Replace Or Repair? What To Do With Essential Tech

Replace Or Repair? What To Do With Essential Tech

By Jerry Mooney

Most of us simply could not function without our most essential tech items. And many of those gadgets and gizmos become beloved and trusted ‘friends.’ After all, we spend more time staring at them than we do our partners or children! So what happens when newer models come out? Can you bear to let your much-loved tech drop into the recycle bucket?

Your smartphone

This tiny but mighty champion of useful technology is with us almost twenty-four hours a day. And yes, there are people that take these things into the bathroom with them. They connect us to every other human on the planet, and they even double up as a PA when you’re out of the office. So what happens when the latest iPhone is launched, or there’s an exciting new update, but your model is no longer supported?

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Fortunately, most of the data we use is stored elsewhere such as in the cloud. As long as you stick with the same brand or OS, you’ll be able to replace the handset and keep almost everything else the same.

Your tablet

Tablets are a little different than smartphones. While they can perform many of the same functions and tasks, they do tend to become obsolete a little more often. There are many apps and online services that simply won’t work with older tablets. And some tablets that don’t run current versions of Android or Apple OS will simply be exempt from the latest and greatest apps you might want. Sadly, tablets are best replaced as it is almost impossible to upgrade them once they are no longer supported.

Your computer

Anyone who uses their laptop as a workhorse knows the dilemma of replacing their machine well. Sure, the letters have worn off the keys. The screen has that annoying burn-out in the corner. And the touch pad for the mouse is so infuriating. But there is something rather personal about your personal computer. For a start, it is more private than your phone. You can store important documents offline. This means they only exist on that laptop. So what happens if you get a virus or the battery no longer charges?

Fixing your laptop is a must if it goes wrong. Find a good computer repair company that can retrieve your files at least. Chances are a couple of replacement parts or a refurbishment could bring your beloved machine back up to date.

Your TV

TVs are smart. If yours isn’t, how on earth are you coping? Netflix and other streaming services have revolutionized how we watch TV shows and movies. If your TV isn’t internet capable, then it really might be time to buy a new model.

Aside from the connectivity issues, there are screen resolution and screen size issues. Most current models exceed 43 inches and tend to be in 4K. This makes an enormous difference to the viewing experience. Add a USB stick, and many will provide a recording function if you don’t want to miss your favorite show. If you haven’t got all this, it could be time to replace your TV. Do you keep old tech past its support expiration date?

7 Ways to Boost Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage

7 Ways to Boost Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage

By Jerry Mooney

If you are considering buying a home, you may be worried about getting a mortgage. Especially if it’s your first house. When the economic climate was at its most turbulent, banks became fearful of lending money, and so restrictions on lending were tightened. Over the last few years the economy and the housing market has started to pick up a little, but for the most part, these restrictions are still in place. This, coupled with the enormous rise in house prices over the last 20 years means buying a home is much more challenging. However, there are some fantastic ways to boost your chances of getting a mortgage. Here is a look at 7 of the best.


Pay Off Your Debts

Debts can cost you a fortune over time, especially if they come from a variety of different places. When it comes to both paying off debt and trying to get a mortgage while you’ve still got some, it’s a good idea to move them all to one place with a consolidation loan. Look at for some options. Consolidating your debts can make them much easier to manage, show that you are responsible and committed to paying them off and save you a lot of money.

Save a Large Deposit

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The bigger your deposit, the more likely you are to get a mortgage. However, don’t see that deposit as a percentage and start looking at more expensive houses, this is counter-productive. Set a budget and stick to it. The more you’ve got saved, the less you need to borrow.

Check Your Credit and Make a Plan

Check your credit score before you even start looking, so you don’t get any nasty shocks later. You can check your score and see a detailed report free online. Look at any issues that come up. Query anything that you don’t think is right and make a plan to improve the rest. Some simple ways to improve your score are registering to vote and paying off any outstanding bills. See to find out more about credit scores and why they are important.

Collect Your Evidence

When you see a mortgage broker, they will want to see pay slips, invoices, receipts, rental agreements, bank statements and more. Especially if you are self-employed and in control of your income. Spend some time beforehand getting it all together to avoid delays later on.

Stop Moving

Mortgage lenders want to see that you are stable. So, stop moving house until you buy.

Ask for Help

The sad truth is that most young people today simply can’t afford to buy their own home without help from their parents. Asking for help, either financially or with your application can save you a lot of time and stress.

Find the Right Home

You’ll find that it’s harder to get a mortgage for some homes. These can include older homes, apartments, houses in different locations and buildings made from unreliable materials. Do your research to find your best option.

While getting a mortgage can be stressful, remember that buying a home is meant to be fun. It’s an exciting experience and one you probably won’t get the chance to do often in your life. So, make the most of it. Do your research, make a plan and get yourself into the best financial position possible and getting a mortgage will be a breeze. Leaving you free to enjoy your move!

Should You Buy A Franchise Or Start An Independent Business?

Should You Buy A Franchise Or Start An Independent Business?

By Sharon Jones

The majority of people often assume there’s only one way to be their own boss. They think you need to start an independent business and work on building it from the ground up. However, there is an alternative idea that still provides you with a business to run, with you as the boss.

As you can tell from the title, this idea is buying a franchise. There are some benefits to buying a franchise, and there are some benefits to starting an independent business, but which one should you start? Take a look at the points below to help make this decision.

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Starting A Franchise

A franchise is basically a chain of an existing business. For example, you can buy a McDonald’s franchise which means you buy one of their restaurants and become the owner of that particular one and deal with everything regarding it. There are franchises throughout different industries, you can find retail franchises, senior care franchise opportunities, cinema franchises to buy, or even things like a physical therapy franchise. The point is, your options are wide open and if you have a particular interest in a field, then you can easily find a franchise to purchase.

Why would you do this? The main reason is that you have a lot of hard work done for you already. More specifically, franchises are divisions of already established brands that may already have a large customer base. As another example, let’s say you purchase a Starbucks franchise. Everyone already knows this brand, it has huge advertising and marketing budgets, and there will be loads of existing customers eager to try out the new store. It makes success a lot easier as you don’t have to work that hard to find customers right from day one.

Another key reason to start a franchise is that you have access to lots of high-quality resources right away. The company you buy the franchise from could set you up with a great HR team to help you recruit talent for your business. Or, to make things even easier, you may be given talent from different franchises as employees may find this new one to be more convenient and ask for a transfer.

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Starting An Independent Business

Starting a franchise is great, but it might not be for everyone. The main reason people start independent businesses is that they want to do something original and turn their own ideas into something special. A franchise almost piggy backs off someone else’s original idea.

Furthermore, while you are the boss of the franchise and what happens in that franchise is all down to you, you’re still not the absolute top dog. There are people higher up that might put demands on you for sales, etc. With an independent business you are number one, you’re the person right at the peak of the mountain.

In reality, the two ideas are very similar but strikingly different. If you have ambitions of running a successful business and don’t care how you do it, then a franchise is a great idea for you. If you’re keen on starting from the bottom and doing things your own way with your own business idea, then you should be independent.

Double Responsibility: The Road Is Your Office

Double Responsibility: The Road Is Your Office

By Nigel Hilton

If you like getting behind the wheel, then it’s obvious that a career in driving might be right for you. However, no matter what your job actually is – whether you’re a taxi service, truck driver, or delivery person – you have double the responsibility of an average office worker when the road is your office. Every time any driver gets behind the wheel, they are responsible for their own safety, and the safety of every other road user and pedestrian they encounter. If you drive for a living, you also have to take certain health and safety precautions to keep yourself safe at work. Here are just a few ways that having your office on the road means double the responsibility.

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Office calls

Usually when you’re expecting a phone call from a client or business partner you have no trouble taking that call when you’re at the office. But when the road is your office you are obligated to not answer your phone while driving. Texting, or talking on the phone while driving both cause distraction and impaired driving that can result in following too closely, not being able to brake on time or weaving into oncoming traffic. Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year in the United States, on average 3,287 deaths a day. If you are found responsible for causing a crash because you were texting and driving, you should expect to hear from a personal injury lawyer, or truck accident lawyers if you drive a truck for a living. Fortunately, technology has made it possible for you to conduct your business on the road without the hazardous distractions. With all the hands-free technology available, there is no reason for you to have your hands on the phone instead of the wheel.

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Health risks

You might be mentally satisfied with an on-the-road lifestyle, but it will have a detrimental effect on your health if you don’t take any precautions. Long-haul drivers in particular spend long periods of time sitting, which can put them at risk of obesity, depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and even certain cancers. Most long-haul drivers also live on a diet of fast food and caffeine because it’s more convenient than trying to find healthy food options on the road. Fortunately, there are some healthy habits you can adopt so your job doesn’t put you at risk, such as snacking on fruits and vegetables, or going for short bursts of exercise every time you stop to refuel.

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If you’re planning on using a car or small van for your on-the-road job, then you’ll probably do just fine, but it takes extra training to drive a truck or a bus. The road safety rules, the licences,  and even techniques for driving a bus or even driving a lorry will be very different to driving a basic car, so some jobs will ask that you get the correct licence before they hire you. If you’re lucky, the company might train you themselves.

Books That Still Have Relevance For Modern Life

Books That Still Have Relevance For Modern Life

Literature is a wonderful way to enrich your life and have adventures without moving a muscle, except to run a page. However, classic novels can be a turnoff for some. For others, they’re a staple of their reading diet. So many books nowadays have different styles due to times changing and common tropes and writing styles changing with them. However, there are quite a few books from the last couple of centuries that still have some incredible pointers for modern life. Below are a few of these such novels.

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If you want to look further into these authors, their creations can be found both online and in store. All the books in this list can be found in any good bookshop, and you can even find multiple coupons for money off deals at sites such as due to the popularity and age of these kind of novels. Metaphorical lessons stand the test of time, and paperbacks never go out of style after all.

1984 - George Orwell

You’ll find this book on any reading list, and for good reason. 1984 is a prime example of dystopian fiction. With the outside world having stronger and stronger elements of surveillance and control, this book is still a contender for modern life. Many TV shows have taken their name from famous quotes, and it comments on the problems of consuming mass produced media. This particularly hits the spot with literature nowadays, whilst not bad or evil, often has examples of quickly published books of poor quality.

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte’s world famous novel caused quite a stir in its day. Considering the fact that it’s still relevant today as a piece of feminist fiction, it must have been downright scandalous in the Victorian era. However, it still strikes a cord due to Jane’s rights to her own life and love, and escaping the overbearing control of Thornfield and the infamous Mr Rochester.

The Outsiders - S.E.Hinton

This book is written from the honest point of view of a person in their ripe teen years. S.E.Hinton wrote this at age 16, and it portrays feeling like an outsider with the motif of class struggle between the rich and poor. Similarly, the book details becoming part of a group or clique in high school in a harrowing way. This is as relevant as ever, and is an understanding read for any teen.

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is a book about how to navigate romance properly. Mr Darcy isn’t your typical brooding bad boy that he’s typically thought of as, and that’s why this book is still so relevant. Austen uses this still common trope and turns it on its head; by allowing both Darcy and Elizabeth to change and overcome their prejudice for each. Most of all, the novel is a learning journey, and still has a place in every reader’s heart because of how it affects us all in a personal way.

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