How To Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit report is the first point of call for lenders if you decide to apply for a credit card, a loan or any other form of credit. It doesn’t take much to send your credit score into decline, but there’s many ways to improve your credit score and become more attractive to lenders.

I’ve put together some simple tips to help you on your way to improving your credit score and getting a little more love out of life.

1. Pay Your Bills On Time

When lenders review your credit report, they’re interested in how reliably you pay your bills. Staying on top of payments consistently can improve your credit score over time.

2. Pay Attention To Your Credit Utilisation Ratio (CUR)

Your Credit Utilisation Ratio is calculated by adding all your credit card balances at any given time and dividing that amount by your total credit limit. This gives you a clear idea of the amount of credit you’re using.

To work out your average Credit Utilisation Ratio, look at all your credit card statements from the last 12 months. Add the statement balances for each month across all cards and divide the figure by 12.

For example, if your statement balances for the year add up to £5000 and you divide this by 12, your average monthly credit use is £416.

Lenders typically like to see low ratios of 30% or less.

Check out my book, Time is Money for more finance and business advice

3. Don’t Cancel Unused Cards

Cancelling unused credit cards can negatively impact your overall Credit Utilisation Ratio. Instead, use them to improve your credit score with my next tip!

4. Use Your Credit Card Little & Often

Instead of cancelling your credit cards. Try to use them to make small purchases often. Keeping your credit card active in this way makes you more attractive to lenders when you’re paying off your bill each month. This can also increase your credit score over time.

5. Avoid Making Muliple Applications In A Short Time Frame

When you make an application for credit, a ‘hard search’ is carried out on your account and a mark is left on your credit report. Making too many applications in a short space of time can negatively impact your credit score, because it appears to lenders that you are desperate for credit. Resist the temptation to apply again if you’ve recently been rejected, and focus on improving your score before trying again.

Start Making Money On Your Own Terms With My New Book Available Here

6. Use An Eligibility Checker

When you used an eligibility checker, a ‘soft search’ is carried out on your account to see if you’re eligible for the product you want to apply for before actually applying. Lenders are able to view some of your information, and the search doesn’t impact your credit score.

This lets you know whether you’ll be accepted or rejected for the product or service you want to apply for without damaging your credit score in the process.

7. Check Your Credit Score Regularly

Checking your credit score regularly allows you to make sure all information is correct and up to date. Mistakes can lower your credit score more than it should be, so it’s important to double check all your information.

8. Get On The Electoral Roll

Being registered to vote means that credit agencies are able to verify who you are. This makes you appear more stable to lenders.

Improving your credit score is essential for various reasons. If you aspire to get a mortgage or to secure a personal loan, then lenders take your credit report as a sign as to whether you will be able maintain your payments or if they’re not the right credit agency for you.

Find out more about money and business in my latest books:

Time Is Money

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

Connect with me:

Twitter: @TKWN_World

Facebook: T K Williams-Nelson

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

How Organised Are You? Check Out These Time Management Tips.

If you utilise your time effectively, you’d be surprised how much you can get done in one day. If you’re freelancing or self-employed, it can be difficult to maintain a schedule that you can follow consistently.

I’ve put together some tips from my latest book that can help you on your way:

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

1. Make A Schedule

Make sure you allocate time to the things that need to be done, but you also have to make time for flexibility. Things may come up that you’re not expecting, or opportunities may come up that are more important than others. Another thing you need to make time for is your personal life. Have good time for rest and good time for social networking. This allows you to maintain a balance between work and personal.

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

2. Pace Yourself

You can’t run your business if you’re burned out. Pace your moves. Make sure your moves have a purpose. It’s easy to get lost in your passion. You’re doing everything to make it work and you forget about yourself. Make yourself a priority too. Health is the best wealth!

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

3. Remember, you’re the Boss!

Yes, you’re the boss. You decide what’s worth you’re time and what isn’t. There’s no point committing to a job that you don’t have the time or resources for. It’s okay to turn down an opportunity if you know it’s not right for you.

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

4. Time Management Tools

In my latest book, How To Become A Freelancer & Make Money On Your Own Terms, I list various time management tools that can help you manage your time effectively. Make more time to do what you love alongside your main income:

How To Become A Freelancer – Time Management Tools

T K Williams-Nelson

Freelancers Deserve To Be Paid What They’re Owed!

One of the biggest problems in the freelancer world is that of late and non-payments. Work is commonly carried out before payment is taken and freelancers are left fighting for their fees.

Late payments cost the UK economy £2.5 billion each year, according to the National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses. Freelancers and the self-employed don’t seem to be taken seriously in many cases, and this can not only be distressing, but it can ruin someone’s business in the process.

Internationally, steps are being taken to provide more support for freelancers in regards to getting paid. New York became the first US city to enact a law giving freelancers the right to a written contract, timely and full payment and protection from retaliation. Due to the success of the act, more US cities are considering similar policies.

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

In the UK, freelancers are entitled to claim interest on late payments under the Late Payments Act which came into force in 1998. The issue with this act is that the only way to enforce the fee is through the courts. The freelancer must be able to prove a contract was in place and that the work was delivered. This process can lead to the freelancer paying excessive legal fees in order to get payment. In some cases, these legal fees can amount to more than the claim itself.

There are a few ways you can minimise your losses when it comes to your work.

– Keep up to date with the law. It’s constantly changing.

– Start taking deposits for work. Clients that are happy to comply with this are more likely to pay the remaining balance.

– Always draw up a contract between the parties involved. You will need this if you want to take further action.

– Don’t give up. Developments are taking place globally and one day we’ll get there.

Find out more about freelancing and the useful resources available in my book:

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

T K Williams-Nelson

How Doing Your Own Bookkeeping Can Save You Money On An Accountant

For all those that are self-employed or run a business, you already know that accounting costs can add up as your business takes off. My accounts were one of the main things I struggled with when I first set up Unique Boutique London. It was difficult to get my head around all the numbers and I knew that having an accountant was essential if I was to comply with UK tax laws.

The first time I hired an accountant, I had them do everything from beginning to end, and of course it wasn’t cheap. That was when I looked into how I could make the process cheaper for myself in future. I found various online platforms that allowed me to do my own bookkeeping. This meant going over all my records and receipts, and inputting them into an online system that clearly lays out what my financial year has been like. Keep in mind that you need to be very strict with your records and receipts in order to create a true picture of how your business is doing financially. Ryman has a great selection of filing cabinets that can keep you organised when it comes to your bookkeeping and accounts in general.

The process can be time consuming depending on the size of your business and the extent of your incomings and outgoings, however compared to how much an accountant would charge you for the same service, you’re saving a serious amount of money. You’re essentially saving your accountant the time of crunching all your numbers for you. Theyre doing less of the work involved in getting your accounts submitted and therefore the process is more affordable for YOU!

In my books, Time is Money and How To Become A Freelancer, I talk about money management in different forms. There is always money to be saved if you know what you’re looking for, and the knowledge I discover gets passed on to those who need it. My books are available via the link below if you’d like to discover more about getting the most out of your time and money:

Get Time is Money & How To Become A Freelancer here!

Here are my three recommended bookkeeping platforms that will save you money on your next accounting period:

1. Pandle

My favourite one of them all is Pandle. Simply because it’s free, easy to use and can have you up and running with little to no experience. You’re able to generate various documents including a balance sheets, which you can then forward onto your accountant for final review and submission.

2. Quick Books

One of the most popular accounting platforms is Quick Books. Plans start from as little as £10 a month and it has all the essential tools for both small businesses and the self-employed. It’s easy to connect to other apps that you may use for business, including Shopify stores.

3. Clear Books

Clear Books is HMRC recognised and tested, ensuring that it’s a reliable tool when it comes to your bookkeeping. The basic service is free and all paid plans come with extra features tailored to the size of your business.

In business you have to invest money to make money, but at the same time you can also save money along the way if you have the time and resources to do so. Using these bookkeeping platforms can be a great way to make sure your accounts are in order without breaking the bank.

We are striving for financial freedom…

Find Out More About Managing Your Finances Here!

T K Williams-Nelson

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Twitter: @TKWN_World

Why A Good Support System Is Important For Mental Health…

A support system is a group of people you can turn to in a time of crisis, or those that support your ventures and ambitions. Support system’s can be made up of family, friends or colleagues, and they’re important for a number of reasons in this modern day.

I talk about mental health quite a lot on my blog, because we need to continue to raise awareness about this unseen danger. When people start constantly isolating themselves from their usual practices, or start acting out of character due to circumstances out of their control; a support system is what could save a life. Having someone to check in from time to time. Meeting up with colleagues after work to take a time out. It can be difficult for people to ask for help, so knowing the signs can make a big impact.

A couple years ago I suffered a burn out which resulted in me having to stay in the hospital. While I was in there I realised I didn’t have much people that checked in on me besides my mum and brother. At the time that was enough. I just wanted to get better and get back to work. It was only after that I said I need to make it a priority to build a support system. The people around me at the time weren’t the people that I had a support system with, and this made me feel low.

Fast forward to now, I have a great network of people that I can connect with regularly. If I want someone to talk to in regards to what’s on my mind, I have that someone available. It works both ways. Be open minded to what people may be going through at times and try to be there in some way.

People underestimate the power of communication. Talking through your problems to find a solution can be a great way to lift some weight off your shoulders. I cover mental health in my book, Time is Money, and why it’s important to pace yourself. Available at:

http://www.timeismoneymedia.com/books

Statistics:

– In 2017, there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland (Samaritans, 2017).

– In the UK, men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide compared to women (Samaritans, 2017).

– Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health problems each year (Mind.org, 2013).

A study by the Mental Health Foundation in 2018 using 4,619 respondents found the following:

– 29% said that they had started drinking or increased their drinking due to stress.

– Of the people who said they had felt stress at some point in their lives, 16% had self harmed and 32% said they had had suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Source: Mental Health Foundation Stress Report (2018)

– In 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK

Source: Fineberg, N., Haddad, P., Carpenter, L., Gannon, B., Sharpe, R., Young, A., Joyce, E., Rowe, J., Wellsted, D., Nutt, D. and Sahakian, B. (2013).

For more information on mental health and the symptoms you can visit the following websites:

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

http://www.mind.org.uk

http://www.samaritans.org

http://www.turn2me.org

T K Williams-Nelson

Don’t Be Scared To Share Your Story…

Over the last eight years I’ve published four books that all have a part of me weaved into them. How To Become A Freelancer & Make Money On Your Own Terms is no different. It’s not a get rich quick guide, so if you’re seeking fast money then this book wouldn’t be for you. It’s based on the real life experiences. Real stories by myself and other freelancers in different industries. I share my journey as a freelancer and express how it allowed me to make mistakes, in addition to learning new things before I knew what I really wanted to dedicate my life to.

I’m not scared to share my failures with the world. Sometimes doing so can give you the answers you’re looking for. I take pride in sharing my journey as an author, business woman and creative because it helps others avoid the same pitfalls I suffered. It inspires people to take a chance at doing what they love. The highlight of my new book are the freelancer testimonials that talk about some of the great opportunities they have had as freelancers, but also the struggles they’ve faced. Their stories also show the changes in direction they made, and freelancing is what gave them the flexibility to do so. They tried different things when they had the time and resources. It’s much more difficult to change direction if you’re already settled in a full-time job or when you have other commitments such as family life.

Writing your story is one thing, but publishing your work is something completely different. Whether you’re published, or you’re a blogger, it’s up to you to make a connection with your readers through your writing. With my books Time is Money, and now How To Become A Freelancer, the aim is that every reader take some inspiration from my writings. Believe in themselves that little bit more and understand that there are multiple routes to success.

I want to say a big thank you to Saimah, Torrin and SaberScope for sharing your stories for this book.

How To Become A Freelancer & Make Money On Your Own Terms is now available to order under ‘Books’ for £4.99.

Order here

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Facebook: Time is Money

Twitter: @TKWN_World

My New Book, How To Become A Freelancer, Will Be Released 10th June!

Since publishing Time is Money two years ago, I’ve connected with so many creatives, freelancers and entrepreneurs that have had valuable stories to tell about how Time is Money has helped them in some way. Whether it was developing a business plan or seeking funding through the Prince’s Trust, it was amazing to know that my book was benefiting people in the way I had intended. However, it was definitely more focused on the traditional approaches to business compared to more flexible forms of work such as freelancing. This inspired me to develop a short guide that is mainly focused on helping freelancers and creatives to build their business or side venture whilst avoiding the challenges that come along the way.

The book includes business knowledge and tips, funding options, freelancer testimonials, how to let clients find you and loads of useful links that can help you with money management, time management and more.

Released 10th June

If you keep up with my blog or know me personally, you know that I’m passionate about making people realise that they are talented. Every one has skills that can be monetized and can create a new stream of income from this. Yet with the fast paced lifestyle that many people live, it’s difficult for people to do what they love and also work for a living. How To Become A Freelancer & Make Money On Your Own Terms breaks down what it’s like to be a freelancer and how you can freelance alongside your main employment. The guide isn’t a solution to financial problems, it encourages you to analyse your options and see how you can start investing in yourself.

Life is about making things happen. Testing the waters and seeing what works for you so when you’re ready to settle into a long-term career, you know it’s one that you can take pride in. My recent blog post on mental health in the workplace is another inspiration for this book. Many people are working in jobs with demanding workloads and other stressful situations because they have to. We all have commitments to maintain and you can start to feel like you’re trapped. This is where doing something you love in your own time can help. Taking the time to work on your photography of your design work can help relieve the unfulfilled feeling your main employment may give you. Monetizing these skills can then in turn relieve some of the financial burdens you may have that your main employment doesn’t cover.

Success is the main goal for us all, so I encourage people to look within and see how you can create little successes for yourself which all lead towards that end goal. How To Be A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms is a great starting point for those considering freelancing, those who are freelancing already and for creatives that don’t know what to do with their work. The book covers how to set up as a freelancer, the do’s and don’t’s, how to secure funding and so much more. I also feature testimonials from freelance photographers and graphic designers who have traveled across the globe, covered celebrity events and built computers from scratch. Freelancing can bring a wealth of different opportunities in different forms.

How To Be A Freelancer will be released on my website on the 10th June under ‘Books’ in the top left and Amazon. New Time is Money Workshop tickets are now available under ‘Workshops’ for the 12th July.

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Facebook: Time Is Money

Twitter: TKWN_World

Don’t Ignore Your Debts. They Aren’t Going Anywhere!

Yes I said it! You have to face the storm and create a strategy on how to get out of the hole you may be in. Being in debt is never the end, but it is about managing your money better so you can clear them off slowly and enjoy more financial freedom. The first step is to acknowledge the debts and understand that they need to be paid.

Here are 4 tips on how to reduce your debts and make that move to a more financially free lifestyle.

1. Pay the minimum payment instead of nothing at all

When finances are mounting up all around you and you feel like you have nowhere to turn, depression and stress can set in. You may start to block out your problems instead of facing them head on, which in turn makes them worse. You can’t ignore your debts. They will grow until the point where you are facing bankruptcy and even more financial burdens.

The best thing to do when it comes to taking that step towards managing your finances is to start paying at least the minimum payment on bills that you haven’t been paying at all. This shows the company that you’re making an effort, even if it’s a small one. They are more likely to negotiate with you in future if necessary and it gives you peace of mind that you’re reducing your debt each month.

In addition, when you start making repayments you start to increase your credit. This will allow you to potentially borrow money in future because lenders will feel secure in the fact that you will be able to manage your repayments. For example, when applying for a credit card or an overdraft.

2. Increase your monthly payments

It sounds daunting but increasing your monthly payments on large debts that you have will allow you to pay them off quicker. It may not seem that way when you’re paying out what may be a large sum of money every month, but you’ll have more financial freedom once you’ve paid off the debt in a quicker time frame.

Increasing your monthly payments doesn’t have to be drastic. It could be a small increase if you’ve come into some extra money or are earning more from employment. Companies appreciate that you are showing that you want to pay off your debt just as much as they want their money, so it works well both ways.

3. Focus on your spending

Where can you cut back on spending and put more towards your debts? What subscriptions don’t you use regularly anymore? These are the simple questions you should ask yourself when considering where you can spend less and save more.

There’s been many times where I’ve had to cut back on things such as my meditation subscriptions or social activities because I want to dedicate my money to other things. If you have more wants than needs, then cutting back on the wants allows you to focus on the needs. Not only for reducing debt but for saving up money towards a mortgage or travel.

4. BUDGET!

People really do underestimate the power of budgeting. You know exactly where your money is going and it allows you to analyse your finances from a different perspective.

Once you reached your budget in a certain area, it’s up to you to make a conscious decision on whether you want to go over the budget or stay within it. That’s where being realistic comes in. You have to set realistic budget for the different areas of your lifestyle in order to meet them. If you underestimate your financial commitments, then it will be difficult to reduce your debt and to know where your finances are actually going.

No debt problem is unsolvable, but you have to want to solve them. It all starts with you.

Get in touch:

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Facebook: @Time is Money

Twittee: @TKWN_World

T K Williams-Nelson – 4x author, designer and business owner.

How Is Your Mental Health In The Workplace?

Being a human is demanding. We need to work in order to finance our needs and it’s easy to forget about you.

Mental health in the workplace is something that shouldn’t be ignored but isn’t hard to overlook. Everyone handles the pressures of life differently, so comparing yourself to someone else in the same role as you isn’t a good idea. You need to be open minded about the impact of your employment on your mental health and take steps if necessary.

Stress is a significant trigger of mental illness in the work environment. Over 42% of employees are experiencing this in one way or another according to a report by Beneden. Common underlying causes included increased workload, financial concerns and workplace bullying.

As mental health in the workplace has become more recognised, companies have implemented different ways of trying to help their employees manage work in a healthier way. These include:

– Time Management Training

– Quiet Areas

– Anti-Bullying Policies

– Pension Schemes

Make use of the resources that are available to you at work. Report incidents so procedures can be put in place to avoid them in future, and be organised. Being organised physically can help you organise your thoughts mentally.

You should feel valued at work. You should feel like you can express that you’re having a hard time and need to take a time out. Be sure to connect with your HR manager to see if they have anything in place for when you feel like your mental health is declining. Maybe you could work remotely for a while or take some time off.

The pressure of the demanding work culture that keeps the wheels of life turning can result in employees burning out. This could make your stress levels even worse and doesn’t help anyone. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to refresh and increase your productivity in a healthy way.

T K Williams-Nelson

Instagram @timeismoneymedia

Facebook @Time is Money

Twitter @TKWN_World

3 Challenges That Come With Running An E-commerce Business

There are challenges that come with running any business, but when it comes to a business that is solely based online, a unique set of challenges arise that have the potential to make or break a business.

I’ve ran my fashion business online for over 4 years now and have recently set up my author website linked to my WordPress blog. Over the years I’ve learnt so much about how to navigate the internet world to showcase my work, however there have been some stressful moments along the way. These are 3 main challenges that come with running an e-commerce business, and solutions on how to avoid them.

1. Website Maintenance

Yes, maintaining your own website can be tedious but it’s the face of your business. It can be difficult to stay on top of all your content depending on what you’re offering and this can be a big hindrance when it comes to representing your business online.

Think about what you like to see when you go on a website. It’s about structure, branding and most importantly, no grammatical errors. Would you want to buy from a company that has multiple errors on their front page? Would you continue to navigate that website after that first impression? As tedious as it may be, making sure your website has a clean personality and presentable finish is how business comes to you.

The best way to ensure that your website is up to scratch is to take your time. There is so much that goes into creating and maintaining a website, even if you’re using website builders such as Shopify, Go Daddy or Wix. Pacing yourself by working on one thing at a time will help you to focus on making sure that particular area is up to scratch before moving on to the next.

There has been times where I’ve let my followers know that my website will be down for maintenance for a few days. This allows me to work on the website with no distractions, and gives me the time to go over it a few times before re-launching back to the public.

Think of your website as the face of your business at all times. Make sure that it’s something that you would like to see if you visited. Be objective and focus on your audience, not how you want your website to look for you.

2. Product Images

Essential! Your product images have to be clear in regards to what you are selling. There are product images that just showcase the product on a clean background and product images that are more captivating and conceptual. Whichever approach you take will need investment.

Many people take short cuts with their product images to avoid spending money on studios, photographers and all the other expenses that come with doing a photoshoot, but this isn’t the way. You need to invest money to make money, and showcasing your products in a professional way will help you make sales.

There are so many freelance photographers out there looking to build their portfolios and would be willing to collaborate for reduced fees or no fees at all. Freelancer platforms such as People Per Hour and social media are the perfect places to source these services.

3. Marketing

Marketing an online business may seem like an easy task since everyone pretty much has access to the internet in one way or another, but this isn’t the case. When it comes to online marketing, targeting your audience is crucial. You want to connect with those that are interested in what your business has to offer, not everyone online.

Social media marketing is a great way to reach many people, but not necessarily the people that are interested in your product. Running a social media ad on Instagram or Facebook for example allows you to target your audiences directly by focusing on age, gender and geographical areas. Not only does this get your ads in front of the right people, but it also builds up your social media profile with potential customers.

For those that want a more affordable approach to marketing, then running giveaways related to your products is another great way to build a buzz. People love free things, and will often promote a giveaway post to be in with a chance to win. Be sure to not offer too much for a giveaway if you’re using your own products. The aim is to build a buzz around your business, not to give away all your goods!

Moving away from social marketing completely; I would suggest trying PR marketing. Now this doesn’t mean contacting influencers you may know and sending out your products for some content. For small businesses, there is a agency that caters to us and they’re called Journolink. You can subscribe and pay monthly to have access to their contacts and press release tools. Sending out samples of your products through an agency such as this not only gives you a professional look, but can also get your product in the right hands where you can actually benefit from the work that you put in.

Running any type of business isn’t easy, and I respect everyone that has taken that step to setting one up and putting their vision out to the world. This is why I write these posts. I want to help all those that are thriving and those that feel like they want to give up because they’ve exhausted every avenue. I know how you feel and I’ve been there at times, but what we need to remember as business owners is that we are critical thinkers. We will always find a way to to make what we’re passionate about work, and even if we can’t, we will change the course of our lives in some way.

Never forget your greatness. Never forget the drive that made you start your business. No one can do what you do like you can, so capitalise on your talents and never give up!

Give me a follow and drop me a message:

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Facebook: Time is Money

T K Williams-Nelson