Tuesday, July 20, 2021

8 Ways To Save For A House Deposit

 One of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make in your life is a house. It’s not just the biggest purchase in the size of the building, but the purchase size in terms of cost. A house doesn't just cost a lot over the 30 year mortgage you’ll get, but upfront you have to think about the deposit that you need to pay for to get the house in the first place. When you purchase your first home, you’re going to have to put together fees for solicitors, the house deposit and all of the other costs involved with buying it and getting a loan from the bank. It’s a lot of money and you have to consider these costs and how you’re going to save for them all.


When you get your mortgage quote from https://mortgagequote.com/, you should think about the things that your quote has to include. The deposit is just the thick of it, and you can use the eight tips below to help you to save for a house deposit.

Image Source: Pexels

  1. Work out your affordability. Before you can even start saving for a home, you need to know how much you can actually afford. Most of the time, there are housing affordability calculators out there that can tell you what you can afford to pay out based on your incoming and outgoings. When you know the general snapshot of what you can afford with your house, you can then figure out how much of a down payment you need to have. 

  2. Open a savings account. It’s so much easier to save for your house downpayment if you have a dedicated savings account to do it with. When you keep your savings away from the rest of your money, you’re going to be able to watch your money grow and keep it away from your regular money. If you have a specific goal, a separate account is less tempting.

  3. Automate your savings. You don't have to worry about getting distracted with your savings when you automate it. If you set up your payments to be automatic to your savings account when you get paid, you'll be able to save without worrying about it interrupting your usual financial bills. By having the bank automate your payments, you give the bank a lot of the responsibility.

  4. Save up the extras. When you get your tax refunds and rebates, when you get bonuses at work, do not spend them. Yes, the shoes in the store look good and yes, you want to buy a new tablet, but you need to think about all of the reasons to save those extra money options. Your house deposit is going to be much bigger and better if you’re saving all of those little windfalls up front.

  5. Use a cashback card. Racking up rewards is important if you want to save for your home. If you don't have a cashback credit card, you need to get one. It’s important that you get as many rewards as possible and with 1-5% cash back on every purchase you make, you will soon see the benefits of this particular reward. You can earn money for every dollar you spend on your card, and if you let those rewards build up, you’re going to have so much money put aside for your home.

  6. Put some money into stocks. You need to spend money to make money in some cases, and when you are saving for a downpayment on a house, this is one of the ways that you can do it. Invest some money into stocks and you will be able to see a good return on investment over time.

  7. Get the bank bonuses. There are bonuses that you can earn when you open an account with a bank. Depending on the bank that you open, you can earn several hundred dollars for opening up an account and just being a customer. To earn these, you have to keep some money to one side for a specific length of time.

  8. Spend less. Ah, the simplest one on paper: spend less money and save money. There are plenty of places that you can spend less in your day to day life, so make a point of looking where you can cut the fat a little. Add that money to your savings account. If you know you spend too much money eating out, you can slow that down a lot and save money.


Buying a house can and will change your life, but it will be so much better if you have all of your finances in a row!


Changing Your Career In Your 40s

 So you’ve reached a new milestone in your life. You might be headed into your 30...40 somethings and you’re thinking about a change.


For many, this may mean a new job or taking a few classes. Some moms may be in existing careers but need to think of new ways to expand horizons and create new or passive sources of income and this is where life can get really interesting...and daunting, very quick.


But, it can never be the wrong time to evaluate where you’re at and try to adapt to your current situation or life plan.  


BUT FIRST...


Changing your career or even starting one at any stage of life can be a terrifying prospect. It means giving up on the familiar, the comfortable and uprooting everything you may have thought you knew about who you are.


So the first thing you might want to do is change your way of thinking.  Before anything can be accomplished, you first have to believe that you are worthy of change and worthy of a new career.  The power of thought is amazing and we’re only just beginning to understand how powerful it is.


Be practical. Tailor your new career plan towards natural abilities and not just towards aspects that you find interesting.  Now, the “sweet spot” is being able to find a happy match of both of those elements, but in the absence of your dream job that ticks all of the boxes it’s not a bad idea to settle on a new path that has you operating in your natural sphere - with a good dose of the “nice to have.”


Take encouragement from knowing that you have years of experience to draw on and that as a career-changer in your late 40s, you have a more solid practise and life experience to offer than a younger competitor. Make sure that your resume reflects this - you can get really good advice about taking on this task on the internet. So do your homework too.


You may also want to consider “non-alternative” career options that are rooted in new online ventures or creative industries. These are ever-changing and require more visionary skills as opposed to college qualifications, and in this way, you’ll also find a way of knowing how to avoid student loans and embark on your new career without the burden of $100k worth of debt.


KNOW THAT YOU’RE NOT ALONE


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more and more women in their 40s, 50s and even beyond are embarking on “Comeback Careers” and as those operating in the workplace are being expected to work longer to compensate for increased life expectancies, so too are more organisations finding good reasons to recruit from this age group.


THE WORLD IS CHANGING


More and more companies from “future-proof” industries are recruiting women in their 40s and there are great reasons for doing this. This means that with a little effort on your part and some decent, quality research you could find your way to changing your life in new and exciting ways.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Offering More Convenience To Your Clients Is Always Helpful


Pexels - CC0 License


It’s not uncommon for many business analysts to regularly discuss the thorough shifting tides that online life has brought to industries at large. Many aspects of business management and productivity are now processed via technological means, all for the wonderful art of enhancing convenience and saving time in doing the same great work. Technology has always been designed to this end, of course, but with the advent of the internet, it’s hard not to see just how much this has accelerated.


So, why not make the most of it? It oculd be that willingly figuring out how to offer more convenience to your customers and clients can help you take this spirit, and truly develop yourself as a brand. That kind of process not only puts you in clearer touch with whatever it is you clients need, but it can help you develop a more coherent and comprehensive set of business functions you can offer those who regularly utilize your services. For more on this, let’s consider the following advice:


Custom Orders 


Custom orders can be a great way by which to provide something out of the ordinary while also using your creative potential to provide something new and quality. For instance, with Scales for Mixing Paints, Pigments, and Dyes, a business specializing in arts and crafts, home decoration, sign making and more can provide an exacting color tone that will last the test of time, without having to refer the client to another business. Investing in reliable tools like this can make a massive difference, for quite clear reasons.


Professional Confidence


It’s good to be confident in your aims, but not if you fail to invest in yourself, and avoid training your staff as necessary. Giving staff the means to field every client as individual rather than part of a whole moving through a pre-defined marketing funnel can be very helpful not only in securing business, but helping you become a confident and more dynamic firm. This professional confidence can then translate to the marketing you use, curating your space as a one-stop shop for everything that may be needed. This can make a tremendous difference going forward.


As A Last Consideration - Referrals


There may be some unique situations in which you can’t quite provide everything a particular client is looking for, and that’s not necessarily a condemnation of your brand. Yet as a final means of providing value to a client, it could be helpful to willingly point them in the right direction. In this case, you may find value in having a list of businesses you know can produce certain services, be that high-quality printing, or perhaps being able to create and develop the concepts of a marketing campaign, not simply providing the materials to make it happen. You can use these examples as inspiration for where you may expand in the future.


With this advice, you’ll no doubt see just how offering more convenience to your clients can be tremendously helpful.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Steps To Manage Your Finances For A More Secure Future

 The pandemic is a reminder that none of us knows what is around the corner. While it’s brilliant to be spontaneous sometimes and to believe in seizing the day, it’s also beneficial to be proactive in managing your money. In this guide, we’ll explore some steps you can take for a more secure financial future


Budgeting and saving

Budgeting is one of the simplest and most effective ways to take control of your money and tighten your grip on spending. If you don’t already live by a budget, you may be surprised at the difference it can make. To create a monthly budget, you can use financial apps, a spreadsheet template or a notepad. Write down in separate columns your income, your regular outgoings, for example, rent or your mortgage payment, and one-off expenses for the month ahead. When you’ve entered the data, you can figure out how much money you have left over. 


Drawing up a budget can help you control and limit spending but it can also provide an insight into where your money goes. It’s very easy to spend money these days, with direct debits, mobile payments and the ability to order almost anything at the touch of a button. Going through your transactions and noting down frequent payments may highlight areas where you could make savings or even cut costs completely. Good examples include subscriptions or memberships you may not use or even know you had. 


Once you have calculated your disposable income, you can set out spending budgets for different expenses, such as buying food or going out, and work out how much you can afford to save or spend on clearing debt. If you’re eager to reduce spending, it’s wise to try and cut expenses. If you usually spend $50 at the grocery store, for example, try setting a limit of $40. Small savings add up if you implement them across the board and stick to restrictions in the months ahead. 


If you have money left over after you’ve paid your bills, try to put some aside. You can save for specific reasons, for example, a wedding or a new car, or add to a fund for emergencies or rainy days. If you set up a direct transfer to your savings account on payday, this will ensure that you’re saving regularly. 


Image by https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-people-woman-sign-7735787/


Life insurance and preparing for the future

Nobody wants to think about the day they depart this earth but sadly, death is a reality we all face. If you have dependents, or you own assets, such as property or a business, it’s essential to make sure that you take steps to protect your family and your investments. If you don’t already have life insurance, use the Internet to compare prices and policies. You should also ensure that you have a will. If you made a will a long time ago, and your circumstances have changed, review and update it to make sure that it still fits with your wishes. Some people also like to plan their funeral and set up a plan to cover the cost. While this is not an appealing proposition for some, others want to make sure that they have everything planned from the choice of music and the funeral home to the cemetery grave markers used. It’s a matter of personal preference but if you do want to be able to pay for your own funeral, it’s wise to plan ahead and set up a fund or a payment plan. 


Picture via https://pixabay.com/vectors/child-protection-services-cps-3583417/


Creating an SOS fund

It’s impossible to know what the future holds. Even if you have a great job, a stable income and promising career prospects, there are no guarantees that life will be plain sailing in terms of your finances. Creating an SOS fund is a means of providing a cushion if things don’t go to plan, or you find yourself in a position where you need access to funds. From losing your job and paying for medical care to repairing your home or covering the cost of treatment for a much-loved family pet, there are endless reasons why you might need to dip into an emergency fund. 


If you’d like to start saving, you can set up a new account and transfer money on a regular basis. Shop around for the best savings accounts and top up your balance if you have a bumper month and you have more disposable income than usual. 


Picture from https://pixabay.com/photos/life-belt-rescue-beach-coast-498453/


Pensions and retirement funds

If you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, you might not be thinking about how you’re going to pay for your retirement yet but it’s always beneficial to be prepared. If you have a pension scheme at work, make sure you’re aware of the terms and conditions. You may be happy with the contribution levels but if you want to save more for your retirement, you could set up an additional account. If you don’t have a pension through work, start saving for your retirement as soon as you are able to. Even if you can only put a small sum aside each month in your 20s, every little helps. If you’re not experienced when it comes to pensions and retirement planning, it can be confusing to know what to do for the best. If you have questions, or you don’t know where to start, don’t hesitate to contact a reputable financial adviser. Experts can explain how different systems work and help you explore options that are best suited to your circumstances. 


Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-positive-lady-showing-photos-on-smartphone-to-senior-man-while-sitting-at-laptop-3823542/




If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we have no idea what awaits us. When it comes to managing money, it’s beneficial to think about the future and to try and take steps to make your financial situation more secure. Start budgeting, keep a close eye on your finances, invest in life insurance and make sure you have a will, set money aside for emergencies and seek advice about pensions and retirement funds. There’s nothing wrong with seizing the day but it’s helpful to be prepared and to have your finances in order. 


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

How To Save Money When Eating Out

 If you love eating out every other night, it can soon put a strain on your finances, especially if you like fine dining. However, we all deserve a little treat from time to time, whether for family time or date night and eating out doesn’t have to cost the earth if you know how to be savvy. 


Image - free for commercial use


Use vouchers and special offers

This might seem like a predictable tip, but it’s a good one. Look out for vouchers and special offers for places you want to go. Chains often offer vouchers for cheaper meals on quieter nights or sign up for a rewards scheme like Rewards Network


A lot of these deals can be time-sensitive, so you can also sign up for newsletters that round up the best deals, so you don’t miss out on a good deal. 


Signing up for a voucher code app is also a good idea. Look for one that uses GPS to point out offers in restaurants that are close to where you are.


Don't order alcohol with your meal

You've probably noticed when your bill arrives at the end of the meal, if you're drinking alcohol, this alone will cost just as much, if not more, as the price of the food. As an added problem, most restaurant vouchers and other offers don’t cover alcohol.

To keep your costs down, order soft drinks with your meal or lookout for deals that have a free glass of wine included in the price.


If you do want to drink alcohol, just head to a bar after dinner. The prices will be lower than your average restaurant. It'll be even cheaper if you head to a bar during happy hour.


Look out for pre-theatre deals

Many high-end restaurants offer specials for diners who visit earlier in the evening before the restaurant gets busy.


Known as pre-theatre deals, these menus are intended for those looking for a quick meal before heading to the theatre. They give you a few courses at a discounted price as they know you'll be in and out quickly and they can get more people in.


Usually, these are set menus without much choice (for example, three courses with only two options to choose from for each course), but the prices are normally much lower than if you choose from the regular menu.


Just remember that pre-theatre menus aren't normally offered at weekends as restaurants are busier.


Sign up for newsletters

A lot of the bigger chain restaurants have a newsletter that you can sign up for and will send you information about deals and offers.


These newsletters often send out vouchers, especially for occasions like your birthday, so it's definitely worth being on their list if you like eating at a particular chain restaurant, as the savings can soon start to add up.


Limit your newsletter to only two or three of your favorite restaurants, so you get the best offers without clogging up your inbox, or you can set up a special email address just for deals.





Saturday, July 10, 2021

Keeping Your Business Safe In All Areas

 If you have started a business, of course you are going to want to keep it safe. You don’t want to see your business come crashing down, and that’s why you need to take precautions. There are a range of precautions that can be taken here, and we’re going to be taking a look at some of them when it comes to certain areas. As such, keep reading down below if you would like to find out more about this topic.


Image Source - CC0 Licence


Money


The first thing that you should consider is money. You need to make sure that the money does not run out, and to do this, we think you need an accountant. They are trained in their field so you know they know what they are doing, and they won’t mess up. A professional like this will be able to put together a budget to help you get through your business life without having to ask for help all the time. They will also be able to make suggestions as to where you can save money so that you don’t end up in a bad position. 


Or, if you want to manage it yourself, at least have another pair of eyes look over it every now and again. It’s easy to miss something when you have been watching so intently. 


Online


You also need to ensure that you are protecting yourself in the online world. Cybercrime is on the rise and has been for a while. It’s not showing any sign of stopping or slowing down, and we don’t want your business to be at risk. As such, you need to make sure that you are taking precautions such as having your firewall managed, downloading anti-virus software, hiring an IT expert if this is what it takes, and so many other things. You want your business to impenetrable, and this isn’t going to happen if you don’t have the right people on your side,


Premises 


Finally, you want to make sure that your business premises are secure. You likely have information about your business that you would rather not fall into the wrong hands inside, as well as customers and employees. You have a duty to keep them all safe, so you need to be taking this seriously. Look into business cctv installation, hiring security guards for the front desk and other precautions as necessary. 


People need to feel as though your business office is safe, otherwise they aren’t going to want to come to you. Instead, they will choose another company that has a reputation for being a safe business to choose.


We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do if you want to keep your business safe in all areas. The last thing that you want is for anything to be able to damage your business because you didn’t take the right precautions. Now you know how to do this, and we wish you the very best of luck.


Friday, July 9, 2021

Passion For Helping

 Do you have a passion for helping other people, from kids to elders, improve their lifestyle, recover from physical disabilities and mental illnesses, well-being, or build their self-esteem to help them live their best life and, most of all, enjoy the precious life they have been given?


Photo by Eren Li from Pexels


Suppose you are reading this and thinking to yourself, YES! Then you came to the right place.


There are various work fields that you can venture in to find what you want to practice in. However, there is one specific work field to consider which guarantees that you will make an incredibly positive impact in different peoples lives by specializing and become an occupational therapist.


What is an Occupational Therapist


Occupational therapists are at the vanguard of rehabilitative services and are essential role-players in obtaining social integration and economic participation for individuals who have disabilities.


It is a division of health care that helps people of all ages who have physical, sensory, or cognitive difficulties. Occupational therapists can help them regain independence in all areas of their lives. They also help with the barriers that influence a person's emotional, social, and physical needs.


The main purpose of this type of therapy is to empower people to engage in everyday life activities. Occupational therapists accomplish this outcome by working with different people and communities to improve their ability to engage in their occupations, which they need to, or are required to do.


What skills does an Occupational Therapist need


Great Communication Skills

As an Occupational therapist, you must be able to attentively listen to what your patients tell you to explain and guide your patients on what they need to do and how to do it.


Compassion

As your passion and desire to help people improve their daily lives, you need to have sympathy and empathy for their situation, struggles, and difficulties.


Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels


Interpersonal Skills

To earn the trust and respect of your patients is vital. They will share their deepest and sometimes embarrassing thoughts and emotions with you. Therefore, it is crucial to establish a bond with them to comfortably explain and teach them the therapies and methods.


Patience

Having to listen and deal with some patients and their injuries, illnesses and disabilities can sometimes be frustrating for some people. Therefore, you should have ample patience with the people in your care to provide them with the highest quality of therapy.


Excellent writing skills

As an Occupational therapist, you will be working hand in hand with the medical team assigned and assisting each patient. Therefore, you must clearly explain in writing the treatment plan that you are exercising with each patient and how they are progressing.


Ability To Be Flexible

There is no treatment that will work for all patients. Each patient will have their own treatment plan with their own timeframe on when each element of the plan will commence. Therefore, you must be flexible in determining which treatment plan will be best suited for each patient and adapt the devices used to treat the patients and their needs.


 


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