Friday, 22 November 2013

5 Ways to Make Money Online....

Although some of the younger generation probably wouldn't believe it today, there was a time before the internet! For a lot of us is has become the place we've always gone to research topics, socialise with friends, watch the latest music videos, book a holiday and much more…
Make Money OnlineConsidering how much of our time is spent using the internet, how can you use that time more productively? And more importantly…

How can you make money using the internet?
1. eBay Trading
Its hard to believe but the number one e-commerce site in the world has been going since 1995 and has millions of users around the world. You can buy and sell almost anything - with your online shop available 24 hours of every day.
Experts say the best way to make money is to focus on a niche you know well and don’t try to sell everything under the sun. Marketing your niche well to a specific audience, means you should make good money from eBay. 2. Make Goods to sell Online
The next step up from selling other peoples stuff on eBay is manufacturing your own to sell. This could be homemade jewellry or clothes, to mugs furniture. It is fairly easy to set up your own online shop, find out more info here.
If you have an artistic personality or a talent that is currently only a hobby, this is a fantastic way to make money online. If you knit amazing scarfs for example, why not take the next step and sell them online. Eventually this could become your primary income and you could be your own boss. You can also harness the internet to promote your goods, with social media it has never been easier to connect with a potential customer. 3. Blogging
There are millions of blogs on the internet from all around the world, covering every conceivable subject from a variety of angles. Setting one up and creating a loyal readership could lead a regular source of income and even lead to the a job of your dreams within your niche. This is because many Bloggers don’t make a huge income from their blog, but use it to sell themselves and many opportunities are likely to come from this.
There are many guides online to help you become a successful blogger which are worth searching out. However there are a few things that can help, including having a memorable name, keeping on the pulse of popular culture via social media, engaging readers and having a well designed blog. Including a lot of links can also help you raise your profile, as lot of people are likely to link back to you.
The easiest and most popular way to  make money from your blog is through services such as Google's AdSense which enables site owners to incorporate cost-per-click advertising.
AdSense effectively allows a site owner to include spaces within the design of their pages that Google will populate with either text or banner adverts targeted to the site's visitors. When a visitor clicks on one Google makes a little money (typically between £0.05 and a £2) and you get a share.
Another option is affiliate schemes which work with hundreds of individual brands who are willing to offer commission to sites that can help them generate revenue. So if you blog about travel for example you might want to sign up with the affiliate programmes of an online travel agent. Then if a visitor clicks through one of these links and the affiliate makes a sale you’ll take a share of that money.

4. Online Surveys
This is fairly self explanatory, many organisations need surveys or reviews of their products for many reasons including market research. If you complete these you will get rewarded for your efforts. While it won’t make you thousands of pounds, its still an easy way to boost your income by around £200-£500 a year. Avoid sites that ask you to pay to register and keep a record of all the surveys you've done in case of any disputes.
There are many sites out there that offer cash for surveys, suggests Ipsos (, Swagbucks (, Global Test Market (, Crowdology (, and MySurvey (

5. Sell Your Photos in a Library
As a budding photographer you can always set up your own site to sell your images, however you will have to market this yourself to generate sales. By signing up to a stock photo websites and selling your images there, you can receive a commission on every sale.

Friday, 15 November 2013

9 Practical Money Saving Tips...

Tired of vague and boring tips to save money? Here are some practical tips to save you money easily...

1. Save on Prescriptions by Paying in Advance
Those of us that live in England that unfortunately still have to pay for our prescriptions, currently £7.95 each, can save money on them by buying Prescription Prepayment Certificates (PPCs). If you or a family member are frequently needing more than 13 prescriptions a year, buying a 12-month PPC for £104 could save you money, while a 3-months PPC at £29.40 could save you money if you need to buy more than three prescriptions a month.

2. Cut £100 off your Water Bill.
Many people who live alone are paying over the odds for their water bills, if it is not possible to have a meter installed you can ask the water company to base the bill on an “assessed charge” reflecting your actual consumption. Unsurprisingly water companies don’t exactly shout about this, if you think this applies to you contact your supplier and you could potentially save over £100 year.

3. Save Money on Train Travel
Carnets are batches of single tickets that many train companies offer on many commuter routes. You pay up front and they last for three months, offering great value if you make several journeys a week. Carnet tickets are also available on longer journeys, and from most of the big train companies. In some cases you get 12 trips for the price of 10, in others the price is discounted.
If you’re travelling in a group, buying a GroupSave ticket can save you money. Up to four people can travel for the price of two adults on off-peak services – and you can add more children at a flat rate of £1 each.
Is your train often delayed? Well the minimum compensation, by law, is 20% of the ticket value if the train is delayed by an hour. There are various other compensations offered by different companies and its well worth investigating if your journey is held up.

4. Save on your MOT
Does your car seem to always fail its MOT when you think it’s ok? Well why not try a council run testing station. These will charge you full price, but because they don’t do repairs, they have no incentive to fail your car. There are many reports of cars passing in Council run garages, but facing big repair bills at others.

5. Save £50 avoiding water "run-off" charges
Did you know that you pay for all the rainwater that runs off your property and into the public sewerage system? If your drainpipes aren't connected to the sewerage systems - and million aren’t - you can apply for a rebate of £50 a year. This is another little known fact that surprisingly the water companies keep quiet!

6. Always Google Promo and Discount Codes!
If you’re doing online shopping, always search Google for current discount codes and you can save varying amounts of money. Many vouchers may well be out of date, but it is always worth trying as most online stores have discount codes that can be entered at checkout. Also remember to download the smartphone voucher apps which can save you cash on anything from restaurants to clothes.

7. Remove the extras from your Bank Account
Bundled services with your bank account can cost £300 a year – for which you get travel insurance and breakdown recovery, plus some other services. But you can usually buy them more cheaply elsewhere. It should require no more than a simple phone call to your bank. There are lots of other dubious services that your account may cover (such as phone insurance) which you are likely to find very hard to claim with.

8. Is your Tax Code Wrong?
Make sure your tax code is correct, many people can save thousands by quickly performing this check and making sure you’re not paying over the odds for income tax.

9. Supermarket Home Brand Medicines
A 30p packet of Tesco paracetamol is exactly the same as a more expensive name brand product. Don’t be fooled by the branding and marketing. Always buy the cheaper version.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Most Important Financial Tips for Young People!

Financial Tips for Young People Personal finance has yet to be put on the National Curriculum, so the chances are you might be fairly clueless about how to manage your money once you've flown the parental nest. If you think that understanding personal finance is not important or too tough going, you're wrong. All it takes to get started on the right path is the willingness to do a little reading - you don't even need to be particularly good at maths.
To help you get started, we'll take a look at some of the most important things to understand about money if you want to live a comfortable and prosperous life.
Learn Self Control
Financial Advice for Young People
If you're lucky, your parents taught you this skill when you were a child. Keep in mind that the sooner you learn the art of delaying gratification, the sooner you'll find it easy to keep your finances in order. Remembering that although it is possible to effortlessly purchase anything on credit as soon as you want it, it's better to wait until you've actually saved up the money. Do you really want to potentially pay interest on a pair of jeans or a box of cereal years down the line?

Take Time to Learn the Language of Finance
If you don't learn to manage your own money, no one is going to help you and in some cases people will find ways to (mis)manage it for you. Don’t rely on others for advice, take charge and read a few basic books on personal finance. Once you're armed with personal finance knowledge, nothing will catch you out, from different mortgage types to knowing your consumer rights. Understanding how money works is the first step toward making your money work for you.

Work Out Where Your Money Goes
Once you've gone through a few personal finance books, you'll realise the most important thing is to make sure your expenses aren't exceeding your income. The way to do this is to budget. Not to mention, keeping your recurring monthly expenses as low as possible will also save you big bucks over time.

Save for a Rainy Day
One of personal finance's most important mantras is "pay yourself first". Even if you owe thousands in student loans or credit card debt, it's wise to find some amount - any amount - of money in your budget to save in an emergency fund every month. This can keep you out of trouble and help you rest easier if financial troubles are getting on top of you. Also it is a good habit to get into, try to treat it as a non-negotiable monthly "expense" and pretty soon you'll have more than just emergency money saved up!

Save for Retirement Now!
You need to prepare for your retirement well in advance. Because of the way compound interest works, the sooner you start saving, the less principal you'll have to invest to end up with the amount you need to retire. With retirement ages rising if you starting saving earlier the sooner you'll be able to call working an "option" rather than something you have to do!

Remember, you don't need any fancy degrees or special background to become an expert at managing your finances, anyone can do it!

Friday, 25 October 2013

9 Everyday Tips to Save Money in your Household

1. Mortgage

The most expensive item you are ever likely to buy is your home. However if you do not have the luxury of being able to pay in cash, make sure the loan you use to finance it is the best available. For example, if you are paying your lender's full standard variable rate (SVR) you are probably paying hundreds of pounds a year more than you need to.
There are thousands of deals and this is a relatively easy way to save a lot of money. Remember: loyalty to your bank benefits your bank, not you and also remember to check the small print to make sure their are not any hidden catches.
Even better, if you can afford to make overpayments on your mortgage, you'll clear your debt years early and make massive savings.

2. Credit Card

One of the golden rules of financial planning is to clear your most expensive debts first, which almost always means your credit cards. Although credit cards are very convenient, if you can't clear the balance every month they can become very costly. Consider a low-cost loan as a much better alternative.

3. Fuel Bills

Recently Ed Miliband has announced that he promises to freeze fuel bills for two years should labour come into government, however this does not change the fact the global demand for power threatens to outstrip supply. Companies prices are always rising, but that doesn't mean you need to be ripped off. Changing supplier and making sure you’re on the lowest tariff possible could save you hundreds of pounds. Your new supplier will take care of the switch once you have worked out who is the cheapest, saving you money every month.

4. Water Meters

In the UK most us take water for granted, not only do we have a supply on tap but we have a brilliantly executed supply system that enables us to have water in our homes. The companies providing the water make a profit from doing so and we get the water as we want it. However if we had a sustained dry spell supply could run short and the price will go up. If you install a water meter you can monitor your outgoings and you could even halve your bill for only paying for what you use exactly.

5. Shopping Lists

Food shopping takes a considerable amount of your monthly outgoings and supermarkets take most of that money. Tesco takes £1 in every £8 spent by UK shoppers. Supermarkets try everything to try and get you to spend money, from the store layout to the background music. If you are unfocused on what you actually need, you can end up spending much more money. Simply make a shopping list. Dig out the cookery books, plan a few meals and only buy what you need.
Also never go shopping on an empty stomach or buy only a days food at a time. You should buy enough food to last at least a week, if you are going to your local shop every day you are often spending a lot more than you should on more expensive items.

6. Markets / Green Grocers

You can eat healthily for less by going to your local greengrocers or market stall. Lower overheads mean lower prices. Plus you get the added bonus of supporting the local businesses and economy!

7. Own Brand Costs

Supermarket home brands are hugely cheaper than their famous brand equivalents for virtually the same product. It makes sense to use them to save cash.

8. Designer labels

You may only wear some outfit once, can you justify paying hundreds of pounds over the odds because it is designed by a name brand designer? And can you honestly tell the difference at a distance between a £600 designer bag and a £9.99 one from the market? Think about it. Cutting out unnecessary extravagances can save you lots of cash.

9. Use Your Talent

Whether you’re a talented guitarist, writer or businessman. You can use your talent to make cash, whether it is teaching someone the guitar or writing content for cash. There are many sites which offer you money to use your talents and if you are feeling really entrepreneurial you can set up a business. Maybe one day it might even be your main source of income.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

5 Top Tips for Budgeting this Christmas...

Hello and welcome to our blog, we are aiming to make this the place to go for financial tips and advice. For this first post realising their is only 77 days until Christmas! We have put together some money saving tips...

1) Save NOW!

According to polls the average family tends to spend around £900 on Christmas. Could you afford to take £900 or £450 from one pay packet and still meet all your other outgoings? Most people can't and this is why people end up borrowing. Why not put money aside each month now, at no cost to you? Much better than borrowing and paying back next year with interest.
Christmas Savings
Work out the budget and put money aside from each pay packet.

2) Buy Stuff Early!

Sales and offers happen throughout the year, so as long as you know the people you need to buy for (make lists!), buy presents when you see a bargain and put it in the cupboard for Christmas.

Take advantage of the various vouchers, sales and bargains that happen throughout the year. Often people forget all of these shopping principles in the mad rush around Christmas.

3) Cashback Credit Cards

Some credit card companies pay you every time you spend. Sometimes with the ability to earn up to 5% back on your purchases. The trick here is to buy stuff on them and pay them back in full each month. You do your regular spending and replace the cash, cheques or debit cards.

American Express's Platinum Everyday is a good example, paying 5% cashback (max £100) on all spending in the first 3 months. Getting one of these for the Christmas period means you can earn money back when buying your presents. Although always remember the huge APR you will have to pay if you don't pay the amount off in full.

4) If you REALLY have to borrow, get a 0% Card

Some people will always borrow at Christmas, regardless of any advice. If do, make sure you get a long 0% on spending credit card, you can get some cards that has no interest for up to 18 months. Plan repayments so they are cleared as early as affordable into next year and definitely make sure you don't go over the period when the 0% ends.

If you can't currently afford Christmas and you can't even get a 0% card, it might be worth really cutting back this Christmas and just enjoying the family.

5) Plan for Next Christmas in January!

To be honest the best time to save cash for Christmas is in January. Everything is sold off super cheap and their are many many bargains to be had.

Remember, if you're trudging around the January sales to pick up any decorations or Christmas items (that won't perish) for next year. With plummeting prices, its the perfect time to buy.

It might also be worth starting a savings fund, putting cash aside every month. So when next Christmas rolls around, you'll know exactly how much you have to spend and no borrowing worries.

These are just our top five, keep checking back at the blog for more tips throughout the next couple of months!