Category Archives: Costs


Survey Shows Increase in Worries Over Finances and Jobs As Cutbacks Begin

Findings of new survey comprising of 2,000 people reveal concerns as increasing over finances, the economy and job security as Government Cutbacks start.

• Government Cutbacks worry 84% of participants
• 69% reveal they think the extent of the cuts are not being truthfully shared by the Government
• Concerned about the security of their jobs are 56%
• Expecting to be up to £300 worse off every month due to cuts are 77%
• Thinking the cuts by the Government will harm the economy are 50%

07 February 2011 – The new survey saw 2,000 people take part, and showed that due to local authorities getting rid of thousands of employees, inflation going up to 3.7% and unemployment rates in the UK going up to 2.5 million, many are getting rather anxious about the affects of the Government Cutbacks. is one of the nation’s top money saving website range, and were behind the national survey. They found that 84% were concerned about the cutbacks being made by the Government; whilst 69% did not really believe the Government is being honest about the depth of the cuts.

Simon Terry, Managing Director of remarked, “There is a real sense of concern surrounding the Government cutbacks. We have seen that county councils are axing thousands of employees, and with the increase in inflation it is causing many to feel insecure and worried about the safety of their jobs and the state of their finances.”

The new national survey also found that each month 77% of participants are now expecting to be worse of by up to £300. 11% said they believe their figure will be up to £1000 and only 10% said they did not think their financial situation would be affected by the cutbacks.

Also, 50% said they were concerned about how the cuts will impact the security of their jobs. 63% said they worked in the public sector, or were aware of someone else who did, and were concerned about the future of their on-going position.

With many starting to be increasingly worried about their finances and jobs, the survey found many were deciding to delay buying expensive items and even put off major life changing decisions. For example: 40% are now postponing home improvement; 38% will now delay buying a new car or going on holiday; 22% said they will now delay moving house; 17% will not change their jobs at this time; 7% say they are now putting off having a baby; and 7% have decided to hold off on their wedding plans.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

NS&I Reveal Findings Of Families, Finance And The Future Report

NS&I’s ‘Families, Finance and the Future’ report has shown that before having children, Britons believe you should have an income of at least £25,000 per annum to ensure financial security, while 20% of those surveyed said that they would seriously consider not having children because the cost of having them nowadays is so high.

The NS&I report, Families, Finance and the Future, was written by the Future Foundation and commissioned by NS&I. The report was produced by a combination of desk research and original survey work. Figures taken from a nationally representative sample of 1,049 adults aged 16+. Other sources the report used include the British Household Panel Survey, the ONS, Eurobarometer, the Department for Communities and Local Government, and previous surveys conducted by the Future Foundation.

Almost two-thirds (64%) said people should be financially secure before starting a family, while 78% agreed that the standard of living was an influencing factor when deciding on how many children to have. Just 26% of Britons believe that money shouldn’t be a consideration when deciding to start a family.

Tim Mack, NS&I Savings Spokesman, said: “Starting a family is always going to be much more than a purely economic decision, though for some the financial requirement is clearly an income of £25,000 per year. Britons are also considering their financial future when deciding on the number of children they will have.”

More than one in ten respondents (12%) thought that those thinking of starting a family should be earning between £40,000 and £70,000 before having children, while a similar number (13%) believed that they didn’t need anything as they would always be able to get by. Men were more likely to suggest a bigger financial cushion than women – £27,000 per year, compared to just £23,000 for women – while people without children gave much higher estimates, saying people should be earning at least£30,000.

As well as looking at the situation for individuals, the report also argues that finances and families are linked on a larger, macroeconomic, level.

Barry Clark, Account Director at the Future Foundation, said: “Baby booms tend to follow economic booms and the reverse is true too. Our data suggests that over the past 60 years, GDP growth and the change in birth rates in the UK have been closely linked, so we expect that the coming years will show more than ever that finances and families are related on both a personal and national economic scale.”

The primary consideration influences on the number of children people decide to have appeared to be common:

78% – standard of living they can give their children
73% – meeting the cost of raising their children
51% – size of the house they can afford to raise their family in
39% – education they can make sure their children receive

It is evident that perceived affluence has an effect on the birth rate. In fact, Future Foundation research and the British Household Panel Survey both have shown that in European countries where more people have an income that is either in line with or above their financial expectations, families bear more children.

Barry Clark added: “The highest earners would seem less likely to have larger families owing to the demands of, and devotion to, their careers, or a sharper awareness of just how much children cost to raise.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Britain’s Disposable Expenditure On The Up For First Time Since Credit Crunch

Spending on non essential products and services is on the increase after a hesitant start to consumer spending in 2009. Research conducted by Kublax, an online money management service, reveals that discretionary spending is on the up.

Kublax - money mangement platform

Products and services, such as shoes and gifts, are usually the first areas of spending to be cut down on in hard economic times. The fact that a lot of these spending areas are showing signs of recovery is good news for the economy, as it indicates that consumers are regaining confidence. This circulates money through the economy, creating a multiplier effect, rather than leaving it stagnant in savings accounts.

Kublax took a sample of 1000 adult users and studied their specific spending habits through their finance software, from everyday living to luxury purposes. The report found a massive increase in spending in the second quarter when compared to the first quarter of 2009.

The ‘Kublax Spending Index’ revealed holiday expenditure increased by a staggering 117% in the second quarter, rising from an average spend of £511 in the first quarter to an average spend of £1107.

Other spending categories with notable increase in the second quarter include:

• 62% increase on spending on children
• 28% increase on gifts and flowers
• 12% increase on clothing

These statistics indicate a more positive economic outlook for the summer period. Tom Symonds, CEO of Kublax comments, “The correlation between the arrival of summer and an increase in monthly outgoings may also be due to a seasonal change in attitude; as the weather brightens, so too does the mood of the British public as they unwind and treat themselves more.”

The results of the ‘Kublax Spending Index’ also correlated with other industry surveys of the same period, which found decreases in spending on eating out. Kublax found 42% decrease on coffees/sandwiches/snacks, and an 11% decrease in restaurants/dining spending.

Although launched in May 2009, the site has been in beta testing phase from September 2008 and collected the data from January 2009 to June 2009.

Kublax is a money management platform through which users are able to simplify their finances. The finance software works by pulling together all building society, bank and credit card accounts into one easy access location. Once all information has been compiled, users are able to budget and manage their finances more effectively than by viewing different statements from multiple banks. Kublax automatically categorizes spending and produces diagrams and charts illustrating how you are spending your money. Comparisons to user averages as well as an effective alert and reminder systems provides a sense of financial benchmarking and real time money management that is innovate, extremely useful, and is likely to save people money and reduce stress.

With set up taking a matter of minutes, Kublax is perfectly placed to help the online generation, who hold on average two current accounts and two credit cards, deal with their ever more complex finances.

To find out more about Kublax’s online finance software, or to read more about spending habits in the UK, visit

Via EPR Network
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Divorce Survival Kit Released as Ultimate Divorce Resource

The Divorce Survival Kit has just been released as the ultimate comprehensive resource for people experiencing divorce. The Divorce Survival Kit was developed by Carol Ann Wilson, one of the nation’s foremost experts on divorce and finances. The Divorce Survival Kit consists of a four (4) CD audio set and complete workbook filled with examples, forms and checklists. The product took over a year to complete, and it represents a great wealth of Carol Ann’s vast knowledge and experience. The Kit contains everything you need to know if you are going through a divorce and are concerned with how to survive financially.

The topics covered in the Divorce Survival Kit include:

  • Marital vs. Separate Property: Learn the truth about marital and separate property and how to keep what is yours. Don’t surrender it if you don’t have to!
  • Alimony/Maintenance: Find out if you are likely to receive alimony and how much. If you have to pay alimony, understand how to best protect yourself and minimize your losses.
  • Health Insurance: Did you know you could become uninsurable after your divorce? Protect yourself and your children.
  • Child Support: Learn what you need to know about the Child Contingency Rule that could save you from owing the IRS thousands of dollars.
  • Asset Division: Don’t ruin your financial future by failing to consider hidden assets and tax consequences. Discover the best ways to divide all your assets.
  • Dividing Retirement Accounts: This is often the biggest asset in the marriage. Avoid some common mistakes and make the most of this valuable asset.
  • Settlement Alternatives: Courtroom battles can be costly and expensive, but there are alternatives. Mediation, arbitration and collaborative divorce are explained.

Carol Ann Wilson, a Certified Financial Divorce Practitioner, is the founder of the profession of divorce financial planning. She has been working with divorcing clients and their attorneys for over 20 years.

Carol Ann’s dedication to helping couples financially survive their divorce has driven her to continuously develop more ways to help them. In addition to the Divorce Survival Kit, Wilson has authored many books and articles on divorce, has served as an expert witness in court for over 120 divorce cases, has developed software for professionals used in determining financial results in divorce settlements, and has trained thousands of divorce financial planners around the country how to work with divorcing clients to achieve fair and equitable divorce settlements.

Currently, Wilson is the president of the Financial Divorce Association, located in Longmont, Colorado, and an owner of the Academy of Financial Divorce Practitioners in Chicago. Her expertise, as the founder of the profession, is highly sought-after, and Wilson continues to consult with divorcing clients today.

“The Divorce Survival Kit is going to help a lot of people,” Carol Ann says. “I am excited to be able to offer all of my knowledge and experience in one complete package, that is affordable to anyone. I like to say that you get my 24 years of experience for less than the cost of 30 minutes with an attorney.”

Via EPR Network
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Term Life Insurance Protects Family, Future of Loved Ones

Term life insurance works by paying a predetermined amount of money to any beneficiary you choose if you pass away during the term of the policy. Term life insurance is the most popular type of life insurance policy because it is affordable, easy to understand, and simple to setup. It’s still important you understand how term life policies work before you go shopping for one so you know what questions to ask your life insurance agent.


Understanding the differences between whole and term life insurance is a good place to start. According to a recent article on, “Term life insurance is cheaper than permanent life insurance, it’s temporary but usually renewable, it has no cash value element and no policy loan provisions, and it usually can convert or transfer to a permanent life insurance.”

If your financial needs aren’t permanent such as tax debt, a term life policy will benefit you the most since it is perfect for things such as paying off mortgages or student loans.

It’s important to remember that term life insurance starts off very affordably, but the costs do tend to increase over time. Sometimes these cost hikes are annual, but they can also be periodic throughout the course of the policy. Also, keep in mind term life insurance policies typically come in 15 or 30 year coverages and you will need to discuss with your agent which one is best for you. “When the term is up, so is the coverage. The insurance carrier will not pay the coverage if the insurer dies at any time (even a day) after the term,” according to the article.

If you don’t feel that term life insurance is the best choice for you, there are several other types like variable and whole. Discussing the available options with your life insurance agent is highly recommended on such an important financial decision like this.

To find a local agent and compare up to 5 life insurance quotes, try using a service like to find the lowest rate on a new policy.

Via EPR Network
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4 Tips to Better Homeowners Insurance Quotes Published

One of the first things you do when you buy a new home is you start shopping for homeowners insurance quotes. Finding the right policy goes well beyond the right price. It’s critical that you get the appropriate coverages to make sure you, your family, and your property are appropriately covered. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but this article is designed to serve as a quick guide to getting a new policy quickly and painlessly. Below are some helpful tips for choosing the right homeowners insurance policy.

Look Into the Companies You Are Getting Homeowners Insurance Quotes From

In order to insure that the company you are looking at is financial stable and has a good history of paying claims, check into their background. Use services like AM Best to find out what their credit rating is. Use search engines like Google to investigate for complaints, lawsuits, or current criminal investigations. It’s also a good idea to check with your state department of insurance to see if they recommend any particular companies as being safe before you start getting homeowners insurance quotes.

Understand Your Available Options

Two important things to keep in mind are your cause-of-loss options and additional coverages for personal belongings such as jewelry, antiques, electronics, collections, appliances, etc… The cause-of-loss option comes in three forms: basic, broad, and special. Basic and broad very general and limited coverages. Many claims will not be covered by a basic or broad cause-of-loss policy. Special on the other hand is general much more comprehensive and covers nearly any property loss/damage, for nearly any reason.

Second, consider your options for additional coverages for your personal belongings. Most homeowners insurance quotes will be for a basic rate without any additional coverages for jewelry, etc… Make sure to tell your agent if you have anything valuable you own that you would like covered and to make sure you new policy actually covers the damage of theft of those items.

Make Sure you are FULLY Covered

It’s all too common that the average homeowners insurance policy doesn’t include enough coverage for the property its insuring. Neatly 60% of the households in the US are underinsured. Its critical that when you are looking at a new policy that your homeowners insurance quote includes an accurate appraisal of your home and its contents. Double check the insurance agents calculations to make sure they are accurate otherwise you could end up severely under compensated when you go to file a claim. This is the perfect time to get a second opinion on the estimated replacement value of the home by comparing the homeowners insurance quote you get with another agent or another company.

Compare and Save Big

Using a site like you can compare multiple quotes from local agents in your area. When agents start competing for your business you will be amazed at how much lower of a rate you end up with in the end. This is the most convenient and fastest way to compare several different homeowners insurance quotes from different companies all from the convenience of your computer.

For more information, visit

Via EPR Network
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Carefully Reviewing Your Current Homeowners Insurance Policy Can Expose Potentially Expensive Gaps In Your Coverage

Carefully reviewing your current policy can expose potentially expensive gaps in your coverage.


Making sure you are properly covered is the single most important aspect of an insurance policy, yet it’s one of the most common mistakes consumers make when seeking out homeowners insurance quotes.

If your residence is one of the most important assets you own, you should make sure it is properly covered by reviewing your policy with your local agent. recently published an article detailing the risks many homeowners fail to cover because of gaps in their homeowners insurance coverage.

According to the article, “many times these gaps aren’t realized until the homeowner tries to file a claim and realizes their policy doesn’t provide proper coverage …” It’s important that you review your policy to see if it covers antiques, jewelry, electronics, floods, personal liability, and many other critical coverages that most homeowners insurance companies offer.

The article goes onto explain that a personal injury coverage should be included in your policy. This additional coverage pays for things such as bodily harm, personal injury, libel/slander, or defamation of character to you, your family, or your guests while they are on the property. Typically this additional coverage is not expensive and can provide a significant amount of coverage for you.

You may want to consider other additional coverages like sewage backup coverage or flood insurance. The main point the article stresses is that there are a lot of available coverages available under your homeowners insurance policy that you should consider and it’s in your best interests to find out where the gaps are in your current or new policy.

It’s your responsibility to understand your rights and protect yourself and you don’t want to be left with potentially thousands of dollars in rejected claims because you lacked proper coverage. Check out for more helpful article like this one about how to use homeowners insurance to protect your home and other helpful tools to help you find a lower rate.

Via EPR Network
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Term Life Insurance Presents Options for Family, Individual

Today’s economy has many people wondering about the future of their loved ones. Rightfully so; if they were to pass, not only would their family members have to deal with the emotional turmoil of their deaths, but they would also have to contend to funeral costs, financial debts, mortgage payments, and their own financial priorities.

Now there is even more reason to worry about their families; the recession continues to churn, and no one really knows if the worst has past or just begun. Unemployment has risen beyond 8.5 percent with no signs of decreasing in the near future. Many households are finding their incomes dwindle amidst rising costs. Compared to past years, more people are struggling to make ends meet. If the prime income holder was to pass away suddenly, and he or she had no life insurance, their loved ones could be financially devastated in the aftermath. points out that now more than ever people should consider the benefits of life insurance. Term life insurance is a life insurance policy that insures almost anyone for a certain amount of time of your life. It is the less expensive option compared to other life insurance types, making it extremely easy to afford for anyone. There are some drawbacks to term life insurance, but its benefits at this time period outweigh the negatives. suggests that anyone looking for life insurance quotes should search online. The sooner they get the best coverage and rate, the better off their families will be financially.

For more information, visit

Via EPR Network
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The More Ways You Protect Your Home, The More Willing Insurance Companies Are To Offer Discounts


Did you know that summer is the most popular time of the year for home burglaries in the US? During the summer months there is a burglary every 10 seconds since so many people are on vacation, away from their homes, and the weather is nice.

An alarm system is one of the best ways of making sure your home is properly protected. However, many people don’t realize that having a home alarm system means homeowners insurance savings.

According to a recent article published by, “For an insurance company, low risk is the name of the game. They like policyholders who have considered home safety and security and have taken necessary steps to thwart intruders …” This means investing in an alarm system and taking other precautions like installing dead-bolt locks and shatterproof windows can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in insurance premiums each year.

To many people the idea of installing an alarm system can sound too expensive, but when compared against the 5-20% savings per year on homeowners insurance quotes, the costs suddenly seem much more affordable. Even a simple alarm system can still save you 5% a year or more with most homeowners insurance companies. Also, adding a deadbolt to all entry doors in your home can qualify you for a discount of 5% at many companies.

The article explains that the more you can show the homeowners insurance company that you are protecting your house against break-ins the more they are willing to discount your policy. With the economy still struggling and people looking to save every penny they can, this is the perfect time to review your homeowners insurance policy and find out how you can start to save more money by taking advantage of available discounts.

Via EPR Network
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Huge Black Hole In Unclaimed UK Business Travel Expenses Revealed By Barclaycard

The new Barclaycard 13th Annual Commercial Business Travel Survey has highlighted a worrying trend that employees might not be as prudent with managing their own business travel expenses as they perhaps should be. Thirty two per cent of the business travellers surveyed stated that they fail to claim back all of their expenses, amounting to an average £373 in unclaimed business travel expenses each year. The survey also found that the more senior an employee is, the more money they are likely to lose in unclaimed expenses. There is also a clear division between the sexes as it appears men are lazier about claiming expenses than their female colleagues.


There are 38,486 companies employing more than 100 people in the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics, and even assuming each of these companies only employs 100 people and a third of these employees do not claim back, the total loss in unclaimed expenses would amount to a staggering half a billion pounds (£473,724,174) in the past year.

Worryingly, if employees tried to claim back almost half a billion in travel expenses from last year, companies could be crippled in an already pressurised economic environment. This begs the question does the government have an obligation to both the individual and businesses to lay down general guidelines on claiming expenses that will protect both parties?

In addition, Barclaycard found that only 61 per cent of respondents claim back all of their expenses – a drop from 79 per cent last year – suggesting that the UK is becoming less rather than more financially prudent as a nation and there is a growing problem with British business travellers managing money.

Neil Radley, Managing Director of Barclaycard Commercial, commented: “Anyone who regularly travels on business knows keeping track of all expenses can be tricky, especially when your top priority is your performance. Managing incidental and often small costs can drop to the bottom of the list of priorities. Barclaycard has found that the most sensible action companies can take is to help their employees to centralise their costs and to give them the facility to create automatic records by using company credit cards responsibly to keep better track of their expenses.”

About Barclaycard Commercial
The 13th annual Barclaycard Commercial Business Travel Survey was conducted in December 2008, amongst a nationwide sample of Barclaycard Commercial card holders. A total of 2,202 respondents (CEOs, chairmen, non-executives, financial directors, executive directors, managers and personal assistants) provided their thoughts on all aspects of business travel including attitudes to the environment and in-flight technology, airlines and hotel preferences and online bookings.

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Global and Retail Commercial Banking division, is a leading global payment business which helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and accept payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit when needed.

The company is one of the pioneers of new forms of credit card payments and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting edge forms of payment for the future. It also issues credit and charge cards to corporate customers and the UK Government. Barclaycard partners with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit. In addition to the UK, Barclaycard operates in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle and Far East.

Via EPR Network
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Tooth Fairy Tightening Purse Strings As Recession Bites

The Children’s Mutual’s annual Tooth Fairy Index has revealed that the average cost of a child’s tooth has fallen six per cent from £1.22 to £1.15. The index shows that even the Tooth Fairy is having to fight the economic gloom, giving away £1.3* million less this year than last, as the credit crunch extends its clutches to the magic realm of Fairyland.

Tooth Fairy Index

In 2008, the Child Trust Fund provider’s Tooth Fairy Index found the average cost of a tooth had risen by an impressive 16% on the previous year. But 12 months on, the tooth market is showing signs of decay as parents resist the ‘fairy pressure’ reported in previous years, with 24% now happy to pay less than average, stating this helps their children understand the value of money.

David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual said: “The fall in the value of teeth provides the perfect opportunity for parents to talk to their child about the value of money and the impact of the credit crunch. Talking about the value of money in terms children can easily understand can help them appreciate the importance of saving.”

Encouragingly, 55% of all children save some or all of the money the tooth fairy leaves in exchange for their teeth. Children in the South West have the most bulging piggy banks as over three quarters (77%) are saving their tooth pennies, while those in Scotland are choosing to splash their cash, with 51% spending all the money the tooth fairy leaves under their pillow.

The Children’s Mutual’s Tooth Fairy Index reveals that attitudes towards the tooth fairy vary widely across the UK. Children in Northern Ireland benefit the most from the tooth fairy’s generosity, as one in 8 children (12.5%) receive £5 or more for each tooth that wobbles free, whereas 12% of children in the Midlands have a gap in their purses as well as their mouths as they are forgotten by the tooth fairy altogether.

The report also indicates that the tooth fairy herself has changed over the years. Traditionally, the tooth fairy has been known for leaving money, letters, and a sprinkling of fairy dust on her nightly rounds, though some parents recalled receiving an orange, toys or a book as a special treat from the tooth fairy. Their children in turn are now the recipients of mobile phone credit and magazines as the tooth fairy flies into the twenty-first century.

About The Childrens Mutual
The Children’s Mutual’s mission is to help parents, grandparents, family and friends fulfil their hopes for today’s children and secure their financial futures. The company specialises exclusively in family-focused finance products, and is currently the choice of 1 in 4 parents for Child Trust Funds.

The Children’s Mutual, as an expert in savings for children, made a significant contribution to the Government’s Child Trust Fund consultation process and is widely recognised by the business community and press as an industry expert on family finance. This expertise has led several financial institutions and family-focused high street retailers to choose The Children’s Mutual as their stakeholder Child Trust Fund partner.

A breakdown of the average amount of money left per tooth in each region of the UK is available upon request.

All research conducted by 72 Point who interviewed 2070 parents with children aged 5-15 in May 2009
* Average number of children aged 6-11(4.8m) losing 4 teeth per year x the average tooth fairy rate of £1.15 – average number of children = 4.8m x 4 teeth per year = 19.2m; 19.2m x 1.15 = £22.8m. Last year’s value = £23.4m – this year’s value of £22.08 = £1.32m

The Children’s Mutual has a large database of case studies available. David White, The Children’s Mutual Chief Executive, is available for interview. 

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Leading Child Trust Fund Provider, The Children’s Mutual, Has Announced The Launch Of A Very Different Return Of Premium Term Life Insurance Policy

Traditional Term Insurance products ask people to pay regular insurance premiums on the understanding that if the person insured dies during the policy term a payment will be made to the family or executors. But, if the person insured survives the term neither they nor the family will receive anything back.

The Children’s Mutual has teamed up with insurance experts ACE Europe Life Ltd to offer customers the ACE Return of Premium Term Life Insurance policy, which gives families the financial security of up to £100,000 cover in the event of death, combined with a guarantee that if the worst doesn’t happen all premiums paid will be returned. This ensures that, as well as peace of mind throughout the term, policy holders will have something to look forward to at the end of it too.

Designed to be easy and affordable as well as rewarding, the Return of Premium Term Life Insurance can be applied for online by simply completing 4 straightforward questions to check eligibility. There is no medical to pass and the length of term is selected by the applicant at the time of submission – f r o m 5 to 18 years – to reflect personal circumstances and requirements.

David White, Chief Executive Officer of The Children’s Mutual, leading Child Trust Fund provider, commented: “We are delighted to announce the launch of what we believe to be the only product of this kind in the UK. We have worked closely with ACE to develop a form of Term Insurance that will offer our customers reassurance and value throughout as well as giving them an added reward at term end.”

The new ACE Return of Premium Term Life Insurance policy has been created to provide a win-win situation for policy holders – with protection for loved ones should the worst happen, and money back if it doesn’t.

Benefits include:

– Peace of mind for the whole family
– Up to £100,000 of cover 
– All premiums back if the holder survives the full policy term
– Quick and easy application process 
– Variable length of policy – f r o m 5 to 18 years 
– Affordable monthly payments

To celebrate this innovative new product, a special introductory incentive is being offered, where policy holders pay just 99p a month for their first 2 months of cover. Additionally, if the partner of a policy holder also takes out cover, then they will pay just 99p a month for the first 2 months as well, plus receive 15% off all their monthly premiums after that.

About The Children’s Mutual

Home of the Child Trust Fund The Children’s Mutual’s mission is to help parents, grandparents, family and friends fulfil their hopes for today’s children and secure their financial futures. The company specialises exclusively in family-focused finance products, and is currently the choice of 1 in 4 parents for their child’s Child Trust Fund.

The Children’s Mutual, as an expert in savings for children, made a significant contribution to the Government’s Child Trust Fund consultation process and is widely recognised by the business community and press as an industry expert on family finance. This expertise has led several financial institutions and family-focused high street retailers to choose The Children’s Mutual as their stakeholder CTF partner.

Via EPR Network
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Forward Thinking PEO Services Provider Brings More Money to Businesses

It’s a known fact that American businesses these days are searching for more progressive ways to keep their organizations viable and profitable. The current economic situation has businesses locally, nationally and globally strategizing on how to balance income and expenses. Many companies are struggling with decisions like; should we diversify, cut payroll costs, adjust our employee benefits structures or shut the doors. A current reality facing all business decision makers is that it’s time to implement reorganization and restructuring strategies geared towards keeping their companies from experiencing devastating losses.

Fortunately, a Professional Employer Organization, PEO, can help in some very beneficial and economic ways. A PEO company is a one-stop human resources hub that can help any business streamline their back office support essentials like payroll processing, tax filing, and more. National’s PEO Services begins with a team concept that means the client has the attention of several experienced PEO staff and not just one or two persons. Whatever your business needs; payroll, human resources, workers compensation and benefits administration, to name a few, a professional and experiences PEO can save businesses money. Organizations with the staff sizes as small as10 or as large as 500 employees, are National PEO’s specialty.

Payroll Outsourcing Services is just one benefit provided a National PEO client. They can and have saved many companies hundreds to thousands of dollars. National PEO’s highly trained and accomplished staff can get your clerical and back office needs met quickly and efficiently. Many experts in business have proven that if a company enlists the help of payroll outsourcing services, the executives and management personnel are free to give their attention to the product or service offered to the consumers. What does all this translate to the new client of National’s PEO Services? It means more income to operate and less expense allocated in the clerical or administrative divisions.

Owning a business with employees means payroll processing. Payroll workers can spend countless hours tracking the employees time and where it was spent, tallying the figures for Federal, State, and Medicare taxes (this doesn’t include filing the tax forms quarterly or yearly), and writing the paychecks. Every business is unique and a perfect solution, for any business dilemma, can be found with the assistance of a talented and experienced PEO. The PEO team acts like a one-stop payroll administration center that incorporates the management of all human resource responsibilities such as: payroll processing, payroll tax filing. National PEO is not limited to payroll; they offer human resources information management (John Rico), benefits administration, information technology (Kevin Davis), paycard services and so much more.

Business experts and business professionals from all types of commerce and enterprises will warn newbie business owners to not take the accounting, clerical and payroll end of business for granted. It is in these areas that bad decisions or neglect can topple a company into bankruptcy. Don’t like the bookkeeping or back office end of business? Consider researching the services at National PEO, a
reputable professional employer organization.

Businesses today need state of the art information technology. Difficult economic times do not have to mean the end of any business enterprise. The smart business person and decision makers are always open to strategize internal changes that can keep operations profitable and continue to provide customers the quality service and product they have come to expect. Peo Services like National PEO, puts money back into business. They can handle numerous requirements presented by the business owner or corporation, in return, saving that business precious time and money.

About National PEO, LLC:

Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, National PEO has been in business since 1999. They specialize in providing professional employer services with an emphasis on teamwork. A highlight of National PEO is that clients can purchase bundled or ala carte services. National PEO caters to businesses of any size.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

npower Urges Businesses To Act Now In Order To Profit From Emissions Reduction

Npower has commissioned a new white paper which reveals that businesses that make emissions reduction a board level priority can reap the rewards of a low carbon Britain.

The newly published white paper, UK Climate Policy for Business, was commissioned by npower from the London School of Economics.

The white paper comes on the back of research from npower, which revealed that many businesses are concerned that Government regulation to reduce carbon emissions will make the UK uncompetitive and add more cost than benefits.

To address this concern and to stress the potential financial reward of emission reduction, the white paper provides a guide to the UK’s emission reduction regulations and gives advice on the actions businesses need to undertake to succeed in a low carbon Britain. It also underlines that early adopters will be in the driving seat to make the most of a smaller carbon footprint.

The white paper stresses that the new regulatory instruments will not be without their complexities and that firms will have to learn new skills to ensure compliance with the rules, but that those that can do this early will be best placed to take advantage of the opportunities that might arise. It states carbon policy is specifically designed to reward firms that spot opportunities to reduce emissions, cut costs and adopt low-carbon processes.

“Reducing a firm’s carbon footprint can be a challenge, but the measures needed are often cash-flow positive, with investments recouped in a short period of time,” says Dr Samuel Fankhauser, author of the paper, principal research fellow at the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and a member of the Committee on Climate Change.

“Reducing a carbon footprint is all about sound management and success will be determined by the priority businesses attach to emission reduction. Research has shown that well-managed firms tend to use less energy per unit of output than less well-run firms and are therefore better placed to succeed,” he adds.

David Titterton head of business development within energy services at npower adds: “Our aim in commissioning the white paper is to help businesses understand the current regulatory framework and point to the benefits firms can enjoy if they position emission reduction as central to their business goals. By doing so, we hope to ease the concerns that businesses clearly have.

“We understand that these are challenging times for businesses and many are focused on cost saving. Putting in place an energy management programme to reduce consumption can help manage costs, while also reducing emissions. Businesses doing this will be better placed to operate under the UK’s climate change policies and succeed in a Low Carbon Economy.”

The White Paper, UK Climate Policy for Business, can be downloaded at


About npower:
npower is one of the top energy suppliers to the UK business market, serving over 230,000 small to medium sized enterprise sites and around 15,000 industrial and commercial customers, with over 100,000 sites.

npower is dedicated to helping UK businesses use energy more efficiently and therefore spend less money on their bills. We aim to have a positive impact on the communities we serve and reduce our customers’ carbon footprint whilst always improving our service to our customers.

npower specialises in risk management solutions, including market-leading flexible energy purchasing, energy efficiency, and broader energy management functions, tailored to every size of business. npower customers include BT, Wembley Stadium plc, AstraZeneca and Sainsbury’s.

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Debt Advisers Direct have warned that the squeeze on incomes could become tighter in the coming months

Debt Advisers Direct have responded to findings that Britons’ disposable incomes have fallen by nearly 30% on average in the past two years, warning that the pressure on incomes could increase as the economic crisis progresses, and have advised consumers to take care of any debts as soon as possible.

Responding to research by Abbey Credit Cards claiming that British citizens have seen their disposable income fall by nearly 30% during the past two years,Debt Advisers Direct have warned that the squeeze on incomes could become tighter in the coming months, and have advised consumers to take care of any financial issues, especially outstanding debts, as soon as possible.

According to the research, the average household now has only 25% – around £382 – of their monthly income left after essential costs such as mortgage payments and energy bills have been paid.

That figure is down from £541 in disposable income available to British households just two years ago – a 29% fall.

The research also claims that one in ten spend 90% of their income on bills and other essential costs, leaving only 10% as disposable income.

On average, British households were spending 7.4% of their total income on repaying debts, not including mortgages, the research claimed.

Meanwhile, an average 24% went towards mortgage or rent payments, 17% on household bills, 16% on food, and 8% on transport costs.

British incomes have been put under pressure on two fronts throughout the economic crisis, with costs of living such as energy bills and food prices rising rapidly, and the credit crunch limiting access to additional funds in the form of loans and mortgages.

The effects have been tangible, with overall retail sales gradually declining over the year, and profits for ‘budget stores’ increasing – a sign that consumers’ perceived priorities are shifting as their disposable incomes shrink.

An expert from Debt Advisers Direct said: “Many people consider disposable income a luxury that can be spent on ‘unnecessary’ items, but it’s important to remember that disposable income is also a very important buffer against unexpected rises in outgoings.

“For example, if someone depends on their car to get to work, and they have to pay for a £500 repair with only £200 disposable income, that person could be forced into debt in order to make ends meet. That’s why it’s important for people to minimise their outgoings, and make savings where possible.

“The overall situation has become worse over the past year because costs of living, especially energy prices have risen so quickly. Food and other retail products are now falling in price, but energy prices have shown no sign of doing the same – and this continues to push more people towards debt.”

The Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson added that there are a number of debt solutions that can help to minimise outgoings when finances are limited.

“For people with multiple debts, a debt consolidation loan can be spread out across a longer period of time than the original debts, meaning monthly payments are lower,” she said. “Interest rates can also be reduced, especially when consolidating high-APR debts such as credit cards. However if the debt is repaid over a longer period, the additional interest from this can counteract some of the savings made.

“For debts that are becoming unmanageable, a debt management can help. It involves arranging to repay creditors in smaller amounts, based on how much the person in debt can afford, over a longer period of time.

“As always, we advise anyone looking to tackle their debts to seek professional debt advice beforehand.”

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Falling sales of new cars are another indicator that today’s economic troubles are affecting people in every part of British society

Dropping sales of new cars should serve as a reminder that economic downturns can affect everyone, whatever their socioeconomic status, said debt management company

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that the number of new cars registered in August 2008 was down 18.6 per cent compared with August 2007. August is usually a quiet month for new car sales, but this year saw the worst August for new car sales since 1966 – just 63,225 registrations.

Premium brands, according to The Times, ‘were among the hardest hit, with Aston Martin suffering a 67 per cent drop to just 19 cars sold’. Land Rover sales dropped 58 per cent, and Jaguar sales 41 per cent.

“This kind of news challenges an often-held assumption that the impact of economic turbulence is more likely to felt among lower-income individuals,” said a spokesperson for the debt management company. “Even less-expensive new cars, while not ‘luxury’ products, tend to be purchased by people who enjoy a reasonably comfortable standard of living.”

Following, as they do, the news about declining sales in other market segments, the SMMT figures are a stark reminder of the decreasing spending power of the population as a whole. According to a report from comparison site uSwitch, the average UK household is £2,500 worse off than last year.

“While it’s good to see people taking sensible steps to reduce their non-essential spending,” the spokesperson for the debt management company continued, “that reduced spending will clearly have an effect on the health of British industry – in this case, the car industry.”

Furthermore, the savings people make are often ‘swallowed up’ by rises in essential bills, such as food and utilities. By definition, these bills can only be reduced up to a certain point.

Under certain circumstances, however, there may be ways to reduce monthly payments to secured and/or unsecured debts.

“Homeowners may find there are ways their mortgage provider could help them service their mortgage debt during a difficult period. Even temporary concessions can make all the difference to a household struggling to keep up with mounting bills, shrinking income, or both.”

Nonetheless, any change to the way they repay their mortgage can have a substantial impact on the borrower’s long-term finances. It may make more sense to look into the various forms of debt help which can could free up the necessary money by reducing their payments to unsecured debts.

Many people enlist a debt management company to negotiate with their unsecured creditors on their behalf: “Unsecured creditors may be willing to take a flexible approach to repayment agreements if this is the best way for the individual to repay the debt as soon as realistically possible.”

A debt management company will talk to each of their client’s creditors, explaining how their financial situation has changed, and negotiating concessions: “They may agree to accept lower payments, for example, freeze interest and / or waive charges, helping the borrower bring their expenditure back in line with their income.”

“Debt management is by no means the only option. Nor is it always the most appropriate – many people with financial problems could benefit more from a debt consolidation loan or IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement), either of which could help them reduce their monthly expenses, freeing up the money they need for essential bills. The important thing is to seek professional debt advice sooner, rather than later.”

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As both consumer spending and saving slump, debt management company Gregory Pennington have said that the full extent of financial trouble in the UK is beginning to show

Debt management company Gregory Pennington have commented that the recent cuts in consumer spending and saving is a clear sign of the way the credit crunch and rapid inflation is forcing consumers to change their spending habits, and have advised consumers to do what they can to stay out of debt in the coming months.

As reported in The Guardian, spending and saving in the UK have taken a big hit in recent months. Following years of “debt-fuelled spending”, consumers are now being forced to reassess the ways they spend their disposable income. Just a few of the measurable effects include:

· New car sales at their lowest levels since 1966
· The number of people putting money into a personal pension fell by 1 million to 7 million over the last year
· Household savings are at their lowest since the 1950s, at an average of 1.1% of income in August 2008.

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington said: “These figures paint a worrying picture for the economy, confirming many people’s fears about the extent of the problems we are currently facing.

“In a more stable economy, we would expect to see one of two things: spending going up and saving going down, or saving going up with spending going down. The two normally run opposite to each other. But due to the rapid rise in costs of living, we are actually seeing both go down, because people are increasingly being left with no money to do either.

“This is a dangerous situation – usually, we would advise consumers to make sure they are saving plenty to use as a ‘financial buffer’, should things get particularly tight. But the simple fact of the matter is that many people don’t have the money to do so.”

The Gregory Pennington spokesperson warned that the problems in the economy mean many people could be in danger of falling into debt in the near future: “Many people are finding that the financial commitments they made a year ago or more are becoming less and less affordable, particularly in the housing market,” he said. “Rising food, energy and transport costs have hit most of us hard, and while they continue to rise, more people are at risk of their outgoings exceeding their income. Once people fall into debt in this way, it often isn’t long before interest builds up and the debt can become unmanageable.

“We advise anyone who finds themselves falling into debt, or anyone who thinks they are about to, to contact an expert debt adviser as soon as possible. There are a range of debt solutions available to suit various situations, including debt management plans, debt consolidation loans and IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements).”

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Despite soaring oil prices Emirates Group posts record profits

The Emirates Group has reported its 20th consecutive year of net profit, notching a new profit record despite soaring oil prices and challenging business conditions in the second half of its 2007-08 fiscal year.

The Emirates Group net profits increased 54.1% to AED 5.3 billion (US$ 1.45 billion) for the financial year ended 31st March 2008, on revenues of AED 41.2 billion ($ 11.2 billion) compared to the previous year’s AED 31.1 billion ($ 8.5 billion). The Group’s net margin improved to 13.2% from 11.4% in the previous year.

The 2007-08 Annual Report of the Emirates Group – comprising Emirates Airline, Dnata and subsidiary companies – was released in Dubai at a news conference hosted by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

The Group’s latest record performance reflects its success in growing customer demand through the strategic expansion of its business operations across six continents, supported by ongoing investments in the latest technology, products and customer service while keeping a tight rein on costs. This is illustrated by the 21.2 million passengers who flew with Emirates in the latest financial year, 3.7 million more than in the previous year; as well as the expansion of Dnata’s international ground handling operations to 17 airports in seven countries.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “It was another record year for the Group in spite of a challenging business climate, particularly in the second six months where the soaring cost of jet fuel made a big dent, although the impact was partly offset by other operating gains.”

He continued, “Despite the long-term forecast of a decrease in the number of passengers traveling in First and Business class, I am happy to report that Emirates once again bucked the trend and boosted our seat factor in the forward cabins. Emirates is fortunate to be located in Dubai at the centre of the new Silk Road between East and West. I believe the threat of an economic downturn will be offset for Emirates by the boom in the Middle East, especially the thriving travel industry of tourism and commerce.”

Sheikh Ahmed concluded: “The Group’s excellent performance this year is very satisfactory. As with previous years, we do not intend to rest on our laurels. We plan to secure our future growth by investing in the latest technology and products, so that we can continue to provide our customers with the high quality experience that they have come to expect from us.”

Another area of expansion for the group over the past 12 months was the growth of the Emirates Hotels & Resorts from its original Al Maha property into a multi-property hotel operation with International Central Reservations, a Corporate Sales and Business Development unit, global online distribution systems and support services for the design and development of its growing resort portfolio.

In all, the Emirates Group’s Facilities/Projects Management department commissioned and opened AED 2.12 billion ($578 million) worth of new buildings during 2007-08, including the impressive new Emirates Group Headquarters, the Engineering Centre, Dnata Cargo’s Free Zone Logistics Centre, The Harbour Hotel & Residence, and a new crew training college. Projects currently in progress total AED 3.9 billion ($1.1 billion), including new buildings in Dubai such as the Destination & Leisure Management Annexe, Emirates Call Centre and staff accommodation at Ras Al Khor, Al Majan and Media City.

As of 31st March 2008, the Group employed 35,286 staff, representing 145 different nationalities. During the year, the Group hired more than 7,000 people including 2,000 cabin crew and 400 new flight deck crew.

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