Wednesday, 26 February 2014

5 Reasons a Start Up Business Could Fail

Although the economy appears to be picking up, with some economists predicting market growth that would have been unbelievable just a couple of years ago. The current jobs market is still hard and unpredictable, perhaps this is why more and more people are starting their own businesses. 

Do you have a inclination and an entrepreneurial spirit? If so here are five common mistakes to avoid making when starting your own business...

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Top 8 Money Saving Tips for Students

The National Student Money Survey 2013 has revealed that 80% of all students worry about their finances whilst at university.

If you take the plunge and choose to attend a traditional university it is a time of mixed blessings. You have the benefit of being young and aside from school, have the least amount of responsibility of your entire life. However, you’re probably not employed (or at least not very lucratively), own few home furnishings, and would rather stay up until dawn than address “adult” tasks like food shopping or laundry.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

9 Ways to Save Money on your Wedding

Following on from our last post, we hope the valentines night went well! If your're lucky, maybe your valentines night has resulted in an impending wedding? If that's the case we have put together a list of some the ways you can make your day magical and not cost the earth....

1) Social Media and Wedding Magazine are not your Allies!

Much of the wedding stuff you will find online and in the magazines are not realistic. Its seems these people can afford £40k wedddings, I'm not sure who they're are, but they aren't people I've ever met. It's great for them if they can, but don't feel bad if your wedding cannot match these expectations. So put down the magazines, log off the internet and talk to someone who's wedding you've been to and loved. You'll have a much more realistic expectation of costs and might even be able to get some tips on where you can save cash.

2) Budget and Stick to It!

It is essential to make a budget for your wedding (and married life for that matter) and stick to it. The easiest way to make a budget and not spend obscene amounts is to place your money into the things you value the most. Then, after your favourites are covered you can cut out other stuff or minimise. If you're a couple really into music or food, invest in those things. Get great food or an amazing live act for the reception. 

3) Write an Event Plan

It might seem like there is a lot of writing suggested so far, but this is a tip definitely worth taking on board. You should write out clearly how your wedding day and the events leading up to it will unfold, in great detail. There will be many hidden costs you haven't considered, from parking to breakfasts, if you have it all written out you won't miss a thing.

4) Think Outside the Box

Your wedding doesn't have to conform to the norm. They don't all take place in the summer and everyone you've ever met for a few minutes doesn't have to be invited. The same can apply to stag and hen dos, receptions and decorations. Thinking outside the box can save lots of cash and make your wedding unique.

5) D.I.Y

If you're not into the traditional wedding it is relatively easy to think outside the box and cut costs. However, if you can't bare to ditch the wedding traditions, get creative! You (or your friends) could D.I.Y a lot of the items associated with weddings. From decorations, invitations and even get some friends to play/dj at the big day. There is so much you can do.

It is also worth considering that doing it yourself isn't always the cheapest, buy if its cheaper.

6) Don't use the "W" Word

Anything associated with the word "wedding" magically doubles in cost. From dresses to venues and more. Search for stuff without the "W" word and see how the price tumbles.

7) Honesty

Explain your budget to the vendor and a bit about yourselves. There is every chance people will knock their prices down or be more accommodating. No one will work for free, but prices are negotiable and if you're super nice you never know!

8) Get EVERYONE on board

I'm sure you have a lovely set of friends and a supportive family. They will be over the moon about your wedding, so let them help you pull it all together. From the D.I.Y decorations to the music, let everyone add their little touch. It really involves everyone in the big day and they will probably be pleased you asked.

9) Its Just ONE Day.

It is massively important and day you may have dreamed about all your life, but it is just ONE DAY, it is not worth getting into massive debt over. Keep it simple and most importantly make sure you enjoy it!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

How to have a Special Valentines Day without Breaking the Bank.

Showing your affection for you partner is not about how much you spend on them. It's worth remembering diamonds and five star meals don't make your gesture more meaningful or thoughtful. Having the means to pay for expensive gifts and experiences does not relieve the giver from expressing love personally, nor does it relieve the recipient from returning such love personally.

If you're worried that you can't afford to give

your partner a Valentine's Day to remember, you need to realise the best thing that can come from a Valentines Day is your partner knowing that they are absolutely loved, cared about and wanted. You don't have to spend an extortionate amount of money to do this, it may be a cliché, but its the thought that counts.

Love is not about Consumption. With the marketing drive that now surrounds Valentines Day, it's easy for couples to get caught up in the retailers profit motivated ideas of romance. We should all know that love isn't about the goods you give, it's about what you give by the way of time, attention, and acknowledgement. None of these qualities can be purchased. Once you realise this and take it on board completely, you can still come up with inspiring valentines ideas for your partner, that don't cost the earth.

Minimise don't do without. One of the tricks to making the day cheaper is to still indulge in your traditional valentines days activities but reduce them. For example, instead of giving her a dozen red roses, give her one. Or, a small yet special bar of chocolate rather than a whole box of expensive ones. Rather than going out for an expensive meal, turn your hand to cooking your partners favourite dish and put some real effort into the presentation. It is possible to participate in the essence of the Valentine's Day without spending a small fortune.

Make it yourself. Homemade cards are always more meaningful than purchased ones. It says that you don't just care about what's written inside, but also "I took the time to make this because I care enough about you to give that time." Cards like this are likely to be kept and treasured for a lot longer than a shop bought card. For other gifts draw on your own skills, for example, if you're a keen gardener give them something form the garden, if you're a cook make them their favourite meal or if you're a music obsessive give them a mixtape of songs that mean something to you both. There are plenty of examples, so get creative!

Take Time. Time is the ultimate romantic gesture. If you're a workaholic who is usually busy all the time, it will mean a great deal if you choose to spend the whole day with your partner. Spend time together doing things that have nothing to do with work, raising a family or the household. Banish the mundane! Make sure your focus is on each other and you can thoroughly concentrate on yourselves for the day. If you have kids try to find a babysitter, however, if you can't involve the children in helping with the' day for the parents'.

A special night in. A night in together can not only be a better experience, it can be a way to beat the valentines crowds. With so many people having the same idea not only can it be expensive, it can be claustrophobic too! 

Make a meal in which shows the extra trouble you've gone too, it doesn't need to be expensive, just spend time making it more complicated than the usual daily meals. Check for special recipes online and put in that extra special effort. Watch a film you'll both love, get some snacks and relax.  

Rounding the night off. If you really want to round off the night (and you don't find it too cheesy), put on some warm clothes and go out to check out the night sky. Find somewhere on the outskirts of town and go stargaze, remember to bring blankets, snacks and something to drink to complete the experience.