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Inflation and investments #finance

Inflation is on the rise once again and stands at around 2.5% which means my return on my investment in Zopa has been cut substantially by the effect of inflation. The return has increased, it dropped to under 4% and is about 4.5% now. Even so, the return in real terms is now only about 2% but still better than a bank account! My point is that we should consider investments in the light of rising inflation and look at what returns are in real terms.

inflation eating away at savings and investments?

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Loss leaders and introductory offers #thrifty

We have to be quite shrewd these days if we are going to save money. Supermarkets and other retailers have all sorts of tricks to relieve us of our money. The loss leader is a product that they will advertise at a much lower price then their competitors and then make their profit on the lines that aren’t advertised. These offers have to appeal to a large number of people so they can’t be on lines that we only buy infrequently. They have to be on products that most people buy regularly. So sugar is a good product for a loss leader and staples like potatoes and bread can also be put on offer. Some offers will be on products that they have a good profit margin on that they can afford to cut and still make a profit, as well. Loss leaders can be a good bargain but there is always a catch.

loss leaders

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Thinking about the weather #ramble

On a Sunday, I ramble on about whatever is on my mind. Today, it’s the weather amongst other things. We might have a little snow later this week. It’s cold this morning so I might have to sort out my Arctic gear! (more…)


Surviving the market turmoil #investments

The all share index on the London stock market is down nearly 4% this week, which is a lot for small private investors. There are some bargains to be had but falling markets have had a devastating effect on the value of portfolios in recent months. We have to think long term and consider buying. (more…)


Fun and finance #life

TIPTON CARNIVAL - fun and finance

Mike Maynard

I went to Tipton Carnival yesterday and took lots of photos, but others were there to have fun and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, with all the temptation of a carnival to spend money,  fun and finance are inextricably linked.

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Pundits, power and panic #finance

Pundits, power and panic

It seems that traders on the stock market rely on the guidance of brokers and the pundits in newspapers, rather than doing their own due diligence before trading.  We all rely on others to analyse complex annual reports, we can’t read them all; but many pundits seem to amplify minor problems. (more…)


Finance Friday: What recovery?

Money - picture of pounds sterling

We are told the UK economy is recovering and doing well. All I see is increasing poverty. People are having their benefits stopped, losing their homes and queuing at food banks. More people are using the discount supermarkets and Poundland. Is this just a recovery for the rich? The champagne and strawberries crowd at Wimbledon? The Royal Ascot lot in their finery? (more…)


Finance Friday: Making money

My short post on Wednesday was about winning the lottery. I did buy a ticket in the end. I had just £2.00 left in my account and so I thought it was worth a try. Was it worth it though or just another £2.00 down the drain? It wasn’t worth it because I didn’t win, but we have to take risks in life and I took a risk. (more…)


How to sell – just about anything

Large companies know how to sell, they have whole marketing departments dedicated to selling their products and services. They have all kinds of devices and tricks to make us part with our money. We can use some of those tricks to sell stuff too! It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling crafts or your used car.

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Finance Friday | Loose money

It’s difficult these days to even define what money is. It can be coins in our pockets, notes in purses and wallets or numbers on bank account statements. Money can be just bits in a computer or  tokens of any kind.

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Spring flowers in May

Flowers in May

The river in the picture is the River Tame. This photo was taken last May, but I drove past there yesterday and the flowers are just starting to bloom again. They seem to grow all along the Tame, I’ve seen them at Walsall and Dudley.

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Finance Friday | Priorities

Can you imagine living in a country where you don’t have any opportunities and struggle to get clean water and enough to eat? Here in the UK, most people are lucky, but there is a lot of inequality. Young people on benefits go into MacDonald’s to eat, just because it’s there. 

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Reflections on life

Cart

Sometimes, I think as a society we take one step forward and two steps backwards. There are lots of experiments that seem to fail. The big pink box on West Bromwich High Street is still referred to as ‘iconic’, but in reality it’s a failed experiment. They intend to use it as a sixth form college now. (more…)


Normal April showers?

Woden Road South (2)

I took this photo a year ago. I look at the sky a lot now in an attempt to predict the weather. The sky looked a paler blue last year, today it’s been a deep blue with white clouds and April showers. We had a very wet summer last year, are we back to normal now?

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Ding dong it’s Saturday

SATURDAY 021

I get more local readers at weekends because my blog posts are featured on ‘the yamyam’.  There appears to be more and more local bloggers now and they are writing good posts. Anyway, in case any local reader is wondering, today’s picture is of King’s Hill Park, just outside Darlaston.

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Finance Friday | Needs and Wants

We all need water and food and we need to keep warm in winter. The divide between what we actually need and what we want is getting a little blurred. Do we really need mobile phones, cars and internet? I think we want these things and a lot more, but we don’t need them. We don’t even need television…

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Saturday Review | The week in focus

NIGHT SHOT Flare

I’m not too sure about this photograph. It’s different from the usual photograph that I use. It was taken a few evenings ago and has been edited to make it a little more ‘artistic’. It shows what you can do with a digital camera and a little experimenting. I did a few blogs this week too…

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Supply and demand in the market

Money - Seeing the future

English village

Imagine living in an English country village, surrounded by farms where all the fresh food comes from. You can go to the local farm market in the village and buy fresh food from lots of different farmers. You would probably shop around to get the cheapest meat and vegetables. You might eat whatever is in season and take advantage of availability and low prices. When there was a glut of apples, because of a good harvest. You would be able to buy lots to make chutney and apple pies.

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Summer time ends

River Tame Sandwell Valley

British summer time ends this weekend. We change the clocks one hour (back) and so the nights will be darker and the mornings will be lighter for a while at least. The colours of nature are changing and the trees and changing colour as the leaves begin to fall.

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Money is a unit of exchange, not wealth

Money - Seeing the future

We tend to think money is wealth, but it’s not; it’s just a unit of exchange for exchanging wealth. The wealth is the stuff we produce; goods and services. Some things like property will appear to go up in value. The sun appears to rise in the morning, but we know that the sun doesn’t go around the earth. The earth appears flat, but we know it’s not. Money seems to keep it’s value, but it doesn’t really, it goes down in value when central banks increase the money supply. Everyone who has money then loses out and people who have wealth in oil, gold or some other commodities like property, will gain.

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Cutting motoring costs by planning journeys

Motor Show 206

I wrote about motoring costs in last week’s thrifty blog, but my drive down the motorway got me thinking. I sometimes use Google maps to plan a journey and that can save you time and fuel. My journey on Sunday according to Google maps was 12.8 miles and should take about 20 minutes. It took less than that because it was Sunday and so it didn’t seem far. However, I came back on the ‘A’ roads and that didn’t seem too far either. When I checked the shortest route is just 4.3 miles and it should be quicker! On a Sunday it would have been quicker, but on a weekday perhaps not, going through town. You can click that link to Google maps to see what I mean.

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Finance Friday

UK Money

It seems as always that food prices are going up and so we have to try to save a little by shopping around. I have been saving the trays my chicken comes in to ‘recycle’ into seed trays. I’ve bought seed to grow beans and lettuce and I want to grow a few herbs and do a herb garden this year.  Even if you don’t have a garden you can grow herbs in a window box or on the window sill; fresh herbs in soup or stew really makes a difference. (more…)


Finance Friday | A part time business

Car

Using your assets

If you own a car that’s one asset that you might be able to use to start your own business. Starting a business can be risky, but starting one part time is much less of a risk. You can always give up your day job when it becomes really successful. A business either has to provide goods or a service of some kind. The more sought after your product is, the better and higher the price can be. (more…)


Finance Friday | Budgeting

Money - Seeing the future

Budget 2012

I learned this morning how many people read my blog and in which countries; I was surprised to learn in how many different countries. I have to be honest there were a few, that were unfamiliar! In the UK, later this month, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will present his budget for the coming year. We too have to budget and be careful with our money wherever we live in the world. This is a matter of understanding money and setting priorities; essentials are more important that luxuries and then keeping proper accounts.

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