Paul's Blog

Winners are Trackers

Jan 23, 2018
 
 
 

Are you in debt or looking to become financially free? If so, then you need to become a tracker. Why do I say that?  Because, in my experience, all winners are trackers. If you think of anybody who's achieved any kind of significant success in their life, it’s rarely been down to pure luck. Whether that's in the field of business, entertainment, or sport, it’s usually because they have all been trackers. They haven't just achieved great success just by chance. In most cases they’ve actually come up with a goal and they’ve also come up with a plan for how to get there. And most importantly of all, they've actually tracked how they are performing against that plan and made changes along the way so they can become the very best at what they do. Take the UK Olympic swimmer Tom Daley for example. Do you think he’d have been able to push himself as hard as he did if he didn’t know where he was aiming for and then tracked how...

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Smart Supermarket Shopping

Dec 12, 2017
 
 
 

Have you ever been to the supermarket and come out having spent at least a third more than you intended to before you went in?  I know I certainly have, and so this blog is about smart supermarket shopping – i.e. how you can avoid that happening in the first place. I’m going to give you three simple tips that you can adopt straight away.

 

1.     Check those cupboards

That’s right, the first tip starts even before you leave the house. The reason is most of us go shopping and quite often we have no idea of what we’ve got in those cupboards (or freezer for that matter). There are two things wrong with that. First, you’ll end up buying things that you don’t actually need, which means spending money unnecessarily and, second, because you’re not using up those things, it’s highly likely that they’ll linger until they go out of date.

By spending five minutes whizzing through the...

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Night Out Nightmares

Nov 04, 2017
 
 
 

I’d like to start off with a question. How many of you have woken up after a night out, not only with a sore head, but also with a huge hole your purse or wallet? I can certainly put my hand up to this one and I’ll bet I'm not alone. 

If you're trying to build a solid financial future, secure your financial independence, retire early, or get out of debt, if you keep falling into this trap, you're shooting yourself in the foot, so you need to do something about it. The good news is I'm not going tell you to stop going out, because where's the fun in that? However, I am going to give you three things you can do on a night out to spend dramatically less money.

 

Tip 1 - Pay with Cash

In this day and age it's so easy to hand over your credit or debit card at the bar, often using contactless payments, and you’re able to keep buying rounds and rounds of drinks without realising how much you’ve spent until you either check your statement...

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Why Paul Hates Payday Loans

Oct 07, 2017
 
 
 

Don't tell me. You've nearly reached the end of the month and you've run out of money, but you’ve still got bills to pay? What are you going to do? Are you considering payday loan? If so, I want you to stop. If you’ve been following by blogs, by now you’ll know that I'm not that keen on credit or loans in the first place, but of all the loans you can take out, payday loans are the worst. Why? Because the interest rates are so phenomenally high. Compared to other types of loans or credit cards, where the interest rates are typically between 8-20%, quite often the rates on payday loans can run into hundreds or, at the extreme, even thousands of per cent. Payday loan companies take advantage of people who have little other option and charge them excessive amounts of interest which they can’t really afford to pay. To me, that’s just not right.

However, the good news is that there is another way. With a little bit of forward thinking we do...

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Dealing With The Unexpected

Sep 23, 2017
 
 
 

For a minute, I want you to imagine that something terrible has just happened. Perhaps you’ve just received an unexpected bill from the tax man, perhaps the washing machine has just blown up, or perhaps the car's just broken down. What are you going to do if you don't have any savings? I know what happens for most people, and that is they usually reach for their credit cards.

Of course credit cards can seem like a good idea in these situations because using them means that you can get the car back on the road or get the washing machine fixed. But the problem is, if you're trying to improve your finances, it’s these unexpected events which quite often derail our plans and it make it very difficult to get back on track. Why? Because when you use a credit card to pay for something, you’re only delaying that expense until the end of the month. More often than not, if you’re in that situation, not only can’t you afford to pay...

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Cash Now vs. Cash Later

Sep 09, 2017
 
 
 

We all want to enjoy our lives right now. After all, we work hard, so it’s natural that we might want to treat ourselves every now and again. Whilst that’s fine up to a point, many people resort to using credit cards to buy such treats and that’s usually where the problems start, because most of us find ourselves buying things without having any plan to pay for them down the line. Whilst that might not seem to cause a problem in the short term, in the longer term we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot.

This blog is therefore all about balance; that balance between having cash now and the life you want to live now, versus the life you want to live later. Sure, we absolutely need to enjoy life today but we also need to have a very clear idea of what we want our later life to look like in terms of lifestyle, and then we need to think about how much money we’re going to need to facilitate that lifestyle so that we can start putting...

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Track Your Spending Automatically

Aug 28, 2017
 
 
 

However well-intentioned you are, whatever kind of financial plans you put in place, the problem comes when you’re out in the real world, living day to day. It becomes very difficult to keep on top of your money because there’s so many other temptations around us and actually, it takes time, discipline and, to be honest, it’s also not much fun. Well, I’ve got some good news for you. There are a couple of things you can do today to track your spending automatically.

 

Set Up Multiple Bank Accounts & Use standing orders

I want you to set up a separate bank account for your day-to-day spending money - That’s the going out money, the grocery money, everything that you spend when you’re out and about. Also, if you haven’t already got one, I want you to set up a separate bank account for your savings and then I want you to do one really powerful thing; that is work out in advance how much you can afford to set aside for...

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Holiday Spending – How to have fun without breaking the bank

Aug 11, 2017
 
 

 

I’m sure you’re familiar with this scenario. You go on holiday and you’re so excited. You’ve been looking forward to it for weeks or months and when you finally get off that plane all you really want to do is to let your hair down, to relax and yes, you also want to treat yourself because you’ve worked very hard. That’s great, and of course perfectly understandable. However, if you’re trying to build a solid financial future then giving yourself carte blanche to spend whatever you like on holiday is not perhaps the best way to go about it. And, actually, I’ve worked with many people who have done very well in terms of saving for their future or paying off their debts for several months but then they go away on holiday and, without even realizing it, almost end up blowing their whole plan. So I don’t mean to be Mr. Doom and Gloom but if you’re going on holiday there’s just a couple of things that...

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Saving With Tomorrow’s Money

Aug 02, 2017
 
 

 

If you want to start putting some money aside for your financial future, it can be quite difficult, can’t it? Because you’re already used to living within the means that you currently have, if, all of a sudden, you have to carve out some money to put aside for the future, it’s a real challenge because you’re going to have to make some changes to what you’re spending right now. Now, I’m not suggesting you don’t do that because saving is incredibly important, but I am suggesting that there’s also another way that you can make a substantial difference to your future and that is by saving with tomorrow’s money.

A few months ago I came across a great piece of research by two behavioural economists called Benartzi and Taylor. They asked a group of people one very simple question, namely, what would you like to eat one week from today? Would you like to eat a banana? Or would you like to eat a bar of chocolate?...

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Struggling to Save? Pay Yourself First!

Jul 25, 2017
 
 

We all have great intentions. We get paid at the beginning of the month. We spend money throughout the month and we hope that at the end of the month there’ll be some money left over and, if all goes to plan, you’ll save whatever is left into a separate savings account so you can build a nice little nest egg for your future. That’s great in theory, but I’m going to ask you one important question - how often are you able to do that? How often do you get to the end of the month and there is actually money left over? I’m sure for most of us, the reality is that there is a little bit too much month rather than money and that’s where the problem comes.

So I want you today to make one fundamental change to your saving habits. I want you to start paying yourself first. Yes, I want you to think in advance about how much money you believe you can set aside each month for your financial future and I want you to set up a standing order and...

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