Live like Richard Branson – On a houseboat!

Yes you read the title of this post right. You may have been thinking of tropical, private islands, but if you have ever read Richard Bransons autobiography then you may well know that as an entrepreneurial hippy back in the day, he actually lived on a houseboat in order to cut down costs whilst building what has now become a multi million pound empire. Don’t believe me? Take a look at how the costs stack up below.

Boat vs House Infographic

Joint Bank Accounts – The Simple Explanation

People who want their money to be available for access to more than one person, joint accounts are the right choice. In general, a normal checking or savings account has only the owner name listed in the account. This means that only the owner can withdraw money from that account. But is some cases, where more than one person needs to access an account, a joint account is the obvious choice. This can prove to be of extreme benefit for married couples.

Joint accounts are not only for married couples. It can prove be of great assistance to business partners, parents who want to open an account with their children etc. In some cases, community agencies also prefer a joint account.

After opening a joint account, each and every person on the accounts’ list can access the account; making deposits, writing checks, and withdrawing money from the account. However, in some cases it’s mandatory to have two signatures on the check or withdrawal slip. It’s checked prior to releasing the funds and it ensures that no secret or illegal withdraws are made from the account.

Joint accounts are mostly popular between married couples where both parties are able to access the account at will, making bill paying procedures a whole lot easier. Besides married couples, elderly parents can open a joint account with their children, making sure that the children can avoid court mandated probation after the death of their parents.

Unlike the normal savings or checking account, joint accounts provide its owners with the right of survivorship. This means that in case of the death of an account holder, the other person is named as the owner of the money in that account. This avoids the need of court probations, which can keep the money in probate or escrow for a long time.

Due to the fact that either party can access the funds in a joint account, it’s absolutely necessary that you trust the person with whom you’re going to open a joint account and that he/she trusts you as well. You should also know that in case of a bank overdraft, you’ll be held liable as well, even if you didn’t have anything to do with it.

Another thing you should understand is that to a creditor, a joint account is no different than a personal account. They will still be able to deduct money from the joint account.

Joint accounts are of great value to married couples, especially in cases where either party has a lot of outstanding debt to their name. It can help them restore some balance to their financial state. But in all cases, for a joint account to be effective, it’s of utmost importance that both parties trust each other fully.

Improving your Credit Score for a Loan Application

Applying for a loan should be a carefully considered process. Every time you apply for a loan, it leaves a mark on your credit file. This credit file is important for lenders to see how trustworthy you can be with repaying their money. So, to get it looking good, you might want to do the following:

⦁ Get on the electoral roll – To register on the electoral roll go to aboutmyvote.co.uk. One great sign of stability is whether you’re registered on the electoral roll. This is because most “good citizens” are – (even if they don’t vote).

⦁ Borrow more money. Your credit file will look good if you have more credit accounts appearing on your credit file. If you flood your credit file with lots of positive repayment ticks, it will tell the lender that you’re good at repaying loans. This only works if you REPAY EVERYTHING ON TIME. Make sure you read all the small print in regards to the interest rates and repayment periods.

⦁ Get a copy of your credit report. Wonga recently blogged that more and more people are beginning to see the benefits of getting a look at their credit file. By applying online through various companies, you could see exactly what the lenders do. In fact this is a service the payday loan giant plans to offer its customers for free next year. You will likely be given a ‘score’ and will get to see how the lenders would view you. This is highly beneficial as it gives you a chance to hold off on an application if your file looks negative in one area – until you’ve fixed the problem.

⦁ Use credit cards more. Spending money using your debit card will never improve your credit history because debit cards don’t offer credit, or the ability to borrow money. So choose to make small purchases on credit cards instead.

⦁ Be patient. It can take time to improve your credit file (see more tips here). Sometimes it can take a year to reverse the effects of a negative point on your file.

Some other things to avoid: Moving home a lot, applying for lots of credit at once, CCJs, late payments, or being tied to someone with a poor credit history.

Ways to Finance Your First Car

Once you’ve passed your driving test one of the next things that will be on your mind is likely to be what your first car will be. With so many options out there it can be hard to decide upon a model and where to buy it from.

Another important thing to consider is how you will be financing your first car. The amount you need will depend on whether you’re after a brand new car or used, where you are buying it from and the funding method. Here are a few ideas of how to successfully afford your first car.

Savings
Paying for a car outright is often the most cost-effective choice as it avoids paying any interest or extras when spreading payments out over a longer period. It also ensures you own the vehicle. Paying for driving lessons can be expensive but where possible it is a good idea to save at the same time so you can afford a car when you pass. Or those lucky few may even be bought one or lent money from family members towards a car.

Leasing
Leasing a car offers many benefits. It will be more affordable in the short term as you will only make monthly payments so can budget a lot easier and you can get access to a brand new car at a better price rather than buying outright. Most include breakdown cover and repairs too. However, once the lease is up you won’t own the car or have anything to show for it.

Personal Loans
Personal or unsecured loans can be used for a range of purposes, including buying a new or used car. You do not have to be a homeowner and although you will pay more than the car’s value in interest it can be the best option for purchasing a new or second-hand vehicle quickly. Ensure you can meet the repayments and work it into your monthly budget before taking one out. You can find a personal loan from any one of many trustworthy suppliers.

Hire Purchase
Hire Purchase is similar to leasing in that you pay monthly between one to five years except at the end you do own the car. A 10% deposit is usually required and most have flexible terms with fixed interest rates, meaning you do pay more overall. Such deals are a lot more competitive for new rather than used vehicles so this is worth considering if you’re desperate for a brand new car.

Comparing Pet Insurance – 3 Simple Steps

If уоu hаvе nоt аlrеаdу realized, thе costs оf veterinary care are escalating fast. Purchasing a pet insurance fоr your pet can help kеер pet care costs within аn affordable range. Aѕ pets have bесоmе beloved аnd important members оf many families, some owners are looking to pet health insurance providers for help paying for expensive vet bills.

Hеrе аrе thе 3 simple steps tо purchase уоur pet insurance

Aѕ pet owners, wе likе tо bе in control оf a lot оf оur pets’ lives. Wе wаnt thеm tо hаvе thе healthiest food, plenty оf timе tо exercise, аnd mоrе thаn anything, excellent health ѕо thеу аrе comfortable аnd happy. But unfоrtunаtеlу thеrе аrе things wе саn’t control. If оur pets fall sick оr gеt intо аn accident, thе оnlу thing wе саn rеаllу dо iѕ gеt thеm thе care thеу need.

Thiѕ iѕ whеn уоu’ll wаnt tо find a pet insurance company whо саn рrоvidе уоu thе coverage уоu nееd fоr уоur pet.

But whаt ѕhоuld уоu lооk fоr in a pet insurance company? Basic accident and illness coverage is a good start but you’ll also want to check other factors like hereditary conditions, wellness options and lifetime limits. Hеrе аrе 3 things tо lооk оut for:

1. Thе company hаѕ bееn аrоund fоr a whilе
If уоur prospective insurance company hаѕn’t bееn аrоund lоng еnоugh tо insure thе life cycle оf ѕоmе pets, уоu’ll wаnt tо pass оn them. Nо matter hоw great оf a deal оr hоw extensive coverage thеу provide, уоu’ll bе running thе risk оf thе company nоt bеing аrоund years dоwn thе line. Yоu соuld lose еvеrуthing уоu paid in premiums аnd bе stuck with a huge bill fоr уоur pet’s medical expenses.

2. Recommended bу veterinarians

Onе ѕidе оf thе pet insurance equation iѕ thе relationship bеtwееn veterinarians аnd thе insurance companies. Yоu саn аѕk уоur сurrеnt vet whаt thеу think оf thе insurance companies уоu’rе thinking оf gоing with. Thеу’ll bе аblе tо tеll уоu thе experiences оf thеir patients аnd potentially save уоu thousands оf dollars.

3. Review thеir claims process

A reputable pet insurance company will easily spell оut thеir claims process оn thе website bеfоrе уоu еvеn think оf gеtting a quote. Nоthing iѕ mоrе frustrating thаn hаving tо deal with a sick оr injured pet аnd thеn finding оut thаt уоur insurance company iѕ gоing tо make уоu jump thrоugh a lot оf hoops bеfоrе sending уоu a reimbursement check.

Bеfоrе уоu start уоur comparison:

i) Yоu muѕt hаvе a general idea аbоut whаt options уоu nееd fоr уоur pet. Fоr example, basic plans аrе thе cheapest, but thеу provide limited benefits and cover оnlу basic accidents аnd illness care.
ii) Yоu аlѕо nееd tо lооk аt things ѕuсh аѕ deductibles аnd lifetime limits.

iii) Yоu nееd tо find оut hоw a claim iѕ filed аnd hоw thе claim iѕ paid. It iѕ аlѕо uѕеful tо knоw whаt items аrе excluded аnd whаt items hаvе payment limits рlасеd оn them.

iv) Yоu ѕhоuld find оut if уоu аrе allowed tо visit thе vet оf уоur choice оr dо уоu hаvе tо uѕе a vet recommended bу them.

v) Dо аlѕо find оut whiсh оnеѕ cover аftеr hours emergencies ѕuсh аѕ accidents аnd sudden ѕеriоuѕ illness аnd thаt if thе accident оr illness iѕ ѕеriоuѕ аnd уоur pet mау require a specialist.

Whеn уоu find thе policy thаt уоu feel iѕ mоѕt suitable fоr уоu thеn аll уоu hаvе tо dо iѕ fill оut thеir fоrm whiсh givеѕ thеm уоur pet’s information. Thе pet insurance company mау аlѕо set uр tо accept payment online.

The Best Investment Opportunities for Beginners

Anyone looking to make the most of excess cash they possess can soon be overwhelmed by the plethora of investment opportunities that are available. Whether you’re looking to boost your income on the side or maybe make a living from one of the various investment opportunities, you’ll have to pick the right one for your situation.
For your first investments it will be easiest to stick with just one method, though as you grow more confident it is important to diversify. This will reduce the risk attached to all of your investments. Putting all your finances in one basket could lead to disaster, so here are a few investment choices to choose from.

Stocks and Shares
Stocks and shares offer one of the most common investment opportunities. They provide a simple enough premise of investors purchasing a number of stocks and shares in a company they believe will rise in value. Then, when they hopefully do, you can sell them off to make a profit. There are thousands of options to invest in, so it is best to choose stocks and shares in an area you are interested in or knowledgeable about to increase the chance of success.

Forex Market
Trading currency on the forex market is a more complicated affair but still one that can be picked up and provide a good opportunity with a little application. Start off by choosing one of the major currency pairs and reading into the practice as much as possible. Download and use a demo account first, before making trades for real. Find out more here about forex trading.

Lump Sum Investments
Rather than making small investments every now and then and tracking their progress, you may prefer to make a handful of lump sum investments. Corporate bonds, cash or stocks and shares ISAs are just some of the options that fall into this category. There is often a minimum commitment, so you will need to ensure you can meet this before choosing one of these options.

Real Estate
There are many advantages of investing in real estate. While you will need a lot of starting capital (or someone else to share a joint investment) it will provide you with a regular and more stable cash flow than some of the more risky opportunities. Plus you should be able to capitalise on any appreciation and make the most of tax benefits. Pick the investment opportunity that fits your situation best.

FAO: Blokes – Cut Down your Wedding Costs Where She Won’t Notice

When you start planning your dream wedding, you’ll get to realize that it doesn’t come cheap. After all, it’s a once in a lifetime dream and no one will want to cut back their expenses and give up that perfect white dress and shoes, the matching platinum rings, the gala reception, the flower arrangements, videos and photographs, the wedding giveaways, and even the 6-tiered wedding cake. But all of these things land a pretty hard blow on your cash stash. So if you want to get the thing you desire the most, you’ll have to sacrifice your lesser desires.

Think Twice and Cut Back

While the idea of cutting back on your wedding expenses seems a pretty good one, it’s easier said than done. Being the bride, you’re likely to want to make this day as perfect as you can, regardless of the cost.

But think about it for a moment, is spending all your savings on one day is the best thing to do. Wedding days are very special, but they are nonetheless, just one day. You don’t want to spend all your money on that one day and start your life as a couple with barely any money at hand. That’s just not the way to being happily-ever-after.

Cut Where Nobody Notices

Though an average bride can be somewhat stubborn when it comes to the matters of her wedding, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should do that too. You can easily cut back on minor details, like wedding giveaways, centerpieces for tables, and even groomsmen gifts; while saving for that perfect white dress of yours.

If you’re feeling low about getting cheap groomsmen gifts, don’t be. They are a handful of persons who’re closest to you and your fiancé, and they’ll understand your predicament.

Cheap Can Be Chic

Your groomsmen gifts may be cheap, but they don’t have to look cheap. If you keep a close eye out, you’ll be able to buy gifts that are both elegant and within your reach.

When it comes to men, you don’t have to overdo things. You can buy gifts as simple as cufflinks, liquor flasks, lighters, and wallets, and you’ll still be able to win their hearts. They are handy, and you can spot items that are elegantly sophisticated and are well under £50.

This being taken care of, you’ll have more money at your disposal to buy that dream wedding dress you’ve got your eyes set on. You can use this money to get more flowers for the big day, or maybe add another tier on the cake. By cutting back on the matters that are of less importance, you can have the wedding you always wanted and still have money in your hand when you start your new life.

These Five Credit Card Habits Can Lead to Financial Troubles

Imagine what people did before credit cards came along. Credit cards are an excellent convenience tool. The biggest problem with them is that it is easy to get yourself into financial trouble using them. Over the previous three decades, Americans have gone from using cash to charging their financial freedom away. A whole new mindset, many see a credit card more like a bank than an extension of a bank account.

Using a credit card in irresponsible ways can land you in the type of trouble that could jeopardize your financial future. Young people often don’t realize the potential of credit card debt, or the consequences of it. YOLO is a huge reason many spend decades paying off the bills of their twenties. The best way to plan for the future is by never succumbing to these poor credit card habits. Along with websites that offers a personal loan calculator, there are tools that can help you avoid debt. Credit cards are a surefire way to spend a lifetime of fighting to get back to zero.

1 Revolving balance

Credit cards were not meant to be a lending institution. The high-interest rates are supposed to deter those who carry credit cards from not paying them off monthly. The problem is that many don’t consider the interest rates as much as they should. Taking the minimum balance and applying it to your monthly budget is a recipe for disaster. The key is never to carry a revolving balance and pay the interest charge. If you allow you balance to carry on to the next month, you will be paying double or more the amount of that simple cup of coffee that you chose to charge at Starbucks. If you can’t pay for it with cash, you should be buying it at all. Pay off your balance monthly to avoid paying forever.

2 Considering the points as bonus rewards

Many credit card users think about reward points as bonuses to using their credit cards. They use their cards instead of debit or cash, thinking they are gaining points to use later. That is only true when you pay the entire balance at the end of the month. If you aren’t paying your balance than those reward points mean nothing. You won’t even cover the cost of your interest for one month if you let your balance revolve. If you just pay cash and never pay interest on your card, you can afford those luxury items outright without thinking they are money back for paying high-interest payments.

3 Thinking the due dates are optional

Many people think that the due dates are optional and let their credit card balances lapse for a month or two. They are then completely shocked when they go to get a mortgage and find that not making their payments on time has ruined their credit score. Not only will not paying on time tank your credit, but it will also up your APR rate. Worse yet, many cards will charge you upwards of $35 for any late payments. Even if you owe $5, missing a payment can cost you $35. Sound unfair? Well it is, but that is just the way that credit cards work. Make a special point to pay attention to your credit card due dates.

4 Using your credit card for everything

The only time that using your credit card for everyday purchases makes sense is when there are promotions that grant you rewards for specific charges. Many people don’t read the fine print to find that most of the purchases made for everyday items won’t even qualify them for reward points at all. Putting everything on their card thinking they are earning themselves points, most are shocked to find that barely anything registers for extra cash back.

5 Taking it to the max

Just because you have a credit limit of $2000, that does not mean that you have two thousand dollars to burn. Maxing out your credit cards is very dangerous. Not only does it mean high-interest rates, but it also affects your credit score rating. If you can’t make the high minimum charge, or you forget a payment, you will also get socked with an overage charge that can make your penalty fee as much as $70 combined. Don’t think of a maximum limit as something you should shoot to obtain. Limits are not free money handed out, in fact, they can be the most costly loan you have ever had.

Being smart about credit card spending is important not to pay dearly, and forever, on a credit card balance that gets out of control.

The Proper Way To Learn Forex Trading

At the first look Forex looks complicated and you might think it is really a big deal to learn Forex trading. But when you start learning about different ypes of online trading, like Forex or CFD trading, and give some time to understanding the concept and the terms, things will become more and easier for you. Forex trading is as simple as you can make it and is as complicated as much you can make it. Some traders like to be a fundamental trader relying on the fundamental factors of Forex for trading while others prefer to analyze the Forex charts and perform Forex technical analysis to grow as a trader. It all depends on you which strategy you follow in Forex or CFD trading, but at every step you take, it is important to learn new strategies and concepts. So let us discuss some of the best ways to learn Forex trading and grow as a successful Forex trader.

Start reading to learn Forex trading basics

Spend some time reading to learn Forex trading in detail. Read about the glossary terms, join Forex forums and hang around them. In the beginning of your Forex trading career try to grasp as much as you can and don’t concentrate on trading live. Wait until you get some good knowledge about the trading basics and get acquainted with the terms. Read some good Forex and CFD trading articles and blogs and learn the basic strategies of trading and the different concepts related to Forex trading.

Open a demo account and start trading in the market

Opening a Forex demo account is one of the best ways to learn Forex trading playing around the market. A demo account helps you to get familiar with the trading platform provided by the Forex trader and you are able to learn Forex trading practically without risking the real money. Learn how the market flows, real time trading and using different strategies. If possible try different demo accounts with different Forex brokers and learn about the different trading platforms they provide along with the experience of the services provided by the different brokers. When you feel that you have practiced a lot you can open a live demo account and start trading with the real money.

Learn managing risks

Managing risks in trading is very important thing to learn. Currency market is not liquid all the time and many times it is highly volatile. Study the risk reward ratios, take money management methods, make a trading plan and manage your portfolios. Use stop losses at the appropriate levels and maintain a trading journal so that you can analyze where you went wrong and where you need to avoid mistakes in future. All these things help a lot in managing the risks in Forex. Making profits in trading is the ultimate goal of every serious trader but at the same time if you cut your losses, your actual profit goes up.

Amazing Facts about Ink Cartridges and Printers

Printers have become a part of the furniture (although you shouldn’t sit on one!) as every office and many homes have at least one. We pass by them every day, and even when we’re using them we don’t think about what goes on inside them. So let’s find out some amazing facts about this office and home workhorse.

The fuser rollers in laser printers reach almost 205C

Laser printers use toner rather than ink. Toner is composed of tiny plastic particles which are transferred onto paper from the cartridge with varying electrostatic charges. When the toner particles hit the paper they’re melted very quickly by these hot rollers to bond with the paper. It’s done very quickly so the paper doesn’t scorch.

Toner melts at low temperatures

The fuser rollers get as hot as they do so they can do their job rapidly, but toner actually melts at around body temperature! Warm water can also melt toner, which is why if you spill toner on your clothes, you should brush as much of it off as possible before using cold water to wash it away.

Laser printers use more electricity than a PC

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a laser printer uses less energy than a desktop computer because it’s smaller, but it actually uses three times as much electricity as a PC does when in use. Once idle, however, the PC uses five times as much electricity than the laser printer.

Discarded cartridges could circle the planet three times

Ink cartridges are a threat to the environment. Although around 70% of the cartridge components are recyclable, most still end up in landfill after users discard them. If all the discarded cartridges were lined up in a row, they’d go three times around the earth.

Fonts were once named after the people who designed them

Fonts, also known as typefaces, used to be named after their creators, so when you look down your list of fonts you’ll spot surnames from now on. A good example of a name is Garamond, named after its creator, French printer Claude Garamonde. This font is still used because it’s very sparing with its use of ink.

The world’s largest printer measures 12×50 metres

The world’s smallest printer is a mere 1”x2”x11”, and the biggest is a whopping 12 metres by 50 metres. Known as Infinitus this printer is owned by Minneapolis company Big Image Systems. Infinitus can print on spans as large as 600 square metres and it’s used to create backdrops for TV, film and theatre companies.

Printers can print food as well as words

3D printers can print food! Edible food! This new type of printer is set to become more and more commonplace as the tech evolves and becomes cheaper. These printers not only print food – they can print clothes, jewellery, houses and artificial prostheses to replace missing limbs. NASA plans to send a 3D printer into space – maybe even to Mars – so that astronauts and colonisers can print out shelters, tools and other utensils.

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