Amazon Reselling, Clothes, eBay Reselling, Save Money, Selling Lego

Let me start by saying charity shops are AWESOME! 

They are a place to do some good when de-cluttering, and they are a place to grab a bargain when you’re looking for a new book, to up-cycle some furniture or a new outfit. 

However, charity shops aren’t always the easiest things to find. Especially if you’re new to an area. Which is why today I’ll be showing you how to find a local charity shop.

 

Google

Google, is there really anything this search engine giant can’t do?

Simply search ‘charity shops’ and then your destination. Click over to maps and you’ll find the location, name and opening times of every charity shop listed.


This is without a doubt the easiest and quickest way to find charity shops. If you have a smartphone then the search can also be done using the Google maps application. Ideal for charity shopping on the go!


Local Facebook Pages

Facebook. Love it or hate it, it can be a great resource. Many communities have set up groups for people to join and find out information about a particular area. Questions can include; Local events, details in regards to a particular school and community issues and concerns.

All this makes local Facebook pages a fantastic resource if you’re looking for charity shops. Be sure to read the rules of every group first, and then ask away.

While it takes a little longer than a Google search and the responses are going to need collating, you may find a hidden gem that you otherwise wouldn’t of found or some information as to the best times to visit, or what particular shop to go to for specific types of products i.e. furniture or clothing.
 

 

The High Street

Should all the above fail you, then head to the local high-street. I’m yet to visit a town or city without charity shops on the high-street. 

You might not get great charity shops, and they might not have what you’re looking for. But they are a fantastic starting point, into your ‘charity shop hunting’.

Also don’t be afraid to ask in the store if they have any other stores local. You might find that particular charities have stores in neighbouring towns. 


Let me know how you go on finding a local charity shop with these techniques. If you have any hints on how to find a local charity shop then feel free to leave a comment below. In the meantime check out my post on how to find local car boot sales, for other bargains!

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Amazon Reselling, eBay Reselling, Make Money, Save Money

It is no secret that we all love a bargain and what better place to find a bargain than a car boot. Car boots are easy to find if you know where to look. There are different avenues you can take to finding out where the car boots in your area are. 

Facebook

You can search for local car boot sales on Facebook, simply typing in car boot sale will bring up pages for car boots and groups for areas. This will enable you to find the car boots in your local area, as well as groups that will post about the car boots, start times and locations. 

















Friends And Family

Might sound a simple but don’t put it past your friends and family to know, some car boot sales have been running since my parents were my age and are more than often in the same place and run by the same family or organisation, so this is always useful to know. 

Local Paper

The local paper will have a section in which you can find car boot sales, table tots sales and a smaller one off events that are similar to car boots. Look in the advertisements section for information on location, times and entry fees.

This is also great if the local rugby, cricket or football team have a small stadium or ground that won’t be used all year around, they sometimes lend out space for one-off car boots, this is the kind of information you could find. 

Car Boot Junction

Car Boot Junction is a website in which you can find both indoor and outdoor car boots within your area using two unique ways to search. One in which you choose indoor or outdoor or both, then you choose your county and then the last choose your area. 


The second way to search is using google maps, select from the drop down indoor, outdoor or both, then type in your area or postcode. Click on the cluster to get a closer look and start searching for the car boot for you.


If you guys know of any way to find local carboot sales that we haven’t covered be sure to let us know down in the comments below. Meanwhile if you have enjoyed this post, then be sure to check out our guide to finding charity shops.

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego

I have a whole host of different business cards for different purposes;

One for my Lego business. It contains the online website, contact details and social media contacts. It’s great to give to customers at shows and include within our online orders.

Another for the reselling that Helen and I do together. It contains a short list of the types of items we buy along with some contact details. It’s great to hand a couple out to people we speak to at the carboot or leave some in our local post office for those cleaning out and looking for some quick cash.

We both have business cards for our blogs. To pass onto other bloggers at networking events, or to leave with PR and marketing advisors who might want to work with us on different projects.

With all that in mind, it’s a good job I’m able to design a free business card myself using Canva. When starting any business money can be tight. The last thing you want to be doing is spending money unnecessary. Using Canva to design a free business card is simple, straight forward and a great way to save yourself some cash.

An just because the designs are free don’t think they are not;

A. Professional
B. Cool and modern

Because in my opinion they’re both. Just take a look at the sample below;



Load Canva

To get started you’re going to want to load the Canva website. What I love about Canva is there’s nothing to download, patch, upgrade and install. Instead it’s there, ready to use when you need it (internet connection required)


Once you’ve loaded the website you’re going to want to sign up. You can do so using Facebook, Google or Email. It doesn’t make a difference which you choose.

Select Your Design

Once you’re logged in you’ll be shown to the ‘All your designs page’ this is where your completed designs will be stored (thanks to the cloud) for you to edit and update in the future should that be required.

What we’re concerned about is the panel at the top. Create a design. You’ll see a small selection of different options as well as the more button. Click on that and the create a design will expand.

How To Design Your Professional Business Card For Free Using Canva
In this instance we’re looking to design a free business card. Scroll down to find the marketing genre, within that you’ll see the business card option. Click on it and you should find it opens a new tab within your browser.

 


Select Your Layout

Now we’re into the design stages of the business card. Specifically the layout. Canva comes pre-installed with over 100 different business card designs. All designs are two pages (designed for double sided business cards)

You can select the layout by scrolling down on the left hand side and clicking on the design you would like to use.



How To Avoid Paid Designs

Some designs will be labelled as free. However once selected they’ll come up with a small ‘$’ icon. This is specifically due to the image used within the design. You’ll be able to note the image that is requiring payment due to the watermark.

If you simply remove that image, or change it to another image (either uploaded yourself or from Canva’s catalogue of free images) then the design will be free to download.


Customisation

Now it’s time to customise. Add images, add text. Change the font, change the size, change the colour. There’s really no limit and plenty of options to choose from. 


Download Your Design

Once you’ve finished you’ll be able to download your design. There’s a number of different download formats available including PDF and JPEG. 


The design will then remain in your account for you to change and update in the future should you wish to do so.

There we have it. You’ve just designed yourself a highly professional free business card in a matter of minutes. If you’re interested in seeing more Canva tutorials in the future or have any questions as to this tutorial leave me a comment and I’d be more than happy to help.

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego

I’ve been submitting a self assessment tax return for over five years now. At a time it was a rather daunting task for 20-something however, thanks to new cloud software such as Xero this process has been made simple and straight forward. While my tax affairs have become more complicated in recent years forcing me to hire an accountant.

 

For a long time I committed to becoming a ‘Jack of all trades’ and saved myself some serious cash by doing so. April marks the end of the tax year once again, which is exactly why I want to share with you the very basics of a self assessment tax return. I hope that by doing so I can help you to save time, money and hassle.  

Who Needs To Complete A Self Assessment Tax Return?

Not everyone needs to complete a tax return. The majority of UK tax payers have their tax collected at source through the Pay as You Earn Scheme. This is where employers run a payroll scheme that deducts the correct amount of tax and national insurance each month.

 

The employer is then legally obliged to pay this amount over to HMRC every month or every three months depending upon their size. There are however many reasons as to why 7 million people in the UK need to submit a self assessment tax return to HMRC.

 

Below are the most common;

Income above £2,500 from Land or Property
Company Director or If you are self employed
Income from a pension and a salary 40% income tax payer and have savings income
Receive an income from investments that are not taxed at source.
Income from foreign sources Income subject to capital gains tax.

 

Just remember this is just a few examples. If you are unsure as to whether or not you should be completing a self assessment contact HMRC directly.

 

When Does The Tax Year Start? And End?

The tax year runs from the 6th April until the 5th April each year.  

When Do I Have To Submit My Tax Return?

I believe the deadline is very generous. HMRC give you until 31st January to submit and pay your return. That’s around 10 months!

 

Yet many still fail to meet that deadline and by doing so receive penalties for doing so. Many of us also leave it to the last minute. Causing unnecessary stress and running the risk of being unable to submit the return on time.

Save yourself from this self assessment embarrassment  

How Much Does Submitting A Self Assessment Cost?

If you’re willing to put in the graft and do all the work, record keeping and mathematics yourself then submitting your self assessment tax return to HMRC is totally free. However, remember time is money and it’s often all about finding the best of both worlds.

 

You can outsource your self assessment return entirely to a bookkeeper or accountant. This could cost anything from £300+ per year. It’s entirely dependent on the accountant you choose and your personal circumstances.

 

However, I found the middle ground for myself was using the cloud based accounting platform Xero. It cost less money than an accountant, but also required less work than doing the entire thing myself. Time vs Money for me personally it was a winner!

 

Where Can I Learn More About Self Assessment?

I remember when I first went into the world of self employment. It was a first for anyone in my family, and being young at times I found it confusing and hard to understand. HMRC knows this is often the case regardless of your situation which is why they host regular webinars.

 

Just remember that if you’re confused or for whatever reason don’t understand you should always contact an accountant or HMRC directly. They’ll be able to tailor the answer to your particular circumstances, ensuring that you’re always submitting your self assessment forms correctly.   I hope this latest post has given you some insight into submitting your own self assessment tax form.

 

The most important thing to remember is to complete your form as early as possible, and keep on-top of your record keeping. This is going to really reduce the time it’s going to take you to complete your return whether you choose to use an accountant, cloud based accounting services or do it yourself.

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego


I've been using Xero as my cloud based accounting platform of choice for the past four years now, and heres why.

Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use online accounting software designed for small businesses. I have personally been using the software since January 2015 when I ventured into a world I knew very little about – self employment.

  

Since then it’s allowed me to understand the financial situation of my business, save time, save money and plan accordingly for the future. I can’t recommend it enough (which is why you’ll often see me go on about it in Facebook groups & on Youtube hangouts)



I therefore decided it was long-over due that I dedicate an entire post to a Xero review. Explaining exactly why I use Xero for my cloud based accounting. Clearly, I’m not the only fan of Xero as their community is made up of more than 862,000 subscribers in over 180 countries. 

 

Accounts

In this Xero review I’m going to start with perhaps one of the most basic and yet profound features this online accounting service offers. It’s ability to be able to link my bank and credit cards as well as my PayPal account. Updating them all in Xero in real time.

 

No more logging in to check all of your business bank accounts. Load Xero up and you can be assured that all your accounts are completely up-to-date. I can see the overall financial possition of my business on one screen – not a calculator or spreadsheet in sight!

 

To link Xero together with your bank account is as simple as logging into your online banking. No more wasting your time writing down your expenses or exporting and importing CSV files. With Xero your income and outgoings are right there in front of you.

 

The reconciliation Xero offers also allows you to create ‘rules’ allowing you to select what certain transactions should be catagorised into. This not only saves you time but reduces the risk of human errors. 

 

Integration 

If the ability to work together with your bank wasn’t enough maybe the integration with almost 500 different applications might be. In this section of my Xero review I’m going to be talking about everything from SqaureSpace to Shopify and Gusto to Debtor Daddy (and everything in between!)

 

All this is designed to allow you to customise your Xero experience exactly to your businesses needs. Giving your the opportunity to connect with other time saving applications from advanced solutions for point-of-sale, time tracking, e-commerce and more!

 

Support

Aged just 20 I began my life as a self-employed entrepreneur. I knew very little about accounting, taxes and everything in between. When I got set up on Xero I had questions;

 

Why does this do this?

 

Why isn’t this doing that?

 

Am I doing this right?

 

If like me you’ve never done this before it’s super overwhelming and confusing. Luckily Xero’s support team was here to help every step of the way. I’m not just talking about being there for the few weeks where I was getting set up.

 

Just recently my business became a limited company, I was back to square one with one-million and one questions, again Xero’s amazing team was here to help… best of all it was quick, free and the amount of support they provide is unlimited.

 

Mobile

Xero also comes complete with a mobile application. This mobile application allows you to view your businesses financial situation whilst on the go or out and about.

 

It’s made all the difference when I find a business opportunity whilst on the road allowing me to see exactly how much I can afford to invest without restricting my business further.

 

Cost

When starting up a new business we all know how important it is to save money wherever possible. I wanted to be in full control of my financial situation. I didn’t want to hand everything over to an accountant who wanted to charge me £150 a month for the privilidge. 

 

Instead I opted for one of Xero’s three price plans;

 

Starter – £10 per month Ideal for bloggers or those who are just starting out.

 

This allows you to reconcile 20 transactions a month. Enter 5 bills Send 5 invoices

 

Standard – £22 per month My personal choice and more than enough for most small-businesses.

 

Reconcile unlimited transactions Enter unlimited transactions Send unlimited invoices

 

Premium – £27.50 per month If you conduct transactions in a currency other than your local (UK – GBP / US – USD)

 

Everything standard offers plus multi-currency transactions. Take Xero up on their 30-day free trial to find out which service might suit your needs best.

 

Bookkeepers & Accountants

As your business grows and your needs change you may find yourself needing some further accounting assistance in the form of a bookkeeper or an accountant.

 

What’s great is that with Xero being a cloud based platform your person of choice can access your books at any time. You are also able to keep in full control of your financial situation and make decisions accordingly.

 

If you think finding someone with the knowledge and experience who is also a Xero professional is going to be tough, think again. Xero have created this fantastic interactive tool to find the best person for the job, local to you.

 

Security

The final part of my Xero review is dedicated to security. Afterall, your handing over very sensitive information in regards to your business. Which means security has to be tight… and it is. Xero’s platform is run with a secure SSL encryption. SSL encryption is the exact same as what your bank uses, so with security as tight as your bank. You can be sure you’re sensative information is in safe hands.

 

I do hope you enjoyed this Xero review. If you’re still unsure then be sure to take them up on their 30 day free trial to find out if they are right for you. If you go ahead and sign up then be sure to let me know in the comments.

If you’re interested to learn more about self-employment and accounting then be sure to check out my post on HMRC Self Assessment FAQ’s.

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