Money Bulldog http://moneybulldog.co.uk Personal Finance One Bite at a Time Thu, 18 Oct 2018 10:47:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wealthsimple Launch UK Pension http://moneybulldog.co.uk/wealthsimple-launch-uk-pension/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/wealthsimple-launch-uk-pension/#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2018 21:55:26 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20367 Wealthsimple have become the latest UK robo-advisor to add a pension product to their offering. The new SIPP from Wealthsimple comes with no minimum investment and unlimited human investment advice at no extra cost. The fee structure is also simple at 0.7% for balances under £100,000 or 0.5% for balances over this amount. You can

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Wealthsimple have become the latest UK robo-advisor to add a pension product to their offering.

The new SIPP from Wealthsimple comes with no minimum investment and unlimited human investment advice at no extra cost. The fee structure is also simple at 0.7% for balances under £100,000 or 0.5% for balances over this amount.

You can also get your first £5000 of investments managed free for a year when you sign up now* via a link in this post.

Why Start a Pension?

While many people have some kind of workplace pension, this is not true for all. Self employed people are a prime example of those who may not have a pension in place and they are not alone. Even those who do have a workplace pension may find that it will be inadequate to meet their needs in retirement. In these cases, setting up a SIPP (self-invested personal pension) on the side might well be useful for later life.

On top of this there are tax advantages of investing via a pension. The first of these is that – depending on your salary – your pension contributions are eligible for tax relief at 20% or more. So for every £100 you put into your pension, you are only in reality paying £80. Any money you contribute to a pension will also grow free from income or capital gains tax.

Finally, we really can’t underestimate the power of compounding. Compounding basically means that the money you invest effectively behaves a bit like a snowball. As you add more money to your pension pot, the gains made each year are then added to the pot. The next year you will make gains not only on the contributions you’ve made, but on the previous gains too! As the years pass by, this can have a powerful effect on your overall pension pot. It also means the younger you are when you start a pension, the bigger the compounding will be.

Why a Wealthsimple Pension?

Now we know why a pension could beneficial, you might be wondering why Wealthsimple* might be a good choice?

The things that make Wealthsimple attractive to most for their pension will be their low fees and simplicity.

As we’ve mentioned already, the fees charged by robo-advisors like Wealthsimple are very low compared to those charged by typical wealth managers or pension funds. This could help to grow your pension pot at a much faster rate.

Secondly, some people might like the option of having their Stocks and Shares ISAs, Junior ISAs, SIPP and General Investment accounts all hosted with a digital wealth manager like Wealthsimple. This is because it could help them in getting a true perspective of their overall financial position.

There’s also the option to combine all of your old pensions and bring them over to Wealthsimple. This can be true of both workplace and private pensions. There may be issues in doing this regarding exit penalties, though. If you have any doubts in this area then be sure to seek independent advice from a local expert*.

Finally, the balance of human advice and digital wealth management could mean that you get the best of both worlds. While it’s quite possible to leave your investments in the hands of Wealthsimple’s Nobel-Prize winning strategy and let them make all of the investment decisions for you, it’s good to know that you also have unlimited access to human advice too.

Time to Act?

If you’re frustrated with the high fees being charged by your current pension provider then perhaps Wealthsimple* could be a good option for you. The same could be true if you have no pension arrangements at all. With Wealthsimple, you can leave all of the day to day investment decisions in their hands. At the same time you have access to a human advisor when needed. You can also transfer your other investments to the company to have all of your investments in one place.

Also, don’t forget to sign up via a link in this post* to get your first £5000 of investments managed free for a year.

‘With investment comes risk and you may get back less than you invest’.

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Are Zavvi Any Good for Pre-order Games? http://moneybulldog.co.uk/are-zavvi-any-good-for-pre-order-games/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/are-zavvi-any-good-for-pre-order-games/#respond Sat, 29 Sep 2018 01:22:15 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20332 Zavvi are a company that I’ve known about for a long time now. I know this sounds a bit random, but I even ordered some socks from them once as they were really well priced. The problem was they took forever to arrive!  After this, I sort of dismissed Zavvi and stuck to online retailers like Amazon*

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Zavvi are a company that I’ve known about for a long time now. I know this sounds a bit random, but I even ordered some socks from them once as they were really well priced. The problem was they took forever to arrive! 

After this, I sort of dismissed Zavvi and stuck to online retailers like Amazon* instead. Recently, though, I came across a really good pre-order deal from Zavvi* on the new Fifa game which I was planning to buy for my two boys.

This got me to wondering, was my experience with Zavvi just a one-off or do they always deliver late? If I pre-order a game from Zavvi, will it arrive on time? Here is my personal experience of pre-ordering with the company.

Getting in Touch With Zavvi

My first step was to get in touch with Zavvi to simply ask them the question. I asked them if they guarantee delivery of a pre-order game on release date?

Their answer was that – while they do try their best to deliver on the day of release – they can’t guarantee it.

This wasn’t exactly encouraging but I suppose it’s understandable. After all, anything can happen to delay things really. It’s therefore reasonable that they might want to cover their backs.

With this in mind, I explained that I’d ordered from them in the past but it hadn’t been the best experience due to the slow delivery.

At this point the online customer service person I was talking to apologised but explained that with Video Game and Film pre-orders, they do try their utmost to ensure that they get delivered on release date.

I also read some online forums where people relayed their own experiences of pre-ordering with the company. On this note, it was good to see that other people really did recommend Zavvi for pre-orders. In many cases, they even preferred them to many of the other major online retailers.

As it was such a good deal on the game, I thought I’d give them another try.

My Experience Pre-ordering With Zavvi

So what was my experience of pre-ordering a game with Zavvi? Well, I have to say that it was a good one!

Firstly, the online ordering process was smooth and it was really easy to order from Zavvi*. After ordering, it was easy to check the progress of my order by logging in and visiting the orders page.

I usually like to pay via PayPal and this was not an issue with Zavvi as they accept it. They also don’t take the money from your PayPal account until the order has been fully processed. During the wait, the payment will simply show as pending in your PayPal account.

Most importantly, though, did Zavvi deliver my pre-order game on time? Thankfully they did, much to the delight of my two young boys.

I’d Recommend Zavvi for Pre-orders

As you can probably tell my experience of pre-ordering with Zavvi* was an extremely good one. I’d have no problems in recommending them to others as a good company to use for pre-ordering games or films.

If this changes in the future then I’ll be the first to let you know but for now, I’d say that you can pre-order with confidence.

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3 Things to Know BEFORE You Buy a Now TV Sports Pass http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-things-to-know-before-you-buy-a-now-tv-sports-pass/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-things-to-know-before-you-buy-a-now-tv-sports-pass/#respond Mon, 24 Sep 2018 23:11:11 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20286 A few days ago we wrote a post about the new £5.99 a month Mobile Sports Pass from Now TV. In the post, I mentioned what good value the pass is and I really do think it is. I also think that the other sports passes Now TV offer can be of great value too.

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A few days ago we wrote a post about the new £5.99 a month Mobile Sports Pass from Now TV.

In the post, I mentioned what good value the pass is and I really do think it is. I also think that the other sports passes Now TV offer can be of great value too. I’ll even be buying one myself this weekend to watch the Ryder Cup.

The above being said, there are some things that you should know BEFORE you buy any of Now TV’s Sky Sports passes.

This is because the passes don’t offer exactly what you would get from a regular Sky Sports subscription. In fact, there are some very key differences. Knowing these differences will help you to decide whether a Now TV sports pass is the best option for you.

Here are 5 Major things you should know before you buy a Now TV Sports Pass*.

With Now TV, the Red Button Is Not Available

The first important thing to know is that, at present, there is no red button content available with Now TV. This means that some games or content that would be available on a standard Sky TV sports package will not be available with Now TV.

One way we could illustrate how this might affect you is with Sky’s coverage of football from The Championship.

With a standard Sky Sports package right now, you can watch pretty much any championship game on certain match days, as they are available on the same channel but via the Red Button. With Now TV, this isn’t possible and the games you are able to watch will be limited.

This has the potential to cause a lot of frustration if you order a pass with the intention of watching your favourite team, only to find the game isn’t available as advertised.

Pause & Rewind Only on Now TV Box or Stick

Another thing to know is that you can’t pause or rewind live TV on most devices. You can only currently do this if you have a Now TV Box or Stick*. You can pause and rewind on demand content on other devices, however.

It’s also worth noting that you can’t record live sports channels.

So, if you love watching great goals again and again, then you’ll need to have the right Now TV equipment.

Mobile Pass Doesn’t Have All Channels

Our final point of note is that the Now TV Mobile Pass* doesn’t carry all of the channels of a standard Sky Sports package.

As discussed in our last post, the Now TV Mobile Month Pass only gives access to 4 channels. These are Sky Sports Premier League, Action, Arena and News.

Who might this cause a problem for?

Well, if you are hoping to watch the golf on a Mobile Month Pass, then you will be disappointed. This is because it doesn’t feature on any of these channels. The Golf lives on the Sky Sports Golf Channel, which has changed names to the Ryder Cup Channel for this weekend’s upcoming event.

The same is true of football from The Championship, SPFL or MLS. These leagues are hosted on the Sky Sports Football Channel and not Sky Sports Premier League.

So, while the Mobile Month Pass offers great value if you’re only wanting to watch certain sports or leagues, it’s not so great for others.

Avoiding Disappointment or Hassle

The reason we’ve written this post is simply to help you avoid disappointment or hassle.

Now TV Sports Passes* offer great value but you really do need to know what it is you are buying.

If you don’t, then you could find yourself disappointed. You could also find that you have the hassle of trying to get a refund for a pass that didn’t do what you wanted it too. Or more to the point, didn’t let you watch the games or events you wanted.

Still, we are not having a go at Now TV. We like their passes. We’re just trying to give our readers a heads up to save them the potential disappointment or headaches.

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Get Sky Sports for £5.99 a Month With Now TV http://moneybulldog.co.uk/get-sky-sports-for-5-99-a-month-with-now-tv/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/get-sky-sports-for-5-99-a-month-with-now-tv/#respond Sat, 22 Sep 2018 00:47:48 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20277 Have you dreamed of being able to watch Sky Sports every month but just can’t afford it? Well, the new Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass* from NOW TV might just make your dreams come true! The new pass from NOW TV enables you to watch Sky Sports on your mobile phone for an entire month

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Have you dreamed of being able to watch Sky Sports every month but just can’t afford it?

Well, the new Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass* from NOW TV might just make your dreams come true!

The new pass from NOW TV enables you to watch Sky Sports on your mobile phone for an entire month for just £5.99. Better yet, it’s available on a rolling monthly contract so you can cancel it at any time.  

What Channels Will You Get?

The Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass* comes with access to 4 Channels. These are Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports News.

This means that you can enjoy all of the best Premier League action for just £5.99 a month. You can also watch the NFL and more on Sky Sports Action and then enjoy Tennis or Darts on Sky Sports Arena.

If you’ve not had enough by then, you can catch up on all the latest sports news. There are even more sports to choose from too.

How Does it Compare to Other NOW TV Sports Passes?

A standard Sky Sports month pass that you can watch on your TV currently costs £33.99 a month. So you can see why the Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass offers such good value.

Even a standard priced week pass at £11.99 or day pass at £7.99 still come in more expensive than the new Mobile Month Pass.

That being said, at the time of writing there is a deal for both new and existing customers to get a standard Sky Sports Month Pass for just £16.99* for the month. Not a bad deal at all given it’s a Ryder cup month.

Can You Cast Live to Your TV?

If you are hoping that you might be able to cast the stream to your TV from your mobile then you may be disappointed. This is because NOW TV don’t currently support Chromecast or other types of casting or screen mirroring. Believe me, I just tried.

You’ll also need to have a supported device to be able to watch NOW TV on your mobile.

Can I Get it for Just One Month?

Yes it’s fine to get a pass for just one month. Just be sure to remember to cancel it before your month is up. All NOW TV Monthly passes renew automatically each month, so if you don’t cancel then you’ll be charged again.

Getting a pass for just one month could be great if you’re only interest in watching specific games.

Perhaps it might be worth getting a pass for the holiday period when there are a lot of Premier League games on. Or NFL fans might only want to have a pass for the NFL season or even just the playoffs.

What Else Do Now TV Offer?

A lot of people only know of NOW TV as a service for watching Sky Sports and Sky Movies. But what else do they offer?

For a start, they now offer their own budget broadband packages. At times they also do deals where you can combine their broadband packages with a Sky Sports, Movies or Entertainment pass for a discount price.

On top of this they also offer streaming boxes and sticks similar to those offered by Roku. In fact, both Roku and Now TV are actually owned by Sky. It would therefore make sense that the streaming equipment offered by both companies are similar in design.

Sky Sports on a Budget

So, if you’ve been dying to watch the premier league live since it kicked off again but can’t afford a full Sky Sports subscription, then perhaps the new NOW TV Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass* could be the solution for you. At £5.99 per month on a rolling ‘cancel anytime’ contract, I genuinely feel it’s cheap and offers great value!

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Fixed Rate Savings – The right choice for you? http://moneybulldog.co.uk/fixed-rate-savings-right-choice/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/fixed-rate-savings-right-choice/#comments Fri, 21 Sep 2018 09:54:59 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20224 With savings rates so low at the moment, many savers are doing all they can to maximise their returns. This may lead people into choosing a fixed rate savings product over a flexible one as they tend to offer higher rates. But is a fixed rate savings account right for you or would a flexible

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With savings rates so low at the moment, many savers are doing all they can to maximise their returns. This may lead people into choosing a fixed rate savings product over a flexible one as they tend to offer higher rates.

But is a fixed rate savings account right for you or would a flexible easy access account be more suitable?

What are you saving for?

The first thing to give thought to when you open a savings account online are your savings goals, as they might well affect your choice of account.

If you are looking to save a lump sum in order to earn an income, then a fixed rate account might well be the right option. This is because you will likely want the security of knowing exactly how much you will receive each month.

If you are saving for something like a house deposit, however, then there are things you may want to consider before tying your money up.

What if there is a sudden dip in house prices due to a financial shock? Might you want to get your hands on your money more quickly than you thought to grab a bargain?

What if you were to receive a financial windfall from an inheritance or some other source? Would you then have enough money to put down on a house when you combine it with your savings?

There are many reasons why people save money. What we are saying is to think seriously about what the future might bring before tying up your cash.   

Will you have enough for emergencies?

The second thing to consider is whether you will be leaving yourself with enough cash to withstand a financial shock or emergency.

Imagine you have £5000 in savings and you are considering putting it all into a fixed rate savings account. Would you have enough in reserve to cope should your boiler or car break down?

There are many emergencies that can happen in life where you may need quick access to your savings. The key is to think seriously about this possibility before putting your money into a fixed rate product.

What are the withdrawal penalties?

It may be that the penalties for early withdrawal from a fixed rate product may not be too bad. If that is true, then perhaps you don’t need to worry too much about the above points.

What if the penalties for early withdrawal on an account are quite hefty, though? This might mean you have to think more seriously about what could happen in the future.

Are there better options?

It might also be worth looking around again to make sure you’ve seen all of the best options available. There may be something out there that allows you to have the best of both worlds.

Some current accounts, for instance, come with high interest rates on balances up to a certain amount. There will likely be conditions attached to the account but it is certainly worth considering.

If you’ve decided that you don’t mind tying your cash up for a longer period, then you might want to invest your money instead. 

Or, if you’re saving for a house or retirement, then you may want to check out the OneFamily Lifetime ISA. Lifetime ISAs come with a 25% annual top up bonus from the government. This makes them a great option if you are saving for a home or for retirement.

As Lifetime ISAs are usually investment products, your capital might be at risk. The same is true with other investments too.

Expect the unexpected

As we have seen, when you open a savings account it’s important to think about which type of account is right for your circumstances.

If you won’t have much of a financial buffer, it might not make sense to commit your savings long term. This is especially true if the product has hefty penalties for early withdrawal or even doesn’t allow early withdrawals. After all, the last thing you will want to be doing is racking up debt on a credit card and paying interest on it while you are waiting to withdraw your savings.

If you will still have money in reserve, however, then a fixed rate account might well be the right choice. Just don’t forget to explore all available options to make sure you’re getting the best possible return.

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Petplan Review – The right insurance for you and your pet? http://moneybulldog.co.uk/petplan-review-the-right-insurance-for-you-and-your-pet/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 17:52:29 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20161 In this Petplan review we take a closer look at the company, to see if they are the right pet insurance provider for you and your pet. We’ll start by having a brief look at who Petplan* are and then we’ll examine what they have to offer pet owners like you. Who Are Petplan? Petplan are the UK’s

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In this Petplan review we take a closer look at the company, to see if they are the right pet insurance provider for you and your pet.

We’ll start by having a brief look at who Petplan* are and then we’ll examine what they have to offer pet owners like you.

Who Are Petplan?

Petplan are the UK’s leading pet insurer, insuring UK pets for over 40 years. They offer insurance policies for dogs, cats, rabbits and also horses.

Petplan have won a lot of awards for their pet cover including ‘Most trusted pet insurance provider of 2017’ from Moneywise. On their website* they proudly state that they pay out on 97% of the claims they receive and that 90% of these are paid within 5 working days.

Petplan’s pet insurance policies are underwritten by insurance giant Allianz Insurance. Both Petplan and Allianz are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

What Types of Cover Do Petplan Offer?

Petplan’s main website offers insurance for cats, dogs and rabbits and we’ll look at these more closely in a moment. Before we do, though, it’s important to understand the different types of cover Petplan offer for your pet.

For cats and dogs Petplan give you the option to get a quote for either a ‘Covered for life’ policy or ‘12 month cover’.

Covered for Life

Petplan’s most popular cover is their ‘Covered for life’ product. It is designed to cover you against any ongoing treatments your pet may have throughout the course of its lifetime. It’s called Covered for life because you can claim year after year for the same injury or illness, provided you renew your cover annually without a break in cover. While your insurance premium may increase over the years due to factors like increased vet costs or your pet’s age, Petplan do state on their website that your premium will not increase as a direct result of any claim you make.

Within the ‘Covered for life’ bracket there are also 3 different levels of cover you can opt for. These are called the ‘Ultimate’, ‘Classic+’ and ‘Classic’ products. If it helps, you could view these as Gold, Silver and Bronze levels of cover. We’ll take a closer look at the benefits offered by each of these products as this review continues.

Get a Petplan ‘Covered for Life’ Quote Here*

12 Month Cover

As well as their ‘Covered for life’ option, Petplan also offer a 12 month cover option. When you get a quote for 12 month cover it will likely be cheaper than their ‘Covered for life’ options, but there are drawbacks.

The major drawback is that you can only claim for a condition or injury for up to 12 months on this policy. After this time, the condition will be excluded from your policy and you will no longer be able to claim for it. Petplan’s 12 month policy is therefore designed for those who only want a basic level of cover, or could also be useful for owners of older dogs who no longer qualify for Petplan’s ‘Covered for life’ cover. It’s worth noting that ‘12 month cover’ is not available for rabbits with Petplan.

Get a Petplan ’12 Month Cover’ Quote Here*

What Animals Do Petplan Insure?

Now that we know what types of cover Petplan offer, let’s look at the different animals they insure and some of the policy benefits for each.

Petplan Dog Insurance

Petplan’s most basic dog insurance is their 12 month essential cover. This will cover you for up to £3000 of vet fees per condition for 12 months. There is also an extra £500 of cover on offer for complementary treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy or hydrotherapy with certain conditions attached. On top of this there is third party insurance of up to £1 million per incident if your dog damages a property or person.

If you require more than just essential cover then the benefit levels rise when you opt for Petplan’s ‘Covered for life’ product. Depending on whether you opt for the classic, classic+ or ultimate cover, with Covered for life you can get anywhere between £4000 and £12000 of vet fee cover per year and with a further £1000 to £2000 for complementary treatments. On top of this you have between £2 million and £3 million of third party liability cover per incident. There are further benefits on offer such as missing or stolen dog cover and more.

Get a Petplan Dog Insurance Quote Here*

Petplan Cat Insurance

Petplan’s most basic cat and kitten insurance is their 12 month essential cover. This will cover you for up to £3000 of vet fees per condition for 12 months. There is also an extra £500 of cover on offer for complementary treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy, hydrotherapy or herbal medicines with certain conditions attached. As your cat is unlikely to cause serious injury to a human or property there is no third party cover included.

If you require more than just essential cover, then the benefit levels rise when you opt for Petplan’s ‘Covered for life’ cat cover. Depending on whether you opt for the classic, classic+ or ultimate cover, with ‘Covered for life’ you can get anywhere between £4000 and £12000 of vet fee cover per year and with a further £1000 – £2000 for complementary treatments. There are other benefits on offer such as missing or stolen cat cover and holiday cancellation cover and more.

Get a Petplan Cat Insurance Quote Here*

Petplan Rabbit Insurance

As we mentioned earlier in this review, Petplan only offer a ‘Covered for life’ option with their rabbit insurance. This makes it a little easier for us to outline the benefits on offer.

With Petplan’s ‘Covered for life’ rabbit insurance you will be protected for up to £2000 of vet fee costs per year with an extra £750 on offer for recommended complementary treatments like acupuncture, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and herbal medicines. There’s also cover of up to £2000 for boarding fees and a further £2000 for missing rabbit advertising and reward.

Get a Petplan Rabbit Insurance Quote Here*

Petplan Equine Insurance

As equine insurance is quite a specialist area we will be discussing this in a separate review at a later date. To check out the benefits of Petplan’s equine insurance now, however, you can head on over to the Petplan Equine* website. At the time of writing you can also get 1 months horse insurance free with the company!

Do Petplan Offer a Multi-pet Discount?

You’ll be pleased to hear that Petplan also offer a multi-pet discount* for up to 5 pets. This means that when you insure multiple pets with Petplan you will receive a £12 discount per pet, per year. You can insure a mix of dogs, cats and rabbits and you will also be able to set individual cover limits for each.

Summary

As we can see from this review, there is a reason why Petplan* are the UK’s leading pet insurance company. Not only do they offer pet insurance options for all budgets, they also tailor their policies to give the best possible care for you and your pet too.

Petplan are one of the most respected names in the industry and look set to remain so for many years to come.

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10 Ways Bloggers Make Money http://moneybulldog.co.uk/10-ways-bloggers-make-money/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/10-ways-bloggers-make-money/#respond Fri, 14 Sep 2018 16:37:51 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20139 It wasn’t all that long ago when bloggers were perceived as geeky people who had nothing to do with their weekend but write down their thoughts. Then something crazy happened. Bloggers started making money, lots of money! Not only are bloggers making a lot of money these days, but some are even celebrities in their

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It wasn’t all that long ago when bloggers were perceived as geeky people who had nothing to do with their weekend but write down their thoughts. Then something crazy happened. Bloggers started making money, lots of money!

Not only are bloggers making a lot of money these days, but some are even celebrities in their own right. All of this has meant that more and more people are wondering if they too could be a blogger. But how exactly do bloggers make money and could you do it too?

I’ve earned a decent amount of money as a blogger for a good few years now, so I can say with authority that it can be done. But be under no illusion, it’s not easy. It may look like bloggers just swan around fancy restaurants and fashion shows, taking a few pictures and getting paid for it, but for most bloggers the reality is much different.

Yes bloggers do get to have a lot of fun, especially if you pick the right niche. Behind the scenes, however, they work really hard too. Honest!

The above being said, I’ve found blogging to be a fun and rewarding venture and the fact that I’ve been able to make money on the side too, well that has just been the icing on the cake.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, you’re here to learn how bloggers make money! Here are 10 popular ways bloggers make a living.

Google Adsense

If you’re a newbie to the blogging scene and thinking about how bloggers make money, the first thing that might come to mind are those flashy ads you see popping up on pretty much every website you visit. While there are lots of different ad networks out there – some of which might make you more money – the most popular one and the most accessible to newbie bloggers is probably Google Adsense.

To be able to sign up and use Google Adsense you will need to own your own website. This will require you to get your own domain name and hosting package*. Don’t worry, it’s not very expensive. Your blog will also need to be active and not under construction. You will need to be over 18 years of age and in some territories Google may require that your site has been active for at least 6 months.

Things to consider before you sign up – As a newbie blogger it would be wise to think carefully before you place ads of any kind on your blog and this includes Google Adsense.

While having ads on a blog can sometimes be a positive – in that it can add a bit of legitimacy to your site and give it a look of authority – it also has the potential to put readers off. Some people hate seeing ads on a blog, especially if they are badly implemented or if they think that you are only in it for the money.

Some bloggers choose to build their readership and reputation first before placing ads on their site, while others choose to include them from the start. Other bloggers never include these type of ads at all, as they prefer other methods of making money. It really is up to you but it’s worth doing more research on the subject before you make your decision.

Affiliate Marketing

Another way bloggers make money is through affiliate marketing. What is affiliate marketing, I hear you ask. The best way I can describe affiliate marketing is that it is the activity of selling other people’s stuff.

Let’s say you start a fashion blog, for example, and you are reviewing a new pair of shoes. If your reader decides that they like the product, then they are probably going to want to know where they can buy it online. This is where you could use what is known as an affiliate link. You can link to a retailer who sells the product you are reviewing and if they buy it after using your link, you will get a commission from the retailer for sending the customer to them. It’s not just products you can link to either, you can also link to service providers or even online courses that have been created by other bloggers.

How to start affiliate marketing – To make money as an affiliate marketer you will again need to have an active blog and you will need to sign up with some affiliate networks.

Most bloggers probably start off by signing up to the Amazon* affiliate program, due to it being one of the most well-known shopping websites in the world. If you want to link to other retailers, though, then you will need to look at other popular networks such as Awin, TradeDoubler, Webgains, Impact Radius and others. Once signed up to these networks you will also have to apply individually to each retailer for approval on their program.

If this sounds like a lot of hassle to you at this point in your journey, then you could check out a network like Skimlinks*. Skimlinks are a massive affiliate network who host programs from various other affiliate networks. If you are accepted to the Skimlinks program then you will be automatically approved to promote any of the retailers that are signed up with Skimlinks, and there are a lot of big name companies to choose from. There is a catch for being pre-approved, however, and that is that Skimlinks will take 25% of the commission you earn.

Sponsored Posts

Many bloggers also make money by allowing sponsored posts on their blog. Sponsored posts are posts that a blogger has either been paid to write or paid to upload to their blog if written by a third party. Payments can come in the form of cash or as a freebie sent to you by a company.

As a blog’s readership and authority grows, most bloggers will start to receive requests from brands asking for sponsored posts. If you blog in a certain niche then this can be particularly attractive to brands, as it means that they can market directly to their target audience and use the bloggers authority in the niche to increase the appeal of their product or service.

Money to be made, but be careful – While there is a lot of money to be made hosting sponsored content on your blog, there are some things you need to be careful with too.

Firstly, advertising laws have really tightened up in recent years and there are rules you will need to follow when sending out a sponsored post to your readers. These rules will vary from country to country, so make sure that you know what the laws are where you live.

Secondly, it’s important that you don’t compromise the integrity of your blog just to make a bit of money. As a blogger, you will want to ensure that your readers have trust in what you say. While the money being offered to post sponsored content might be attractive, if you don’t really believe in what’s being said in the post, then accepting the post could damage your blog’s credibility.

Finally, it’s not just the authorities who have rules regarding how sponsored content should be presented to your readers, Google do too. Google are far and away the biggest search engine in the world and if you want your blog to be really successful, then there’s a good chance you’re going to need their help. With this in mind it’s going to be important that you stick to their guidelines when posting sponsored content or you may find that your blog ranks poorly in their search results.

YouTube

YouTube can be a great extra revenue stream for bloggers who don’t mind being in front of the camera. Firstly, you could turn some of your amazing written blog content into Vlogs. You could also use the platform to review some of your favourite products. If you’re extremely good at video editing then you might also be able to create some educational videos that are relevant to your niche.

Cartoon man holding YouTube logo

You may have noticed recently that Google’s search results include more and more YouTube videos, and they also seem to be appearing higher in the results. The good news is that there is money to be made if you can appear in these results or in YouTube’s own search results. To make money from YouTube you will need to link your Adsense account with your YouTube account and then set up monetisation on your videos.

It’s worth mentioning here that YouTube recently changed things so that only publishers with a certain amount of views or followers will actually get paid. This means it may take a while for you to start receiving revenue from your videos but it may well be worth the effort in the long run.

Paid Social Media Posts

While bloggers make a lot of money by promoting products on their own blog, they can also make money promoting on their social media accounts too. There are a few of ways that this can be done but as we stressed earlier in the section about sponsored posts, be sure to follow the advertising laws in your country. You’ll also need to follow the rules of the social network you are advertising on.

The first way you can make money from your social accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is when you’re paid by a company to mention their product or service. A quick mention of a brand on a well-followed Instagram account could mean big sales for a company, so it’s not surprising they might be willing to pay for this kind of exposure.

Another way you could make money from your social account is via our old friend affiliate marketing. Many affiliate networks now allow you to create affiliate links in a short link form that you can share on your social media networks. If someone buys a product you mentioned via one of these links, then you will get a commission. Happy days.

Freelancing

Some bloggers out there are also earning a fortune freelance writing for other more established websites or blogs. There are at least two reasons why bloggers can earn so much money doing this.

The first reason is that successful bloggers are usually very good writers too. I’m not meaning that they have a degree in English or anything like that – though it probably wouldn’t hurt – but more that they have a way of connecting with an audience via the written word. This is likely why they managed to build a successful blog in the first place. Great writers are not easy to come by so when they do come along, companies are willing to pay them for their talents.

The second reason they might be willing to pay a blogger to write for them is because the blogger might also bring their blog readership along with them. If you love a certain blogger then you’d be more than happy to read their posts on another site, right? In fact, you might even go out of your way to do so.

Bloggers with a good following and who are talented writers can therefore earn a lot of money writing for other more well established websites.  

Publishing a Book

Another way a blogger can use their writing ability to make even more money is by writing a book. This might be in the form of an ebook which you can sell on Amazon – here’s mine* – or a blogger may even be fortunate enough to get a book publishing deal. Either way there is money to be made for a blogger if they take the time to write and publish a book or ebook.

Creating an Online Course

I know a few bloggers who have made a small fortune by creating an online course for people to sign up to. The course will usually be related to the niche in which they blog or it could be a course about how they made a success of their own blog.

Once you’ve created an online course, you can then make money when people sign up for it. On top of this, you could also get some of your blogger friends to promote the course for you and pay them a commission, effectively making it a win-win for both of you.

Creating a Product or Brand

As well as promoting other people’s stuff some bloggers have also gone one step further by creating their own products and merchandise to sell. Once they have created some relevant products a blogger can then sell these via their own website or by linking to a shop they have on another e-commerce site.

Woman selling craft products on her blog

If we use fashion as an example again, It’s easy to see how a fashion blogger could eventually set up their own label if they have a big enough following, especially as they will already have a great idea of the sort of clothing or accessories their readers might want to buy.

Ad Networks

Once a blogger has built up a substantial amount of monthly traffic, they can often make extra money by switching from Adsense to another ad network. The chosen network can then work more closely with the blogger to help them get the most ad revenue from their blog traffic.

How Much Could You Make?

As we can see from this post there are many different ways that bloggers make money. I personally know of bloggers who are making hundreds of thousands of pounds each year and my own income is growing nicely too. If you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog then I would really recommend it as a great way to earn a side income. You just need to secure your domain name/hosting* and who knows, you may be one of those earning millions from your blog in the years to come.

Are you a blogger? What’s your most profitable revenue stream?

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How Much Can You Earn from a Stocks and Shares ISA? http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-much-can-you-earn-from-a-stocks-and-shares-isa/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-much-can-you-earn-from-a-stocks-and-shares-isa/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 19:45:45 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20116 With low interest rates leaving savers frustrated and unhappy with returns on their savings, many are now looking to Stocks and Shares ISAs as an alternative. But what kind of returns can you expect to see from a Stocks and Shares ISA? Let’s discuss a few factors that could affect how much you get back

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With low interest rates leaving savers frustrated and unhappy with returns on their savings, many are now looking to Stocks and Shares ISAs as an alternative.

But what kind of returns can you expect to see from a Stocks and Shares ISA? Let’s discuss a few factors that could affect how much you get back on your investment.

Expected Returns from Stocks & Shares ISA

The first thing to understand is that there are many different Stocks and Shares ISAs on the market. How much you can expect to receive in return, then, will depend on how well each provider performs. It will also be affected by what kind of investment risk you are willing to accept. On top of this, it’s important to take into account the management fees charged by each provider.

How Much Risk Will You Take?

With investments, the more risk you are willing to take the higher the potential return will often be. The risk that you could lose some or all of your investment will also be greater, of course.

Many Stocks and Shares ISA providers will offer you a choice of funds that you can invest in. Each of these fund options will carry a given degree of risk and potential growth rate attached. These figures are only to be used as a guide, as with investments things do not always go as expected.  

To see how the annual growth rate of your ISA might affect your return as the years go by, check out this ISA calculator* from ISA provider Hargreaves Lansdown. The calculator will show you how your money could grow based on many factors. These include how much you invest, how long you invest for and the projected annual percentage growth rate.

Fees Charged by ISA Providers

Another factor that could affect the return on your Stocks and Shares ISA are the fees charged by your provider. These could be management charges for managed ISAs, share trading fees for DIY ISAs or even overall charges for simply holding funds or investments in your ISA account. You can see an example of how these fees work in practise with the ISA provider we mentioned earlier on this page*.

One option to minimise the fees you pay is to take advantage of any special deals being offered. We recently secured a deal for our readers with the digital wealth manager and ISA provider Wealthsimple*, for example. The deal enables you to get your first year of ISA investments of up to £5000 managed for free. To benefit from this offer you will need to sign up via this link* or one of the other Wealthsimple links on our blog.

How Well the Market Performs

One more variable that will affect the return is how well the stock market performs during your investment period. Stocks and Shares ISAs have performed well against their Cash ISA cousins in recent years because stock markets have performed well, while at the same time interest rates have remained low. If stock markets and the economy were to perform badly in coming years then this could affect your return. This being said, good ISA managers may be able to limit any losses or maintain growth by re-balancing your portfolio.

Lots Involved, ISA Calculator Can Help

The reason we haven’t given any hard figures in this post is because there are a lot of factors involved. Your return can depend on many things such as which ISA provider you choose, the fees they charge, the level of risk you’re willing to take on and how the stock market and economy perform as a whole. Still, taking a few moments to have a play around with an ISA calculator* should give you some idea as to what return you might get back on your investment in the coming years based on various levels of potential growth.

‘Investments can go up and down in value, so you could get back less than you put in’

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5 Ways An Amazon Echo Can Save You Money http://moneybulldog.co.uk/5-ways-an-amazon-echo-can-save-you-money/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/5-ways-an-amazon-echo-can-save-you-money/#respond Tue, 11 Sep 2018 18:26:59 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20090 Surely an Amazon Echo won’t save me money, I hear you ask. While this might not be one of the obvious benefits of an Echo, it actually could! Here are 5 great ways an Amazon Echo* could save you money. Save Money on Music Streaming One of the first ways you could save money with

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Surely an Amazon Echo won’t save me money, I hear you ask. While this might not be one of the obvious benefits of an Echo, it actually could!

Here are 5 great ways an Amazon Echo* could save you money.

Save Money on Music Streaming

One of the first ways you could save money with an Echo is on music streaming. Most streaming services in the UK like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited cost around £9.99 per month. When you buy an Amazon Echo device, however, Amazon will let you have Amazon Music Unlimited* on that one device for just £3.99 per month.

If you’re an Amazon Prime* member then – depending on how many songs you want access to – you may not have to pay anything extra at all in order to stream music via your Echo. This is because Prime members get access to a service called Prime Music for free. This will allow you to play various songs from many different genres at no extra cost via your Echo.

Save Money With Alexa Smart Home Devices

The Amazon Echo isn’t just a stand alone device, it can also connect up your home to act as a kind of smart hub using Alexa Smart Home Devices*. These include Smart Thermostats, Smart Plugs, Smart Bulbs and more. If you set your home up right then it is easy to see how these could save you money. You could save not only on utility bills but also on how long your bulbs will last.

Save Money on Calling & Messaging

Another way you could save money with an Amazon Echo device is on phone calls. Amazon Echo devices and the Alexa App comes with a wifi calling feature built-in. This means you can call anyone with an Echo or the Alexa app via your wifi absolutely free.

Listen to Money Saving Audiobooks

If you’re looking to improve your personal finances then there are plenty of books out there to help you. If you find that you don’t have the time to sit down and read these books, however, then perhaps listening to an audiobook version via an Echo might be just the solution you need. Not only will the advice contained in some of these audiobooks help you to save money, but using a subscription service like Audible* could help you to save big on the usual cost of these audiobooks too.   

Listen to Money Saving Podcasts

While this blog doesn’t currently have a podcast, I know that there are many out there that do. Who knows, we might start our own one day too so watch this space. Amazon Echo devices are able to play a lot of different podcasts and there are also Amazon skills such as the AnyPod skill* which are supposed to help improve the podcast experience and functionality. To test this, I asked Alexa to play the Dave Ramsey show and it played it via Tunein.

Echo Prices Have Come Down a Lot

With Amazon’s latest cost cutting drive when it comes to Echo devices, there are some really good bargains to be had when you buy an Echo* right now. With the money saving aspects of the Echo mentioned here paying you a little money back on a regular basis, maybe you will decide that purchasing an Echo is worth the money. I’ve certainly enjoyed using mine to date.

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3 Great Ways to Make Money from Your Home http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-great-ways-to-make-money-from-your-home/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-great-ways-to-make-money-from-your-home/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 15:36:14 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=20073 Your home can be your greatest asset in so many ways. Not only can it be a great long-term investment, you can also make money from your home in the short-term too. If you are looking to earn some extra money from your home with little to no hassle, then here are 3 great ways

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Your home can be your greatest asset in so many ways. Not only can it be a great long-term investment, you can also make money from your home in the short-term too. If you are looking to earn some extra money from your home with little to no hassle, then here are 3 great ways to turn your home into a regular income stream.

Turn Your Home Into a Hotel

Our first great way to make money from your home is to turn it into a hotel for paying guests. Websites like Airbnb* offer many different ways for you to make money from your house.

Firstly, you could rent out your entire home as a holiday let while you are on holiday or working away. This could be a great way to fund your own holidays or to get some extra income coming in.

Another option could be to offer out single rooms in your home. This could be done on an accommodation only basis or even with breakfast included.

Finally you could always separate off part of your home to offer as a year round holiday let.

If you are a little nervous about turning your home into a hotel then be sure to check out the earn money as an Airbnb host page* on the airbnb website, as this page may help in alleviating some common fears and it will also help you to see just how much you can earn as an Airbnb host.

Rent Out Your Unused Storage Space

If you don’t fancy the idea of hosting guests in your home then have no fear, as you can still make money from your spare room by renting it out as storage space.

We all know that house prices have gone crazy for decades now. This has meant that many more people are having to live in smaller houses or apartments, especially in big cities. While this can be bad news for some, it could be great news for you! If you happen to have a spare room, garage or attic that you would be happy to rent out as storage space, then you could solve a huge storage problem for those in your community who are desperately in need of it.

As far as passive income goes when making money from your home, this is right up there on the list. If you like the idea of renting out some of your home as storage space for others then check out websites like Stashbee and Storemates.

Rent Out Your Parking Spot

Do you have a parking spot, driveway or garage that you are not using? Why not make some money from it?

High house prices have meant that some have had to sacrifice parking in order to afford to buy a house.

There are now websites that will connect you with others to rent out your parking spot, garage or driveway. This should again allow you to create passive income from your home. If renting out your parking space sounds like a winner to you then check out websites like YourParkingSpace and JustPark.

Here we’ve discussed 3 great ways by which you can make money from your home. Some require more effort than others but they are all excellent ways to turn your home into a revenue stream. While you could also do things like turning your home into a movie set or even hosting corporate events at your house, we think that the moneymaking ploys we’ve mentioned above will be the most realistic for the majority of people.

Have you ever made money from your home in any of the above ways? What was your experience?

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