15 Handy Hacks To Help Out Your Monthly Finances

You have always been so aware of your money, from tracking your income to strategically spreading out your bills across the month. You aren’t frivolous by any means, in fact you’d consider yourself to be pretty money savvy. No matter how smart you are with your savings there are always going to be things that quietly slip through the net. Perhaps you’re looking at

buying a car and you haven’t researched the finer financing details or your business is spending empty money on a particular marketing strategy that isn’t seeing the returns you’d hoped. It is these everyday small things which mount up into larger amounts over time. Assessing the small stuff is really going to help save you money for the long haul. You might think that some of the following suggestions are only going to save you pennies, but it is those pennies which add up to hundreds if you stay consistent. You need to understand that all of your tiny outgoings are adding up to huge amounts over a year or even five years. Get to grips with all of the finer details in your social life, business and home life. You obviously don’t need to jump in head first and try to change all of these things at once, but seriously consider implementing every single one of these handy hacks into your everyday life as soon as you can.

1. Be Smart With Car Payments

If your making regular car payments then you better make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Don’t waste your money buying brand new cars that lose their value as soon as you start driving it. Look into financing for used cars and you will be saving so much more money a month. You can find excellent quality used cars and just pay a fraction of the price per month compared to what you are already paying.

2. Check Your Mobile Phone Plan

You pay your mobile phone bill as if it’s just normal to be shelling out nearly a hundred a month for the privilege of making a few calls. If you’ve been with the same phone company for several years, they will want to keep your loyalty as a customer. Simply as them for a better offer and tell them you’re going to switch to another provider if they don’t decrease your bill. Nine times out of ten they will absolutely agree with you and give you a cheaper deal.

3. Cancel Your Gym Membership

The thought of having a gym membership is nice isn’t it? But when was the last time you stepped foot in your local gym? Your paying a lot of money a month just for the sake of a flashy member’s card you don’t even use. If you do enjoy working out then go for a run in the fresh air or do circuits in the park. Don’t throw away your money on a gym you don’t even go to.

4. Skip The Fancy Morning Coffee

We all need a coffee to wake us up in the morning, but your bad habit is having a serious effect on your bank balance. If you love the brown stuff then invest in a coffee machine for your home. It will work out so much cheaper in the long run and it’ll save you time queuing up in the shop every morning!

5. Expand Your Business

Obviously you’re trying to save money, not spend it, but you don’t actually have to put a tonne of money into your business to expand your horizons. Even if you just start targeting a slightly different demographic for a few months, that small change might just bring you a huge amount of extra income. 

6. Partner Up

If your business is expanding, then so will your workload. You might want to consider getting a business partner to share the financial load. Obviously there are risks involved with this, but you could just be saving yourself a tonne of money if you started sharing your business costs with someone else with the same passions as you.

7. Tweak Your Marketing Strategies

You might not be getting returns on some of the marketing campaigns you are putting out there, if so then why are you still running them? You are losing a whole load of money by keeping something that simply isn’t working. Constantly tweak your marketing strategies and find something that it truly worth the money.

 

8. Reassess Your Commute

Your expensive taxi ride down the street or your unnecessary bus journey to work will keep eating a hole in your pocket if you don’t put a stop to it. Look at your morning commute and find the cheapest way around it. Sometimes things are far too convenient and we end up spending needless money on travel when we could’ve just walked.

9. Batch Cook Your Meals

Everybody loves a convenience meal, whether that’s a huge order from the local Chinese takeaway or a Friday night pizza after a long hard week at the office. The truth is, you are spending way too much money on food whether you choose to believe it or not. You might think you are only eating a sandwich for your lunch so it’s hardly putting you out of pocket, but over a year you are spending an outrageous amount of money by eating out. Do you grocery shopping online and make a meal plan which will set you up for the whole week. Batch cook your meals and make curries, soups and casseroles which you can throw in a Tupperware box and take to work. You will save so much money by doing this instead of forking out for an expensive sandwich or takeout meal every day.

10. Be Savvy With TV Subscriptions

Who doesn’t love switching on Netflix after a stressful week? Everybody has those evenings where we just want to relax in from of the television. But whatever happened to good old live television; we are missing out on the news, amazing documentaries and old school films because we spend all of our time trying to decide what to watch on Netflix or other paid subscription apps. Cancel all of them and see how your month pans out, the chances are you won’t even miss them and it will just become the norm.

11. Shop In the Sales

Sharp suits and business attire is your thing, but they certainly come at a cost. Try not to splurge on unnecessarily expensive clothing and gadgets when you can buy perfectly high quality goods in the sales or charity stores. You will save yourself a lot of money if you curb your shopping habits and start to be mindful about where you go to buy your clothing.

12. Get a Reusable Water Bottle

We all know that our planet is majorly under threat from the influx of plastic which is being tossed into our oceans. Don’t be blind to these problems and invest in a reusable water bottle. Not only will you be helping out the environment, but you will also be saving a lot of money on buying bottled water when you’re out and about.

13. Skip The Social Stuff

Obviously there are going to be social events you really want to attend, but do you need to go to every single thing you are invited to? Think of all the money you could save if your bypassed just one trip to a bar every month. Over a year it would add up to hundreds, so consider that next time you hit the social scene after work every Friday night.

 

14. Loosen The Luxuries

All of those little extra items you are constantly buying, such as magazines, games consoles, fancy haircuts, they aren’t completely necessary. See if you can go a whole month only buying the bare minimum that you need to get by for that month. That’s extra money in your pocket instantly.

15. Book Your Travel in Advance

You shouldn’t deny yourself the odd vacation now and again, after all you’re only human. If you do feel like you need to take a break then make sure you book it well in advance and get the best deal possible. Head to your local travel agents and see what the cheapest flight deals are. If you book a flight for mid week it’s normally half the price of weekend, so remember that too.

You might think that cutting back on these little luxuries isn’t going to impact your financial life at all, but if you manage to stick at it for an entire year you will probably have enough money to pay off your credit card, student loan or another mounting bill that has been hanging over your head for the last few years. Every little helps when it comes to sorting out your savings and becoming financially comfortable again. You can live the high life once you’ve made your first million, but for now it’s time to be smart, make some cuts and consider all of your money decisions carefully before reaching for your wallet.

Company Formation in the UK

The world is constantly changing. What used to take ages to accomplish can now be done in a few minutes. Communication, for instance; if you wanted to communicate with a person in a different town, you had to send a letter, which would take a few days. Now, you can communicate with a person in a different continent, with a few strokes of the keyboard.

Businesses too used to take forever to set up. You had to walk into a physical address, fill in the paperwork, wait for it to be processed, and so on. The tedious endeavor has the ability to discourage most people willing to set up businesses. However, in the wake of the digital era, starting a company has been made easy, more so, with the aid of formations companies.

A formations company does more than just facilitate your request and act as an intermediary between you and the Companies House. They go through the registration to determine if it’s feasible and if it is, the formation agents go ahead to submit your request to the Companies House for consideration.

As per the Companies Act 2006, a company is required to have a register that records the structure of your company. Such records include; shareholders and capital ratios, details of the company’s directors, and ownership of shares. The lack of these records is considered an offense, and the directors are culpable of a criminal offense in regards to the act aforementioned. Reputable formation Companies ensure your company has all the correct documentation, thus guarantying your compliance with the act and the law in general.

Now that you’ve understood the importance of formation companies and agencies let’s segue to the process of registering a company through a formations company.

1. Get your company name

Every company has a name, the journey to registering your company begins with a name for your business. You should give some thought to the name you would like your company to be recognized with. A name is essentially the first contact someone will have with your company. Also, you should be keen on spelling and punctuations, but most formation companies will help with that.

2. Get an official company address

Your name is secured, and on you go. You now need to get an official mailing address where all the official companies’ documentation can be sent. If you are a small startup, you can use your home address in the meantime.

3. Choose your company’s Standard Industrial Classification

Every company has a trade; yours is no different. When you’re registering for your company, you’ll need to inform on what your company will be dealing in. The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) has an exhaustive list where you can explore the different fields.

4. Appoint the company’s directors

The director will be legally responsible for the company’s running, they will also ensure the necessary reports and company accounts are prepared, and on time. The director(s) must be above 16 years, and you will be needed to provide two addresses for each of the directors.

5. Outline the proposed company share structure

Companies –especially limited ones, are made up of shares. You will need to provide information concerning these shares. The formations agents will help you look at the nine types of shares, their total value, and currency.

6. Choose the shareholders

As aforementioned, limited companies are made up of shares. You will need to allocate shares to the various shareholders. If you are the only one running the business, then you can allocate the total share percentage to yourself.

7. Sign the Statement of Compliance

Forming a company is considered a legal affair. Thus, you will need to sign that you have read and complied with the Companies Act, as well as the Memorandum of Association pertaining to the rules of starting and running a business.

8. Pay the Formations Agents

If you go at it alone, you will only be charged £12 at this point on the Companies House Website. However, if you go through a formations company, there will be a service charge. The charge by formations companies differs from package to another, but you can expect a fair charge of £5 to £30.
There you go, all you need to know about registering a company in the UK, how easy it is and the process you can expect while using a formations company. All the best!

Are silver coins a good investment?

When it comes to precious metals, silver has always been seen as something of a poor relation. An Olympic silver medal is a huge achievement, but every recipient knows that it is also a sign that they came second best. And while the “family silver” is something that many households might treasure, gold cutlery is the sort of thing reserved for royalty and the super-rich.

Perhaps it is due to these cultural connotations that silver is typically paid less attention in the investment world, too. However, that is clearly a case of flawed logic. When looking to make money from an investment, what matters is how its value changes over time. Comparing its absolute value with that of another commodity is as senseless as saying you shouldn’t invest in an apartment because it is worth less than a castle.

Why silver coins

Physical silver is typically traded in two forms, either as coins or bars. The form the silver takes does not make any difference to its inherent value, but there are some advantages to coins over bars. Many people choose to invest in American Silver Eagle coins as they offer greater flexibility than bullion.

The problem with silver bars is that they are far more complex to buy and sell – and obviously there is the “all or nothing” nature of them. While smaller bars are available, the traditionally traded 70lb bars change hands for around $17,000 each. Silver coins, on the other hand, can be purchased far more easily and for as little as $20 each.

All coins are not the same

Government minted coins are universally accepted, and can usually be traded without the need for assay testing. However, the fact that silver has been traded in the form of coins for so long, means there is a vast choice of coins out there.

Some old silver coins have scarcity value on top of the inherent value of the precious metal. So for these, their value is based on more than just the weight and purity. There are some, known as numismatics, who specialize in trading the most expensive coins in the world. However, unless you really know what you are doing, it is safer to stick with uncirculated recently minted coins, where the value is unambiguous.

But are they a good investment?

This brings us full circle to the first question, and now we understand a little more about silver coins in their own right, it is safer to do what we initially warned against, and that is to compare silver investment with gold investment. This is not by way of absolute values, but in terms of relative performance.

The gold/silver ratio is used to calculate absolute and relative prices of both gold and silver. To make sense of it, you need to understand that the ratio is set to a standard normalized value of 16:1. This is based on historical statistics.

The ratio currently stands around 50:1, but as mining stocks dwindle and the ratio starts to return towards its normal levels, silver will become one of the most prized commodities. If gold prices stay as they are now, then as the ratio normalizes, the price of silver will approximately double.