Eye-ing Up Savings On Contact Lenses

by Adam on November 10, 2017

AdamWhen was the last time you shopped around for contact lenses?

I’ve been wearing contacts for 10 years now.

When I first had the courage to try contact lenses I felt my life had been transformed. I had never felt comfortable wearing glasses, which I started needing in my early teens. In the space of six months I needed glasses and braces and my face broke out in hundreds of spots. I felt like I was falling apart, and my childhood was over.

I continued to feel self-conscious throughout my teens and even going into my 20s.

Life Changer

When I decided to try contacts it was a total life-changer for me. I was in my early 20s and finally I felt my confidence grow. The monthly cost was noticeable in my budget but worth every penny. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to shop around.

At first I opted for monthly contacts because they were cheaper than dailies but given my clumsiness, I damaged quite a few lenses mid-month, or even at the start of the month, so after a few months I switched to dailies – more expensive than monthlies but less hassle and, for my clumsy self, actually saved me money after factoring in the accidents!

shopping tips for supermarketsSearch for Savings

As I was looking to save money on every-day expenses I searched for ways to reduce my outgoings, including my contact lens and I tried a few different online stores for my contact lenses. I was quite pleased with myself for saving money – you can save £100s by from buying contact lenses online – I found the cost of a pack of daily disposable contact lenses from the high street is significantly higher than online brands.

Top Tip: There’s a great chart here to find out what the high street brands really use to help you find a cheaper version.

But I still had to go to an optician for an eye-health check (particularly important for contact lens wearers), and a sight test. When this was factored in, I found the monthly schemes offered on the high street can be competitive – my ‘all-in’ cost of contacts, health checks and eye tests were cheaper each year compared with what I could find buying cheap contact lenses online and then having to pay for the sight-tests on top – at least when I was first looking…

Keep Shopping Around

However, this isn’t always the case so shopping around still has merit, especially if you can find a discount code online. One that I’ve found recently is from Vision Direct, where you get 10% off your first order with the code SURPRISE (plus free postage when you spend over £49). You can find more information here.

ImportantIt’s definitely worth crunching the numbers yourself to see if you can save money.

There’s other things to consider in your own calculations – I live in England so have to pay for my sight tests, although I have friends in Scotland who tell me their tests are free for them so their total costs are different to mine.

Also some employers pay for sight-tests for their workers or allow you to claim for contact lenses and sight-tests using a health insurance benefit, so if you wear contacts, make sure you run your own numbers to work out the true cost.

Contact lenses have changed my life and the confidence they give me is priceless…but that doesn’t mean I should ignore the costs and what is available.

And neither should you.

And regardless of where your contact lenses are sourced, make sure you keep up with the health checks and eye tests – professional opticians provide a valuable service and can even save your life – for example, the onset of diabetes is often first spotted by an optician as the evidence of high blood sugar can be seen in your eyes.

When it comes to contact lenses, do your research with your eyes wide open, and see what you can find!

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bitcoinI bought my first Bitcoin in 2013 (and I blogged about Bitcoin here)

In fact I bought two coins, for £50 each. At the time of writing those two coins would be worth over £10,000. Unfortunately I was going through a career change at the time and sold them to pay for a financial exam. But I reinvested in June and already the value of a Bitcoin has doubled since I bought back in.

And now there’s speculation that Amazon will be accepting Bitcoin for transactions soon – adoption by Amazon and futures traders would push Bitcoin’s value to five digits argues David Jinks, Head of Consumer Research at e-commerce fulfilment experts ParcelHero

There’s no getting round the fact that many cryptocurrencies originally grew in value because of their use buying on the dark web.  Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, has called bitcoin an “index of money laundering.” But increasingly major digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are turning away from the Silk Road on to the path of respectability.

There’s a good reason for this.

Few Bitcoin owners are actually spending their digital currency today, whether on drugs or household appliances! The majority see it as an investment. And the more mainstream a digital currency becomes; the more it will gain in value. With the value of a Bitcoin soaring to over $7,000 at the beginning of November it’s not hard to see why.

In October rumours that Amazon would finally relent and accept Bitcoin, perhaps making an announcement in their October 26 Q3 results meeting, helped drive up the value of a Bitcoin to a then record $5,800. The speculation was fueled by a global petition on Change.org, urging ‘Amazon.com should accept Bitcoin and Litecoin cryptocurrency as payment methods ASAP’. Investors such as James Altucher, the American hedge fund manager and venture capitalist, stated: “I’m certain that Amazon will accept Bitcoin. They have no choice. And this will be the tipping point that will create massive generational wealth unlike we’ve ever seen before.”

Pundits are now holding their breath for Amazon’s annual results meeting, due early February 2018, to see if Amazon finally does decide to take the plunge. And as the respected website The Next Web speculates: ‘If the mere rumor of Amazon accepting cryptocurrency can cause value to rise by thousands of dollars in mere weeks, imagine what the outlook would be if it turned out to be true.’

 The basic truth is Bitcoin investors are yearning for respectability and for more retailers to accept the currency. Why? Not to splurge their hard-earned satoshis on Kindles and Wii Switches, that’s for sure. No, the reason is that, with a bigger user base, the price of Bitcoin will both rise and become more resilient.

And if we accept the fact that digital currencies such as Bitcoins are more investment than coinage, then the latest rise in value to $7,000 is only to be expected. The U.S.-based exchange CME has said it would introduce bitcoin futures contracts this quarter, subject to regulatory approval.

 “We’ve been working with the regulator. They understand our application. And they understand our model very, very well,” Terry Duffy, CME Group chairman and CEO, told CNBC.

And the reason that announcement has so boosted Bitcoin’s value is that the introduction of such a product could bring more institutional investors into the market. And that will certainly boost the price yet further.

 Why? Because, just like gold, the amount of Bitcoins is finite. Only 21 million of them will ever be issued—and we are already at 16.3 million. Respectable institutional investors are becoming attracted to a currency that is outside any national regulation or interference: and the value of the existing Bitcoins will rise as its respectability rises.

You can read about why Forbes fintech expert Roger Aitken believes its time for investors to join the cryptocurrency party here.

As for me, I’ll share more of my Bitcoin adventures in future posts. For now, I urge you to only invest what you can afford to lose, and do lots of reading so you understand the space before you put your money in.

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5 ways to Save money at home with your bills

by Adam on October 25, 2017

You may find that after paying your cable bills, cell phone bills, utilities and car insurance, your budget reduces significantly.

Spending and saving moneyThis may be because things get expensive with time and you may feel that you cannot do anything about it. However, this should not be the case if you follow a simple guide to lower your monthly expenses and help find the cheap deals out there. Saving money is actually easier when you may think when you take time off to do research on some of the areas that eat heavily on your budget. Finding ways to start saving on some of your biggest expenses such as insurance, television, utilities and cell phones can go a long way in ensuring you save from hundreds and maybe even thousands a year. These simple tips will assist you in saving money by budgeting better, without necessary sacrificing on your lifestyle.

  1. Television expenses

Television has become a major pastime for most people. However, while everybody loves watching their television, satellite and cable TV accumulate a lot of expenses. This is why it is important to think about how use your TV. This will allow you to trim on expenses. A good way is to look for TV deals that cut on costs by comparing on sites like Broadband Choices. If it is possible, you should shop around for cheaper deals and negotiate when you can. Optionally, you can opt for antenna TV and combine them with movie rentals or online streaming services to satisfy your entertainment needs, you can sometimes get these joined with your broadband also.


  1. Mobile Phone spendingTelephone bills

Data and texting plans may take up most of the budget allocations, and if you can find better plans, then you will trim down on your expenses heavily. It is important to closely estimate on how you use your phone and data to ensure the plan you choose closely reflects on your usage. This will reduce the likelihood of paying for plans that you do not use. Furthermore, you may also opt to change your phone and data usage habits if you find your phone bills eating too much into your budget. You can also download apps that track down on your usage habits to help you scale back on your usage. It is highly recommended to pay close attention to the plan you subscribe to, and ensure you are only subscribing to what you need.

  1. Rent

Since shelter is one of the basic needs, it will probably take up the largest portion of your budgetary allocation. While there is not much you can do about rent rates, you can always negotiate with your landlord for better deals. It is also important to consider similar apartments in your area to see if you can get a good deal. In addition, you should consider the utility expenses you incur such as water and electricity. These have the potential of skyrocketing your budget allocation. You may also find it necessary to invest in a programmable thermostat. This device has the advantage of adjusting temperature automatically, which is a great way to reduce on your energy consumption.

  1. Insurance costs

This is another area where you can also reduce your expenses significantly by investing in a smart plan. One way to make substantial savings is by bundling your homeowner and auto insurance with a single carrier. You may also find that making upgrades to your home such as installing a security system will reduce your insurance costs significantly in the long run. Furthermore, you may also find it necessary to look for other insurance plans and compare to see if they are a better option from what you already have.

  1. Using credit cardsCredit cards

Credit cards do not appreciate in value, and while it may seem difficult to save on balances, there are some ways you can cut on your interest rates. While applying for credit cards, you will need to find one that charges lower interest rates. You may also want to consider credit cards that give rewards. Some credit cards will come with hidden costs. Thus, it is highly advisable to contact your provider and ask to know if there are any costs you may not know about. Furthermore, you can always talk to your provider and seek for advice on how you can make savings when using your credit card.

 

Check out more smart spending articles here on Magical Penny

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Make Money Make Sense For Your Children

by Adam on October 19, 2017

What is a Junior ISA The sad but simple truth is that we don’t know what the future will hold for our children.

We cannot be the arbiters of their success or failure in life. We can’t make their decisions for them and we can’t insulate them from unfair or unjust things that may happen to them through no fault of their own. All we, as parents, can do is give them the tools, skills and infrastructure to deal with what life throws at them as best they can. This goes for friendships, for relationships, for jobs and careers… And it goes double when it comes to money. We are, at present living in a very uncertain time in the UK. Brexit’s implications on the national economy are only just beginning to be felt and its effect on the labour market, business, GDP and the opportunities that this will have for our children’s financial opportunities will likely take years to be fully realised.

In such a financially turbulent time, it’s never too early (or too late) to start educating your children on all matters monetary to help ensure a stable future for them and their children. While nobody expects your average three year old to understand the complexities of international loans, fiscal multipliers or inflation, there are still a number of ways in which you can encourage them to have a healthy respect for and understanding of money and give them the tools that will enable them to grow into financially responsible adults.

Here are some ways in which you can engender this from a very young age while expanding upon it as your children get older…

ImportantEncourage saving by making it fun

If you’re a very young child, the concept of saving is a tricky sell. Most 2-4 year olds have a vague understanding of money as a commodity but they tend to understand it to be something that’s exchanged for fun stuff like toys and sweets… And kids want toys and sweets. If you start giving your children pocket money from a young age (there’s no ‘right’ time, but the earlier you start, the more opportunity they have to form good financial habits), they’re likely to want to spend their money straight away. The hard part is getting them to understand the benefits of delaying their gratification.

The best way to do this is give them an incentive to save. Get them to focus on something they really want (more than sweets). Explain that you’re not going to buy it for them, but if they can exercise restraint and save their money, you will match their contributions. You can even help them draw a fun chart to help them track how close they are to achieving their goal.

Deal in hard currency

When you think about it, money is quite a nebulous concept. Its value used to be determined by the value of gold but now its value is determined by far more disparate elements. It’s a tricky concept for an adult to understand much less a child, and dealing in contactless payments and Apple Pay can only mystify money further for them. Thus, it’s advisable to deal in cash when buying products in front of your children so that they get a genuine sense of currency lost and its value in relation to the products it buys.

If your young child wants to play ‘shop’, as many do, use this as an opportunity to get them used to handling real money rather than play money.

ConfidenceBe honest about the family finances

As children get owner, the things they want for Christmases and birthdays become more and more expensive and in some cases your household finances may not be conducive to them getting what they want. To a child this is grossly unfair and they’re likely to treat it as an agenda against them personally. You can nip this mentality in the bud by being as open and honest as you can about the family’s finances, delineating in as much detail as you’re both comfortable with where the household income goes every month. This will dispel the odd assumption that children nurture that adults are all infinitely wealthy.

Teach them the importance of budgeting

Budgeting is the most important aspect of any household finances and if children are able to grow into financially independent adults they need to appreciate its importance. This can be gleaned by going over the household budget as above or (better yet) encouraging them to make their own. Even pre-teens can benefit from learning the value of budgeting so that they can prioritise their expenses and assign money to spending and savings accordingly.

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house mortgage UKLooking to create a business that has the potential to do well, or invest your money into something you understand?

For some who feel it’s less risky than over options, property can be a good method. It’s something that can be in high demand, and while there are rises and falls in the market it generally appreciates in value over time.

It’s not without its own hassles but here are some of the ways you can make money as a landlord or property investor.

 

Buy and Sell

There’s a lot of money to be made in flipping houses. Buy a run-down property for cheap, do it up and sell for huge profits. However, there are downsides. First, you really do need to know what you’re doing- many newbies try and fail with this. Many only manage to break even after fees and everything else, some even lose money. You need to have a good team of reliable tradespeople on hand, who you know will do the work quickly, efficiently and for a good price.

You also need to have a good understanding of the property market, things like ceiling prices will affect how much you should spend on a property since you will be limited in the maximum amount you will get back.

But if you do your research, and go about things the right way you could make massive sums of money in a short space of time, giving you chance to move onto the next property. The only issue is you need money up front for the property you’re buying as well as the renovation costs which could run into many thousands. You can borrow small loans from this company if you just need to add the finishing touches, your money will be repaid plus a lot more when you successfully sell up.

house questionBecome a Landlord

If you don’t want to buy and sell, or don’t have money up front to do this then buy to let is a good option. You can take out the mortgage and get tenants in, their rent will pay off your mortgage. In some cases you might be able to make some extra money on top of this too depending on how competitive the rental market is where you live.

By the end will have your house completely paid off for you, allowing you to either sell or continue renting to make a profit. You could even go a step further and invest in a few rental properties, if you can pay for the houses up front you will get money in your bank each month without doing much work at all. In fact, if you have an agent manage them all for you then you won’t even need to deal with tenants problems, viewing, referencing, eviction or anything else.

Buy a Holiday Home

There’s no doubt that purchasing property abroad can be more difficult than in the country where you live. However, there’s the opportunity to earn even more money. If you’re letting to tourists, you can charge a large amount per week- far more than if you were renting out a home. On the plus side, you get to enjoy the property yourself too, saving you money on vacations.

 

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digitalThe government’s Making Tax Digital initiative plans to completely reform the way that individuals and organisations do their taxes.

With the change, HMRC aims to become ‘one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world’. However, this also means that many businesses will also need to make the change to digital tax to comply with HMRC’s new system.

Whether you’re a small start-up or a large multinational corporation, there are steps that you should take to ensure your organisation is prepared for the switchover deadline in 2019.

To help, chartered accounting firm Alexander and Co, have spoken to business owners to see how the change has impacted them, as well as offering their top tips to help you prepare for Making Tax Digital.

lightbulb momentFranck Energy

Marcus Franck is the founder of London-based company, Franck Energy. They specialise in helping UK homeowners and businesses switch to renewable energy technologies in their property. Here’s what Marcus had to say about the scheme.

“The Making Tax Digital scheme is certainly a worthwhile endeavour, and one that we’re happy to support. Visibility on tax commitments should be as real-time as possible, and to digitise the whole process will help businesses manage compliance. The UK tax system has been in need of an overhaul for some time, but we appreciate the complexities associated with modernising an established system of processes.

The major challenge will on the customer service side. Not only will businesses and individuals need to get used to the systems, but there will inevitably be bugs and errors. This is always the case in a project so significant, no matter how much care is taken in the implementation. I think patience is a virtue in this instance, and everybody should work together to ensure more efficient taxation infrastructure for the future.”

calculating costsWelch and Ellis Accountants

Welch & Ellis accountants offering accountancy, bookkeeping and taxation advice to business and personal clients. Partner, Rob Ellis, had this to say about the Making Tax Digital scheme.

“Nearly 90% of my clients still operate their bookkeeping on a non cloud bookkeeping system. It was fortunate that HM Revenue and Customs, through consultation, postponed it until, at the earliest, 2019.

I can see lots of problems with those who have subcontractors and CIS and tying the CIS monthly return system up with Making tax digital.

In addition an unexpected withdrawal of overlap profit relief could mean most sole traders and partnerships changing their accounting year ends to the 31 March which will create a real bottleneck for the accountancy profession and HM Revenue and Customs.

Add to this another penalty system for late filing and we could have businesses rack up penalties if they miss the quarterly filing regime will replace the once a year tax return.”

three-fingersThings you should do to prepare for Making Tax Digital…

Here are 3 simple steps you should take to better prepare yourself for the change to digital tax:

1. Get to know the deadlines

Different organisations will adhere to different deadlines depending on whether the organisations turnover is over the VAT threshold.

It’s important to find out these deadlines so that you’re not left playing catch-up at the last minute. To learn more about Making Tax Digital, visit the government’s website dedicated to the scheme.

2. Look for accounting software

If you’re ready to make the change to digital tax, you should start looking for accounting software as soon as possible. There are several things to look out for when searching for the right accounting software. But ultimately, you should find a piece of software that is HMRC  compliant.

3. Speak to your accountant

The chances are that your accountant is already using a piece of accounting software that they know inside and out. However, you will need to liaise with your accountant to make sure the system they use is HMRC compliant, and is also compatible with any digital tax software you are considering.

It’s important to utilise all the information out there to make sure you know exactly how to prepare for the change to digital tax.

If you’re kickstarting the switchover or even if you’re operating digitally already, let me know in the comments what you think about the Making Tax Digital initiative and how you’re preparing for it.

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Is the Stigma Around CFD Trading Justified?

by Adam on September 28, 2017

financial newsCFD stands for contract for difference, and CFD trading allows the trader to invest in an asset without ever owning it. They have garnered a stigma for a number of reasons, but mainly because they are viewed as riskier than standard market investments. America has actually banned CFD trading, which has helped to deepen the cautiousness around investing in them. Here are some considerations on CFD trading.

Leverage

One of the main factors which draws traders of different types to CFDs is the ability to leverage trades. Depending on the level of leverage chosen, a trader can control far more units of stock with far less money, meaning that their potential gains from each leveraged investment can be greatly magnified.

Unfortunately, leverage can be both a blessing and a curse, as it also has the ability to greatly magnify losses. This can lead to an instant wipe out of any given trader’s funds and portfolio, and has caused many successful traders to lose a significant amount (sometimes all) of their money. That being said, using leverage is a choice, and it could be argued that applying too much is an irresponsible and risky move in itself.

Stop Losses

Something which can help to counterbalance the risks of CFD trading is the ability to apply stop loss orders, which involve setting a price at which any given commodity will be automatically sold off if the market moves against the investor.

This, too, can have its limitations, but the fact that it is fully automatic means it can help to significantly reduce the chances of losing too much in a single trade.

ftse100The Trader

In essence, CFDs are not massively different from standard trading instruments, and much of their bad reputation is likely to stem from traders making bad/irresponsible investments. The application of a well-reasoned, researched strategy which takes into account and effectively deals with all the risks associated with CFD trading can make a huge difference in terms of becoming a successful CFD trader.

Whilst some may have had a bad experience with CFD trading, others have also made consistent profits through applying such a strategy, so having the right mentality and approach can make a world of difference.

Ultimately, the stigma attached to CFD trading is probably a little over the top, as they can be risky if traded irresponsibly, but the level of risk is decided by the trader. With this in mind, it is up to those trading CFDs to apply their own logic and strategy to make sure they do not blow their budget through overly risky investments.

 

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Today medical tourism is gaining in popularity in countries that are new and old members of the EU, and becoming more popular amongst international patients, who seek affordable treatment abroad, as they cannot afford it in their home country or face long waits for treatment.

Romania, one of the most visited, welcomes international patients and offers excellent medical care, as well as offering lots to see and to do.

Bucharest, Romania

As you might expect the price of medical procedures is one of the biggest benefits.

According to a report from DentalimplantsFriends a foreign patient would pay only 512 Euros for a single dental implant done in a Romanian dental clinic (source: cheap dental implants abroad). Even with the cost of travel and accommodation, international patients would save up to 80% on their dental bills.

travellerMore than that, Romania is an ideal place to relax and recover after medical procedures.

Everybody can find something for his or herself there: the fresh air of the amazing countryside, amazing city breaks and exciting historical or cultural attractions.

The number of perfectly equipped dental centres has been growing over the last few years in the country.

Foreign patients who consider undergoing their dental implant treatment in Romania can be sure that the high quality materials come from well-known manufacturers and the most modern equipment will be used in the restorative procedures. Romanian dentists are known as not only highly skilled professionals, but also as dentists and oral surgeons who will listen to their patients and understand their needs and desires.  Romanian dentists and oral surgeons are highly professional in all kinds of dental procedures, and are considered to be the top specialists in the EU.

healthcareRomanian dental clinics, that are experienced in the treatment of international patients, also care about the patients comfort and overall satisfaction before and during their stay in the country.

In most cases international patients will be offered not only an individualised treatment plan, but all kinds of support as well. You might expect to receive assistance with hotel and flight booking, airport transfers or with filling your free time. Leading Romanian dental clinics usually have a partnership with local companies offering water rafting, cultural trips, dining in luxury restaurants, relaxing in wellness centres, spas or thermal springs and more.

If you would like to maintain your dental health for a fraction of the western European price, then Romania is the only way to go.

Up-to-date dentistry, excellent quality to price ratio, professional dentists and oral surgeons, perfectly equipped dental clinics,  an amazing and relaxing environment – all of this makes Romania the choice of thousands of international patients from Germany, Scandinavia, the UK, Italy or France.

If you are health conscious, remember to quit your bad habits (if you have them that is) and improve your health.

Want more tips?

Read the Magical Penny article “Health = Wealth: Uncovering the Link Between Fitness and Finance

 

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The Best Countries To Invest In Property

by Adam on September 21, 2017

There are some truly stunning properties in countries around the world.

From the white sand beaches of the Caribbean. To the old cobbled town houses of Rome. They all have their own unique quirks, and attract a wide range of different people. Investing in properties abroad is something many people can only dream of, yet for a few lucky ones it’s a lovely reality. Right now the property market is different and constantly volatile in all countries. The US is known for it’s huge houses for a cheaper price compared to the UK. And the south of Italy is known for its expensive lavish coast line. So let’s explore the countries where you could get the most for your money.

Panama

Panama_City_2016_Flut

This might seem like a random one, but Panama is cheap! A property on the beach costs nearly half what it would for a property on the beach in the UK or US. Whilst it’s not really a popular tourist destination just yet, the city is thriving and growing each day. The investment might not pay off right away, but for a while it could make a lovely little holiday destination, and it’s bound to make it’s way into the holiday market very soon.

Monaco

Located on the French Riviera just off the south of France, this stunning little area of real estate will be the gift that keeps on giving. Home to F1, lavish shops and restaurants, and a hot spot for the rich and famous, you can’t go wrong buying a property here.  There’s so much to see and do, and you’re only a short journey from mainland France. It offers beautiful beaches and weather, a lovely cosy winter destination. Property here can be on the expensive side, but if you look into mortgages you should be able to find a reasonable deal. It’s such a popular holiday destination, that you’ll easily be able to make your money back and more.

The Alps

This one is a perfect all year round holiday destination. If it isn’t during skiing or snowboarding season, the area is still so beautiful it attracts the attention of so many people. Investing in a chalet won’t disappoint. They’re huge, open planned whilst still being warm and cosy. The property isn’t too expensive, but it is easy to make your money back, with the location bringing in all sorts of people, from groups of friends to families, to big parties. You’ll always be booked up, and it makes for a lovely holiday destination for yourself whenever you fancy it.

 

Rome

Rome is one of the most stunning destinations in the world. It’s full of so much history, and it attracts loved up couples and history buffs from all over the world. You’ll definitely not be short of people wanting to rent here. As it’s only a short stay sort of destination, it might be worth utilising things such as AirBnb once you’ve purchased a property, to help rent yours out. You can get a lot of space for rather cheap and is definitely a worthwhile investment.

For more property articles, read more here on Magical Penny

 

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Avoid The Shopping Traps

by Adam on September 20, 2017

shopping tips for supermarketsIt’s the back to school season.

It’s nearly Christmas.

It’s the last sales before Halloween.

It’s Black Friday.

There’s always a reason to go shopping.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a very good reason. For a lot of customers, a trip to the shopping centre can have catastrophic results for their bank account. In fact, you don’t even need to go to the shopping centre. Nowadays everyone can shop comfortably from the comfort of their home via eCommerce websites, or even on the go, using their phone. In financial terms, shopping is a poor investment that is likely to bankrupt your budget if you’re not careful. But it is also an indispensable element of everyday life. In short, how do you improve your shopping habits for the sake of your finances?

window shoppingOops, I did it again

Browsing, whether physically window shopping or from a digital screen, can be a dangerous experience. If you’re not careful you can end up buying a lot of items that you didn’t even need in the first place and that you can’t afford. Did you know, for example, that the main reason for quick no guarantor loans, such as the ones from New Horizons, is to buy high-tech devices. It’s no coincidence that credit scores take a negative hit at around the time Apple or Samsung presents their latest smartphone. Sometimes, you feel trapped into buying because the shop assistant is insistent. Sometimes it’s your response to social pressure. But this has to stop!

Become an organised shopper

You can’t avoid shopping. But you can become an organised shopper, starting from your grocery list to your trip to the shopping centre list. Souq Planet has calculated that making a shopping list can save you up to 25% on the final bill. Let’s imagine that you do your grocery shopping every week: at the end of the month, you’ve saved the price of an entire shopping trip.

Can you do it yourself?

Have you ever thought that you don’t always need to buy new items? To take a simple example, if you are considering redecorating your home, you could try your hand at some clever DIY tricks instead of buying everything new. Being crafty can save you a lot of money in the long term, and it’s also a fun hobby if you love working with your hands. Old furniture can get a breeze of fresh air with a new coat of paint – and you can spend less than £15 on revamping a cabinet. Surely that’s cheaper than buying everything new.  

Make money out of your excess

Everyone buys items they don’t need, even though keeping a shopping list helps you to reduce the risk of cluttering your home and your finances with unwanted items. But you could turn what you don’t need into money. eBay is a good platform to start selling your prized possessions – assuming you provide an honest description and a fair starting bid. Unless they are collectors, items sold on eBay won’t go at the price you’ve paid for them. But it’s a way of getting your finances in order while decluttering.

Avoiding the trap of a shopping trip is a mixture of skills: organisation, creativity and knowing what to sell. From preventive actions to quick fixes, you can learn to turn shopping into a positive investment in future.

 

For more spending tips read more Spending articles here on Magical Penny

 

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