Category: Money

01- Aug2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
219 Views

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.

Categories:
29- May2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
268 Views

What should be considered when planning a household budget?

Anyone who wants to get started with the household budget will likely ask the question, what should be considered when planning a household budget?

Budgeting is not something most people find easy to do. It is one of those things that is very simple but not easy.

There are a lot of things that need to be put into consideration when planning a household budget.

Budgeting is a very important part of money management for a healthy financial life.

Just the way a country or an organisation plan their expenditure and income, it is also important at household or individual level to plan your finances.

I must admit that I do not budget our household money to the pence’s. The two most important elements in budgeting are expenses and income. Both of these are very important.

Income

Most people don’t think about income when they are considering budgeting.

The idea behind budgeting is to know where your money goes. As important as it is to know what you will spend your money on, it is also very pertinent to know where the money you will spend will come from.

Regardless of the number of income stream you have, part of your budgeting should include your source of income.

Perhaps the amount of money you earn is not enough to fund your lifestyle.

Budgeting will help you to be able to see the clear picture and that will encourage you to think about increasing your income.

I have created a tool on this website that you can use to calculate your outgoings and income; you will then be able to see how much you have left.

Click here to take advantage of our Household Budget Calculator

The major thing here to consider is how much do you earn and what is the frequency in terms of weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc

Depending on if you are an individual or couple. If you are a couple do you combine your income or do you separately contribute to a pot to meet your household expenses?

Are there other sources of income like side hustle or overtime.

It’s important to be careful with overtime pay in budgeting. This is because it’s not a fixed income and can vary.

There is other income like Child Benefit in the UK. If you are reading from the outside the UK, consider if there is anything like that in your country.

Expenses

How much you spend on various essentials and non-essentials is what form your expenses. The essential needs of every human are food and shelter.

No one wants to go about naked so clothing is also essential.

As we now live in the modern world, everyone will agree that if you live in a city or town, you possibly need transportation to move from point A to point B.

There are a whole lot of other things that we need because of modernisation. One of those needs is the telecommunication which can include a mobile phone with internet.

The list of our expenses can grow very quickly if we are not careful.

I think the most important thing here is to separate your need from wants.

Most people in the developed world have enough to meet their needs but want is the major problem many people battle with.

Below are the important expenses you need to consider in your budget planning.

Mortgage or Rent

Everyone needs a roof over their head.

This is one of the absolute essentials that anyone will pay for and a large percentage of the majority of the population income goes towards paying for accommodation.

There is always a debate about should you buy a house or rent one.

That is not the topic I am dealing with here.

As regards budgeting, you will need to consider how much you need to set aside to pay for your accommodation cost.

Food/ Groceries and Eating Out

One of the essentials we cannot all do without as human is food.

When budgeting you have to consider how much you want to dedicate for your groceries shopping. The average household in the UK spends around £60.60 per week on food.

Food is one of the items on our budget we spend the most money on. Apart from accommodation, food is perhaps taking the second largest percentage of our income. 

I am a fan of cooking at home. However, sometimes it’s nice to eat out because you can leverage someone else time to do the work of cooking for you.

I know eating out is expensive but it will not cause any harm to anyone’s budget if it is done in moderation. 

Emergency Fund and Unforeseen Expenses

Life can happen to anyone at any time.

This is the reason why it is important to budget for unforeseen expenses. This is what is generally regarded as an emergency fund.

I remember one time when there was a strong wind which blew away the ridge tiles on the roof of our house. While we had insurance, we end up paying for the repair ourself.

The insurance came to assess the damage. The cost of the repair was around £304 when the insurance company assess the damage. Our excess was £300.

This simply means we were only going to get £4 from the insurance company. It just didn’t worth it for us to claim so we decided not to claim and we paid for the repair from our pocket.

This is an example of things that could happen without you planning for them. This is why you need to consider emergency fund in your budget.

Car Expenses

The cost of running a car can really add up.

According to figures from a research done by Motoring Research, the average UK motorist spends at least £162 on car costs every month.

This figure does not include the cost of financing for people who bought their car through car loan or financing payment.

The cost of maintaining a car is something you do not want to miss out in your budget.

Obvious you have to put fuel in the car for it to run except if your car is electric. Even for electric cars, charging it will still cost some money but might not be as expensive as petrol or diesel engine car.

Some people pay to park in their workplace. And most of us do have those times when we find ourself in a place where there is no free parking.

You need to budget for parking cost as part of the cost for running your car.

Entertainment and Subscriptions

We human being can survive without entertainment.

However, we are no longer living in the cave, we have evolved as a species and we are now in the 21st century.

Majority of us need to entertain ourselves.

Whether going to the cinema, festivals, live sport etc. All these will cost money and it is important to consider these costs in your budget.

I have had a wonderful time with my family visiting a lot of nice places in the UK including watching some of my favourite football teams life.

If you like outdoor or going to see things and places you need to consider what this will cost you in your household budget.

Perhaps you like to spend money intentionally and be wise with money.

This does not mean that you cannot have times when you can put your fit-up and enjoy a nice documentary or movie on Netflix.

We have Netflix subscription in my house, the kids love it because they do watch a lot of educational programmes on it. I am not a fan of movies but I enjoy good documentaries on NetFlix.

There are other ones like Now TV and Amazon Prime Subscription for their TV and Video.

Some people do have gym membership or magazines they subscribed to. Remember to include the cost of these subscriptions in your household budget.

Birthdays

We all have a lot of loved ones in our life. Most of these people play important roles in our life.

It could be your wife, husband, partner, brother, sister, friend. The list is endless.

Throughout the year, you will give gifts without taking notice because these birthdays come at various times of the year.

Majority of us don’t include these costs in our budget.

It is important you consider this in your budget because these small costs can quickly add up.

If you have children, the cost can be higher because your children will have their friends from school invite them to a birthday party.

Our boys do attend a minimum of 10 birthday parties in a year when they go for these birthdays they have to go with a gift.

Obviously, you won’t attend all birthdays or give gifts to everyone celebrating a birthday. However, you will not ignore all of them so consider birthday gifts in your household budget.

Holiday Gifts

The busiest time of the year is the holiday period which is mainly known for Christmas.

I love Christmas time because of its significance in terms of celebrating the birth of Jesus. However, Christmas has been commercialised over the years which makes it very expensive for many households.

The holiday period is the period where you have to watch your spending.

The best way to not overspend during the holiday period is to have a strict budget beforehand for the maximum you will no go over.

By considering holiday gifts in your household budget, you will be avoiding digging a hole in your finance which you will be running around to fill after the holiday and Christmas is gone.

Charitable Contributions

A big part of my philosophy of life is generosity.

There are people in life which through no fault of their own can not provide for their daily essential needs.

Such people need help and I believe anyone who has a job or any form of income is among the most privileged people on earth.

I count myself privileged to have income.

Giving to other people in need from my income is something I have done for a number of years. I regularly have generosity and charity as part of my budget.

I am a Christian and Christianity suggest 10% of one’s income.

I would recommend 10% which is what I also follow but people who are struggling should not think it’s compulsory to give 10% to church or charity.

The most important thing here is that if you have regular income there is a power in the universe that give back to you when you give to people who are less privilege than you.

I do consider 10% of my income in our household budget as a contribution to the church.

Our church does use this money wisely to run the church and also give to the charities our church support.

Other costs

Memberships

Are you a member of any organisation which you pay monthly or annual fees.

It might be an old student association or a professional association.

Some employment pay for their employee’s professional association membership fee.

For most people, they will need to take care of the payment themselves. Don’t forget to consider any membership cost in your budget.

Prescriptions

Health cost is generally free in the UK.

However, prescriptions are not free for everyone.

Children under a certain age and older people in a certain age category have prescription free. I think pregnant women also have prescription free.

People who are on some particular type of benefits might also be getting prescription free.

For the majority of people, unfortunately, have to pay for the prescription.

If you are on a particular medication, the cost of your regular prescription you get from the pharmacy needs to be considered in your budget.

Work Wardrobe and Upkeep

Most people don’t take notice of how much they spend on clothing.

According to the Family Spending report from the Office of National Statistics, the average person spends £43.88 on clothes each month. The average person in the UK spends at least £526.50 on clothes annually.

This is the reason why the fashion industry is a multimillion-pound industry.

When you are planning your budget it is important you consider how much you will spend on clothes, shoes and other accessories.

I am not against buying designer cloth or shoes as long as it’s not too expensive.

I am not particularly loyal to any brand. I just go for quality because there is no point buying something cheap and quickly need to replace it after one wash.

I generally buy from outlet stores where some of the big brands have shop and sell their items at a reduced price.

Guests

The expenses that come from entertaining guests in your house can add up without you noticing it.

As an immigrant, I was raised in a household where there were a lot of people and also we welcome guest throughout the year. All our guests need to be entertained and looked after.

As I am far away from home, we still have people who visit us from Nigeria and other family members who live in other parts of the world. At least ones in a year we do have a family member visit us.

Taking our guests out to see tourist attractions and important places in our area can cost money. Their time with us for times ranging from 1 week to 4weeks can have an impact on our finances.

We do it in joy and happiness because we love welcoming people to our house. You might have people who regularly visit you, so you need to consider these expenses in your budget.

Travel and Holiday Expenses

As a first-generation immigrant in the UK, travelling abroad on holiday wasn’t something I used to do while growing up in Nigeria.

I am fascinated by how people take holiday and travelling seriously in the west.

I now understand the importance of travelling on holiday.

Travelling and holiday are not only good for recreation and relaxation. Travelling is very good for experiencing other culture of the world.

The world is so big and as much as possible it is good to experience a different part of the world. Travelling I have found out help to unlock the creativity inside us.

If all you see is your little place where you live you might not be open to a lot of other ideas that can be inspired by seeing another environment, people and culture. 

Holiday doesn’t have to be abroad. Each country of the world has a lot of nice places that can be explored by the citizen of that country.

We do enjoy exploring beautiful spots close to where we live. We particularly love the Cotswold. See my article about Why is Bibury famous?

In my household, we always have travelling and holiday in our budget. It is an important element of our budget.

Pet Care

Pets are lovely to have in the house if you can afford the cost and the work involve to look after them.

We have two goldfishes in my household.

The cost of taking care of them is not that much compared to say a dog or cat. Since we had them we haven’t spent any serious money other than the time to constantly clean the tank.

If you have a dog or cat, you might need to take them to a vet and the cost can add up. If you have a pet, consider the cost of their care in your budget.

Dentist

The cost of visiting the dentist is one of those costs that most people don’t remember when they are considering items to have in their budget.

I remember visiting the dentist to take out one of my wisdom teeth.

If I remember very well, the cost was over £50. You might need hygienist to look after your teeth at the dentist. basically, every of your visit to the dentist we possibly cost some money.

The cost of a hospital visit in the UK is mainly free but dental care is not free in the UK. Children under a certain age can go to the dentist free.

Categories:

High paying jobs without a degree

What are the high paying jobs without a degree out there? There is a common consensus that you need a university degree to secure good-paying jobs and live a healthy financial life.

But is that the case? Are there no good-paying jobs that don’t require a university degree?

The answer is no. There are some jobs for non-degree holders out there that pay better than some degree holder jobs.

All you need to do is equip yourself with the right training and certification and you’re ready to enter the labour market.

In fact, a research carried out by Indeed, a job site found 10 roles for non-degree holders that pay better than the average UK annual salary of £29,500.

According to the research, some of these jobs can earn you up to £71,700 without a degree.

To make it clear, I am not against going to school and getting a university degree.

The gospel I am preaching here is that you can still have a healthy financial life if for some reason you are unable to acquire a university degree.

I should mention here that jobs without a university degree do not mean you can just walk into a job that pays above the national average.

In most cases, you will require some training, certification and years of experience in some cases 

The jobs are ordered from lowest to highest of their average salary

Software Tester – Average Salary: £25,277

You may not know this but Software Testers play an important role in application development.

Some of their duties include thoroughly testing applications for bugs, interface and performance issues.

Software Testers are the quality assurance experts of the software development process. The cool part is that you do not need a degree to become one.

Job Description

  • Revising software requirements
  • Preparing test setups
  • Testing software usability
  • Analyze results for bugs, errors, database impact, and usability
  • Preparing test report and reporting to design team
  • Participating in design reviews

Certification

ISTQB Foundation Level software testing certification CTFL

Project Support/manager – Average Salary: £40,000

There is a probability that you’ve come across a couple of Project Managers yourself.

What a Project Manager does is ensure that an on-going project is carried out correctly and successfully.

Project Managers are usually required to have a sound command of communication, decision making and leadership skills.

Job Description (found on Glassdoor)

  • Determine and define project scope and objectives
  • Predict resources needed to reach objectives and manage resources in an effective and efficient manner
  • Prepare a budget based on the scope of work and resource requirements
  • Track project costs to meet budget
  • Develop and manage a detailed project schedule and work plan
  • Provide project updates consistently to various stakeholders about strategy, adjustments, and progress
  • Manage contracts with vendors and suppliers by assigning tasks and communicating expected deliverables
  • Utilize industry best practices, techniques, and standards throughout entire project execution
  • Monitor progress and make adjustments as needed
  • Measure project performance to identify areas for improvement

Certification

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments)

Construction Manager – Average Salary: £50,000

You may be wondering how a construction manager is different from a project manager.

A Construction Manager is in charge of the actual construction phase of a project, like personnel, materials, and construction budget. A construction manager oversees just the construction phase of a project.

A Project Manager is however involved in a project from start to finish. They are in charge of all phases of the project from marketing to administrative needs.

Construction managers are usually required to have a sound command of communication and leadership skills.

Job Description (found on Workable)

  • Oversee and direct construction projects from conception to completion
  • Review the project in-depth to schedule deliverables and estimate costs
  • Oversee all onsite and offsite constructions to monitor compliance with building and safety regulations
  • Coordinate and direct construction workers and subcontractors
  • Select tools, materials and equipment and track inventory
  • Meet contractual conditions of performance
  • Review the work progress daily
  • Prepare internal and external reports pertaining to job status
  • Plan ahead to prevent problems and resolve any emerging ones
  • Negotiate terms of agreements, draft contracts and obtain permits and licences
  • Analyse, manage and mitigate risks
  • Ensure quality construction standards and the use of proper construction techniques

Certification

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

Planning Officer – Average Salary: £39,705

If you love urban design, management, development, or environmental issues then this could be the career path for you.

Planning Officers work for local planning authorities and are involved in developmental processes management.

Some of the responsibilities include planning projects, managing policies, negotiating misunderstandings, collecting evidence and more.

Job Description (found on PlanIt)

  • managing or helping to manage a department efficiently
  • managing the budget for a department
  • recruiting, supervising and monitoring staff
  • managing and evaluating projects
  • doing research and preparing reports for councillors and senior managers
  • preparing agendas for council meetings and taking minutes
  • presenting information at meetings
  • helping councillors develop and implement council policies
  • working with other agencies.

Certification

Royal Town Planning Institute

GIS Analyst Analyst – Average Salary: £28,000

A GIS Analyst works with large databases of images gotten from aerial photographs and satellite images.

They use this spatial information to create maps, analyse data for commercial, scientific or planning purposes, or develop specialized software.

Job Description (found on Betterteam)

  • Analyzing spatial data through the use of mapping software.
  • Discovering patterns and trends through spatial mapping of data.
  • Designing digital maps with geographic data and other data sources.
  • Creating “shapefiles” to merge topographical data with external data by layering external data over a topographical map.
  • Producing maps showing the spatial distribution of various kinds of data, including crime statistics and hospital locations.
  • Developing mapping applications and tools.
  • Converting physical maps into a digital form for computer usage.
  • Performing data munging and cleaning to convert data into its desired form.
  • Produce reports on geographic data utilizing data visualizations.
  • Managing a digital library of geographic maps in various file types.

Certification:

The Association for Geographical Information

Database Administrator – Average Salary: £36,000

As a database administrator (DBA), you are responsible for the performance, integrity and security of a database.

One of the main duties of a database administrator is to ensure that all the information stored in a database is secure.

Other primary duties include managing, back up and ensuring the availability of the data consumed.

Job Description (found on cwjobs)

  • Assisting in database design
  • Updating and amending existing databases
  • Setting up and testing new database and data handling systems
  • Monitoring database efficiency
  • Sustaining the security and integrity of data
  • Creating complex query definitions that allow data to be extracted
  • Training colleagues in how to input and extract data

Certification

IBM Certified Database Administrator, Microsoft SQL Server database certifications, Oracle Certified Professional.

Nuclear Power Worker – Average Salary: £45,000

You are probably surprised by this inclusion as this is a highly skilled profession and thus should require a degree.

You are right with your assumption but there are some areas where you do not need academic qualifications.

Job Description (found on Prospects)

  • understand the science behind how nuclear facilities work
  • analyse energy transmission, conversion and storage systems
  • solve design or operational problems with reactor cores and shielding, hydraulic and electrical systems, and complex instrumentation such as monitoring equipment
  • manage staff and budgets for complex design, construction, maintenance, expansion, safety and decommissioning projects
  • always keep the safety of people and the environment in mind, cooperate with local emergency services, and work with national, European Union (EU) and international industry regulatory bodies
  • be aware of and address security concerns regarding the use, transport, storage and disposal of radioactive materials
  • interpret data and respond to emerging issues to ensure equipment is always working properly
  • write reports, project plans and other documents that provide information about new facilities, existing processes, problems and solutions, and safety exercises for regulators, energy firms and co-workers in facility construction and management
  • including temporary and long-term disposal of high-hazard radioactive material

Certification

the National Nuclear Laboratory apprenticeship, HSE, Applied Science (Nuclear) Extended Diploma Level 3, Nuclear Sector Apprenticeship Level 2.

The Oil Industry (Offshore) – Average Salary:  £49,278

This is another industry where you should ordinarily need a university degree but that isn’t always the case.

The job can be considered a dangerous one but the pay from it is very good.

If you choose this industry, you will have to work on rigs for months. Some of the jobs you can get here without a degree are rigging operations, drilling, and maintenance.

Job Description (found Prospects)

  • prepare well data sheets
  • design and select well-head equipment
  • draw up drilling programmes, taking account of desired production flow rates
  • obtain relevant data, carrying out engineering analysis on-site, recommending necessary actions and writing up reports
  • monitor the daily progress of well operations
  • keep track of current daily costs, comparing actual costs with expenditure proposals and recommending cost-effective changes
  • liaise with specialist contractors and suppliers, such as cement companies or suppliers of drilling fluids
  • monitor safety and ensure the good maintenance of the well
  • adhere to environmental protection standards, in some cases through direct discussion with local governments to ensure compliance with legislative requirements
  • establish and administer drilling and service contracts
  • coordinate and supervise the work of the drilling team
  • undertake engineering design and the planning of wells (including development work)
  • design directional well paths (horizontally or multi-laterally, as appropriate)
  • manage operations on behalf of small clients

Certification

HSE, Foundation Drill Rig (HDR), Anchor/Micropile Drill Rig (AMP)

Air Cabin Crew – Average Salary: £20,000 – £25,000

If you enjoy travelling and are a people person then this is for you.

Some of the responsibility of a Cabin crew is being responsible for the welfare and safety of passengers in the aircraft.

To start working as a cabin crew member, you must first complete a specific course with your airline and it takes about four weeks. Some airlines will provide you with accommodation and salary separately.

Job Description (through Prospects)

  • be professional, punctual and courteous at all times
  • attend a pre-flight briefing, during which you’ll be assigned your working positions for the upcoming flight. The crew are informed of flight details, the schedule, the number of infants on board and if there are passengers with any special requirements, such as diabetic passengers or passengers in wheelchairs
  • carry out pre-flight duties, including checking the safety equipment and doing security checks.
  • welcome passengers on board and direct them to their seats
  • inform passengers of the aircraft about safety procedures and ensure that all hand luggage is securely stored away
  • check all seat belts and galleys are secure before take-off
  • make announcements on behalf of the pilot and answer questions during the flight
  • serve meals and refreshments
  • sell duty-free goods and advise passengers of any allowance restrictions in force at their destination
  • reassure passengers and ensure they follow safety procedures correctly in emergencies
  • deal with any difficult or inebriated passengers (who may be acting in a rude or anti-social way) politely but firmly, to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone on the flight
  • give first aid where necessary

Certification

Depends on your chosen airline, HSE

Ethical Hacker  – Average Salary: £68,793

The IT industry is one of the best developing industries right now.

In fact, if you are a frequent internet user you must have come across advertisements for one IT training or the other.

But I bet you’ve never considered Ethical Hacking. An ethical hacker is responsible for testing the safety of businesses IT systems. They hack into computer networks to test and assess its security.

Job Description (found on Prospects)

  • understand complex computer systems and technical cybersecurity terms
  • carry out remote testing of a client’s network or onsite testing of their infrastructure to expose weaknesses in security
  • work with clients to determine their requirements from the test.
  • plan and create penetration methods, scripts and tests
  • advise on methods to fix or lower security risks to systems
  • consider the impact your ‘attack’ will have on the business and its users
  • create reports and recommendations from your findings
  • present your findings, risks and conclusions to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • understand how the flaws that you identify could affect a business, or business function if they’re not fixed.

Certification

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Pick up hacking skills from online courses

Firefighter – Average Salary: £32,500

Firefighters are no doubt our unsung heroes but did you know that it pays well too?

Firefighters like any job pay according to your rank. Starters can earn an upwards of £20,000.

Managers earn around £30,000 while station managers can earn around £40,000. Application as a firefighter is subject to written exams, aptitude tests, and physical exams.

Job Description (through Prospects)

  • responding immediately and safely to emergency calls and requests for assistance
  • attending emergency incidents including fires, road accidents, floods, terrorist incidents, spillages of dangerous substances, and rail and air crashes
  • rescuing trapped people and animals
  • minimising distress and suffering, including giving first aid before ambulance crews arrive
  • safeguarding your own and other people’s personal safety at all times
  • cleaning up and checking the site after dealing with an incident
  • taking time to become familiar with local streets, roads and buildings so you can respond to emergency calls with speed and efficiency
  • inspecting and maintaining the appliance (fire engine) and its equipment, assisting in testing fire hydrants and checking emergency water supplies

Certification

9-4 GCSE, Mechanical reasoning test, HSE

Air traffic Controllers – Average Salary: £41,011

This sounds like a cool job if you’ve always been fascinated by planes and travel in general.

You don’t need a university degree to become an air traffic controller but you will need a certificate. It takes three years to get your air traffic control license from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), and you must have five GCSEs (grades A-C).

Air traffic controllers earn an average salary between £17,000 and £21,000 for starters. Experienced Controllers earn as much as £50,000.

Job Description (through Prospects)

  • keep radio and radar contact with aircraft
  • direct the movement of aircraft en route or at an airport
  • instruct aircraft to climb or descend and allocate final cruising level
  • provide information to aircraft about weather conditions
  • make sure that minimum distances are maintained between planes
  • handle unexpected events, emergencies and unscheduled traffic.

Certification

National Air Traffic Services Courses

Accountant – Average Salary: £56,000

The major job accountant does is prepare and examine financial records.

Accountancy is no doubt a boring job but it pays well and you don’t need a university degree to become a qualified accountant.

It is important to know that you will have to study for an AAT qualification. Accountants earn as much as £35,000 as beginners and a whooping £100,000 if you become a Finance Director.

Job Description (through Targetjobs)

  • preparing accounts and tax returns
  • administering payrolls and controlling income and expenditure
  • auditing financial information
  • compiling and presenting reports, budgets, business plans, commentaries and financial statements
  • analysing accounts and business plans
  • providing tax planning services with reference to current legislation
  • financial forecasting and risk analysis
  • dealing with insolvency cases
  • negotiating the terms of business deals and moves with clients and associated organisations

Certification

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAC), The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Institute of Public and Finance Accountancy (CIPFA)

Equities Trader – Average Salary: £59,475

The most important attribute required for being an equities trader is to be a good salesman.

You don’t need a university degree to become an Equities Trader.

But this doesn’t mean you can just walk into any company and submit your CV.

To become an Equities Trader you need approval from the FCA and CISI to start work. You also need to study for and pass a CISI Capital Markets certification. Once that is done, you’re good to go.

Job Description (through Prospects)

  • speaking with colleagues, making phone calls and making instant decisions
  • making prices in their relevant products
  • executing trades electronically or by phone
  • liaising with sales traders or clients on market movements
  • predicting how markets will move and buying and selling accordingly (especially derivatives traders, who try to predict the state of a market at a future date)
  • informing all relevant parties of the most relevant trades for the day
  • gathering information – critically about mispriced assets, detailed data analysis and valuation.

Certification

Certification in Equity Trading and Investment

Agile Coach – Average Salary: £69,900

An Agile Coach is one of the most slept on jobs out there and you don’t need a degree to become one either.

The goal of an Agile Coach according to Sessionlab is to make a team more efficient, transparent and cohesive.

The role is about empowering workers to rise to business challenges faster, smarter and with minimal risk.

Job Description (through Jobhero)

  • Educate Colleagues
  • Mentor Team
  • Develop Agile Adoption Strategy
  • Implement Agile Methodology

Certification

ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP), ICAg ICAgile Certified Professional IN Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF), ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching (ACC).

HR Manager – Average Salary: £38,677

It is perhaps surprising that you do not require a degree to become an HR Manager.

Although, you will need to acquire a certificate from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

With good communication, organization, and leadership skills, you are on the path to becoming an HR Manager.

You might want to start your journey as an admin assistant then you move up from there. Finance even suggested that HR Managers can earn up to £100,000 yearly.

Job Description (through Jobisjob)

  • Recruiting staff
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Developing training programmes
  • Mediating conflicts
  • Attending meetings
  • Delegating tasks
  • Overseeing employee welfare
  • Coordinating with department managers
  • Reporting to the HR Director

Certification

Vocational training like Higher National Diploma or apprenticeship in HR, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development courses.

Marketing – Average Salary: £32,698

If you are a naturally creative and full of ideas then this is for you.

In fact, not all marketing jobs need a degree. You can get paid as much as £18,000 annually for entry-level.

Also, you can start your marketing career as an intern, digital assistant, or junior researcher.

You will get a salary bump of around £50,000 in a senior role like Marketing Manager, Head of Marketing, or Marketing Executive.

Job Description (through Prospects)

  • create awareness of and develop the brand you’re marketing
  • communicate with target audiences and build and develop customer relationships
  • help with marketing plans, advertising, direct marketing and campaigns
  • source advertising opportunities and place adverts in the press or on the radio
  • work closely with in-house or external creative agencies to design marketing materials such as brochures and adverts
  • write and proofread marketing copy for both online and print campaigns
  • produce creative content, including videos and blog posts
  • run social media channels (e.g. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) to enhance audience engagement

Certification

CIM courses like Foundation Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing, Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing, Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing

Categories:

GoHenry cards: Is GoHenry a good idea?

What do I think about GoHenry cards: Is GoHenry a good idea?

One of the biggest headaches of parents is how to teach their children financial literacy or responsibility. It was during my quest to find an answer that I came across GoHenry.

I am a big believer of parents teaching their children financial values. I believe when children understand the value of money, they are better prepared for the financial world in future.

I wrote an article about how to teach your children about money. After I published the article I decided to open a GoHenry account for our first son who is age 10.

GoHenry is a good card that can help kids build money skills. I love the fact that GoHenry card offers parental control.

The way the world is going, we are going towards a cashless society. An account like GoHenry provides a great opportunity to start teaching our kids about money management and how to use ATM card in a sensible way.

These days, a lot of shopping is done using cards both online and in brick and mortar shops.

Our children have various material needs like art and craft, sporting activities and school education materials. We closely supervise our son in the shop to use his GoHenry card to buy specific things needed in the shop.

I personally keep the card and only hand it to him when we are in the shop together and I collect the card back as soon as we finished with payment.

What is GoHenry?

GoHenry is an online app and a pre-paid Visa debit card created specifically for children (6-18 years). The goal of the app is to teach children how to manage their allowances through budgeting and responsible spending.

The United Kingdom-based company was launched in 2012 and gives parents the ability to monitor the debit card transactions carried out by each of their kids. It is also available in the U.S.

How much does GoHenry cost?

Someone might ask the question, is Go Henry card free?

GoHenry is free for the first month, after which you are charged a monthly fee of £2.50 per child.

I feel it is important to explain how GoHenry card differs from a kid’s bank account.

The main difference is that you pay for the GoHenry card, it isn’t free. Depending on the method of transfer, you also pay a small token to transfer money onto the card. Also, there is a £2.50 membership fee per month.

How Is GoHenry Helpful?

I have to say that the GoHenry app is the major selling point of the company. There is a parent’s and kid’s version of the app.

With the parent’s version, parents can track their account balance and transfer money into their children’s cards. You can either choose to set up a fixed transfer of allowance for example weekly, or impromptu payments for specific tasks completed.

Another crucial feature of the app is the parental control parameters. You can set up strict rules on where or how the card should be used, choose between the card being used online or via ATMs, locking and unlocking of the card at will, as well as setting limits on individual and weekly spending.

With the children’s version, they can log-in to check their balance, spending history, and available tasks. They also can send their funds to either their ‘savings’ or ‘regular balance’.

How do I set up a Gohenry account?

Signing up to GoHenry is easy. All you need to do is to go to GoHenry website and click on the sign-up button.

It will take just you just few minutes and no credit card is required to sign up. After I sign up to get the GoHenry card for our son, the Go Henry card arrived in the mail after 4 days of signing up.

It shouldn’t go beyond 7days before the card will arrive. GoHenry mentioned on their website that card will arrive in about 7days.

GoHenry pre-paid Visa debit card and app has been helping our son build money skills.

We use the unique parental controls which means it’s totally safe for our son to use. If you sign up today you’ll get £10 added to your account (and so will I!) when you activate your card.

If you have interest in signing up, please click here to sign up.

How to put money on my GoHenry card

You can send money in your parent GoHenry account in two major ways;

  1. Through bank transfer
  2. Through your debit card

Transferring money through bank transfer can be broken down into 4 steps.

Log into your account and tap “topping up” from the left-hand side menu of your screen. Then tap the “see how” option next to ‘bank transfer’. This displays the GoHenry account details for your parent account. Once this is gotten, you can then contact your bank to set up the payment.

Note: It is advisable to set the standing order as monthly. It can also take up to 24 hours for you to be debited.

Transferring money to your parent account through your debit card can be broken down into 4 steps.

Log into your account on the website or mobile app then click ‘Top-up’ on the homepage. The next step is to confirm the amount you want to send then click make payment to complete the transfer.

Where can Gohenry cards be used?

One of the advantages of the GoHenry card is that it can be used anywhere globally so far as they accept VISA cards as a mode of payment.

This means your kids can pay for goods and services anywhere in the world. They can use it on school trips, holidays, over the internet and even make cash withdrawals on ATMs.

Transfer money out of parent GoHenry accounts

The fastest way to retrieve funds from your parent account without technical assistance from the GoHenry team is to make a ‘quick transfer’ to the child account and withdraw it through an ATM. It is important to know that your daily ATM withdrawal limit is £120 provided you set the child account rules to withdraw that much.

However, in cases whereby you wish to withdraw more than £120, GoHenry can transfer the funds back to your parent account.

You will have to send an email to help@gohenry.co.uk to help you with this. You must accompany your email with the transfer amount and your bank details.

Can you use GoHenry cards in shops and online platforms

Yes, you can use GoHenry cards in shops and online platforms if they accept payment through VISA cards.

How does my child use the card at an ATM?

Using the GoHenry card at an ATM is just like using any other payment card. Your child simply has to insert their card into the ATM and enter their card PIN. After which they can then withdraw cash.

However, your child can only successfully withdraw cash using an ATM if you’ve enabled it to be used at ATMs in the ‘Rules’ page.

It is important to note that they are not permitted to check their account balance on ATMs. Your child can only withdraw cash up to the limit you’ve set.

As earlier mentioned above, the daily ATM withdrawal limit is £120.

Click here to see all GoHenry limits.

Can GoHenry cards be used abroad

GoHenry cards can be used to pay for goods and services globally. If they support VISA card payments then the card will work.

Is Go Henry Safe?

Yes, GoHenry is safe.

The main aim of GoHenry is to teach children how money works so they can spend money in a safe way. It is a prepaid card which means you can only spend the money you put in it.

It helps teach kids how to be good with money.

My Reservations about GoHenry

  • You have to pay £5 for customisable cards.
  • They charge a monthly fee of £2.50 per card. This means the more children you have, the more monthly fees you have to pay.

My initial mindset when I first heard about GoHenry wasn’t really great. But, I leapt and opened it for one of my kids.

All I can say at the moment is that it is a great financial education tool.

The fact that you can set limits on withdrawals means your children will develop the habit of spending money wisely over time.

If you are interested in getting a GoHenry card for your child, please click here to sign up.

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Why the gap between rich and poor is increasing

The gulf in class between the rich and the poor has always been unequal but that gap has been increasing at a significant rate over the past 40 years.

While the poor are getting poorer albeit the occasional testament of an overnight success, the rich somehow get richer.

What then caused this Nile long gap in wealth between the rich and the poor? The answer isn’t that straightforward but can be chalked up to rising inequality in income, wealth and taxes.

Income vs. Wealth vs. Tax

Robert Manduca, a PhD student in the Sociology and Social Policy degree program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences carried out a study that proved that there has been an increase in the number of people living in communities at the extreme ends of the income scale.

His study also claims that the majority of this change is due to increases in income inequality at the national level.

The study was also described in Social Forces, a journal published by Oxford University Press.

“Only about 12 percent of the population used to live in places that were deemed especially rich or especially poor back in 1980, ,” Manduca said.

“By 2013, the number was over 30 percent. So what we’re seeing is a polarization, where people are increasingly living in places that are either much richer or much poorer than the country overall.”

Manduca attributed part of that shift to “sorting” – an idea that high-earning individuals and high-paying jobs have become more geographically concentrated. He claims this was as a result of rising inequality.

It is believed that since the 1970s, the richest people and communities have seen a significantly higher income growth than the poor and modest communities. This inequality has led to a glaring difference between regions.

This perceived inequality led Oxfam, a UK-based non-governmental organisation to publish a report titled ‘Time to Care’ showing that the gap between the rich and poor is increasing globally.

Amitabh Behar, Oxfam Chief Executive Officer described the uneven distribution of wealth and income as problematic and a major player in increased poverty across the globe.

The Government Accountability Office in the US also carried out a study proves that the widening gap between the rich and the poor not only affects income and wealth. The study showed that the rich also tend to live longer than struggling.

Their study proved that about three-quarter of rich Americans in their 50s and 60s in 1992 were still alive in 2014. While just over half of poor Americans in that age bracket in 1992 were still alive in 2014.

Not everyone is against inequality though; some will argue that it’s a good thing. Some will argue that it motivates people to work hard.

And while it’s true that the poor tend to be very hard working to make ends meet, it must also be argued that a lot of factors works against them to make them magically become rich from working hard.

There is no such thing as equality of opportunity, it’s a myth. The rules are rigged against everyone but the wealthy.

Quoting a sentence from George Monbiot, a writer and activist. he said, “every woman in Africa would be a millionaire, if wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise.”

It is also important to know that this inequality is a result of years of deliberate policies and rules that were put in place to favour a few – the rich. So at the moment, you can say it is what it is.

Inequality has always been on the rise in Britain. In fact, income gains have been split among the top 1% since the 1980s. The richest 10% take about a third of all income and own about two-thirds of the wealth.

Britain experienced significant growth in wealth by 13% between 2016 and 2018 to reach a record £14.6tn. During this period, the richest 10% households have also experienced an increase in wealth almost four times that of the poorest 10%.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) also published a study which found that for the poorest 10%, they had debts three times greater than their assets. While the richest 10% had a wealth 35 times greater than their total debts.

What this figure shows is a growing disparity between the haves and don’t have. This disparity can also contribute to some economic factors like standard of living, pension rights, property values, taxes, health care rights and so on.

In fact, many of those up the wealthy ladder have retained much of their property values and pension rights since the 2008 financial crash.

The Resolution Foundation ‘thinktank’ also suggested that the wealth of the richest 10% increased by 11% between 2016 and 2018 while it increased by only 3% for the poorest 10%.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about all this is that very few citizens share these concerns. Surprisingly you’ll feel people should be more awake to issues such as this.

I took a while to ponder upon this fact and it struck me that a lot of this negligence might have to do with our upbringing. Many of us come from homes where we were told success comes exclusively through nothing but hard work.

While this is true, I believe it is now becoming clear to the younger generation and some of the older generations that success requires more than just hard work. Success requires a plan.

You can now see more and more people now picking up side hustles and getting that extra skill. These two acts are ways you can increase your income and potentially your wealth.

We have a very useful article on 10 Side Hustle Ideas for you.

I don’t think you can get a proper understanding of the situation of inequality in the 21st-century without understanding the difference between wealth and income.

Income is the money an individual or business receives for work done or providing goods or through investments or assets. Income is used to fund day-to-day expenses.

Wealth is the total valuation of all the financial assets or physical possessions owned by an individual, community, company, or country. Wealth is calculated by the gross calculation of all physical and intangible assets owned minus all debts.

To get a proper understanding of this, let me give you an example.

Let’s say you earn £30,353 (median salary for full-time employees in the UK) a year, the calculation for your income here will be your average salary subtracted by associated taxes. What this means is that you are left with about £24,000 before other expenses.

The ONS pointed out that the normal household in the UK had a disposable income of £28,400 in 2018 which was unchanged when compared with 2017.

2019 saw a stagnation of income rise of the typical household after a period of consistent increase for almost 6 years while there was a rise for the top earners.

However, let’s say you have a wealth accumulation of £1,000,000 and it’s put into a savings account paying 2% interest. You will receive about £20,000, which later becomes about £18,000 after taxes.

It is important to note that this is the money you earned by just saving your wealth and doing nothing else.

It is also important to know that this growing trend of inequality is a reversal of the trend experienced in the past decade when income inequality reduced.

This is also backed up by reports published by the ONS that the richest fifth saw their incomes rise by 4.7% in 2018 while the poorest fifth saw a shrink in their income by 1.6% during the same period.

The ONS blamed benefits freeze for the rise in inequality and it makes sense too. They explained that although there is a rise in earnings which is due to an increase in employment, the loss of value for benefits might be responsible for a falling income for the poorest.

The income gap between the rich and the poor has been growing for a while now. But it seems a lot of people either do not notice or just do not see this as a problem.

This growing disparity between the rich and the poor has some consequences. It is not uncommon for the haves to live in locations of considerable social distance to the have nots. What this causes is social divide into the rich communities and the poor communities.

Thinking about this further, you will see that this divide affects more than just workers and employers alike. It goes as deep as children in schools. Very rarely do you see a poor man’s child in a rich man’s school and vice-versa.

Even in situations where both manage to attend the same school, it is often observed that they are still divided into rich and poor social classes.

It’s almost like there is an unspoken mutual understanding between the individuals of both parties that each has its own position and must stick with it.

The same segregation can be seen in the highly competitive job market. It is almost like some job positions are reserved for the rich and some for the poor. What the rich get with minimal effort and connections the poor must work extra hard to attain.

The same realisation is also evident in our social circles. The rich befriend the rich and the poor befriend the poor. The rich marry and grow family trees with the rich and the poor do the same with their social class.

I am not trying to fault anyone for being rich or poor but instead trying to point out the consequences of this growing inequality. But the truth is that it has always been this way and it takes great mental fortitude, planning and hardwork to break into the circle of the rich.

It also takes your belief that no matter your background, race, or social class you can become successful and rich. You can beat the odds of the growing divide between the rich and the poor. Your poor can become richer.

Categories:

How to live well on small income in UK

Living on a small income is one of the challenges a lot of people face in the UK. The question “how to live well on a small income in the UK” is the question a lot of people ask because of the constantly rising cost of living.

If you ask me how to live well on a small income in the UK, I will say it is possible through being clever and making wise decisions with your small income.

The median average annual income in the UK is around £28,677. A lot of people earn far less than this average.

The cost of living is not very prone to fluctuation. If you know what inflation is, you possibly understand that it is one of the reasons why a lot of people struggle financially because income does not keep up with the rising in cost of day to day expenses.

Increase your income

This is counter-intuitive. I do not want to lose anyone here. I am going to give you a lot of useful suggestions in this article about living well on a low income.

However, I want to address the root of low income first. I like to believe that anyone on a low income if giving the option will like to increase their income.

That is the reason why the first thing I will suggest to you is to think about ways to increase your income. With the internet these days, it is possible for anyone living in the western world to start a side business separate from their normal source of income.

Starting a side hustle is one of the best ways to increase your income. Another option to increase your income is to significantly increase your value in the marketplace by improving your skills or learning new skills that relate to your current profession.

An example is someone who currently works as a care assistant in a care home or hospital, you could go and train to become a nurse, by doing this you will be able to earn more.

Another example is a software tester, you could take some time to learn programming and become a software developer.

Shop around for everything

This may sound obvious, but the truth is, not a lot of people shop around when they want to buy household things. There is no point in being loyal to a shop or service provider. By being loyal you will be giving money you don’t have away.

I always shop around for things like car insurance, home insurance, gas and electricity.  It is very simple to use comparison websites to get a lower price for a lot of things.

In my household, we are not loyal to any particular supermarket. We shop at various supermarkets. One great tool that we’ve found very useful in my household is the mySupermarket app.

The mySupermarket app can be downloaded from the app store or google play. The app will help you see the current price of a particular item from the big supermarkets.

There is always a price war between the supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Salisbury, Aldi, Lidl and the others.

You can also use mySupermarket on desktop. You can fill up your basket online and you will be able to see which of the supermarkets will be the cheapest to buy from.

This helps you to compare the price of items from the big supermarkets.

For example, instead of buying a large detergent from the supermarket you usually shop from, you can check on the app, you could find it cheaper in another supermarket.

Make use of free things

Before you spend money on anything, always think about if it’s something you could get for free first.

A very good example is buying books for yourself or for children. In my household, we make use of the library a lot. Whether your income is big or small, everyone pays tax, your tax is used to provide a lot of services that are free for the public including you.

So why not use your local library instead of buying books? You can keep the money in your pocket.

There are a lot of websites or apps you can use to find something free instead of paying for it. The most popular one is Facebook Marketplace where you can find items for free. It doesn’t take long to quickly check whether an item you want to buy is being offered free by someone on Facebook from your local area.

You could find a local group in your area where people give things they no longer need away for free. One of those websites you can use is FreeCycle.

Aside from free stuff, you might be able to buy some items at very cheap prices from church sales or car boot sales. There is no point paying a lot of money for gardening tools when you can get them at cheaper rates from car boot sales in your local area.

Rent or Mortgage

Accommodation cost is one of the biggest expenses for most people. Whether you are renting or paying a mortgage. There are ways to reduce your accommodation cost.

What we’ve done regularly in my household is to look for new deals whenever the deals we have on our mortgage ends. By doing this, we usually reduce our monthly mortgage repayment. A very important website that has been very useful for us over the years is MoneySavingExpert

As a homeowner, you can also consider having a lodger if it’s not going to be a problem for your household. If you are a family with kids this might not be something to be considered. If you are single this might earn you extra income monthly.

For someone who is renting you might consider renting a smaller apartment instead of a big house to bring the cost of your accommodation down.

Council Tax

There are various ways to save money on Council tax. However, this depends on your status. I remember when I was a student living with my sister. We were able to ask for a reduction from the Council because of my students status. Sometimes if you don’t ask you won’t get it.

Some of the people that can get a reduction on their Council tax apart from students or someone living with a student are:

  • some low-income earner
  • people living alone or are the only adult in the house

There is a good resource on the Money Advice Service website you could explore.

However, the best way to find out if you qualify for a reduction is to contact your Local Council

Shopping, Eating Out and Day Out

Depending on which organisation you work for. There are a lot of incentives that most employees don’t know about.

When I was working for the Local Government. It wasn’t until about 5 years later that I found out we could register for an organisation called CSSC as a Council employee.

CSSC is not only for Local Government workers, but most public sector employees can also use CSSC. I used to save money on fuel buying from Tesco using the CSSC card.

With CSSC you get a lot of discounts from a variety of shops from fashion, groceries, homes and dec, holiday, day out, eating out and a lot more.

Another one I found out about recently is the Blue Light Card which is a discount service for the Emergency Services, NHS and Armed Forces.

You just need to ask your employer about any incentives they have that you can sign up for which will help you save money on shopping, eating out and day out.

There are a lot of websites that will help you find discount codes. One of such website is Dealslands and VoucherShops.

I have been able to save a lot of money over the years using cashback websites. There are few of them which you can use.

I mainly use Topcashback and Quickco which are the two most popular ones. Instead of buying online directly from an online shop, you can go via the cashback website.

By doing this you will be getting some cash back, therefore, saving money.

Gas and Electricity

There are a lot of savings to be made from your utility bills. A lot of companies charge far too much.

For most of these big companies who charge too much, a lot of their running cost comes from advertisements and paying dividends to their investors.

There are other smaller energy companies that have much lower tariffs. If you are on a small income, you should consider switching to smaller energy companies that can save you some money.

A company we found recently that we switch to is bulbs. If you are considering switching for a lower bill, I would recommend bulb and they will give you £50 for switching to them.

You could also use a comparison website like uSwitch or Switchcraft to find good deals.

Water

Water supply is one of the areas where there are not a lot of competition because a particular water company is the only one supplying a particular area.

It can be a bit difficult to switch to another water company. You might consider checking that you have a water meter so you can only pay for what you use and not estimate.

You could ask your water supplier if they can install a meter for you if you don’t already have one.

Another way to reduce your water bill is to check if you qualify for assistance from WaterSure.

WaterSure is a scheme put in place to help people with their water bills. According to WaterSure, to qualify for their scheme, you must be on benefits and need to use a lot of water either for medical reasons or because your household has a certain number of school-age children.

Subscriptions and TV License

The human being can survive without entertainment and this is the truth. However, entertainment is now a fundamental part of our lives. But seriously, entertainment doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

As someone on a low income, there is no need to have Sky and Netflix at the same time. You might consider just having one of the two to save money. What about Amazon prime? I made a video on my YouTube channel where I discussed the benefits of amazon prime that a lot of people are not using.

If you are a prime member, Prime TV might be enough to entertain yourself. If you are a football fan like me, Amazon Prime does have some Premier League fixtures.

For people that are Sky fans, you can subscribe to the only thing you need and not have the full package.

People are now watching less of the traditional TV channels like BBC, ITV and Channel 4. If you don’t watch TV channels, you don’t need to pay a TV License. That is some savings for you because it costs around £150 a year. I still watch some documentaries on catch from TV channels so I am still paying for it. For some people, they might save money if they don’t watch TV channels.

Transportation

This is one of the expenses that can take a large percentage in most people’s budget. Moving from point A to B doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and doesn’t require a new car. If you are on a small income, you need to understand you can save money by not driving a new or expensive used car.

In my household, we use the approach of going for a functioning car, not an expensive car. We’ve been able to save a lot of money over the years because of driving an older car.

You might want to consider an electric car when next you want to change your car. Electric cars are gaining a lot of popularity because they are cheaper to run.

Nissan Leaf is one of the electric cars that started the electric car revolution in the UK. You might want to try it out.

Mobile Phone

The cost of a monthly mobile phone contract can put a hole in your finance if you are not careful. For a number of years, I have used Mobiles, a cashback website for mobile phones to secure cashback on my mobile phone contract deals.

Another trick to reduce your mobile phone contract bill is to ring your provider when your contract is nearing its end.

You could say you want to switch to another provider. Usually, they will try and give you a cheaper offer to let you stay.

This has happened to me many times. These companies always try as much as possible to keep the customers they have.

Broadband

Personally, I have been using cheap broadband without a landline.

I have been using the broadband for a few years and have been happy with their service. Again, Money Saving Expert is a very useful resource where you can see current information related to Broadband Deals.

Car and Home Insurance

The most important rule here is never to auto-renew your home or car insurance. The insurance company always reward new customer not an old customer.

I remember a few years ago, I rang our home insurance provider after we received our home insurance renewal letter. The premium was £115. I rang to check if they can offer a better deal. They offered me £93.

There are two things to note,

First, if I didn’t ring I would have paid £115, that’s loosing £22. The second thing, I shopped around and found a deal with another provider for £71 which was even cheaper.

The point is, always shop around, there are a lot of comparison websites that you can use to find a good deal for your home and car insurance.

I have been able to find good deals for my car insurance. My car insurance is very cheap at £271. This is because of a long number of years of no claim bonus and also the fact that I always use comparison websites to find deals.

Some of the comparisons websites are CompareTheMarket, Confused, GoCompare.

Exercising and Gym Membership

Part of my values is exercising and I like to do it on the cheap.

For people that like to keep in good shape or want to lose weight. It is important to note that there is no magic formula or trick that will do it other than eat less and move more.

Moving more for me doesn’t have to cost more than a pair of trainers and cloth to put on for running or walking out.

I am in good shape and I have never registered for any gym membership in my life.

I am not saying it is wrong to register for a gym membership. For people that are on low income, I think it might be a way to save money.

Personally, I like going for a run because I have the opportunity to enjoy the natural fresh air and also I do not need to pay anyone to do it.

What if you are on low income and you need to register for a gym membership or you enjoy a particular activity or sport which you need to subscribe for?

if you are one of those people who like to go to the gym but you don’t regularly go, you might consider a pay as you go option like Hussle, The Gym or Anytime Fitness

A lot of gyms have day pass which could be as cheap as £4.50. Instead of a monthly subscription, you do not use, you could consider day pass which means you can go any day you feel like.

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What is the quickest way to save money

You must know by now that saving money is an important skill to learn. No matter how much you earn, you will always wallow in debt if you don’t learn to save. So I will be telling you the quickest ways to save money by breaking Parkinson’s Law.

Of course, you must have a source of income before even thinking about saving as you cannot save that which you do not have. You should read up how to start selling online with little or no money and side hustle ideas for you in 2020.

What is Parkinson’s Law?

Parkinson’s Law was coined by an English writer C. Northcote Parkinson in 1955 and it has become popular ever since. The law states that work expands to occupy the time available to complete it.

The law makes sense no matter how you look at it. How many times have you spent more time completing a task than the duration you had in mind?

Or how many times have you left a project untouched until the last minute? That’s Parkinson’s Law.

You are probably wondering how this applies to your finances? Well, it does.

Let’s imagine your £1500 a month salary was raised to £3000. You then upgraded your lifestyle as a result of this bump in earning.

As a result, you moved into a better house, go on chilled vacations, buy fancy designer clothes and go clubbing more.

What you will notice is that your increase in earning coincides with an increase in your expenses. So at the end of the day, you are earning more but also spending more.

In fact, contrary to your intentions when you got the raise, you are not saving a penny more than you used to.

That is how Parkinson’s Law affects your finances. The more you have the more you’ll want to spend.

How then can you break Parkinson’s Law to improve your life and finances by saving more?

The first step towards a solution is identifying the problem. And thanks to Parkinson’s Law, this problem has been narrowed down.

The simplest way to beat Parkinson’s Law is to “set limits”.

  • Set a limit for your spending
  • Set duration for the time required to complete a task

Before I proceed, I want you to remember a quote as you embark on your savings journey;

“To save more you must live below your earnings.”

That’s confusing I know. You are probably wondering, why earn more when I can’t spend more?

Well, it’s not that you cannot and must not spend more if your earnings increase but be wary. You can easily get distracted by your increase in earning.

In fact, I would advise that you come up with a plan on how you want to spend that extra money. Check out this article on how to save more.

Set a limit for your spending

What Parkinson’s Law basically teaches is ‘DISCIPLINE’.

To save more, you must be prepared to break this law (and not the lesson). Sometimes you get tempted to spend above your means but it’s important to stay disciplined.

In fact, no one sums this lesson better than Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker and author. He said:

Parkinson’s Law says that expenditures will always rise to meet income. This means that the more you earn, the more you are likely to spend. Even if you can manage to double or triple your income, your expenses will eventually double or triple and end up no further ahead.

Financial success is gotten from breaking Parkinson’s law. You can only attain financial success when you  your expenditures is not increasing at the same rate as your income.

Here is a rule that can guarantee you wealth over the course of your working lifetime:  Save and invest 50 percent of any increment in salary or compensation for the rest of your career.

The remaining 50 percent of the increase can be spent in improving your standard of living. But make a pact today to save half of every increase for the rest of your career. Even with this discipline alone, you can achieve financial independence several years before your intended target.

Write down this simple five-word formula for financial success somewhere: Spend less than you earn. Spend less than you earn and then invest or save the balance.  This formula can make you rich.

Another person that sums up how to effectively break Parkinson’s Law is David Bach. I would suggest you investigate his values-based finance system. He views money as a tool for realizing dreams rather than a means towards your retirement funding.

Conclusion

I want you to always remember this paragraph from Brian Tracy’s blog:

Parkinson’s Law explicitly explains the trap majority of us fall into. This is why many are in debt, have money worries and financial frustration. But when you develop sufficient willpower and resist the powerful urge to spend all that you make then you can begin to accumulate money and move ahead of the crowd.

One of the quickest ways to save more money is by breaking Parkinson’s Law. Breaking Parkinson’s Law will teach you discipline and that is its main lesson. Unlike most laws, this one is meant to be broken.

Are you ready to sacrifice to save more?

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