Category: Money

16- Jan2021
Posted By: abundanceaware

UK equivalent of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund


After reading the Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins, the question that was on my mind was, what is the UK equivalent of the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund?

I was desperate to get started with my investing journey and I was very interested in starting with Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund.

I contacted Vanguard in the UK and asked them the question. Can I invest in Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund?

They came back and said no, they do not offer Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund in UK.

They told me about the alternative to Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund in Uk which is the U.S. Equity Index Fund.

Looking into US Equity Accumulation Index Fund it has very close to the number of stocks in the Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund. They both have samples of all the stocks listed in the US stock market.

Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund on Trading 212 platform

Recently, I found out that Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund is available via Trading 212.

Below image is a screenshot of me searching for it on my Trading 212 Individual Saving Account ISA.

Trading 212 is one of the commission-free investment platforms in the UK.

Trading 212 have the exchange-traded fund (ETF) version of the Vanguard US Total Stock Market Index Fund.

If you are interested in the option of Trading 212, you can get a free share if you open a new account and investment minimum of £1. I will also get a free share so it is a win for both of us.

You can invest in the Vanguard US Total Stock Market Index Fund on Trading 212.

Do you want to get a free stock share worth up to £100?

Create a Trading 212 Invest account using the link below and we both get a free share!

Click here to invest in Vanguard US Total Stock Market on Trading 212 



The main difference between VTI and VTSAX is that VTI is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) while VTSAX is an index fund.

VTI can be purchased for the price of one share. VTSAX has a minimum initial investment. As well, VTI can only be traded during trade during market hours.

Both of these funds invest mainly have very similar stocks in them. It is important to mention that they are not the same price as regards price for 1 unit.

Vanguard US Total Stock Market in for of ETF is available in UK. VTI is available for UK investors on Trading 212.

Invest in Vanguard US Total Stock Market on Trading 212 

U.S. Equity Index Fund

I believe U.S. Equity Index Fund is also a good fund like the VTI or VTSMX.

It is available in two share class

Share Class

Accumulation – If you choose accumulation, your dividend will be automatically reinvested.

Income – As for income option, its the opposite of accumulation. Your dividend will not be automatically reinvested. It will be there in your account to withdraw if you choose to.

Management cost

The management cost is very low compare to other funds.

As at the time of writing the ongoing charge figure (OCF) is 0.10%. You can check the Vanguard website for the latest OCF by clicking here.

It is a passive fund which is the reason why the management cost is low.


This fund invests in a lot of the biggest companies like 

  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Tesla
  • Alphabet (Google)
  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • JPMorgan Chase
10- Jan2021
Posted By: abundanceaware

Facts about Africa (700 Interesting and Random Facts)

As a Black African born in Nigeria, Africa. I have always had a strong interest in things about Africa especially facts about Africa.

Africa is the cradle of humanity. There is a lot of archaeological evidence that supports the fact that Africa is the cradle of humanity.

The fact that Africa is where all human being originates from makes Africa have a lot of interesting and amazing facts.

There are archaeological and fossil evidence from Afar Triangle in East Africa which suggest Africa is the Cradle of Humankind.

My interest in facts about Africa on the various subject led me to compile these facts from various source and put them in a book.

700 Amazing facts about Africa is available on all Amazon marketplace.


Below are some of the facts that make 700 facts about Africa an interesting read.

Extract from 700 Facts about Africa

General Africa Facts

  1. Africa is a vast continent, with 54 countries. Although some confuse the entire continent with being a single country. 
  2. Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. The largest being Asia, of course.
  3. Africa is home to over 1 billion people – half of which are younger than 25.
  4. More than 1500 languages are spoken across the continent. 
  5. Population: 1,415,045,928.
  6. Land area: 30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 square miles).
  7. Most spoken languages in Africa are Arabic, English, Swahili, Amharic, French, Yoruba, Oromo, Hausa, Igbo and Zulu.
  8. Islam and Christianity are the two most common religions in Africa.
  9. The smallest country in Africa is the Seychelles, which is also an island. 
  10. Algeria is the largest country by area with 2,381,741 square kilometres. It’s the 10th largest country in the world.
  11. Time zones: From UTC-1 to UTC+4.
  12. The origin of the name “Africa” is greatly disputed by scholars. Most believe it stems from words used by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. Important words include the Egyptian word Afru-ika, meaning “Motherland”; the Greek word aphrike, meaning “without cold”; and the Latin word aprica, meaning “sunny.”

Interesting and Random Facts

  1. Nigeria has seen the most twins born in the world. This has earned the country the nickname “The Land of Twins”.
  2. Eighteen people from Africa have been awarded a Nobel prize. They come from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
  3. Plastic packaging and non-biodegradable polythene bags are 100% banned in Rwanda. They’re not allowed in the country at all and all luggage are searched at the airport to make sure of this. 
  4. 90% of the world’s malaria cases originate in Africa. Thankfully this is only a problem in certain areas, and there are plenty of safe African countries to visit.
  5. One of the oldest universities in the world is in Timbuktu, Mali. By the 12th century Timbuktu was home to three universities. Over 25,000 students attended one of the Timbuktu universities in the 12th century.
  6. The Second Congo War claimed over 5.4 million lives and is the deadliest worldwide conflict since World War II.
  7. Almost 40% of adults in Africa are illiterate – two-thirds are women. Adult literacy rates are below 50% in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
  8. Over 25 million people are HIV-positive on the continent and over 17 million have died of the disease already.
  9. Arabic is spoken by 170 million people on the continent, followed in popularity by English (130 million), Swahili (100), French (115), Berber (50), Hausa (50), Portuguese (20) and Spanish (10).
  10. The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations.
  11. The northern most point in Africa is Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia. The most southerly point is Cape Agulhas in South Africa.
  12. Rainfall variability is very high – from 0 mm/year in the Sahara to 9,500 mm/year near Mount Cameroon.
  13. Neo-colonialism is a real threat with over 1 million Chinese citizens on the African continent. Angola alone has a population of over 350,000 Chinese.
  14. Approximately 90% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in Africa, accounting for 24% of all child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
  15. All of Africa was colonized by foreign powers during the “scramble for Africa”, except Ethiopia and Liberia.
  16. Before colonial rule, Africa comprised up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.
  17. The famous singer Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar, a group of islands just off the coast of Tanzania. 
  18. Nigeria, with a 2013 estimated population of 174,507,539 is the most populous Black nation and the 7th most populated nation in the entire world, trailing after—from least to most—Pakistan, Brazil, Indonesia, USA, India and China (1.3bn).
  19. Libreville, Gabon is one of the most expensive city in the world to live in. Tokyo is the most expensive city.
  20. Nigeria, with 521 languages has the fourth-most in the world. This includes 510 living languages, two-second languages without native speakers and 9 extinct languages.
  21. The Portuguese reached Nigeria in 1472. In 1880 the British began conquering Nigeria’s south. The north was conquered by 1903.
  22. Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and their bloodlines worldwide have the highest rate of twinning (having twins) in the world.
  23. South Africa is 5 times the size of Japan and 3 times the size of Texas.
  24. Nigeria has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia
  25. The 2006 Census found Nigerians to be the highest educated ethnic or racial group in America.
  26. Nigeria’s population was just 16 million in 1911. It is projected to hit 444 million by 2050, surpassing the US and becoming the 4th largest in the world.
  27. The population of Lagos today is about more than the total population of all Eastern states combined.
  28. Benin Kingdom: The high quality and highly sophisticated bronze work of the Benin Kingdom dating as far back as the 13th century is a world wonder. Great works in iron, wood, ivory, and terra cotta products also highlight the empire’s history.
  29. Benin Kingdom: Lourenco Pinto, captain of a ship that carried missionaries to Warri in 1619, described Benin kingdom, ‘Great Benin where the king resides is larger than Lisbon, all the streets run straight and as far as the eyes can see….’
  30. Pretoria (SA’s capital city) was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius. He named it after his father, Andries Pretorius.
  31. French is spoken by more people in Africa than in France. And Portuguese is spoken by a larger number of people in Africa than in Portugal. 
  32. The largest annual Christian gathering in Africa is hosted by the Redeemed Christian Church of God and it is called the Holy Ghost Convention. This was in Nigeria.
  33. Nigerian immigrants in the US are one of the most educated
  34. Over 55% of Africa’s labour force working in food production with vast areas of arable and pastoral lands supporting agricultural economies.
  35. Africans are one of the biggest contributors to sculptural art. 
  36. Important climatic regions of agriculture in Africa include tropical wet, savannah, desert, Mediterranean, and highland.
  37. Africa has 135 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered across the continent.
  38. Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt (200+ pyramids). But the largest pyramid is actually found in Mexico!
  39. Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, is technically bigger than Hollywood.
  40. 100 million Africans have Facebook accounts.
  41. The movie Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, had many of its most dramatic scenes shot in Maputo, Mozambique. 
  42. The Western Cape of South Africa is home to the longest wine route in the world. Route 62 spans 850kms and boasts some superb wineries. 
  43. It’s considered rude to decline an offering of meat at meals in Morocco – vegetarians may have a hard time with this. 
  44. There’s an African beer brewed from bananas. This is widely made in East Africa and goes by various names in different countries.
  45. In rural markets in the province of Limpopo, Mopane worms can be found being sold as food. These are high in protein and the locals love them as a smoky snack.
  46. In countries like Morocco and Algeria, couscous is a popular dish served with meat and vegetables.
  47. In Western Africa, it is common for people to grow and eat cassava, maize, millet and plantains.
  48. People living in what is currently Swaziland were the world’s first miners. In the late 1960s a hematite mine was found in the Ngwenya mountain range along with 300,000 artifacts and stone-made mining tools that were later dated to be 43,000 years old!
  49. Egypt is the most popular tourist destination in Africa, attracting around 10 million visitors per year.
  50. The oldest known mathematical object is the Lebombo bone, which was discovered in the Lebombo Mountains of Swaziland. It dates to approximately 35,000 B.C.


19- Dec2020
Posted By: abundanceaware

How to buy a used car online and have it delivered (Cazoo Review)

A few years ago, no one will believe that you can buy a used car online, make payment and get it delivered.

It is now becoming a new normal to browse for car online and get it delivered without you going to the car show room to physically see the car before buying it.

In this article, I want to share my experience of buying a car online from Cazoo.

There are now a lot of websites offering car delivery. I mentioned Cazoo because I recently bought my used car on their website.

I think it will be useful to first take you through the most important part of car purchase.

Affordability and car choice

Decide on the car you want.

You have to decide on the type of car you want. Usually, it will be a type of car that can meet your need. As well, affordability needs to be considered at this stage. What is your budget? This will influence the type of car you can buy.

Shop around

It is important to browse around the internet to compare price on various automobile websites. Apart from Cazoo where I bought my car, one of the most popular marketplace for cars is Autotrader. On their website, you can browse and use various criteria to filter and find the specific type of car you want.

Finance or cash

You can either buy through finance or pay cash. Its up to you to decide which one works better for you. If you want to buy through car finance, it is important you check that the online car dealer do offer car finance.

Benefits of buying car online

The main benefit of buying car online and get it deliver is the time you will save. As we all know, time is very important.

Obviously, you will still need some time to browse the internet, place orders and sign documents online. However, you will spend less time compare to getting in the car or taking public transport to go to the car garage or showroom.

The second benefit is the convenience of sitting anywhere in your house and make a purchase.

Another benefit is the opportunity to easily compare price. The internet gives you opportunity to visit various car dealer website from the comfort of your home and compare prices.

The only disadvantage is the fact that you can not touch, feel and test drive the car before you make a purchase.

I don’t see the disadvantage as a red flag. With the modern day technology of the internet, there are high resolution photos and videos of the cars online. With my own experience, the car I bought was exactly like the photos I saw online. There wasn’t any surprises.

As well, you can request for a custom video to be sent to you. The dealer will be happy to capture video or photo of a specific part of the car you will like to see.

Cazoo review

I have to say I had a wonderful experience buying my car from Cazoo.

My initial search for a car started from Autotrader which I have used in the past to buy a car.

I found my car on Autotrader and found out the dealer who listed the car for sale on Autotrader is Cazoo. I then followed the link to continue the buying process on Cazoo website.

Making a purchase on Cazoo website

I found Cazoo website very user friendly and easy to navigate.

There was an image gallery for the cars.

Each car has over 40 high-resolution images of the car that is very useful for decision making for customers.

After finding the car you want. You complete the purchase through finance or cash.

All purchase process can be entirely done online. Obviously, you can contact their customer service through phone.

For me I did not need to make phone call. I did everything entirely online.


I like the way Cazoo send emails keeping me up to date with how things were going as they put things in place to deliver the car.

You will receive various emails updating you after completing your purchase online.

The day of delivery

I woke up that morning looking forward to see the car. Obviously I was excited.

The delivery driver rang me when he was about 20mins away from my house to let me know he was close. He also asked me to get my prove of ID (driver licence) and the card I used to make payment online ready.

He asked me if I have a parking space close to my house where he can pack the delivery van. He said he will need about 20m long space. I assured him the space in front of our house will be enough to park the delivery van.

When the driver arrived, he asked for my driver licence and credit card. He explained to me he needed that just to be sure he is delivering the car to the right person.

He went further to let me know he needs about 7min to open the van and get the car out of the van.

The delivery man acted professionally and we had good conversation.

After the car was out of the van, he asked me if I have had any car similar to the car. I answered that I used to have old version of the car so a lot of things must have changed.

He then asked me to come into the car. I sat at the driver seat, he sat in the front passenger seat and walk me through the various functionalities in the car. He also explained to me about the warranty Cazoo offers.

He showed me various things like where to open the boot and fuel filler inlet.

Finally, he asked me if I am happy for him to sign that the car has been delivered and I said yes.

As well, he asked if I have any questions. He took a few pictures with his tablet device and explained to me that he needed the photo also as records of delivery.

Finally, he signed on his device and said hope I enjoy the car.

Cazoo Perks

The image below shows some of what you get when you buy a used car online from Cazoo. I surely got all of below so I am testifying to this.

7-Day Money-Back Guarantee

I love my car when it was delivered and I enjoyed driving it. It was high quality all over so I had no serious issue with the car so I did not think about returning it for money back.

However, I believe if I wanted to return within 7 days, Cazoo would have returned my money back. I must remember to mention that there was an alert on the dashboard which reads ‘Check Tire Pressure’.

I knew it wasn’t a serious problem. When I contacted Cazoo, their customer service was great.

They asked me to go to my local Kwik Fix for the car to be checked. Obviously, they sent me an email with a reference number to present at Kwik-Fit.

The reference number signifies that Cazoo already has an account with them which means I was not to pay any money for the work done on the car.

As mentioned earlier it wasn’t a serious problem. Within 10min I was out of Kwik-Fit and the alert on the dashboard was no longer there.

Quality assured

Despite the alert on my dashboard, I believe Cazoo quality assured message is true. There is nothing that is 100% perfect in the world. However, I can testify that my car is a quality car.

90-day warranty

The warranty is a very important part of the deal with Cazoo. I believe the period of 90 days for the warranty is a fair one.

RAC roadside assistance

I already have roadside assistance with RAC so this one is not so much of a benefit for me.

If you don’t already have roadside assistance, the 90 days roadside assistance they offer might help you in a time of unforeseen car breakdown.

Change of ownership

Part of Cazoo promise is that they will contact the DVLA to transfer the ownership of your Cazoo car.

As soon as my car was delivered I received email and SMS message from DVLA to notify me that the car ownership has been transferred to me.

You’ll receive a new V5C from the DVLA in the post, usually within 5-10 working days.

Small gift from Cazoo

Something else I thought I should mention which might not sound a big deal is some items that came with the car from Cazoo. The items are customised with Cazoo brand name

The items are umbrella, ice scrapper,car wash sponge and

Car Imperfection

If you are buying a used car, it is not going to be perfect. I don’t think anyone should be expecting a new car to be perfect.

I like Cazoo honesty, there was nothing hidden.

The image gallery of the car online shows you some of the imperfection with the car which will help you to make the right decision.

The imperfection with my car was not a red flag for me that stopped me from buying the car.

Below is one of the photos of my car imperfections.

13- Nov2020
Posted By: abundanceaware

How Do Immigrants Become Successful

Putting sentiments aside. There is a growing belief that immigrants tend to make great entrepreneurs and end up being more successful than most locals. Why do immigrants make great entrepreneurs? How do they become successful despite the odds initially stacked against them? Is there an advantage that they have?

Several pieces of research have been carried out to back up the above claim.

According to research by Kauffman, over 27 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs are immigrants. This is despite immigrants being only 13.5 percent of the population. In fact, Forty-three percent of the companies on the 2017 Fortune 500 list were either founded or co-founded by an immigrant or had an immigrant lineage.

Looking at this phenomenon from a layman’s perspective, it doesn’t make sense. Many immigrants like me come from third world countries and have to start from zero. Many don’t even speak English so I understand why it doesn’t make sense when judging from the surface.

But is that the right way to assess this?

An article by Andreas Porous in 2015 showed that immigrants are about two times more likely to start their own business and four times more likely to become a millionaire.

So why are some immigrants more successful than the natives?

1.      Hunger for success

Perhaps this is the biggest reason for immigrant’s success in foreign countries. Most immigrants unlike locals come from faraway lands with only one thing in mind – greener pastures. Most of we immigrants know we have to succeed no matter what. No one wants to go back to their home country empty-handed. It is only normal that such persons develop a mindset of resilience and ingenuity to succeed.

According to an article on Entrepreneur, Roman Martynenko, COO of Astound Commerce, the world’s largest independent digital commerce agency, once said, “It’s all in our heads! We understand that nothing will be handed to us on silver platters. Every single win requires sweat and tears.”

In the same article, Francis Dinha, CEO of open source security provider OpenVPN, also explains, “The country was incredibly dangerous. I lived through bombings, witnessed people executed for speaking out against the government, and much more.” Dinha is an immigrant from Iraq who fled to escape Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime.

2.      Embracing Risk

How do you tell an immigrant who after repeatedly getting his VISA rejected that he won’t succeed in his new country? For most immigrants, leaving their home country for foreign lands is a dream come true. For most locals overseas, journeying to foreign lands is a vacation. This little analogy best explains why immigrants eventually enjoy more success. There is a similarity between Entrepreneurial activities and migration, both are uncertain and involve risk. So while an immigrant is more willing to embrace risks because of his success or nothing mindset, locals prefer to keep things safe. It’s sort of complacency of thought brought about by being in one’s comfort zone.

During my early years in the United Kingdom, I took up night shift at Royal Mail sorting warehouse and some other odd jobs. I wouldn’t do those jobs in my home country even if the salary was the same.

Available on all Amazon marketplace

3.      Hustle over passion

For most immigrants, making money is the ultimate goal. There is a popular quote among hustlers in Nigeria, “I no come Lagos to count bridge.”

It means “I didn’t come to Lagos to count bridge. I came to hustle.”

Most immigrants will do any job so far as they are getting paid. You rarely see a first-time immigrant looking for a job in a field he is passionate about. This is where our mentality defers from locals. Locals have the luxury to be selective, we just want to survive.

There is a mindset among us that no matter how small the payment is, it can’t be as bad as what we left behind in our home country. An immigrant is driven to have multiple jobs because that increases the earnings.

Locals have the luxury of being passionate about employment because it is their home country. Some immigrants also have this luxury but a good percentage doesn’t care at first really. The first instinct is to survive and get a foothold.

4.      The 80-hour work rule

Immigrants are workaholics. This is something most locals aren’t. You rarely see immigrants embrace the 40-hour workweek. There is beauty in more for most of us.

Most locals are after quality life and that sometimes involve working fewer hours every week. Most obsess about how to work fewer hours.

This isn’t the way immigrants think. As I mentioned earlier, “there is beauty in more.” Most immigrants are ready to work 60, 70, and 80 hours a week or more. This sometimes means having 2-3 jobs and multiple shifts.

Of course, it isn’t healthy but more money is being made as a result.

I remember working so many hours during my master’s degree program that I barely passed the program itself. But I needed the money working afforded me at the time to survive and help out my sister.

5.      Being frugal saves more

My wife has always being a minimalist. I also adopted the minimalist approach to life a few years ago. This is how most immigrants are.

Making money is hard but saving it is easier so we adopt frugality. An immigrant won’t work 80 hours a week only to lavish it on luxury.

Discounts, thrifts, and sales are some of the things most immigrants look for. In fact, we are never afraid to ask for discounts.

6.      “No” is not an answer

One thing you can’t tell an immigrant to do is give up. The ability to keep trying stems from our unwillingness to fail. For us, failure isn’t an option. Most of us come from too far away to have our hopes dampened by a few rejections. We will just keep hammering away.

7.      Pursuit of happiness

Why would I decide to leave the comfort of my home country if I was happy there? The truth is that no one would do that if our countries flowed with opportunities like honey.

Deciding to migrate to a new country is as much a pursuit of change as it is survival. I decided to heed my sister’s advice and come to the UK because I was looking for a change. I knew and decided at the time that my country can only take my dreams so far. The only realistic projectile for me was to leave.

My master’s degree program brought me here but I did everything possible to stay. I even almost gave up at one point.

According to Dinha, “Immigrants must work incredibly hard to adjust to a new culture and way of life. They often have to work harder and learn more than their native-born counterpart because of language, cultural and societal barriers.”

 Immigrants don’t have the luxury of failure. We have come too far to accept failure as an option. The only word we know is success, even if it begins with working excess hours every week.

Dinha added, “An immigrant knows a good opportunity when he or she sees one; that’s how they got here in the first place.”

An immigrant’s dream is to succeed in an alien environment. Starting from zero isn’t a problem since we have a vision of where we want to be. I came to the United Kingdom a nobody just looking to explore and expand his horizon. But today my wife and I work with the NHS and live a very healthy life. That is the immigrant dream.

My journey as a first-generation immigrant is well documented in my book and you can get yourself a copy here.

The book is available on all Amazon marketplace.

28- Oct2020
Posted By: abundanceaware

Why everyone should invest in the stock market

The stock market has been around for a very long time. The history of the stock market dates back to the 12-century in France.

The formal stock market started in Amsterdam in 1611 when stock exchange was established.

The worldwide market capitalization of the stock market which was around US$2.5 trillion in 1980 is now over US$68.65 trillion.

What is the stock market?

Just like any market place where people can buy and sell items. The stock market is a marketplace where individuals and institutions buy and sell shares of various companies that are listed on the stock market.

In plain English, the stock market provides opportunities for everyday people to own a piece of any publicly listed company.

For example, I use the service of Amazon to buy various household items. Amazon is a publicly listed company. I can buy a share of Amazon and become a shareowner with Amazon.

Perhaps, you have an iPhone which Apple makes, or you have a running shoe which comes from Nike factory. These companies are listed on the stock exchange. Why not buy some shares and own a piece of those companies?

Using shoes as an example, many people are extreme shoe addicts and will buy every new model. What I’m trying to say is that the money can be better spent investing as a share holder of that company.

Why is it important to invest in the stock market?

This is not a debate about the best type of investment. This is just an insight into the importance of having some money invested in the stock market. You don’t have to invest heavily or put all your money in the stock market. However, having some shares is a good way to diversify your investment.

Wealth building tool

The stock market is one of the most important wealth-building tools around. For hundreds of years, wealthy people have been using the stock market as one of their wealth building strategy.

The richest people in the world like Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gate are not just rich in cash but are wealthy because of the value of their assets. Part of the assets that made them rich is stock and shares.

Everyday people like you and I do not really need to be a billionaire to leverage the stock market to build wealth. That is the great part.

Cash is a depreciating asset

The main reason why cash is a depreciating asset is inflation. Your cash will always reduce in value if you don’t invest it.

Inflation is part of the economic cycle and the government of civilized countries manage inflation well.

There is a good example I always use to illustrate how inflation makes your cash lose value.

Let’s say you just bought a microwave for your kitchen for $30. Think forward that the microwave will one day become faulty or pack up and you will need to replace it.

Save $30 at home as the cash you will use to buy another microwave when the one you’ve just bought pack up. After 3 years, the microwave becomes faulty and you want to replace it. The $30 you kept to buy a new microwave will possibly not be enough because you can almost guarantee the price of the microwave would have gone up. This means your $30 is now worth less today than it was when you kept it 3 years ago.

Instead of keeping your cash at home or saving it in bank. Invest it in the stock market. Saving in the bank is not a bad idea. The only problem with banks is that they will only offer you silly rates which isn’t really worth it.

Not a capital intensive investment

To start investing in the stock market does not require a lot of capital like other investment concepts.

Real estate comes to mind when talking about investments that require large capital.

You can start with as low as £5 or $5. My favourite way of investing in the stock market is to take a portion of my wages every month and put it in the stock market through my brokerage account.

You can automate your investment by setting up a standing order from your checking account. The amount you set to be deducted will be credited into your brokerage account on autopilot.

Depending on how much you can afford to invest each month, you can set the money to be debited from your salary account.

There are stockbrokers who do not charge any fees to either buy or sell shares. This makes investing in the stock market very easy and affordable to everyday people.

Stock market goes up over a long period

What makes up the stock market are the companies who produce valuable products and services we use on daily basis.

These companies work very hard to innovate and improve on product and services they produce. When you consider this fact with inflation, the price of products and services is bound to go up periodically.

If you invest in the stock market for a long time, you can be sure you will win. I am not a financial adviser and do not offer financial advise here. However, I have been investing in the stock market for a long time. I know that investing for a long time is the best way to approach stock market investing.

Investing is Biblical

I am a Christian and the Bible helped to form my life philosophy. 

There is a popular parable in the Bible. I am referring to the parable of the talent.

The master told the last servant who buried his talent. The talent the Bible referred to can also be called money.

In Matthew 25:27, the master said

“Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.”

As a Christian I believe investing is a good thing especially stock market investing.

Good inheritance for children

There is no investment without risk. You can get less money than you put in the stock market. However, if the investment is long term the chances of getting less than you invested is very slim.

If you have dividend stocks, you can earn dividends from time to time as income. For index funds investor, the interest you earn from your funds can be collected as income.

Something else that is great about the stock market is that it provides an opportunity to live inheritance for your children; if you have been blessed with them.

Again, I can go back to my Bible philosophy.

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children – Proverbs 13:22”.

When you invest in the stock market, you can also pass the knowledge to you children. You can teach your children about money.

How to start investing in stock market

Investing in the stock market used to take a lot of efforts before the internet age.

To buy a share of any publicly listed company. You need a stock broker.

Before the internet, to have access to a stock broker, you will have to visit their brick and mortar office to complete paper work. 

The internet now makes it easy to open a brokerage account with stock brokers.

From your phone or any device with internet access, you can open an account with a stock broker and start investing in the stock market.

Please do your own research and due diligence before buying any share.

My favourite stock market investing strategy is the index fund. I prefer index funds because of its low risk and low fee.

Best stockbrokers in the UK

The best stock brokers in your region or country may vary as services are sometimes country/region specific.

I am a UK resident and the best brokers in the UK are:

23- Oct2020
Posted By: abundanceaware

Ways to Make Money Without Getting A Second Job

You could want to earn extra money for various reasons. It could be to make ends meet, increased responsibility, or a short or long term goal you set for yourself. However, is it really easy adding a second job to an existing full-time job?

To be honest, a lot of people will rather request for a promotion at their present place of work than look for a second job anyway.

I love what I do on daily basis in my job. However, having a second job will add more stress to my life. Why will I want to get a second job? I just can’t spare the time. Having a second job will deny me of valuable time I spend with my family.

We live in the best of times and you don’t have to actually look for an extra job to supplement your earnings. There are now various offline and online methods of boosting your income on the side.

Keep reading as I take you through some fantastic opportunities.

1.     Sell items on Amazon, eBay or Craigslist

Why go through the stress of setting up a garage sale when you can automate the process? By listing items on eBay or Amazon, you will be leveraging the purchasing power of their existing audience.

All you have to do is create an account with them and start listing your items. It can range from home furnishings to clothing and accessories and computer equipment.

Three things that are just as important as the product you’re selling is a detailed product description, contact information and high-quality product images. You can chip in with free shipping to attract more customers.

I have gone through this particular journey myself and you can read up on my experience here. An advantage Amazon has over eBay is the Amazon’s fulfilment centre and Amazon FBA for beginners. You can also read up more about it here.

I have other articles that explain how to make money on amazon in detail, how to build a brand and import to sell.

2.     Dropship or start an online store

Dropshipping and eCommerce stores have gained a lot of popularity over the years and I know why. Imagine not having to invest in inventory while still selling your physical and digital products from the comfort of your home?

The major difference between the dropshipping model and the conventional buying and selling is that you don’t buy anything until a purchase has been made.

This means you can start dropshipping with little or no capital at all. All you need to invest in is a little bit of time to research your products and suppliers.

The model is simple, you simply get a reliable supplier who sells inexpensive goods and you market their products. This can be done through a website, email marketing, social media or however you choose.

3.     Sell Crafts

I like the idea of selling crafts a lot. Handcrafted items like beads and crotchet are things a lot of us do as a hobby already, so why not monetize it?

With the right market, it can be an easy way of making money. This is because of an increase in the demand for unique products; mass-produced products can sometimes be too competitive to market. Think about it, you can dedicate your evenings to making crafts.

However, making crafts is one thing and actually selling is another. Your social media page or contact list can only get you so far. You will have to rely on online options to maximize the potential of your business.

The most popular platform for handcrafted items is Etsy. They specialize in crafts and that gives it an edge over other multipurpose platforms like Amazon. They also have various tools that will help you sell your products as well as promote your brand. You can then leverage the power of your social media pages, contact or email lists to gain more visibility.

The downside of using Etsy is that the company maintains control over your store and can close it at any time. Although this doesn’t happen often. If this is a worry for you, you can choose to set up your own website.

You can also rely on offline marketing and referrals to help boost your sale.

4.     Sell food or baked goods

Can you cook or bake? Do you enjoy doing it? The good thing is that you can actually leverage it to make extra income. And all you have to do is find time to bake or cook.

You may already know this but there are a lot of people out there who would rather buy food than cook. You can create different weekly menus and start marketing.

You can also create partnerships with local stores and businesses to help sell your baked treats. If you’re serious enough about it, you can find contracts with businesses interested in serving foods at their events.

However, an important thing you must do is check for any food laws in your country before embarking on this journey.

5.     Launch an online resource

Another way to conveniently make money on the side is by sharing your expertise. Let’s say you’re good at bookkeeping, for example, you can leverage your expertise.

What you’ll want to do is launch an online ebook or course, start a blog or a vlog.

If you choose to go with this route, you must be ready to put in a lot of work initially. But the good part is that once you get it right, you can earn great passive income.

6.     Join the sharing economy

The sharing economy has been a hit in the past decade and you can leverage this to boost your income. You should be able to make from a few hundred to thousands of dollars a month through this approach.

You can choose to rent out your car on Turo and hail a cab or ride a bike to work instead. Rent out a spare bedroom on Airbnb. If you have quality cameras lying around the house, you can rent it out on Cameralends. You can even rent out things like a sailboat on Sailo and snowboard on Spinlister.

Making money through Airbnb is the most popular of this approach so here is a free tip. You can make an immense profit by renting out your whole house rather than a spare room. It’s best to do this during the holiday season so you can go on a vacation or visit family.

7.     Selling Services Offline

You can plug your free hours with rendering offline services. You can study your environment and look for opportunities that you can take advantage of. But things like gardening, cleaning gutters and lawn mowing are opportunities you can always readily see around.

You can also get creative and teach things like music, martial art, how to bake and more. You can also become a home tutor.

Transport is also another aspect you can focus on. Companies like Uber and Lyft are quite popular but they are not available everywhere. You might want to do your research on the ride-hailing services available in your region.

Bonus: Making extra money through online freelancing

Freelancing is an ever-growing field and the possibilities of growth are still immense. The advantage of freelancing is that you can always work at your own convenience and pace. If you choose to try out the freelance route, you can give the list below a try. The important thing is to find out what you’re good at and try to leverage it.

  • Carry out Surveys
  • Start a hobby blog or guest post
  • Become an affiliate marketing
  • Use freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr

01- Aug2020
Posted By: abundanceaware

How to save money on low income in the UK

One of the hardest things to do when your income is low is saving money. Many folks in this bracket don’t even bother with it because it seems nay impossible.

But is saving money on a tight budget really impossible wherever you are in the world, be it the UK, USA, Canada etc?

Savings for me is a choice you can’t compromise on. You have to do it. No matter how small your income is, it is important to be able to squeeze that extra penny to be saved.

There are a lot of advantages to saving money.

The following are tips and strategies that will help you in your money-saving on a low-income journey. It is also a useful guide if your income is high.

Best Tips On How To Save Money on Low Income

1. Write Down Your Budget

The very first step you want to take when embarking on a savings journey is to find out where your money goes monthly. This is particularly important because it allows you to check for the disparity in your expenses.

There is always something that you shouldn’t be wasting too much money on but you find yourself doing it anyway. This is mostly out of habit.

There is no better way to get an overview of your money flows monthly than documenting it. You can choose to document manually with a piece of paper or virtually through apps like Evernote.

You can also make use of this household budget calculator.

You must resist the urge to do mental math for this.

The Money Advice Service and MoneySavingExpert have excellent guides on how best to set up a budget.

2. Set Up a Plan of Action

If you’re setting up a plan of action for budgeting on a low income then I want to believe you know where your money is going.

By this I mean you have documented your expenses for a month and scrutinised where your money is leaking.

Only when you know the unnecessary things you’re spending money on can you know how much you can possibly save.

Once you identify the leak, you can then proceed to have an action plan for saving. You need to create a savings goal for yourself.

And get rid of the notion that you are making too low an income to save.

The truth is that even if you are a high-income earner if you don’t have a healthy saving habit, you’ll still find yourself unable to save. Saving money is a habit that you must nurture.

So even if it’s £10 a week that you can save, start with that. The key to the goal is that you must start from somewhere.

3. Reduce Your Accommodation Costs

Accommodation costs are low-key some of the highest expenses that we spend money on.

What most people find out after finding a way to reduce their accommodation costs is that they have more money saved.

How then can you reduce your accommodation costs?

The easiest way to reduce this is to downsize. You might want to look for a less expensive property to rent. Or consider moving to a less expensive area or town.

Although, you must factor in the nearness to your place of work and commuting costs when making the above move.

What you wouldn’t want to do is spend less on accommodation then spending much more on transport.

One of the ways people save money on accommodation is to rent out a spare room to a lodger. This can save you money because then you’ll be earning on your property.

I was once a beneficiary of this type of arrangement when I got my first job at Worcester City Council. A co-worker rented his spare room to me.

And if you live in an area close to tourist attractions, why not consider renting your spare room as AirBNB?

4. Become A Parkinson’s Law Devotee

If you are a fan of productivity then chances are you’ve heard of Parkinson’s Law before this. Parkinson ’s Law states that the more time given to complete a work, the more time it’ll take to complete it. Work expands with the time given.

This can also be applied to finances. The definition in finances would then be: expenses expand to fill the unnecessary wants that occur as a result of increased income.

You might be wondering how increased income relates to your low income. The truth is that you started earning your low income one day. You were probably jobless or on a lower income before now.

What you should have noticed is how your expenses increased with your income. But should it always be so? No matter the income bracket you belong to, you must always be minding of your spending.

You can read this post about how to save money faster with Parkinson’s Law.

YouTube video

5. Cut your expenses

One of the ways to budget on a low income is by learning how to make do with less. This is quite similar to the Parkinson’s point above.

Speaking from experience I can tell you that increasing your income can be hard but reducing your expenses is easier.

Some of the things you can save money on include utility providers, groceries, mortgage and so on.

An often overlooked expense that people often overlook is eating out. Why not cultivate the habit of preparing your own meals? Even if you’re bad at it, you’ll eventually get better.

Debt can easily pile up when these expenses regularly go unchecked. In fact, you will sometimes incur more debt to cover such debts.

Research from Santander suggested that UK households spend an average of £3,329 per year, on water, council tax, broadband bills, energy and electricity.

While these are essential expenses you can still save money by switching to cheaper alternatives where possible.

You can also find a way to reduce your shopping if you are a shopaholic. You can easily ditch that designer clothing for thrift wears. It’s not a shameful thing to do. You can neglect or postpone that luxurious holiday you’ve been looking forward to.

You can check out this article on how to effectively plan a household budget.

6. Set Financial Goals

Another habit you want to develop in your savings journey is setting realistic financial goals. Only you know how much your income is so you are the one responsible for cutting your coat according to your size.

It isn’t an easy thing to live within one’s means but it is a better option than struggling. The truth is that we can make do with several expenses we see as essential. Cutting these extra costs is a step in the right direction.

You have to be realistic with yourself and be able to challenge yourself. No matter how much you earn, there must still be a little you can save.

If not earning enough is your excuse for having unhealthy spending and savings habit. You can always pick up a side hustle to boost your income.

You can read our comprehensive post about side hustle ideas here and here.

But I must warn you if you can’t learn to save when you have little you still won’t save when you have more. Saving money is a habit and it must be nurtured and developed.

7. Sell Some Household Items

One of the easiest habit to cultivate as an adult is the hoarding habit. We sometimes develop personal attachments to some of our belongings and loathe the idea of losing them. This is even after it is no longer useful to us.

Over the years, what you’ll find out is how much junk you are keeping in your house. Sometimes we keep them based on the sentiment that they’ll be needed one day.

But this is the fifth year and you still haven’t needed them. I say it’s time for a big spring clean. Comb through your house or garage brutally for items of no real use with financial value.

You’ll be surprised by what people are looking for. There is always one person or the other looking for thrift buys.

I should know this; I started my eBay journey by selling a few items of no use in the house. I later went on to cutting deals with manufacturers in my chosen niche.

I have a very comprehensive article on how you can get started selling on Amazon and eBay here and here.

8. Buy Second Hand

The truth is that there are so many other people on this same journey as you. What this means is that you can also buy what others are selling.

For the time being, you can say NO to new items and a big YES to used items. You can decide to go for second-hand items like home appliances, clothes, furniture and even mobile devices.

You discover amazing bargains on websites like eBay, Gumtree and even Facebook marketplace.

Buying second-hand items is a sure way of getting the things you need at a lesser price and without really compromising on quality.

9. Figure Out Your Entitlements

One of the things people often overlook is what they are entitled to. We become so engrossed with making ends meet that we forget that we are legally entitled to some benefits.

A way of discovering the benefits that I’m owed is using the entitled to benefits calculator. You can easily find out if there are working, tax credits benefits and so on available to you.

You will be obliged to provide some personal details and information about the people you live with if any. But it is a sure way of discovering an additional form of income.

You can also find out if your children are entitled to free school meals.

I like to call these benefits financial support.

There are several ways to save more money on a low income and the majority of them fall under ‘cutting expenses’. Because let’s be honest you can’t save when you’re always spending without control.