Money Bulldog http://moneybulldog.co.uk Personal Finance One Bite at a Time Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:20:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 3 Simple Tips to Help You Travel on a Budget http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-simple-tips-to-help-you-travel-on-a-budget/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-simple-tips-to-help-you-travel-on-a-budget/#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:20:00 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=17003 If there’s one thing I wish I’d have done more of when I was younger it is travelling. If I’d known how quickly the years would pass and how many more responsibilities life would bring with it along the way, I’d have recognised just how free and easy I had it and jumped on the

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If there’s one thing I wish I’d have done more of when I was younger it is travelling. If I’d known how quickly the years would pass and how many more responsibilities life would bring with it along the way, I’d have recognised just how free and easy I had it and jumped on the first plane to South America in a jiffy.

The problem back then was that, even though I was earning money, I still felt that the cost of travelling was going to put it out of reach, especially as I lived on my own from a fairly young age. These days, however, while you may not be Superman and be able to travel the world for free, it’s possible to do it for a lot less than you might think. Here are 4 simple tips to help you see the world for less and make your dreams of travelling on a budget come true.

Work while you travel

The first thing to remember is that you don’t have to give up work completely and have no income while you’re travelling, as there are many temporary – or even long term – job opportunities for globe trotters if you are willing to travel and work at the same time. From fruit picking to online language teaching or freelancing to blogging, there are many ways to make money in a world that is now much more set up for flexible working.

Make the most of credit card rewards

Another tip is to use credit card rewards like Air Miles to help fund some of your flights. If you’re planning a trip then you can start doing most of your spending on these kind of cards in the months – or even years – before you travel to build up your miles, and you can even keep on building them up while you’re on your trip. You can then use them to book free flights to your chosen destinations. Just be sure to pay any credit cards off in full each month so that you don’t end up racking up a load of interest, defeating the object.

Be a part of the sharing economy

Our final tip for traveling on a budget is to make the most of the sharing economy. Whether you manage to get yourself a free couch for the night (Couchsurfing) or perhaps grab yourself a free ride somewhere while you’re on your travels, these days it’s easy to use the internet to find someone who might be willing to help you out. Just be sure to keep your wits about you to make sure you don’t land yourself in any dodgy situations.

Spend less, travel for longer

We can see then that travelling the world doesn’t have to be as expensive or as daunting as you might at first think. With a little planning ahead, a wise use of a credit card and a willingness to work while you travel, you can cut the cost of travelling drastically and perhaps even extend the amount of time you are able to travel for.

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What would you be willing to sacrifice to buy your own home? http://moneybulldog.co.uk/what-would-you-be-willing-to-sacrifice-to-buy-your-own-home/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/what-would-you-be-willing-to-sacrifice-to-buy-your-own-home/#comments Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:03:56 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16981 Millenials face many challenges these days but one major challenge is that of getting on the property ladder. With inflation on the up and wages remaining stagnant, house prices still rising and rents seeming to edge higher every year, saving for a deposit is just one of the major hurdles young would-be home buyers face,

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Millenials face many challenges these days but one major challenge is that of getting on the property ladder. With inflation on the up and wages remaining stagnant, house prices still rising and rents seeming to edge higher every year, saving for a deposit is just one of the major hurdles young would-be home buyers face, let alone passing today’s more stringent affordability checks.

It’s clear, then, that if young adults today are going to achieve their goal of home ownership, then it is likely that that it will require a great deal of sacrifice on their part in order to be able to save for that much-needed deposit. The big question is, do millenials feel that it is worth making a few sacrifices to be able to buy their own home and if so, what sacrifices would they be willing to make?

To help offer some suggestions to young adults as to what areas they might be able to sacrifice in and also how much they might be able to save, the team at MyVoucherCodes recently launched a helpful tool called ‘My First Home Calculator’.

Using the tool, you can input how much money you tend to spend in certain areas such as buying takeaways, eating out at restaurants, forking out for gym memberships and other more neccesary expenditures like utility bills and more. You can then find out how much money you might potentially be able to save towards a deposit for your first home if you were willing to cut back in some of these areas. While the individual savings might only appear to be small at first glance, when you add them all up together and then also multiply them over the course of a year, these small savings really do turn into big savings and you may just feel by the end of it that home ownership is a dream which is more achievable than you might think.

We’ve tried to embed the tool below for you to give it a try (hopefully it’s all working ok) but if you can’t seem to get it working here then you can head on over to www.myfirsthomecalculator.co.uk and try it out there instead.

So, if you still harbour the dream of one day owning your very own home then maybe the tool below can give you some much needed inspiration to make a few changes in your spending habits, in order to turn that dream into a reality.

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Saving Money while Job Hunting http://moneybulldog.co.uk/saving-money-while-job-hunting/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/saving-money-while-job-hunting/#comments Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:07:27 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16972 It is a position many of us have found ourselves in before – unemployed and worrying about how exactly we’re going to be able to get by until the next pay check (whenever that might be). It is important to remind yourself that the situation is temporary, and to not be too hard on yourself

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It is a position many of us have found ourselves in before – unemployed and worrying about how exactly we’re going to be able to get by until the next pay check (whenever that might be). It is important to remind yourself that the situation is temporary, and to not be too hard on yourself in the meantime. However, of course, it is important to be frugal when you are yet to have a regular income again. Here are some tips on saving money during your job search.

Tip 1: Cut unnecessary expenses. Unnecessary expenses should be the first to go while you are searching for a job. The mandatory expenses including housing, food and health, can add up and without a steady income coming in, it is safer to shift your focus to saving money. After all, your job hunt could last longer or your start date presented when you land a job could be later than expected. It is better to have a cushion instead of spending the money that you do have on clothes, personal spa days or a costly holiday.

Tip 2: Find jobs online or using your mobile phone. Many jobs are posted online these days, meaning you can save on printing hundreds of CVs and cover letters that may very well never be read anyway. You can use local amenities like the library to get internet access if that is an issue, or if you have a smart phone you could use that to search for vacancies on sites like Jobrapido meaning you can carry out your job search anywhere and everywhere and apply with the click of a button.

Tip 3: Think and then think again about your accommodation. Rent payments are a good chunk of income even when you do have a job. While you are on the hunt for a job, be very aware about what you can afford for rent and make sure you ask the right questions before choosing a place to rent. Having roommates can help make rent a bit less expensive, or if you have family in the area, moving home until you land a job could be a practical decision, you will thank yourself for later.

Tip 4: Become a master at food preparation. Dining out here and there adds up, no doubt. Learn how to food prep so that you can save money on groceries and use only the ingredients that you need. Then, you can take food with you on the go and avoid buying food out just because you need something quick. Remember to always have a water bottle with you, too!

Tip 5: Don’t jumpstart adding to your work wardrobe.

During your job-hunt, be sure to have a few different professional pieces that you can mix and match depending on the workplace environment of your potential employers. But hold off on purchasing any additional items. It is best to do so after you land the job so you understand how dressed up your colleagues get. After all, you don’t want to add to your suit or dress collection and then learn two days after your start date that everyone dresses up jeans in the office.

Tip 6: Save your receipts. The money that you spend on your job search can be extremely helpful during tax season. Fees do add up throughout a job search, and many of them could be tax-deductible. Record your mileage for trips, too!

Of course, there is financial help available in the UK for those who are searching for work. It is important to know what you are entitled to in terms of payments until you find the job that is right for you. Other than that, keep an eye on your expenses and stay focused on your job hunt.

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Five Essential Ways to Gauge the Performance of your Forex Account http://moneybulldog.co.uk/five-essential-ways-to-gauge-the-performance-of-your-forex-account/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/five-essential-ways-to-gauge-the-performance-of-your-forex-account/#comments Tue, 06 Jun 2017 09:43:30 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16965 Good and bad forex traders cannot just be spotted from their gains and losses. The figures can be deceptive. Gauging the performance of your account is important in order to understand how your investment is progressing, and also to help you gain financial support from other investors. To improve the performance of your account, you

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Good and bad forex traders cannot just be spotted from their gains and losses. The figures can be deceptive. Gauging the performance of your account is important in order to understand how your investment is progressing, and also to help you gain financial support from other investors.

To improve the performance of your account, you should create a trading strategy. The Commodity Channel Index is one of the most popular tools used to determine the level of risk involved in the buying or selling of currency. It helps investors know when a market is overbought or oversold; and therefore, likely to take a turn in the opposite direction.

Once this is done, you need to know whether you are making or losing money. The five methods highlighted next can help you gauge the performance of your forex account.

Standard Deviation

The arithmetic mean of your profits is just as deceptive as the statement of profits made. This is because the mean can be pulled up by a single major profit.

A clearer method of determining the performance of your account is the use of the standard deviation. This method shows the average deviation from the mean profit stated.

To calculate the standard deviation of your profits, follow these steps:

  • Find the variation of each individual profit or loss from the mean.
  • Square the figures you get.
  • Add up the squared figures.
  • Divide by one less the total number of figures in step 1. The figure you get now is the variance.
  • To get the standard deviation, find the square root of the variance.

With regard to this trading type trading, a good account should have a lower standard deviation.

The Number R

The number R is an important value that reflects the profit factor of an investment. It is used to show the average reward to risk ratio of an investment.

Simply put, it is the ratio of profits to losses over a long period. For example, if you have made average profits of 200,000 USD and average losses of 2,000 USD, your R figure will be 100 R. It is calculated by dividing profits by losses.

With a risk to reward ratio of 100 R, you can expect to make 100 USD for every dollar you lose. Of course, a higher R figure shows a good investment performance.

Sharpe Ratio

Developed in 1966, the Sharpe ratio has become a common standard of gauging the performance of money market accounts. The ratio gives a risk-adjusted return on your investment. It is, especially important in these investments since the market does not have a normal distribution of the expected returns.

To calculate the Sharpe ratio of your investment, you only need to replace the figures in this formula: (rp-rf)/ sd, where:

  • Rp is the return on investment.
  • Rf is the risk-free return.
  • Sd is the standard deviation of (rp-rf) over a period.

A high Sharpe ratio indicates that an investor has been getting good returns compared to the level of risk taken. Using a Sharp chart with a CCI indicator is also a good idea. A trader with a very high standard deviation will need to make more profits in order to increase the Sharpe ratio. Those with low standard deviations can have a high Sharpe ratio while making average returns.

Sortino Ratio

This ratio is similar to the Sharpe ratio, except for the fact that it uses the standard deviation of negative returns. Here, the risk is described as the failure to meet the expectations or to hit the mean profit level.

It is calculated using this formula: (Rp-Rf)/dsd, where dsd is the downside standard deviation. The rest of the symbols are just the same as those in the Sharpe ratio formula.

The downside standard deviation is calculated by setting the profits to 0 and finding the variance of the losses from the mean. These values are then used to determine the standard deviation.

Again, a high Sortino ratio indicates a good investment portfolio.

K-Ratio

The K-ratio is quite different from the above methods of gauging account performance. However, it still involves a comparison of risk and reward.

For the K-ratio, the numerator is the slope of a best-fit line of regression over a cumulative return series. A steep line of best fit indicates higher returns on investments. The denominator is the standard error of the line of best fit.

A K-ratio of 0 indicates that the investor is neither making a profit nor a loss. A positive K-ratio indicates the creation of profit, while a negative K-ratio indicates the creation of losses.

Conclusion

Gauging the performance of your forex account is just as important as forecasting the market. The methods described here are all suitable for the market and can help you determine the moves to make regarding your investments.

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7 Common mistakes made by amateur property developers & how to avoid them http://moneybulldog.co.uk/7-common-mistakes-made-by-amateur-property-developers-how-to-avoid-them/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/7-common-mistakes-made-by-amateur-property-developers-how-to-avoid-them/#comments Mon, 05 Jun 2017 11:18:29 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16958 As an amateur property developer, you will discover along the way that mistakes are common, however, there are some to look out for immediately to avoid any costly issues – here are some examples and how to avoid them: Buying in the wrong location The biggest mistake that any amateur property developer could make is

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As an amateur property developer, you will discover along the way that mistakes are common, however, there are some to look out for immediately to avoid any costly issues – here are some examples and how to avoid them:

Buying in the wrong location

The biggest mistake that any amateur property developer could make is buying in the wrong area. They tend to get excited by the prospect of cheap property in need of renovation and buy without giving it enough thought.

Trouble is, houses are usually cheap for a reason and that’s because not many people want to live there. If you aren’t sure where the up and coming locations actually are then consider taking inspiration from a seasoned professional in the business, such as Jason Harris at First Urban to get some advice. You can look into First Urban’s business on Duedil.

Overstretching funds

When it comes to obtaining a mortgage, buy within your means instead of going for the more expensive option that may end up giving you sleepless nights and extra stress in the future. The mortgage rates in the UK are still relatively low so it’s a good time to buy. Just ensure you do your research and price things up before you get into trouble.

Going too fast

If you’re too keen to make your money, then you’ll probably end up making mistakes that will cost you in the long run. You need to set yourself a realistic timescale that includes everything from planning permission to the final sale going through and document all of this important paperwork all the way through.

Timing is everything

You’ll see houses on the market for months over the winter without selling, purely because people aren’t usually looking to buy during the winter months. Make sure you plan for your properties to be finished and on the market inside the optimal selling seasons of spring and autumn. This way, you’re more likely to get the asking price and the photography will look much better than in the gloomy winter months.

Not having a network

Even if you’re working on your own as a property developer you need to build a network of trustworthy contacts around you to ensure success. This includes builders, plumbers, electricians, decorators and mortgage advisors at the bank. If you think that you can do it alone you may end up facing overpriced work, getting overcharged by the builder or ending up with a property that has a lot of problems in the long run.

Going over the top

You want your houses to sell but if you try too hard when it comes to interiors, chances are that people won’t feel comfortable in the home. You need to keep up with the times when it comes to style and design and make houses feel like homes rather than show homes.

Not considering the market

Finally, as a property developer, you need to decide who your target market is. This will depend a lot of your prior research into the area you want to work in and looking at who the biggest spenders are. Once you’ve done your research you can tailor your property to suit that particular market therefore having a higher chance of a quick sell.

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How Brexit Affects Businesses and the GDPR http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-brexit-affects-businesses-and-the-gdpr/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-brexit-affects-businesses-and-the-gdpr/#comments Fri, 02 Jun 2017 23:28:58 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16954 Brexit — the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union — has substantial impact on businesses, including the ways in which they collect, store, and share customer data. Some business owners might assume that Brexit frees them from the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but that’s not entirely true. Many UK Companies Do

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Brexit — the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union — has substantial impact on businesses, including the ways in which they collect, store, and share customer data. Some business owners might assume that Brexit frees them from the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but that’s not entirely true.

Many UK Companies Do Business With Customers From EU Countries

The GDPR won’t impact UK companies who operate exclusively within the United Kingdom, but if your business works with customers in EU countries, you’re required to follow GDPR regulations once they take effect in 2018. This is why businesses in the UK should still familiarize themselves with the GDPR and its potential impact on their organizations.

While the GDPR features several parts, its core focus is on customer rights and freedoms. Specifically, the GDPR allows customers to do the following, among other things:

  • Exercise the “right to be forgotten,” which means that they can request data erasure if they don’t want your company to store or share their personal data
  • Have their data ported to new service providers upon request
  • Opt in to programs that allow their personal data to be shared with third parties
  • Receive information about data breaches that impact their rights or freedoms
  • Request full disclosure of the data collected by companies and organizations

If your company works with B2B or B2C customers in the EU, you must follow the GDPR to avoid hefty fines. GDPR will allow authorities to impose fines of up to the greater of €10m or 2 percent of annual turnover. Such fines could easily cripple a company — especially a startup or a business with unstable cash flow.

Customers Will Begin to Expect Increased Data Transparency

The GDPR focuses intently on data transparency. The Information Commissioner’s Office authorities want customers to know exactly how organizations collect and use their personal data, and as citizens adjust to those changes, they might begin to expect UK companies to follow suit. Failing to offer data transparency might harm businesses’ reputations and reduce customer loyalty.

Some of the precautions that UK companies might want to implement include the following:

  • Allowing customers to give informed consent to data collection and usage
  • Notifying all affected customers of a data breach
  • Permitting customers to request and receive data erasure
  • Providing access to collected data without administrative fees

Keep in mind that the GDPR can apply even if you don’t accept money from EU customers. The regulations apply to organizations that collect data on EU citizens. For instance, if you build a free mobile app that EU citizens use, and you collect data based on how they use your app, you must still comply with the GDPR.

Brexit doesn’t exempt UK companies from the GDPR. If you run a business in the UK, you still need to know your obligations with regard to data security and transparency. Even if you don’t collect information about EU citizens, following the GDPR codes could improve your brand image and increase customer loyalty.

Image via Flickr by ccPixs.com

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How To Get Approved For A Business Loan http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-to-get-approved-for-a-business-loan/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-to-get-approved-for-a-business-loan/#comments Wed, 31 May 2017 19:40:35 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16946 A common source of funding to get a business idea off the ground is a loan. However, not every owner will be approved for the amount they initially request. Often, it is the applicant’s personal credit score or lack of supplemental financial support that is the reason why a bank denies the request. Instead of

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A common source of funding to get a business idea off the ground is a loan. However, not every owner will be approved for the amount they initially request. Often, it is the applicant’s personal credit score or lack of supplemental financial support that is the reason why a bank denies the request.

Instead of taking the risk on applying and then being denied, you can improve the likelihood of being accepted for a loan by reading the recommendations and advice provided below.

Building Professional Relationships

Getting a business loan requires patience and dedication. One of the first things you should do is build a strong working relationship with the people who are likely to support a decision to lend to you. Find out who they are, and make sure they know you, for example, by asking for information about their products. These individuals will become your key contacts during the application process. It is always important to remember that most lenders prefer doing business with people with whom they are acquainted.

Choose A Good Purpose For The Money

It isn’t unusual for a lender to refuse a loan request just because the applicant could not supply a good reason for taking on the debt. There are bad and good reasons for any type of loan. Good reasons are usually investments that can be shown to have a positive impact on your cash flow, and can include anything from buying an asset such as real estate or piece of equipment instead of leasing it, or developing software in order to improve business efficiency or access new markets. Asking for a loan to finance ongoing losses is likely to result in a denial.

A Solid Business Plan Is A Must

When you are ready to apply for the loan, you will need to make sure you have the proper paperwork in place to support your application. Along with the bank’s loan application form, you will need to supply the lender with a solid business plan, your resume, financial results, balance sheets and cash flow projections. You will also need to provide the lender with three years of tax returns and if you do not have these you can obtain them from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Straightening Out Your Credit History

While most business owners try to keep their personal and business finances separate, the truth is that for most small businesses, there is no easy way of preventing the two from colliding. Lenders oftentimes like to factor in the personal finances of the business owner or owners, when a company is applying for a loan, and ask the owners to act as guarantors for the loan if the business is unable to repay it. Of course, the worse the credit histories of the owners are, the less likely the chances of receiving the funding. While it can take years and years to improve a damaged credit rating, there are some things that you can focus on in the meantime.

Your credit score is made up of several different factors. Payment history covers around 35 percent, credit utilization makes up 30 percent, account mix accounts for 10 percent, credit inquires covers another 10 percent, and the final 15 percent comes from credit age. By paying your bills on time and using your line of credit for shorter periods of time, you can greatly increase your credit score, which will increase your chances of being approved for a loan.

Seek Out Alternative Financing

Most business owners aren’t aware that there are other sources of financing, including factoring and asset based type lending. Factoring is where a company sells its accounts receivable (money owned to it) in the present at a discount to future worth. The business receives about 80 percent of the total. Asset based lending is where lenders determine your eligibility by looking at your fixed asset, inventory value, and accounts receivable, rather than just considering your credit rating. A loan is backed by assets, which can be seized and sold in case of non-payment.

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3 Ways to Save Money When Buying a Brand New Car http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-ways-to-save-money-when-buying-a-brand-new-car/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-ways-to-save-money-when-buying-a-brand-new-car/#comments Wed, 24 May 2017 11:41:56 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16939 Getting a good deal on a car purchase is important at the best of times. If you’re planning on buying a brand new vehicle, however, then it could be argued that this is even more important than ever, as a brand new car will depreciate in value as soon as you drive it out of

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Getting a good deal on a car purchase is important at the best of times. If you’re planning on buying a brand new vehicle, however, then it could be argued that this is even more important than ever, as a brand new car will depreciate in value as soon as you drive it out of the showroom. With this in mind, how can you make sure that you are getting the best deal possible on a brand new vehicle? Here are a few basic tips to help you on your way to a great deal.

Buy at the right time

When buying a brand new car, when you buy can be extremely important. For example, one of the best times to get a great deal on a new car is when a new registration plate is about to be released. This happens twice a year, at the start of March and September. So, if you want to pick up a great deal, then the months just before these dates could be a great time to buy.

Another thing to bear in mind is that most showroom salesmen often have quarterly targets to meet, so they need to sell a certain number of cars each quarter. With this in mind, aiming to buy at the end of March, June, September or December might also lead to big savings, as there may be more flexibility available on purchase price or finance deals in order to meet targets.

Finally, you might also be able to pick up a bargain when a new model of a popular car is being released. For instance, there has recently been a new 2017 model released of the ever-popular Ford Fiesta. So, if this type of car might fit your needs, then there could be big discounts available on the outgoing model. You can find Ford Fiesta information and pricing on jenningsmotorgroup.co.uk.

Look out for government or dealer incentives

Another good way to save money when buying a brand new vehicle is to take advantage of ‘genuine’ dealer incentives, or even government incentives. When talking about dealer incentives, I say ‘genuine’ because, often times, the incentives offered aren’t as good as they look when you read the small print. There are some genuinely good incentives around, though, so be sure to keep your eyes open and do plenty of online research to find these incentives. You could also take advantage of any government schemes that may offer a discount on a new vehicle, such as the proposed diesel scrappage scheme that was recently announced by the UK government.

Hone your negotiating skills

Of course, one of the main things that you can do to save money on a new – or any – car purchase is to improve your negotiating skills. To do this, be sure to do as much research as you can on vehicle pricing, so that you can head into the dealership with a firm and realistic idea of how much you are willing to pay and what you ideally want to get out of the deal. If you find that the dealer is not being as flexible as you would like, then don’t be afraid to walk away and look elsewhere, or perhaps try again at a later date. Remember, buying a brand new car is a huge purchase and it shouldn’t be done on impulse. So, if you’re sure that the price that you are looking to achieve is reasonable and realistic, then stay calm and walk away if you feel you’re not being offered the deal you would like.

Do you have any tips for those looking to buy a brand new car? If so, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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Stop Ignoring Your Credit History http://moneybulldog.co.uk/stop-ignoring-your-credit-history/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/stop-ignoring-your-credit-history/#comments Tue, 16 May 2017 14:32:46 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16926 Have you ever had the experience of feeling afraid to check your bank account? Plenty of people have. More than a few of us live from paycheck to paycheck. Between the necessities and indulgences of life, it’s easy to spend all the income you have, and more. If you’ve ever accidentally overdrafted your bank account,

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Have you ever had the experience of feeling afraid to check your bank account? Plenty of people have. More than a few of us live from paycheck to paycheck. Between the necessities and indulgences of life, it’s easy to spend all the income you have, and more. If you’ve ever accidentally overdrafted your bank account, you know this feeling.

People tend to have a similar relationship with their personal credit history. The main difference is that, in the case of the credit history, they may never have checked it before in their lives. But the anxiety is the same. People who have never investigated their personal credit reports have a sinking suspicion that they contain negative material which doesn’t reflect well on them. While this may be true, it’s no reason to ignore the problem. Only when you look at your credit report can you start to correct any negative issues that it might contain.

Your credit report is intimately linked to your credit score. In fact, your credit score is basically just a quick summation of the report. If, in the past, you have overused your credit, forgotten to pay bills, never used any credit at all, or other questionable financial decisions, your credit report will reflect this. The accompanying score will be high or low, depending on the amount of negative material or lack thereof. It also accounts for how much you use credit in a healthy way, without overusing or abusing it.

It you have sterling credit, you’ll find that a number of things are easier for you than they would be for someone with poor credit. One of these is taking out a personal loan. Let’s say you have a credit score of 750 (which is very good) and you choose OneMain personal loans as your lender. While we can’t speak to specific rates and terms, it can be stated that the loan you are offered will have a lower interest rate than a loan offered by the same company to someone with a score of 600.

Over the course of your loan, the person with the lower score would pay more each month than the person with the better score. This could result in thousands of dollars extra paid, if not more. The same would hold true every time money was borrowed, whether through a credit card, a bank, or an independent lender. In short, people with poor credit pay more for the money they borrow. This cuts down on their lifetime earnings and opportunities.

You don’t want to live life like this. But the only way to prevent it is to take ownership of your personal credit. Check your credit reports if you have never done so before. Take note of any negative items mentioned. Consider paying off these debts and/or disputing them. Research all the ways you can improve your credit. None of them is terribly difficult. In all, make sure you have a working knowledge about how personal credit works. This knowledge will help you make good decisions moving forward. But this will only happen if you bite the bullet and check that credit!

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How to Reduce the Cost of Your Business Operations http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-to-reduce-the-cost-of-your-business-operations/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-to-reduce-the-cost-of-your-business-operations/#comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:02:18 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16910 Establishing and running a business can be a costly exercise, and one that can take its toll on new ventures. This is reflected by the fact that an estimated 96% of all businesses fail during their first 10 years, which is an incredible statistic when you consider the number of ventures that are launched during

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Establishing and running a business can be a costly exercise, and one that can take its toll on new ventures. This is reflected by the fact that an estimated 96% of all businesses fail during their first 10 years, which is an incredible statistic when you consider the number of ventures that are launched during each 12-month period.

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses revolves around cost management, as expenditure can soar as ventures start to scale.

It is therefore important to consider viable ways of reducing operational costs from the outset, as this will optimise your profits and improve your chances of achieving growth over time. Consider the following: -

  1. Pay Attention to Seemingly Insignificant Costs

This represents a good starting point for small business-owners, who can make significant reductions by targeting easy to overlook operational costs.

Take the cost of making voice calls, for example, which is crucial if you are to communicate successfully with clients and partners alike. Free communication services such as Skype have emerged to supplement the use of traditional landlines and smartphones, helping entrepreneurs to reduce costs without compromising on their accessibility.

In general terms, the best bet for business-owners is to use one type of voice call platform predominantly, as this makes it easier to budget and manage your costs. Most tend to rely heavily on the use of smartphones in the modern workplace, while using Skype to handle all of their video conferencing and long-distance call needs.

As this infographic shows, each geographic region has numerous area codes, which may impact on the cost of individual calls. This is why having a clearly defined communication strategy helps, and it ensures that you are able to monitor costs more readily and identify opportunities to save.

  1. Embrace BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

If you are not familiar with BYOD, you are missing out on a seminal opportunity to reduce costs and empower your employees. When implemented across a secure, wireless network, this enables your staff members to use their own personal devices in the workplace and slashes your hardware costs considerably.

This includes the integration of personal smartphones and laptops into the workplace, while it transfers the cost of purchasing and maintenance to the user.

BYOD also creates additional benefits for your business. Most importantly, it optimises productivity by empowering employees to complete certain tasks (such as answering emails) outside of the workplace. This can increase the viability of your staff as individual profit centres, and this can reap huge rewards over time.

  1. Access the Global Workforce

In simple terms, there are two types of employee within any business. These are strategic and operations, and while the first determine a clear and continuous vision for the venture the second complete everyday work tasks.

While strategic and management roles should therefore be filled by permanent staff members, operational positions can easily be undertaken by temporary or contract workers. This offers businesses a chance to dramatically reduce their annual wage bill, while also adapting the skills of their workforce on the basis of each individual project.

This tactic is more accessible than ever before, thanks to the evolution of remote communication tools and Cloud technology. While it may also require an initial investment in terms of software, this will quickly be repaid during the course of the financial year.

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