Document Archiving For Those Who Work From Home

All businesses, including those run from home, need to practice effective document archiving. This is the storage or preservation of information. More and more organisations are placing their documents onto digital files, as this gives them the ability to store a greater amount of data with ease, and they can increase the lifespan of documents. Nevertheless, there are lots of documents that will need to be kept in paper format. It is important to be able to deal with both options effectively. With that being said, read on to discover more about the rules of business document archiving.

paper files documents

  •    Audit your documents – There is only one place to begin when it comes to archiving documents, and this is to audit your documents effectively. You need to determine what documents you need to keep in their original format, what documents can be scanned, which documents you can keep online, and which ones need to be thrown away. You don’t want to take up valuable storage space for documents that you do not actually need, which is why this part of the process is so important.
  •    Get up to speed with the law - There is legislation in place regarding what type of documents businesses need to keep in their original format. Therefore, it is important to get up to speed with this so that you do not end up throwing away something that could be important down the line. If HMRC want to carry out a tax investigation and you have thrown out your vital documents and records, you could find yourself in deep water. Nevertheless, there are many documents that you are allowed to keep in digital format these days, and thus this is something that is worth keeping in mind.

  •    Choosing a location – When it comes to the physical storage of your documents, it is vital to choose a self storage location with care. A lot of people opt for an offsite solution for a number of reasons. Not only is this ideal for those that have outgrown their current office space, but it can be a lot more secure as well. Nevertheless, you do need to think about accessibility, as you will want to ensure you can easily get your hands on your records whenever you need them.

  •    Know retention rates – It is also vital to ensure you get to grips with retention rates. If you get rid of anything earlier than you should, you could find that you get in trouble in terms of non-compliance. However, you will also want to make sure you get rid of any documents whenever you can. This will free up some space and it will reduce the chance of a data breach if you do not hold onto documents for longer than you need to.

All things considered, if you follow the four points that have been mentioned above, you will have a much greater chance of achieving document achieving success for your home business. This is something you need to approach with a proper plan of action to ensure everything is organised and handled efficiently.

5 Tips for a Wedding on a Budget

Last summer, it was reported that UK wedding costs had reached an all-time high, with the average rising to just over £30000. If you are engaged or thinking about getting married soon, numbers like that might fill you with dread. The engagement ring is one thing, but the idea of spending that much on one day might seem a little much.

While it would be lovely to spend that kind of money and have whatever we want, the reality for most of us is that if we wanted to splash the cash in such an extortionate way the only option would be to get into massive amounts of debt, which isn’t always a great way to start married life. Or even an option for all of us.

But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful wedding on a much smaller budget. Many people manage to do it on less than £5000, without spending more than they can afford, or regretting their choices. Here are some great tips to help you to get married on a budget.

wedding on a budget

Prioritise

If you’ve always wanted a band, look here, to find one. If the honeymoon means more than the wedding, go for it. If you want a big meal, or something a little different food wise, have it. Just make cuts elsewhere. Break your budget down into sections, assigning money to every part of your wedding. Spend less on the things that aren’t important to you, and more on your priorities.

Don’t Be A Slave to Tradition

You don’t have to have flowers, just because it’s the tradition. You don’t have to have wedding cars or fancy invites. You certainly don’t need save the date cards or centrepieces. Don’t feel like you have to have everything that everyone else does. If these things are important to you, that’s fine. If they’re not, they are great places to save money.

Get Married on a Monday in November

Venues, entertainers, caterers and even hairdressers could charge you more on Saturdays in the summer. Weddings in the winter and mid-week are often much cheaper than summer weekend weddings.

It’s also worth skipping the word “wedding” when you speak to suppliers. This little word could inflate costs massively. Just tell them that you are planning a party if possible.

It’s Who You Know

You probably know loads of people that could help. It’s time to call in favours or to ask people for help, instead of wedding presents. Ask yourself if you know anyone that could bake a cake, or DJ your reception. Are there any photographers on your friends' list that could give you a discount?

wedding on a budget

Keep Your Number Small

When it comes to a wedding, people cost money. Every person that you invite costs you money in food, invitations, favours, and drinks. A wedding with 100 guests is much more costly than one with 50.

When it comes to your guest list, don’t fall into the “If I invite her, I have to invite him” trap. You don’t have to invite anyone. It’s your wedding. Instead, ask yourself if you’d buy them a meal usually, if not, do you really need them at your wedding?

13 Things To Consider Before Bringing A New Pet Into Your Home

what to consider when bringing pets into the home

Although it may not seem like it, bringing a new pet into your home is an incredibly big decision to make. There are lots of different things you need to consider before you bring your pet home as you need to ensure it’s going to be in the best possible environment it can be. If you’ve never had pets before, it can be hard to know what sort of environment this is.

Whether you’re going to be getting a dog, cat or even a hamster, here are 13 things you need to consider before you welcome them into your home:

  • Why Do You Want A Pet?

The first thing you need to think about is why do you want a pet? There are lots of different reasons for bringing a pet into your home, but if it is something you don’t think you’re going to be able to commit to looking after for as many as 20-25 years, then maybe it isn’t the best decision for you.

You may want to consider taking part in programmes like Borrow My Doggy to test the waters. You’ll be able to get a good idea as to whether or not it’s something you can fit into your current lifestyle, without having to bring a pet into your home permanently.

  • Can You Afford To Get A Pet?

Another important thing you need to consider before bringing a pet into your home is whether or not you can afford to give them the life they need. Having a pet can be expensive when you consider all of the food, toys, insurance and medical bills you will need to pay for. Try researching the average monthly cost for the pet you want, then see whether or not it will fit into your budget.

  • Will Your Landlord Allow It?

If you’re renting a home you may find that your tenancy agreement states you’re not allowed to have pets, so it’s important to check this before you bring a pet into your home.

You could also ask your landlord or estate agents personally. You may find that you’re able to pay an additional deposit as insurance for any pets causing damage to their home.

  • Will They Fit Into Your Lifestyle?

Depending on what kind of pet you want, you need to consider whether or not they will fit into your current lifestyle.

If you’re looking to bring a dog or cat in your home you will find that they'll need much more attention than most other pets. This means that if you have a busy lifestyle where you don’t spend much time at home, then it may not be the be best pet for you and your family. If you’re looking for a pet that will fit into a busy lifestyle, you may be better suited to a rabbit or hamster.

  • What Pet Will You Be Getting?

It goes without saying that one of the most important things you need to consider is what kind of pet you’ll be getting. Make sure everyone in your family has a say in the decision, taking everyone’s opinion into account. Most of the time you’ll find you’re all on the same page, but when you’re making such a big decision it’s important everyone has a say - including your kids!

For a guide on deciding what pet to get, you can visit this handy guide here.

  • What Breed Do You Want?

If you'd like a dog, then it’s time to decide on a breed. This may be a simple decision but if you’re unsure it’s definitely worth doing your research as different breeds have very different temperaments.

  • Where Will You Be Getting Them From?

There are a lot of different places to get pets from including a pet store, a local home or from a rescue centre. Depending on where you choose to go there may well be different procedures to follow, so it’s important you do your research beforehand.

If you’re thinking of rescuing a cat or dog, make sure you’re preparing your home for a pet that may be a little bit more timid and scared based on their previous living conditions. Whilst this is an incredible way to help an animal in need, you need to ensure you’re offering them a living situation they feel safe and comfortable in. For more information on rescuing a pet, you can visit this site.  

  • How Will You Introduce Them Into Your Home?

Once you have decided what pet you’re getting and where you’re getting them from, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to start introducing them to your home. There are lots of tried and tested methods to ensuring your new pet doesn’t feel too overwhelmed, and that they settle in within the first few days.

Whilst it will definitely be a stressful experience for them moving into their new home, doing everything you can to make them feel comfortable will certainly make the entire process go quicker.

things to consider when bringing pets into the home

  • What Changes Do You Need To Make In Your Home Before They Arrive?

If you need to make any changes to your home to help accommodate your new addition, it’s better to do them before they arrive. This could involve tidying away any cables, covering up and small holes and ensuring the doors are secure - basically anything that will keep them safe and out of harm's way.

  • What Essentials Do You Need To Buy Before They Arrive?

There are lots of different things you need to purchase for your new pet before they arrive including a new bed, a stockpile of food and lots and lots of things to make them feel at home. Making sure you have the essentials (especially a bed) in place when they first arrive will help them get used to them straight away.

  • What Toys Will You Be Purchasing For Them?

If you want your new pet to feel comfortable from the moment they arrive, make sure you have lots of toys for them to play with. You’re better off buying a selection of different things, to begin with, letting them choose which their favourites are themselves. For example, dogs may want a mixture of rope toys to pull on, balls to throw about and chews - like this fun deer antler chew - to help them teethe.

  • Are You Well Stocked Up On Pet Food?

Making sure you’re well stocked with pet food will ensure you’re pet is getting everything they need. It may be hard to find a brand and taste they like at first so getting a couple of different varieties may be a good idea. Once you’ve discovered which one they like best you can purchase that brand moving forward.

It may also be worth stocking up on lots of different treats to help house-train them. They’re great for positive reinforcement and letting them know they’ve done a good job!

  • Have You Booked In Their First Vaccinations?

Most pets will need vaccinations to help ensure they’re fighting away illnesses, especially if you’re bringing them into your home at a young age. As soon as your new pet arrives make sure you book them in for an initial checkup, arranging any vaccinations they may need. For cats and dogs, it’s also important you’re protecting them against fleas and worms - something every veterinary surgery will offer.

Save Money on Home Renovations by Using These Smart Decor Tricks Instead

Renovations are no doubt expensive, time-consuming and a lot of work–especially if you do it yourself! However, we believe that instead of getting a full renovation, you can save a lot of money and get a similar effect by utilising these smart decor tricks instead!

Save Money on Home Renovations by Using These Smart Decor Tricks Instead

Add a stair carpet

If you have a wooden stairwell then placing a simple stair carpet will enhance the look and make it a little less slippery when you go upstairs in your socks.

Move your furniture around

Sometimes all it takes for us to feel like the room is entirely new is a different furniture layout. Breaking up the routine that you’re used to will make your home feel a little different and this is often enough of a makeover for people to be satisfied. Moving furniture around can be time-consuming so make sure you plan a weekend for it and use the opportunity to clean up the areas where your furniture has been sitting.

Don’t leave walls bare

Be it adding a clock, paintings, framed pictures or even a small hanger to place things like your keys and wallet, don’t leave your walls bare because it’s a fantastic source of extra storage and decor space. If you have large unused spaces in your rooms, then we would recommend adding shelves for extra storage space.

Fill your shelves

Just like your walls, empty shelves are a waste of space and they’re a fantastic place to put personalised decor pieces like trinkets, awards and memorabilia. You could fill them with books, music collections, important documents, photographs or even small potted plants. This will make your home look busier and give it a completely different personality.

Focus on your doors

Many people underestimate just how much of a difference door accessories can make to the general feel of a room. For instance, the handles could be improved to give a door a more unique and polished appearance, and replacing rusting and old hinges will add a pleasant yet subtle touch to your home.

Add a kitchen splashback

A kitchen splashback is inexpensive and very easy to install especially if it comes in a single sheet or piece. You can purchase splashbacks with unique designs, patterns or even messages to make your cooking area a little nicer.

Place plants around the home

Potted plants can be added virtually anywhere to the home since they’re relatively small, they come in many shapes and colours, and they’re easy to take care of. You can even use larger potted plants in corners of the room that would otherwise be empty.

Upgrade your lighting

Be it replacing an old lampshade, cleaning dusty bulbs or even swapping them out for inexpensive LED lights, it’s very easy to upgrade your lighting and you’d be surprised at just how big of a difference it makes to the overall feel of your home.

 

Hopefully, these tips have given you some budget ideas for decor changes. You often don’t need to renovate your entire home to get the feeling of a fresh and unique house, so try these little tricks first before you decide that you really need a complete house makeover.

Reasons Why You Should Start Saving Now To Better Your Family’s Future

saving for familys future
Working towards the future, there are all kinds of goals we might have in mind for our family. Invariably, many of these goals will be centered around our finances, because if we don't have the money in our bank accounts, we might inhibit our future and our family's future later on.

By setting saving goals early on, you can work towards bettering your family's future today, for the benefit all of you.

#1: Saving for those nice-to-have things your family wants

You don't need money to have a good time with your family, but let's admit it, a bit of cash in our pockets certainly helps. Set goals for something specific then, such as those bucket list travel destinations you have in mind, or on home improvements, such as a games room for you and the kids, and you will all benefit. Memories will be created, fun will be had, and you will create bonding moments that will strengthen your relationships.

#2: Save your money for those important life events that may affect your family

Your daughter's wedding? Your children's college fees? Moving your family to a new home? Some of these saving goals may not be set in stone at the moment, but they might be one day. The sooner you start saving your money, the more you will have to support yourself and your children when these life events start becoming a reality.

#3: Save money to support yourself after your retirement

You don't want to be financially dependent on your children when you are older, so you really do need to consider your retirement, no matter how far away it might be. By doing so, you won't have to carry on working, you will be able to enjoy your retirement, and if you need extra care as you get older, you will be able to afford care homes such as Porthaven instead of landing yourself on your children's doorstep.

#4: Save money to pay off your debts

If you are forever burdened by debt, you might not have the means to buy those nice-to-have things for your family, or for those important life events that may happen en route. You won't have the means to put a lot of money into your retirement fund either, and that will limit your lifestyle later on. Debt can inhibit you in lots of different ways, so to ensure you aren't beholden to them forever, start to put extra money into your savings to clear your debts, and use the debt advice here to climb out of the debt pit sooner.

#5: Save money for those emergency situations

Ideally, you should have two saving accounts: one account for your expected saving goals, and another for those life events that are unexpected. Your car might break down, for example, or you might lose your job. These events can eat into your regular savings, and that can scupper your family's short and long-term future. Therefore, set up an emergency fund for those 'just in case' moments, and despite the personal setbacks, you might be able to soften the financial blow.

So, have you set up a savings account yet? We hope we have given you sufficient incentive here for you to do so. Shop around your local banks if you haven't already done so, consider the advice here, and then start putting money away. Your family's future depends on it!

Top Family Travel Destinations To Add To Your Bucket List

Travelling with your family is something that you want to remember for all of the right reasons. It can be a great time to spend quality time together and to all create some wonderful memories. But because the cost of paying for multiple people can all add up, especially as children get older, there can be such a need to make the trip really worthwhile; you don’t want to feel like you’ve wasted all of that money, right?

The good news is that there are some places that are perfect to take a family to, even if your family likes to do a variety of different things. So if you pick one of the following destinations, it is bound to be a hit with your family; are there any that you have been to before and would recommend? It would be great to hear what you think.

 

Menorca

The smallest of Spain’s Balearic islands makes a great choice as a getaway for families. As the location detects, it is an island, so it means that there are stunning beaches aplenty. It has a relaxed atmosphere for families, compared to counterparts like Ibiza, and it is only a short flight of around two hours away from the UK. So for families with younger children it can be a really good option, with some guaranteed good weather in the summer. There are choices of accommodation too from luxury hotels, budget hotels, villas, and apartments, so there will be something for every budget and for every need.

top family destinations. menorca

Florida

The sunshine state itself is a great choice for families. There are different parts of the US state, so you can choose what to do according to what you all like to do. Naturally, Orlando springs to mind as a destination in Florida, as there are so many things to do there from the Disney and Universal parks, to plenty of water parks. There are great beaches in Florida too, with places like Daytona Beach becoming more family-friendly and less ‘spring break’ friendly, and the west side of the state being a great choice for more relaxed beaches in the Clearwater area of Florida. Miami is a popular choice with tourists too, as well as Tampa, the home of Busch Gardens. Theme parks, beaches, good American food, and good weather are the order of the day in Florida, so it makes for an easy trip for families, where there really is something for everyone.

Portugal

Much like Menorca or Spain, Portugal is only a short flight away from the UK, but there is some great weather to enjoy over in Portugal. If you are looking for the most family-friendly areas, then down in the Algarve, in the south of the country is a great choice. You can get some good value for money and the beaches are sublime.

If you are after something a little different for your family, but still a Portuguese island, then The Azores could be an option. It is a collection of small islands in the mid-Atlantic, that are known for their dramatic landscapes, fishing villages, green pastures and hedgerows of blue hydrangeas. Planning a trip to the Azores for families could even tie in with a trip to the mainland and then getting another flight out there. Madeira is another Portuguese island that can be worth a visit, as you do get a lot of value for money. It has been associated with older people in the past, but it has become more and more popular with families.

top family destinations holidays portugal

Greek Islands

There are so many islands in Greece that it is hard to choose, but pretty much all of them are going to make a great choice for families. The people are very family oriented there so children are very welcome, and it is a little further out from the UK (around four hours), so you can really feel like you’re somewhere exotic. It can get very hot in the summer months, so for taking really little ones, May or September could be the perfect times to visit rather than the heat of July or August. The beaches are amazing and plenty of water sports and boating if something like that takes your fancy.

California

If you have children that are more in the teen or tween age, then California can be a great destination of choice. There are plenty of cities in the US state with a variety of different things to do. There's the hustle and bustle of LA, with the beach and pier of Santa Monica, alongside the more quirky San Francisco which is actually quite a unique place in the USA. There are some amazing national parks in California too, with Yosemite being the largest and most famous, where you can see huge redwood and sequoia trees. There are some great beaches up and down the state too, as well as theme parks dotted around from Anaheim to LA, to San Diego. So if you fancy a road trip, this could be the best place to visit.

Cruises

OK, so this one isn’t strictly a destination as such, but cruises, believe it or not, are well-equipped for families. There are so many fun things to keep children and teens entertained, from swimming pools and splash pads on board, to cinemas, mini-golf, shows, laser quest, bowling, and much more. Plus you get to dock at certain points along the way, so it makes it a great way to see a variety of different places all in one trip.

Dubai

Dubai might surprise you to see it on the list, but it is a great destination for families. The majority of locals have large families so everything is equipped to cater for them. The beaches are great, the weather is amazing all year round (though maybe a little too hot in the height of summer), and the prices out there are really reasonable. Fuel is so cheap because of the cities location, so getting around in taxis can be so cheap. There are some amazing sights like the largest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, as well as being close to the desert where you can quad bike or take a tour. It is somewhere in the world unlike any other; a bit of a Marmite destination, but lots of fun nonetheless.

top family destinations dubai holidays

London

If you fancy a little trip staying at home and not having to go too far, then London is a great destination of choice. There is so much history in the city, of course, as well as some world class tourist sites. There are many things that you can pay for, but sometimes just wandering around London you can find some unique and quirky things to see. There are free things like museums that you can visit, and there is great shopping and all kinds of food from all around the world. Accommodation can really vary too and be suitable for different budgets, so don’t write London off as a good choice.

Center Parcs

Any kind of UK holiday park is usually a winner with families, as that is who they are set up for. The most famous in the UK is Center Parcs, but there are others like Haven or Bluestone in Wales. There are large swimming pools to enjoy, as well as biking, hiking, walks, lakes, outdoor pursuits, and indoor activities. You usually self-cater too, so you can really stick to a budget.

The Best Sports to Keep You Fit

Keeping fit is something people all over the world are struggling with right now. If you happen to be one of those people, know that you aren’t alone and there’s a solution that will work for you.

For many people, their saving grace has been finding a sport that they enjoy and makes fitness less of a daunting commitment. You may be wondering whether some sports are more effective for fitness than others, but the truth is that they all perform different functions when it comes to keeping your body fit.

If you happen to be a busy parent ready to use sports as a tool to keep fit, see a few you can try below.

Cycling

When thinking about sports that can help you stay fit, cycling should be at the top of your list. Not only will it give you a great workout, but it’s also ideal for any busy parent. Some benefits of cycling are that it helps meet the recommended physical activity guidelines and reduces the risk of illness and disease. Regarding what it does for the body, it improves your muscles and cardiovascular function. To make it something you can do with the kids and to encourage family fitness, consider getting everyone bikes and riding to school if it isn’t too far.

Swimming

For those who have a connection with water and find it soothing, another excellent sport to consider is swimming. It is such a great sport for fitness because it gives you a full body workout increasing the heart rate, helping you maintain a healthy weight and increasing your heart rate. This is also a child-friendly sport, so bring the kids along with you on some days.

If you happen to suffer an injury at the swimming pool that was no fault of your own, you should visit www.the-compensation-experts.co.uk as you may be able to get swimming pool compensation.

Tennis

In addition to the mentioned sports, tennis is another one that is capable of keeping you fit and getting you in shape. You don’t have to be a pro to play, and it’s likely that the more you practice, the better you’ll get anyway. Some health benefits are increased aerobic fitness, strength, speed and muscle toning and weight loss. A couple of reasons for this may be that the average player covers between 3-5 miles during the match and burns up to 500 calories per hour.

Basketball

For the more athletic kind or anyone who is up for a friendly competition, basketball is an ideal sport to try for fitness because not only can it be fun, but it physically works your body out as well. Some benefits of playing basketball are that it can boost your mental development which is something you need as a parent as well as its ability to build your cardiovascular health. You can usually find a basketball court somewhere in your local community and playing with your family on weekends may be fun too.

There are hundreds of different sports out there, so it’s left to you to find one that you enjoy the most. You could also play a range of sports to keep it interesting, so know you aren’t limited to a single one.

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