Cash refusal “creeps into the British economy”

Refusal to accept cash is “creeping into the UK economy,” the expert said after a study found that the coronavirus had accelerated the transition to a cashless society.
What user groups? 34% of people say they haven’t even been able to pay with cash since March when they tried to buy something.
Grocery stores, pubs and restaurants were the most likely to experience a decline.
Natalie Keene, who wrote a report on the matter, urged ministers to act.
“The numbers show that the odd cafe is not only becoming cashless, it’s creeping into the broader economy,” said Ms. Ceeney, who wrote Access to Cash Review.
“We can’t blame individual companies – many are losing money because they can’t just take cash because their local offices are closed or some distance away. The government needs to pass laws immediately to protect the viability of that money.” As I promised years. then. Time is running out. “
Goodbye ATM. How local shops provide access to cash
Coronavirus “Will Accelerate Money Reduction”
WHO? Lack of access to money is a problem for those who depend on banknotes and coins – for example for people with certain health problems or without access to a computer.

Jenny Ross, which one? One money editor said, “We have repeatedly warned of the impact of the coronavirus on an already fragile monetary system, but the government or regulators have not taken sufficient action to understand the scale of the problem.”
The Treasury Department advises giving city regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority, control over access to money in the future, and advocates the idea of ​​returning money to the store without you having to buy anything.
David Fagleman, director of financial advisory firm Enryo, said, “Our own research shows that despite the decline in daily grocery use, nearly three-quarters of people believe the transition to a cashless society is too fast and some people are at risk of staying behind. especially vulnerable from behind. “”

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Simple Ways To Save Money and The Planet With Sustainable Products

Sustainability has become a big buzz word in the consumer world over the last few years, and rightly so. Sustainable products are created in order to serve a purpose whilst also minimising damage to the environment. Due to this, they are usually reusable, meaning from a consumers perspective you will need to buy products less often and therefore, save money. This is a fantastic way for environmentally conscious people to do their bit for the planet whilst also saving themselves money. Let’s walk through some simple swaps you can make throughout different areas of the house. 

Bathroom

  • Shampoo, Conditioner and Soap Bars – this plastic free alternative to heavily packaged products will reduce plastic consumption considerably. Organic bars contain far more natural ingredients that are much better for your skin and the environment. You will also find you are purchasing these products far less often than you would normal bottles of product as they last far longer. 
  • Reusable Cotton Pads – rather than throwing away single use cotton pads, you can purchase reusable and washable pads which last for years and years. You can either hand wash them or put them into the washing machine on a normal wash. Prepare to save plenty of money as you will no longer have to replace your cotton pads after the initial investment. 
  • Bamboo Toothbrushes – switching to bamboo toothbrushes will ensure that the amount of pollution and waste going into our oceans is reduced. When the time comes to change your toothbrush, the bamboo material is completely biodegradable. 
  • Reusable Sanitary Products – the amount of plastic in any disposable sanitary product is unbelievable. Significant amounts of waste is produced over the course of a year from just one person’s period. Luckily, there are eco-friendly alternatives available. You can use sanitary cups or washable underwear which can both simply be washed and used over and over again for years on end. 

Kitchen

  • Coffee Cups – 166 billion paper coffee cups are used each year which are responsible for 6.5 million trees being cut down and 4 billion gallons of water being used. Most coffee shops will happily accept reusable cups, so take your own cup and ask them to fill it with your favourite drink. Many coffee shops are now introducing initiatives to encourage customers to bring their own reusable cup so it is definitely worth doing. 
  • Water Bottles – similarly to single use coffee cups, plastic water bottles are responsible for a horrific amount of waste each year. So, make sure to always carry your own reusable bottle. Making a habit of taking it out with you will reduce your environmental impact and also save you significant amounts of money when you aren’t buying a bottle of water everyday. 
  • Beeswax Wrap – cling film and plastic sandwich bags are other single use items that can easily be avoided. Beeswax wrap is a reusable alternative that can easily be shaped around any product as the warmth of your hands gently moulds the wrap to keep it in place. You could wrap sandwiches or easily cover food packets. Again, these wraps will last for years and are mostly biodegradable and compostable.

Nursery 

  • Baby Washcloths – as a parent, you are likely to use countless amounts of wipes each day for all sorts of things that will go straight in the bin. Although you can get biodegradable wipes which would be useful for when you’re out and about, try to use reusable baby washcloths when you are in the house. You can use them to clean up after meal times, crafts or they can be used in the bath. They can either be quickly rinsed or washed properly in the washing machine. You will save huge amounts of money on wipes whilst also helping the environment. 
  • Bamboo Nappies – using reusable and washable nappies would be ideal but it is completely understandable if this isn’t possible or practical for families. So, you can get biodegradable nappies which are far more gentle than normal nappies and they are also completely biodegradable, making them much more friendly for the planet. 
  • Coverall Bibs – a simple way you can save yourself time and money is to invest in coverall bibs. Rather than changing your baby’s outfit after meal times, you can simply pop on the coverall bib which will cover all of your child’s body and arms. You can then slip it off after meal time or crafts, give it a wipe and it is ready to use again. In the long-run you will save a lot of money on energy as you won’t need to do anywhere near as much washing! 
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Investments to Consider Post-COVID-19



As you’ve no doubt heard (and begun to get excited about), life may once again be ordinary at some point in 2021. Evening Express quoted a vaccine expert, in fact, suggesting that by the second half of next year, we’ll have “normal life” once again. That’s going to mean a lot of wonderful things for millions of people all over the world. But it’s also going to mean that economies will begin to pick up again.

That specific aspect of the return to normal will also have a positive impact on millions worldwide. But how will it affect investment markets?

This is a difficult question to answer, because some aspects of the economic impact will likely outlast the virus itself. Even as world economies begin to pick up, consumer activity won’t rebound all at once, and some industries will prove to have been more permanently damaged. Additionally, once the virus is under control, we’ll remember all the other problems we have. In the UK, for instance, Brexit is already looming over the COVID recovery.

Basically, there will still be some economic uncertainty even as we move past COVID-19. That could make 2021 a more difficult year for investors than some have begun to anticipate in light of the vaccines. With that said however, there are some areas we would suggest investors keep a close eye on during this unpredictable time.

Markets That Thrived Mid-Pandemic

Not so long ago we identified ‘Profitable Investments to Make During a Pandemic’ with specific regard to a few areas that have thrived during COVID-19. Despite the narrative that businesses across all industries have suffered (and to be sure, many have), there have been some types of businesses that were well positioned to gain value as a result of the pandemic. We pointed to e-commerce stocks and real estate as a few examples of areas that actually saw growth during COVID. Others would include edtech stocks, certain medical and research company stocks, precious commodities like gold, and even cryptocurrency.

Not all of these markets and assets will necessarily continue to thrive post-pandemic. But many might. Conditions will not change overnight, and some of the societal adaptations we’ve seen may well linger into the future in support of these markets. For instance, many expect that consumers will continue to prioritize online shopping, and that education will remain at least partially remote — thus supporting ongoing strength in ecommerce and edtech.

Forex Exchange

Forex exchange is a different market altogether from your typical stock exchange, and so can make for a little bit more of an adjustment for those not used to trading currency. Nevertheless, FXCM’s explainer on opening a forex account shows that it’s a fairly simple market to get into. Those interested can fill out simple applications at reputable online platforms, choose usernames, open up accounts, and start trading.

As to why this might be a good strategy in the aftermath of COVID-19, it comes down to activity. Money is made in forex not necessarily because a given currency skyrockets in value, but rather because traders take advantage of enough small shifts and movements to grow net gains. And with different countries and economic systems set to rebuild at different rates after the pandemic, it’s possible that we’ll see greater variation in currency values than usual. A more active and varied market essentially means that there are more value discrepancies between currencies to take advantage of — and thus more money to be made trading one against the other.

Green Ventures

Maybe most interesting of all is the idea that green energy companies and other companies relating to long-term sustainability will perform well in the post-COVID months and years. While not directly related to the virus in most cases, companies like these are expected to be part of a recovery effort that seeks not only to come back from the virus, but to use 2021 as a reset, and better society as a whole.

World Economic Forum’s piece on emerging market investment in the aftermath of COVID-19 referred to this as the idea of “building back green.” The piece stated that “in considering economic vitality” following the pandemic, “governments across the globe have touted green and digital as key policy priorities.” This may not mean a full, rapid transition toward green energy. But it is an indication of where the investments are going, and of one more market that is likely to thrive next year and beyond. Green energy’s time may finally have arrived.

None of these tips represent sure things, and you should of course assess the markets carefully before making any investment. For those wondering about post-COVID opportunities though, these are some to watch very closely.

75 Personal Finance Rules That Apply To Everyone

A “ground rule” is a mental acronym. This is a heuristic. It’s not always true, but it’s usually true. It saves your time and brainpower. Rather than reinventing the wheel for every financial problem, personal finance rules allow you to apply past wisdom to find quick solutions.

Today I’m going to make my best impression of Buzzfeed and provide you with a list of 75 ground rules for personal finance. Some are effective tip packs while others are math shortcuts to save brain space. Bet you will learn a thing or two from this list quickly.

Basic
These basic rules of personal finance apply to everyone. They are simple and universal.

  1. The order of operations
  2. Insurance protects wealth. It doesn’t build wealth.
  3. Cash for both operational expenses and emergencies, nothing more. Saving too much money means losing value in the long run.
  4. Time is money. Wealth is a measure of how long your money can be bought.
  5. Set specific financial goals. Specific number, specific date.
  6. Monitor your credit rating. Accommodation at least once a year.
  7. Conversion of wages into salaries: 1 USD / hour = 2000 USD / year.
  8. Don’t mess with town hall. Don’t cheat on your taxes.
  9. You can buy anything. You can’t afford all of them.
  10. Money saved is money earned. If you look at the bottom line, saving a dollar has the same effect as making dollars. Saving and earning are equally important.

budgeting


I like budgeting, but not everyone is as busy as me. However, if you are (or may not be) looking for a budget, these basic budgeting rules must be followed.

  1. You need a budget. The key to managing your financial life is to create a budget and stick to it. This is the first step in making a financial decision.
  2. 50-30-20 budgeting rules. After taxes, 50% of your money must meet your needs, 30% to meet your needs, and 20% to pay off debts or invest.
  3. Use the “sink tool” to save for a rainy day. They know it will rain eventually.
  4. Don’t confuse savings and checks. One saves, the other spends.
  5. Children cost about $ 10,000 per child per year. Family planning = financial planning.
  6. Spend less than you should receive. You can say “yes”. However, if you don’t measure your expenses (eg on a budget), are you sure you follow this rule?

Invest and Retire


In my opinion, the main “what you need to know” investment is for future financial success. The following basic rules will help you dip your fingers in this water.

  1. Don’t pick stocks. Instead, choose index funds. Very easy, very effective.
  2. People who invest full time are smarter than you. You can’t hit it.
  3. Rule of 72 (approved by doctors). The annual growth rate of the investment multiplied by the time of doubling is (approximately) 72. A 4% investment will double in 18 years (4 * 18 = 72). The 12% investment will double in 6 years (12 * 6 = 72).
  4. “Don’t do anything, just sit down.” -Jack Bogle how bad it is to worry about your investment and respond to the emotion.
  1. Bring matches to the employer. If your employer has a pension plan (e.g. 401,000, annuities) make sure you get as much free money as possible.
  2. Balance your investment before and after taxes. It’s hard to know what the tax rate will be when you retire. So if you balance your pre-tax and after-tax investments, your account will be balanced later too.
  3. Reducing costs. Investing in cost and expense ratios can cost you your profits. Keep these costs as low as possible.
  4. Don’t touch your retirement benefits. You may be tempted to dive into long-term savings for important current needs. But counter that desire. You will be thanked later.
  5. Realignments should be part of your investment plan. A portfolio that is starting to diversify can be the focus, with some assets performing well and others performing poorly. Rebalancing helps you calm diversification and reduce risk.
  6. The 4% pension rule. Save enough money for retirement so that your first year of spending is 4% (or less) of your entire hive.
  7. Save first for your retirement, the second for your child’s school. Retirees do not receive any scholarships.
  8. $ 1 invested in today’s stock = $ 10 for 30 years.
  9. Inflation is around 3% a year. If you want to be conservative, use 3.5% in your math.
  10. Shares earn 7% a year, adjusted for inflation.
  1. Are your age in bondage. Or have 120 minus your age in bonds. The heuristics, 30 year olds must have a wallet with 30% bonds, 40 years bonds with 40%, and so on. Recently, the “120 minus your age” rule has become more common. A 30 year old child must have a 10% bond, a 20% bond 40 year old, etc.
  2. Don’t invest in the unknown. Or, as Warren Buffett suggests, “Invest in what you know.”

Home and car


For many of you, home and car ownership add to your daily finances. The following basic rules for personal finance will be of great use to you.

  1. The sticker price on your home should be less than three times the total income of your family. Being “home poor” – or owning a house that is too expensive for your income – is one of the most common financial threats. Avoid it if you can.
  2. Faulty device? Replace it if 1) the device is over 8 years old or 2) it costs more than half the cost of repairing a new device.
  3. Used or new car? The price difference is no longer the same as it used to be. The options are the same.
  4. The total lifetime value of a car is approximately three times the price of a sticker. Choose wisely!
  5. The 20-4-10 rule for buying a vehicle. Enter 20% of the vehicle in cash with a loan for 4 years or less and a monthly payment that is less than 10% of your monthly income.
  6. Refinancing a mortgage makes sense once your interest rate drops 1% (or more) of your current interest rate.
  7. Don’t pay your mortgage up front (unless your other base is fully covered). Mortgage interest is deductible and current interest rates are low. While paying your mortgage up front can save you a bit of interest, it may be better to use it to earn some extra cash.
  8. Set aside 1% of the value of your home for future maintenance and repairs each year.
  1. The average car costs about 50 cents per mile over its lifetime.
  2. The interest payment on a depreciable asset (such as a car) loses twice.
  3. Your primary residence is not an investment. You don’t have to plan to live in your house forever and sell it for a profit. The logic didn’t work.
  4. Pay for the car in cash if you can. Paying car interest is a waste of time.
  5. When buying napkin tops, follow the 70% rule to choose a property worthy of.
  6. ​​When buying rental property, the 1% rule is an easy way to judge whether you are getting positive cash flow.

Expenses and debts
Spend money (“What’s up?”). Then this personal finance rule applies to you.

  1. Pay off your credit card every month.
  2. I am indebted to use psychology to help yourself. Consider a debt snowball or debt avalanche.
  3. When buying, think about the cost of use.
  4. Make your expenses tangible with the “money diet”.
  1. Never pay the full price. Shop and do your research for the best deals. You can earn money by shopping online, win discounts with coupon codes or coupons for free shipping.
  2. The buying experience makes you happier than buying things.
  3. Shop by yourself. Peer pressure increases costs.
  4. Shop with a list and stick with it. These stores are designed to lure you into making an unexpected purchase.
  5. Spend on who you are, not what you want to be. I love to cook, but I can’t justify $ 1,000 worth of professional kitchen equipment.
  6. The bigger the purchase, the more time it will get. Organic versus regular peanut butter? Don’t take 10 minutes to think about it. $ 100,000 for a time share? Don’t pull the trigger when you are three daisies high.
  7. Use less than 30% of the credit available. The use of credit plays an important role in your credit score. Increasing your credit continuously will hurt your credit rating. Try to keep your usage low (preferably paying monthly).
  8. Unexpected wind? Use 5% or less for self-medication, but use the rest wisely (for example, invest in later).
  9. Try to keep your student loans below the annual salary in your area.

The mental side of personal finance
In the end, you are what you do. Psychology and behavior play an important role in personal finance. That’s why this code of conduct is so important.

  1. Think about taking breaks. Mortgage payments aren’t always an optimal use of the extra cash. But the serenity that comes with debt relief is immense.
  1. Accumulation of small habits that have a big impact. It feels like a baby step now, but take your time.
  2. Give your brain time. Humans can rule the animal kingdom, but that doesn’t mean we’re not impulsive. Give your brain time to think before making important financial decisions.
  3. The 30 day rule. Please wait 30 days before making a “Dollar” purchase. After waiting, if you still want it and can afford it, then buy it.
  4. Pay first. Collect money (in a savings or investment account) before you have a chance to spend it.
  5. Don’t fall into the double income trap as a family. If you can, try to maintain your lifestyle on a single income. If one partner loses his job, the family finances remain stable.
  6. Every dollar counts. The money can be exchanged. There are many ways to increase your source of income.
  7. Enjoy what you have before buying new things. Think about the performance curve.
  8. Negotiating your salary can be one of the most important financial steps you will take. Increasing your income is perhaps more important than anything else on this list.
  9. Direct deposit is the boost you need. If you don’t see your check, you are unlikely to issue it.
  10. Don’t let comparisons steal your excitement. Instead, use comparisons to help set goals. (Net value).
  11. Learn to win. Education has a five times greater effect on profitability than any other group in the population.
  12. If you don’t pay cash, you don’t pay on credit. Withdrawing a credit card is as easy as handing over a stack of money. Don’t let your brain fool you.
  13. Prepare a running bucket. Water flowing from below has the same consequences as water that goes up. We often overlook financial leaks (costs, for example) because they aren’t all that glamorous – but they shouldn’t be.
  14. Forget Jones. Use comparisons to motivate healthier habits, not useless expenses.
  15. Talk about money! I know you hate it sometimes (like politics or religion), but there is a lot you can learn from talking to your co-workers about money.
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Naughty or fun?

Santa Claus needs to know which kids are good and which are bad this year, but he may need a boost when it comes to financial services. In the spirit of the season, PA is helping the man in the red suit (and hopefully a matching mask) and making a list of people in the industry who we think make a good list – and those who might not. very happy …

Will the socks be full of hand sanitizer for those who are well behaved? Or a fine sock for those who didn’t play by the rules this year? (To be fair, there are so many rules and so many changes to the rules this year that it’s hard to say you followed them all, right?)

As a minor disclaimer of this article, it should be noted that this list is opinion based and certainly not exhaustive. It’s just festive fun, PA (socks) filler mix if you will.

This is unavoidable and while it may not be possible for it to be completely unfulfilled, it is unlikely that the demands will stop. Though things are getting a little silly now.

In the last month alone, FSCS applied for an additional £ 92 million for the current financial year. The system says the additional taxes are due to increased support payments to clients and requests for pension advice as more companies go bankrupt.

Around £ 8 million will come from the Real Estate and Investments brokerage class, which also includes financial advisors.

Liz Field, PIMFA’s executive director, said the recent FSCS hike “further underscores the urgent need to control these costs.”

For now, however, the advisers can’t forget it, they can’t get under it – they just have to get through it.

Fraudster with retirement

As if the entire global pandemic, ever-rising death toll, and a crippling economy weren’t bad enough, retirement fraudsters think they’ll take advantage of the situation to steal more money from desperate people this year.

Let’s put that in context: since July this year, more than £ 30 million have been lost to pension fraudsters due to complaints with fraudulent acts since 2017, according to the Financial Conduct Authority and the Pensions Commissioner.

In October, Action Fraud announced that between March 24 and September 25 this year it received a total of 166 reports of pension fraud – also known as the “Peak” hold. XPS also reported that its pension fraud alert index has hit a record “red flag” for suspected remittances.

Hopefully the government’s steps regulated in the Pension Bill can help stop the tide. This and initiatives from regulators and fraud with steps that are at the forefront of the fight.

Nigel (and his girlfriend)

Lastly, a special mention on the rogue list refers to “Nigel”, who tends to forget in conversations with his own advisors on WhatsApp.

As PA reported in early November, an IFA woman was shocked after receiving a WhatsApp message from a customer (Nigel) and her boyfriend (possibly) in the early hours of the morning.

The board member, who chose not to be named, said he first received a message from his client in the early hours of 12:45 a.m. Sunday and asked, “Who is that?” Oh, baby, nig.

About ten minutes later, nearly 1 a.m., the counselor receives a message from an unknown number believed to be a friend of the client and asks, “Can you tell me how you got to know Nigel?”

It wasn’t until the next morning that the counselor read these messages and replied to both. He said he had been advising Nigel over the past week by assisting him with the ISA junior investigation. The friend replied, “Sorry, no problem,” but Nigel seemed to ignore the message.

How rude he is. Here here.

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How to cut energy bills at home for Christmas

From switching to LED Christmas lights to turning off radiators in an unused room, Michael Foot at Quote Goat offers some of the best tips on saving energy for the holiday season

According to government approval, the “three household bubble” could last five days over Christmas and many people were prepared to receive family and friends.
In some cases, they do this for the first time during the year – which comes with charges for gas and electricity.
While it’s easy to absorb the joys of getting together to safely celebrate the holiday season together, keeping track of your energy bills for Christmas could save you important money that you could invest elsewhere in 2021.
Here are three tips on how to keep your account manageable this Christmas without sacrificing fun and celebration.
Prices of Christmas lights

As a hallmark of lively entertainment, Christmas lights are often the first sign that we are ready to celebrate.
As many households choose to have it turned on in late November or early December this can result in about a month of extra energy use.
If you take the time to search for and find lighting that’s more energy efficient, you can still show off your holiday excitement while lowering your bill.
LED bulbs can be at least 75% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs, saving you tons of money without losing how long you leave them on.
If you want something more manageable, consider investing in smart lighting for your Christmas decorations.
Choosing Christmas lights that turn on and off automatically at certain times will reduce the extra cost of forgetting to turn off the lights.
Understand your warm up

As you spend more time at home throughout the year, many households see their energy bills go up considerably.
However, the fee will only increase when time runs out and family and friends can party between 23 and 27 December.
For your heating system, there are a few quick and easy steps you can take to learn how your home works and reduce your consumption.
For example, if you know how long it will take your house to cool down, you may be able to turn off the heater sooner than you think.
Knowing how fast your house is heating up, you may be able to use less radiators if there are enough in the next room.
Learning how your home uses heat can greatly reduce the cost of your bills over time.
If you’re expecting more people, you can prepare hot water bottles to give them an instant warm boost without turning on the heater.
Or, you can tactically choose which radiator works best when everyone’s partying together.
Consider switching

Many would not think about how changing energy providers could drastically reduce costs.
Once you’ve made sure that you don’t charge a check-out fee before your contract expires, or it costs less than you might have saved, you can take advantage of the comparison website to see how much the new provider can give you. Save.
Once you’ve decided to switch, you will need to take some time to determine how much you will need for the month on average compared to what you are paying with your current provider.
You will often find many vendors offering new customer deals that can save you a lot of what you would have saved by switching anyway.
Once you’ve found a cheaper deal, calculate how much you will save and check how much it will cost to leave your current contract. It’s a good idea to let your vendor know you want to go and see what you might be tempted to do.
This often happens when they make a better deal to keep you as a customer.
Change habits

For many people, Christmas is not only a happy time, it can be financially terrifying too. Therefore, it is always a good idea to estimate your expenses before the holiday season starts.
Changing your current habits and adjusting your expenses is a quick and easy way to celebrate normally while saving money towards 2021.

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A Guide To Getting On The Property Ladder

In today’s climate, buying your first home and getting onto the property ladder is tougher than ever. Yet, there is no need to lose hope, as there are a few things you can do that will make the process much easier. Buying a house is a major milestone in anyone’s life, so don’t feel discouraged when you see people buying homes in their 20’s, as it is very rare these days! So, here are a few tips to help you achieve your goal. 

  1. Consider Savings As Essential Outgoings

When people’s wages come into their account, often people will think about what their essential outgoings are and then see the rest as disposable income. People don’t often consider savings as essential outgoings, so the amount put away can be neglected. If from the very beginning of the month you budget a set amount of money to go into a savings account, you will be surprised at how much you can save. 

Yes, you might find yourself slightly short of cash at the end of the month, however this is a positive thing as you will learn to spend your money more sensibly. When you commit to a set amount, you will be able to reach your financial goals much quicker. If you do have anything else left at the end of the month, that’s a bonus! 

  1. Make Use of Government Schemes

There are lifelines available that you should utilise to get some help when it comes to buying your first home. One of the best schemes available in the UK is the Help To Buy Scheme. Whatever you are able to save in the account, when you withdraw the money to go towards a deposit for a house, the government will contribute 25% on top of your savings. The maximum government contribution is £3,000, so after you have saved £12,000 you cannot benefit from the 25%. Yet, £3,000 for free is not a bad deal, at all!

In the USA, there are plenty of different government schemes available such as Homeownership Vouchers, FHA Loans, Programs for Service Members and Rural Residents. It is always worth looking into what your government is offering and taking any help you are entitled to. 

  1. Look Past Cosmetic Features

Although you may think you need a huge deposit in order to buy a house that’s ready to move into, it is worth looking past the cosmetic elements of a home and considering whether it is structurally what you are looking for, as that is more difficult to change. When viewing homes, you may not like the kitchen cupboards, the wallpaper might be outdated and the bathroom might need a refresh, yet you are likely to get a much better deal on a slightly outdated home that you can easily renovate for next to nothing. 

You can paint cupboards, strip wallpaper and change tiles relatively easily and investing some time and a small amount of money to make a few changes will help you to create a home that is perfect for you whilst also saving money. Brand new houses come with a premium price due to their convenience, yet you might be able to move into your own home much quicker thanks to a smaller price that comes with properties in need of a bit of TLC. 

  1. Property Auctions

Another great way to get a good deal on a home is to buy a property through an auction. Residential property auctions allow participants to bid on properties they are interested in, often resulting in a below-market selling price. Auction companies will advertise the properties in advance, meaning you can arrange viewings and have surveys completed. 

Then, you can attend the auction and start bidding. It is important to ask for a professional opinion about the value of the house and make sure you don’t go above this as you are likely to end up losing money when you eventually go on to sell it. Many auctions are now online which makes the process far easier so it is definitely worth looking at whether there are properties you are interested in. This could help you to get onto the property ladder far quicker and with less upfront savings thanks to the cheaper overall cost. 

Summary

Saving for a house is hard work and can take years. Be patient and work hard to save as much as you can and these few tips should help you to reach your goal quicker.

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Simple Ways To Save Money To Master Personal Finance

Feeling worried about money is extremely common and it can have a huge impact on our lives and happiness. Yet, there are a few extremely simple things you can do to reduce your outgoings, save more money and feel in control of your finances. You won’t notice much of a difference in your everyday life, but you should be able to save a lot of money. 

Cut Down on Weekly Food Costs

One essential outgoing is your weekly food shop, however there are some handy ways to reduce the cost. Firstly, you must go with a list. Sit down in advance and plan your meals for the week and only buy the ingredients you need. Not only will this reduce the cost of your shop, but less food will go to waste and you’re less likely to need to pop to the shops in the week for extra bits and pieces. 

Next, buy a few treats to satisfy any cravings you might have for takeaways. If you buy a couple of frozen pizzas and Chinese takeaway meals, you should be less likely to order a takeaway which will save you so much money over the course of the month. 

Finally, try to cut down on non-essential products where possible. For example, rather than buying fresh mangos and bananas for smoothies, buy a frozen smoothie mix which is far better value for money and it will last far longer! For those of you who are health conscious, rather than buying five or six different vitamins and minerals, buy one pot of multivitamins. These small, simple changes will soon become a habit!

Look For Price Comparisons on Everything

You don’t need to assume that the cost of some of your ‘fixed’ outgoings such as bills, insurance or phone can’t be reduced. Go onto a price comparison website and input your requirements and you will be faced with so many different options. You might end up getting far more for your money by investing just a bit of your time. 

Another tip is to call your existing provider and tell them the other deals you have found online. They might offer you reduced prices and you won’t have the hassle of changing providers! 

Consider Savings as Essential Outgoing 

When creating your budget, one way to easily save money is to assign some of your disposable income straight to your savings account. Often savings are considered as a bonus if they can be afforded, yet the money almost always will get spent on other things. 

At the beginning of the month, set up a direct debit to send a specific amount of money into your savings. You will notice that you reach your savings goals so much quicker than if you just put money in the savings account when you can. You may think you will miss the money each month, however you are more likely to spend your money on things you really need and reach your financial goals quicker with your increased amount of savings. 

Summary

Without making major changes to your lifestyle, it can be simple to save significant amounts of money when you are careful with your spending. Taking a bit of time to plan and research alternative services will give you the opportunity to reach your goals quicker and invest your savings sensibly.

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A Guide To Setting Up A Successful Clothing Business

The internet is saturated with new businesses, all with the common goal of wanting to become a success. Start-up businesses are difficult to get right, especially in an industry as dominant as fashion. If you’re wanting to start a clothing business and make it a success, there are a few important things that you need to consider. Without a detailed plan, an ethical supply chain, a unique brand and a consistent social media presence, you will find it difficult to succeed! 

Create a Detailed Plan

Your first step will be to create a detailed plan. Your initial plan should discuss in detail what your product or business is, why you think it is in high demand, who your target audience will be and how you will market it. It should also contain realistic financial goals for the next five years, taking into account all of your startup costs as well as your outgoings from insurance and bills to staff costs and packaging. Before investing any money, you need to invest a significant amount of time to figure out if your business is really going to work. Be honest with yourself, as now is the best time to identify any potential issues in order to rethink your ideas. 

Have an Ethical Supply Chain

When planning how your business is going to function, something that will help your business to be a success is to have an ethical supply chain. Not only is this vital when it comes to looking after everyone involved in your business, making the team more productive and much happier, but it is also important to customers. 

So many people prioritise ethics when it comes to buying clothes, as people’s awareness of the issues surrounding fast fashion are increasing. With an ethical supply chain, your clothing will be a much better quality, thus drawing in more customers. Although it might cost more to invest initially, highlighting that your business is ethical in your marketing campaigns will help your profits to soar. 

Make Your Brand Unique

Offering a unique product that your customers can’t access anywhere else is a great way to make your business a success. Unless you have a well-known brand, releasing t-shirts that are completely plain with a small logo won’t interest people. It would be best to focus on something like mens graphic t-shirts, working with independent artists to create exciting and diverse prints for your t-shirts. This will create clothing that is a talking point, rather than just replicating something you like that you’ve seen elsewhere. Whatever your focus is, it is essential to offer something to your target audience that they won’t be able to access anywhere else. 

Be Consistent on Social Media

Once you have an ethical supply chain and a completely unique idea, it is time to show it off on social media. This is the best place to start when it comes to marketing, as you don’t need to spend anything at all to begin with. Perhaps start by sending your clothing out to some relevant influencers who might share it on their social media, which will bring traffic to your page and hopefully website. From there, you can start to offer competitions, give discounts to loyal followers, engage with customers and generally build up your brand. 

If you want to, you can then start to pay for advertisements through social media channels in order to carefully target your desired audience. Your options really are endless when it comes to social media, so it is the best place to start. The most important thing to remember here is to highlight some of the things you have worked hard on, such as your unique branding and ethical industry practices. 

Summary

Setting up your own business requires substantial investments in terms of time and money, so you must be prepared for that. However, having your own business can also come with fantastic benefits, so just take some time to plan properly and make your business as appealing as possible and it has every chance of being a success. Lastly, be flexible and prepare to adapt to industry changes to maintain success over a long period! 

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There is a lot more to financing than loans and overdrafts

Whether you are looking for finances to ensure the continuity or growth of your business, it is important that you explore all avenues early on.

“Plan, plan, plan,” suggested Paul Leith, founder of digital.accuthant, in a recent webinar on Swoop financing. “It’s too late when companies need financing tomorrow. So you have to think ahead and plan for months, if not years.”

Whether you are a business manager or a consultant, part of this planning process is identifying the types of financial needs and requirements that will affect borrower solvency. Clear loans for commercial banks with low interest rates can come into the account. But the way funding works today is likely to be better if you take the time to adapt it to your business needs.

Business Support Loans

In 2020, most businesses are likely to consider the various programs the government has undertaken to help SMEs during the coronavirus pandemic, including CBILS and BBLS. Applications for interest payments on these loans are coming soon, so borrowers may need to consider refinancing options while their business is still recovering.

What are the other financing options besides loans? Here are a few options to consider in different situations.

Asset-based financing

If you are looking to purchase equipment, consider renting rather than buying the product. This form of wealth finance is especially useful for startups or large companies looking to replace old equipment.

You must choose a finance lease or an operating lease. An operating lease is a better choice when you are looking to lease assets for the short term. You also don’t have to pay for maintenance and insurance of the assets you pay for financial leases.

Although renting can be more expensive than buying outright, both types of leases result in an asset that is shown as a rental expense, which can then be compensated for by profit when calculating corporate income tax.

Invoice financing

If you use bills to make a lot of payments, collection financing is very helpful. Some customers may take time to pay for jobs or purchases, which can slow down business cash flow and expansion plans.

However, in the case of invoice financing, the lender can advance up to 95% of the invoice value and the remaining 5% can be paid at a later date. In other words, you can unlock the value of your bill faster at the cost of the lender’s fees.

Note that there are discounts for invoicing and invoice factoring. The main difference is whether the customer knows that invoice finance is being used. In the case of a discount on an invoice, it cannot be disclosed that it is.

Trade finance

Various trade finance options are offered to importers and exporters. For companies facing cash flow problems, perhaps due to their seasonal nature, revolving loans would be a sensible option. This flexible and open loan allows the recipient to borrow money from a pile of money. All you have to do is pay monthly interest on the amount drawn from the pile before drawing more if necessary, not on the entire lot at once.

Funding R&D claims

To illustrate the dynamism of the financial world, an increase in tax credits for research and development has resulted in tax credits that allow businesses to gain early access to payments. Eligibility for this type of loan depends on the company’s real investment in the research and development type being eligible for the research and development tax credit.

In this case, the company can claim money within a week after talking to the lender, not in the month or year that HMRC can process the claim. This expedited route could be the ideal cash injection in this endeavor.

Unsecured finance

Some of the options listed are based on assets in the company, such as: B. unpaid sales invoices or tax breaks. Broader needs may be needed for broader needs – if the company’s trade history and credit rating deserve it. While the pressure to repay secured loans is more obvious, neglecting unsecured finances is a common way for businesses to get into debt.

The disruption due to Covid-19 is forcing companies and consultants to take a closer look at financial markets in 2020. Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it is unlikely that these requirements will drop in the next year or two.

To ensure that the business stays afloat, apply the financial mantra that a clear understanding of the company’s goals, structure and financial condition will help you determine the right type of funding to be successful.

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