How to Save Money as a Driver

How to Save Money as a Driver

Driving is a necessity for many people and it can be hard to imagine life without it. But it’s also very expensive in a variety of ways. And just because we need to drive, that doesn’t mean we should pay over the odds for the luxury of doing so. There are lots of ways in which you can save money as a driver, and we’re going to talk about some of those tips and tricks today. Read on to find out more.

Always Use Comparison Sites When Finding Car Insurances

Car insurance is one of the biggest costs you have to cover as a driver and no one likes paying it. However, it needs to be in place, so how can you go about finding the best deal? Well, there’s not really any magic trick that you can employ. It’s simply a case of comparing the deals out there and finding the very cheapest. Using comparison sites makes this task a lot easier.

Choose an Efficient Vehicle

Choosing a vehicle that’s efficient enough to offer everything you need while also conserving fuel will save you a lot of money going forward. If you’re struggling to make the most of the fuel you’re paying for, it’s probably because your vehicle is quite inefficient. So when the time comes for you to buy yourself a new car, you should make sure that the vehicle is as efficient as it can be.

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Get Your Car Serviced Regularly

If you’re regularly feeling as if your car is having problems, it might be because you’re not looking after it well enough. You can visit www.eliteautomotive.vegas if you have any issues that you need assistance with. And getting your car regularly serviced will help to ensure it’s always in the best possible condition and will be less likely to break down on you without warning.

Learn How to Work on Your Own Car Too

You can also save yourself a lot of money by learning how to fix minor problems with your car yourself. When you know the basics, you don’t have to pay someone else to carry out the work for you, saving you a little money each time. Of course, it’s obviously best to have your car fixed by a professional when it has a real problem that you’re not sure how to deal with.

Adjust Your Habits and Try to Drive a Little Less

As a habitual driver, this one might be a little more difficult for you, but adjusting your habits and driving your car a little less remains one of the best things you can do to save money as a driver. If you can walk or cycle a little more, you’ll spend less on using and maintaining your car.

We all know that owning a car and driving can be incredibly expensive. That’s why it makes sense to take every step you can to save money wherever and whenever you can when it comes to driving. The ideas above should help you to do that, so be sure to make the most of them.

Don’t Hire The Wrong Person. It Could Wreck Your Business

Don’t Hire The Wrong Person. It Could Wreck Your Business

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Companies need to hire people to stay in business and provide their customers with value. But finding people who genuinely share your goals, dreams, and passions is a challenge. A lot of candidates in the job market are just looking for their next paycheck. They’re not all that interested in doing quality, honest work.

Therefore, hiring managers need to focus their efforts on weeding out the rotten eggs as much as they can. Just a single employee who isn’t on your side can create a nightmare situation. 

Don’t Hire People Based On Their Potential

It’s tempting to hire somebody based on your perceptions of their “potential.” But unless they have a proven track record, it’s almost impossible to know whether they will fulfill it. Plenty of people appear as though they will be productive and innovative, but relatively few are. Instead, it can take years for them to fulfill your hopes, by which point, they might have lost you a substantial amount of money. 

Taking a punt on someone with alleged potential is a significant risk, and you should see it as such. You’re hoping for quality work while paying less than the market rate. That’s not a good idea in general. It can pay off, but rarely. 

Don’t Look For The Perfect Employee

On the flip side, only hiring perfect employees is a recipe for disaster. Companies often have a wish list of features and skills that they want their employees to have. Almost always, they’re looking for a person so accomplished they don’t actually exist in the real world. However, the hiring manager feels like they must only take on people of extraordinary quality, just in case it reflects poorly on them. 

Failing to hire at all is actually even worse than hiring someone incompetent. When you shirk this responsibility, it’s impossible to get all your work done on time. 

Background Check All Your Staff

A candidate might seem perfectly polite and pleasant on the outside. Still, they could be hiding a dark and devious background. Therefore, smart hiring managers employ private investigators to look into whether a prospective employee has a criminal record. People applying for positions in your firm probably won’t volunteer this information freely. 

Only Employ People You Need

Hiring people is expensive. For most businesses, wages are the highest cost. Any company that employs more people than it needs renders itself uncompetitive and eventually has to raise its prices to stay afloat. 

Your organizational chart might suggest that you need to fill particular positions, but ask yourself whether you really do. Often, competent employees already operating in your business can perform these extra functions as part of their regular working week. 

Choose People Who Are An Ethical Match For Your Business

Finally, try to hire people who are an ethical fit for your enterprise. Ideally, candidates should share your values and your vision and support your working practices. Ask questions in the interview to gain insights into what motivates them and use this to your advantage. 

4 Employee Perks That Don’t Suck

4 Employee Perks That Don’t Suck

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With the business landscape becoming increasingly competitive, companies need to do more to attract the best talent. We are seeing a considerable rise in the trend of employee perks. The big tech companies like Google and Facebook paved the way for non-standard ways of working, involving things like hotdesking, unlimited leave, and ping-pong tables in the office.

But let’s be honest. Although they might seem funky and cool on the face of it, some of these benefits are actually a little bit gimmicky and annoying. Sure, hotdesking might create a culture of collaboration, but sometimes you want your own personal space rather than a communal desk with crumbs and greasy handprints all over it. Unlimited leave sounds great, but is your boss really happy for you to take two months off in the space of a year? And the ping-pong table… well, that’s just a recipe for no work to get done.

The best benefits are the ones that actually provide some meaningful benefit to your life, and show that you are valued as an employee and a person. With this in mind, here are the four best perks to look for when applying for a new job.

Insurance

It may not be as sexy as a beer fridge or pool table, but medical insurance is one of the best ways for a company to attract new talent. For many Americans, the only way to afford good health insurance is through their employer. Forget the gimmicks and nice-to-haves; the best way for an employer to show they value you is to help you look after your health. And the more comprehensive the insurance coverage, the better.

Commuter Assistance

People spend a lot of time and money commuting to and from work, and often employers don’t value their staff’s commitment to getting the job done. You will feel a lot more appreciated as an employee if your company helps you out with transport. Some companies offer ride-sharing programs, transport passes, or even shuttle buses to and from the office. Commuter assistance will go a long way towards improving your quality of life, so don’t disregard its importance. 

Time off

While unlimited leave can foster feelings of guilt and suspicion, there is no doubt that more vacation time is a massive bonus for any employee. Working long hours and consecutive days doesn’t necessarily cause high productivity, and studies show that the best-rested workers are the most effective. Perks such as above-average holiday time or shorter work weeks point to a company that cares for its staff’s health and well-being. 

Flexible working

The workplace is changing, and the majority of tasks no longer need to be carried out from a central office. If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that a lot of office work can be completed from home. A company that promotes flexible working will allow you to enjoy a better work-life balance, especially when dealing with things like childcare, health issues, freelance work, or other personal commitments. 

If you are an employer and looking for ways to incentivise your staff and show them they are appreciated, consider signing up for an employee incentive program such as MTI Events.

A Numbers Game: How Proper Record-Keeping Boosts Your Business

A Numbers Game: How Proper Record-Keeping Boosts Your Business

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Ask a hundred or so business owners why they got into the “game” and they’ll give a wide range of reasons: for some, it was the chance to turn their love of something into a living. Others will explain that they have always been skilled at selling and that starting their own business was a natural progression. There are other reasons, too, but perhaps no-one will tell you that they got into business because they love doing admin.

This, as it turns out, is perhaps something of a shame, because when you are in business, the admin is a quite dominant, ever-present part of the deal. You’ll have to keep records, refer back to things and keep in contact with others on a regular basis. Even more importantly, an understanding of the importance of record-keeping can play an immense role in your business becoming successful – and maintaining that success. As we’ll see below, there are key reasons why record-keeping is so important.

With records, you can identify patterns

One vital reason for assiduous record-keeping is that, if you keep an account of everything, you can readily refer back to it when you need to. You can see, at a glance, where the peaks and troughs have been in your business record. Therefore, you can identify when things tend to tail off for your business, and why. This can allow you to make changes which will boost your business going forward. It can also be a way to identify the impacts of significant events (like a virus pandemic) which can be useful in future processes and potential litigation.

Solid record-keeping helps you answer questions

If you keep records of all correspondence into and out of your business, then you need never be caught on the hop by a customer’s question again. With a few clicks, you’ll be able to say when an order was placed, if it was delayed (plus why it was and for how long), and handle a wealth of other queries. Because you have it in black and white, you can answer a question with confidence. 

If you don’t keep records in this way, you can find yourself stumped by a customer question and needing to foot the bill for an issue that wasn’t your fault. If that doesn’t get you asking “Where do I get better software for my scanner?”, presumably nothing will. Just keep in mind the ongoing benefits of having years’ worth of digital business memory.

You never know when you might get audited

Quite aside from the benefits to you when you keep proper records, one unbeatable reason for maintaining them is that you might, one day, get audited for tax reasons or undergo due diligence from a business looking to invest. In these circumstances, you can be asked questions and they aren’t the kind of question to which you want to be answering “I don’t know”. Having a ready reference and the ability to answer fully and accurately will be invaluable in these situations.

Admin and record-keeping might not be the exciting parts of your business – but when you do them properly, they can really help you out further down the line.

Looking for an Alternative to Traditional Investments?

Looking for an Alternative to Traditional Investments?

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Investing your money can be a great way to increase your capital and even generate an income, providing you know where to put your cash. With numerous non-traditional investment opportunities available, you may want to try something different in order to maximize your returns. If so, take a look at these innovative investment options: 

1. Real Estate Crowdfunding

Investing in real estate is an extremely popular way of making a profit but you typically need a large amount of money to get started. Until now, that is. 

Real estate crowdfunding allows you to invest in the property market, even if you don’t have the capital to buy a house, apartment, or commercial premises. In fact, you can invest in real estate crowdfunding with a little as a few hundred dollars. 

Although you won’t own property via this form of investment, you can choose to invest your cash into property funds. Depending on how the market performs, you could make a substantial return. 

2. Cryptocurrency

Fortunes have been made by savvy cryptocurrency traders in recent years, so it’s not surprising that it’s becoming increasingly popular. By buying cryptocurrency at a low value, reselling it for a higher amount, or holding on to it and hoping its value increases, you can increase your capital by a significant amount. 

However, you will need to familiarize yourself with the available platforms and the methods of buying cryptocurrency before you get started. In addition to this, you’ll need to consider the impact this type of investment will have on your tax liability. With a handy cryptocurrency tax guide, you can determine whether investing in the market is the right option for you. As more jurisdictions introduce legislation to ensure cryptocurrency returns are taxable, this is always an issue worthy of consideration. 

3. P2P Lending

Peer-2-Peer lending allows you to make money by lending to other people. Depending on the platform you use, you could lend as little as $50 or thousands of dollars at a time. In addition to this, there are numerous repayment options, so you can choose how long you want to wait to get your money back. 

The borrower will pay a pre-agreed rate of interest, which is how you’ll make your money. Of course, you’ll need to check what safeguards each platform has in place to ensure loans are repaid in full, or you could risk making a loss. 

4. Seed Investments

If you’ve got an eye for business, why not become a seed investor? Working with startup companies can be a fun way to boost your capital and you may be surprised at how much you could make. Seed investors typically provide funds to budding business owners in return for an equity stake in the enterprise. It can take quite some time for you to make a return and, if the business folds, you won’t get anything at all. Despite this, it can be a lucrative way to make a large amount of money if the business is a success. 

Choosing the Right Investment Opportunity

Before you decide where to put your money, consider how much risk you’re willing to take, how much you can afford to lose and how quickly you might need to access your funds. By assessing these three core issues, you can narrow your search and find the best investment opportunity for you.

Save, Invest, Grow: Simple Steps To Improve Your Finances

Save, Invest, Grow: Simple Steps To Improve Your Finances

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Money worries are the most common source of stress among US adults. Most of us would like to have more disposable income, but it can be challenging to save when it feels like money is flying out of your account on a continual basis. If you’re keen to improve your finances, we’re here to help. Here are some simple steps you can take to save, invest and grow your money. 

Saving money

The first step on the road to improving your financial situation is saving. This involves reducing outgoings and putting more cash aside each month. The most effective way to take control of spending and identify areas where it could be possible to make savings is to learn to budget.

Budgeting is not everyone’s idea of fun, but it can make a monumental difference to your bank balance. One of the main reasons we struggle to manage our money is a lack of awareness when it comes to where our monthly paycheck goes. If you don’t check your balances on a regular basis, and you have direct debits, you shop online and you use contactless payments, it’s very easy to lose track of how much you’re spending. Use your budget to monitor outgoings, to set spending limits and to try and save more every month. You can draw up a budget using an app, create a spreadsheet, or stick to good, old-fashioned pen and paper. Your budget should cover your income, your regular outgoings and any additional expenses you expect to incur during the month ahead. Once you have a set of figures in front of you, you can work out how much you can afford to spend, how to divide your income and how much to save. Update your budget as you go, use accurate estimations, and always round up if you don’t have the exact figures. Once you’ve compiled your budget, take a moment to look at your outgoings closely. Many of us spend money on things we don’t need or even want, and having a budget is a great way to eliminate any non-essential expenses. Are you paying for a gym membership you never use, or have you forgotten to cancel a free subscription that is now costing you money?

You can also save money by making your cash stretch further and altering your spending habits. Take your weekly grocery shop as an example. Do you go into the store thinking that you’re going to spend $100 and get to the register to find that your bill is closer to $150? Supermarket layouts, marketing campaigns and promotions are designed to encourage us to spend, and it can be difficult to resist the temptation to fill the cart with all kinds of items that you don’t actually need in the name of grabbing a bargain. If you are heading to the store, and you’re keen to save money, always make a list in advance and ask yourself if you really need any of the items you put in your basket that aren’t on that shopping list. Use a calculator to track spending as you go, and avoid special offers that don’t feature products you plan to buy. 

Comparing prices on household expenses like utilities, TV and broadband and insurance is also beneficial for maximizing disposable income. The Internet enables us to look for better offers and cheaper deals in a matter of seconds without even leaving the couch. If your health, auto or pet insurance deals are due for renewal, for example, don’t automatically renew with your current provider. Take a few moments to enter some details into a comparison site and see if you could save by switching to a different company. Competition is fierce, and businesses often go all-out to impress new customers with incentives like low introductory prices and free gifts. 

If you dread your energy bills arriving, especially in the winter, it’s also worth taking some steps to increase energy-efficiency at home and try and reduce consumption. Using a smart meter can help you keep a close eye on usage and spending, and you can also lower bills by improving heat retention through insulation and double glazing, turning appliances off at the socket and replacing old bulbs and appliances with modern, energy-efficient versions. 

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Investing

If you have a pot of money set aside, and you’re keen to invest, there are several routes you could take. 

Real estate

One of the most popular investment options is buying real estate. With property investment, you can take on long or short-term projects, boosting your income through rental fees or sales. Buying bricks and mortar requires significant investment, but it can be extremely lucrative, especially if you buy at a time when demand is soaring. When acquiring real estate for investment purposes, it’s crucial to focus on the figures. This is a very different proposition to buying the home of your dreams. 

Before you start looking for a property, figure out how much you want to spend and what kind of house or apartment you’re searching for. Who is your ideal buyer or tenant, and what would they be looking for? Think carefully about location, and select properties that will appeal to your target market. If you’re keen to invest in a family home, for example, proximity to good schools and transport links is attractive, and it’s also wise to search for houses with features like large gardens and open-plan kitchens. Take your time to explore possibilities, research the local market and contact real estate agents, and keep a close eye on the news headlines. Buying at the wrong time can be costly. If you find a property that seems perfect, arrange a second viewing, make sure you know the local area well and consider whether it makes financial sense to proceed. It’s always worth trying to negotiate on the price if the house has been on the market for a while or the vendor is keen on a quick sale. 

Antiques and collectibles

Have you ever thought that your attic could be an unlikely treasure trove, or wondered if you could make a mint from a collection of vintage dolls, silver coins or oil paintings? It’s not easy to make money from antiques and collectibles, but if you make the right choices and you sell at the right time, this can be a lucrative option. If you already own antiques, or you have a small collection, take good care of each individual item. Damage and signs of wear and tear can affect resale value. You can use toothpaste to clean silver coins, protect vases and ceramics with heavy-duty wrapping and preserve decorative items like trinkets and ornaments by keeping them behind glass. If you’re a beginner, or you’re keen to add to an existing collection, always buy from a reputable dealer, negotiate on the price and carry out thorough checks to look at the condition of the item and its history and value before you shake hands on a deal. It’s hugely beneficial to research before you buy and to look out for products, collections or pieces that are in demand. 

Stocks and shares

Investing in the stock market can be exhilarating and it’s possible to reap substantial financial rewards, but this can also be a high-risk strategy. When you buy stocks and shares, you pay a price and then hope that the value increases. It is up to you to decide when to sell or to appoint a trader to act on your behalf. If you haven’t bought stocks and shares before, it’s useful to analyze the market, to keep an eye on movements in the weeks and days leading up to your first investment and to read business and financial news posts. If you’re a novice trader, take advantage of free trials, which enable you to use virtual funds to buy and sell. This will help you learn the ropes and get used to the processes. 

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Growing your money

Saving and investing go a long way to improving your finances, but it’s also useful to identify ways to grow your money and make your funds work harder. You can do this by putting money into high-interest accounts, setting up a side hustle and paying into pension and retirement schemes that offer incentives for savers. It’s wise to speak to a trustworthy, experienced financial adviser to help you make plans, reduce risks and protect your money. 

If you’ve already invested money, and you have more funds available, build on successes. If you’ve sold a property at a profit, for example, you could put the capital into a new property and eventually create a portfolio. Look for ways to keep adding to your balance, but be aware of risks that could threaten to undo all your hard work. Economic uncertainty has a direct impact on the real estate market, so it’s vital to buy and sell at the right time. 

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Many of us would like our financial situation to be healthier. If you’re looking to reduce debts, save money and work towards boosting your savings balances, there are ways to improve your finances. Start by learning to budget, lowering expenses and putting more money aside each month and work your way up to investing and growing your money. 

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