68 articles Tag money

Great Reasons Why You Should Live At Home As A College Student


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Living away from home and at your university can be exciting and add to your experiences. However, staying at home can be just as fun- and beneficial! Statistics show that UK universities had 1.9 million students living in both provider-maintained accommodations and private halls last academic year. This means rent prices are going up (as demand increases) amongst other accommodation issues. Yes, staying at home does sound cool, but there are so many perks you’d be gaining! Here are a few.

Save more money

As a college student, living on a budget is essential. Imagine how easier your time in school would be when you don’t have to worry about rent, paying for maintenance fees, or even food? Well, that’s what staying at home does for you. It is considerably cheaper and budget-friendly staying at home. You can save more money and avoid failing in debt like many college students.

Improve and keep healthy friendships

It’s a common misconception that college students who stay at home don’t make any friends. Even though you may stay at home, you can still meet and befriend many new people. It also helps you keep the friendship fresh and healthy as you can avoid more “bad” friends and limit your exposure to peer pressure. Additionally, it also encourages healthy space between you and them as you are not easily accessible- unless you want to be. 

So, don’t hesitate to take the time to make new friendships and build your existing ones; staying at home shouldn’t make a difference. 

Avoid flatmate troubles

If you’re staying out of the house, you are most likely going to get a flatmate. A flatmate or roommate is an excellent idea as they can help share the expenses and take away the loneliness you may feel if you were alone. But it’s usually not so rosy. Some studies show that the constant issues with roommates affect the academic success of students. Although this gives you an opportunity to learn to handle conflict and cope in stressful situations, they are often avoidable.

Stay close to family

Although the university is a time to explore on your own, you miss being around family occasionally. Having family close by makes you feel safe. Staying at home may be an excellent choice if you have a tough time with social anxiety or are uncomfortable constantly being around new people. It is also a good idea to stay at home if you deal with illness and need assistance from someone you trust. 

There are so many advantages to staying at home. However, it may not always be possible to do so- like if there’s a significant distance between your home and school. Fortunately, university accommodation options such as the University of Suffolk student accommodation offer students an accommodation experience that feels just like home! But if you do school closer to home, these four reasons should convince you to live at home.

How Does A Poor Credit Score Affect Your Day to Day Life?

Everyone should know the importance of sound money management and the detrimental effects of having poor credit. Sadly around 18 million brits are currently thought to be actively harming their credit score and risking their financial future.

How Does A Poor Credit Score Affect Your Day to Day Life?

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Recently the economic downturn due to the Covid pandemic has seen the increased strain on people’s incomes and has resulted in more people missing payments or falling behind with their prices on credit accounts due to reduced revenues or increased bills eating into the money they have.

What Is A Poor Credit Score?

There are two main credit agencies in the UK and a list of variables that make up whether or not al ender accepts your credit application. On Experian, anything under 800 is classed as poor, and 720 and under is very poor. Equifax rates poor credit scores as those with a score of 420 or below with very poor from 0-279.

How Does Poor Credit Affect Your Day to Day Life?

Whether you realise it or not, having a poor credit score can affect more than a simple yes or no for applications you make. The effects can be wide-reaching and have an impact on many different things in your life. However, having poor credit now doesn’t mean this is it for you. You can always change your score and work to improve it by keeping on top of payments. You can follow money bloggers, listen to a credit risk podcast or join forums to get inspiration from others on how to improve your credit score.

This post looks at some of the ways a poor credit score can impact your life.

Renting Accommodation

If you have a good credit score, you can have your pick of homes to rent. Because many landlords and letting agencies conduct credit checks before allowing you to move in, having a poor credit history could jeopardise your plans to relocate.

The prevelance of ‘comprehensive’ credit checks from companies such as Experian has made it possible for landlords to check your financial history before you move in. Over six years, they look for any financial mistakes, such as a CCJ or defaults, that may have occurred in your life.

This isn’t just restricted to those applying for a mortgage now. Everyone is aware of how a poor credit history and bad financial mistakes can stop you from getting reasonable mortgage rates or even a mortgage at all. But a poor credit score also affects your renting ability too.

Buying A New Car

Buying a new car isn’t cheap. Many people consider financing their new vehicle with a personal loan to spread the cost over a more extended period. Personal loans are typically subject to a credit check. The same is true if you choose to go the traditional route and secure a PCP or hire purchase deal through a car dealership, in which case your credit would also be checked.

For the most part, if you’re entering a financial agreement with a company – whether it’s to finance a new car, a new sofa, or anything in between – you’ll almost certainly be asked to provide information about your credit history.

Applying for Jobs

If you apply for a job in specific industries – for example, if you’re involved in financial transactions or cash handling – the employer may run a credit check on you before extending you the offer. This is solely due to the nature of the employment you’re seeking, and it is not a common practice in the recruitment industry as a whole.

Careers that require good credit include;

  • Accounting
  • Police
  • Army
  • Legal

Higher Interest Rates

The better your credit score, the lower your interest rates will be. Lower rates and a good credit score means you are more likely to pay back what you owe on time as per your contract. A lower credit score is reflective of missing payments and bad financial decisions. So frequently, lenders will offer a higher interest rate to mitigate the risk of lending. Meaning, you are paying more money back as a buffer in case you default.

Insurance Premiums

Do you have household or car insurance? Or how about life insurance? All the insurance premiums you are offered will be based in part on your credit score. Much like with loans, the more chequered your history, the higher your payments will be. If you are paying a lump sum upfront, you can usually eradicate this. However, if you make monthly instalments, you are being credited the insurance premium you are paying back, thus accounting for the higher interest rates or increased premiums.

Household Bills

Whatever your mobile phone tariff or utility bills, if you’re looking to set up a Direct Debit to pay your bills, it’s likely that your credit report will be scrutinised as part of the process.

When it comes to paying your bills, you’ll most likely have no issues whatsoever. If, on the other hand, you have a poor credit history – for example, if you’ve defaulted on a loan in the past – your utility company may require you to have prepayment meters to avoid running up bills meaning you end up paying more than direct debits.

New Relationships

While this might not be a make or break topic for new relationships, it can impact budding relationships, especially if you haven’t gotten your financial situation under control. People want to know what type of person you are embarking on a relationship with and your credit history and money habits play a big part in this. If you have experienced financial difficulties you have recovered from, you may find this isn’t an issue. But if you are exhibiting poor financial choices and errant behaviour as far as your credit is concerned, this can be a warning flag in a new relationship.

On the face of it, a poor credit score can simply look like being refused credit. However, suppose you fail to make amends and improve your credit score. In that case, you may find that you are experiencing the effects of this in other areas of your life, such as getting preferable energy rates or being able to advance your career or maybe even pursuing a new relationship.

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.

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.

Can You Make Money From Home Through Affiliate Marketing?

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The ideal life for a lot of people is being able to stay at home while still earning a decent living. Not only that, but you want to work for yourself and set your own schedule in life. It’s possible to seek out different opportunities to achieve this state of living, one of which is affiliate marketing. 

What is affiliate marketing?

In short, it’s a type of digital marketing that relies on people promoting things for companies. As an affiliate, a company provides you with your own unique link to share with other people. When someone clicks on your link and purchases something from the company, you receive a percentage of the sale. Effectively, you receive a commission for promoting a business.

When you read this, you begin to wonder, can you actually make money through affiliate marketing? Well, the overall answer is yes, because you certainly can. However, there are definitely things you need to know before you go down this route. A lot of affiliate marketers don’t make money, but it is definitely possible. 

Find an affiliate marketing platform

Going out into the big wide world of affiliate marketing on your own is never going to end well. Instead, you need a platform to help you get set up. Essentially, these platforms help you find affiliate marketing opportunities and give you tools to help promote the various companies. They may also offer education to further your knowledge on the topic. Be careful, as this Wealthy Affiliate review shows, some platforms can be outdated and a bit of a waste of money. Do lots of research before coming to a decision on the platform you wish to choose. 

Don’t spend too much money

As an affiliate marketer, you can spend money to promote your link and get it seen by many people. Things like paying to have ads directing people to your blogs or using social media ads are popular ideas. Nevertheless, you should aim to spend as little money as you possibly can. Otherwise, you might struggle to make a profit when you compared your affiliate earnings to what you spent. This is a mistake many affiliates make all the time!

Work with companies you trust and believe in

Lastly, only become affiliates for companies that you trust and believe in. The best way to make money through affiliate marketing is via a blog or social media account. Thus, you need to ensure that the companies you work with aligning with your particular brand. If you have a blog about sports, it makes sense to promote companies that sell sports clothing, equipment, etc. It’s easier to work your link into your content, and your target audience will be interested in the companies as well. Research the companies beforehand to ensure they are legit and trustworthy too. 

You most certainly can make money as an affiliate marketer, but it’s not as easy as people make out. There’s this myth that affiliate marketing is easy and you can instantly earn a fortune. In reality, it takes a fair bit of skill and perseverance to ensure you actually earn a steady income.

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.

Business Ideas for the Busy Mum

Business Ideas for the Busy MumAs a parent, you want to ensure your children have the best, whether it be food, clothes, toys, furniture, or leisure activities. Alongside this, bills still need to be paid, and all of the above can cost money.

To be able to manage this, you may want to consider taking on some work. For some, getting a traditional job may not be a possibility, especially with very young children to look after. This is where working for yourself can tick some of those boxes. This can give you the freedom to earn your own money, around a schedule that suits you and your prior commitments to your family.

Also, keep in mind that when you have found a selection of clients for your product or service, you may need an invoice template to be able to request payment on completion of each project. Always use the tools available to you online (click the link) to make your working life easier – you have enough to juggle already parenting and building your business!

Writing

If you have a gift with the written word, you may want to consider taking on some jobs involving the writing industry, such as writing articles, aiding with literature, and, if you understand another language, translating text. These jobs can be found on both job sites and social media, and can quickly give you some money to play with.

Since many writing tasks will have a day and time deadline, as opposed to requiring a certain amount of work to be completed each day, this means you can adjust the amount you are willing to work based on the hours you will be available. For the busy mum, that may be while children are at school or even when they are in bed.

Baking

Some mums find they spend a lot of time in the kitchen, either preparing meals or baking alongside their children. For those who are confident in their ability to produce some delicious goods, selling them may be an option.

Within this, you may be required to complete food safety qualifications, as well as to obtain business insurance. It may also be a requirement to display a list of allergens and ingredients on the boxes to avoid any illness occurring.

If you have a passion for baking, this can definitely be a good step forward for you.

Crafts

Some women love crafts, while others hope it can be banished from their home. If you are the former, you may want to consider creating items either in bulk, or made to order, to sell to the public. Many people sell their homemade crafts on websites such as Etsy every day. You can factor the cost of materials, as well as the time it takes to make the item, into the price, and potentially make a good income from your artistic nature.

Working for yourself from home can be extremely rewarding, especially if it means you get to simultaneously earn money while raising your children. Depending on how much you earn, you may need to declare this to the tax office, and pay any tax or NI contributions, as necessary.