Freelancing – The financial difficulties

No matter how skilled you are, you have to be good at business to make it work. You could be the best copywriter, web designer or photographer in the country, but if you can’t pick up the clients or sell your services at the right price, then you’re going to struggle.

There are often sudden dips in earnings for freelancers, but the more clients you pick up, the more security you gain. You can, however, charge clients a retention fee. This basically means that they can call on you at any time, and you will be ready to provide the service. They’re essentially ‘retaining your services’. This is something you should look into if you manage to find a good number of interested clients.

Remember a good service goes a long way, and most freelancers build their career on recommendations. You should never quit a full time job until you’ve built up your freelancing side business, because it can take months to get the business going. Make sure you’ve thought about your prices before you decide to go solo.

PayPal Friends and Family – Be Cautious

If you have a PayPal account, then you have probably heard of PayPal Friends and Family. It is essentially a service that allows family and friends to transfer money to each other. Some sellers will ask you to buy their goods this way, but you should be very careful.

They are basically asking you to do this because they do not want any sellers fees coming out of their PayPal account. This will happen if they use the normal, correct PayPal method. At the end of the day, if they are not your friends of family, then you shouldn’t buy any goods via this method. If you do choose to do as they ask, then PayPal Protection will not cover you; so always state you will only buy via PayPal (the normal method).

It’s not a scam as such, but it’s essentially a seller breaking the rules, so if you’re asked to pay this way, refuse!

Why do Online Banking systems crash / collapse?

Online bank systems such as have come under scrutiny in the last few years due to the amount of maintenance that the system has had to undergo. The reason being why these types of systems have had to under such a large amount of re-structuring in the last few years and months is down to the fact that on average, each day, these types of systems see up to 1,000,000 potential entry break points of unknown hackers trying to break the system. The security team behind something like the natwest online banking system, which has been running for a number of years now, must be extremely experienced and knowledgeable in being able to ward off any potential hackers, otherwise, the back could find itself in a sticking situation, especially if there has been a considerable amount of money taken from a number of large scale investor accounts, which sometimes does happen.

Payday Problems for HSBC Customers

Thousands of people with HSBC accounts have not been paid ahead of the bank holiday weekend due to a technical glitch. Around 275,000 payments to HSBC business customers have been affected. The bank are still investigating, though it is thought that the issue is linked to the national Bacs system. This means that other banks may also be affected, though it looks at the moment to be limited to HSBC.

Customers began to notice problems earlier this morning when payments failed to be made into their accounts. Numerous customers have reported struggling to get through to HSBC to ask for further advice, and many have been using social media to notify the bank of their difficulties. HSBC were originally not aware of the issue when customers began reporting problems at around 7.30 this morning.

These payment problems follow issues experienced by RBS earlier this year, when 600,000 of their payments failed.

Business Start-Up Loans

Start-up loans are a government initiative designed to help support new business starters and entrepreneurs. They’re available to people who are 18 years or over and living in the UK. If you have a business idea and need some support and financial help to get going, a start-up loan is an option you might want to consider.

The scheme is run by the start-up loans company, and help is offered throughout the process. Once you’ve registered, you will need to make a business plan, which a business advisor will provide you with on behalf of the loans company.

If your application is successful, you’ll come out with a fixed term low-cost loan. You can borrow up to £25,000, for between 1 and 5 years. You can also take advantage of free mentoring and business advice – the loans company puts you in touch with qualified business professionals who are there to support you as you develop your business. The company also has a number of other resources which you can use, including business offers and a start-up toolkit.

Are you too young to be thinking about your pension?

There’s the old saying ‘you’re never too young to start saving’ and that’s the way you should always be thinking. Okay so when you hear the word ‘pension’ at 12 years old it isn’t going to mean much, but you’ll start contemplating it a bit more when you’re in your early 20s and that’s entirely normal.

Think of it this way, the earlier you start your pension, the more years you can build up that  money. Thinking about your retirement isn’t normal at 20, but that day will eventually come, and you shouldn’t forget how important a pension could be.

Many experts say you should put in to a pension as soon as you start earning, but there may be other items on your agenda; perhaps saving for a mortgage, saving to go travelling and planning a family. One day you’ll naturally realise it is right to start a pension and we’re not saying you have to do it now, we’re just staying you should keep it in mind.

Why Credit Scores Are Important and How To Find Out Your Own

Credit report

The function of credit scores are to assign a level of risk to you as a debtor or potential debtor, so that any potential creditor can have a certain level of confidence about any application for credit that you make. The creditor then use that credit score to determine what they are prepared to loan to you, what the interest rate will be on that loan and what payment plan they are prepared to accept.

If you’re somebody who has never had any debt before, any creditor who looks for your credit score will view you as a bit of a non-entity, and will likely refuse you any credit, particularly for big amounts of money like with a mortgage. To build your credit score in this situation is usually done by getting a small line of credit through a bank overdraft and/or a credit card, although this can take a few years so it is good to start as early as possible.

A credit rating is all important because you need a good credit score to get any help financing something, whether that be a new business, a new home, a new car or anything else. Some employers will even look at a potential employee’s credit score in order to get an idea of how trust worthy an individual is.

Because credit scores are very important, a lot of people like to have the opportunity to monitor their credit rating. In order to find out your credit score, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription with a company like experian, who use the same equation as creditors to figure out your score. Knowing this can allow you to systematically go about improving your stature with creditors, which is going to make building trust significantly easier.

How to Deal With False Charges

A lot of companies make mistakes when it comes to charging their customers, and for anyone who has been in that situation can attest to, it isn’t always easy to set the record straight. A lot of people will end up just paying the extra amount because they can’t be bothered to go through the standard rigmarole which companies put people through when they protest at a charge.

The first step with any contested payment is to collect all of the contract details and any other information regarding your situation (delivery information or whatever else). You can then use that information to argue your case with the company, or if that doesn’t work, you can provide a governing body/watchdog with that information so that they can help you to sort the situation out. Often you’ll find that the introduction of a watchdog is enough to convince the company in question to decide in your favour, but if it isn’t then the watchdog will continue to help you sort it out.

Raising Money Through Crowd Funding

Word Cloud "Crowd Funding"

The principal of crowd funding is that you get those who are interested in the project to help fund it, as an investment, so that it can come to fruition. It has a number of advantages when compared to a more typical type of investing for those seeking investment, as it leaves them with considerably more control, and because everybody has only contributed a small amount people are less invested in the result.

Crowd funding projects aren’t new, but thanks to the internet we have seen their occurences increase massively, particularly in certain areas.Some of the areas of industry and society in general where crowd funding is more common are areas where there is great public interest in it, such as crowd funded charity efforts, video game sequels, movie sequels and more. Some people even attempt to get crowd funding for holidays, although they rarely meet with success.


HSBC Job Cuts and Restructuring

HSBC announced recently that they will be cutting back even further, after their recent history of cutbacks, with 800 job cuts to be made, a restructuring of their branches, and also a rebranding exercise as well. Although this one sixth reduction of their UK workforce is concerning for many, for HSBC it is all just a part of their larger plan to refocus towards the east and China. The restructuring hasn’t just occurred here either, as Europe will likely see similar cutbacks.

Their plan to move the main operations of their corporation to China is mainly due to the typically stagnant growth seen in Europe, which is its current base of operations. China has seen regular growth, and while it has fluctuated over recent years and failed to meet their own targets, it does appear to be a better place for them to grow their business, hence the move.