Financial Preparation: How to Cover Everything When Your Monthly Income Varies

It’s easy to pay all of your bills when you have a secure and regular income, but if the amount you earn each month varies, it can be difficult to stay on track. There are more people working for themselves than ever before, whether as a full-time job or to earn an additional income on the side. So, how do you stay on budget when you don’t know what’s coming in?

tight monthly budget

Look at What You've Earned

The best way to create a budget is to look at what you've been earning for the past year. Although your income may have varied each month, you should be able to come up with an average monthly figure that will balance out your income for the year. If you want to budget month by month instead of per annum, look at what you earned this time last year, take all of your monthly bills into account and figure out how much you’ll have leftover or how much extra you’ll need to earn to meet your requirements.

Write Out Your Expenses

If your income varies dramatically, there may be months where you’re unable to make the money you need to pay all of your bills. In this case, you’ll need to create a list of your expenses and prioritise them. When you’re only able to pay a few of your bills, you’ll need to pay the most important ones first. For example, your rent is a high priority but your Netflix payment is one you can afford to miss. When your next payment comes, do your best to pay any bills you’ve missed so you don’t fall into debt.

Expect the Worst, Hope for the Best

When you have a job that pays well some months and pays poorly other months, saving is the key. It’s important to save as much of your money as possible for unforeseeable events. This could be anything, from being unable to pay a bill one month, to needing Rawa Law Group because of a car accident the next month. It’s impossible to know what the future will bring, so some financial planning is a must. It’s best to expect the worst but hope for the best so you’re always prepared.

Review Your Income

The longer you have a varied income, the better you’ll become at predicting how much you’ll earn. For example, you may earn more during the Christmas holidays when everyone is shopping for loved ones, or you may earn more during the Summer because your job is seasonal. Whatever the conditions, learn to spot the similarities in your income. When you do, you’ll be able to recognise when you’re likely to earn more than usual and when you might struggle. You can then plan accordingly.

Plan for Additional Expenses

There may be times when you have to spend extra money, perhaps for a family member’s birthday or extra travelling you need to do. Try your best to put aside money for these things in advance, so you don’t have to take large chunks out of your monthly budget.

Covering everything with a varied income can be difficult but with a bit of organisation it is possible.

Tips & Tricks For Achieving Financial Freedom After College

Most students leave college with a huge amount of debt around their shoulders. In many instances, they won’t have to start paying it back until they find a job. However, it can take years to clear the balance and achieve financial freedom. With that in mind, people in that position need to research the subject and read as much advice as possible. Contrary to popular belief, there are lots of ways that anyone can reach their goal if they think outside of the box. Achieving financial freedom is a fantastic thing because it allows individuals to create a better life and take advantage of more opportunities. So, consider some of the tips and tricks below. 

student debt

Consolidate the debt into one manageable payment 

There are lots of specialists out there that focus their efforts on consolidating private student loans these days. So, it’s just a case of checking the market and identifying the best companies for the job. Taking that path is an excellent move because it helps to simplify the situation. The experts will work out a deal that means the graduate only has to pay one affordable monthly bill. That contributes towards removing any chance of the individual missing payments and getting late charges. Considering that, everyone who leaves college should think about taking that step as soon as possible. 

Pay more than the minimum amount each month

When people pay loan or credit card debt, they have the option to send a minimum payment. Lots of folks do that because it helps them to limit their reductions in cash flow. However, it’s a terrible move because individuals who follow that strategy will spend years trying to clear the debt. In most instances, it’s sensible to pay as much as possible from the balance every month. Adding a new dollars here and there will make a massive difference after a couple of years. People who only pay the minimum amount will:
  • Maintain their debt for longer than they should.
  • Pay higher rates of interest on the money they owe.

Consider making careful investments to build capital

At some point, all graduates will find a job and start earning a salary. How they spend their income could have an impact on their debt situations. For instance, there are lots of ways in which anyone can invest capital for profit these days if they’re intelligent. Trading on the stock market is a little hit and miss without the right expertise. However, anyone can put their money in precious metals or property for the best results. Hopefully, the individual will make a decent profit, and they can then use that cash to clear the balance of all their student debts. 

Other ideas people might want to consider include starting a business and living with parents instead of renting property. The latter concept is a wise move because it will mean the individual has more spare cash at the end of each month. Whatever readers decide to do, just be sure to create a plan and set some goals. The last thing anyone wants is to still have a student debt around their shoulders in their forties.

Portfolio Scouting For Luxury Property Investment Opportunities

The buy to let business is a hot potato in the current climate as society is shifting from a home owning aspirational generation is seeming more and more far-fetched. Young professionals who are thinking of or have just, started a family is looking to rent homes instead of buying the real estate outright. This has lead to an influx of interest for savvy investors who are using this knowledge to buy up cheap properties and form contracts for long-term renting. However, the other market that’s opposite this is the luxury real estate market for affluent, successful professionals who are of the older generation. This customer wants to travel and rent out, villas and luxury homes for many months at a time, while also willing to pay large fees to do so. Building up your portfolio of these kinds of properties will give you a stable and rich source of income, with very little downside as the demand is steadily increasing year by year.  

property

Should you get involved?

You may be wondering what the benefits are of getting involved in this kind of investment scheme or strategy. There are many advantages to luxury homes that are bought to let, as you can earn a stable income, from clients that are wealthy. Their credit scores are more than likely going to pan out as high and reliable. You’ll also be entering into a market that is wide and varied, with many different types of homes you can invest in, as well as many different techniques for getting involved, with builders and luxury real estate contractors, willing to take on partners for new properties. Renting in all forms is rising throughout the developed world as the population is increasing and people are living longer. Affluent individuals are willing to rent in exclusive neighborhoods to both live in and avoid large cities. This gives you a lot of flexibility in choosing the location as well as the amount of space and customized amenities to offer. 

Buy-to-let mortgages

The market needs to keep in pace and competitive with the needs of the global economy. In order to do so, buy-to-let mortgage rates are at record-low levels, as this will incentivize investors to compete with landlords across the world. You’re more likely to be able to stay in line with any future tax hikes as a result. This could not be a more ideal time to take advantage of the luxury property market, with willing renters, and the financial system geared toward low-interest rates. These are the right circumstances to expand on your portfolio or start one. You don’t need the money to buy the property, as the buy-to-let mortgage rates allow investors to rent at rates that actually make a profit while the investor is making payments in tandem. 

Global customer market

International customers represent a sudden spike in the market that has shown itself to be consistent for a number of years now. Wealthy oligarchs, international businessmen, rich aristocracy types are willing to travel the world to find their ultimate luxury pad. The domestic market within developed countries can be relied upon, but foreign customers have shown themselves to be willing to pay higher prices. A lot of the luxury properties in and around capital cities, as well as the countryside,  are prime target locations for those looking to explore a foreign land, while also, shop, be seen by the paparazzi, and mingle with other members of the rich and famous class. There is no shortage of rich, ready and willing, individuals who want to rent a luxury property without the baggage of owning and maintaining it.  

The types to invest in

The country villa, in a hot, sun-kissed country is perhaps the most popular and sought-after property many rich and famous people want to rent, either for summer vacations or to host parties. However, the countryside manors and mansions have proven themselves to be just as popular such as the Coldwell Banker mountain properties. These kinds of properties revel in the fact that, they offer seclusion, privacy, the utmost opulence and absolutely splendid panoramic scenic views. Such specialists have been discreetly serving very influential and successful people. Mediterranean mansions are great for those who wish to be close to the sea. Italian, Spanish, Greek and Turkish mansions along the coastline are marvelous investment opportunities as the weather is consistently delightful, and so is the view. 

swimming pool

Inspect with your own eyes

Before signing on the dotted line, perform a few due diligence tasks by visiting the property in person, and not relying on HD photos. You’ve got to get a vibe of the property you’re going to be investing in, so you should inspect the property’s key aspects. If it has a pool, check the water is of high-quality and regularly cleaned. The same should be done for the fountains and ponds. Check the structure of these systems, so there are no cracks or hazardous erosion points. The lawns should be healthy and without patches of dead grass and plants. If there are, this is a clear sign the property hasn’t been maintained in good condition. 

Inquire whether or not there will be services of a gardener that can come and keep the property tidy. Customers will want to relax outside, and in turn, there should be adequate landscape lighting, which contours the entire property around, 360 degrees. One of the most important needs for customers is for professionals and sophisticated security and surveillance systems working around the clock. You might find it better to hire a professional specialized home inspector who can rate all the aspects you want to be inspected for quality with regards to condition, and modern practices. 

The luxury home market has experienced remarkable growth over the last several years. It's clear to see the demand is high while the supply, is steadily decreasing. Large luxury homes take a long time to design and build, so you should get in on the action, while there is a healthy number of real estate options. Not only is the domestic customer willing to pay higher prices than before, foreign customers will travel thousands of miles with the aim of temporarily relocate. Wealth clients from overseas are willing to pay even higher rent prices, as convenience also plays a large role in their decision-making.

Apartment Investors: Attract Millennials With These Amenities

If there were ever a person to target when it comes to property investment, it’s the millennial. Usually unable or unlikely to get a mortgage, the millennial is quite content in renting an apartment or property that they intend to stay in for years. This is good news for investors because it means you don’t have to deal with vacancies and you’re more likely to be able to renew contracts quickly. So, how do you attract these magical beings called millennials?

Be Pet Friendly

Around 90% of millennials are renters and close to 60% of those own a cat or dog. So, it’s fair to say that millennials love their animals. Therefore, if you’re an investor that’s set on having strictly ‘no pets’ rules, you may miss out. If you’re worried about damage to your properties, ask your renters for an additional payment that will be returned to them upon inspection of the property when they choose to leave. This way, you don’t miss out on a large proportion of renters and you’re covered if any of the pets were to cause damage.

pet friendly

Modern and Spacious Kitchens

It’s often hard to find properties with spacious kitchens, but the average millennial cooks up to four times a week. It’s a generation that has become far more health conscious than their predecessors, so a kitchen space is an important detail. If you’re thinking about slacking on the kitchen and leaving it as it is, you may find you lose out to your competitors. Making simple changes, like replacing worktops and painting cupboards can make all the difference to a millennial.

Wood Flooring

You don’t have to be a millennial to know that life is hectic. But, as the generations pass, life does become more challenging, more competitive and more time consuming. So, as well as looking good, a wood floor is also a practicality. It’s the easiest type of flooring to keep clean, especially if there’s pet around, it’s the best kind of floor for allergy sufferers and it gives anyone moving in a clean slate to decorate, unlike carpet.

innovative design

Innovative Design

An apartment is always more attractive if it comes with something unexpected. Millennials like to be unique, so if you can offer something no-one else they know has got, you’re ahead of the curve. Take a look at what Joe Nahas did for some apartment owners. Could you design a garden? Perhaps you can offer around the clock security or smart controls for gas and electric. Always try to stay one step in front with innovative ideas.

Online Payments/Renting

There isn’t much you can’t do online these days and millennials really make the most of it. Sadly, the real estate industry is falling behind. If you’re still using paper contracts and bank transfers, you may be missing out on millennial renters. Don’t worry, you can still get renters to sign an agreement online and there are plenty of resources that can help you to keep track of rent charges and receive payments, like RealPage.

Attracting millennial renters and buyers isn’t hard when you know how.

Is This The Reason You Keep Getting Turned Down For Jobs?

Job hunting is hard. Perhaps you’re looking to take your career in a new direction, or maybe you need to find something quickly due to being made unemployed from a firing or redundancy. Either way, scouring for positions which all have fierce competition and trying to find something right can be stressful. It’s even more stressful when you don't hear anything back. But what’s the reason you keep getting turned down or ignored completely? Here are some possibilities. 

jobs

Your CV Isn’t Up To Scratch

Your CV is where you need to really stand out. It needs to be immaculately presented and written well, there are lots of professional CV writers online who can work with you to make yours shine. Make sure you’re not leaving off any important information. If you have a quirky, interesting hobby, write a blog or have volunteered abroad for example include this on it. It helps to show who you are outside of work and could help give you the edge over a candidate with similar experience. 

You Haven’t Included a Cover Letter

You might have the best CV in the world, but many employers will be looking for a cover letter. This is your chance to really grab their attention, they will be looking through CVs all day so just outline why you are right for the job. Your relevant experience and anything else that will encourage them to pick up your CV and read it thoroughly. 

You Have a Criminal Past

Many jobs will run background checks on potential employees, those who deal with high-value equipment, money of vulnerable people for example will be especially strict. But many general jobs will also run checks, and if you’ve been in trouble with anything in the past, it can seriously harm your chances. Even relatively minor things will make you look less reliable and attractive as a potential employee. If you have something on your record which you believe is unfair, it’s worth looking into criminal record expungement. This will prevent anyone being able to access this information, and in turn will improve your job prospects. 

You Don’t Have Enough Experience

In most cases, the reason you will be turned away from jobs is that you don’t have enough experience. Many companies don’t have the time, money or resources to train from scratch so will be looking for people with either direct experience or transferrable skills from a similar role. Frustratingly, it’s difficult to get experience in the first place in many roles as they will only take people with experience, to begin with. One thing you could do is consider taking an apprenticeship, here you will only be paid a small amount, but you get to be trained and gain invaluable experience to then go on to a proper paid role. Another alternative is to work for free and do voluntary work. Not only does having this on your CV show an employer you’re committed to getting the job you want, but it’s a good way to gain the experience you need to even get a foot on the ladder in the first place.

Good Advice: When You Need It And When You Don't

When you’re just starting out in business, it’s expected that you’ll be open to advice from those who have been enduringly successful. It makes sense, too; they will be familiar with your concerns, teething troubles and self-doubt, and have conquered all of these. Hopefully even the most self-confident startup owner will recognize that there is value in having enough humility to listen to the experts.

advice

After some time in the business world, though, and some early successes, it’s not unusual to become more sure of yourself and to see those successful veterans as rivals, meddlers or dinosaurs. Many business owners view advice from the experts as unwelcome interference, even find it patronizing, and will actively reject it.

In truth, sometimes there is nothing more dangerous than newfound confidence. Success in the early days is just that - early. If you want to reach the top of the tree, you do need to keep it going. The most obvious hazard to that is getting carried away. Being ready to pivot when necessary is not a weakness; it is a survival instinct that could ensure you end up keeping up with the times.

Of course, there is always a “but”, so here it is. Naturally, not all advice is equal. Nobody is infallible and, of course, your situation may differ from another person’s in a number of ways. When someone says “If I were in your shoes, I would do it this way…”, the advice may be welcome. On the other hand, you need to take note of the fact that their tips for success are what worked for them. That doesn’t mean it will work for you, so when is it worth listening, and when is it a better idea to politely decline advice?

The More Specific It Gets, The More Care You Should Take

Say you’re looking at taking on staff, having started well and found yourself with more work than you can handle alone. If you’re a sole trader, your experience of recruiting will obviously be zero. In speaking to someone who’s been through that situation, you may get reams and reams of advice in return, or you may get a single sentence. Often, it will be the latter that is of more value to you.

The former may go along the lines of “What I did was…” followed by a detailed account of how they went about hiring new people. It may sound like a guide from start to finish on how to ensure you make the right choice. It may well seem to be the key to success, but the more specific it is, the better the chance that it only worked so well because it suited them. Another person might say, in one sentence, “Ignore emotion and pick the person who is best qualified”. It takes seconds to say, but sometimes less information can be of more value.

On The Other Hand, More Information Can Be Useful

Of course, business cannot be boiled down to just a few simple rules. If it could, we’d all be running blue-chip businesses. Often, what’s most important is the way that advice is communicated. If you’re making your way up the property ladder, for example, sustained success isn’t a matter of doing A, B and C then waiting for the cash to roll in. A lot depends on how you react to unforeseen situations.

books

In this case, a sound idea is to absorb as much information as possible, but not from any one person. Reading everything you can find time to read will allow you to build your knowledge and hone your instincts. Having a bookcase full of the best real estate investing books and reading them in your down time is a great idea. The more sources you draw information from, the more solid your decisions will be.

Beware The “Business Guru”

The explosion of “business guru” shows that have landed on our TV screens over the last decade has led many individuals to change their approach to how they do business. That’s not a bad thing, per se, but it does have its disadvantages.

What you rarely see on shows such as this are the situations where an expert’s advice ends up leading to negative results. Editing can hide a multitude of sins, and because the expert tends to have editorial control, they choose what you do and don’t see. So while they proudly proclaim that “by following my advice, this struggling business is now thriving”, they may be hiding the fact that that happened due to a cash injection you don’t have access to - or that the moment the “guru” left the set, the business nosedived and went bankrupt.

That doesn’t mean there is nothing in the advice that these experts are giving but, as with anything, it’s important to not see that advice as a guaranteed ticket to success. If the secret to success could be condensed down to sixty minutes of TV minus ad breaks, then everyone would do it.

The Best Advice May Be To Trust Your Instincts

When you get right down to it, no-one knows your business as well as you do. So those people who ignore any advice from all quarters aren’t necessarily that far off the mark; it’s really a matter of balance. Your early success is a sign that you have some good instincts, so it may be worth following those in most situations. As long as you don’t assume you’re infallible, you may profit by having the courage of your convictions.

As with any rule, there are exceptions. When you enter uncharted territory in your business, assuming that you can troubleshoot your way out of it may be extremely dangerous. If, however, you hit a bump in the road doing something you’ve done before, then sit and think about it for a moment. What’s different about this situation? How could that be addressed? Deep down, you may already know the answers. The more you learn to conquer problems on your own, the better your business will get.

If You Hire People, Here Are Some Things You Need to Know

So, you think your small business is ready to expand and hire its first batch of employee? It’s a huge step to make, and there are things that can go wrong if you’re not careful about it. Here are some of the things that you really need to know before you start hiring people.

Be Realistic About Your Needs

Every business has different needs, so you should be realistic about how people your company really has to hire. If you end up hiring more people than you really need, you could simply create extra problems for the business, and that’s not what you want at all. So, try to be very careful about this. There is nothing good about spending big on a large team of people when you don’t even have enough work for them to do. It’s a waste of money.

Hire People

Be Even More Realistic About What You Can Afford

Another thing you need to be realistic about is how much you can afford to spend on this whole thing. It’s not just about how many people you can afford to hire but also what type of person you can afford to hire. You’re probably not going to be headhunting the best senior employees from bigger companies than yours, so be realistic about the kind of people you can look to hire.

Managing a Team is Never Easy

It’s never easy to manage a team of people. They all have different needs and wants, and you need to find a way of helping people while also getting the most from them for the good of the business. Companies like BrightHR can help you with HR services. And these can be very useful if you have never got to grips with managing a team of people before.

Experience in a Similar Role and Situation Can Help a Lot

You will want to hire people who have been in this situation before. This is not just about hiring people with lots of experience; it’s a particular kind of experience you should be looking for. For example, if your startup is small and its future is still not quite secure, you should look to hire someone who has worked for a startup in the past. They will know what it takes to kind a company like yours forward and help it find success.

Employment Laws Need to be Taken Seriously

Every business that hires people is bound by employment laws, and these are not optional. If your company breaks any employment laws, you could find yourself in serious trouble. That’s not what you want to happen. So, know what they are and know what you will have to do when hiring people. You don’t want your company to get shut down just because you wanted to cut some corners or save some money.

When your business is growing and you want to start hiring people to help with everything, it can be very exciting. But don’t get carried away; instead, keep the things mentioned above in mind.

Retirement Savings: Potential Expenses People Often Overlook

Everyone will want to make sure they save enough money to support themselves during retirement. Indeed, that is why most individuals will pay into a pension scheme and open savings accounts during a couple of decades before the date. However, there are many potential expenses pensioners might encounter after they stop working. Most people tend to overlook them, and so there is some useful information everyone should read on this page. With a bit of luck, it will assist workers in making sure they save enough for every eventuality. 

medical cost

Excess medical fees

Almost all Americans purchase health insurance policies to cover the cost of care. The issue is that employers tend to foot most of the bill. So, when people retire, they often face higher policy fees every month. That encourages individuals to opt for a reduced contract that doesn’t protect them against lots of taxes and charges they might encounter. For that reason, it makes sense to keep some cash aside to pay for any excess health care bills the individual might have to pay. They might include:
  • Payment for stays in the hospital
  • Medication and treatment fees
  • The cost of surgery

Potential legal costs

Nobody knows when they might find themselves in the courtroom. There are hundreds of different reasons a retired person might have to employ the services of a lawyer. Perhaps the individual will have to hire a criminal defense attorney after being accused of a crime they didn’t commit? Maybe there are issues with a property sale and the only way to get justice involves standing before a judge? The possibilities are endless, but legal fees are often expensive. So, it’s sensible to keep a stash of cash in case the worst situations manifest. 

legal cost

Family emergencies 

There are any number of family emergencies for which retired people might need to spend money. For example, individuals might want to:
  • Help a sick or injured relative
  • Support a spouse through a custody case
  • Defend a family member from criminal charges
  • Travel to reach a terminal relative

If anyone finds themselves in situations of that nature, they might have to spend a fortune to put things right. Again, that’s where a retirement rainy day fund would come in handy. People in later life will often struggle to get credit if they require some extra capital. So, keeping a few thousand dollars in the bank for family emergencies is essential. 

With a bit of luck, anyone who remembers the information from this article should make better plans for their retirement. It would be excellent if people could rely on their pensions to support them through old age. However, that is not realistic in the modern world, and so individuals need to save a lot of money too. Of course, it’s often possible to get a lump sum of cash from the pension account in emergencies. Still, that is not a reliable option, and things can go wrong. At the very least, retired people need a few thousand dollars in the bank to protect themselves from adverse situations. So, start saving today!

Need Help Up The Property Ladder?

Fewer people are buying homes. While wages are on the increase, they have a long way to go until they catch up to house prices, it seems. If you dream of owning a home, whether as your primary residence or as an investment opportunity, the first rung on the property ladder can be the hardest to climb. However, there are a few options out there that can give you a much better chance of reaching it.

Property Ladder

Make mortgages more attainable

A lot of people prefer to stick to what they know when it comes to such a big investment. If you want to go the traditional route of a mortgage, then it’s all about preparing yourself for the best mortgage rates possible. Working on your credit is most important of all. But consider, too, whether it makes sense to pay more up front or to have larger ongoing costs once you’re in the home. Balance out the down payment-to-mortgage payment ratio. It might mean having to budget in the longer term. However, many pay the minimum down payment only to find that living costs soon become unattainable, forcing them to sell up sooner than they want.

Your wish is granted

Don’t be shy of looking for grants in your area, either. There are some like the FHA loan assistance that makes home ownership must easier for first-time buyers. Then there are those that offer grants for the sake of investment, such as those that pay you to make the home more energy efficient.

Get a little help

If you can’t afford the down payment yourself, there are still options. One is the guarantor home loan, which offers you all the money you need to get a house straight up with no need for that initial advance. All you need is a guarantor, usually someone in the family, who is willing to take responsibility for your future payments. This has to be discussed well in advance with the potential guarantor, of course, but if there’s someone close who knows that you are trustworthy with your finances, it could be an option.

Piece by piece

On the other hand, you don’t necessarily have to go through a mortgage at all. Checking out the free rent to own listings in your area could help you spot homes that you can live in as you get closer to ownership. Rent to own homes are just as they sound, with a portion of the rent going towards paying off the house so you end up owning it. It takes longer to own a home this way, but if you need the security of a primary investment, it can be a great way to get it. Another way to own a home when you can’t afford it right now is to get property investment seekers to partially own the home with you. Some will offer the option of selling you their portion of ownership down the line, while others will want to sell it alongside you for a profit later. Just make sure you know the objectives of any investors getting into property with you before you sign anything.

Be open to finding the help available to make a home more affordable. Make sure you’re putting yourself in the best financial position possible to make homeownership attainable. And be willing to look for other ways to buy. If you’re creative and dedicated to your approach, getting your first property can be a lot easier.

A Guide For Effective Ways Of Increasing Your Property Value

If you’re thinking of selling your home, before you put it on for sale, think about additional changes you can do, to increase the value. Although we like to think of residential properties as homes for our families, where we can create memories and live a happy life, financially speaking, they’re investments. You should be aiming to get more money from the property, than when you bought it. If you bought the home a long time ago, or even as recently as five to ten years ago, inflation has risen such that, you’re bound to get a decent return. But, why settle for less, when a little renovation and additions to your home, can skyrocket the price value and earn you a small fortune when you sell. 

No such thing as empty space

There is no such thing as unusable space in a home, so think about converting your loft and basement into lounging dwellings or even fully functional rooms. You have the potential of adding substantial value to your home when you do this, because technically, the more rooms you have in your home, the higher the price goes, regardless of how many were present when you bought it. Clear out all the mess and clutter in both spaces, and first of all, install lighting. You’ll need an electrician’s eye and knowledge for this. Put down carpet or hardwood flooring to better insulate the room. Think about ventilation, so the rooms are supplied with fresh air constantly. You may or may not need planning permission; it's relative to where you live and local government’s policies, so check you’re within legal limits before taking action. 

Increasing Your Property Value

Adding to the outside

One of the best and common ways of adding value to your home is to build a balcony over the patio or veranda facing the back garden to your home. Contact construction specialist architects that can give you construction drawing services, architectural design, and planning advice. The balcony should be directly linked to the master bedroom, increasing the feet per square area of the home, as well as an aesthetically pleasing exterior. With the use of modern materials like aluminum and strong structural integrity design, a balcony can be marked down as a leisurely addition to the home. These types of features are in the same bracket as swimming pools, so you’ll automatically have your home transfer up to a higher price category on real estate boards.

Extend the kitchen

Since modern homes became available to the majority of the masses, the one strategy of adding value to your home that has been tried throughout modern history is the extension to your kitchen. Extending your kitchen is relatively easy because all that needs to be done is the removal of the immediate garden. Slabs, stoning, grass, and soil can all be uprooted and moved within half a working day by professionals. Next, you’ll lay down the foundation and knock down the exterior wall in the same process. Adding flooring to the foundation and then brick walls to surround the next structure is cheap compared to other routes. Adding windows and making a dining area is the final aim of the extension, which is greatly desired by large and growing families. 

Before selling, think about these types of additions and building ventures to your home. Why settle for less? You can transform your property, and your profit margin in one fell swoop; all you need is a little imagination, knowledge and the desire to see the plans through to the end to increase the price of the home when you finally go to sell.

Could These Tricks Be The Key To Making You More Money?

We work to make money. Even when you run your own business, and it’s always been your dream, passion may come into it, but the overall goal is always to turn a profit. So, of course, you’re definitely going to be on board when it comes to any tricks that can help you to make you more money, right? Investing in your business is important, especially when it comes to growth. So whether you have a physical store or service or you operate online, you may find that these tips give your profits the growth spurt they’ve been needing.

Making More Money

Outsourcing

When you’re trying to keep your expenses low and your margins high, you may feel as if you need to take on as many tasks in house yourself. After all, it’s the way to save money, right? Spend less? In some ways, it is, but it can also cost you a lot too. When you’re trying to do everything yourself, you could be taking up valuable time that you can put towards growing your business. But by outsourcing anything from your admin to your marketing, you’ll free up your time and ensure that the work gets done to an incredible standard, often generating you more money in the long run.

Dedicated Customer Service Teams

You should also think about investing in a dedicated customer service team. Again, you may believe that managing this yourself is enough, but it might not be. Great customer service is important if you want to keep your customers happy and keep them coming back. If you’re doing a substandard job, get a dedicated team that can look to increase your profits for you.

Taking On Interns

Another great ideas is also taking on interns and not just because they are cost-effective. Interns are a great way to test drive new talent. When you’re working with young people, or those that are eager to get going in their career, they can give you a fresh perspective. They’re hungry to get going, and they can often offer you great new ideas that will help to make money.

Testing

If you’re wondering how you’re ever going to make a change with anything and see if it works, there’s another little trick you can try. Great for marketing, AB testing can help you to determine what sort of idea you should good with. This will be invaluable for your website. Whether you’re undecided on a promotion, a design, or even an entire page, you can split test using both designs to see which one is more effective. Then, you’ll be making more of an informed decision.

Training

Finally, there’s also training to consider. Training may not be much of a trick, but it’s a tip that will get your results. When you have staff in a physical store or business, they need to be the best at what they do. Training retail staff, in particular, is something that can help you make more money in the long run. Although you may hire people for their potential, you can then train them up in order to generate more sales going forwards.

How Can You Top Up Your Money While You Travel?

Traveling can leave a huge dent in a person’s wallet. Flights, accommodation, food, and everything else associated with travel costs a lot of money. One of the best ways to enjoy long term travel without going broke, is to find ways you can top up your money. You may have saved up a substantial sum to get you started, but what if you don’t want to come home after a few months, or even a year? Here are some suggestions that will help you to earn more:

Become An Au Pair

Becoming an au pair will mean you need a few different skills, as well as proof that you’re a safe and reliable person to work with. You’ll be looking after one child or children, and you’ll need to be prepared to teach them your language as you go. This can mean free accommodation for you if the family invite you to live with them! 

Traveling

Teach English 

Many countries are crying out for people to come over and teach English to residents. The best bit? You don’t even need to be multilingual. This can be an extremely well paying job, and is perfect for somebody who wants to stay in a country for the foreseeable future. You’ll need a degree, and of course the appropriate visas and travel documents. You can see how to download Aadhar card if you’ll be teaching English in India, but this will vary depending on where you will go. 

Go To Bartender School

Going to bartender school and learning how to mix a variety of cocktails may not have been your dream as a child, but you’ll be able to get a job in almost any bar or pub around the world. Let that sink in. You may not earn a ton of money, but you’ll be able to land a job pretty much anywhere you go. 

Sell Your Skills

If you’d rather not have a long-term job while you travel, selling your skills is an option. If you’re great at something like skiing or surfing, you could become an instructor.  Maybe you’re great at jewellery making - why not sell your wares? There are many jobs you can try out online too, such as website design and SEO for businesses. Use the internet to learn something if you don’t currently have this kind of skill, and you might just be able to make enough to continue traveling as long as you like! 

Create A Cash Cow

A cash cow is something you do the work for once, but it continues to earn for you afterwards. One of the most popular ways to do this right now is to write an ebook. If you have a particular passion for something, writing an ebook about it could be a fantastic way to make money. Just bear in mind you’ll need to market your book, and you may want to write more than one! 

There are so many ways to top up your money while you travel - the sky’s the limit!

What Small Business Owners Need To Know About Taking on Staff

All business owners know the importance of doing things the right way. Crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s, so to speak. It is not always easy, especially for new business owners, to know exactly what needs to be done once a team starts to expand. For any small business that is growing and needing to take on staff, follow our simple rules on the most important elements of employment law that you need to know.

Business Staff

Job Discrimination

Job discrimination can be a problem for any business owner if they fall on the wrong side of this law. Job discrimination involves anything from discrimination in hiring, firing or pay based on a person's religion, race, sex of country of origin. So all companies need to be careful to never fall outside the parameters of this employment law by treating all employees fairly and equally and ensure that all managers are also adhering to this law. 

Overtime & Minimum Wage

All companies also need to make sure that they are adhering to laws regarding overtime and minimum wage. If you are unsure about these laws then you will want to contact an employment specialist like, Wilson Browne, who will be able to talk you through the specifics. However in a nutshell, the law states that any work done over 40 hours should be compensated for with time-and-a-half overtime pay. It also sets the minimum wage pay that companies need to be adhering to and it limits the amount of time that teenagers should be working, so these are areas that all business owners should be completely knowledgeable about. 

Family Leave

When taking on staff another employment law that you need to be aware of is that of family leave. The law states that those that have worked within a company for one year are eligible to take up to 12 weeks, per year, leave off work for the birth of a child or to care for themselves or a sick child, parent or spouse. This time falls into the category of ‘job protected’ so when employees ask for time off work make sure you are listening carefully to the situation and establishing arrangements that fit within the perimeter of this law.

Gender Pay Differences

This is an incredibly important law these days and one which is being closely monitored, so it deserves special attention. The Equal Pay Act (EPA) states that employers can’t pay male staff more than female staff for a job when the skill, effort and responsibility requires equal levels of work from both females and males.

Workplace Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OHSA) stated the employers have to run a business that is well protected from recognised hazards and common dangers. Therefore all business owners should all be working towards providing a completely safe work environment for their staff in order to protect them and the company from any number of hazards.

Employment law takes a little time to fully understand, so all business owners need to make sure that they are spending time getting their heads around the above laws in order to make sure that their staff and their companies are completely protected.

5 Things You Should Never Do If You Are Being Sued

Lawsuits are a way of life as 15 million civil suits are filed every year. So, it isn’t unrealistic for you to be on the wrong end of a service notice. Getting sued is a scary and unpredictable time, especially if you have never been through the process. With that in mind, there are mistakes you cannot afford to make and must avoid at all costs. Here’s what you need to know. 

1. Don’t Admit Fault

As soon as the plaintiff brings the motion to the court, they will look for an easy victory. The simplest way to win is to provide evidence the defendant was at fault. Unfortunately, this isn’t difficult to come across because people rat on themselves. Whether you feel you are guilty or not, you should keep your lips closed. It is not your job to decide whether you are at fault; it is the justice system’s

law

2. Don’t Throw Away Files

Because you are the defendant, there will come a time when you have to prove your innocence. In a court of law, your word versus theirs will not cut it, so gathering proof is essential. Usually, you will keep evidence on your laptop or phone, and you might even print it out and store it in a drawer. Whatever you do, don’t throw any of it in the trash. Even if it appears worthless, you never know what will come in handy in a lawsuit. 

3. Don’t Go It Alone

One of the reasons people use lawyers like Mark Reynolds is due to their expertise. After several years at law school and numerous court cases, they know the law inside and out. You, on the other hand, are a layman who doesn’t understand the process and what it takes to win. Therefore, you will need legal help on your side if you are going to win. Regardless of the cost, you must find a way to get a good attorney to take on your case. 

lawyer

4. Don’t Talk To The Plaintiff Out Of Court

It is tempting to think you can bypass the red tape and settle things man to man or woman to woman. However, you have to resist this temptation at all costs. Speaking to the plaintiff or a judge out of court is something the opposing side will use to show your guilt. After all, it does look weird to a judge and a jury. The key is to leave the negotiations to your legal team because that is why you pay them in the first place. 

5. Don’t Assume It Will Go To Court

In fact, assume it won’t because 95% of suits settle before there is a trial. Attorneys on both sides know that a judge and jury are unpredictable and clear cut cases can fail. Therefore, the odds are high that your lawyer will look to come to a compromise. So, don’t work yourself up and stress out about a day in court that might never come. It only makes handling the process much harder for you and your legal team as it leads to stupid errors in judgment.

Hopefully, it will never happen to you, but if it does, make sure you steer clear of the above.