5 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Work Health

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We can all take small steps to improve our health, but when you’re stuck in a particular routine, it can be hard to bring in the wee habits that make the difference. It’s easy to look online and find amazing success stories from people who have put in a lot of hard work to transform themselves completely. For the majority of people, you don’t need to make a dramatic lifestyle change. It’s little adjustments to your current behaviour that will make a tangible difference to your health in the long term.

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The Best Neighbourhoods in Glasgow for Property 2020

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It is an odd time for those who are in the buy-to-let game. George Osbourne’s so-called “tax time bomb”, set years ago by the then-chancellor is set to hit landlords with regulations and taxes remove a great degree of profitability from the market. This has led to many headlines across the press claiming that the uptake of regulation is the death knell of the buy-to-let market for many keen investors.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The property market in many parts of the UK looks set to be sunny in outlook, with great opportunities for property investors to turn over money in places that are on the way up. One place that’s identified as fertile ground is my hometown of Glasgow. With buy-to-let yields hitting 7.8% on average, it’s certainly an area to think about.

A lot of regeneration has made Scotland’s largest cities one of the most desirable places to live in the UK, and today we will look at where is the best place to look for a profitable property.

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How To Save Money On Food As A Student

When you’re at university, you may have the first taste of adult freedom in the form of moving into a flat or student accommodation. Ask most people who have lived in student accommodation what their diet was like and they’ll tell you some culinary horror stories, but also with a hint of nostalgia and a sense of good times. Moving into your own place when you’re 17, 18, or 19 may present the first time that you’ll have ever had to cook for yourself, and as anyone who’s been through it themselves, it’s no picnic (quite literally).

The first trip that many of us take to the supermarket without adult supervision to stop you from buying a bucket of Haribo gives many of us an idea of how much food can cost. You get to the checkout and the cashier tells you the price and something clicks; “food is bloody expensive!” With this in mind, here’s some top tips for students designed to help you make your money go a little further at meal times.

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Five Glasgow Days Out On The Cheap

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If you’re like me, and have the attention span of a gnat, you might find yourself sitting in on a Saturday afternoon with the walls closing around you, bored to tears and the thought of spending your precious weekend watching countless hours of Murder, She Wrote and Dickinson’s Real Deal. Fear not my frugal friends! Having had a lifetime to perfect how to have a fun-filled day for less, here are five of my favourite places to see/visit when I’m counting my pennies. All are either free to visit, or won’t break the bank and I’d heartily recommend them to anyone thinking of visiting Glasgow.

1) The Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Any time there’s even a suggestion of sun or blue sky in Glasgow, there are a few things you can expect to see. One is the off-grey torsos of Glaswegians who have opted to go “taps aff” in an effort to soak up some elusive Vitamin D. The other is a busy Botanic Gardens. Located in the city’s illustrious West-End, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens have provided a green space for the people since 1817. The park is full of botanical curiosities from the world over, and if you find that your caught in a predictable Glasgow down-pour, you can always take shelter in the iconic Kibble Palace.

The iconic wrought-iron glasshouse was erected in the park in 1873, and it’s temperate climate allows for tropical and exotic plants to flower. If you’re passing by on a November evening, be sure to jump in for a wee heat, and a look at the impressive pond that lives in the palace’s main lobby. There’s plenty to see in the main park itself, including a cafe and the long abandoned Byres Road subway station for those with an adventurous streak!

Glasgow_Botanic_Gardens_reopen_009

2) Kelvingrove Art Gallery

There are few places in the world that are able to say that they boast a museum collection as diverse as art by Dali and Picasso, a 1940’s Spitfire, and a stuffed giraffe, but Kelvingrove Art Gallery. The museum is free to entry and lauded as being one of the best museums to visit in the UK. On the basement floor there is a cafe with an impressive lunch menu, but if you’re only in looking for a coffee to keep you ticking over, a vendor on the ground floor will keep you right.

There is such a wonderfully diverse collection of things to be found in the Kelvingrove art gallery that I think you would struggle to see everything in a day. A great deal of collections are covered in the stunning Victorian gallery, and throughout your visit you can expect to see collections from Ancient Egypt, the history of Glasgow, French Impressionists, the Dutch Renaissance, and an impressive selection from the natural world. If you’re lucky you might be able to time a visit with a performance on the museum’s massive pipe organ.

Kelvingrove_Gall_and_Mus_Glasgow

3) The Ben Nevis Folk Session

If you were to go for a stroll in Glasgow’s Finneston area as recently as ten years ago, you would find the shell of a city that once had a proud ship building tradition. A place were jobs thrived and money was made. The removal of heavy industries from Glasgow was a difficult and uncertain time for the city and the Finneston area was littered with empty buildings and ‘for sale’ signs. Now, much like the rest of the city, it has reinvented itself for the 21st century.

Many of the trendiest drinking spots can be found down by the Clyde at Finneston. Bars like Distill, the 78, and Lebowski’s have come to represent Glasgow’s flair for reinvention. No pub in the area better blends the old and the new than The Ben Nevis. If you were to pop in for a reasonably priced pint at the Ben Nevis on a Thursday or Sunday night, not only would you find a fine ale and the world-famous welcoming atmosphere, you’d also get some of the best live folk music the city has to offer. Only for the cost of a pint of Tennents! Not bad..

Kelvingrove_Bowling_Green_(Glasgow)_(3851681996)

4) Lawn Bowls In Kelvingrove Park

Not many folk know that the bowling green that lives in front of the aforementioned Kelvingrove art gallery is free to use to the public. So if you feel like you need a bit of fresh air having gone for a wander round the galleries, why not stop in and put your skills to the test? The combination of patience, technique and sheer bloody luck make the Kelvingrove bowling club a must visit for those trying to do Glasgow for less!

5) Tennents Tour

Scotland may be famous for its whisky, but Glasgow in particular is famous for its Irn Bru, and its Tennents lager. A cold pint of the Wellpark nectar is a must for any night out. If you want to see how the city’s favourite pint comes into being, why not book a place on the brewery’s tour. Adult tickets only cost £7.50, plus you get free samples at the end. It really is a no brainier

tennents, and a perfect way to see what’s brewing in Glasgow. (Sorry).

Working Abroad – The How-Tos

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How to get a job when you move abroad

Travelling to a different country – a different continent even – can be very daunting, but living and working in a different country can be downright scary. Moving from Canada to the UK was a massive change for me and really quite nerve-wracking. I’ve had a range of employment since moving here 12 years ago, from call centre work, retail, bartender, admin and marketing. Not all of these have been ideal experiences and in the time I’ve been here, I’ve picked up some important tips that have helped me along the way.

Here are some of the key ones that will help you succeed in getting you that job away from home.

“How do they do it where you’re from?”

It’s great to talk about how “they do it over in…” anywhere. This gives you an edge over your potential colleagues and provides insight on different opportunities for the company you aspire to work for.  Don’t shy away from talking about your home country as this could be very beneficial in helping you land your dream job. You could mention this on your CV and in your interview by drawing on previous experiences you’ve had in your hometown that would be relevant to the job you’re going for.

Additionally, if you are from somewhere that speaks a different language or if you’re able to speak any other languages, this is something you should definitely boast about on your CV and in your interview.  Again, this will give you an edge and will give you an inimitable quality.

Are your papers in order?

There is nothing worse than losing out on your dream job because your visa, passport or whatever forms are needed to prove eligibility of employment are not up to date. In my experience, all employers will photocopy your proof of eligibility of employment with your passport, so make sure there are no issues with either of these.

Before you go to apply for any job, always check that you are eligible to work in your country of choice. Do not wait until after the interview to update these as these types of forms can take weeks even months to renew. This should be your first priority! If you’re moving to the UK, you can check whether or not you need a visa at the Gov.UK site. You can easily use Google search to find out what you’ll need for where you’re going.

Don’t be a victim of a bad business

Whether it’s your career or a job to help you earn some extra cash, always check the legitimacy of a business. Being from a different country can make you more vulnerable to working for an illegitimate company and you could end up being unemployed with no compensation. If you do have your suspicions, there are several ways you can check a company’s legitimacy. Initially, you can use Campanies House on the Gov.UK website to search for the business you’re look into. If you feel you have been duped by a company, you can also visit Citizens Advice to help you find your basic rights at work.

You should also make sure that you receive a pay slip and that your tax code on your slip is correct. This will mitigate any issues that could come your way in the future.

 

Weathering the Summer

Scotland’s summer is less 500 days and more 500 minutes.

windy weather scotlands coast

This has reportedly been one of the windiest, wettest and one of the most dreary summers in memory. The incessant rain and dreary overcast days throughout June resulted in fevered rumours of a heat blast to come in August…which turned out to be completely unfounded. However September has got to an excellent start even if we can feel the frost in the morning.

While the umbrella-strewn pavements of July are gone, it would be good to know that a last minute holiday isn’t out the question. As the high season starts to fade into the quieter off-season it’s good to know that prices also start to drop. There’s time still to make sure you have an eventful September weekend and take the time to nip somewhere a little bit different.

Many sites will begin to offer Winter Sun deals, these tend to be based around the equator as that where it’s hot in winter! There are some good   and websites like SkyScanner that will show some great low cost options. Even if you are a bit cash-strapped, if you are sensible with your money getting a holiday loan can always be a good option.

This guide by Money Saving Expert is one of the most comprehensive out there. It goes through how to turn your phone into an international Sat-Nav for those wi-fi-lacking moments, how to find cheap flights and even how to get free flights- if you play your card rights.

However if you are time strapped as well as cash then this guide covers the best tips for saving money when you are exchanging your money.

And if worst comes to worst, England has actually had alright weather so nip on down to Cornwall and have a pasty, stay on this island and experience the austerity summer; The Staycation. We better enjoy the few sunny days we do have, after all winter is coming.

Top 5 tips to starting your own business

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Starting your own business: What you need to know

To create a successful business you need – a good plan, a good product or service that people actually want, good people that can make things happen and most importantly a good supply of money.  There is no secret formula to start a business. All you have to do is make something that people want, take their money in exchange for your product or service, ensure your product/service costs less to make than you charge for it, so you earn a profit and start the cycle again. An entrepreneur’s life can be a roller coaster, there’s no doubt that great changes comes great opportunities. If you want to be entrepreneur, here are a few tips to help you start your business.

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Edinburgh Freshers’ Guide to Saving Money

Where else to start but at the beginning of this magical journey we call: university, where somehow we’re tempted to spend money like water and yet have nothing to show for it – as we have eaten, or drank it all. The following article by Alex Watson on how to avoid blowing your student loan sums it up.
Edinburgh Castle Rock
If you want to be smart with your money then start here! It all begins with fresher’s (drunken) week. The fresher’s band is inviting and as a fresher, you feel as though this is a requirement … but be warned it is not necessary, just because you don’t buy a fresher’s band doesn’t mean you won’t go out. Unless you go to every single event (which is most unlikely) then it is a waste of money, and due to the demand of some of these events, you may find you and your new friends want to avoid the crowds and explore further areas of your new city.
Next on the list of fresher’s obligations is the fresher’s fair, here you will be handed an abundance of flyers, stickers, leaflets and much more and let’s be honest they will all most likely end up at the bottom of your bag never to be looked at again, and there is your mistake. The surplus of paper you have just received is actually full of great student deals, which will truly help you save money at university. Another top tip for saving money, as a student is to buy a student discount card. For £9.95, it’s yours for 3 years, from which you will acquire an array of discounts in Edinburgh from bars, restaurants, shops and take-outs.

Eating in Edinburgh
George street is pricey, stay away, shopping and nights out alike. However, this is not a problem as there are countless places to eat in Edinburgh. Some advice, get cultural, Tuk Tuck located on Lothian Road serves the best Indian street food and it is cheap!
Another money saving idea is share! Bread Meats Bread, on Lothian Road is arguably the best burger joint in Edinburgh and yes it is a little pricey, however, no human can possibly eat one of their burger and fries, so share, half the burger, half the price! Lastly, be smart with your money, don’t let the hangover cravings take over and demand you to spend £18 at Nandos for an overpriced piece of chicken, get inventive, gather your friends and cook cheap healthy meals.

Nights out in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a fun filled night out with plenty of options for students – with almost every club holding a student night. However, you may want to avoid weekends as there is no escaping the high entry cost and stupidly overpriced mixers.
There are also alternatives that don’t involve clubbing and won’t leave you penniless. These include interesting stuff like ghost walks and stand-up comedy.
An additional idea to help save money is to pre-drink, the novel way in which our generation socialises, gone are the days of meeting at pubs and bars. Well perhaps not gone, but let’s be realistic: as a first-year student your calendar will most likely involve around 3 nights out per week and it is just not plausible to drink in bars each of these nights.
Top tip, get all your friends around, buy some cheap fizz (they will never know the difference) and if you are worried about not being sophisticated enough get some cheap wine glasses from Ali’s Cave

Entertainment in Edinburgh
There are plenty of things to do for students in Edinburgh on a budget. For example, take a walk up Arthurs seat for the best views of Edinburgh, this burst of activity will be good for you as calorie consumption is likely to be high due to your new found freedom where you can drink and eat as much as you want. It is also completely free!
A walk up the royal mile to Edinburgh Castle is another must-see, there is no need to pay to get inside as you get a great view of the castle at the top. On a summer’s day, Princes Street gardens can be your go to however it is normally busy so head to the Meadows which will be filled with students, Frisbees, beers and ball games. Grab yourself a BBQ, your friends and you have an afternoon bursting with summer fun.
My last tip is to get yourself a rail card, for those days when the bank balance is looking bleak and it’s time to head home for some TLC and a home cooked (free) meal.