Family Budgeting – Top Tips and Strategies

The cost of living today is high and many families are feeling the pinch. If you’re struggling to make it to payday month after month, there are a few tips which can help you to save and cut back on unnecessary costs.

Here, you’ll discover some of the top tips and strategies you can follow for a healthier family budget.

Check whether you’re entitled to financial help

Many families are surprised to find that they’re actually entitled to financial help from the government. There are lots of online calculator tools you can use to check your eligibility. For example, in the UK, families can potentially benefit from tax credits, Universal Credit and other financial help schemes. In America, there’s the TANF, as well as independent family aid from organisations such as Aubrey Rose.

So, check whether you are currently eligible for financial aid in your residing country as you might just be surprised.

Clever shopping

One of the biggest ways you can save money is through clever shopping. That means, don’t simply buy the first thing you see. Shop around and see if it’s any cheaper elsewhere. Only buy the things you really need too. Any luxuries should be cut back. You can see just how much you could save by keeping a diary of everything you spend for a month. Then, add up the amount you spent on things such as entertainment, and see where you can cut back.

If you need to find a large lump sum to replace something big that’s broken, it could help to get a secured loan from a company such as Ocean Finance. You’ll be able to spread the cost and replace the item when you need to.

Switch utility suppliers

As well as shopping around for everyday goods, you’ll also want to look at switching your utility supplier. You can save hundreds of pounds by shopping around for a cheaper deal. There are even websites which can compare all of the options for you, showing you the cheapest deal in your area.

Overall, taking care of the family, even on a generous income these days, can prove really difficult. That’s where tips like the ones above can prove invaluable. By shopping around, seeing what help you might be entitled to and switching utility suppliers, you’ll be amazed at how much you could save.

Exploring the Value of Independent Advice

Whether you want to join the 5.6 million strong army of small businesses owners in the UK or create a prolific investment portfolio, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to achieve this on your own.

In fact, you’ll most likely need to seek out some independent advice before launching your brand new endeavour, particularly if you’re entering into an entirely new market or an unfamiliar space.

The concept of independent advice is a malleable one, however, and we’ll explore this further below while asking where you should consider sourcing such guidance from.

Why Independent Advice is so Valuable

To illustrate the importance of independent and unbiased advice, let’s consider the example of a man who has designed a brand new and innovative product.

His aim is to bring this product to market, but before he begins this process he want to conduct some market research to gain feedback on his design.

The reason for this is simple; as inventors are often passionate and emotionally invested in the success of their product, making it difficult for them to appraise it objectively and identify its potential flaws.

This blind sightedness can prove extremely damaging over time, as it encourages inventors to invest more in their product without delivering the necessary improvements that can make it a success.

Not only this, but genuinely independent advice can offer you a unique perspective or range of perspectives on your product. This can be extremely insightful, while it may offer ideas that resonate with you and inspire highly beneficial modifications.

Where can you Really Source Independent Advice? 

Of course, the real issue here is identifying the best sources for independent advice, as objective analysis can hard to find for entrepreneurs (or investors).

Many aspiring inventors or business-owners tend to reach out to friends and family for advice, for example, but this is often a false economy. After all, these individuals tend to think that you’re great and want you to succeed in everything that you do, which in turn clouds their perspective and leads to the delivery of biased advice.

Even if they can see the flaws in your product, they may be uncomfortable when delivering these or offering a frank and brutal assessment.

Instead, inventors should also conduct market research amongst a random selection of people, who ideally belong to a target demographic and have no prior connection with you or your endeavours.

In the case of investors, you’ll also need to seek out an independent financial advisor such as Hymans Robertson. This ensures that you’re given a frank and objective analysis of your financial circumstances, and the type of investment options that can deliver a viable return in line with your risk profile and core expectations.

This represents the purest form of individual advice, and it’s something that can potentially make or break the success of your chosen venture in the future.

Splitting the Load: CEO Survival Tips

Running a business can be a lonely pursuit. While you have the advantage of not working a tough entry level job for entry level pay (as anyone in your customer service department will remind you), in return for a top-level salary you do have to turn your life over to your work. It’s far harder for a CEO, founder or other top-level decision-maker to leave their work in the office than it is for those further down the tree. With the responsibility for everyone in the company’s success, from shareholders expecting a return to staff expecting wages, resting ultimately on your shoulders, relaxation can be tough.

On top of the responsibility, there’s the reality that command is isolating. It’s a theme writers have tackled for centuries, and it’s a reality you will live.

All of these factors contribute to the phenomenon that is founder burnout: a deep state of exhaustion that takes years to recover from. No one likes waking up tired and going to work weighed by the feeling they have nothing left to give. Don’t let it cut short your entrepreneurial career. The key to long term survival is to spread the load a bit. The key decisions will still rest on your shoulders, but with expert input you can have more confidence in the decisions you’re taking, and you gain these experts as peers. You’re les isolated if you’re working with one or two expert consultants who have their own business reputation. You can discuss problems with them, and reach solutions without feeling like you’re stuck with no one to talk to.

Choosing which consultants to work with is an important issue to face. If you’re not discerning you could end up spending all your budget without much to show for it, so you need to put thought into this.

Market Research

If you’re just starting out, trying to attract new customers, or simply feel you don’t understand the people shopping with you, then Market Research is an important area to pursue. You can’t make good choices with your products or marketing unless you understand what your customers value, so building a relationship with a market research firm like Attest is a vital way to get the insights you need.

Legal Help

A businessman’s lawyer has long been his confidante and it’s not hard to see why: a lawyer’s career is founded on understanding complex issues and making careful judgements.

Building a relationship with a lawyer gets you more than just legal advice, it gives you a peer on your level who understands the pressure you’re under and can help to diffuse it. It’s steps like this that ensure your career will be long and successful.