3. Cut the cost of your fuel bills
As the global demand for power threatens to outstrip supply, prices are rising. But that doesn’t mean you need to be ripped off. The domestic market for fuel is a competitive one and you can change supplier with a few clicks of the mouse. Your new supplier will take care of the formalities – you just pay less every month.
Monthly Archives: August 2009
3. Cut the cost of your fuel bills
2. Clear your credit card debt
One of the golden rules of financial planning is to clear your most expensive debts first, in other words your credit cards. OK, credit cards offer a convenient way to pay for goods and services but if you can’t clear the balance every month, consider a low-cost loan as an alternative. Do the sums: a credit card debt (APR 15%) of £2,200 over three years will cost £545 in interest. A loan at 6% will cost £209. A saving of £336.
1. Change your attitude to your mortgage
The most expensive item you are ever likely to buy is your home. If you’re not in the privileged position to pay cash, make sure the loan you use to finance it is the best available. For example, if you are paying your lender’s full standard variable rate (SVR) you are probably paying hundreds of pounds a year more than you need to.
There are thousands of deals to choose from and while it is vital to check the small print for hidden catches, this is a relatively easy way to save a lot of money. Remember: loyalty to your bank benefits your bank, not you. Even better, if you can afford to make overpayments on your mortgage, you’ll clear your debt several years early and make massive savings. For example, if you borrow £100,000 at 6% over 25 years, you’ll pay it back at £643 a month. The total charge for credit will be £93,000. But if you can overpay by £100 a month you’ll clear the loan in less than 19 years, giving you 6 years of mortgage-free living and saving a staggering £25,000 in interest.
Lack of performance in a member of your staff can be attributed to one of two things. Either they have a competence problem, a commitment problem or both. Competence is relatively easy to deal with. Once you have identified the issue, you can set about producing a training programme to help develop their skills, spend some time supervising them until they become competent, allow them to observe others, there are any number of ways that you can develop your staff with direction and support.
Competence is learned over time as people develop their skills through experience. Commitment, however, is a little bit more difficult to deal with as this is down to a combination of a person’s confidence and motivation. When a job is new to us and we are in learning mode, we have little or no competence but oodles of commitment.
We are enthusiastic and eager to learn and determined to perform at our best. As we start to learn the job, our competence increases but out commitment diminishes as we realise that maybe the job is more difficult than we thought, or maybe not as challenging or as interesting as we thought, or maybe we are just not being recognised for our efforts.
Human nature is such that we start to think “well why bother?” Keep your people’s commitment by:-
1. Developing a learning and action plan that is right for them. Find out what their preferred learning styles are.
2. Be aware of how quickly they learn and adapt. Don’t allow them to become overwhelmed but just as importantly, keep their interest if they are a fast learner and they thrive by having responsibility.
3. Focus on the positive by catching them doing something right and acknowledge them for it.
4. If they do do something wrong while they are still inexperienced or they have a new task, then apologise for not making it clear to them. Yes, I do mean apologise! It is not their responsibility to understand you; it is your responsibility to be understood.
5. Keep them in the loop. People like to know what is going on and are more likely to be committed if they understand the bigger picture.
Yvonne Bleakley is the manager’s mentor, director of http://www.coachuk.ltd.uk and creator of The Silent Motivator System, the proven step-by-step programme to maximise staff and gain true respect and commitment. Download your free e-book “How to Maximise your Staff and Gain Respect” at http://www.silentmotivator.com