to see if you can find a better price. Or even a new TV on offer to save you some money and stop you paying for packages you simply aren’t using.

Apply this to other subscriptions you could be paying that you can find a better deal for or even cancel altogether. This will help you free up cash from your monthly budget to put to better use elsewhere.

Loyalty Cards.

Everyone still needs to buy food, toiletries, clothes. Shopping in sales can help you save money initially. However, signing up to store loyalty cards can help you accrue points you can then use for future shops. think of it as a rainy day fund, or a Christmas savings account.

The thing is if you are spending your money with them any way you may as well get something back for it, right!

Cashback Sites.

If you shop online frequently, then are you using a cashback site? If not, then maybe you should be considering it. It is pretty easy to use too.

Simply sign up, and start shopping. find the right deal for the site you want to buy from, or even service you want to use or sign up to and click through from the cashback site.

Qualifying shops and spends will then be tracked and once the holding period is over, you have the funds in your account to do as you please. You can save the money until you have a decent lump sum. Or withdraw it as soon as you can and benefit from some free cash. After all, you have earnt it!

Use Deals

Make a vow to yourself that you will try to find as many deals as possible to help you afford meals out, day trips and even holidays. There are always voucher codes out there or even discount cards that will allow you to save money. 

From buy one get one free offers, to kids eat free and half-price deals, you can find yourself some great offers to help you save money doing what you do regularly.

Be savvy when it comes to your spending and see how you can save as you spend by utilizing all of the ways mentioned above. Use websites, vouchers and even apps to help you find the best offers and deals out there.

 

Struggling Financially? There’s No Need To Panic!

The truth is that at one point or another, most people will struggle with their finances. It’s not easy feeling like you’re sinking, as a result of struggling to manage your finances properly. It can feel as if it’s your fault you’re finding it hard to stay financially afloat, when actually it isn’t your fault. Yes, you may have made some bad choices with money or you may have lost an income stream, but blaming yourself isn’t going to help you or your family. Instead, you need to approach the problem head on and face it. 

Of course, knowing how to do that isn’t always easy, is it? When you find that you’re struggling with your finances, it’s not easy to accept the situation that you have found yourself in. You may be feeling upset, angry, embarrassed, or ashamed, or all of these emotions. However, it’s important to remember that financial problems impact a far wider number of people that you can imagine, and you really are not alone. 

You may be feeling anxious and panicked by the situation that you have found yourself in, however it’s important to stay calm and try not to let it impact your mental health and wellbeing. Yes, it’s a rubbish situation to be in, but don’t let it impact your mindset – instead find a way to move forward. 

To help you to do that, and to help reduce the stress and strain that you are under, below is a guide to some of the steps that you can take if you find that you are struggling financially. 

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Don’t ‘bury your head in the sand’

The very worst thing that you can do is ‘bury your head in the sand’. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of pretending that it isn’t happening, or the situation will only end up getting worse. That’s why it’s so important that you are willing to accept the fact that there is a problem, because without doing so, it’s impossible to face the issue head on. However, by accepting that you are struggling financially, you put yourself in a position to deal with the problem in a more positive and constructive way. 

If you ignore the problem, it won’t go away – if anything, it will only end up getting worse. That’s why it’s so important that if you’re struggling financially, you acknowledge that there is, in fact a problem, as by doing so you can then address the problem and prevent it from getting worse. 

Write a list of what you’re struggling with 

The first step that you should take is to sit down and write a list of all the things that you’re struggling financially with. While the concept of doing this might seem somewhat daunting, it’s an important step to take and one that should help to make getting things back on track, somewhat easier. 

Sit down and write out a list of any bills that are overdue as well as a list of any debts that are owed. It’s also important to work out the monthly cost of your living expenses, and determine whether they are affordable. If your living expenses outweigh your monthly income, then you have somewhat of a problem. However, what it’s important to remember is that there are a number of ways that you can make managing your finances a little easier. By creating a list of your finances, you can work out what you can afford to pay and what you are unable to pay, and can then move forward from there. 

There is plenty of support available from financial charities, as well as debt charities like Step Change, for instance. So whatever it is that you are struggling with, don’t feel like there’s a lack of support available, because this isn’t the case. 

Consider selling assets to help 

If you’re struggling with your finances and need a means to an end, one option is to consider selling your assets to help cover the cost of your debts or to help make your living expenses that little bit more affordable. The fact is that while this might not be a route that you want to go down, it may be one that could be helpful, and thus is worth considering. 

Take the time to think about what you could sell – whether it’s old and unwanted furniture, electricals you no longer need, or something else. There are some great resources online designed to help you determine assets that you could sell to boost your income – for a little inspiration have a read of: ‘The 6 Surprising Assets You Can Sell To Supplement Your Income’. These kinds of resources offer some fantastic tips and ideas for making it far easier to give your income that much-needed boost to make managing your finances that little bit easier. 

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Find a way to earn more 

Another option, when it comes to making it easier to manage your finances, is to consider supplementing your regular income by earning more from a second income. While this may not be an idea that appeals to you, it could be a good option to consider, and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean leaving the house. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways you can earn from home, including by freelancing. 

Whatever your job – be it working in education, marketing, medicine, health, or any other industry for that matter – there are plenty of options for freelancing within your chosen industry. However, it might just take a little time to work out what these options are. Let’s say, for instance, that you work as a teacher but need to boost your income – perhaps you could work as an online tutor? Or, say you work in marketing – maybe you could offer some freelance social media management to smaller companies? Whatever area you work in, there’s sure to be a way that you can earn some extra money through freelancing. 

A great tip is to look on sites like Indeed for remote roles, as well as using Facebook community groups specially created for your industry, and LinkedIn job boards to source remote and freelance roles. 

Struggling financially is not easy to cope with, however with the right action plan  in place, you can make managing the situation that you have found yourself in, far simpler and easier to cope with. 

Understanding Your Credit Score

We all know we should work to have a good credit rating, but many of us don’t really understand what our credit score really is or how it is worked out. With a better understanding of this, you will be better able to understand how to have a strong score and what it means if you don’t. 

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What is a credit score?

A credit score is a number that summarizes your credit information in a credit report. The number you have will reflect how likely you are that you will skip out on a loan or a credit obligation in the future. 

Why don’t I have a credit score?

Credit scoring can only happen with enough credit information. With little to no credit history, you won’t have a credit score available. 

What are score factors? 

Score factors are provided with your credit score to explain how different items in your credit history have impacted your overall score. This can help you to understand what has had the biggest impact, giving you a priority for things to fix. 

How often do credit scores change?

Your score will change as your report changes, meaning it can change all the time as new information is added to your credit report. 

What is the credit score range? 

There are different credit scores with different ranges. Two different scores can represent the same risk level, as different agencies and lenders calculate their ranges a little differently. Your Experian score is the most helpful for you, as they will provide an explanation of what the score they have given you means to lenders and how they view your worthiness for credit. A good score with Experian means you’ll have a good score with lenders, even with a different method of rating. 

Does debt consolidation change your credit score? 

Does consolidation help credit score? Debt consolidation can help or hurt your credit score, depending on the method you use and how well you keep up with your repayment plan. Speak to a credit counselor to make sure you are making the right choice, and make sure you can keep up any monthly repayments to avoid further damaging your credit score. 

What is a good credit score?

A good credit score depends on the scoring system used by the lender in question. You can get a clearer idea of whether your score is good or not, by getting a score and report from Experian, which will help you understand your score. 

What information goes into calculating my credit score?

Credit scores use information from three main areas of your credit report. It uses your account information (including credit card, mortgages, and student loans), public records (such as bankruptcies or CCJs), and inquiries (requests by lenders to view your credit). Personal information like your gender, race, where you live, and your marital status are not taken into account. 

Does having too many credit cards affect my credit score?

Too many credit cards with either high balances or a lot of credit available can make you seem like a higher risk and can impact your score.

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 Genus Leasing 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.

Why Is Your Credit Score So Important?

There are a lot of adverts on TV about credit score checkers at the minute. It seems like everybody is always talking about how important it is to know your credit score and if it isn’t good, to fix it. But how important is it really? A lot of people don’t really bother about their credit score but at some point, it comes back to bite them because it is more important than you think. These are just some of the reasons why a good credit score is so important.

credit score

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Borrowing Money 

Spending loads of money on a credit card is never sensible, but there are times in life when you need to borrow money. Say, you’re buying a new car or you want to do home renovations, for example. It’s fine to borrow money in these situations and if you shop around for good deals, you will be able to manage the repayments. But if you have a credit score, you are seriously limited. You can still get quick loans from new horizons and other similar companies but you may not be able to borrow as much as you need and you will probably pay higher interest. Your credit score is essentially a measure of how responsible you are with money and if you have a bad score, people will not trust you enough to lend you money. If you find yourself in need of a loan for some reason, having a bad credit score will make life difficult for you.

Buying A House 

Buying a house is one of those times when you need to borrow money, and if you have a bad credit score, you will struggle. Your options for mortgages are very limited, if anybody will even lend to you at all. It’s likely that you will end up paying a very high interest rate on your mortgage if your credit is bad. That’s why it’s important to focus on your credit score when preparing your finances for buying a house.

Car Insurance

This is one that people often don’t think about, but it’s a big one. If you have a bad credit score, it can really push your car insurance up. This puts younger people in a tough position because their insurance is already high and they don’t usually have a good credit score because they have not had the time to build one up. However, it only affects you if you pay monthly, not if you pay the whole year in one go.

If you don’t know what your credit score is, you need to check it right away. You can do it for free at Clearscore. If your score is not very good, you should look at getting a credit card that is designed to boost your credit score. You can make small purchases and clear the balance right away, and that will push the score up. Beyond that, you need to make sure that you are budgeting your money well and not missing any payments on bills or loans because that will ruin your score again.

5 Basic Money Saving Tips that Really Work

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A lot of people assume that if they want to accomplish incredible things with their cash, they need to be saving hundreds of pounds worth of income every month. However, this isn’t really true. The fact is that just a couple of pounds placed into a savings account every week can make a huge difference to your finances in the future.

Rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed by the idea that budgeting has to mean changing your entire lifestyle, why not make some basic changes to your relationship with cash that really work instead? Here are some top tips to get you started.

  1. Think Bulk, Not Brands

When you’re shopping for essential items like toilet paper, tissues, and even cleaning supplies, it’s easy to get carried away looking at brand names and packaging. However, it’s important not to let the good marketing brainwash you. Instead, look for opportunities to save some extra money by buying supermarket-brand options in bulk.

More often than not, you’re going to get the exact same experience from a supermarket that you would get from a big-brand company, but you’ll save a fortune on the packaging. Remember, you can always buy extra of the things you always need in when they’re on sale, so you don’t run out too.

  1. Rethink your Electricity

When you start searching through your monthly statements for opportunities to save, you’ll notice that you spend cash in some areas more often than others. For instance, a lot of us overspend on food shopping, but we also tend to use a lot of our cash on gas and electricity. If you’re paying over the odds for your electricity, start by looking at offers from other providers to see if you can get a better deal. At the same time, you can also think about exchanging some of your high-consumption appliances with energy-saving alternatives.

While buying a new fridge, washing machine and other essential utensils might require you to take out a loan initially, it will mean that by the time you’ve finished paying what you owe, you’ll have much lower bills.

  1. Stop Over-spending on Drinks

Sometimes, it’s easier to see how much you spend on food from takeaways, restaurants and cafes than it is to recognise how much you’re spending on drinks. How often do you buy yourself a bottle of cola when you go shopping on a weekend to keep you going until you get home? How much do you spend on a morning coffee when you’re on your way to work.

Invest in a reusable water bottle and take it with you wherever you go. Not only will you have an instant source of hydration when you need it, but you’ll also get a health boost by switching away from sugary and caffeinated beverages too.

  1. Prep your Meals in Advance

Next time you’re going shopping at the supermarket, make a list of all the meals that you’re going to make for that week. This will help you to make sure that you’re not overspending when you’re walking through the aisles. However, it will also mean that you have everything you need to start prepping your meals in advance.

While spending an afternoon cooking and chopping on a Sunday might not seem like much fun, it will mean that you have all the food you need ready and available to throw into the oven when you get home after a long day at work. Pre-prepped meals make it much less likely that you’ll end up turning to a takeaway for food.

  1. Make Saving Automatic

Finally, if you’re the kind of person who finds saving difficult, then why not simplify the process by making it completely automatic? Take a look at your budget and find out how much you can afford to put into a savings account after your bills are paid for. Then, you can set up a direct debit that moves your money into your savings account before you have a chance to spend it.

Making saving automatic will reduce your risk of spending the cash that you wish you had put aside for later. At the same time, it also means that you don’t need to think about saving at the end of each month. Just make sure that you come and re-check your budget every once in a while to make sure that the amount of cash you’re putting into savings, and the cash you’re using elsewhere still makes sense.

Easy Ways to Get your Kids More Interested in Saving

Easy Ways to Get your Kids More Interested in SavingAs parents, we need to teach our children many life lessons. One of which is how to handle money. Teaching your kids how to budget and save for their future will make a huge difference in their lives. They are far less likely to end up burdening themselves with debt. There are lots of ways to teach your children to be good savers, but these are some of my favourites.

Open a junior ISA for them

Opening a junior ISA from Wealthify, or a similar provider is a good idea for most families. The cash in these accounts is not available to your child until they are 18. Although from the age of 16 they can play a role in managing their ISA accounts.

Eighteen is a good age for a child to be given a lump sum. At that age, they are likely to be preparing to learn to drive, go on to further education or thinking about moving out of your home. Having some cash saved up for them in an ISA will enable them to do all of this without having to get into debt.

Get them an old-fashioned piggy bank

Old school piggy banks are still popular because kids love them. Giving them physical pocket money and encouraging them to put some of it into one is a great way for them to get the saving bug at a really young age. Even a toddler can understand that the bigger the pile of coins is the more of what they really want they can buy. So, as soon as it is safe to do so, get each of your children a piggy bank.

Open a full bank account for them

The next step is to open a proper bank account for each of them. At first, you will have to help them to manage it. But, gradually, they will be able to take over the reins. Handling money on a daily basis and getting used to budgeting so that their allowance gets them through the week is all good practice. They can use that bank account to save up for short-term financial goals. For example, holidays or buying something like a new phone or games consul.

Play games that help them to learn about managing money

Kids learn best through play. This YT video provides you with some ideas of how to do that.

Get them to help with the family budget

As soon as they are old enough to do so, get the kids involved with helping you to manage the family budget. Now, I am not suggesting that you burden your children with the full ins and outs of your finances.

But, you can, for example, get them to help you to shop around for the best power deals. Or, to find coupons for the products your family likes to eat. Giving them little tasks like this will really help them to better appreciate the value of money and learn how to save for their future.

Common Family Emergencies & How To Navigate Them

Knowing what to do when you experience an emergency is crucial – if you’re not sure what to do, it can be difficult to find out in the moment because you feel stressed and like your brain isn’t working properly. Below, you’ll find a few common family emergencies and how to navigate them. Take a look. 

Your Child is Sick

When your child is sick, getting time off work last minute can be a nightmare. However, your child comes first. Make sure you stress to your boss that you’re disappointed and you know it’s not ideal, but also present them with solutions. Tell them how you can rectify this at a later date and how you’ll make yourself available in the future. 

It’s Your Child’s Birthday/Another Special Occasion and You’re Going To Miss It 

Your child’s birthday is so important when they’re young, and things like plays and concerts can be huge for them. If you’re going to miss something like this, it’s normal to feel guilty. However, this is your opportunity to become a real role model for your child. See if you can find ways to be involved while you work, or whatever it is you have to do. Maybe you could facetime your child on your lunch break, or message them throughout the day to encourage them. This will still mean a lot to them. 

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Your Car Breaks Down 

A car break down can come suddenly and without warning, and this can be a nightmare if you have somewhere important to be. Quick Car Credit could offer you car finance for a new car if you know your old one is done for, but you should also know what to do straight away to rectify the situation. Who do you call? How will you get to where you’re going? Make sure you have your own break down plan ready. 

Needing Time Off Work

A family emergency can mean needing some time off work, but how long can you have off? There is no limit really, and it’ll depend on your workplace. Some reasons you might take time off include:

  • You need to attend your child’s school because of an incident
  • Somebody dies
  • Somebody gives birth
  • Somebody falls ill 
  • Somebody is injured or assaulted 

The reasons above mostly relate to dependents, which means people who are dependent on you. This might mean your kids, or even a parent. Anybody who depends on you. However, most workplaces will also allow time off for close family member emergencies. 

It’s normal to worry about an employer disciplining or dismissing you, but they can not treat you badly for needing to take time off. It can’t be counted as a sickness or unauthorised absence. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, citizen’s advice will be able to help you. Providing you are honest and do your best to keep your employer in the loop, you should be treated fairly. Leave your thoughts below – thanks for reading.

5 Tips to Financing your Next Home

Everybody, once you become an adult, you would love to enjoy your private space. Having your own home is a dream come true for most people in the world. However, as we all know, that does not come easy. You have to be ready to work for it.

Money is the main factor that can limit you from making a down payment or paying the new house in full. You may need some help in this area. This article focuses on giving you five tips 

that you will need the next time you are making an investment of this magnitude.

Do you need a new home?

Any dream is achievable. However, you have to sit down and analyze whether you require this new home or not.

One of the things you have to analyze is your income. Most lenders will give you reasons why you should take a mortgage. You should nevertheless think about the risk that you are about to undertake. Even if you qualify for a particular mortgage limit, it does not mean that you can pay it off in time.

Thus, if buying a house can wait for some time, you had better do so.

Preparing to acquire the property

Once you think that you are ready to invest in a new home, you have to think of ways of investing in this new asset. If you do not have the ability to pay in full, then your other option is to look for a mortgage.

Before you even start the process, ensure that you prepare beforehand. For instance, you could try to work on your credit score. If it is low, then you lower your chances of getting a mortgage. However, if you can work on getting up, then you can increase your chances by a considerable margin.

A good credit score, by the way, can range between 650 and over. If it is below that, you can work towards improving it.

Look for various borrowing options

Here is where many people make mistakes. You can get the wrong option if you do not shop around to see the various options available. There are many lenders in this space, which means that you have to be keen when making a decision.

Here are the mortgage options you can consider:

– Use a private lender

If you have a poor score on your credit, you can look for a person or a private business that offers that. This is a good option for people that do not have documents required to acquire a mortgage.

– Make a deal with a homebuilder

Most home builders provide in-house mortgages, which you could also use. Nevertheless, you have to be keen when agreeing with these types of lenders.

– Using FHA mortgage

Most federal banks support these loans because they are affordable to many. Even when you have a bad credit score, you could get the mortgage as long as you make a 10% down payment.

Other financing options include rent to own, using your retirement account and crowdfunding.

Final remarks

Before you make any purchases, you have to ensure that you analyze your current situation. For instance, with a new home, you may have to adjust your current budget to help pay for the mortgage you just committed to repaying it. 

Remember also that people take years to finish paying off a mortgage. Therefore, ensure that you make the right decisions and consult professionals in this area.