Thursday, 16 May 2013

Shocking Which? poll reveals many 'borrowing money for food'..

Which? poll reveals many 'borrowing money for food'..

This alarming report published in April 2013 makes for alarming reading. When I last looked, there were nearly 800 comments and counting...

The survey suggests many households are cutting back on essentials.

One in five UK households borrowed money or used savings to cover food costs in April, a Which? survey says.

It suggests the equivalent of five million households used credit cards, overdrafts or savings to buy food. The consumer group tracks the spending habits and behaviours of 2,000 people every month.
Which? boss Richard Lloyd described the findings as"shocking". The government said tax and benefit changes meant working households were now better off. The figures come despite official statistics last week showing that personal insolvencies had dropped to their lowest levels in five years.

The Which? monthly tracker involves researchers interviewing a cross-section of the population online. The results can then be filtered by age, income, gender or region. Of the one in five households borrowing or dipping into savings to pay for food, most were low income families - half of whom earned less than £21,000 a year.

Average household earnings in 2011 were about £37,000, according to the most recently available data from the Office for National Statistics.
Among the group who used savings or credit to pay for food:

Eight out of 10 (82%) worried about food prices

More than half (55%) said they were likely to cut back on food spending in the next few months
Nearly six out of 10 (57%) said they found it difficult to cope on their current income
A third (32%) borrowed money from friends and family in April

A typical weekly food bill averages about £76, Which? researchers said, up 4% on last year.
Of all the people polled, the research showed:

A quarter said they were living comfortably on their incomes
More than a third - 36% - felt their finances were under pressure
Almost one third - 31% - cut back spending on essentials last month, and were most likely to be women aged between 30 and 49.

'Mixed economic picture'
Mr Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: "Our tracker shows that many households are stretched to their financial breaking point, with rising food prices one of the top worries for squeezed consumers.

"It's simply shocking that so many people need to use savings or credit to pay for essentials like food."

BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam said the economic picture in Britain was decidedly mixed these days.

“Families face a cost of living crisis and are being forced into debt
or to use their savings simply to put food on the table”

Mary Creagh Shadow environment secretary"

It's true that millions are at what Which? describes as 'financial breaking point', yet retail spending is growing, as are house prices, while the number of people in work is at a record high."

He added that average real incomes in Britain had fallen to the same levels as a decade ago because salaries were not rising but the cost of living was.

"The good news is that the economy is recovering, albeit at a glacial pace. The bad news is that it's not happening quickly enough for millions who are genuinely struggling to make ends meet," he said.

A spokesman for Oxfam said millions of people were under pressure from a combination of rising prices and stagnant incomes - with their problems added to by cuts to services and safety nets.

Mary Creagh, Labour's shadow environment secretary, said the UK was facing a "growing epidemic of hidden hunger".

"Families face a cost of living crisis and are being forced into debt or to use their savings simply to put food on the table".

"This incompetent government needs to wake up to the human cost of their failed economic policies and change course now," she added.

A government spokesman said nine out of 10 working households would be better off as a result of last month's changes to the tax and benefit system - with the average working household better off by more than £300 a year.

"The economy is healing: the deficit is down by a third, over 1 million private sector jobs have been created and interest rates remain low," he added.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Make Money Online or Build a Business?

With more and more of us using computers across an even broader age range, it's obvious to see why we might consider ways for our new shiny piece of technology to earn its keep. Whether it's by a popular online auction site or any number of sites promising quick riches, it's easy to see why making money online has such appeal:
  • it can be quite anonymous - you can set up relatively cheaply and promote other people's products (you don't even have to produce your own products or hold stock)
  • there are no age restrictions - so the internet has massive appeal to those in-between jobs, those with a family or people looking to supplement their income, to name but a few (incidentally over 70% of US households are looking to start a business from home right now)
  • there are no 9-5 restrictions, so you can work the hours to suit your present lifestyle
  • the internet truly has a global audience, although not everyone will want what you have to offer
  • Internet marketing is a process, so it can be learned at your pace in your spare time
  • the Internet is not gender specific - in fact women have a better eye for relationships which is key to any sort of relationship marketing, and essential online
  • there's a lot of free information available, meaning anyone who takes the time, can learn anything they need to succeed
I'm sure you can think of many more.

What does Google think?

I just typed 'make money online' into Google and it returned 2,430,000,000 results!

So you can see there's a lot of interest here. But this creates a big problem. With those numbers where do you start?

Good question.

Sounds like there are a lot of folks out there with solutions. But who do you trust? This is why the get rich quick crowd do so well because there are so many choices. Those in search of how to make money online are easy prey for the quick riches solution because I suspect they think most of the hard work has already been done for them. I thought this myself initially!

This 'thinking all the hard work has been done for you' kind of attitude leads to a kind of not taking this 'make money online' thing very seriously. Even worse, making money online for the newbie is seldom regarded as a business.

Sound silly? It's not.

Why having no business experience matters

Many people who embark on the trail of internet success for the first time, seldom have any real business experience. Ask any successful business person and they will quickly tell you that success depends on systems. Think Franchises like McDonalds - systems that work wherever. The sole trader who does the work himself rarely has the know-how to look beyond their own way of doing things. Think of your business as a system of ways of doing things then scale the systems. This is important.

And the internet takes a whole lot more commitment to succeed especially if you're planning to do-it-alone. You can just walk away if things don't work out especially as there's no-one watching you, and you can just quietly quit if you want.
I've found over the last 13 years or so that online products and services fall broadly into two categories:

1. make money online (get rich quick)
2. legitimate products (many of which don't offer you everything you need to succeed. In other words there's an up-sell - usually a cheap initial product followed by more expensive products later usually culminating in an expensive monthly membership site).

Don’t mistake movement for achievement

It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: busy doing what? If you've succumbed to some of the 'make money products' you're likely to discover that most don't deliver on their promises. The next question is how long are you going to follow this approach before taking the time to do some proper research?

This might be a good time to ask yourself why you want to make money online in the first place.

What type of income do you want to create? Short-term or long-term? How about both? Serious or keep buying into the get-rich-quick offers?

Only you can decide.

You're already working so why not start doing it right? I've bought many products over the years but the one which lives up to its promise I stumbled upon quite by accident whilst working on another project!

It's a company called Site Build It!, or SBI and it shows you step by step how you can turn any hobby, passion or skill into a viable online business. What you probably don't realise is that almost any topic can earn money with a website (the get-rich-quick sites don't tell you that do they?)

Put your brain and motivation to good use

You don't need programming skills or web design knowledge, an existing business or a product to sell (a common question, just your knowledge and motivation. SBI has all the tools you need, and they take you step by step and teach you how to use everything - even helping you find the perfect topic for your site; how to build it, get traffic to it, and how to make money with it, no matter what it's about!

Sound incredible? It's not!

Have a look at the Video Tour to get an idea of how it works (or the Quick Tour if you're in a hurry).

Dig into this information and spend some time learning about how you can make real money whilst building a real business. This is undoubtedly the best way of doing it; make money online and build a business! 

The late Malcolm Forbes said "The biggest mistake people make in life is not making a living doing what they most enjoy."

Now you have no excuse!