Pay calculator for financial management

One of the things I did when taking control of my financial expenditure and budgeting my money was created an Excel spreadsheet. I used this as a Pay Calculator for my financial management. It helps when you’re tracking every single penny you spend, because you can see all the figures at a glance. Where you’re spending too much, where you aren’t spending enough. Where you can save.

When filling this file in, you have to be 100% honest, and input every single number. If you’re lucky, you’ll have most things on a direct debit, it makes things easier. If not you have to manually input them into the pay calculator.

Please find attached this Microsoft Excel file. Which you can use for budgeting and sorting out your finances.

http://andrewhope.co.uk/~downloads/wordpress-files/financial-calculator.xls

It’s fairly self explanatory

  • Standard household bills input into the left column
  • Any extra money in right-hand side column
  • Your standard wage / benefits goes in the middle section

The pay calculator will then work out the rest for you, and also show you what money you will have left over for the month.

For me personally credit card / loans where my main issue. I’ve been working on restoring my credit rating so I could get a consolidation loan to free up £100 per month off my wage. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re counting pennies and budgeting, an extra £100 that you no longer spending is a hell of a lot of free money to play with. Also I paid off one of my credit cards.

This has helped me with financial freedom, I’m slowly getting there.

Views – 23

money saving – changing bulbs to led

I’m always interested in saving money at home. I’ve known for a while that changing my household LED bulbs would save me some money. I’ve finally finished changing all of the bulbs in the household to LED now, so thought I’d write this article to document the prices. A lot of people who aren’t converted believe LED lighting isn’t good. It’s very good and can produce crystal white light in the house. I’ve also converted my mother to use LED lighting now she has found out how much it saves me.

One of the first things that I tackled was my lighting. Traditional (Halogen) lights in the house are very power hungry, times have changed and modern lighting (LED) is now available, which normally uses around 25% of the power that a “Traditional” light-bulb uses.

A 60W Halogen light uses around 60W in power. An LED equivalent uses around 10-15w in power. It doesn’t seem much, but when you add up how often the lights are used, and apply some basic maths formulas. You realise just how bad your household bills are affected by the smallest change in cost.

You can see in the table below, that over the cost of an entire year the bulbs cost me approximately £1.45 per month to run, compared to £13.88 to run per month. For reference, if you want to Calculate just how much your bulbs cost you over the year, this is the formula below

(W x H x 365)/1000 – Multiplied by electric cost per KW/h

An example bulb (15W LED, that is used for 2 hours per day, but used 90 days of the year)
You can work this out for any number of bulbs, just break it down by each bulb per fitting

15 x 2 x 90 = 2,700W of power – divide this by 1000 to convert to KW/h = 2.7 KW/h
Multiply by your cost of electricity (for me it’s £0.14 per KW/h) – excluding the standing charge
Cost to run this 1 LED for above time period = £0.378 per “year” (2.7 x 0.14)

In total I have spent around £30 to replace all of the bulbs (the ones I buy are from ASDA). As you can see below, the costs are made back within the first year of ownership.

If you also take into account the lifespan of the bulbs (LED – 25,000 hours) vs (Halogen – 1,000 hours). It usually costs you even more because you have to buy more bulbs to replace the Halogen ones as they fail.

Hopefully the information below should help you convert to LED. It’s a great money saving tip and simply adding an extra £2 per month onto your shopping bill buying 1 or 2 bulbs at a time can have a lasting effect for you over the years.

LED Lighting Comparison

ROOMORIGINAL BULB (Wattage)

( ) = Total power usage
NEW BULB
(Wattage)

[ ] = Equivalent power
WATTAGE
SAVING
Approx usage (Hrs/year)

( ) = Hours per day
Annual KW/h

Formula =
(Bulb Power (W) * Hrs per Day * 365) / 1000

( ) = Halogen KW/h
Annual Electric Cost @ 0.14 per kw/h

LED listed

( ) = Halogen Cost
Bedroom 13 x 50W (150W)3 x 5W (15W)
[ 50W ]
135W2920
(8)
43.8 (438)£6.13 (£61.32)
Bedroom 24 x 30W (120W)4 x 3.7W (14.8W)
[ 40W ]
105.2W182.5
(0.5 - 30 Min)
2.701 (21.9)£0.37 (£3.06)
Bathroom1 x 20W (20W)1 x 9.4W (9.4W)
[60W ]
10.6W365
(1)
3.431 (7.3)£0.48 (£1.02)
Landing3 x 50W (150W)3 x 5W (15W)
[ 50W ]
135W365
(1)
5.475 (54.75)£0.76 (£7.66)
Stairs3 x 30W (90W)3 x 5W (15W)
[ 50W ]
75W365
(1)
5.475 (54.75)£0.76 (£7.66)
Kitchen (Main)4 x 50W (200W)4 x 5W (20W)
[ 50W ]
180W1095
(3)
21.9 (219)£3.06 (£30.66)
Kitchen (Sink)3 x 40W (120W)3 x 2.9W (8.7W)
[ 40W ]
101.3W730
(2)
6.351 (87.6)£0.88 (£12.26)
Living Room4 x 50W (200W)4 x 5W (20W)
[ 50W ]
180W1460
(4)
29.2 (292)£4.08 (£40.88)
Rear Door1 x 20W (20W)1 x 9.4W (9.4W)
[ 60W ]
10.6W182.5
(0.5 - 30 Min)
3.431 (7.3)£0.48 (£1.02)
Downstairs Toilet1 x 20W (20W)1 x 9.4W (9.4W)
[ 60W ]
10.6W182.5
(0.5 - 30 Min)
3.431 (7.3)£0.48 (£1.02)
TOTAL£17.48 (£166.56)
PER MONTH£1.45 (£13.88)

Views – 42

Brexit survival

One of the problems with Brexit is that it’s never happened before. No one knows what will happen, nor will they be able to predict correctly what will happen. They can only assume.

I myself have never been one to worry over things like this, although I do still have my own concerns because living in the North East of UK there’s one main employer here and I’m directly connected to them. So if the proverbial shit hits the fan, and they go under. How do I plan on Brexit survival if I lose my job?

Well. I can’t see I’m stacking myself for a zombie apocalypse, but the main priority is saving money and thinking long term solutions. Americans are known for their zombie apocalypse planning and end of the world scenarios for hoarding etc but everyone thinks that it’s a load of shit.

Well, the difference is in the UK, we are in an era where bad times have a very real possibility of coming. Brexit isn’t just a rumour, it’s already taken place. If everything goes to shit, there will be a lot of people unemployed, job competition will be fierce and the market will be saturated with desperate people who will do anything to survive. I probably shouldn’t post this article, but I don’t really give a fuck either since I like to prepare myself should the worst come to the worst. There’s always a bit of a mad streak hidden away in me anyway and I have plenty of frying pans around me 🙂

If nothing happens in a couple of years, you’ve got extra money to spend and a plentiful supply of food built up and some new skills. These are a couple of the things I’m planning

  • Food storage
  • Gardening

One of the main expenditures with a household budget is Food. A normal average households spends on average £200 per month from their salary… I live alone but usually average around £100 for everything (food, washing, etc) – I’m fairly simple anyway. So given that since the whole “Brexit” debate, nothing will really start showing up in the next 2 years or so that gives me 24 months of being able to overspend on tins. Doesn’t have to be excessive, but even adding another £10 per month onto my shopping gives me enough shopping to last at least 3 months and not worry about food supplies

If I had a chest freezer I’d focus on meats, I simply don’t have one yet. Although it might be something for long term solutions since meats are where you get most of your Proteins from.

Now, there’s no point going excessive. I have quite a large house though living by myself, so at the very least, I can afford to stash away a decent hoard of food in cupboards to take up some space. Make more room for food and keep a good supply going.

The food cupboard isn’t entirely because of Brexit. I’ve always wanted one in general, it’s just made me think a lot because of Brexit. There’s no harm in having a large food pantry where you can walk in and collect food when the weather has gone to shit and everyone is snowed under. You can calmly collect and keep going with everything.

I’ll be building up the essentials, tinned veggies, tinned meats, pasta, flours and oils. They all have a decent shelf life anyway. I figure an extra £4-500 worth of food over 2 years will be a decent 6 months to keep me going if the shit hits the fan and if there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve got extra food for a while without worrying or when I hit a bad payday with no overtime at work

Now, again the 2nd part of my theory is gardening. Gardening itself, is stress reduction and sustainable. For a rather cheap expense you get a long term solutions. You get free food just for a small amount of work and it helps calm you

Those are two things I’ll be taking up and blogging about long term when I start working on it

 

UPDATE:

As of 27/10 a post was made that Nissan have confirmed they will be building the new X-Trail and next model of Qashqai at Sunderland plant. This means for the immediate future jobs are safe.

 

As for this post, I’m still going to do my pantry and gardening, simply because I’ve always wanted one to start with. So keep an eye out for future posts 🙂

Views – 808

Electronic Payslips

Recently I’ve been having problems where I work regarding my pay. As such I’m constantly digging around for my old payslips. After long and hard looking for them I finally got sick and decided to make good use of the scanner I had lying around home and convert all my paper ones to electronic payslips.

Not only can I scan them into an electronic format, it means that with electronic payslips, I can also create my own archiving system for storing my information at a glance. This makes them easier to find, and I know should I need important information it is there straight away.

It’s a slow process, but something I’ll only need to do the once. The benefit is when it’s converted, I’ll be able to input all my salary details into a sheet straight away. Open them up or send on information as requested.

I’m also making good use of my printer which rarely gets used anyway. Now I can scan them and put them somewhere where I’ll forget them. The only important thing I’ll need now will be a secure USB pen to store them on like the datAshur which I will be buying next.

 

Consider doing it yourself, work smarter, not harder..

Views – 843

Limited Company Checklist

OK, this will be an ongoing post which I’m updating as I go along after starting up my new LTD company (TYNEWEARTECH LTD) giving advice for anyone else wanting to go the same route as I did without going self employed. Personally speaking I should really have gone self-employed and then did a self-assessment each year until I was fully established. I however wanted the company number so I could come across as more professional in image. I also wanted the company to be separate to keep my accounting simpler.

If there are errors found in this document, please feel free to highlight them to me. I am not an accountant I am a first time business owner. This is something I’m using to advice for questions and confusing things I encountered when I was first registering the business starting up

There are companies which do this all for you for around £125, and to be fair, the headache I had it’s probably an option if you have the money. I wanted to do it with as little as possible however so did everything myself.

Things you should consider as part of a Limited Company Checklist when you are starting up and the reasons why I consider them: – I have also listed the order I’d personally do them. So everything is setup (before hand)

  • Branding
  • Accounts & Finances
  • Business Insurance
  • Financial Software
  • Business Incorporation
    • Companies House Registration
    • Corporation Tax Registration
    • PAYE for Employers Registation

1a) Branding

With social media popular these days and all the rage, have you thought about consistent branding. It makes it easier for your customers to find you if all your pages had the same name. It took me a while to find the business name I wanted. I originally had another name planned, but the domain name was taken, so had to adapt and improvise until I finally settled on one.

You need to consider your business model, I didn’t personally want to have a lot of social media pages as I have a business to run, but I wanted enough social networks so that I could get adequate coverage. In the end I settled for social network branding pages covering what I deemed the important sites and ones which I would be using the most.

(Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Google+, eBay, Amazon)

I didn’t bother registering my domain name against a .com address, since I am UK based I have no interest for commercial branding. Although I may secure the domain for a later date. I made sure these were all available at first, by using sites which can check for branding across multiple networks. You can find these at sites such as knowem.com username checkers

 

1b) Business Incorporation

The first thing you will need to do when you register a limited company before you can start trading is register you business name with companies house this is so you are officially recognised as a company and will be treat as such. It also does a couple of additional things which are required for the business. When your business is being registered, you need to provide a one time payment fee of £15 to companies house to start-up your business. After you have successfully met all the requirements for starting up a business. When you have filled in your company date it will be submitted to HMRC. After a few days, you will receive a confirmation the business has been registered with them giving you details of your date of incorporation and also your all important company number

1c/1d) Corporation TAX and PAYE for Employers Registration

The problem you have when you are a limited company; is that you can’t just withdraw money from a business bank account and pay yourself when you feel like it as you could when self employed. When self employed it’s easy, all you do is a basic self-assessment every year showing your income / outgoings and as long as it’s listed properly it’s OK.

When you start up a LTD company, the business is a seperate entity. Which means even if you are a single person company, you have to register for TAX/PAYE because you need to pay yourself as an employee of your own company.

There are multiple methods to do this, I won’t go into detail in the exact steps but make good use of the GOV.UK website because it gives you all the information you need when doing so. Basically you log in and tick the check boxes for services you want.

Once your information is submitted, you will then be sent two letters within 10 days

CT41G -This contains your company UTR code (needed for Corporation Tax)

HMRC PAYE Form – This contains your payroll code to pay employees

You can’t do one without the other, once you have both, you can supply information to your payroll software and then generate payslips / make payments to your employees via RTI submissions.

Additional Services

  • Activation Code (PAYE for Employers) – you will need to logon to Government Gateway to activate your PAYE service, other wise you will need to re register again. It uses the same details as the HMRC information

Views – 1056

Business Bank Account – Bad Credit

One of the major problems for myself, after registering my business. Is that my own “personal” credit score is rubbish. I know what caused this.

Now after registering my business, technically they’re separate entities. Unfortunately the major banks don’t see it that way. They only see it as debt you can’t look after. I applied for a business bank account with my existing provider and they rejected me.

Now, I know my business won’t be fully established for possibly 1-2 years, but I wanted everything separate so that it would make my finances easier to manage when it comes to the yearly tax calculations. So any basic account I could load up with money for outgoing payments (such as buying business supplies, stock) and receive incoming payments would do

 

In the end I went with Cashplus for my business bank account because they don’t do credit checks. When I eventually get a good enough credit rating I’ll swap to a major bank which offers better options for me and is more established. For now I can’t argue though. There will be a lot of work required. It is however really exciting at the same time. I haven’t felt this excited since I did contracting work

Views – 882

Fraudulent bank activity

One of the benefits of having a smart phone, I tend to be very religious when it comes to checking my bank statements through the app. As I’m working on reducing my outgoing expenses and paying off debts; I always tend to track my money.

I always have done it, but there was a recent activity on my credit card statement that made me a bit suspicious, it looked as if it was a fraudulent bank activity. It seemed that someone cloned the card.

I was about to call the bank today when I realised what it was. I made an on-line shopping order with my card for Tesco’. The store they were delivered from was the one which the purchase was made, I didn’t know this at the time however.

I only just realised whilst I was ringing my bank to let them know they may have to cancel my card. Good thing I remembered at the last minute

So while the action was completely unnecessary, it always helps to be vigilant and keeping an eye on your expenses. As sometimes the most normal action could lead you to horrible consequences without realising. In this instance my finances were fine it was just me being an idiot.

 

So, further forward, if you have a memory like a sieve like me, it may be worth jotting things down as a backup in a diary. So if you make a purchase, you can go back to it. I’m thinking of using a calender of a sort, so if I do something I can write down the value and go back to it at a later date.

We live in an age where it’s easy for people to steal your card details without you even realising it, better be safe than sorry.

Views – 671

Clearing debt

One of the problems I’ve experienced in the last year is I’ve accumulated a large amount of debt. I had my own debt anyway, but after taking out some car finance my credit rating with my existing debt went from Good to Poor. I’m now left with the long struggle of clearing down my debts and restoring my credit rating

Surprisingly the bank I’m with has now never been more than happier to contact me continuously because I have more funds going out than coming in.

Typically, all companies now use your credit score. The banks even use it when applying for loans. I’ve only been with them 20+ years so it’s not like they know how much I can afford or anything. It’s just “bam” and you’re done. No face to face with my bank now, just that’s it and get lost

I’m very religious when it comes to my finances, I know exactly what I owe, it’s all written down and where it goes how much comes out. So I know the exact figures I need

Part of the problem I experienced is I made the mistake on my birthday of taking some extra money out to celebrate (as I wasn’t paying a loan) but I forgot about the car finance. So the past few months I’ve been overdrawn with my bank by around £400 each month. Resulting in charges.

When my annual review comes for my overdraft, I think I’ll be increasing it.

I tried getting a Wonga payday loan to fix my short term issues. Paying the extra £100 each month is better than paying £300 + fees. Which would give me time to correct my finances. Alas, no! Wonga now uses credit scoring as they’re a “responsible lender” (with fucking high APR’s still) and because my credit rating is … shit they wouldn’t lend me it.

So high and dry with no source of help. I refuse to go bankrupt or anything of the sort. I just need to put my head down, get my thinking cap on and sort bills.

Currently I’m also overpaying 3/4 of my credit cards by £25 extra per month. It’s not much, but when your bank goes in negative the interest you pay off on the cards works out cheaper than with the bank. Plus I know I’m guaranteed to pay off at least £300 more each year from my cards.

I do actually win money gambling, I just don’t do it often. Even just £1 per day is £30 per month extra off my balances, which helps in the long term. Just slowly building it up and hoping for some luck. I’ve had a really bad string lately so looking for a change. I’m always for the positive attitude.

Along with my debt problems, I’ve recently changed energy suppliers as they were extortionate, I just checked my Gas and found I was over £250 in credit when they closed the account. I asked for a refund which should help with my bank charges and interest. I’m also going to close down all the accounts I don’t use to help recover lost expenditure alongside my credit cards. As currently it’s showing I have 5 open credit cards. I use 4 of them but it’s more source of borrowing. So I’m going to close it down and hopefully rebuild my credit a bit more. As I actually forgot I owned one card which would damage my rating.

I’m going to update the post more as I go, hopefully things will be more positive in the summer time. Need some stress free days for a change

Views – 789

Changing gas supplier

Recently after having extortionate gas supply bills and trying to reduce my outgoing expenditure I decided it was about time I started looking into changing my gas supplier

I’m currently with British Gas – lived in this house for the last 3 years with no change in circumstances other than cold winters. When I first moved in my gas supply was around £40 p/m and over the course it’s been building and building where it is now an average of £82 p/m with British Gas on their flexible payment scheme

After inputting my yearly usage according to British Gas (around 17,912kw/h) on uswitch.com the cheapest provider I liked the look of was Scottish Power.

 

With all the charges everything brought in worked out around £57 per month saving me a nifty £25 p/m or £300 per year in savings.

Plus after buying through quidco which redirected to uswitch I am also eligible for a £10 cashback from changing gas supplier for a single fuel (£20 or £30 if dual fuel)

 

 

Views – 906

Madbid

Overtime you may have heard constant references to “madbid” and how you can earn items at a fraction of the price of their real value. Is this possible at all, it’s certainly possible, you just need a bit of luck when using the madbid website.

 

The way the system works is that you pay for credits to bid on auction and then you are doing a live auction like eBay for the item. Each time you bid it allocates a set figure going up in pennies until everyone stops bidding.

 

So if 1000 people are watching an auction and each time someone “bids” when the timer reaches zero, it adds a few more seconds to the clock uses a few more credits and starts the ball rolling again. So when people finally win the item people have used maybe a few hundred to a few thousand credits (say £25-200) each per person, and then paid for the price they won the item at (say £50) then delivery. Madbid certainly doesn’t lose out, their site works in the same principals as the high APR companies on credit cards. They make a decent % on each sale (probably a few thousand %) so either way they don’t lose money

If you’re willing to take a gamble why not try out madbid for yourself and see if you can make a deal or two

 

Please note the above links use my referral code, it doesn’t harm you. Just helps me. So I’d appreciate if you register on the site you retain my code 🙂

 

I’ll make a post at a later date if I win any good stuff for cheap 🙂

Thank you

Views – 1371

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