Sunday, 25 September 2016

Finding a little helping hand #loans

We have all been there during those lean months, wondering how you are going to make it to payday, especially on those months with special events like Birthdays or Christmas.

Its true we should not be spending beyond our own means, however it happens and is generally just down to timing. Currently we are in the process of paying back most of the credit that we owe, taken out due to the massive amount of work the needed to be done on the house. 

What this has meant is some very tight months, while we are being smart about money pending events always draws extra financial worry and it does enters your mind to take out a short lived loan.

Vivus is one such company that offers short time loans, one thing that panics me about this type of loan is the interest rates and the amount you end up paying back. You often see them on TV with massive rates, Vivus rate is advertised as 146% per year, which does not seem to be a small amount but when you are talking in the region of £30 interest for 25 days loan of £300, it does sound reasonable especially if its just to take some immediate pressure off. 

Whatever your intentions are, it is paramount you are in the position to pay the money back, you do not want to use a loan like this to supplement your monthly income but use it purely for a timing or cash flow problem.

Me and the Mrs have been working as a tag team for the last few months to ensure the tight months are still manageable, communicating about spending and ensuring that the best deals are found, we have actively brought the weekly food shopping down by £20 a week along with using any available vouchers and discount codes we have been aiming to save in the region of £150 a month on these alone!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Business Costs - Start up or Established

In my day job I am responsible for running a business with all the financial responsibility that goes with it. It is important to ensure you regularly review costs in order to make valuable savings and keep your business viable, after all its not just you who would be effected with diminishing profits, staffing levels would also suffer, along with the all important morale.

In some of the industries I have worked in it has been a steep learning curve as to what aspects you can cut back on, it is the same for setting up a new business, fixing budgets and ensuring that costs are low and level will aid in cash flow forecasting and plans for expansions.

So here is my top list of areas of business costs you should check and renegotiate annually:


Mains Gas Suppliers and Electricity suppliers require the need for a careful eye, ensure you have noted down when each contract comes to an end and either arrange a meeting or book yourself for a telephone conversation to renegotiate in advance, I have often seen companies that have just let bills roll on year on year without a second though about saving money, it is definitely the first on my list to check.


Anything from buildings, car, locum or indemnity, I have had dealings with all of them. Most people are under the impression that business insurances do not hold much scope for reducing costs, however over the last two years as the costs have been rising (in the case of indemnity which rose by 33%) the market has changed and savings can be made.

Most of the time renewal quotes offered by insurance companies are usually a few hundred pounds higher than your current costs, it is imperative you challenge them for a re-quote.


Most telephone companies start to sneak up their prices year on year both with call costs and line rental, currently I use a two year contract agreement which I insist on a meeting prior to signing up for a further two years, costs in general after the first time I negotiated remain static.

One final piece of advice I would give if you are either setting up business or are already in full swing is to draft up a five year plan. Set yourself a task to review it annually and update it with any necessary changes, I always like to look over past plans and see how the business has developed over the years.  

Costly Hidden Car Expenses Most People Forget About

So, you’ve just been through the long and arduous car buying process. It took you a while, but you finally have your dream car. All that money was spent, and the expenses are over, right? Wrong, there are still some additional expenses most people forget about:

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Tire Costs

One part of your car that is very costly is your tires. That’s right; new tires can set you back a fair amount of money. And, they can’t be avoided either. At some point, you have to change each tire and get fresh ones put on. This is because you can’t drive around with tires that are too worn down. Obviously, the more you drive, the quicker your tires will wear down. Plus, the environment you drive in will play a huge part too. So, if you drive in an area with poor roads, you’ll need new tires very quickly. The problem is, it’s not just the tires that cost a lot. You have to think about how you’ll get them on and off your car. If you’re a bit of a car wizard, you could manage this yourself. However, for the majority of drivers, it means paying for installation too. Slowly but surely, these costs can add up. And, they’ll be present throughout the time you own a car.

Damage Repairs

If your car gets damaged, then you’ll need to pay for repairs. In some cases, you can buy a used car that’s already damaged. My advice is to thoroughly check a car before you buy it. The last thing you want is to spend a load of money, only to find some expensive repairs need completing. Also, your car can get damaged further down the line too. If you get into an accident, then your car may cost lots to repair all the problems. In his scenario, you can save money by getting a car accident attorney and claiming compensation. Then, all of our compensation can cover the damage costs. I suggest you have some emergency funds stashed away for your car. This way, you’ll be well prepared to pay for any emergency repairs.

Fuel Costs

Now, people clearly remember to pay for fuel. Otherwise, no one would be on the roads as their tanks are empty. However, it’s clear that many people forget to factor in fuel costs when buying a car. The bigger your engine, the more fuel you’ll need. Some people opt for big, fast, cars because they think they’re cool. We all want a nice fast car, let’s not deny it! But, these cost a lot of money to run, especially with fuel. So, what a lot of people do is spend a lot of money on a car they can’t afford to run.

The advice I’d give you is to be aware of all these expenses. For things like fuel and tire costs, you can save money. Shop around for the cheapest price tires and fuel. Additionally, drive safer and more economically to preserve your fuel and tries. With damage repairs, you have to be prepared for them. So, like I said, the best way to do this is to stash away some emergency funds.