Ways to Save Money on Advertising

Ways to Save Money on Advertising

When it comes to advertising, all businesses have experienced times in which they want to save money on their advertisements or perhaps look for cheaper alternatives to their current methods. From shops selling products to businesses providing services online, there are always new and exciting ways to advertise your business without it costing over the odds. Every business no matter its size would always choose to have a cost effective option for their advertising or anything for that matter. Opting for things like using sale stickers to promote your offers, or social media to engage with clients are simple, low cost answers that can be highly beneficial for any sized business. With that said, we’d love to share some advice and ways to save money on advertising with you.

Printing

All businesses in some way or another will have used or are currently using printing as part of their advertising material. Be it leaflets, business cards or something else, printing is one of the best and most cost efficient ways to promote your business without it costing ridiculous prices. You can easily share your company’s information or offers at a cut of a price of other advertising methods. Once more, with printing material such as leaflets, banners, or signage you can constantly target and appeal to new customers, making your audience grow and your sales. Win, win if you ask us! Before diving straight into promoting your company through printing, make sure you have your branding right. If needed, invest in getting your brand exactly how you want it and what matches your industry. Logos, slogans, colours, and even the way you write can massively affect the way people portray your brand.

Social Media

Take advantage of all social media platforms and invest your time (not money) into engaging on your social channels. From helping to arrange appointments, manage reviews and even share your latest photographs and updates, social media is an absolute miracle for businesses of any size. You don’t always have to spend money on sponsored adds too, just ask your clients to like and share your post and offer a reward such as a free product you offer or discount. The more you post on your channels the more visibility you will receive. For example, it’s now been seen that on Facebook the pages or friends you regularly engage with are the ones you will repeatedly see on your timeline. Our advice would be to set up business pages for all of the top social media platforms and start promoting your brand today!

Think Like a Customer

If you were to visit your shop or website having not seen it before, do you feel wowed or won over by it? Does it make you want to stay there or purchase something? If you don’t feel 100% that your answers are ‘YES’ then you’ll need to do something about it. Be it changing your website into a fresher design that appeals to your audience or simply decorating your shop or tweaking with the way it looks, changes of all sizes can make a huge difference. Try to see your company, shop, or website with fresh eyes and don’t be besotted with it. Instead look at the pros and cons, and if you do see it to be appropriate changes them make them, they’ll benefit you massively in the long run. Don’t forget, first impressions count so when you think like a customer make sure you’re honest with how you feel and the opinion you get. This will be how your customers feel when they see your business for the first time. If it’s easier, look at your business as a competitor and have a look at what you’d change, and this will go a long way in improving your advertising to suit the interests of your clients. You could even have a look at what your competitors are doing and see if it works for them, but without completely duping it.

Make It Your Own

There’s no better advertisement, branding, or post that’s better than doing one that’s solely your own. From standing outside of the box to doing something that’s a little different, the best way to market your business will be to show that you’re not like anyone else. Everyone has seen how advertising works, whether it be on paper or online it takes no time at all to toss the paper away or click off the ad. But these times will change when you make it your own and show people how you’re better than other options on the market and show your worth in how beneficial you can be. With all that put together, you’re sure to see vast improvements with your advertising which will result in your business growing and your sales too!

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How to save money on your fuel bills

How to save money on your fuel bills

If you feel like your fuel bills are costing you big each month, there are a range of simple and easy ways you can cut back on your spending. To start saving, here’s how you can slash your household costs once and for all.

Shop around for the best tariff

While it might seem like less of a hassle to simply stick with the same energy providers year on year, you could actually be missing out big time when it comes to saving on your bills. So, if you’re keen to cut your household costs, it’s worth checking out other companies and shopping around for the best tariffs available.

In most cases, all it takes is a quick phone call or online application to switch to a more cost-effective deal, regardless of whether you’re looking for a better electricity deal, cheap heating oil or lower gas rates.

Replace your light bulbs

Did you know that replacing your regular light bulbs for energy-saving versions could help you save money on your energy bills? For example, you could swap your existing bulbs for LED designs. These use up to 90 per cent less energy than traditional versions, offering you a quick and easy way to reduce the electricity usage in your home.

Although they may be a little pricier than regular versions, you should find that LED light bulbs pay for themselves through the savings you make in just a few months.

Insulate your home

Making sure your home is properly insulated can lead to savings of hundreds of pounds each year in energy bills. The particular type of insulation you need will depend on the design of your property, but your options can include loft, roof and wall insulation. Opting to improve your home in this way can help prevent heat from escaping, which in turn will help keep you warm and therefore lower your heating bills.

You might find that blocking out draughts around your door and window frames, suspended floorboards and loft hatches can help too. You could even go as far as replacing any single-glazed windows with double-glazed designs to help trap warmth in your rooms.

Invest in energy-efficient appliances

Being savvy when it comes to selecting your appliances can help you save on your household bills too. By paying attention to the energy ratings of the gadgets you use on a daily basis, such as your kettle, microwave and washing machine, and even large, high-energy appliances, like your fridge-freezer and dishwasher, you could stand to save big.

The best way to understand the efficiency of an appliance is by checking its EU energy-efficiency rating. This is a rating from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most energy efficient and G the least. This information can usually be found on a label on the appliance itself.

By putting these tips into practice, you should find that you’re able to keep your household bills to a minimum. 

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Financial Considerations to Make Before Having a Baby

Financial Considerations to Make Before Having a Baby

Preparing for a baby doesn’t just involve going for ultrasounds and buying cute little outfits. Although both of these things are certainly important, there’s a whole host of financial considerations you’ll need to make before your bundle of joy arrives. While you won’t be able to do everything before baby arrives, below are some of the things you can, and should, do once you find out you are expecting.

1. Understand Your Health Insurance

If you live in a country where you have to pay for health insurance, it’s important to know what will be covered under your insurance, and what you will have to pay for out-of-pocket. You will need to consider both antenatal and postnatal costs, as well as the price of the birthing options available to you.

2. Consider Life Insurance

While looking over your health insurance, it’s worth considering taking out a family insurance policy too. Life insurance will protect your spouse and your child should anything happen to you and is the best way to ensure they are financially protected. A lot of people choose to take out plans that last until their child is an adult, but you may want to look into whole-life insurance policies too if your family relies on your income or you have a lot of debts.

3. Create a Baby Budget

The cost of bringing a baby into the world can be as much as $21,000 in the first year alone, so it’s important to budget for your new arrival and consider how it will impact you financially. Take a look at your current income and see how much you have spare every month. Then, work out the costs of everything from formula and nappies to nursery furniture and child care. With both of these figures, you should be able to work out how much you can afford to spend. If you have time to pay off debts before you try for a baby, this is a good option, but there are ways to save money too, as detailed here.

4. Look Into the Cost of Childcare

If both parents need to return to work, you’ll need to look into the cost of childcare in your area. There are a lot of different options here from nurseries to childminders, all of which will vary in cost. You’ll need to determine whether one parent remaining at home will be more cost-effective, or if you have any family who can help out.

5. Build a Rainy Day Fund

If you don’t currently have a rainy day or emergency fund, now is the time to create one. Children are prone to accidents and illness, and there’s no telling how much money you may need to cover the cost of this. Even unpaid days off work need to be covered if you are working to a tight budget. Building your fund up to cover at least three months of expenses is ideal.

While bringing a new life into the world is something to treasure, it’s important to consider the cost. Babies and children aren’t cheap and those who budget in advance will be better off in the years to come.

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Preparing for a winter road trip

Preparing for a winter road trip

With Christmas in touching distance and 2018 drawing to a close, we’re in the middle of winter weather, bringing wet, windy and icy conditions across the country. During the festive season, many people hit the roads to travel short and long distances to visit friends and relatives all over the country. With this in mind, traffic is inevitably increased, meaning busier roads and the increased risk of bad weather. For anyone travelling over the Christmas period, it’s important to stay as safe as possible on the roads, by following a few simple steps and making sure your car is in the best condition possible. To help with this process, we’ve put together a few areas you should be focusing on, if you’re planning a winter road trip.

Look after your tyres

Your vehicles tyres are one of the most important parts of your car and can reduce the risk of a collision, during the winter weather. Looking after the tyres on your vehicle is extremely important. You should be paying close attention to any damage or wear and tear which could potentially affect how your vehicle drives on the road. The winter months usually mean one thing and that’s bad weather conditions. With rain, snow and ice hitting the roads, stopping distances need to be increased and your tyres need to be in the best condition to help aid this. If your tyres have been on your car for a while or they look damaged, it’s best to get them replaced. With companies like TyrePlus, you can have tyres fitted at your home via their mobile fitting service; meaning it shouldn’t be something you put off.

Don’t forget the simple checks!

With all the excitement of Christmas and visiting friends and family; it’s easy to forget about the checks you should be carrying out on your vehicle, especially the obvious ones. Making sure the oil and screen wash are topped up are checks which should be carried out on a regular basis anyway; but it’s even more important during the winter months. With bad weather conditions comes reduced visibility, meaning it’s important to be able to clear your windscreen at all times. Without oil your car’s engine will slowly start to shut down, which can cause significant damage and can be extremely costly. We all know how important it is to check the oil level on a regular basis and the last thing you want to happen, is to be stuck at the side of the road waiting for a recovery truck to take your car away; all because you forgot to check the oil level.

Making the most of the Christmas holidays…

For many of us Christmas is the best time of the year. Whether you have to travel or not, spending time with family and friends is what makes the festive period so special. If you are planning on travelling by car over the holidays then it’s important to remember all of the checks to carry out on your vehicle before you set off; especially because there’s an increased risk of bad weather conditions. Making sure your car is in working order means your journey will run as smooth as possible and you shouldn’t find yourself waiting for a mechanic to come out and fix your vehicle.

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What is the Right Age to Apply for a Loan?

Although legally you will not be allowed a loan until you are over the age of eighteen years, there are no other legal restrictions as to when you can borrow money. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to borrowing money at different stages of your life. If you can delay your borrowing, then it might be wise to do so in some cases or do it as soon as possible in other, depending on your age and your life situation.

Age is not really relevant here when it comes to people looking to apply for a loan, but more the stage of life that you are at, which can tend to follow a general pattern with regards to age, but not everyone fits the mould. Therefore it is better to look at the important factors to consider at different stages of your life.

Salary/job security – if you are taking on a loan, particularly a substantial one, then you need to be confident that you will be able to repay it. You will need to not only be paid enough to cover the cost of those repayments but you will need to be confident that you will have this income available to you for the duration of the loan. As we get older and more experienced, we will often have a higher salary and so be able to take on higher value debt. We may also find that our job gets more secure as we become more knowledgeable and therefore more valuable to the company that we work for.

Marriage/partner – When we meet someone and settle down together it means that we then have two incomes. This means that we are far more able to afford loans. Therefore it could be a good time to take them out and pay for things that we need such as a home, furniture and cars. It is best to try to repay the loans as soon as possible, particularly if they have high interest as this will make them a lot cheaper.

Children – once we have children things start getting expensive. It may be that only one parent is working, one is working full-time and the other part-time or both are working part-time. This will put pressure on the finances as the income is going to go down. Even if both parents continue to work there will be the expense of child care on top of the costs of a child. Preparing for a new baby can be quite expensive but children tend to get more expensive as they get older and eat more, grow and need more clothing and want more things to entertain them. So if you have children it is worth calculating really carefully whether it is the right time for a loan and assume that your expenses will go up.

Savings – it is easy to think that having savings is a good indicator that we are ready to take on a loan. We have some money to fall back on and therefore will be able to manage those repayments. While this is perfectly true, it is far wiser to spend those savings on the item that you are getting the loan to pay for, if you can afford it. This will save a lot of money. This is because the loan costs money and you will be saving all of this money by not getting one. You will be losing out on any interest that you were getting on the savings but this will normally be a lot lower than what you would pay out for a loan. You can compare the interest rates to get a quick idea, although loans will tend to have additional costs as well as the interest rate. So put aside each month the amount that you would pay on loan repayments and you will soon have enough money accumulated to take out a loan. Obviously, if you are buying a house you will need a loan as saving up that much would take a very long time but for smaller loans, this idea can work very well.

Caring for parents/relatives – as our parents get older it may fall on us to care for them or for other people who cannot manage on their own. This can mean that we have to give up work or that we do not have time to do extra work such as overtime and therefore it could possibly cause a reduction in income. If someone is being paid to care for them, it may be that you will need to pay them if your parent or relative does not have the money to. It is hard to think of older relatives needing to be cared for, but these days it is really important to factor in that expense.

Retiring – once we retire then we usually see a reduction in our income. Even if we have paid into a pension scheme we usually have a smaller income. This means that we need to be very careful about what we are spending and therefore taking out a loan, where will need to make repayments, may not be a good idea. You may also find that that lenders will be reluctant to allow a retired person to have a loan because they will be concerned that they will have enough income to pay it.

Conclusion

So as you can see choosing when to take out a loan is not easy. There are things at many life stages which could mean that the time is not right. You will also need to think about the future and whether you will be able to afford the loan repayments for the necessary amount of time. Although we should not be scared of debt and it can be very useful for us, it is something that we do need to consider very carefully. It is wise to spend time calculating whether your current financial situation will be able to cope and thinking about how well it will cope in the future as well and this should help you to be able to make the right decision for you.

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