Monday, February 19, 2018

Home Based Business Ideas UK: Money Tips Daily - 3 Steps to Build Up Your Credit...

Home Based Business Ideas UK: Money Tips Daily - 3 Steps to Build Up Your Credit...: Welcome to Money Tips Daily. 3 Steps to Build Up Your Credit Rating. Yesterday, we talked about protecting your credit rating, but...

Money Tips Daily - 3 Steps to Build Up Your Credit Rating.

Welcome to Money Tips Daily.

3 Steps to Build Up Your Credit Rating.

Yesterday, we talked about protecting your credit rating, but what if it is already damaged or you have a low rating?

There are different strategies for people who have a bad credit history, for instance if you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ) of a Default registered against you, and those who have virtually no credit rating at all.

For those of you who want to build or rebuild your rating, here are three simple steps:

1.      Get a credit card if you can or apply for ‘rebuild your credit’ credit card if you already have a poor credit history. Search for card providers which offer credit to people with an adverse credit history. The interest rate could be as high as 40% so make sure you pay them off quickly.
2.      Pay off your card balance in full each month. This shows a record of handling your finances and you will usually find that card companies will offer to increase your limit. Also, drawing cash on your card is not only expensive, but also demonstrates poor money management skills.
3.      Register yourself on the voters list, assuming you are eligible to vote, or write to the credit referencing agencies with proof of address so they can note your residence. This will show lenders that you are registered at a UK address. Lenders also like to see stability, so the more addresses you’ve had in a short period of time, the stable you are going to look to lenders. This can also apply to how long you have held your current account with your bank, so don’t go switching your account every six months just to get a free offer!

If you have a CCJ or a Default you should take steps to mitigate the pain. For instance, you can apply to have CCJ’s ‘set aside’ if it was registered in your absence or at a previous address. 

You can also ask credit referencing agencies to add a note to your file where there are mitigating circumstances, e.g. “the goods we ordered never arrived so we refused to pay to £50 bill”. With hindsight, it would have been better to pay the bill and dispute it after to avoid wrecking your credit history for six years.

The golden rule is never ignore a court or bailiff letter, debt recovery notice, default or pre-action notice or any letters relating to debts, no matter how painful they are to read. Sitting there looking at a pile of unopened red letters is only going to make matters worse.

As mentioned yesterday, avoid being late with payments and use direct debits to pay bills and card payments.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Home Based Business Ideas UK: Money Tips Daily – Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate...

Home Based Business Ideas UK: Money Tips Daily – Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate...: Welcome to Money Tips Daily We’ve talked about saving money, generating more money, but how would you like to know how to save hundred...

Money Tips Daily - How to Check Your Credit Rating and Avoid County Court Judgements (CCJ's) and Defaults

Welcome to Money Tips Daily. Today I want to talk about something that can have a huge impact on your life, your credit rating.

Check your credit rating regularly and protect it by never allowing your rating to be compromised by not paying a bill or defaulting on a credit card, which can stay on your record for up to six years.
Protect your credit rating with your life!

To check your credit file and obtain a credit rating you can apply to one of the main credit reference agencies in your country. In the UK the big three are www.Experian.co.uk, www.Equifax.co.uk and www.CallCredit.co.uk, which can supply a free report or charge a small fee.

You can pay a monthly subscription for ongoing reports, but I would go for the basic report to start with.

You can also obtain a combined report covering all three credit agencies, which will often hold different information on you depending on which company reports activity.

You should check your credit file at least once a year, as errors will affect your ability to obtain credit, take out a mortgage or mobile phone contract or open a bank account.

If you discover something on your file which should not be there, like a County Court Judgement (CCJ) or a Default on a credit agreement or utility bill you can dispute it with the company or go to the Financial Ombudsman or Citizens Advice. 

Companies also report late payments to the credit agencies, which means you could be refused a mortgage even though you have never defaulted on a bill or been taken to court. 

For instance, if your credit card bill is due on 20th of each month and you manually pay it over the counter at your bank each month on 19th, you are technically late, as it takes several days for your payment to reach the card company.

You will also be reported for paying utility bills late and for credit searches when you apply for credit even if you do not proceed with the transaction. Some mortgage lenders have been known to decline a mortgage application just because the person had a late payment in the last 3 years!

If you are involved in a legal dispute in the County Court and lose you have less than a month in which to settle the debt awarded to the other side by the judge, otherwise the debt will appear on your credit file as a CCJ for six years even if you pay by instalments or later clear the amount outstanding.

Bonus Tip 1. Pay bills by direct debit to avoid missing a payment, which will appear on your credit file.

Bonus Tip 2. If you are in dispute over a small utility bill always pay it and argue about it afterwards. If you refuse to pay, the company may issue a Default against you, which they can do without going to court. The Default could stay on your record even if you are later proved to be in the right. 

In my days working in banks and financial services I have met countless people who allowed their credit rating to be messed up over a £50 water bill. The water companies were particularly aggressive in going after debtors.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you some tips on how to build up your credit rating.

Listen to this episode on Anchor: Money Tip Check Credit Rating.

Money Tips Daily – Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate!

Welcome to Money Tips Daily

We’ve talked about saving money, generating more money, but how would you like to know how to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds or dollars just by saying a few words?

Negotiate! That’s right, use negotiation in your everyday dealings.

The old saying that “everything is negotiable” may not always work down at your local supermarket (but it can believe me), but the principle is timeless. People have been negotiating since the beginning of time and it’s in our DNA to get a better deal, right? 

This is not about haggling, banging your fist on the table or becoming a union leader grinding out pay deals, which they do very well! This is about asking for a better deal, price or an upgrade.

I get better deals and upgrades all the time, usually just by asking. On a recent holiday in the Philippines, I asked for an upgrade to a better room, and got it, along with use of the club lounge (free drinks and food) on the top floor with fabulous views of the Manila skyline. I got a further £100 off the final bill when I discovered and filmed a rat in the rooftop garden!

Now, you may think I was a real pain in the ass, but actually I was very friendly with the staff and manager and not at all demanding like some western tourists can be in Asia. I praised them for their good service, which was true, had fun and used a bit of humour. I’d have a laugh with the staff after it had been dealt with by asking “where’s the rat today?”.  
  
You may be shy to negotiate at first, after all, it’s not very British to ask for a discount, but try some of these useful phrases, combined with a friendly smile, whenever someone gives you a price for a service:

“How much!!!???”,
“Is that your best price/offer/...”,
“That seems a little high...can you offer any discount?”,
“I love this hotel/airline...Do you have any upgrades available?”

Then wait for them to answer. In most cases, you will get 10% or 20% off the price on the spot or an upgrade or some sort of free bonus offer.

Just last month I had to change the battery on my car at a local garage, part of one of the biggest national chains in the country. I use them for tyres, so I’m a regular customer.

The manager quoted me £140 for the battery, “fitted with a 3 year warranty”. I replied with a smile, “thanks, can you offer me any discount?”. His exact words were, “Of course” and he then knocked £40 off the price on the spot – I was expecting 10% and would have taken it as the battery was already competitively priced. I drove out of there ten minutes later smiling after paying £100, that’s a discount of almost 30% for using a 7 word phrase, or almost £6 a word!

I don’t go around haggling over the price of a cup of coffee at my local Starbucks, but even they have special offers and deals if you ask.

I could give you hundreds of examples of how I obtained many thousands of pounds in discounts from small items to large property deals. I even managed to obtain a 10% discount, by using the same phrase, from my book editor (Yes, Money Can Buy You Happiness will be published soon) who is probably reading this now! Learn from it!

Bonus Tips...Keep it friendly, build rapport and never be a jerk.

The best negotiators are charming and almost irresistible. One of the greatest negotiators I’ve ever seen in action, my friend John, almost did it for fun. Both parties enjoyed the process as he’d say things like “come on Len, you know you can do better than that!”. Len, our furniture supplier would sigh and say, “Ok John, I’ll do it for x”.

There are also hundreds of good books on advanced negotiation techniques. Read one.

You can also negotiate online or via email or SMS. 


That’s all for now, more Money Tips tomorrow.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Money Tips Daily - How to Sell Unwanted Goods and Build a Profitable Online Business Without a Website

Hello and welcome to Money Tips Daily.

You can also listen to this article on my podcast on Anchor FM.

Yesterday we talked about the sharing economy and turning your spare room into cash.
If you’re not in a position to take in a guest, another way of generating some extra cash is to sell unwanted goods online. There are numerous websites like Amazon, Gumtree and Ebay which can help you turn old stuff into cash and it could turn into to an online business. You also get to clear space in your home!

We all have those unused exercise bikes and guitars taking up space which could be turned into cash. There are also unopened presents, books and CDs which can be sold online. With Amazon you can even scan the barcode to generate an image on your seller site.

You don’t only have to sell your own stuff online. Millions of people have built a business selling online through platforms such as EBay and AmazonSeller. You no longer have to rent a shop in the High Street to have a storefront. An online business can be set up for a very small amount of money with none of the risks associated with signing a lease, paying upfront rent and employing staff.

You don’t even need to have your own product or a traditional website to start your business. You can become an affiliate marketer and sell other peoples products for a commission. There are sites like Clickbank which offer thousands of products for affiliates to promote.
Like some traditional high street ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, old style websites are becoming a thing of the past.

When I started my business years ago, everybody said you needed to have a fancy website. We spent a small fortune setting up a website and then waited for people to visit it. When someone did visit, they’d have a quick look around and leave (we only found that out much later by setting up analytics tools). It was a bit like somebody walking into a shop, having a quick look around and walking out before anyone has a chance to talk to them.

There are of course a number of ways of catching people’s attention and capturing their name and email address, but this requires IT skills and expertise. I hired IT consultants, went on courses and bought expensive online “solutions” most of which were pretty useless. I had almost given up which I stumbled across a book by a guy called Russell Brunson, the founder of a company called ‘Clickfunnels’. The book is called Expert Secrets and it is packed full of great information but written in a simple, engaging way with lots of stories and examples of how to build a following and make money online. Best of all, he actually gives away the book for FREE if you pay the shipping costs.

Russell has revolutionised online selling through Clickfunnels, which makes the flat brochure-type website all but redundant.


You can find out more and get a free copy of Russell’s book Expert Secrets by clicking here or cut and paste this link into your browser - http://bit.ly/2EOzK8f

Friday, February 16, 2018

Money Tips Daily - Earn Extra Tax Free Cash With Rent a Room Scheme

1.      Hello and welcome to Money Tips Daily.

We have looked at various ways of saving money, so today I want to give you a few tips on how to earn some extra cash!

There are hundreds of ways of generating additional income in your spare time from starting a small business from home, digital marketing and sales or MLM. I actually run a Facebook page called home based business ideas.

If you’re not inclined to start a business just yet and are struggling to make ends meet, you might want to consider these simple money making tips:

Rent a Room Scheme

The UK government allows you to earn up to £7500 tax free per year from renting out accommodation in your home.

The Rent a Room Scheme lets you earn up to a threshold of £7,500 per year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in your home. You don't have to stop at £7500 by the way, you just have to pay a little extra tax. Always consult your legal and tax advisers. 

How do you find tenants?

Tenants are easy to find in most areas (for instance, where there is employment or transport links) using websites like Airbnb and spareroom.co.uk.

Airbnb clients tend to be looking for short-term accommodation, although in my experience they can turn into long-term guests. The good thing about Airbnb is that they take care of collecting payments and has insurance in case things go wrong. You will generally be expected to provide bedding and towels like a guest house, but the higher rent should compensate you for this. The disadvantage is that guests will come and go which means more work.

Other sites like spare room and Monday to Friday provide you with a platform to advertise your room. Once the potential tenant makes contact you will have to deal with references and tenancy agreements. Advantages that you should be able to find a longer time tenant and will not have to provide additional services like bedding and cleaning. These sites generally charge you a flat fee to advertise your room and all the rent is yours, but there is no guarantee you’ll find a tenant. Airbnb makes no charge to list your room on their site, which has millions of visitors, but will take a percentage from the rent.  

You can of course use traditional methods like putting a card in the shop window, but this carries more risk and I've found you get better quality tenants through online advertising.

Whichever method you use to find lodgers there are plenty of people out there looking for a room, because renting an apartment is outside of their budget or they just need something temporary.

A few words of caution. Always take up references and use a legal assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) unless you’re taking Airbnb guests. If in doubt, consult your lawyer and take legal advice. 

You can find out more from organisations such as the National Landlords Association or on consumer website such as citizens advice. 

The 'gut' feeling most landlords ignore

I would also follow your own instincts and gut feeling about a person before letting them take up residence in your home. If there’s something you don’t feel is quite right about a potential lodger, go with your gut feeling or check them out further. For me, this is more important than references, but don't go completely freehand gung ho and skip the referencing process.

There are dozens of ideas around the ‘sharing’ economy including: car sharing on your journey to work and renting out your driveway for parking while you’re out at work.


Tomorrow, I’ll give you another cash generating tip which could turn into a profitable online business allowing you to work from home and quit the rat race.