Are Electric Bikes Actually Cost Efficient?

  Electric bikes were previously considered as just fun objects that the youngsters wanted to ride for gaining extra pleasure. But now this kind of bike is gaining popularity among the common people for many proven advantages. Actually, a high-power motor is fitted to a normal bike to transform it into an electrical bike. Thus, this bike can run faster than the ordinary ones and can pick up the speed till 15 mph, as higher speed is not permissible in the UK. Though its cost is quite affordable for most of the buyers, people do not hesitate to pay the higher cost than ordinary bikes, due to the cost-efficiency of an electric bike.

Most lucrative facilities available from electric bikes

 No extra maintenance cost – The electric bikes need only the extra expense of the batteries to supply electricity to the wheels. But this expense is quite negligible compared to the better speed and other facilities obtained from this kind of bike. As the other mechanism is same as the normal bikes, the maintenance costs also found to be the same.

  • Much higher speed – The electric bikes can be driven at much higher speed than the ordinary ones and this speed is almost matching to the speed of a car while driving on a road with busy traffic. Moreover, it is easier to manage way with a bike among too many vehicles, while maintaining the speed due to this battery-operated bike.
  • Can run on any rough terrain – The electric bikes are powerful enough for driving through the rough road surfaces of even the hillside. Moreover, this bike is perfectly safe for riding through the uneven roads and never causes accidents even on high speed.
  • Good for maintaining fitness – It is known that bike riding is a good exercise and the high speed of the electrical bike stimulates the body muscles in a better manner. Moreover, the enjoyment of bike riding encourages people to use this bike more frequently, which benefits their health.
  • Provides more pleasure – The easiness of riding the electric bikes causes less effort from the biker and thus, much easier to drive even in hot summer days, without causing too much sweat like it would have been in case of ordinary bikes. Moreover, people reach their destinations in lesser time than imagined on bikes, making their rides more enjoyable for the bikers in all weathers.

The electric bikes are much safer than the cars or scooters while providing the same speed and joy of riding those vehicles. So now more people are inclined to buy these bikes that can be sold later with better resale value than the ordinary bikes.

 

Four Ways You Can Help Your Family Back Home When You’re a Poor College Student

Studying abroad has many benefits that include:

  • Enhancing your awareness of other people and cultures
  • Increasing the quality of your academic experience
  • Advancing your career by obtaining global knowledge
  • Enhancing personal growth by learning more about others

Unfortunately, nowhere on that list will you find making loads of money or getting rich. Being a poor college student is a right of passage for many, but it can be even more stressful if you’re a student in the U.S. and you want to help your family back home.

Here are a few ways you can support your family in e.g. Guatemala with the little cash you do make in your spare time.

Transfer Money

When it comes to helping family back home, there really isn’t anything better than cash. It allows your parents, brothers, and sisters to pay for the things they need when they need them.

Just make sure you choose a transfer service that offers great exchange rates, small fees, and delivers your money on-time.

Pay for Everyday Necessities

You may not be able to send cash, especially if your parents insist on sending you what little they have! Instead, you have to take a different approach. Shipping everyday necessities to your parents might be a better option.

You can mail necessities to them, or you can order items and have them delivered to their doorstep. You can send everything from body wash to tissues, depending on the needs of your family.

Send Care Packages

Sending necessities is a great way to make sure your parents, brothers, and sisters are taken care of when you’re away from home, but they’ll probably appreciate a care package even more.

With a little practice and forethought, a care package doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it can have a huge impact.

Consider packing candies and treats that they can’t find back home. Games, music, and clothing are all great things to send that your family is sure to love.

Tell Them About Your Everyday Adventures

It isn’t all about money. Your family cares about how you’re doing, even if you don’t have a lot of money to send. That’s why it’s important to include them in your everyday life.

Stay in touch through text messages or set up a weekly Skype session. A phone call is always a great way to connect, as is posting or emailing pictures of your surroundings.

If all that high-tech stuff is too much for your parents, even a plain old letter will do. It’s even better if you can send a postcard or pictures right to their doorstep!

Your family is doing everything they can to support you while you’re away from home, and you should continue to support them while you’re away. With these tips, no matter how much money you have, you can take care of your family when you no longer live under the same roof.

Champagne Taste But Lager Money? Are We Living Beyond Our Means in the UK

Nowadays, the prices of house, car and many essential items have shot up enormously in the market of the UK. Thus, common people find it very tough to afford the high costs of these things, unless they borrow money from the banks or other financial institutions. These financial organizations offer lucratively low-interest rate for their loans granted in various fields, thus encouraging people even more for taking loans. Therefore, the whole of the UK is now reportedly full of borrowers, who have taken some kinds of loans from the financial companies.

Few important facts about the craze for taking loans 

  • As per the recent survey that was done across the country, every household in the UK now owes averagely more than £50,000 debt, including their home loans or mortgages.
  • The lure for a high-standard modern living has forced common people of mediocre income to fulfill their desires of buying expensive items by taking loans in large amounts. Thus, most of them go much beyond their affordability to keep up with the fast pace of modern times.
  • The expenses have risen to the sky-high limit in many normal households, compared to their limited income that has not increased at the same rate. Thus, it becomes difficult for the people to pay off their debt easily.
  • People are more inclined to seek loans through their credit cards and also may ask for unsecured loans, where no object is produced as a guarantee. As per the survey that was done in 2016, the approximate amount of net borrowing in the UK has risen to £34 billion, which is an alarming figure for any developed country.
  • The amount of personal debt has grown at so high speed all over the country that now the ratio of debt to income in a common household was averagely 133% in 2016.

Thus, now the government of the UK has taken some effective steps to eradicate this problem of heavy debt from the life of the common public. There are some measures taken for helping the debt-ridden families, who are struggling to meet all ends with the repayment of their debts. Some helpful services are offered for the families that have borrowed and spent beyond their actual means, which many people have readily accepted. Some government bodies are also spreading financial literacy among the public, where they are taught about all the features and dangers of taking too many loans for simply upgrading the lifestyle.

Using Investments to Support Your Start-Up

Ideas that are truly inspired are often considered to be genius. But, if a genius idea remains merely an idea, it doesn’t do anyone any good. The good news in today’s culture is that regular people with great ideas can get their ideas funded instead of stolen by large companies. People have access to crowdfunding and have easier access to money in today’s world.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs can easily get a short-term loan or secure some other type of funding. The most important thing to realize in today’s connected world is that many hands make small work. This applies to methods of gaining funding via crowdsourcing or borrowing.

Crowdfunding

The advantage that crowdfunding brings is that if enough people support your idea, you can get the money for your project without having to pay it back. There are costs to crowdfunding, usually a percentage, and often kickbacks are offered to incentivize potential contributors, but if your idea meets the necessary threshold, your project is funded. No installment payments to pay back the money or pressure to make enough to outpace the terms of the loan.

The main disadvantage of crowdfunding is that you might not get any money, because it is a zero-sum endeavor. And you must put your idea out into the public, perhaps even before you are ready. As for the funding aspect, it is essential that you present  your idea in a way that moves people to contribute. Usually, you want people to support your idea with vigor, and if your idea is solid, they will do so even without incentives.

Another disadvantage is that you must expose your idea to the public. This requires that you patent your idea and gain the exclusive legal right to produce it. This can be expensive, and if mistakes are made, the idea could be stolen. This also puts your production on the clock as soon as it is exposed to the worldwide web. Delays could mean losing out in the competitive world of business.

Borrowing

If your product can produce the kind of revenue to cover the expense brought on by borrowing, the internet has made getting venture capital easier, even for companies not based in Silicon Valley. Micro-lending and broad-based lending are becoming available to people with good ideas and a plan to implement them.

What is exciting about this possibility is that the standard requirements for lending do not constrain lenders. The old saying is that a banker is someone who will give you an umbrella when the sun is shining and take it back if it rains. With the new lending models, it is less important to show that you do not need the money than it is that to show that you have a plan to use the money responsibly and therefore repay the loan within an allotted period of time. One huge advantage to these new lenders is that they significantly outperform old methods of crisis borrowing such as credit cards.

Credit cards have funded startups like AirBnB and allowed them access to the capital they needed to get off the ground. But had they not enjoyed a significant wave of fortune when the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado sold out all the local hotel rooms. Delegates, reporters, supporters, and unrelated travelers were needed to find alternative forms of lodging during the event. Airbnb was happy to fill the need, and the event was successful enough that they were able to pay off their credit cards and turn their attention to more significant sources of support. Now, reasonable terms can be used instead of the exorbitant interest paid to credit cards to fund your startup.

Conclusion

New business ideas spark spinoff ideas which continue to spin off and benefit the economy, providing more business opportunity for entrepreneurs. There are many ways to take advantage of this exciting time. Crowdfunding can be a great resource, but your idea must be compelling enough to reach its threshold, and you must be willing to expose your plan to the world before it is fully realized.

New forms of funding can alleviate the stress of not reaching the crowdfunding goals for your project, or from being ineligible for conventional borrowing. If you have an idea pursue it. Do not let yourself become the guy with a genius idea who complains to the bartender that he thought of that billion-dollar idea first.

If you own a business, what are some creative ways you have found to secure the needed funding to do business? Share your best advice in the comments below. Your insight could give a small business owner the advantage they need to succeed in their industry.

4 Industries We’d Love To See Crypto Help Out

With the explosion of crypto, there’s been numerous speculation about what industries can utilize blockchain. Yes, from agriculture to finance, a lot of entrepreneurs have been looking to see how they can implement blockchain technology into their industry. However, as with any tech craze, there’s not always going to be a fit, which is why we’ve listed a few of our early favorites and who we think will be successful with blockchain. Check them out below:

Lending

 If there’s one industry that could definitely use the help of blockchain, it has to be with lending. According to SuperMoney, there was approximately $1.38 trillion lent last year in the US alone, which blockchain has a lot of potential to disrupt. Why? Because not only could lending be down in cryptocurrencies, but the process to get funded could be done on the blockchain as well.

Where blockchain could come into play with lending is the ability to give people more favorable deals on their interest rates, especially since they’ll be contingent upon the market. Additionally, the verification process of approval, as well as the execution of repayment can all be done in the blockchain, saving a tremendous amount of time.

And lastly, with how secure the blockchain is as a file-sharing mechanism, this keeps financial records protected much better than traditional channels. Yes, crypto could be the perfect way to gain financial refocus in a very immediate future.

Contracts

 As the blockchain is all about the execution of smart contracts, the very structure of it alone could save numerous parties from the costs of drafting and execute a contract. Not only will this create an autonomous system that doesn’t rely on as many actors, but it additionally provides a level of transparency and security currently unmatched. And as noted by lawyers.com, with your average lawyer costing $100 to $400 per hour, blockchain just might be the perfect solution to saving big.

While there have been some early players in the blockchain space working on contract protocols, it’s going to be interesting to see how this develops. Although the blockchain won’t completely eliminate the need for lawyers or contract writing, it definitely will make the execution and follow-up of contracts much more efficient. All-in-all, smart contracts can make a big difference soon and should be something to keep an eye on in the next few years.

Asset Management

According to Deloitte, the asset management market is worth $40 trillion the US alone, which is a massive industry to try to enter. However, for the blockchain, this is much more attainable than you might imagine. After all, a lot of assets gain their value based on guesswork, with a lot of folks fudging the numbers around to prop up the price. This is one thing that will wildly be transformed by the blockchain.

Considering that the blockchain provides a receipt of proof-of-stake, every asset can have a chain that tells what’s been done to it and when. For example, the renovations on a house or piece of property, where you have a specific receipt tied to that asset where you know what was done and when.

To be successful with this, there has to be a form of backing or security; this is what stablecoin is trying to solve. All-in-all, expect asset management to become heavily influenced by the blockchain soon, providing a chain of receipts that help define the value.

Art

 Finally, if there’s one industry that’s been a great early use case for blockchain, it has to be the art world. Specifically in the world of digital art, until recently, there hasn’t been any proof of ownership on a digital file. As anyone can take an artists work off their page and post it on Instagram, the blockchain prevents that by providing a proof-of-stake/ownership on who the original creator was. And although a simple application of blockchain, it’s also brought about some surprising figures thus far.

Because the blockchain verifies that a digital file is a one-of-one, this creates scarcity, which in turn increases the value of the art. For example, as noted by Motherboard, a Rare Pepe (the popular internet meme) recently went for $38,500 at an auction, which is a staggering figure for what most would consider a meme. However, as a one-of-one collector’s item, this price point proves it’s just the beginning of digital art on the blockchain.

What are some industries you’re excited to see crypto help out? Comment with your answers below!

Conserving Costs In Terms Of Healthcare

A Tricky Situation

It’s well-known that the healthcare industry is becoming revitalized by industry changes. Some even characterize these changes as exponential. Some of those changes are good, some aren’t. To help you separate the “sheep” from the “goats”, as it were, following is a comparison between the UK’s NHS service, and private healthcare in the United States.

Consider firstly that the NHS of the UK is under intense scrutiny from UK citizens. This is primarily because it represents a government-run option, and as a result citizens hold that option accountable. But there are problems with such systems, as many in America realized when ACA became a codified reality.

Consider this: in America, approximately $3.3 trillion from the GDP is spent on healthcare, or approximately 4.3%. The UK spent about 9.9% of its GDP on healthcare in 2014, or around £179 billion.

Waiting room times for the emergency room in the UK aren’t great, but they are somewhat manageable; meanwhile, the US healthcare system is riddled with much more difficulty, as wait-time statistics there don’t include associated treatment. But something else worth considering here are the numbers associated with population. Even if you work in health industry you won’t be able to avoid some of the health system difficulties.

Population Considerations

One-hundred seventy-nine billion pounds is hardly comparable to 3.3 trillion dollars; especially when you take population into account. America has approximately 323 million citizens. The UK has around 65 million. Basically, the UK is 1/5th the size of the US in terms of population, but they spend almost ten percent of their GDP on healthcare—or more than twice as much as the US.

Meanwhile, the US is five times the size of the UK population-wise, and spends only 4.3% of its GDP on healthcare, as pointed out earlier. In order for the US to have a system of public healthcare that works like that in the UK, citizens would have to be taxed double what they already are. And It’s already been shown that the ACA flat-out doesn’t work—unless, of course, you’re a minority percentage of the population.

The solution? Mixing and matching. As it turns out, there are certain provisions in the US healthcare code which allow those who are covered to sort of “mix-and-match” between government and private provisions.

 

ACA has already expanded the burden of healthcare on US citizens dramatically. Unless those in the US plan on more than doubling what they’re already paying, they’ve got to look into solutions of this kind.

 

Recently, the topic that drew a lot of public attention in the US, is about the Obamacare Penalty changes since December. Apparently, people will still have to pay the Obamacare Penalty for not having health insurance in 2018. For more information on this topic check this article.

Make Your Choice

Here’s where things stand today: for the US to have a “socialized” healthcare system would require a massive hike in taxes—spending would have to be more than doubled to reach the same rate as the UK. As it stands today, the UK is going to cut your paycheck down  34% per $100k. In the US, the same tax comes at approximately $335k.

The question then becomes: be more dependent on the government, and have less money, but available health insurance, or conserve your resources and have less-effective healthcare, but greater personal freedom financially? This is quite the question indeed, and one about which many will have hot opinions for varying reasons.

The bottom line? There’s more comprehensive health coverage in the UK, but it ultimately costs the population more. There’s less effective health coverage in the US, but it also costs less.

Mobile Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

Mobile marketing isn’t optional. Your audience, no matter who they are, is on their smartphone pretty much all the time. Your business needs to be where your customers are, and if you’re sidestepping the importance of mobile marketing, your strategy is not going to be effective according to experts like the mobile app development firm Buildfire.

Mobile marketing provides you with extensive reach, it keeps you front and center for your audience, it builds loyalty, and it ensures that your messages are going directly to the people they’re intended for. People’s phones are always within their reach as well, so you’re never having to worry about losing a connection with your audience if you’re focusing on mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing is especially important for real estate agents and real estate professionals. The following are tips for real estate professionals who are either just starting their mobile marketing plan or want to change their strategy.

Text Messages

Mobile apps are excellent, but sometimes one of the most effective and also simplest way to market to a mobile audience is by text message. You know text messages are going to be seen, and often they’re opened immediately. This isn’t always the case with something like an email.

There are some different specific ways you can use text messages if you’re a real estate professional, including scheduling appointments or calls, updates on listings, offer updates, and links to properties.

With that being said, you do need to have people opt-in to receive this kind of messages from you, as is required by the FTC.

Mobile Apps

When it comes to mobile apps, there are a few different options for real estate professionals. One option is to use existing apps like Zillow, but a lot of realtors and agencies are instead opting to create their own app.

Your app can include information about agents in the company, directories of listings, and general content.

You can also use your app as a way to provide information and education to your audience, right at their fingertips. This fills a need for your audience, and it also keeps your name and your brand fresh in the mind of users.

Make It Responsive

Responsive design is especially important in the real estate industry because it’s so visually driven. However, a lot of businesses tend to think that responsive design just means that things are small on a mobile screen.

There’s a lot more to it than that.

Real estate professionals need to ensure they’re incorporating best practices of responsive design into their mobile marketing. This can include everything from images to video walk-through tours, as well as things like emails and inquiry forms.

Finally, another key element of a real estate professional’s mobile strategy has to be mobile ads. The idea of putting an ad in a magazine is no longer effective in the way it used to be. Real estate professionals should aim for cohesive branding across all elements of their mobile marketing from their texts and emails to their app and then ultimately their ads.

Embrace the idea of using not only paid online ads through Google AdWords and social media but also be innovative with the use of options like Facebook and Instagram Live videos, as well as Snapchat.

3 Famous Celebrities who went bankrupt

With the global economy still fluctuating and no signs of it getting stable this year, there are many individuals and organizations still facing financial woes and might be compelled to declare bankruptcy sometime or later. However, the surprising fact is that bankruptcy is an issue that is not only faced by the common people or small and large companies, but also by celebrities who are said to have earned in their career in millions!

The celebrities do manage to earn a fortune in a very short time, something that cannot be even dreamt by the average individual in his entire life. Despite making huge sums of money during their career in playing, acting or business, a good number of celebrities with household names are found to face financial ruin. This could perhaps be due to some consequences of wrongly taken decisions or lack of future work. Some celebrities are even said to have lost their homes because of non-payment of tax debts.

Three top celebrities who declared bankruptcy

  • Donald Trump: The current president of the United States, Donald Trump was popular for his famous hairstyle, self promotion and high profile romantic exploits. His business is said to have declared bankruptcy between 1991 & 2009 for about six times! He had inherited his father’s real estate family business. He created a fortune by developing large apartment complexes and single family homes, casinos, resorts, golf courses, media productions, luxury residences and much more. With real estate business witnessing downturn during the early 90s and mid to late 2000, he had filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
  • Mike Tyson: He is one of the most popular boxers who had won the admiration of both the young and the old for his fighting prowess and spirit. Nicknamed ‘Iron Mike’, he entered the frame during the early 1980s and won the WBC heavyweight championship title at an early age of 20+ to become the youngest boxer to get to this mark. He also had a remarkable record of 26 wins from 28 fights by knock-out! During the initial 18 years of his career, he earned over $400 million. But tiffs with the law and his ill fated comeback fight only made his bankrupt in 2003.
  • Nicolas Cage: He is regarded to be Hollywood royalty and has blood relations with some of the prominent Hollywood directors and actors. He found success in acting and won several awards. He earned a fortune between 1996 & 2011, but due to lavish spending and legal troubles caused him to declare bankruptcy.

The above are the top personalities who had declared bankruptcy.

The Biggest Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Owning a small business can be incredibly rewarding. People generally start businesses they feel passionate about, and it gives them freedom and opportunities to grow that they might not have working for someone else.

At the same time, small business ownership is full of challenges, and as many good times as there might be, there are also bad ones that you have to weather.

You can’t protect yourself against everything as a small business owner, but recognizing common mistakes can help you combat them. The following are some of the biggest mistakes made by so many business owners.

Not Choosing the Right Entity Structure

According to Anderson Advisors, when you’re starting a new business, at the very least you should form an LLC, but this is something a lot of new business owners don’t do. Your business entity may change as it needs to over time, but you should have a minimum level of protection in place.

If you don’t start a business and structure it as an LLC, it can have adverse tax ramifications, but it could also leave you personally liable if you were to be sued as an example.

Setting up the right entity structure isn’t as complex or time-consuming as you might think, and it gives you an advantage in your business from the start. When you don’t choose the right entity, it can cause some problems as well.

For example, you might be putting yourself at risk of facing legal problems, or you may find that because of the entity you selected, it’s challenging to raise capital.

Skipping Research

If you’ve ever seen two businesses that seem pretty similar, except one is successful, and one is not it could boil down to a lack of research and planning. A small business run simply on a good idea alone isn’t likely to be sustainable.

Decision-making at every level needs to be based on data and research. Customers need to be carefully targeted so marketing dollars aren’t wasted. Businesses need to be able to point to why they made the decisions they did, at the time they did. Taking time out for the research is pivotal.

Not Knowing the Numbers

Business owners tend to be big thinkers, and they also tend to be creative, innovative and energetic. These are all great qualities, but sometimes this doesn’t translate well to accounting and understanding the numbers.

Not knowing the numbers of your business or taking a hands-off approach in this area can be irreparably damaging.

If you don’t know what’s going in terms of accounting, you’re not going to know how to be strategic in your objectives. If you outsource your accounting make sure you’re always communicating with the person who handles it for you.

Making Big Purchases Early On

Finally, you’ve started a new business, and you’re understandably enthusiastic. Unfortunately, that’s probably not the right time to make a big purchase unless it’s absolutely necessary.

A lot of startups will make the mistake of investing in an expensive new office space, or the newest technology as an example.

Business owners need to take a step back when they feel the urge to do this and think about whether or not it’s going to help grow revenue. In the early days of a business that has to be the primary objective.

Hints and Tips for Paying Off Your Student Loan

Debt is a reality for most students today. However, it doesn’t have to remain your reality for years to come, as there are lots of ways to get to the point of being debt free that little bit faster.

Budget for the repayments

If your student loan payments aren’t being taken directly from your salary then make sure that they form part of your monthly budget so that you don’t miss them.

Make sure you know exactly how much you owe

You may have a rough figure in your head in terms of how much you borrowed and what you know the interest rate to be. However, the reality of the debt that has been accrued could be rather different. It’s very easy to miscalculate or overlook certain fees or interest rate rises. So, when it comes to paying off your student loan start by establishing exactly how much you actually owe.

Begin making repayments straight away

There may be the option to delay the first repayments but, unless you have a very good reason for doing so, it’s better to start reducing the debt now. The earlier you begin repaying your student loan, the sooner the total will be cleared.

Live below your means

The first few years after graduation may be fairly tight on the finance front but if you’re able to live below your means then you can apply more of this cash to paying off your student loan. Being frugal now will give you a much wider range of choices in the future when you’re debt free.

Overpay as often as you can

Get into the habit of applying any spare cash that you have towards an overpayment on your student loan. If you get into this mindset early on then it won’t become a battle between spending the additional money on luxuries or applying it to reducing your debt.

Be prepared to go without

If you want to create room in your budget to make loan overpayments then you may need to make some initial sacrifices to do so. Expensive mobile phone contracts, entertainment systems, going out with friends, travel and clothes, for example, may not be possible for the first couple of years. However, once you’ve cleared that student debt then everything that you earn is yours to spend, whether you want to buy a home or travel the world.

Consolidate your debts

If you have several different student loans then you might be able to consolidate these into one. This not only makes repayment easier, as you have only one debt to think about, but also gives you the opportunity to reduce how much you pay overall. Look for a consolidated loan with a reputable loan company and with a lower rate of interest than you’re currently paying on most, or preferably all, of your existing loans.

Stick to the plan

Once you’ve made a plan to clear your student debt then stick to it – clearing debt requires ongoing commitment not to take on new debts or re-spend old ones.

 

Powered by WordPress