Wednesday, July 12, 2017

24 Creative Ways to #Save #Money That You Haven't Thought Of

Saving money is never easy, and it can often feel like you have very few options. After all, you get a set amount of money every month from your job, you minus your bills and any other deductions, and then you try to save a portion of what is left. If money is tight as it is, it can make it feel like it is impossible to save. However, there are many different ways to save money; you simply need to get more creative with it. Luckily, we have plenty of great ideas to help you get started.
  1. Learn the 10-second rule – No, we aren’t referring to counting to ten when you get angry or when you have dropped food on the floor. What we are referring to is when you buy something when you are grocery shopping. Whenever you pick up an item, count to ten, and during this time you should ask yourself if you really need the item you have in your hands. Most of the time you will find that you don’t. Instead, but the money you would have spent into your savings account.

  1. Embrace meatless Mondays – Meat is incredibly expensive. If you can have one or two days per week that are meat-free, you will save yourself a considerable amount of money over the course of a month. You will also save money by ditching the red meat and opting for lean meats like turkey or chicken instead.
  2. Sell gift cards – Of course, there are plenty of companies that sell gift cards, but did you know that they buy cards too? There are a number of companies that are willing to provide you with cash in exchange for gift cards for a whole host of stores. This includes both physical and e-gift cards. So, next time you get a gift card for your birthday, don’t let it gather dust or simply spend it on something you don’t even want for the sake of using it. Trade it in for some cold hard cash instead.
  3. Apps, apps, and more apps – There are so many money-saving apps available today to help you manage your money better, as well as make money too.
  4. Grocery shop for gas savings – There is no denying that gas is incredibly costly. However, there are a lot of grocery stores that have fuel reward programs. You can fuel up for free by earning points on your groceries.
  5. Make your own gifts – Thanks to the likes of Pinterest and other online platforms it is easier to make your own gifts than ever before. Not only will this be a lot cheaper, but it is extremely thoughtful too, and bound to be something that the recipient appreciates.

  1. Bring your own cup to Starbucks – Of course, cutting out your daily coffee fix would be even better, but if you cannot manage that, at least take your own coffee cup. Certain coffee retailers such as Starbucks will offer you a small discount if you bring your own cup.
  2. Save your change Saving your change may be a suggestion you have heard about before, yet you may have been put off by it, as you assume it will take you ages to save anything substantial. Or, you may have good intentions, yet whenever you need to buy something small, you dip into your change pot? You can get piggy banks these days that you have to smash open in order to use the change. Invest in one of these, and that way you will only dip into your change pot when it is full to the brim.
  3. Cut down on trips to the hair salon or barber – You don’t need to spend a lot to get your hands on a complete hair cutting kit. You and your partner could learn to cut each other’s hair. Of course, this does come with risk involved; so don’t blame us if you end up with a massive chunk out of your hair. However, for men’s hair especially, this can be a great way to save money.
  4. Be the designated driver – Put your Friday and Saturday nights to good use instead of sitting at home and watching box set after box set. Instead, you can make sure everyone gets home safe while earning a bit of money in the process. Offer to drop your friends off at town and pick them up in the early hours.
  5. Get paid for losing weight – If you want to lose weight, what better motivation than getting paid for it? There are programs that will pay you for your weight loss. You simply need to sign up, set your goal and the amount of time you need to achieve it, and you can make money per month as a result.

  1. Unplug appliances – Do you leave your appliances plugged in all of the time? Even if they are not turned on, they can be utilizing phantom power. It is estimated that the typical home has anywhere from 20 to 40 devices that are burning phantom power.
  2. Take advantage of free events – If you check your local city website or newspaper, you will often find that there are free events that are taking place in your local community. This is an excellent way to get involved in great causes and have fun without spending.
  3. Use half – Chances are that you are using more laundry detergent, shampoo, and toothpaste than you need. If you half the amount you typically use, you will halve your costs as well, as you won’t need to replenish your supplies as regularly. You can also cut sponges and dishcloths in half so that they last twice as long.
  4. Make your own snacks – You should stop buying pre-packaged snacks. Although this can be convenient, you will pay a premium. Instead, make some snacks yourself, and bag them. Not only is this beneficial for monetary control, but portion control too.
  5. Use ATMs sparingly – A lot of ATMs will charge you for withdrawals, and so, if you make withdrawals little and often, you could end up with fees from your own bank and other banks. The best thing to do is budget how much you need for the week and go to the ATM on a Monday morning and draw out the week’s money then. This will also stop you from making unnecessary withdrawals and spending more than you need.
  6. Stay healthy – Needless to say, there are instances whereby staying healthy is literally impossible. You can’t help it if you have developed some sort of illness. However, you can make an effort to ensure that you do not fall ill and avoid sickness bugs and common colds. After all, being ill is expensive. You may not get paid if you miss work. Plus, you may need to pay someone to look after your kids, and you will have to stock up on medicine and other supplies for getting better.
  7. Sell console games you no longer use – You are probably aware that a lot of gaming stores offer an exchange service, but did you know that they will pay out cash as well as store credit? You will probably get a slightly lesser amount for choosing cash, but it will enable you to put the money away and save it.

  1. Get creative with your workouts Staying fit is important, but do you really need that expensive gym membership? Instead, why not watch exercise videos on YouTube or go for a run with one of your friends?
  2. Shop only one day per week – There are a number of benefits associated with only doing one shop per week. The first benefit is that it will seem like more of a chore. This may sound like a bad thing, but it is good for your finances, as it will mean you run your shopping trip as a business-like errand. Not only this, but you will use less gas, as you won’t make as many car trips.

  1. Fill up your tires – If your tires are not properly inflated, your car needs to work harder, which means you will burn more fuel. You need to ensure your tires are properly filled, so check the air regularly.
  2. Rent out a car – Another way to save money on your vehicle is to rent it out. If you live close to your office and you do not need to drive there every day or you have a flexible work schedule, you may find that your car is merely gathering dust a lot of the time. Instead, why not put it to good use by renting it out when you are not using it?
  3. Get a price adjustment – There is nothing more frustrating than buying something only to discover that it is in the sale a few days later. But, don’t fret; you can often get a price adjustment if the item has been reduced in price within a week or two of your purchase.
Pay annually – Most companies will offer you a lower payment if you make annual payments rather than monthly. This is typically the case for insurance. If you can afford it, pay in one lump sum to lock in a discount.

Ensure #Workplace #Safety by Carrying out an Effective Risk Assessment

As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep your workforce safe. Of course, accidents happen from time-to-time, but if they occur because of negligence or carelessness on your behalf, you could find yourself in big trouble. This is why you need to commit to providing a safe and healthy working environment. One of the ways to do this is by carrying out regular risk assessments.
What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is a careful and thorough evaluation of potential risks in the workplace. It enables you to determine whether you have taken enough precautions to ensure your workforce is safe, or whether you need to put more controls in place to prevent harm.
Why do you need to carry out a risk assessment?
Risk assessments are important because they protect your employees and your business, as well as ensuring you comply with the law. If you neglect your responsibility to do a risk assessment, and an accident occurs on-site as a consequence, you could find yourself facing a legal battle. Companies such as Siler Ingber Injury Lawyers help workers to claim compensation when they have been hurt because of their employer’s negligence. If the accident happened because of something that would have been flagged up if the risk assessment was carried out properly, you will be at fault for the person’s suffering, which will lead to hefty expenses and reputational damage. After all, why should the worker need to pay for medical expenses when they accident could have been avoided?
How to carry out a workplace risk assessment
To carry out an effective workplace risk assessment, there is a five-step process to follow.
Step 1: Identify any potential hazards
The first thing you need to do is determine whether there are any potential hazards. Hazards can be classified in a number of different ways. One option is to split them into mental, physical, biological, and chemical hazards.
  • Mental: Common examples include working with high-need clients, long hours, excess workload, and bullying.
  • Physical: Physical hazards in the workplace include the likes of machinery, dust, noise, slips and trips, awkward postures, and lifting.
  • Biological: This could be hepatitis, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases faced by workers in certain environments like hospitals, healthcare businesses and clinics.
  • Chemical: Common chemical hazards include aerosols, cleaning fluids, and asbestos.
Step 2: Work out who could be harmed and how
Now that you have identified the risks, you need to determine who is at risk. For instance, is it your full-time workers, part-time workers, clients, visitors, contract staff, or members or the public? You need to review all work processes and routines, in all areas and locations of your business. After all, the risks in one area of your workplace could be entirely different to another section.

Step 3: Evaluate the risks and take the necessary action
Step three involves assessing the risks carefully to determine how likely it is that each hazard could cause harm. You can rank hazards as high, moderate, or low risk. This will help you to determine what precautions you need to take to lower the level of risk. Of course, even if you have done everything possible to reduce the danger of a certain part of your business, some risk could remain. You need to make a note of this, and you need to make all workers aware as well.
Step 4: Record all of your findings
You need to keep a record of all of your findings. This is something that is required by law. Make sure the record incorporates details of any hazards, as well as the action taken to lower or eradicate the risk. By keeping a record, you can prove that the risk assessment has been carried out. Not only this, but you can use it as the basis for a later review of working practices. Make sure your findings are legible and presented properly. You should be able to read it as a working document; it should not be locked away for no one to see.
Step 5: Review the risk assessment
You cannot afford to remain stagnant in the workplace. Things change all of the time, and so your risk assessment will become out-of-date if you leave it in place for years on end. Instead, you need to review your risk assessment to make sure that the agreed safe working practices are continually applied, i.e. that line managers and supervisors respect the safety instructions passed down by the management. The risk assessment also needs to be reviewed to account for any new working practices, more demanding work targets, or new machinery.
Risk assessment mistakes you need to avoid
Last but not least, having a risk assessment is one thing, but using it effectively is another. Make sure you avoid the common risk assessment mistakes mentioned below to guarantee a safe and healthy workplace:
  • Not acting on your own recommendations Simply suggesting changes is not good enough. You need to implement them.
  • Using irrelevant off-the-shelf assessments – You can off-the-shelf assessments available online. If you use them, it is vital to make sure that they are suitable for your needs. If they include hazards that are not relevant to you, you need to delete them; otherwise, you will harm your credibility. Of course, you need to add any hazards that aren’t included too.
  • Not telling your workforce – It is wise to involve your workers in the assessment process. However, even if you don’t, you need to inform them of the outcomes. This is a legal requirement.
  • Only considering ‘normal’ operation – Most assessments go wrong because they assume that everything is operating as it should be. But how often does life run smoothly? There are often bumps in the road, such as chemical spillages or machinery becoming jammed. You need to consider these eventualities.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding what a risk assessment is, what needs to be included, why risk assessments are important, and what you should not be doing! Use this information to carry out risk assessments at your business, and you will protect your workers, as well as your company.