How E-commerce Changed Shopping

There is no two ways about it, when somebody hands you a credit card and tells you to buy yourself something pretty (even when it’s you handing the credit card to yourself) it’s like somebody has rewound time and you are a kid coming down the stairs on Christmas morning.

There is just something about shopping that makes a girl happy in her soul. When cash is tight it’s finding that buy two get one free deal that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Even if the deal is on something that you don’t really need, the point is that you got something for FREE! Getting a special shoppers discount is like finding money in a pair of jeans that you haven’t worn in a few months, no matter what you end up buying with it – bread and milk or pretty underwear or headache pills because the kids are driving you crazy AGAIN – it’s always feels a little magical.

Half the fun is in the dreaming, the hoping and the anticipation. With the advent of the internet the world of shopping has shifted and changed in ways that nobody would have imagined were possible twenty years ago. Suddenly you don’t dream about something that you saw in the window of the boutique in town, now you dream about something your friend from school shared on their social media profile.

How E-commerce Changed Shopping

But not only do you get to dream about it, now you can research it without ever having actually handled or touched whatever it is that you are dreaming about. Interested in getting yourself a new car, computer, phone, camping gear, stove, kettle, knife set, natural remedy or recipe book? Not a problem! Just head on over to your favorite search engine from either your desktop, your notebook or your smartphone, type in the name of the product you are looking for and literally thousands of product reviews, stats and ratings are delivered to you within seconds!

And when Lou Montulli invented cookies (the internet kind not the chocolate chip kind – that was Ruth Wakefield!) in 1994 it became possible for your browsing habits to be recorded and accessed  by any site you visit. Instead of getting annoying popups about something that you will NEVER buy, suddenly retailers are guaranteed a higher conversion rate because they can flood your internet browser with adverts that you are more likely to be interested in.

Most social media sites allow the use of cookies so while you are busy checking your newsfeed recommended adverts, suggestions for pages you may like or want to follow are drawing your attention and building a brand awareness that marketers of old could only dream about. Word of mouth advertising is no longer about an actual conversation on the street but about people updating their status with photos and comments bragging about their latest purchase.

Brick and mortar stores have become showrooms where people go to test drive something they are interested in because you no longer have to drive across town to check if another store has a better deal or a special offer, just pull out your mobile device and search for a better deal online! And the BEST part about buying online? As though there isn’t enough to like about it so far! Because most online retailers don’t need to worry about renting a shopfront, paying and training sales staff and still making sure that they have enough stock on hand so that customers can leave carrying the item they want, they are able to offer the same products at insanely discounted prices.

The easiest way of doing this is by advertising the item for the same price that you are able to buy them from your local store but then they offer special discounts BECAUSE you are an online shopper. These discounts may be offered in the form of coupons, or promo codes which are emailed to you or offered as part of a package deal – buy this and get a discount when you buy that.

The possibilities with coupons or promo codes are endless because retailers can offer just about anything they can possibly think about AND they don’t need to think about how they are going to advertise or distribute them. This is usually the job of services that specialize in aggregating coupons. is just that kind of site which serves you coupons on a silver platter. At the end of the day, the consumer does most of the work. As my mother would say – it’s like money for jam!

These may all seem like pretty small things but when taken together, paint a picture of a world that is changing in every way, shape and form.    

But e-commerce is not just about buying something pretty or special for yourself, everyday retail stores like Pick & Pay and Game are making it possible to buy the most basic of necessities – your bread and milk - ONLINE!

Four Ways to Make Money With Your Car

It is a common belief that buying a car is less of an investment than it is an obligation. While this may be true in many instances, there are several ways you can save and even make money utilizing your vehicle. Whether you want to save money on gas, gain collateral, or simply get some extra cash, your car can help you achieve these ambitions. Check out these five easy ways to make money by driving your car. 

Become a Currier 

If you recently invested in a new ride, there are tons of ways to help make your monthly payment by using your vehicle. Search for jobs doing deliveries. The first thing that comes to mind might be pizza delivery, which is a great way to make some extra cash at night or on the weekend. If you are looking for something more permanent look into joining a currier service, this could mean delivering anything from medical supplies and samples to parcels and packages to important paperwork that cannot wait for regular snail mail. 

Four Ways to Make Money With Your Car

Another way to use your car for delivery is to transport people. Look into joining a company like Uber or Lyft where you can determine your own hours and work at your convenience. If you already have a day job this could be a great way for you to make extra cash in your spare time. Most companies will reimburse you for gas or provide opportunities for excellent tax write offs.

Get a Title Loan

If you own your car outright and need a little extra money, getting a car title loan could be an excellent option for you. Search for companies such as TitleBucks that offer quick an easy online applications. Businesses like these often do not require good credit history or proof of car insurance so almost anyone is eligible to receive a loan. Depending on your car, you could get a loan up to ten thousand dollars. 

Monitor Your Maintenance

Knowing your car and its history is crucial to saving money on driving. Make sure your oil changes and regular maintenance is up to date because it will help you maintain good gas mileage in the long run. Keeping up with maintenance is important because it will help preserve the life of your vehicle, which will keep costs at a minimum. Though it may take a bit of money up front, making sure your car is up to par will save you hundreds in the long run. 

Ride Sharing 

Whether you have a long commute to work or have to take your kids to school every day, finding someone who is willing to travel with you is a great way to save money. You can do this by networking with the people around you, perhaps you have a neighbor who makes the same commute as you each week. Or maybe your child has a friend who needs help getting to school. 

Once you find someone to carpool with, set a schedule. Consider who has the most fuel-efficient car, the sum of weekly travel costs, and the distance between your final destination and your homes. Ride sharing can be a great way to cut costs in half and save big on gas. 

Who Should Be Checking Their Credit Reports?

Credit reports seem like information that no one really needs to have that often. Many people will not even check their credit reports on a regular basis and only have a general idea of what their credit scores are. This may seem like a fine way to go, since so many other people do it, but not ever checking credit reports can be a big financial issue. 

There are a lot of times in a person’s life when they should be getting their free credit reports from Additionally, there are a lot of people who should be getting their credit reports to carry out certain financial plans that they may have. Everyone should be aware of these occurrences and plan accordingly to make sure they are always making the best financial decisions

Credit Reports

Here are some of the people who should be checking their credit reports. 

House hunters

People looking to buy a new house almost always will need to apply for a loan. Those people should know their credit standing before they even start looking at homes. Having credit reports will allow home buyers to know what they can afford in a home and understand what kind of loans they will qualify for. 

Job seekers

It is becoming a more and more common practice for employers to check their employees’ credit reports before and after hiring them. Employers want to see their employees’ credit reports to see if they are responsible with their own money and capable of making good decisions for the business. 

Loan hopefuls

Getting a loan for anything is not always easy. People who are applying for loans want to make sure that they do everything they possibly can in order to get the loan and get the best rates possible. Getting credit reports can help anyone prepare for their loan application and improve their chances of success. 


People who are traveling need to take extra measures to protect their money and themselves. More people are beginning to check their credit reports before, during and after their travel to check for fraud or identity theft. This is a great precaution for anyone to take when traveling. 


Parents need to check credit reports for a couple of reasons. First, in order to prepare for their children’s futures, college savings for example, parents will need to learn the information on their credit reports to best plan for those savings. Second, children can sometimes be victims of identity theft as well, so it might be a good idea for parents to regularly check their children’s credit reports as well. 

People with high debt

Debt is still a big issue for many people. Getting out of debt is not an easy process, and it can damage a person’s financial standing in its entirety, including credit scores. Anyone who wants to find the best ways to get out of debt should be checking their credit reports on a regular basis. 

What Do you Need to Trade Futures?

Futures are just one of many different financial products that people can use to speculate on the markets, whether they’re into forex, stocks and shares, or commodities. It used to be the case that they were reserved for those who had a large amount of starting capital and vast experience in financial trading. Now however, they’re open to many people; find out here what you need to get started.


You no longer need a vast amount of starting capital to be able to make money on the financial markets, but you do need some form of investment pot. Many products benefit from what is called leverage – the ability to scale up profits and losses – but you still need money to play with. This is because you can lose money as well as make it, so a broker will generally want to see that you can afford to lose as much as you could win. This brings us to the next point.

What Do you Need to Trade Futures?


Your broker is the company that will facilitate all of your futures trades. They will give you an account from which you can work, and a platform, which is a computer program that shows you the markets and lets you operate. Not all brokers are equal; some have better service than others, and offer different products. The only way to work out which ones are better is to do a little bit of research – most brokers will have a page where they summarize what it is they offer and why you should choose them. Choose carefully, as it may have an impact on your overall experience, and potentially your profits, or indeed losses.


This is absolutely the most important thing that you’ll need if you decide that trading futures is going to be for you. Financial speculation is not a guessing game; traders do not gamble on the price of financial assets, they make educated predictions. Using price charts, historical trends, complex calculations and a host of other signals, the trader will look to make an informed decision. If you’re going to be successful, and critically, turn a profit rather than a loss, then you need to be armed with all of the information that you can get your hands on. You should spend plenty of time researching fundamental and technical analysis before you even think of putting a penny into futures.

Should You Borrow from a Pawnbroker?

As high street lenders clamp down on giving people credit, pawnbrokers like H&T are becoming an increasingly popular option with borrowers looking to secure capital.

The way that pawnbrokers work is simple. The lender is granted the money they need in one of two ways: either through the sale of an asset (in which case the capital belongs to them instantly), or by offering an item as security in exchange for a loan. 

There are many advantages attached to borrowing from a pawnbroker, and it is these that are making them so popular with borrowers. They tend to lend money quickly, and there are usually no credit checks required before loans are granted. For the struggling debtor and those in need of a quick cash fix, this makes them seem like an ideal solution.

But are they really all they're cracked up to be?

How Pawnbrokers Work

As mentioned above, pawnbrokers work by offering money in exchange for one of two things: the purchase of an item, or the holding of an item of security. The first option is a simple act of sale, so we won’t explore it any further here.

The second option is the more popular of the two. The borrower hands over an asset, usually jewellery, and in return the pawnbroker offers them capital. The specific details of the loan, such as how long you have to pay the money back, should be set out prior to the capital being handed over. Loans may last for anything up to seven months.

To protect you as a seller, the pawnbroker will give you a receipt as proof of ownership, to allow you to get the item back once the loan has been repaid.

You might be wondering what's in it for the broker. The answer is easy; your loan will accrue interest, and the rate will often be greater than the interest charged on personal loans. Typically, it will be around 5-12 per cent per month - a figure which can add up rather quickly.

As  a rule of thumb, most brokers will allow you to repay the full sum at the end of the loan agreement, rather than requiring you to pay back a set amount each month. You will also have the flexibility to pay back some or all of the sum early and thus reclaim your item. 

In some cases, pawnbrokers may be willing to extend the term if you find yourself unable to repay them, although they always have the option to refuse to do so. Usually, they will not extend such an offer to you unless you've at least managed to pay back the interest you've accrued. 

The Drawbacks of Using a Pawn Broker

Pawnbrokers certainly have their uses, but it would be unwise to assume that they're a perfect fit for every borrower.

Firstly, they tend to carry relatively high interest rates, making them an expensive way to borrow money. 

Secondly, they give the lender the power to sell your item if you can't repay them. They'll usually have offered you much less than it's actually worth, meaning that they profit but you're left out of pocket. Despite this, items still sometimes sell for less than they're worth, and less than you received in return for handing them over as security. Where this happens, you'll find that you remain liable for any outstanding debt. 

The Benefits

However, it's not all bad, or else pawnbrokers wouldn't be so popular. Borrowing money in this way can be a godsend for those who are desperate but find themselves with a poor credit history, as no checks are carried out. 

Pawnbrokers can also be a good solution for those who need money quickly, as capital is usually handed over on the same day as the agreement is reached. 

An added boon is that this type of loan tends to be very flexible: as a rule, you can redeem your goods at any time, and many brokers are willing to extend the term. An advantage of the former is that if you manage to raise the money to repay your broker earlier than expected, than you'll pay less interest than you feared because this only accrues for the actual length of the loan.

If you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, could a pawnbroker offer a viable way out for you?

Yen Rises as Bank of Japan Stands Firm on Monetary Policy

Forex brokers, traders and financial institutions are watching with interest as the Japanese yen continues to strengthen against other major currencies.

Wednesday's Asian session saw the country's national bank announce a commitment to maintaining their existing monetary policy, reviving investor confidence in the currency.  

A Popular Decision

Wednesday's Asian session saw the Bank of Japan announce that it was committed to its existing monetary policy, deciding with an 8-1 vote that it should be maintained. This decision will see the country continue to raise its monetary base by around JPY 80 trillion per annum. 

The announcement means that Japan will not be adding to the stimulus plan that saw the currency take a tumble in October. Instead it will continue at its current annual pace of increasing the annual base by 80 trillion yen (US$679 billion).   

Japan Monetary Policy
The Bank of Japan has adapted to its decision swiftly, cutting its inflation projection to 1 per cent for the fiscal year beginning in April 2015. In the same move, it has also raised its gross domestic product forecast to 2.1 per cent. 

Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics, has described these acts by the Japanese financiers as "the most important element of today's meeting," going on to explain that "if anything, these projections were more optimistic than we had expected." 

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is expected to deliver a press conference on the decision shortly. 

The Yen Strengthens against Its Counterparts

The statement by the Bank of Japan catalysed an end to the yen's three-day drop against the dollar, suggesting that it has gone a long way to allaying investor fears following the chaos and uncertainty trigged by the Swiss crisis.

Mitul Kotecha, head of Asia-Pacific currency strategy at Barclays Plc in Singapore, explained: "Given we've got the ECB tomorrow and expectations are pretty high there, and given the SNB, there has been at least some residual expectation that we would see some action. There's some dawning realisation now that the Bank of Japan aren't going to follow suit." 
This "dawning realisation" has seen the yen gain 1 per cent since yesterday (January 20th), climbing to 117.66 per dollar. It also rose 0.7 per cent against the euro, to 136.31 yen per euro.
The decision has caused the yen to gain against all of its sixteen major counterpart currencies.

How to Buy a House: UK Mortgages Explained

Since the economic decline, securing a mortgage in the UK has become increasingly difficult. But there's new hope, as the government have announced reforms on stamp duty meaning buyers could save thousands of pounds and making the prospect of securing a mortgage more realistic. 

However, entering the mortgage world can be a confusing mass of financial terms, paperwork and credit scores. So in this article we'll offer advice, explain the main two types of mortgages in the UK and hope to put your mind at ease.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

In layman's terms, a fixed rate mortgage means the rate of interest has been frozen, so your monthly payments will remain the same. Therefore, this type of mortgage provides a form of financial security, making it a popular choice. Although this security can come with a price tag, as a fixed rate mortgage is often slightly higher than its variable counterpart.

Mortgages Explained

The benefit here is that you're protected against inflation. Even if interest rates rise, your payments won't increase. On the other hand, if interest rates fall below the rate you're currently paying, you won't see any benefit. 

A word of caution: think before you choose a fixed term mortgage as there are often hefty charges if you choose to leave early.

Variable Rate Mortgages

This type of mortgage is a more suitable option for those who want a little more flexibility. A variable rate mortgage comes in the form of: tracker, standard variable rate (SVR), offset and capped rate. The common attribute of these is that the interest rate is variable – i.e. your monthly mortgage repayments will be affected both by inflation or a decrease in interest rates. Therefore, a variable mortgage has its bonuses as well as its drawbacks. If you opt for this type of mortgage, make sure that either you have savings, or your income allows for an increase in payments.

The main advantage with a variable rate is that as a general rule, they offer more freedom. For example, with an SVR or an offset mortgage, there is no fee for overpayment meaning you have the option of paying off your mortgage early.

Ultimately, the type of mortgage you get will be dictated by your personal situation and circumstances (including factors such as being self-employed, your credit history and your age). Speak to your mortgage advisor who will be able to tell you which mortgage is suitable.

Ways To Get Financial Stability By Making Money Online

Having enough money is really important for you to maintain all of your expenditures, your debt payments, and also secure your retired future and the life of your children. So, if you had been laid off or if you are having monetary problems even though you are into a job, you will have to try and improve your income. Now, you can do this even from your home as making money online is in vogue. 

Ideas on making money online 

There are various ways in which you can make money online. However, some of the most unique ways in which you can make money online are:

1) Selling digital photos – If you have a knack for photography, you can try to sell digital photos online. This is one of the unique ways in which you can make money online. You can also use other hobbies that you have to make money online. For example, if you have interest in writing, you can start freelancing. You will be able to make good money through freelancing. 

2) Sell baked goods – If you love baking, you can also sell the baked items you have been making. It is one of the simplest ways in which you can make money online. 

Making Money Online

3) Sell other items online – You can also sell other stuffs online – stuffs that you think you won’t need anymore, stuffs that you have got as a gift but you did not like, stuffs like your dresses that you have not been able to use and also electronic goods which you don’t need.  

4) Start participating in forums – You can also make money online by participating in some of the forums. There are quite a few forums that pay you for participating in their forums, both for helping the members in problems (any kind) or even posting queries about the problems you are facing.

5) Make money selling eBooks – Another way in which you can make money online is selling eBooks. EBooks are infact a big business online. You will have to find out what kinds of books are more popular among the people. If you have been a student of literature, you may find it easier. 

6) Create a topical resource hub – You can also make money by creating a topical resource hub. Creating a topical resource hub is nothing but putting together a list of the sites from where people may be able to find what they are looking for. In addition, you will also have to provide some details on these resource sites. 

7) Paid online surveys – You can also make money online through paid online surveys. You will have to do simple research in order to find such surveys. 

8) Paid gaming – Having fun and making money at the same time sounds like dream, right?! Well, this can become a reality if you play one of the many games that pay real money out there, whether that's Pok√©mon GO (where you can trade in-game rewards for cash), card games, or Vegas-style casino games. You might already spend some time each day gaming, so all you need to do is switch what you're playing every so often and start earning. 

9) Try online designing – There are quite a few ways to make money through online designing. You can design logos for different websites, online cards, and online greetings and so on. If you have a knack for drawing and designing, you may be able to make good money through this.  

10) Become online tutor – You can also become an online tutor. There are various tutors that provide online tutorials. So, if you have that qualification and if you have a knack for teaching, you can opt to become an online tutor.  

Other than the above options, you can also make money by becoming an online juror. You may opt for any of the numerous online money making options. 

How to tell if you're getting the best deal on your car insurance

Running a car can be expensive enough without paying over the odds for insurance. Whether you’re purchasing your first ever policy or renewing an existing one, a bit of know-how can take you a long way when it comes to making savings. You may fall into the trap of thinking you’re getting a good deal if you’ve managed to pick up a shiny special offer or a discounted price, but are you really getting good value for money? If you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal, take a look at the following tips.

Have you shopped around? 

car insurance
With the cost of car insurance rising all the time, you’re falling at the first hurdle if you don’t shop around. Taking the first quote you’re offered might be tempting if you’re pressed for time and eager to get on the road, but this approach can leave you out of pocket in the long run. Luckily, today there’s no excuse for not getting a rundown of the different prices on the market. Far from being a time-consuming process, you can now get multiple insurance quotes in a matter of seconds using comparison websites. If you are tempted by special deals elsewhere, ensure you always read the small print carefully before committing to anything. 

Did you fill out your form correctly?

We all know that lying on insurance forms in an effort to reduce your premiums is fraud and can end up costing you dearly in the long run. But what’s less talked about is the effect that providing inaccurate or estimated information can have on the price you pay. Whether you’re filling out an application form by hand or simply using a comparison site to get a quote, it’s essential that you pay attention to detail and are as precise as possible. If you overestimate the value of your vehicle, how many miles you have on the clock or wrongly guess the amount of points you have on your licence, you could end up paying more than you need to for your policy. Similarly, not selecting the right type of insurance or being unclear about how you use your vehicle can result in higher bills than necessary. Be as accurate as possible, pay attention to detail when filling out your form and check it thoroughly before submitting.

Have you reduced your risk?

There are simple things you can do to change how insurance companies view you. For example, if you park your car in a garage or driveway and fit a Thatcham approved alarm and an immobiliser, you are seen as less of a risk in the eyes of insurers. If you’re buying a car, it’s a good idea to choose a make and model that is less expensive to repair. Being a safe driver will also stand you in good stead as the fewer points you have on your licence, the lower your premiums are likely to be.

Check your voluntary excess

If you are willing to pay more towards the cost of repairs in the event of an accident, your premium will be reduced. If you don’t know how much your voluntary excess is, check your policy or contact your insurance provider for information. If you want to bring your costs down, consider increasing your excess. If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, this cost can be recovered. Be realistic though - don’t be tempted to raise it to more than you can afford.

Review your options

If you’re guilty of making any of these mistakes, don’t be tempted to automatically renew your car insurance to avoid hassle. These days, switching your insurance provider is a straightforward process. If you’re serious about saving money, take the time to review your options before signing on the dotted line.

5 Ways to Save Money When Buying a Used Car

Everyone knows buying a second, third or even fourth hand car is a great way to save money rather than purchasing brand new. In general new cars lose at least a third of their value before being sold on. But for those looking to salvage that little bit extra when buying a used car there are plenty of tips that will help.   


The best time to buy a used car is just before Christmas, any time between November and late December. This is mainly because most people are focusing on splashing out on other things during the festive season. One study showed that buyers could save up to £500 on their new (used) car by purchasing at this time. It may not be convenient if you need a new vehicle immediately but if you can put it off it is worth the wait.

Buying a Used Car


Work out your budget, what you need from a new car and research what models fit with your criteria. If there are a few you have in mind be sure to research how much they sell for new and second hand by looking online to avoid paying above the odds. Take note of additional running costs (petrol/diesel, insurance etc.) as well.

3. Use A Comparison Site

Used car comparison websites such as Exchange & Mart are a great way to research vehicles and see what’s on the market. They are also excellent for securing a superb deal and don’t involve any of the added hassle and pressure of dealing with a car salesperson. It saves time comparing models and prices without having to leave your home!

4.Buy at Auction

Buying a car at auction can also lead to some great savings but is a daunting experience for those unfamiliar with the practice. For this reason hiring a professional to buy at auction is a good idea. Although it is an extra expense the money you save on the vehicle should cover it with a bit left over, making it worthwhile.  

5.Check It Out

Three important things you should and can check online about the vehicle you’ve chosen before purchase are its MOT history, HPI (hire purchase information) for outstanding finance and serious accidents, and that its record on the DVLA site matches with the seller’s details. If there are any irregularities then it’s best to avoid the car. If not, then congratulations on your new vehicle!

Top tips to make and save money online

In the current global economic situation, it is safe to say everyone is feeling the pinch one way or another. Many homeowners are looking at new easy ways to save a few pounds here and make a couple of dollars there, and the internet is one of the best places to do this. 

Here are a few top ways you help your finances online: 

To Save….

Go Voucher Hunting

The internet is awash with websites offering deals on everything ranging from your weekly shop to a night out at a restaurant. A simple browse can end up saving you a small fortune over the space online, so it is definitely worth going on the hunt for some discount coupons!
Check Out Price Comparison Sites.

save money online
Ever thought that you are paying too much for your monthly bills? Well it turns out you probably are, as many companies don’t offer their best prices to existing customers. Looking at the deals firms offer to bring in new customers is always worthwhile, even if you don’t change suppliers. 

To Make…

Sell your unwanted items

Websites such as Gumtree, Ebay and Craiglist have become massively popular in recent years, with many people turning to selling their unwanted goods to raise a bit of capital. There will be always someone out there looking for something you longer need, plus you get to set the price of how much to sell it for so you won’t be disappointed once it has gone. 

Try Gaming Online

If practised responsibly, gaming online can be a great alternative to earning some extra cash. Casino sites that can be found at sites like offer the likes of slot machines, as well as poker and blackjack, plus you can set a weekly limit for your account so you can safely game to earn some extra income and have fun. 

How a Serviced Office Could Benefit Your Business

In recent years, serviced offices have experienced a rapid growth in popularity. This trend was largely catalysed by the financial crash of 2007, which saw businesses looking not only for more economical ways to rent premises, but also searching for mediums that offered more flexibility, to allow them to adapt to the growing atmosphere of uncertainty that gripped the country. 

This trend was about more than just damage limitation; as the market became ever more competitive, businesses needed to thrive. Company premises can have a marked influence on their success, helping to refine a brand’s image. Location and working environment, too, play a major role, and serviced offices offer the very best of both.

Serviced Office

If your business is in need of a reboot, then it could be that a serviced office, like those offered by Landmark Plc., is just the solution you’re looking for. Read on to discover some of their key benefits and how they could benefit your enterprise…

Simplicity and Convenience

One of the key benefits of serviced offices is that they take the entire burden of maintenance and outfitting from business owners. When you sign that lease, you’re also securing a reliable internet connection, a phone line and furnishings. 

Most serviced offices will offer the added boon of a staffed reception, cleaning services and refreshment facilities, taking the time and effort of organising these from your already over-burdened shoulders. 

Flexible Leases

The average business lease will last for three to five years, yet knowing what your staff headcount, business priorities and locational needs will be this far into the future is a luxury enjoyed by very few companies. Serviced office leases offer much greater flexibility, with many of them allowing you to end your agreement much more easily. This means that your business need never be tied to a particular location, allowing you to expand or contract freely, and to move as it suits you.   

A Professional Image

Another benefit of serviced offices is that they help to convey a professional image. They are usually furnished to a high standard and outfitted with an experienced reception team to greet your clients, as well as providing a variety of spaces to meet your needs, such as conference areas and meeting rooms. This is very helpful in ensuring that you promote a corporate image for your business. Even for those clients who do not visit, the experienced reception team you have access to will help to engender this view of your company.    

Prime Location

Furthermore, serviced offices tend to be sited in the very best locations. Often, these are city centres or sites with access to major transportation hubs. 


A particularly appealing boon of using a serviced office is the cost savings that can be made; research by the UK Charted Institute of Purchasing placed these at up to 78 per cent. This sounds too good to be true, but it’s easy to understand how such substantial savings are made when you break it down. Firstly, there is no initial outlay for equipment. Utility and other bills are added in with the rent, which is a set amount that you know you can meet. Further, there is usually no requirement for you to hire secretaries, reception, post room, maintenance or cleaning staff, which saves a significant sum not only on wages, but also on recruitment costs. Additionally, infrequently used spaces, such as conference or meeting rooms, can usually be paid for on a ‘pay-per-use’ basis, which means that you’re not spending money on heating, renting and maintaining rooms that are rarely ventured into.   

Now that you know the many advantages of serviced offices, perhaps it’s time that you considered renting some for your business.

How to manage your budget when you are a newlywed couple?

Wedding planning and to organize the whole event is very exiting but after the honeymoon you'll realize that it comes with lot of responsibilities as well and you've to be financially secured to manage all those things. May be you both have different financial goals and also have some debt also in your name but after getting married it's high time that you both plan together and manage your budget.This will help both of you in managing your needs as well as saving money. However, you should note that planning a family budget may not be a piece of cake. You need to take various factors into consideration.

Planning a budget for newly-wed couple

Here are certain things which you should take into consideration while planning a budget when you are newly married:
  • Sources of income: Both of you should first note down the sources of income that you have. This will help you know the inflow of cash. The sources of income may include the likes of self employment income, salaries and wages, rental income, investment income (which is not reinvested), etc. Once you know the inflow of cash, you will be able decide how much to save, how much to spend and how much to put down toward the debt payments.
newlywed couple
  • Note down your expenses: When you are planning to formulate your budget, the most important thing is to note down your expenses. You may need at least 3 months time in order to find out the various expenses that you have. You may have to pay down your money toward your home expenses like monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, etc. Apart from this, you will also have auto expenses, credit card debts, student loans, etc. Also, you will have monthly utility expenses, dining, clothing, entertainment, grocery, etc. Once you can track down these expenses, you will be able to allot money toward each of these expenses separately.
  • Come up with an emergency fund: Now that you are married, it is very important to create an emergency fund. You should make sure that you and your spouse put a fixed amount of money in that fund and help it grow. You never know when an emergency can strike you or your spouse. An emergency fund will help you and your spouse manage any kind of emergency situation in a better way but if you don't have any emergency fund and in any emergency situation, you need some urgent cash then you can also go online and get help from some valuable sites like Check 'n Go to solve your problem.
  • Take help of online budgeting tools: All the major financial websites offer budgeting tools. You can simply download those tools and use them to formulate your budget. You can simply put the required details in the budgeting tool and it will provide you with the result. If you wish, you can follow the exact budget or you may even customize it as per your needs.
  • Follow the budget diligently: If you have prepared a budget, then make sure that you follow it as well. Unless you follow the budget, you will not be able to avoid debt problems. Moreover a proper budget will also help you save money and reduce unnecessary spending. This is of great help to newly-weds as they have already incurred a lot of debt at the time of their wedding.
Do not consider your budget as a punishment. It is just a way out to manage your finances and control your expenses in a better manner. You can change your budget on a regular basis as per your priorities.

Should you sell your pension?

We all know that a pension is in place to allow you to save money for a comfortable future, yet it can often make the road to retirement feel restricted, as you’ll have little input on how and when you’ll be allowed to access the money you have paid in. 

However, there is a way for you to gain control of your pension. You are legally allowed to cash in your pension, releasing some of your pension pot savings as a tax-free lump sum. 

Here are a few of the things you could do with the extra money that unlocking your pension could bring. 

Transform a hobby into a business venture

Transitioning from the world of full-time work to retirement can be challenging for some, so having a hobby can be a great way to keep yourself busy. Many people turn their hobbies into lucrative businesses by bankrolling them with some of the money they have released from their pension. 

sell your pension

While you don’t have to turn it into a full-time job, it is always nice doing something that you really enjoy, especially if you can earn a few extra dollars from it. 

Reward yourself 

We all have dreams in mind that are often abandoned because we don’t have the appropriate funds to proceed. Unlocking some of your pension funds provides you with access to a lump sum of money, allowing you to fulfill the dreams that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to save up for. 

Imagine what you could do with the money? Perhaps you could carry out some much-needed home improvements that you’ve spent years trying to save up for, or even go on a well-deserved luxury vacation. 

Tie up loose ends 

Nobody wants to head into retirement feeling weighed down by debt. Unlocking your pension could provide you with enough funding to clear your existing debt, leaving you to relax and enjoy the rest of your retirement, debt free. 

While unlocking your pension may appear an attractive prospect, as getting to release your pension gives you more control over money you have earned, it is not a decision which should be made in haste. There are pros and cons to both sides of the process and at the end of the day it depends entirely on your own personal circumstances. Ensure that you speak to a financial advisor before you make your decision. 

A Quick Guide To Car Insurance And Keeping Premiums Low

Once you’ve bought your beautiful new car, it’s easy to forget everything else that needs doing. A new car can leave you low on cash after hefty down payments. You can spend months saving for it and hours negotiating the price. However, that is all pointless if you don’t find the right insurance policy. After the stress of buying, diving into insurance policies will be the last thing on your mind. But, it is very important.

You can lose a lot of money with the wrong insurance cover. There are hundreds of different insurers out there and twice as many policy options. You need to find the right one for you. By that we mean the right price and the right cover. Don’t fight for every penny on your new car and then pay over the odds for insurance. Work your car insurance into the initial budget of your new car. Don’t get caught out later with large bills.

Car Insurance

This article will guide you through the process. By its very nature, car insurance is complex. You need to understand the minefield and navigate through it. We’ll help you learn what to look for and what policy is right for you and your car. We’ll then help you cut costs and keep your premium low. Without further ado, let’s get stuck into the basics.

At a very basic level, insurance is a premium you pay to cover yourself against future costs. You’ll pay a monthly fee or a lump sum to a car insurance company. In the event of a road accident, breakdown, theft or fire, your car insurance company will cover the costs. Of course, it is not always as simple as that. We’ll get into specifics further down the page.

Car insurance is a legal requirement. You absolutely must insure your car before you even get behind the wheel. Driving without it will land you with a fine, prosecution and a very expensive premium in the future. Governments are quick to crack down on this type of behaviour and you could see your car taken off you. It’s simply not worth the risk! If you own a vehicle but it is currently off the road, you still need to declare this. Search for a SORN certificate online and fill this out.

Car insurance quotes are generally worked out by assessing risk. Insurance companies cover the cost of your accidents and damage in exchange for monthly payments. Therefore, the most risky drivers incur the biggest monthly costs. If you are a risky driver, the insurance company anticipates having to spend more money on you. That cost is passed onto the driver through higher premiums and monthly payments.

It is a system that is entirely based on generalisations. In many cases this seems unfair but it is simply the only realistic way of ranking insurance brackets. These brackets are constructed through the following risk factors. Age, gender, occupation, postcode and the model of car you drive. 

Young drivers, in general, are considered more dangerous. This is backed up by statistics; a higher percentage of young drivers are involved in accidents. The insurance company balances out this percentage by charging higher prices to young drivers. Statistically men have more high impact accidents than women. Traditionally men’s premiums were higher as a result. This has since been ruled out due to anti-discrimination legislation. 

Drivers with a more dangerous occupations are also subject to higher premiums. Jobs that require a lot of driving incur higher charges, for example. The area in which the car is kept also plays a large part. Insurers assess the likelihood of car theft and damage in a particular area. Dangerous neighbourhoods and street parking will negatively affect the price of your insurance. 

Finally, the make and model of the car is a determining factor. Insurers take into account the reliability of certain car manufacturers. They assess the price of the vehicle, the performance and the safety features. Naturally, a more powerful car registers a higher price. Car insurers have around 50 brackets in which every car fits into. Before you buy, check where your car falls and ask yourself if you can afford that particular premium.

After the risk factors have been assessed, you must decide what type of policy is right for you. There are three variations here. The first is ‘Third Party Insurance’. This is the bare minimum that you must purchase. In the event of an accident, it will cover any damage to third parties. That’s any damage to the car, building or landmark you hit. It does not cover any damage to your car. This type of insurance is generally used when your car isn’t worth very much. 

The second type is ‘Third Party Fire and Theft’. This insures you for all of the above. It also covers you against fire damage and any costs if the car is stolen. This is common amongst first time car owners and young drivers. It is relatively cheap and covers most eventualities.

The final type is ‘Fully Comprehensive”. This insures you against almost all problems on the road. It covers third parties and your own car. This is the insurance that gives you the best peace of mind. Large companies and businesses may need to consider a specialist insurance. This is to insure their entire fleet of company cars are covered. Find more information about insurance on contract hire and leases at Listers.

As you can see, there are many factors that affect the price of your car insurance. With this in mind, there are some things you can do to bring the price down. First of all, upgrade the security of your vehicle. Installing an alarm and immobiliser will drop the price significantly. Try to find off street parking in a garage or covered space. Limit your mileage and only claim when you absolutely have to. Building up a no-claims bonus will work out cheaper than claiming a few hundred pounds. Finally, make sure you shop around. Being loyal doesn’t work out in the world of car insurance. At the end of every policy, look for a better deal.

We hope you now have a stronger understanding of car insurance. It is a complex world, but it pays to fully comprehend its workings. Only by understanding it, can you find the tricks to making it cheaper. Happy hunting!