Monthly Archives February 2007

Barclays Business Overdraft

I recently had to arrange an overdraft facility for my business account. To cut a long story short, a 2 month trial for a 12 month marketing campaign was so unresponsive I chose not to go ahead and not to start making the required monthly payments.

So understandably I wasn’t too pleased when the first payment was taken from my account! (This was not a cheap campaign but would have paid for itself if effective.)

It was coming up to the end of the month and other debtors were a bit late so as a precaution I approached the bank for a temporary overdraft.

It costs £150 to set up a short term overdraft the likes of which people may require in the event of an emergency.

To have a standard overdraft in place takes the same amount of time to set up and costs £25 per quarter and you can cancel it after a few months if you don’t need it.

My business manager was kind enough to point this out so you can imagine which option I chose.

Learn more about factoring, a great alternative to a bank overdraft – visit the Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance website.

Currency Trading – What You Need to Know

Currency trading has taken the country by storm – and with good reason. Conducted online, the pace of foreign currency trading is fast (deals can be completed in seconds) and furious. With the advent of mini-forex accounts, it’s become incredibly easy to get into the market. You can get started with a Forex mini account with many online brokers for as little as £100 – and the potential for quick turnaround and profit is enormous.

Like any opportunity with a high potential for profit, though, currency trading offers a high potential for loss. Currency trading is not for the weak-willed or the cautious, despite many who will tell you that they have a foolproof system for making money hand over fist. If you’re thinking about getting in on the excitement of currency trading in the volatile worldwide market, there are a few things that you should know.

Read the rest of this article here: & Google

This is an addition to a previous post about my site In the post I didn’t go into any reason why I think Google decided to drop the site from it’s listings after a consistent run near the top (for which I can’t deny I’m grateful). 

Before I go any further I must make a point of saying that I was by no means the only one affected at a similar time due to the same ‘Google update’.

This particular update (like a tropical storm) had a name. My recall is shaky as there were several ‘named’ updates but the one in question I think was called ‘Bourbon’. 

The Possible Reasons:

1/ I nearly bought some sitewide links on . The webmaster kindly placed the links before I verified my business Paypal account and paid for them. Before I paid I read an article saying that Google really didn’t like people buying links so I requested the links be removed. During this time, Google found the backlinks from and a short time later, found them to have been removed. A short time later, my site vanished from the listings. 

I originally felt inclined to buy the links due to a competitor completely whitewashing the competition by buying links. Google didn’t seem to mind so I thought it’d be OK. At this time, several sites with listings on enjoy very stable rankings on Google (oh, the irony…).

2/ The site has many categories and the page meta descriptions were very similar. Just the first few words described the page, the rest described the site. Apparently site generating software used to produce ‘spam’ sites spits out similar ‘duplicate’ descriptions.

3/ The site was predominantly a database of affiliate links.

For some reason there was a rumour that Google didn’t like affiliate sites that were just full of links. I have seen some affiliate sites that sometimes don’t make a lot of sense so I appreciate why some might not be ‘user friendly’ but when a site compiles affiliate products from a particular sector with a simple but functional comparison facility, why is that bad? 

Affiliate sites may be an unfair representation in the finance sector because there are still a great many products that are not yet available through affiliate campaigns but if a certain product is not available from an affiliate site, when a user searches for it, they should hopefully find a site it is available from.

Since the update, a new sitemap, a bit of SEO and stuff, the Googlebot is paying more attention than it has for years. 

I don’t count chickens. It’s more of an experiment.


Forced to Find New Host – Choose Wisely

For any would be website owner wether it be professional, personal or otherwise, be sure to pick a good solid, reputable host.

I didn’t for a few of my sites.

I only needed a small amount of space and not a lot of bandwidth so I hunted around for a reseller account so I could host multiple accounts.

I found a company in the US that offered masses of space and an ulimited number of accounts/email/sql etc…. for $50/year….

Yep, that’s cheap and you get what you pay for! are rubbish.

In the first month their servers were hacked and all my homepages vanished and since then I’ve lost sites for days at a time, had database errors and even had my account switched off 3 MONTHS before it was even due for renewal!

The guys only work office hours regardless of what’s happening to their customers accounts. They don’t work weekends and because they’re in the states, they’re never in the office when I’m in the office!

What’s more, they are rude, arrogant and just don’t care. It’s been a nightmare.

I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt far too long and the final straw was the recent multiple database failures.

I’ve now paid more for less and so far I’m already much happpier with the new set up. It’s smoother, faster and they even have a 24hour support line!! Perfect!

I’m also now quite experienced at creating site backups, reinstalling sites in new locations from backup and reconfiguring databases!

New host is: 

BT Featureline Has Redeeming Feature!

OK, so there are probably lots of people unhappy with their BT service but there are equally very many people that are more than happy with the service. Personally I fluctuate between the two.

One aspect of BT featureline is the fact that it DOES NOT integrate with almost every other broadband provider. Also BT featureline usually comes with a several year contract and BT will not even downgrade you to a lesser product of theirs without charging you for cancelling the contract early.

So what is this redeeming feature I hear you say?

Well, I have found that because I am tied into a contract with BT, none of the providers that perpetually bombard me with sales calls can actually do anthing for me unless I leave BT.

I just tell them I have a Featureline and I’m tied in for the next 4 years and they go away! I don’t even have to be mean or abrupt!

So thanks BT for helping me screen my sales calls!

Lacking the Three ‘R’s Leaves Millions Shortchanged

£800 million a year!! That’s how much the UK is losing due to a poor knowledge of simple maths.

According to a recent report by learndirect; ‘£823 million is lost each year due to inadequate basic skills – enough to pay the starting salaries of more than 40,000 new teachers. ‘

The most interesting results of their survey of 1000 people found:

‘One in five say they cannot convert local currency into pounds while on holiday; more than a third admit to adding up on their fingers when they have no calculator one in five do not know the difference between words that sound the same but have different meanings, such as “there” and “their”; two thirds rely completely on a spellchecker at work; 40% cannot calculate volume; and a third find converting fractions to decimals very difficult. ‘

The bit I’ve emboldened is one of my pet hates and surprisingly common! There’s nothing wrong with using a spell checker but to what extent do people rely on them? How much can they not spell?

It just goes to show the importance of the three ‘R’s, both my father and my grandfather repeatedly spoke of the neccesity for a sound knowledge of:





The Winter Lining Works a Treat!

Having suffered from ‘man-flu’ over the weekend I had to return a ‘recovery dvd’. On the way to the rental shop I was stuck behind every possible learner, bad driver and hesitant decision maker.

In my youth I would have fussed and fretted but this time I just made the resolute decision to relax, bide my time and once I’d dropped the dvd off, I got my bike out and went for a spin!

To avoid any confusion it’s a 1200cc Suzuki. And despite the slight drizzle (which soon passed) and the wind chill, I was toasty and warm! These modern bike jackets are very well designed and really was snug which made the ride all the more enjoyable!

I don’t like the cold much so I have some well lined gloves and thick socks!

I just rode for about half a tank on a varied figure of 8 path which eventually led back to the bikes hideaway, I changed back into my work clothes and returned to the office to have a most relaxing and constructive afternoon!

Bring on the summer!

177% APR!! And a Friendly Agent Collects!

A recent circular made it through my door offering me a small ‘cash’ loan of up to £500.

‘Quick cash’ and ‘payday’ loans have been available in America for many years and have recently started to gain more ground in the UK too. Indicative of the fact that debt problems are on the rise (a fact very few would dispute).

People that are likely to need small cash injections are also likely to be people on very low incomes. People on higher incomes have more opportunity to save or have more options by way of debt consolidation.

The more you earn, the more lenders are likely to consider giving you.

So if the income is low, anyone thinking about taking out one of these ‘quick cash’ solutions MUST think about the repayments, NOT just the quick solution.

My circular stated an example of a £300 cash loan repaid over 55 weeks. Repayments of £9 per week (collected by a friendly agent) making a total of £495 repayable with a typical APR of, 177%

£9 per week may sound like nothing to some people but the to the kind of people likely to need a quick cash solution, it could make a huge difference.

£9 per week is enough to feed someone, cover the electricity during winter months etc.

Always think very carefully before any kind of borrowing if the repayments could mean you go without.

In the News!

UKMoneyPot after only a very brief spell online is already in the news!

And not just the news but the Financial Times no less.

In an article about the rise in the number of personal finance blogs in the UK.

To be fair I was shocked when approached but the reality is there are still only a small number of UK personal finance blogs which made mine easier to come by.

I was also fortunate to be granted a mention of my other site which ties in nicely with the fact that I’ve just completed updating it (although I realised today I’d forgotten to upload the files that handle my online form processing..!).