Friday, 22 September 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight is coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D combo packs on September 26, 2017

  “The best Transformers yet”
-The Telegraph

“Visually amazing non-stop action” –Chris Falin, FOX-TV

 Eye-Popping Spectacle Debuts September 26, 2017 on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and
Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Packs
5-Movie Blu-ray Collection Will Also be Available September 26
The Action Rolls Out Two Weeks Early on Digital HD September 12
HOLLYWOOD, Calif.  – Called “incredibly entertaining” (Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International) and filled with “non-stop action from start to finish” (Emily Engberg, ABC-TV, KSTP), director Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT explodes on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D Combo Packs September 26, 2017 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  The groundbreaking adventure will also be available as part of the TRANSFORMERS’ 5-MOVIE BLU-RAY COLLECTION arriving September 26.  The film arrives two weeks early on Digital HD September 12.

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT shatters the core myths of the TRANSFORMERS franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero.  Humans and TRANSFORMERS are at war, OPTIMUS PRIME is gone.  The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of TRANSFORMERS on Earth.  Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); BUMBLEBEE; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).  There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference.  In TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, the hunted will become heroes.  Heroes will become villains.  Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours. 

The latest installment in the global TRANSFORMERS franchise stars Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) and features a sensational supporting cast including Josh Duhamel (Transformers), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”), Isabela Moner (“100 Things to Do Before High School”), Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy), Santiago Caberera (“Salvation”), and Jerrod Carmichael (“The Carmichael Show”).

The TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D Combo Packs include a bonus disc with over 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes content and interviews.  Travel to Cybertron to explore the TRANSFORMERS home world, then visit the UK to delve into the locations used to bring the epic adventure to life.  In addition, go inside the secret mythology of the legendary robots in disguise, check out the incredible vehicles used in the film and much, much more. 

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT is Paramount Home Media’s first 4K Ultra HD release in Dolby Vision™, which enhances the home viewing experience by delivering greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors.  The film also boasts a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack* remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. 
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT Blu-ray Combo Pack The TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), English 5.1 Discrete Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Discrete Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Discrete Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:  

Blu-ray Disc 1
  • Feature film in high definition
Blu-ray Disc 2
  • Special Features:
            o   Merging Mythologies – Explore the secret TRANSFORMERS history    
            o   Climbing the Ranks - Military training
            o   The Royal Treatment: Transformers in the UK  
            o   Motors and Magic
            o   Alien Landscape: Cybertron
            o   One More Giant Effin’ Movie
  • Feature film in standard definition
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack Fans can enjoy the ultimate viewing experience with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes the two Blu-ray Discs detailed above, as well as an Ultra HD Disc presented in 4K Ultra HD with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), English 5.1 Discrete Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Discrete Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes the two Blu-ray Discs detailed above, as well as a Blu-ray 3D presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), English 5.1 Discrete Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Discrete Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT Single-Disc DVD The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Discrete Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the film in standard definition and access to a Digital HD copy of the film.

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT will also be available in a 5-movie Blu-ray Collection that includes TRANSFORMERS, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, as well as the bonus Blu-ray Disc detailed above and access to Digital HD copies of all five movies. Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: iTunes: Amazon:
About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.  PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, consumer products, and digital content for audiences in 180 countries and territories.  The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment and transactional digital distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles.  PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and transactional distribution across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies. 

About Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos delivers moving audio – sound that can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in three-dimensional space, including overhead. It brings entertainment alive all around the audience in a powerfully immersive and emotive experience. To learn more about Dolby Atmos, visit
About Dolby Vision
Dolby Vision transforms your TV experience with dramatic imaging—incredible brightness, contrast, and color that bring entertainment to life before your eyes via OTT online streaming, Ultra HD Blu-ray, broadcast, and gaming applications. To learn more about Dolby Vision, visit

How Heavy Is Your Child’s Backpack?

When kids carry more than 10% of their body weight, injuries can lead to health problems lasting into adulthood

Schools are in session across the U.S. and more than 79 million backpack-carrying students are settling into new routines – some of which include bringing the same items home each afternoon. Think the books and school supplies that your child is carrying in a backpack slung haphazardly across one shoulder are harmless? Think again. Heavy loads can cause injuries and low back pain that often lasts through adulthood.
“A child wearing a backpack incorrectly or that is too heavy can be contributing risk factors for discomfort, fatigue, muscle soreness, and musculoskeletal pain especially in the lower back,” says Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, clinical professor of occupational therapy at Boston University, and an expert on school ergonomics and healthy growth and development of school-age children.
Luckily, preventing discomfort and pain is simple. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers the following tips for keeping kids safe while toting books to and from school:
  • Always select a backpack that is the correct size for your child.
  • Make sure the height of the backpack extends from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to waist level, or slightly above the waist.
  • Always wear well-padded shoulder straps on both shoulders so the weight is evenly balanced.
  • Distribute weight evenly. Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back and balance materials so the child can easily stand up straight.
  • Wear the hip belt if the backpack has one, to improve balance and take some strain off sensitive neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Check that the child’s backpack weighs no more than 10% of his or her body weight. If it weighs more, determine what supplies can stay at home or at school each day to lessen the load.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy for the child, consider a book bag on wheels.

To learn more about National School Backpack Awareness Day, visit
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 213,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Teach Your Teen About Money In A Pinch

Many people are worried about what will happen if they are unable to meet a bill or a payment. More people are living from paycheck to paycheck than ever, and when it comes time to provide for your family, a loss of this regular income or too high a financial demand can face you feeling very demotivated from a fiscal standpoint.

One of the best ways for someone to go through life with a strong understanding of how to ethically behave with their finances is to be taught by their parent at a young age. For this reason, teaching and showing your older teenager the way money moves and how to provide for their household when money is tight can be one of the most beneficial things you can do.

If you are struggling financially, that doesn’t mean you need to hide that from your older teenagers. Many parents do to prevent them from worrying, and this is more than understandable when the child has grades or responsibilities which could become adversely affected by the financial needs of a household.

However, there is great opportunity here to teach them the value of being frugal in the hard times. Not only that, but teaching them how to gain money in a pinch can be valuable as well. Here are the best methods of doing so:

The Value of Work & A Paycheck

Many teenagers who have been comfortably looked after by their parents often identify what industry they’ve loved to work in, no matter how competitive, and strive for that only. While chasing dreams is admirable, it can often neglect the reality of needing to keep up with the payments that aren’t as easy to meet. Pursuing a career as an actor, musician or artist is usually supplemented by a part or full-time gig in bartending or hospitality, or another entry-level job which can provide them with a paycheck.

As an artist, this can be demotivating, to say the least. However, it’s important they go through this period to understand the exact value of working hard for what they get and the value of a paycheck. Teaching them your story and what they can expect, such as drawing up a mock income and expenditure lesson could help them get to grips with the world they face in their late 20’s. If attending college, it will also help them avoid the crushed feeling when they don’t ascertain their perfect job in the first days after graduation.


Teaching your child the benefits of having good credit can help them avoid the mistakes made from bad financial planning. Showing them the process of applying for a lucrative and helping them understand how this can build your credit if you act wisely can help them take a reasoned and rational approach to their finances. Seeing you go through this process will make it seem less scary, and help them understand that getting out of a financial pinch has many options of resolution, provided repayments are understood and available to be met.
With these tips, your teenager will likely be much more wise about their financial future.

Here’s How You Can Lower All Your Bills


Don’t work harder just to pay off those high bills. Instead, take action to lower those expenses. Many of us don’t realise how much we could be saving by investing in a few different tools. Here are just a few ways to drastically reduce your rates.

Go green

Going eco-friendly won’t just save the planet, it will save you money. There are endless ways to go green. When it comes to electricity bills, buying Energy Star rated appliances and halogen light bulbs can make a big difference – these use much less power whilst still providing the same task. When it comes to gas bill, insulation is the key way to lower your rates – the likes of double-glazed windows and loft insulation will contain heat more and have you reaching for the thermostat less.

It’s possible to go all the way and install water recycling systems and solar panels (the latter of which could prevent you from ever paying an electric bill again). A more economical car meanwhile will lower your road tax and have you paying for less fuel.


Shop around

Don’t settle with your current providers. If they start raising their rates, start shopping around to see if you could be paying a better deal. Sites such as are great for shopping for the best insurance deals, whilst sites like can save you money on your utility bills. Shop around every few years and see what deals are out there.

Up your insurance deductibles

Your deductible is the amount you’re willing to pay out of your own pocket before getting compensation from your insurer. For example, you may be willing to pay a couple hundred towards any car repairs before your insurance company has to pay up. Upping your deductible can dramatically lower your insurance rates. If you don’t make regular claims, this will save you a lot of money – just make sure you have the means to pay this deductible when disaster strikes.


Get a smart monitor

For helping to lower your energy rates, you could consider installing a smart monitor. This gives you constant readings of how much money you’re spending on gas and electricity. Seeing these costs has been found to lower people’s bills by 15%.  


Believe it or not, but you can sometimes lower rates simply by ringing up your providers and trying to negotiate a discount. With phone contracts, TV licenses and sometimes even insurance companies, threatening to leave may result in the company offering you lower rates to stay. Similarly, if bills are overdue, you can often ring up and negotiate an interest-free instalment plan for paying the amount back over a longer period of time – useful for if you’re having a bad financial month. Bartering of course will only get you so far and you won’t get away with it on repeat tries, but it’s worth trying at least once in each instance.

Snagging That Dream Home, Whilst Remaining Frugal

When you first moved into your home you loved it. Fast forward a couple of years and your circumstances have changed. You now need more space for your growing family.

You have spent months looking for the perfect family home. Everyday has seen you trawling the latest real estate listings. Finally, you think you have found the house of your dreams. But is it the right home for your family and is it frugal friendly?

The Perfect Home Checklist For Those On A Budget

Can You Afford It?

Before you get too emotionally attached to the new property, you need to check that you can actually afford it. The website has a helpful mortgage calculator which will give you an idea of how much money you can spend on your perfect home. You don’t want to stretch yourself too much.


Once you know that you can afford the property you need to check that it meets your other criteria. Looking for a home on a budget shouldn’t mean that you need to sacrifice living in a good neighborhood.  Location is often one of the most important factors in buying a new home. Is it a nice neighborhood? Are you close to good schools? Is it a safe place to live? Look at your neighbors yards. Are they clean and tidy, or is there trash laying around? If you buy a home in a good location then you know that it’s usually a solid long-term investment. A real estate agent will often tell you that it is best to buy the worst house on the best street. Buying a fixer-uper means that once you have made some home improvements you should see a return on your investment. It will also be easier to sell later on.  Never let the finish of a house sway you. Buying a beautiful home in a dodgy area because it fits your budget could be a big mistake. You always need to think about resale value and how easy it would be to sell your home on.


Moving home is an expensive business and that means you should be looking for a home that will last you 5 to 7 years. If you pack your own stuff then that will help save you some money. Just make sure you label your boxes clearly.  A more frugal way of moving would be to forget the removal guys and to use your friends instead! Reward them with some cold beers and they will be more than happy to help. You could also hold a yard sale. Get rid of those old clothes you no longer wear. The less you take to your new house, the less you have to pay to move.

Floor Plan

Do you like the floor plan of the home. Would it work well for you and your family? Would it make a warm and inviting home for your family? Are there enough bedrooms? If you have a young family then you might want a home with lots of open space so that they can play and you can keep an eye on the children. But you also want to bear in mind that when they are older they will be spending more time in their bedrooms. So are the bedrooms big enough? Is there enough storage for the family? If not look to see if there is room to add storage. You want a home that functions well for your family now and in the future. Also, is their the potential to rent out a room or the basement? This could provide you with a great source of cash that will help with the mortgage repayments.

Does It Make You Smile?

Finally, being on a budget doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your dream home. You want a home that makes you feel happy as soon as you step inside.  Is it a home that you can picture yourself living in? Sometimes you have to trust your gut as well as your checklist. When you have found the right house, you just know it. 

The Real Reason You're Drowning In Debt

Debt is one of every parent's worst fear. It threatens your financial ability to look after and provide for your children, and that in itself is enough to make you never want to experience it, but unfortunately, getting stuck in debt is a lot easier than people seem to expect. People think it will only happen if you're terrible with money and never pay attention to what you're spending, but in fact, even the most minor of decisions can end up leaving a huge negative impact, so it's important to know how to avoid this as much as possible.
Here are some of the most common reasons.

No communication skills.
If you have a partner, it's essential that you both communicate openly about your finances, especially if you're living together. You should always feel as though you can openly bring up your financial situation when you need to - even if there isn't an issue - talk about your different spending styles, future goals and your problem areas. Discuss budgets and figure out who's covering what costs. Will you alternate, or will you split everything down the middle? Look on for tips on starting the conversation.

If you've just come out of a job, a lot of you may believe it will only be temporary. - A couple of weeks to a month max before you find something else. - While this positive thinking is encouraged, you may not be thinking as realistically as you should. Sometimes it just doesn't work out how we had assumed, whether that be lack of work available, or motivation, and this means you're not making an income, but still have monthly expenses to pay. Although you can't always avoid bad situations - you can work your butt off to make sure you're never left without an income.

Taking out a loan can seem a good idea at the time, whether you need to put down a deposit on that house, or the car, or the holiday. The problem is when you take out multiple loans to feed into your wants and overlook the priorities - like paying your bills on time every month, ensuring there is food on the table, and paying off your existing loans. Sites like can help you do this by providing you with a final loan in order to pay off all of your existing debts. That way all you have left is one sum as a pose to multiple numbers and costs.

Not saving enough.
One of the easiest ways to fall into the debt trap is by not saving up enough, if anything at all. As soon as you get your paycheck, the first concern is putting the money aside that cover the monthly bills. Then whatever is leftover, leave ten to twenty percent for your general spending money, and put the rest into another account that isn't allowed to be touched. If you do that every month, you'll make it to the end of the year with a wonderful number looking back at you. The temptation is real, but the end result is so worth it.


Credit: What’s it Good For?

Credit and credit cards are not bad things in themselves. Of course, when used incorrectly, these things can lead to people getting in all kinds of financial trouble. That’s why you need to know what they’re good for and when you should use them. That way, you’ll find yourself in a financial tangle less often, which has to be a good thing for you and your family. So, read on to learn more about the instances when credit becomes extremely useful indeed.

Weekly Food Shopping

The weekly food shopping can be a budgeting nightmare, and that’s the main reason why it’s a good idea to make use of your credit card in these situations. You can delay the payment because it’s on your credit card. Many people organise their monthly budgets this way, and it can genuinely make things a lot easier for you. You can learn more about budgeting and credit cards at

Christmas Gift Shopping

As we all know, shopping for Christmas gifts is never very easy, and it can be incredibly expensive. It’s a good idea to use your credit card when moving through this big-spending period. That’s because credit cards allow you to spread the burden nicely, and you don’t have to pay it all off right now. When you’re buying a huge number of gifts, that can be a real saviour.


One-Off Buys

If you don’t have enough money in your debit account, you can use a credit card to pay for large one-off purchases. This will help you to make the purchase even if you don’t have the money right now. As long as you will be able to access it later, you will be fine and the costs will be covered. Compare the options using; it’s best if you can find a 0% card. That will allow you to spread the cost without being hit by interest penalties.

Holiday Payments

Holiday costs, flights and hotel bills can often be pretty big. If you’re paying for all these things in advance, it makes sense to use your credit card. That’s because all these things can be subject to cancellation. And you’ll be far more likely to get your money back if anything is cancelled if you used your credit card to pay for it all. THere are far better protections in place when you use a credit card.

When You Need to Start Building Your Credit Score

Credit can be helpful if you need to borrow from a lender in the future. They will always look at your credit score to see whether or not you’re the kind of person they can safely lend money to. If you don't have a good credit score, you might find yourself getting rejected by banks and lenders. It’s possible to build up good credit by using your credit card to make purchases. But this will only produce the right outcomes if you make the payments on time.

All of these examples show you when credit can be used to your advantage. Keep what you’ve learned in mind going forward.

Breaking That Month-To-Month Cycle


Most people work hard to earn enough money to support themselves and their family. The national statistic of employed individuals in the UK has risen (at over 34 million people), and the unemployment rate has dropped over recent years.
But, unfortunately, many people find themselves in a horrid cycle of month-to-month living. Meaning that the money earned one month is just enough to see a person through to their next payday. This causes a multitude of issues; if one pay is less one month for some reason, it can throw off the whole balance. If a surprise bill appears during the month, or an emergency situation occurs, then it is likely that you would struggle through the rest of the month.

And the pressure can become worse when approaching birthdays and Christmas where the income has to, not only pay for the usual monthly bills, but for the celebrations too.

Living month-to-month is one of the main ways people can fall into personal debt, which is then yet another thing to chip away at your monthly income.

There are a few things that you can do to help break this cycle and to prepare for situations where you don’t have enough income to see you through one month.

Check Your Payslip

In all seriousness, when you receive your payslip do you look further than the total amount earned? Because you should be. Understanding your payslip is one of the most important things when it comes to your finances. Whether you receive a printed copy or an electronic one, the components are the same.

You need to be checking whether you are being taxed correctly by keeping an eye on your tax code - particularly if you have started a new job. Whether your holiday and sick pay has been calculated correctly - check your entitlements in your contract and with this statutory sick pay guide.

For shift workers - it is always a good idea to track your hours so that any mistakes on your payslip can be queried and backed up with evidence.


You’ve heard it a thousand times, but the only way you will be able to break the cycle is to plan out your outgoings. This way you can distribute your finances appropriately and know that everything is covered. Get into the right frame of mind and either build your own, use a template on programs like Excel or find a budgeting tool online.

Figure out your necessities and be ruthless with the extras. Do you absolutely need Netflix? If yes, then what can you sacrifice to pay for it? For the first few months, there may not be much wiggle room, if any at all. By cutting the luxuries out, you are able to save a set amount each month, which will give you a cushion to work with later on to afford the occasional treat.

Bank Accounts

While you are looking at your finances, look at your accounts too. Open up a high interest savings account, if you don’t already have one, and set up a standing order for your pay-day for a set amount of money. This may be as little as £10 a month, but over the year you may find you can add a bit more here and there and will add up to a nice amount.

You might, also, want to think about opening a second account purely for bills to leave from. Send over the money to cover the bills on payday, and then you don’t have to worry about it. And what is left in your regular account can be used for things like food and fuel, and any little luxuries you have allotted yourself this month.

Double Check Suppliers

You can’t switch companies halfway through a contract, but it never hurts to shop around while in one. Being prepared with another offer helps when the time comes to renew your contract. Look at comparison websites for deals. It’s easier to say know when you have a plan than when it catches you unaware. Quite often companies like your broadband provider will try and offer you a deal when they hear you are leaving for a competitor.

Which doesn’t mean that you should make up offers - the salesperson has access to the same information as you do. And remember that you don’t have to say yes straight away - while on the phone, write down the details of the offer, take the seller’s name and ask them to call you back later. This gap will allow you time to crunch the numbers and to talk to any other bill payers in the household.


Only buy what you need. When it comes to food shopping, buying packs of food might not always be the best option - particularly when it comes to fresh food. Create a meal plan before you go shopping if you only need two peppers all week then only pick up two peppers. Not only will this reduce your food bill, but it will lower your food waste.

Buy Christmas and birthday presents year round. Use seasonal sales to your benefit - including the January sales; there’s no better time to pick up Christmas-themed gifts or decorations at a much lower price. The same for the end of summer sales when preparing for next year.


Any extras you get, throw them into your savings. From monetary gifts for birthdays and Christmas, to work bonuses and inheritances. Add them all to your savings. This will help to pay for any holidays or days out. For emergencies and surprises.

There is also the option of asking for help off family and friends, or off the government. If you are struggling to pay for the necessities each month, then see if you are eligible for some extra government funding using this benefit guide. There are many ways in which you can receive help, from income tax credit to housing benefit.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Putting The "Fun" In Saving Funds

Maybe you rolled your eyes at that title but bear with me here. Saving money isn’t something that boring, old people do when they reach “that age”. It doesn’t mean that you’ve finally become a dull adult once you start to count the pennies and make jars for odd change or open savings accounts to create safety nets. Think of it this way: the better you become at saving, the less guilty you can feel about the occasional night out. In fact, you might be able to have more nights out and fewer nights in front of the TV if you learn to manage your money better throughout the month. If you want to learn how to put the “fun” in saving funds then here are some pieces of advice.

Look at your bank account.
Let’s start with the boring part of this fun task. If you want to become better at saving money for the things that matter to you then you need to know how much money you have in the first place. This isn’t a cruel prank to make you cry at the low figure you see before you but a lesson in basic money management. You know how much you earn on an annual basis and you can calculate how much money that leaves for you on a monthly basis. Once you have that figure, you need to work out how much of your earnings go on the necessities which keep you alive (or at least make life comfortable).

The necessary costs in your life most likely include your rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, petrol money (probably a necessity for work commutes), and food money (a necessity for... survival). You’ll also need to pool your remaining money towards any debts you might have incurred throughout your life. If you’re struggling in this regard then you could head to sites such as for a little help. Most importantly, as explained over at, you need to avoid new debt. Once you know how much you’re spending on the important things in life, you’ll know how much excess money you have left over for non-necessities in life. This will be very important towards your quest to save money better; that disposable income is yours to do with as you please. Time to look at how to manage it sensibly.

Resist your inner shopaholic.
Don’t cry. It’s hard, I know. But as explained simply over at, the best way to save money is to start by shopping more smartly. And sometimes shopping smartly isn’t about looking for the best deals but avoiding spending money altogether.

Offers are your friend.
As we’ve discussed before, offers are something you need to chase wherever your shopping takes you. Shopping malls, grocery stores, and online businesses are all offering deals throughout the year. It’s about having a keen eye and spotting opportunities to sign up to a website so that you get a one-time free deal or purchasing a piece of furnishing once it’s in the sale. As suggested over at, if you find a free customers reward program then sign up for it. You also need to keep an eye on deals after holiday seasons such as Christmas; stores are desperate to get rid of the excess goods which remain.

Paper, Plastic, And Payment Methods A New Business Needs To Consider

If you’re looking to start a business and become a mompreneur, your first priorities are likely going to be coming up with a product or service, finding the market that fits it, and branding it. However, there’s one step of the service you should consider a little more closely. How are your customers going to pay for it? Cash is old fashioned and not the preferred way to pay by a growing number of consumers. What options should you start thinking about?

Credit cards
Online, credit cards are the most common form of payment, but they play a huge role in real-life business revenue, as well. 66% of all point-of-sale payments are done with plastic but a huge amount of small businesses still doesn’t allow for it. Picking a processing service with the help of sites like can instantly welcome more revenue in any business. It’s all about finding the right processing service with fees that you can manage and an acceptance of a broader range of cards.

Payment services
The fees and work involved with managing processing systems can sometimes be too much for small businesses to handle, however, and some prefer to handle it indirectly through alternative payment methods. These include PayPal, Amazon Payments, and WePay. However, the problem with many of these services is that they often redirect customers from your site, which can be confusing for them as often they feel like they’re not paying you directly.

Taking checks from customers might sound even more old fashioned and it requires several steps, agreeing to the sale, getting the check, then taking it to the bank and processing it. As states, however, electronic checks have greatly simplified the process for businesses and consumers alike. Checks allow customers to pay conveniently, but they do carry a greater risk of bouncing and fraud which businesses should look out for.

Direct payments aren’t always the most effective for a small business, however. If you’re carrying out a service rather than delivering a product, you might not be able to accept payment until the service is complete. Invoicing is the most commonly used payment method, involving a transfer directly from the client after the invoice has been sent off. One of the larger problems with invoicing, that it takes time and effort from business owners and is prone to mistakes, can be fixed by simplifying the process with tools like, too. Just make sure you have customers sign an agreement to short payment terms so you don’t spend most of your time waiting for the money you’re owed.

Direct debit
If you provide an ongoing service, it might be inconvenient for the customer to keep having to go through the payment process again and again. It adds extra stress for business owners who are waiting for “pay day” to come around and seeing whether or not they’ll get their money. Direct debit allows you to automate recurring payments, making it easier for all parties involved to stay hands off and let the transaction happen. However, businesses often have to prove significant revenues to successfully apply for direct debit services.
The business model and the preferred methods of payment by are your target market should determine which payment methods make the most sense for you. Do your research to help you explore the options above.