Latest Posts


4 personal finance myths you need to forget

Personal finance is a funny thing, we’re often guilty of banking on ‘facts’ that just aren’t true.

By now, we’ve hopefully all established that the moon isn’t made of cheese and that the tooth fairy somehow stops visiting when we leave home. But which personal finance facts are actually fiction?

We’ll take you through the top 4, and hopefully help you avoid any damage that could occur if you take them at face value…

#1 – Parking tickets can’t be enforced

Here’s the myth:

If you get a parking ticket from a private company (i.e. not the council or police) they rely on you paying it and submitting your details – as the DVLA won’t give them your information.

Not only is this wrong, it can get you into some seriously large amounts of debt when the company do get your details. Private parking companies can get your details – and while they might not pursue you for the debt you owe much beyond sending letters, that doesn’t mean they won’t pass your debt to a collection agency or apply to the high court to have the debt settled.

Essentially, by parking on their land, you’re entering an agreement – and the courts won’t look favourably on your case if your only defence is that you didn’t think it would stand up to legal scrutiny.

If you manage to evade the attention of the collection agency and do end up being taken to court – you’re entering a world of additional charges and really serious financial consequences. Collection agency fees add up, as do court charges and the cost of the bailiffs when they knock on your door.

A debt that could start out at around £70 if paid quickly, could easily end up being £1,000+ by the time bailiffs come to your property to start the process of seizing goods to settle the debt.

#2 – Debt disappears after x amount of time

The myth is:

If you can avoid a company you owe money to for 6 or more years, the debt will be erased.

So, there’s a real mix of information in that myth. Firstly, no company is going to ‘erase’ your debt – nor are they going to give up on trying to find you if you try to evade their attention.

The 6 years that’s often tied to this myth is probably tied to the fact that information stays on your credit file for that amount of time. So, if you were in arrears and settled them in 2014, by 2020 those arrears will no longer have an impact on your credit score.

However, if you got a loan today, cancelled the repayments and tried to ignore the letters, you’re going to be in for a very tough time – probably for much longer than 6 years. Credit companies will pursue you relentlessly – and they work with companies and systems that will locate you no matter how hard you try to keep a low profile. Buy insurance? Get a new phone contract? Register to pay gas or electric at a property? Ping… you’re leaving a paper trail that leads straight to your door.

If by some minor miracle you do manage to keep off their radar, they will pursue you through the courts – ignore that and you’ll end up with a county court judgement (CCJ) against your name. If you have an outstanding CCJ, the authorities can contact your employer to get an attachment of earnings – meaning you’ll be repaying the debt before the money even gets to your bank account. There are plenty of sensible ways to manage your debt. What is debt management? Debt management means negotiating more affordable monthly repayments with your creditors. You can do this yourself, or ask a professional to help you establish a sustainable debt management plan.

#3 – Payday loans help you rebuild your credit

The myth is:

Payday loans can be good for your credit rating – having one and repaying it shows lenders you’re a responsible borrower.

While repaying a debt is an indication that you’ll do it again, what people who circulate this myth forget is that getting a payday loan in the first place is more of an indication of your financial health to subsequent lenders than any repayment history.

Frankly, a payday loan is an absolute last-stop when it comes to getting money together to get through the month – there are lots of alternatives that should be explored first, including talking to the companies you owe money to and seeing if they’ll consider rearranging your debt – so you don’t need to turn to a payday loan.

The interest incurred on a payday loan makes it increasingly difficult to pay off. If you’re £200 short this month, next month you’ve got that £200 to repay, plus a big chunk of interest – meaning you’re likely to run out of money even quicker than the month previous…

#4 You have to be wealthy to save

The myth is:

You have to have a lot of disposable income before you start saving money

This is just an out and out untruth. While it might be nice to be able to save thousands of pounds each month, the reality for 95% of savers is much different.

Finance industry studies show that the most successful savers are people who get into the habit of saving by viewing the monthly amount they put away as an ‘outgoing’ – along with their mortgage, rent, utilities, debt repayments and so forth.

Many people believe that it is only what’s left over in your bank account at the end of month that can be saved – and guess what – the chance of money being left in your account when the end of the month comes around is slim to none – simply because we tend to ‘live to our means’.

If you can break the habit of living off your bank balance until payday – and instead adopt a simple budget, you’ll find there’s likely to be an amount that you can justify saving. Here’s the next truth: It doesn’t have to be much! Even just putting £10 away each month adds up to £120 by the end of the year – and there’s no one who’d turn down having an extra £120 in the case of a financial emergency.


The 7 best ways to start saving money

Each year, 75% of us can expect an unforeseen large expense.

That expense might be a bill, a car MOT or breakdown cost – perhaps something around the house will need replacing. The possibilities are infinite – but sadly, your money is not.

With that in mind, we’ve put together our top 7 ways to start or build your savings – with a few that you’ll find surprisingly easy…

  1. Do you need those channels?!

Modern TV comes in a variety of shapes and packages – and the truth is, very few of us use even 10% of what we have access to.

Your TV costs might be something you don’t really notice each month – £7.99 for Netflix – an extra £8 for some sport on Sky… but it adds up.

Why not do a ‘TV audit’ – note the channels that you actually watch and compare them to the packages that are available to you. What you’re likely to find is that you’re paying £10-£20 extra for channels that you only use once a week.

Weigh up whether it’s worth it – and if you decide to ditch a service or package, set a direct debit up that puts that money into your savings. It might not be much, but an extra £200 or so throughout the year can be enough to take some pressure of when you need it.

  1. Go fixed rate while you can

There are indications that the base rate will see increases as the UK takes further steps toward leaving the EU – so now might be the time to jump on fixed rate mortgages while that rate is still nice and low.

Of course, this isn’t going to put money in your pocket – but if you take advantage now, you might be avoiding a hike in your payment should the base rate increase.

If this does happen, why not start putting the difference you would have been paying into a savings account – that means that your extra funds are accessible in times of emergency, rather than just disappearing into your lender’s coffers…

  1. Set a challenge

You can work out exactly how much you spend on food, drink, leisure and other variable outgoings each month quite easily – especially if you’re happy to scroll back through some online banking screens.

When you’ve got an average figure why not challenge yourself to reduce it by say 20%?

Half the battle with these costs is that we don’t know how much they are – so calculating the actual amount will shock you. A bit of simple budgeting will see you able to work out what a weekly cost should be.

If you’re careful and can save that 20% – why not stash it in a savings account? You’ll quickly see the money go up and it’s unlikely you’ll feel a huge squeeze.

  1. Coupon and save!

Coupons are tricky – there’s a good marketing ploy being used here, but as long as you know about it, you can save yourself some cash.

The ploy is this – coupons get people through the door when they wouldn’t normally. So, you could stay at home and have a normal meal that costs £15 in ingredients – but hang on a second, you’ve got a coupon for 2-4-1 pizzas at a restaurant here – so why not have a treat.

When the pizza bill comes to £30 you might feel like you’ve had a bargain, but actually, you’ve spent £15 more than you would have done without the coupon – and the restaurant’s got £30 it wouldn’t have got without it.

So, the key is to only use coupons on things you would be buying anyway. It takes a bit of will-power not to cave in to the lovely offers, but you’ll be rewarded when you look at your savings balance.

  1. Sell your old stuff

It used to be that using sites like eBay represented a bit of a challenge – especially if it was someone in Finland that ended up buying your fish tank.

But now, we’ve got local selling groups as far as the eye can see on social media. Sign up, take some quick snaps of your stuff, stick a price on it – and you’ll virtually always have it sold quick-sharp.

Don’t assume people don’t want your stuff. Even if it’s a bit beaten or bruised, there’s likely to be someone who’s got little or no money starting out in their own place.

Perhaps you’ll make a fortune, perhaps you’ll only make a few pounds – either way, stick that money in a savings account and it’s 100% profit vs. giving it away or throwing it in the tip.

  1. Buy people’s old stuff

On the flip side of tip number 5 – if you’re in the market for something that would have a hefty price tag – why not consider looking for it pre-owned?

Selling sites have everything from designer dresses to power tools that can be bought at a fraction of the original price. You might save yourself a couple of pounds on a kitchen utensil – or hundreds of pounds on a big piece of furniture – so why not put away anything that you do save, you can keep it for a luxury item further down the line, or just as a buffer zone in more lean times?

  1. Assess your debt

Although there have been some regulation changes in the past few years, there’s still a chance that you’re not handling your debt in the most money efficient way.

Think about a credit card. You might think that paying back a minimum amount is the most frugal move, but in reality, it’s highly likely you’re costing yourself more money in the long term.

Talk to the people you owe money to, it might be that upping your repayment slightly now will clear your debt far more quickly – or even reduce the overall amount you’re paying back. Okay, adding a few pounds to what you owe now isn’t going to put money in your savings account – but if you’re clear of niggling debt sooner, the quicker you can start saving for a rainy day.


Investing Your Tax Refund

When working, it can be annoying how much tax we pay. There can also be times when we’ve paid too much tax. This could be due to a miscalculation on our tax return, or because we’ve been paying tax on the incorrect tax code.

Fortunately, we can recoup our less via tax refund, which is either sent automatically, or because we’ve made a request. Either way, we can find ourselves with a payment we weren’t expecting. Initially, we can be tempted to spend the money on a few treats, but there those who like to ensure that they’re money is working in the best way for them.

Depending on your current financial standing, there can be several ways to invest your tax refund that will put you in a better financial position moving forward. The following is an example of what your tax refund can be used for.

Pay off Debts with High Interest

When paying off loans and credit cards, it can be easy to forget about the interest rates because we’re only paying a monthly amount. However, if we do our sums, it can mean that we’re paying a lot of interest. Therefore, using our tax refund to pay off any existing debt can be a good move. There can be fees for doing this but often, these fees will still be lower than the interest you’re currently paying.

Fund Your Children’s Education

One of the main worries parents can have is working out how they will meet the financial commitments of their children’s education. In the early stages of a child’s life, it’s not unusual for such concerns to be put on the backburner. But sooner than you know, you’re in a position where your financial situation needs some serious adjustment.

Evidently, tax refunds can vary in amounts, but it’s safe to say that any amount you’re able to commit to your children’s financial future in advance is only going to benefit you in the long run. The reason why so parents find the ordeal stressful is due to them having to find a large amount of money in a short amount of time. Having an amount already stored away, regardless of how small, can only help reduce the stress moving forward.

Use the Refund Towards Your Retirement

Saving towards our retirement is hard nowadays, especially if we’re starting our funds later. Depending on when you’re looking to retire, there can be many changes you need to make to ensure you have enough. For example, there may be instances where you need to take on another job to ensure you can retire at the age you want.

However, if we’re able to contribute a large amount to our retirement fund early on, then the whole process becomes much easier.

Build Up Some Emergency Savings

When the unexpected happens, it’s not unusual for us to apply for a load, or use our credit card. While there are all viable means of funding, they do come at a cost in most instances. Using our refund towards an emergency savings fund means we’ve always got that peace of mind that is something should go wrong, we have instant access to funds.

Increase Your Insurance Premiums

While we should always look to have the right kind of insurance in place, complete peace-of-mind can be costly. As such, there is always an element of risk when it comes to the loss of our cherished possessions. A tax refund can be used towards your premiums to ensure that all bases are covered should the worst-case scenario occur. It also means that you’re not struggling financially when it comes to replacing items in the home.

Open an ISA

There are many savings accounts available to us, and in most instances, it makes sense to opt for an account that offers attractive interest rates. However, we also need to consider that our savings are taxed at the end of each financial year, at least that’s the case with a normal savings account. An ISA, also known as an individual savings account, allows you to save a set amount each year, without being subjected to tax. Depending on the account you choose, there will also be an amount of interest paid on the ISA.

The amount that could be saved in the 2017/18 tax year is £20,000, but this amount often changes each tax year. Evidently, if the amount is more than £20,000, you would need to look at other avenues for the remainder, but an ISA is a great way of making a return on your cash, without having to pay interest.

It’s worth noting that an ISA is a long-term investment, and while you can have access to the funds in most instances, you will be at a loss in terms of interest.

Use Your Refund Towards a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle

Depending on the type of vehicle we have, we can spend a lot on fuel. While we may look at the upfront cost when purchasing a vehicle, we don’t always consider the overall cost, which can include insurance and fuel. Similarly, there can be vehicles that can cost more upfront, but prove to be more efficient in terms of fuel usage. If you use your car for a multitude of tasks, then it can make sense to opt for something that is cost-effective.

How you choose to use your tax refund can depend on your circumstances, and there will be those who just want to go and enjoy it. However, investing the amount can mean that our money is working in the best way it can.


Stock Trading Misconceptions That Will Give You Away as an Amateur

So here you are, making your first trades in your path to becoming a Trader. You’re starting to get a hold of the lingo, and you’re raring to become an overnight sensation. But, what should you know before you start? Is trading all it appears to be? Here is a list of tips compiled from a number of veterans in the biz, absorb them and soon enough you’ll be a trading pro.

  1. A Hot Stock = Good

The first misconception that amateur’s quickly learn isn’t true is that a hot stock isn’t always the best stock to invest in. No investment is guaranteed, and just because something is doing well and has a great reputation, doesn’t mean it is a good idea to invest in it.

A lot of stocks in this position are actually overvalued. The hype has gotten ahead of it, and now you are paying way too much for what it is worth. Hopefully, if you’ve made this mistake you shouldn’t lose a huge amount when the value corrects itself, but you aren’t about to make the fortune you were expecting.

This is the most important lesson you will learn: you should be investing for the long term, not the glamour. This means, it is not actually the end of the world if you have invested in overvalued stock. You shouldn’t immediately sell when you realize your mistake – stay in for the long-haul and you are likely to make some money anyway, whether it be in a year, or a decade.

  1. A Bad Market = Bad

The other side of this coin, is the belief that a bad market means a bad investment. A stock that is doing badly, is not necessarily a bad stock to buy. Many companies go through short-term blips, sometimes made worse by people panic-selling.

The most important thing to do, is to do your research. Find out if it has stable fundamentals – this is their long-term qualitative and quantitative information, such as revenue, assets, liabilities and growth – and find out the reason for the blip. Using this information, you should be able to ascertain whether the problem with the stock is systemic, and thus likely to lead to all-out failure, or a short-term problem.

If it is a short-term problem, think of the low-stock like a sale. But, like in all sales, don’t go crazy and spend more money than you would have if there weren’t a sale. Just look at it as good value-for-money.

Similarly, if your stock is doing badly, research why this is before you panic-sell at a loss.

  1. Hiring a Broker = Good

Hiring a Broker to work for you sounds like a great thing to do. It seems like you are hiring an expert who will make you lots of money, without you having to lift a finger! But, unfortunately, it is not that simple.

Despite what many people pretend, the truth is no one can predict stocks. No one is going to make you a millionaire, no matter how much experience they have. If they could, they wouldn’t need to be charging you to make themselves money.

The truth is, most of the money that is made in the industry is made by people selling their advice, ideas and experience, rather than in actual trades. As such, a broker is not that likely to operate in your best interest. They make money every time you trade, but you pay the fees. This encourages them to buy and sell very frequently to make them the most money, rather than invest with a long-term frame of mind.

If you want help, which is understandable, a fee-only financial planner is a better option. They charge by the hour to give you advice. As such, their advice and actions are likely to be unbiased, as their fee is not tied to any particular action. They also have the motivation to get it right, so that you will return to seek advice again. Over time, you can build up quite a healthy, trusting relationship between yourself and your financial planner.

  1. Insider Tips = Good

The first time you think you have a great insider tip, you’ll feel like you’re indestructible. But watch out, similar to hiring a broker, the vast number of insider tips are absolute rubbish.

Generally, anyone promising you any specific results when they try to sell you advice, is talking rubbish. This is because, if they were able to guarantee anything, they would not need to be selling their tips – they would be millionaires already.

It is possible that a genuinely close friend who you trust, and who is telling you something for free, may have a good tip. But always ask yourself: where is it coming from? Are they telling you something they heard as a mere rumor? Or are they telling you something that they know as an absolute fact that no one else knows?

Remember: the best ‘tips’ would actually be pretty illegal somewhere along the line. It would require somebody trusted within a company revealing some pretty sensitive information, and this does not happen very often, and not on such a level that it spreads to an amateur trader.

  1. Your Stock Doing Well = Money Made

Last of all, stop staying ‘I made X amount today’ when it is just a simple portfolio or stock which increased in value. It is a dead giveaway that you are an amateur, and that you don’t understand how stocks work.

You only make money if you sell. If your stock has made a huge amount in one day, feel free to sell if you wish. But, you should consider that you could be missing out on future gains. Stock going up a large amount in one day, is often an indicator of great long-term growth on the horizon. You could make a one-off $1000, or you could make thousands in a year, or even tens of thousands in a decade. Compound interest over a decade, will make you a lot more than one good day. The amount your portfolio has made in one particular day is never really that relevant.

Ultimately: Don’t Make It All about Risk

There is one cliché that holds true: You can lose it all in one bad decision.

There is a romantic view of stock trading that it is all ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and about making a lot of money fast. But professional traders know how necessary it is to have rules and caution.

One such rule, for example, is the 10% rule. Never use more than 10% of your portfolio for personal trading – this means put over 90% into low cost index funds, and then ‘play around’ with less than 10%. Some would advise less than 5%.

The best advice is to set up your own rules, and stick to them. Rules such as: don’t impulse buy, or panic sell. Stock Trading is essentially high-stakes gambling, and, like all professional gamblers know, never spend anything you weren’t prepared to lose.

Enter into it for the long-haul rather than short-term, high-risk pay offs, and you should be fine.

Finance improvement

Best online finance tools

Managing one’s finance is not at all easy. It takes a lot of time to track down all your expenses and then to make a list of all expenses. You will have to get all your bank details, mortgages, loan details, credit card account and so on. So the traditional pencil and paper method of personal finance management does not work for you today.

You must be confused what to do then? Thank Heavens for the latest technology that we have today for calculating the budget and finance details. You get online and search for some online personal finance management tools. You will find hundreds of them. There are free tools that can be used to make simple calculations. You will also find huge personal finance management tools that can be used to calculate the budget and plan finance of business organizations too.

There are a lot of online personal finance tools that are offered to individuals for free to help them manage their finances better. These are the most effective instruments to become financially stable while saving yourself from getting into debt trouble.

Wesabe: is an online tool site that provides strong financial management tools while at the same time having that social networking appeal since it offers an active forum for clients who seek support and give encouragement to each other to reach their respective monetary goals.


A more basic and less updated free online personal finance tool found on the web, Bxfer is best finance tool for people who are looking for fuss-free financial planning tools.

Social Picks:

SocialPicks is a financial online based company that offer tools that focuses more on tracking a person’s investments. It site gives you independent service wherein you can easily gain access to your asset’s achievement while at the same time giving you a chance to make comparisons with other investors. Financial advice is also provided to help you market your investment better.

CreditKarma. offers tools that just function like your credit score bureau company; this website gives you an updated standing of your credit score. Also, the advice is given on how you can better your rating as well as hints on how you can repair a rating with glitches.

These instruments come free and very handy. Estimating your cash inflow and outflow can be easily done in the comfort of your home facing the computer.

Finance improvement

Aims and Objectives of Business Finance

Finance is the life blood for a business and is a absolute necessity to operations long term as well as short term. Every business has a different aim about its finance needs. Also, every business requires finance to expand, diversify or simply for daily operations.

The sole aim of business finance is to develop the business through its efficient usage.

The main objectives of business finance are:

1. To generate Cash Flow: The main objective of business finance is to generate cash flow. Better cash flow results in profit maximization. Businesses should use the finance in such a way where the cycle is shorter and the return is more.

2. To Increase Wealth: Using the business finance at its best is the skill of an avid entrepreneur. The net value of the operation or transaction done should be positive. This results in a stable increase in the assets of the business. Also it is beneficial for the business to maintain a steady growth in the operations.

3. To Develop Value in the Business: Proper usage of the business finance will create a sustainable business. Over and above that, it generates a value for the business by enhancing the business cycle. It also maximizes the wealth of the shareholders of the company, thus increasing value of the business.

4. Return on Investment: Business finance should allow business a constant and increasing return. The rotation of the finance in the business guides the rate. It also helps in the proper disposition of assets.

Business Finance, in a wider sense, can be divided into Fixed capital and Working capital segments.

Fixed capital includes purchasing assets like land, building, machinery. The funds invested in the fixed assets remain there for a long time.

Working capital means the funds required for day to day carrying out of operations of a business. It results in speedy turnover of finance.

Finance improvement

5 Best Personal Finance Tips

It is always important to ensure that you spend your personal money in the right way. With the high cost of living experienced in the modern times, you need to know how to manage your personal finances in a great way. Here are some of the best personal finance tips you need to follow.

Plan before you spend

One of the most important things you need to do is to make sure that you only spend the amount you have budgeted. You should always have a budget that guides you on how to make great financial decisions. You need to have a budget that caters for your most important needs. A budget should act as a map for where you will spend your money.

Save some amount

You do not have to save a lot of money; you should try to save even a little every month. It might look pointless to save a little, but it is the small amount you save every month that you will realise you have saved a lot after several months. The most important thing here is to ensure that you save no matter what.

Track your expenses

If you would want to understand where your money is going, you should be able to track your expenses. The best way to do this is to write down all your spending immediately you make them. By writing down all your expenses, you get more conscious of all your spending habits. This is a great way to start making well informed financial decisions.

Avoid debts

At times debts might help you solve some financial issues you might have. However, it is important to ensure that you avoid debts as much as you can. If you develop the habit of having debts at all times, you might find yourself in a financial crisis when you fail to repay them within the right time.

Finance improvement

Ways To Improve Your Finances

Organize your finances because this will save you time, effort and energy. Having to think of strategies for the improvement of your finances is one thing that you should keep up. You will never know what will be the outcome of your future, but as long as you are doing things to assure that you can bring a brighter tomorrow not only for yourself but also to your future generation to come. Increasing the foundation of your finances is a big decision that you’ll need to think more than just once. Most asked question is how you’re going to achieve it?

Financial advisers

You can always gain from your friends or family who have an experience regarding personal finances, but is they enough for you to learn more about increasing your wealth? Considering financial advisers are the best way for you to seek consultation because they can tackle to you a complete and thorough discussion as to how you’re going to start saving and perhaps if you are opting to enter into the investment world. Their knowledge can bring you to a horizon of financial options that you can choose. You can as well assess yourself with the type of investor you can be.

Here are the following ways that you can improve your finances.

1. Track and Monitor the things that you are spending- being aware of your daily, weekly and monthly expenses is important. This will give you a valued lesson by comparing your expenses from the previous days. In this way, you can identify your needs from your wants. Keep a tracking record perhaps by writing it down in a notebook, or you can do a bookkeeping with a use of software.

2. Paying yourself first- this a kind of method wherein most people finds it effective for them to save their money and at the same time, improves their wealth. For instance, you can spend things that you need before paying all of your bills and then set aside the money.

3. Always set aside emergency savings- you will never know what things can happen. So for this matter, you must start saving for an SOS savings so that you are ready no matter life will bring you. Stashing for at least three months is the best way that you can use it if there are any means of emergency cases.

4. Ensuring regular bills- to avoid any means of overspending your money, having to automate your bills in such a manner that your money will go directly to what you have set aside for the kind of bills that you usually pay such home loans, car loans. If you are doing this, you are guaranteed that you can save money and even increase your loans.

5. Getting rid of your existing house cards- an example is your credit card and another stash of cards that can lead you to debt. Cutting these will take out the thorn that you have been carrying. You will realize that it is better to have no debts than to keep on swiping your credit cards with things that you do not necessarily need.

6. Receipts- having to take advantage of technology gives you the opportunity to experience lesser hassle compared to keeping receipts in your wallets or staple wiring it in your notebook. Digitizing your receipts is preferred and a keeper compared to losing important receipts that you have misplaced.

There are many ways that you can achieve a personal finance goal, as long as you guided with a financial adviser you will surely have a brighter future.