Month : June 2012

Guest Post

Eco-Friendly Offices: Improving Resource Efficiency

Next to industries which carry a high consumption of natural gasses and produce surplus amounts of chemical waste, office based businesses can seem insignificant with regards to ecological efficiency.

As a country we are becoming progressively cognisant of the impact our individual actions have on our environment. With this in mind, a workforce of one or more, regardless of the nature of your business, can make small eco-friendly improvements to aid positive conservational changes.

Irrespective of the nature of your industry, concurring with British Gas, ‘we all need to use less energy, reduce our energy costs, increase or efficiency and comply with new EU Directives and legislation.’

While eco-friendly practises may not seem like a top priority for within your organisational operations, simple changes have been proven to benefit businesses as well as the environment. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) states that: ‘UK businesses could save around £23 billion per year by making simple changes to use resources more efficiently and help protect the environment’.

In addition to immediate cost reduction, enhancing your business through ecological innovation can drive in new custom. Due to the apparent sustainable systems within your organisation, expect an upturn in capital.

Making changes with your resources can be time and cost efficient. Business energy from British Gas comes complete with Energy360 – a collection of services, products and facilities to simplify implementing and maintaining conservational customs within your workplace, promising to reduce your energy expenditure by ten per cent.

Energy suppliers now offer advisory services for business customers for bespoke guidance on ‘going green’. Recommending ways to improve your carbon footprint by reducing your energy consumption will lower the cost to your business as well as the environment.

Paying for your actual electric usage will eradicate any estimated bills and open the door for energy insight facilities to be exploited. Once Smart Meters are installed to measure your business energy from British Gas, your company can manage and manipulate resources through services such as Business Energy Insight™.

According to a recent report by British Gas, ‘companies typically spend as much as 46% of their energy usage outside of business hours.’ Offices can easily fall culprit to excessive expenditure, which is providentially an issue that can be easily rectified.

Instigate policies and procedures within your workplace to cut energy costs and consumption. Basic briefs for staff members will ensure a reduction in resource dissipation.

Making workers responsible for turning off electric equipment, computers and office machinery as office hours come to a close can make a huge difference. Business Link suggests that just one computer, left on for 24 hours costs £50 a year. Shutting screens and processors down completely every evening can save £35 a year per computer.

Regulating the temperature in your offices is an effective way to cut costs and develop the energy efficiency within your organisation. Before turning on the air conditioning or the heating in your office, consider free or frugal ways to maintain room temperatures. Opening and shutting doors can restrict any draft or breeze to encourage a consistent office climate.

 

Outside of stunning summers, complaints of stuffy working environments can be overcome during spring and autumn by opening windows and doors to encourage a cost-free flow of fresh air through the building.

During winter months, close doors and windows and turn down the office thermostat one or two degrees lower. Lowering the office temperature by just one degree C ‘can cut your heating bill by 8 per cent’ according to Business Link.

Paper is a staple product for all offices and is one of the most wasted resources. Whether you buy your own paper or employ an office manager to request supplies, opt for reams with a high recycled content. Placing paper bins in each office will urge employees to use the correct recycling methods.

While this will promote environmentally friendly systems, using paper sparingly is an economical advantage for your business. Paper costs alone for office work can be extortionate; promote electronic means of communication and reduce any printing to a minimum to save on paper, ink and toners.

Look past rudimentary recycling options and keep waste paper as scrap. Create a notepad using bulldog clips for notes or telephone logs.

All businesses can play a part in the improvement of our country’s energy efficiency. Small steps by everyone will encourage a monumental change for the future of our environment, and our current company accounts. 

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Guest Post

What are the Benefits of creating a Personal Budget?

Creating a personal budget can help you to create good money habits for a future of financial freedom. Budgeting can often be the key to keeping yourself from accumulating unnecessary debt and financial struggles. Creating a personal budget, however, will only be beneficial if it is successful. Creating a successful budget can help you to better understand the incomings and outgoings of your finances. One of the most common reasons as to why people become in debt is simply because they are spending more than they are earning. Better understanding your finances can help you to prevent overspending and focus on budgeting for the income that you do receive. Apart from helping you to better understand your finances, a personal budget can also assist you in making the best possible financial decisions throughout your life by making smarter choices with your money.

For your personal budget to be most beneficial, consider using a free online budgeting calculator to create a more realistic and accurate budget. In today’s ever growing world of technological advancements, it has never been easier to find online budgeting tools. A budget planner calculator can assist in ensuring that you include all expenses, not matter how small, helping you to get the most out of your new budget. By using a budget planner calculator, you are able to better manage your finances and more easily understand where your money is being spent. A successful personal budget can assist you in planning and making the most positive financial decisions to help you save money.

Creating a personal budget can also help you to save money. Most people, throughout their lives, will have goals or aspirations that are often dependant on money; for example, acquiring the money for a house deposit, travelling overseas or buying a new car. Without saving money, we are often unable to achieve any of these life goals. Including a savings plan within your personal budget can help you to save money not only for your life goals, but also for unanticipated expenses that may arise. Savings money can help us to decrease the chances of accumulating further debts, should an unexpected expense occur. People who are facing debt often have to consider solutions such as mortgage refinancing or consolidation loans. Creating and maintaining a successful budget can help you to prevent the accumulation of unnecessary debt and eliminate the stress and anxiety that comes with this.

Formulating a personal budget can often be a time consuming task, but the benefits most definitely outweigh your time spent. Seeking the help of a debt solutions specialist can often help you to create a more successful and accurate personal budget, often leading to a more positive financial situation. Whether you are currently struggling with debt or just want to be better prepared for your future, creating a personal budget can help you to achieve financial freedom.

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Guest Post

How to Design a Proper Monthly Budget Plan

Designing a proper monthly budget plan is one of the primary tasks involved in your personal money management system. Budgeting becomes all the more essential as you need to fit in all your expenses within the salary that you get once a month. Any disparity in the ratio of income and expenditure can lead you to debts. Thus, it an essential task that you cannot surpass by any means. Having a proper monthly budget not only makes duly payments affordable but also makes life tension free.

Thus keeping all these in mind listed below are few of the things that you need to keep in mind if you want to frame a proper monthly budget for your household:

  1. Have a common date for payment of bills: There are chances of defaulting on loans and bills mostly when there are different dates allotted for payment of bills. It is thus advisable that you set a common date for payment of bills. Just after you get your salary sit down a list down all the bills together. Decide on a date and make all the payments together. This will make things easier and systematic. You can also have some of the bills automatically deducted from your account in order to avoid defaults.
  2. Allot cash payments for other expenses:  The items which are not included in the bills such as grocery shopping, clothes, college fees, phone bills should be paid in cash if possible. This saves you from adding expenses to your credit cards which may further lead you to debts. It is often seen that when you buy with cash you tend to buy less as there is restriction on the cash limit.
  3. Split up your expenses: Spending all of your money in the first week can give you hard time during the end of the month. A good idea to solve this issue is to divide your remaining salary amount into smaller amounts for each week. You should also keep a check on your spending and stick to the amount allotted for the week. In this way you will not overspend and will also not get into financial crunch at the later period.
  4. Do not cross your spending limits: Overspending can be a primary reason for getting into financial problems. You should know your income level and should determine your spending limit accordingly. Even if you spend stick to that predetermined limit only and not overspend. Spend in cash whenever possible as that way you will spend less. Have funds allocated for every category of expense and spend only that particular amount.
  5. Update your budget timely: Sometimes with good offers you can save a lot more than what you actually calculated. However you need to have knowledge about such offers and update your budget accordingly. If at some section you are able to save more allocate that funds for some other section or transfer it to your savings. It is thus important to review your monthly budget from time to time.

Author bio:  Jonny Pean is a financial consultant and writer for EasyFinance.com. He helps people to tackle their financial problems related to loans, personal finance management and home equity issues.

Guest Post

Saving Money with Voucher Codes

Supermarkets often release new vouchers and deals on a weekly basis. One of the worlds’ favourite supermarkets is Marks and Spencer, and although their products are premium price, you can always pick up a voucher code to receive discounts.

Businesses and retailers are actively trying to push online sales. You can take advantage of this by buying more online. In fact you’ll find that a lot of companies have deals on first online orders, online bulk orders and more.

A great way to save money is to set up email alerts. Register with discount websites to get exclusive offers from your favourite retailers. For example, a lot of retailers won’t promote their offers in store, meaning they are only available online.

Download smart-phone Apps. Apps are downloadable on most new phones. It’s worth downloading coupon code phone applications to check discounts whilst you’re out and about.

Transport to your local store such as the bus and tube services can be extremely expensive. So if you can, you should benefit from free order deals which can be found quite frequently.

Guest Post

Reduce Your Energy Bills and Boost Your Cash Flow

Times are hard. The price of living is ever increasing and household expenses can make it near impossible for families to indulge in paid leisure activities. The strain of finding the balance between maintaining a happy home, meeting bill payments and ­­­enjoying life experiences is becoming increasingly difficult.

Horizons, the foodservice consultancy, recently released a report surrounding 2011 dining figures which states that there has been a further decline in the amount of individuals who are choosing to eat out. 2011 saw a massive 26 per cent year-on-year decrease, with a huge 92 per cent of diners spending less than £25 per meal.

Statistics such as these reflect our current state of living. As many members of the Great British public struggle to pay monthly food bills, dining out and days away can seem like a pipedream. Little energy efficient changes within your household can make a big difference.

Understanding your family’s water, gas and electric usage is the first step to reducing your monthly outgoings. Staying with the same supplier doesn’t always secure the best prices. Loyalty isn’t always rewarded, and with great deals from companies such as British Gas on fixed rate, fixed term contracts, you might find switching the most cost efficient option for you.

When selecting a supplier, features within energy packages can potentially cut your expenses. British Gas Smart Meters and energy efficiency experts offer individual insight into your energy consumption. This small changes can be made within your daily routine to save you money while benefiting the environment.

British Gas Smart Meters are currently being installed by experts across the country, with British Gas committed to installing an impressive two million meters by the end of the year. Much more than a fancy gadget, Smart Meters allow customers to monitor and manage their energy usage by gaining an understanding of how and when they rely on resources.

This innovation in home energy comes hand in hand with recent legal commitments made by British Gas and five other leading UK energy suppliers. By autumn 2012 providers have promised to offer customers honest tariffs which are reflective of their energy usage. This alone is likely to reduce energy bills throughout the country.

A recent statement from the Cabinet Office highlighted that: ‘There are more than 120 different tariffs. Currently, seven out of 10 people aren’t on the best tariff for them.’

It continued, ‘despite the amount of energy they use varying over time… In 2010, 74 per cent of people did not change their tariff.’

Before the system is in full swing, it may be beneficial to ring your energy supplier and ask for an assessment of your current consumption. From this, customer service advisors should be able to offer guidance on the most suitable tariff for you.

In an extension to the information surrounding tariff solutions, Nick Clegg emphasised our current position:

‘We are undergoing a profound transformation within our economy. And for the first time ever our economic and environmental mantras are exactly the same: waste not, want not.’

This very mantra should be applied to the way you use energy around your home. By considering ecological sustainability, you will see a fall in the cost of your gas, electric and water.

Change all lighting in the home to energy saving bulbs, which are now available widely for much less than their original price. Energy bulbs will save you money progressively over periods of time due to the reduction in wattage and the lifespan of the light bulbs. In comparison to the one year lifespan of a standard bulb, energy saving bulbs can last well over ten years.

Turning your thermostat down just 1 degree C can save approximately £55 a year. Temperatures within the home can also be managed by shutting doors to particularly cold rooms in the house and opening and closing windows to encourage airflow. Draft stoppers are useful accessories which can ensure any warm air is trapped in living areas and cold breezes are kept out.

British Gas Smart Meters are making their way nationwide this year. With so many economic and environmental changes being enforced by government, 2012 is the best time to switch supplier. Monitor and manage your own consumption, take control of your individual energy efficiency, reduce your bills and boost your cash flow.

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