Author Archives: Daniel

Brexit and Copyright: Are Your Ideas Safe?

If you work in design, you might be a bit more concerned about Brexit than other people. Anti-Copying in Design, the trade body set up to protect the intellectual property of designers, has raised concerns that vital business law stopping people copying original designs will be scrapped.

Did McDonald, the founder of the organization has cautioned the government that if they don’t either keep the existing legislation or have new laws ready to seamlessly take the place of EU protections the design industry, which currently contributes 71.7 million pounds to the UK economy, could be at serious risk of losing ownership of the ideas and designs that make it so successful.

“EU design laws protect the individual character of designs in terms of shape, texture, colours, ornamentation and materials, while UK rights only protect shape.” Did explains. Losing these protections would put British designers at a severe disadvantage to their European counterparts, at a time when we need them to be at their best and help boost our economy in the wake of leaving the European Union.

Anti-Copying in Design offers free initial legal advice to their members to help them navigate the complexities of protecting their intellectual property. Once a designer has signed up, they can also put a ACID logo on their website which helps to deter potential copyright thieves. The lawyers who work with ACID explain that seeing the logo makes a potential copyright infringer realise the designer is aware of the law surrounding copyright theft, and has the support necessary to defend their rights.

While some underestimate the risk of copyright infringement to small designers, ACID has documented and helped to fight many cases where a small business has met with a supermarket or other big supplier, only to later find copies of their products for sale in stores. When your main income is your unique ideas and designs, you stand to lose everything if people can reproduce them without any fees or punishments. At a time when the UK needs to reinforce it’ internal economy, this is a bigger issue than any individual designer being inconvenienced.

McDonald has visited Downing Street to explain that if designers don’t receive more legal protection, 25% of sales could be lost across the UK. This is an issue that affects us all: that could be a non-trival portion of our post Brexit economy.

Top Tips for Managing Your Money Better

Managing your money, and doing it well, is an important aspect of your life. After all, how well you manage your money can influence every other aspect of your life, such as where you live and what type of car you drive. Mismanagement of your finances can seriously impact your life, and the lives of your family. Managing your money isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here are a few tips to help you do just that, and improve your finances.

Create a Budget

The very first step to taking full control of your finances is to create a budget. While it sounds time consuming (and possibly boring), knowing how much you have coming in versus how much you have going out is essential. If you are married, make sure that you combine your finances. After all, every bill and expenditure you have belongs to both of you.

In order to create your budget, create a list of how much you spend on fixed items, such as mortgage or rent, car insurance and your cell phone. Then list out how much you want to devote monthly to flexible expenditures, such as groceries. Don’t forget to allot a section of your budget for savings. After you make your budget, make sure that you stick to it. Otherwise, your effort will be for nothing.

Track Your Spending

As a part of developing your budget, track your spending. Write down everything that you buy and how much you spend on it. This will help you to better set your limits for each section of your budget. Tracking your spending also helps to keep you accountable, and will help you to curb impulse buying, which would otherwise throw your budget completely out of balance.

Pay Bills on Time

You already know that paying your bills is important. What is also important is to pay them on time. Many companies will tack on interest charges, late fees and other penalties if you are even one day late with your payment. Paying your bills on time will help to avoid unnecessarily spending extra money. Pay more than the minimum balance to help pay down debts faster if you can. If you find it difficult to keep track of which bills are due when, record the dates in a calendar, or sign up for automatic payments online.

Avoid Using Credit Cards

It’s always tempting to use your credit card, especially when it comes to impulse purchases. However, if you don’t pay your credit card balance in full every month, you wind up paying interest on your total balance as well. If you find that you are unable to pay off the full balance, don’t use your credit card. You should avoid using it at least until the balance is paid off. Don’t carry your credit cards with you when you go out to avoid temptation. You may also want to consider calling up your credit card company and finding out if they can give you a lower interest rate, which will then help to lower your payments.

Consolidate Debt

If you have a large amount of credit card debt you may want to consider getting an installment loan.  Most credit cards have high interest rates and you can literally be wasting money on interest.  When you get an installment loan with a much lower interest rate this will allow you to apply more of your payment to the principal.  You can find various companies like to get an installment loan online.

Build an Emergency Fund

Having some form of savings is important. An emergency fund that you contribute to every month will allow you to have extra money in case something comes up. Having the money set aside in case your car breaks down or you need to replace something within your home will help you to avoid using your credit card, and sinking deep into debt. Then you won’t have to spend months, or even years, paying back the expense.

Sell What You Don’t Need

Take a look around your home. How much of the things you see in a given room do you no longer use? Maybe you have a gaming system, some movies or even some furniture that is just sitting there, taking up space. If you have things that you no longer use, and they don’t add any value to your life, sell them. You can then take the money you make from what you sell and add it to a savings account or invest it.

Managing your finances doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Once you are able to start managing your money, you will be surprised to find out how much simpler other parts of your life are. You may also find that you have enough money left over to do something you’ve always wanted to.

How to Save Money While Shopping Online

Online shopping is incredibly convenient for many reasons. It offers accessibility to pretty much anything you can think of without having to leave the house. But since the online competition can be high you don’t always catch those discount deals like you might see in the sale section of your favorite store. Here are some tips for saving money while you shop online.

Know How to Avoid Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing is a sneaky internet move. Merchants can actually offer different prices based on your location, which is one reason why flight prices tend to go up after you’ve been browsing options for a while. However, they can’t change the price based on your personal demand if they don’t know very much about you. Clearing your cache and your browsing history can erase some of that data. Also, consider logging out of your social media account since they gather a lot of information for advertisers.

Check Coupon Sites

Coupons are not just exclusive to paper newspapers, there are plenty of them online as well. One place to find some awesome coupons is CouponGrind. They partner with retailers and update their coupons hourly, which means every time you check back there might be something new. Instead of having to search for individual coupons on the internet you can visit a single site and get a variety of relevant options at once.

Use Multiple Coupon Codes

When sites allow you to use multiple coupon codes at once, by all means, take advantage of that opportunity. But do it the right way. Always enter in the percentage off coupon prior to the solid number reduction to make sure that you get the biggest savings. The difference might only be a couple dollars but any savings means more money in the bank.

Do Price Comparisons

It’s obvious that comparing the prices of items across a couple retailers is a good idea before making a purchase. Especially for bigger purchases. But with so many options of places to buy online it can also get a little overwhelming. (How do you know when to stop looking for the next best deal?) Luckily there are some companies out there that will do the price comparisons for you. There are both apps and browser add-ons that provide this service and are totally free to use. You simply tell them what you’re looking for and they will report back at more information becomes available.

Leave Items in Your Shopping Cart

Leaving items in your online shopping cart can actually help you get some pretty good discounts. The online retailer recognizes that you were very close to buying but for some reason backed out before you paid. They assume it had something to do with the price. In an effort to encourage the sale they will often follow up with a coupon to try and seal the deal. To make this work you need to be logged into the site or have provided them with your contact information.