November 16, 2018

Three Things You’re Probably Overspending On

Note: This post has been contributed.
Regardless of how big or small your budget is, the important thing is how well you manage your money. And most of us are guilty of overpending on some things- socialising, clothes, technology and other luxuries probably spring to mind. But there are others that you might not even realise you’re overspending on, here are a few examples.
Food and drink
Take a look through your bank statement and add up everything you’ve spent on food and drink. Groceries, coffee and drinks when you’ve been out, sandwiches and work lunches, takeaways and naughty treats like cakes and donuts. Chances are, you’ll be surprised at just how much it comes to. As humans, we’re programmed to love food, and we live in a world where it’s just so accessible. But overspending on it can be bad for our waistlines as well as our wallets. It makes much more sense to plan carefully, and make as much of our food at home as possible. Create a weekly dinner menu, and then shop based on this so you know exactly what to buy. Leftovers make great lunches, whether it’s a portion of bolognese or lasange heated up in the microwave the next day, or leftover chicken or meat thrown into a tasty sandwich with some salad. Stock up the pantry with long life ingredients so you always have a few staple items for meals on hand- tins, jars, sauces, seasonings, breakfast cereals and grains are all examples. When you make your own food you save money and can control what goes into it, making it easier to live more healthily too. Buy a flask and take your own coffee to work, and spend a little time on a weekend planning for the week ahead so you know what to buy.
Bills and insurances
When it comes to bills, it’s easy to think that they cost what they cost. However, the simple act of switching tariffs or companies could save you literally hundreds over the course of the year. Do your research, use a price comparison site to find the best deals and give the company a call. Search sites like to see if you can bring down things like your car insurance. Another way to save money on your bills is to use less energy and water too, small lifestyle changes can all mak a big difference. Switch your bulbs to LED varieties, and turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth. It doesnt need to be extreme!
Digital subscriptions
Digital subscriptions can be really handy. You have Amazon Prime for your shopping, Spotify for your music and Netflix for your tv. You have magazine subscriptions, website subscriptions and more which can allow you to access the things that you want online. However, most of us don’t use them as much as we should- and therefore are wasting money by having them. It’s nice to have the luxury of having them there ‘just in case’ but try cancelling them. If you don’t miss them after a week or so then save your money!

November 16, 2018

Taking The Misery Out Of Money

Note: This post has been contributed.
man sitting on bench
Money is a source of torment for a lot of people. This essential resource isn’t easy to come by, with the work you do never seeming to be quite enough, and the cost of living always going up. Of course, with all of this in the background, it makes sense that a lot of people feel miserable when they consider their financial situation. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to take this element out of your money. In most cases, dread and stress are directly caused by things which you can manage.
Budgeting/Saving: When you’re able to afford to live, you can usually find ways to save enough money to start building a bit of a nest egg. Instead of spending the spare money you have, you should always work towards putting it away, ensuring that you don’t have to feel stressed about money when bills come through the door. To help out with this, there are loads of smartphone apps out there which can take control of your money for you, making it impossible to spend where you shouldn’t.
Taking Control: A lot of people worry about issues like the debt to the point that they simply don’t deal with them. Pushing something like this to the back of your mind is a dangerous game, though, as it will often come back when you least expect it, while also making you stressed in the process. Dealing with debt collection agencies and other nasty people is hard. With the right support and learning, though, you should be able to put together an idea of what will need to be done to take control of this side of your money.
Work Out A Plan: One of the scariest things when you’re dealing with your finances is understanding the unknown. In a lot of cases, people will ignore the idea of a plan for their money, spending different amounts each week, and struggling to save towards a goal. When you have an idea of what needs to be done with your money, though, it will be easier to stop worrying and simply take action. Of course, though, you will need to spend some time figuring this out.
Get Some Support: It’s easy to feel alone when you’re dealing with a part of life like this, especially with the limited help your bank will give you. In reality, though, there are loads of people out there who will be able to push you in the right direction with your money. For example, if you are struggling to put together a good budget, you could look for a charity which specialises in helping those who struggle with financial management.
Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder to keep your money in the right sort of shape. It can be easy to go down a rough route when you’re trying to manage this side of your life, and a lot of people make the same mistakes, even when they answers are clear.

November 3, 2018

Why Being Eco-friendly Should Extend Beyond The Home

Note: This post has been contributed.

With awareness increasing in recent years when it comes to the effects of things like climate change, and more implementation of environmentally-positive things like recycling and decreasing use of plastics, it’s fair to say that things are definitely moving in a positive direction regarding taking care of the environment, but there’s still a good way to go before any major impact will be noticed rom these changes.

The majority of those making or being required to make changes are private households, and although it’s great to see eco-friendly practices being embraced, if you’re a business owner, you can make a contribution, too.

Below we’ve listed some tips for you to help you make your business more eco-friendly.

Encourage Cycling To Work:

We all know that cars are bad for the environment, and although public transport is slightly better, it’s also not great. Although it’s not going to be practical for everyone to cycle to work, it doesn’t hurt to start some kind of initiative within your company to help encourage your staff to use a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. You may even want to incentivize in some way, such as through bonuses or even vouchers towards bikes.

Use Reusable Containers:

Many workplaces offer some kind of facilities for staff to store food and make coffee, so instead of using disposable cups, food containers, and even cutlery, you can clamp down on the plastic use by either supplying reusable containers for all staff, or encouraging them to bring their own.

Change Your Lighting:

Some types of lights are definitely better for the environment because they use less energy whilst still offering an effective solution for businesses who need strong lighting. Whether it’s lighting to go in LED Signs for Churches, nightclubs, or simply just natural lighting for your office, it’s always a good idea to evaluate your energy usage and look at where changes can be made.

Use Laptops: 

Although computers of any kind aren’t exactly friends of the environment, laptops are certainly more energy efficient when compared to desktop computers since they don’t require to be constantly plugged into an energy source. 

Aside from the environment issue, laptops are also more practical since they’re portable, so when you buy laptops for your staff, you won’t have to get them a second computer if you need them to go on a business trip or to meetings. 

These tips are not only easy and effective, but they cost very little, and often far less than the less eco-friendly ways that people have become accustomed to.

In order to see any real, lasting changes when it comes to the environment, of course, starting at home is great, but it really has to go beyond that, and encouraging these good practices within the workplace will likely have a knock on effect that helps more people implement changes at home, work, and even school.

You certainly don’t have to do anything that’s not practical or sustainable for your business, but simply starting where you are with what you have is already enough to make a lasting difference for future generations.