Here are 6 Most Frustrating Driving Habits Revealed by UK Drivers

There is no such person as a perfect driver. Irrespective of your driving skills and experience, it is likely that you find in other road drivers infuriating habits. A recent survey of over 20000 drivers outlined the most frustrating driving habits exhibited by drivers in the UK.

Driving is ordinarily enjoyable but a combination of heavy traffic congestion, inadequate parking space, and bad drivers can combine to make driving a pain rather pleasure. Bad drivers exhibit varied driving habits that get on the nerve of other road users, for instance, litter dropped out of the car window can make a fellow driver suddenly swerve. So, what are the bad driving habits exhibited by other drivers on the road?

Tailgating

Tailgating is an aggressive and distressing behaviour for the driver ahead. It is also dangerous as a sudden break by the car in front can cause multiple accidents. Using the 3-second rule helps you avoid the dangerous habit of tailgating. If you want to overtake the car ahead, using your flash lights is preferable to trying to forceful push them out of the road.

Failure to indicate

Failure to indicate properly affects not allow the drivers behind but also pedestrians. Pedestrians must wait for a car to indicate properly before crossing the road. A study on failure to indicate showed that more than 2 million accidents are caused per year when drivers suddenly change lanes or make a turn.

Using mobile phones while driving

Laws on mobile phone use while driving has been in existence for several years and indeed, the fines against such behaviour was increased recently to curb motorists who can’t resist using their phones while driving. It is a dangerous habit and not without reasons, as research has shown that drivers are four times more likely to have an accident when using the phone while driving and texting doubles reaction times. The number of drivers using mobile phones while driving has tripled between 2014 to 2016.

Hasty exiting

Swooping across lanes, although generally regarded as an innocent error to take a road exit or join the fast lane is an irresponsible and distressing behaviour for other drivers. Mostly, the swooping driver is viewed as reckless and idiotic.

Hogging the middle lane

Hogging the middle lane is an irritating habit and has its dangers. Middle lane huggers often drive without a care in the world delaying other drivers who would love to speed along. If you are not speeding, move over to the left side of the road.

Littering and driving slowly

Nonchalantly dropping litter on the road while driving is a big distraction to other motorists. This may cause an accident when drivers need to swerve to avoid it hitting their vehicle.

Conclusion

The pains of driving make motorists go through a rough day behind the wheel. Most importantly, always remember this driving lesson: to anticipate the actions of other road users and to remain calm when they exhibit such bad habits.

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Workspace Wonders: How to Design Your Dream Home Office

When you work from home, it can be tricky to separate your living space from your working space. Creating a home office is a great first step in making sure you can tune into a working mindset when you have things to do, and back into a relaxed state when it’s time to spend time with family or de-stress. Designing your home office can be as big a project as you want, and the energy you put into it can help you be more productive and professional. Depending on the nature of your work, organizing your desk area, incorporating shelving and storage, and making the space inspirational are all important in varying degrees. It’s good to experiment to see what works best for you and suits your personal needs, but there are a few constants that hold true for almost all home offices and working spaces.

1. Create a focused space. 

Make sure your office or work room is clearly designated as a space different from all others in your home. Ensure you have a door or curtain that can shut and as much as possible avoid storing cleaning supplies, old clothes, or other clutter in your work space. Not only will it distract you and remind you of other responsibilities, but it can make it harder to find important documents and tools if they’re sharing space with shoes, bottles or boxes

2. Separate work from life. 

Treat a home office like you would a cubicle in a busy office building. Keep it tidy, have a family photo or two, and decorate it in a simple, professional way. Your office might be at home, but the more you treat it as separate, the easier it will be to tune in when there’s work to do, and to decompress when you’re finished. Stock your office with everything you might need to avoid having to leave and grab something, which can take you out of your productive state and introduce all sorts of distractions.

3. Use soothing colors and decorations.

Working buildings and professional spaces often put a lot of effort into furnishings that promote productivity. Clean lines and neutral colours reduce distractions and can have distinct psychological effects. The colour blue acts as a relaxant, as well as an appetite suppressant, so consider painting the room a shade of blue or using blue furnishings. Keeping the space cool can promote brain function and focus, so make sure you can control the room’s temperature. Comfortable ergonomic chairs and desks reduce fatigue and long term damage like back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome. Incorporate as many of these as you can to help you be more productive, and promote well being.

4. Incorporate tools for focus.

A home office doesn’t need to feel like a jail cell, so using design elements like fountains, zen gardens, or executive toys can help break up the monotony without throwing your focus. A simple indoor fountain can help freshen the space up, and the sounds of running water not only relaxes, but it can act as white noise to drown out the sounds you might expect if you have kids, neighbours, or heavy traffic near your house.

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Why Seniors Citizens are Thinking About Starting a Home Business

Most people think that senior citizens should continue to live a life of leisure as they’ve earned the right to take it easy. However, some people who are at an advanced age may not be inclined to do so as they prefer to find other ways to stay engaged with the world.

Extra Cash In Retirement 

Some active seniors who live at home, and even those who reside in assisted living communities, often find that the monotony of doing nothing at all can lead to boredom or loneliness. While a steady or part-time job may be out of the question at this point in their lives, some find that starting a small business is the perfect way to pass the time while making a bit of money in their golden years.

For seniors who have the entrepreneurial spirit, the desire to have a small home business or online business has nothing to do with accumulating more wealth. Cash may be an important determinant of a person’s life satisfaction, but its effect declines over the age of 75. For business-minded seniors, acquiring more money is not the purpose of any endeavor – it’s about doing something meaningful to fill their days.

Inspiring Entrepreneurs

Some seniors have even become so passionate about what they do that they became successful later in life. There’s Col. Harland David Sanders, who franchised his first Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 62. Then there’s 82-year-old Dorrie Jacobson, who started a very successful fashion blog to inspire women over 60 and has become the darling of the fashion world.  

If you’re a senior citizen and are thinking about starting a small home or online business, you’re in luck – there are lots of opportunities out there for you that aren’t physically demanding. Even if you’re in an assisted living facility and have impaired mobility of movement, there are other things that you can do that don’t require you to move around as much.

Here are a few business ideas if you’re planning to start a home or online business:

  • ·         Take a call center job. This is a great online job if you have low mobility as all you need to do is talk on the phone.
  • ·         Follow in Jacobson’s footsteps and start a blog where you can give expert advice. Pick a topic that you know and start writing. If you aren’t tech savvy, there are tons of tutorials out there to get you started.
  • ·         Do you love to sew? You can start an alteration business or take on small sewing jobs from your neighbors.
  • ·         If you’re into crafts or DIY projects, you can sell your wares at craft markets or at an online shop, such as Etsy. Many seniors earn a decent amount of money by selling handmade soaps, lotions, knitwear, and other items on this site.
  • ·         Got a winning cookie or pie recipe? You can sell baked goods at home or online. You can ask younger members of the family to scout for places where you can sell your food if you want to earn more.

There are many small businesses that you can launch from the comfort of home. All you have to do is to find one that you’d enjoy doing, and most importantly, one which will give you happiness and a sense of fulfillment.

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Net Worth: Why You Should Track it closely for Financial Success

A person’s net worth is the ultimate determinant of their sum wealth. The net worth is the result of deducting liabilities from the assets. Calculating the net worth gives one a clear picture of the total cost and earned and spent in a lifetime. Tracking the net worth helps one keep their goals and perspective in check. For example, if a person’s total amount of assets amounts to $200,000 and liabilities equals $300,000, the individual will have a negative net worth of -$100,000. It is crucial to establish the financial status of a person or an enterprise so as not to accrue a deluded sense of net worth and fail to achieve success.

Reasons why it is imperative to track the net worth 

1. Considering that net worth is the honest reflection of a person’s wealth, it is a perfect way to determine if one is making positive or negative financial progress. Bob Berger of Forbes.com, states that a constant or increasing net worth is a sign that investments are bringing positive returns. A declining net worth means that one should deduce which activity is draining the money and work towards adjusting the situation.

2. A clear picture of the net worth eliminates the notion that income is equal to one’s wealth status. A person earning $500,000 per year with liabilities amounting to $200,000 in a year is worth $300,000. The same result applies to an individual making $350,000 with liabilities amounting to $ 50,000 annually. With this concept in mind, it is easier for one to plan the steps towards realizing financial success by reducing liabilities to increase the net worth. Besides, considering the assets only when establishing net value, such as a home or a successful investment, is a misguided way to achieve success. The difference between the property and the liabilities like debt determines the exact net worth.

3. When applying for a loan, most banks and lending firms will evaluate the borrower’s sum net worth to determine credibility. A bad credit loan automatically disqualifies one from receiving the cash. Keeping a positive net worth helps one acquire a higher credit limit that can be helpful in expanding one’s investments and ultimately reach goals.

4. A good net worth is essential in keeping the debt status in perspective. A significant amount of loan offsets a lot of people. However, if one’s net value exceed the amount, then it is clear that the debt level is not extreme. A loan that exceeds the net worth means that one should probably cut down on the amount borrowed and live within affordable ways to amass wealth. A low net value to loan ratio is also a great motivation for one to find means to realize a higher rate that translates to increased prosperity.

According to Investopedia.com, the net worth is bound to experience fluctuations just like the financial health of any other industry. As a result, the net worth will reflect the status of the financial health of the various assets and liabilities. It can be difficult to establish one’s long term goals and short term goals without a clear picture of the money owed and money earned. Determining the ultimate net worth with the help of a financial analyst, or a convenient net worth determining software application will save one the stress that comes from tapping into savings and investments, and accumulating unwarranted debt.

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Planting the Seeds of Success: A Smart Start Miniguide for Home Businesses

It can be exciting and daunting in equal measure when you are setting up a new business but when you are first starting out, any mistakes you make could be costly.

Here is a look at how to try and set out on the right path to success. There is an overview of how e-commerce often needs to be an integral part of your plans, and why financial management is so vital, plus an insight into setting goals for you and your business.

The importance of an internet presence

Even if you are opening a store in your local area you need to support your bricks and mortar persona with a clicks and mortar profile if you want to improve your odds of success.

The vast majority of your potential customers will be just as used to searching out deals and information online as they are walking into your store to browse for what they want. You simply cannot underestimate the importance of having a website and if you don’t take advantage of e-commerce opportunities, it is almost like trying to run your business with one hand tied behind your back.

If you have a seed budget to work with you need to consider allocating some of this cash towards setting up an internet presence, as this will help people to find you and find out about you, plus you can boost sales by setting up an e-commerce store.

Keeping costs under control

On the subject of money and budgets, you will need to make every dollar count when you first start out in business.

It would be a good idea to have a cash flow projection and a business plan to work to and if you need to borrow any money to start the business, you will need to produce some facts and figures to support your request for funding support.

There are also some other strategies and ideas to consider that will help you to keep control over your finances in the early days and moving forward.

A business credit card with low annual fees could help you to keep track of your expenses, and if you pay off the balance by the due date you, it could prove to be a good way of helping your cash flow stay strong.

Dare to dream

Many people start a business with plenty of optimism to fire them up but don’t really have a specific game plan that they are working to.

Setting out in business and taking the view that you will just see how it goes is not recommended. It would be much better to set some clear personal and business goals so that you know where you want to be in near future and even further ahead.

If you have some clearly defined goals and aspirations this will give your business a sense of purpose and direction. It also gives you something to measure your progress against and drive you to reach new heights.

There are a lot of things to sort when you first set out in business but as long as you have a plan and a list of tasks to get through, there is no reason why you can’t turn the seed of an idea into a successful venture.

John Pearce is a business consultant who likes to believe that he keeps his clients on the right track when it comes to growing an maintaining their business. Read his articles online at business blogs.

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Work and Life in Balance: What You Need to Know About Being Your Own Boss

 

With levels of self-employment considerably increasing within recent years, it’s clear to see that becoming your own boss is gaining strong popularity.

Whilst there are many positives in this choosing this career path, there are also plenty of disadvantages too. Estimates suggest a huge 80% of self-employed people are living in poverty, meaning that the dream of earning a high wage whilst working for yourself isn’t a walk in the park. If you’re thinking of branching out on your own, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about being your own boss

Pros and cons

Having total control over your hours, escaping the dreaded early-morning commute and being able to work in your own home environment are a mere snapshot of the pros associated with being self-employed. Especially if you have kids, working from home can be a huge advantage in terms of spending more time with them and fitting work around your children – not the other way around.

However, a lack of routine and financial security are big obstacles of being self-employed. A huge amount of dedication is needed to stay focused, and your income will lack the rigid stability that comes with being employed. If starting your own business is something you want to try, this can prove even more problematic in terms of applying for a business loan especially if you have bad credit. But, as long as you do your research, there are plenty of helpful resources out there.

Getting started

If even after being hit with the self-employment cons, you still want to venture out and become your own boss, you definitely need to take the right approach when starting out. Here are a few simple tips to ensure you get off to the right start and stay as focused and productive as possible!

Plan your week ahead

Structure is key to staying on-track, and if you don’t have a boss to push you to stay focused, you have to do it yourself. Take some time on Sunday evenings to structure your upcoming week day-by-day and stick to it as rigidly as you can. This will give your days purpose and ensure you have a working plan in place.

Stay vigilant

Especially when freelancing, the internet has skyrocketed the availability of online jobs up for grabs. But it’s important you keep mindful of scams, as there are plenty of fake jobs out there that will take your work and run without paying you anything. Stay sensible and perhaps go through a specific freelance site that monitors the payment process to ensure you don’t get scammed.

Take time out

It can be difficult to ‘switch off’ from work when at home all the time. But to keep you sane, take some time out to relax otherwise you could burn yourself out.

Being your own boss certainly comes with its perks, but it’s vital you understand what you’re really getting into before you get started. Utilizing the above tips will not only make you more productive but will also give you a better idea of what to expect!

Harriet Garner took a leap to start her own business after she was made redundant several years ago. Not easy, but always rewarding, Harriet shares her tips with others who want to make the leap.

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Top Tips For Your First Business Trip

Heading out on your first business trip will be an exciting time, meetings to be had, deals to make and a company to represent. Whatever the nature is of your trip, you are going to need to be prepared , both from a business and personal point of view. To help you get prepared in the right way, we’ve put together a list of tips for you and whether you are traveling transatlantic for your business dealing or just a few hours away from home, we’ve got you covered. So before your next business trip, check out these tips and make sure that you are prepared in the right way.

Bought a travel wallet :(

Organization

The first thing to ensure is that you are fully prepared for your business dealings and your itinerary during your time away. Make sure that you have paper and digital versions of all documents that you are going to need and whatever schedule you have whilst you are away. Be sure to secure all of your transportation before you go,it is likely that plane or train tickets will be already sorted out but ensure you have a car waiting for you to take you to a meeting.  The last thing you need is to be searching for taxis in the middle of Bangkok when you have a pressing business lunch, or trying to catch a bus in Edinburgh for a business launch, plan ahead, and book a private car to get you there.

Downtime Planning

When you’re on the road for business you are bound to have a lot of downtime and you need to be sure to use this wisely. It’s important that you plan ahead for this, whether it be in order to relax or in order to brush up on your business dealings. If movies and games are your thing that you need to relax then download some ahead of time, if you like to exercise then check out if your hotel has a gym and if not, look for one nearby. Regarding the business side of things, try to create some one page sheets which will enable you to quickly study some key points about your business or take the opportunity to look for areas of growth. Planning ahead means that when you get that downtime, you are ready to spend it however you see fit.

Staying in Touch

You absolutely want to make sure that you can stay in touch with friends, family and the business itself whilst you are away and it’s important that you know the best ways to do so. If you don’t already use them then you should be utilizing FaceTime, Whatsapp, Skype and even Facebook messenger to stay in touch with people whilst you are away. All of these mediums work so long as you have an internet connection and you should look to buy a local SIM card if you are heading to a foreign country. A local SIM gains you access to mobile data and means that you are never out of reach when people need to get in touch with you.

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How Businesses Can Save Money by Shopping Online for Toner Cartridges

toner-cartridges

The paperless office isn’t quite here yet, and many people think it shouldn’t ever happen, because print on paper is a primal thing – we just need a bit less of it! Not everything can be done digitally just yet, which is why you’re probably still looking around for the best deals on toner cartridges for your business.

By using a laser printer you’re already spending less anyway, as toner is typically cheaper than inkjet ink, but if you can find a way to make it cheaper still, you’ll be in the pink (or the magenta).

Going online is your best bet

By shopping online, you’re taking the easiest path to brilliant savings on your toner cartridges. Online retailers like Cartridge People are always offering good discounts and incentives. They also usually have a huge range of brands and products on offer so even if you have one of the lesser-known printers, these retailers will most likely be able to help you.

Why is buying online so cheap?

Quite simply, because online retailers don’t have the same overheads as physical stores – shopfronts, retail rents, shopfront staff as well as backroom and warehouse staff, fancy advertising hoardings and so on. It all costs money and it’s something that online retailers don’t need – they just need a cool, safe warehouse, dedicated staff and a good-looking, easy-to-navigate website!

Buying online also means better bulk deals

Because online cartridge retailers are able to store large amounts of stock cheaply (no shopfront, remember), they are usually more than happy to supply bulk orders, which will save you lots of money per unit. In addition to this, toner stores for much longer than ink, which means you can order enough to last for an entire year! Ordering large quantities of inkjet ink can be a bit risky, because it degrades over time and sometimes you’ll have dried out or useless cartridges, wasting your savings.

Other ways to save money by buying online

Order refilling kits

A lot of online sellers stock refilling kits for the better-known brands of toner cartridges. This solution isn’t for everyone, but if you’re quite handy you could make it work for you. You should read all the instructions properly before you start to make sure you do it properly and don’t end up with a huge mess.

Try recycled cartridges

If the idea of refilling your toner cartridges fills you with horror, then try some recycled ones. Recycled means that they’ve been collected as empties and sent to a company that can check, test, refurbish them and then refill them. This solution isn’t as cheap as doing it yourself, but it’s much cheaper than buying new ones and the print quality is indistinguishable.

Buy compatibles

Buying compatible cartridges is also a great solution, especially if you get them from an established, well-respected retailer as they’ll only stock tested and trusted cartridges. A decent online retailer will also give you a warranty and a guarantee just in case something goes wrong or the cartridges don’t work.

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GBP And USD Exchange

GBP and USD  exchange are one of the oldest currency pairings in the world. This pair is commonly known as ‘The Cable.’  This pairing remains a darling to many traders even today, thus, accumulating large interests considering the size of UK’s  economy. Below are some of the factors that have been affecting the pair in recent weeks;

gbpusd-daily-chart-14-02-2014

  • British pound drops lower as the Prime Minister moves to outwit critics. The British pound edged lower on the night of December 6th as the UK PM; Theresa May asked the House of Commons to support her in a plan to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. In addition, support her to begin the departure negotiations officially before the end of March 2017.
  • December will be a neutral month for GBP/USD due to its poor performance metrics in recent times. This is taken from a seasonality point of view. The GBP/USD has rallied up to 55% of the time in the month of December over the past 20 years. However, the pair’s average performance during this time frame was only +23-pips every month. The currency pair has also lost ground in each of the previous two years. It has also experienced gains in only three Decembers since the year 2005.
  • GBP/USD also dropped on the production data’s release. It edged below 1.2600, as the ongoing concerns about Brexit as well as weaker data continue to derail sterling’s  latest rally. UK Prime Minister Theresa May recently accepted a labor plan that needs the government to lay down its Brexit plans, as the supreme court hearing on whether the parliament needs to approve Brexit continues.
  • The exchange rate of GBP/USD is pushing to fresh monthly highs throughout the first full week of December.  The latest development in the Relative Strength Index supports a bullish outlook for the pair as the oscillator comes out of the bearish formation that was carried over since May.

The pound Sterling has been rising against the US dollar since the month of October and has on the way built a pretty modest momentum over the near-term duration. Phil Seaton, who is an analyst believes that based on this momentum alone, traders could expect the Pound to advance even further in the coming days and weeks. The success in forecasting a currency’s move, and thus benefiting from such a move, is best determined by studying its current trend.

In the case of Pound-Dollar, the trend is higher according to the daily charts

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4 Ways to Find the Best Payment Gateway for Your Business  

No matter the type of industry you’re in these days, it’s necessary to provide your customers with multiple payment options if you want to generate as many sales as possible. While cash is still used (typically for small, regular transactions), many people now prefer to pay online or via cell phones so that they can use their credit or debit card, PayPal account, or the like.

However, if you’re just about to launch a home-based business, or want to start accepting more forms of payment, it can be challenging trying to decide which mobile payment processing provider to choose out of all the options on the market. If you want some tips on finding the best firm for your needs, read on for four things you should consider today.

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Know Your Specific Needs and Goals

Firstly, before you think about signing with a payment gateway, you need to be clear about your organization’s specific needs and goals. While there are dozens and dozens of different merchant services firms to choose from, they don’t all provide the same services to their customers — and similarly, not all customers need the same services.

For example, some businesses might be after a simple merchant account with the bare minimum of features, while others may require extra functionality, such as the ability to process payments on a smartphone; inventory management capabilities; or the incorporation of loyalty programs.

If you’re to find the right company for you, you need to first be clear on things such as the “must have” facilities you need, plus where and how a payment system will be integrated into your operations.

Furthermore, it pays to examine whether or not the payment processing firm you’re interested in actually accepts all forms of payment, as not all of them will. In this day and age it is helpful if your payment gateway can accept debit cards, Diners Club credit cards, American Express credit cards, and PayPal transactions.

Analyze Pricing

Next, price is of course going to be one of the biggest determining factors in your choice of providers. When you compare options, remember that different companies structure their fees in different ways. As a result, you need to closely analyze pricing to see what will be the best value for your needs.

Some firms charge a flat fee per transaction, no matter how many payments are put through the system in a given period (generally either monthly or annually); while others have a variable fee that is based on the number of transactions which need to be processed. Others again have monthly payment plans which differ according to the level of overall transaction value.

Keep in mind too that some providers charge a start-up fee when you join up, while others may not but then might expect you to commit to a 12-month contract. Similarly, some companies charge cancellation fees, while others offer month-by-month services with no minimum periods to be worried about.

It also pays to examine whether or not the merchant services firms you’re interested in ever charge any potential extra fees. These can include things like:

  • System-integration costs for installing their software in your system
  • Charges if you change your point-of-sale system and need an update
  • Fees for accessing customer support
  • Withdrawal charges each time you want to transfer funds over to your bank account

 Examine Security

Another thing to factor in when deciding on a payment gateway is how secure each firm is. With hackers across the globe coming up with new techniques to break into websites and get access to sensitive customer data all the time, digital security is imperative.

When you analyze firms, ask them to provide information on their security protocols. The most closely-guarded gateways typically have precautions such as:

  • CVV2 verification
  • Data encryption
  • Billing address security
  • Complex encryption algorithms
  • Support for top-level SSL certificates

Check the Availability of Customer Support 

Lastly, it’s very important to make sure that you sign up with a firm who makes customer support available to its clients when they need it. While you hope that transactions and systems always run smoothly, sometimes issues just do occur. When this happens, you need to be able to get in touch with your merchant services provider for assistance.

It is a good idea to choose a company which provides 24-hour a day customer support, 365 days per year. This should be via a variety of communication methods, including phone calls, emails, and live chat conversations, so that you can select the most convenient way to get in touch.

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