Viola Black https://www.violablack.com Mon, 10 Jun 2019 12:18:33 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://www.violablack.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/cropped-viola_favicon-new-32x32.png Viola Black https://www.violablack.com 32 32 Personal Money Management – Budgeting With Viola Black https://www.violablack.com/personal-money-management-budgeting-with-viola-black/ https://www.violablack.com/personal-money-management-budgeting-with-viola-black/#respond Thu, 21 Feb 2019 11:43:25 +0000 https://www.violablack.com/?p=941 The post Personal Money Management – Budgeting With Viola Black appeared first on Viola Black.

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The whole premise behind Viola Black is personal money management. According to a recent report from the National Audit Office, there are around 8.3 million people in the UK who are unable to pay off debts or household bills – that’s around 1 in 7 adults who are struggling financially on a daily basis. There are many contributing factors – the general cost of living is on the rise whilst rises in salary have become few and far between in recent years. Many of us are having to spend more whilst not receiving any additional income and that – in a nutshell – explains the worrying figure above. This is where proactive budgeting can come into play. With a stable household income, knowing what your outgoings are on a monthly basis can help you with budgeting — whether you’re freeing up some cash to pay off existing debts or saving up for holiday, a new car or maybe a new addition to the family. With a Viola Black prepaid debit card, tracking your day-to-day budget and spend is simple thanks to our handy app. As soon as you spend on the card, you receive an alert on your phone, allowing you to capture the receipt at the point of sale. This allows you to look back at any point to see where your money has been spent, and what has been purchased. Although you have the option to have your salary paid directly into your Viola Black account, the majority of customers tend to use it for setting themselves a spending limit for various outgoings by using our great Sub Accounts option.

Work

Even though it’s how we obtain the majority of our spending money, the amount that we spend during the working day can be surprising when added up at the end of the month. Firstly, travelling to work is an expense that many of us overlook. If you work from home – or at least a short walk away – count yourself lucky. The average UK worker spends around £2,000 per year on public transport or petrol just to get to and from the office. On top of that, the typical worker spends almost £8 per day on lunch, drinks and other snacks during the working day (compared with the £1.50 for those bring in their own lunch!). As you can imagine – it all adds up. Loading money onto your Viola Black card to track your workday spending is just one way in which you can work out the areas where you need to rein in your daily spending.

Bringing Up Baby

From the time they are born right up until they leave home (and for a good while afterwards), babies and children are expensive. Keeping track on what you spend on your kids can be tricky, as they have different needs as they get older. Using your Viola Black card to set yourself a monthly budget can be especially handy and a great way to keep your receipts in order, so you know exactly what you’re spending. Over time, you’ll be able to load a specific amount onto your card, and then stick to that budget over the course of a month. Particularly handy for taking care of the essentials.

Saving for Something Special

If you’re a bit further down the line of budgeting, then you could use your Viola Black card as your ‘treats’ card. Some may call it an ‘emergencies’ card, but we think that treating yourself from time to time is important. If you know that you and/or your partner have a little disposable income each month, then you can load it onto your card and watch the figure grow. For instance, you could use it as a holiday spending money card. Your Viola Black prepaid card allows you to store money in many different currencies at market-leading exchange rates. Not only that, but you can take it with you to spend your holiday savings anywhere in the world, without being charged any fees. Every time you spend on your card, you’ll get an instant notification, so you know exactly how much you have to spend. No waiting for hours or days for your account to update. The dashboard on our Android and Apple apps updates your balance, spend and account overview in real-time.

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH.

© Viola Money Limited 2019

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH. The Viola Black Mastercard card is issued by AF Payments Limited pursuant to a license by Mastercard International. Mastercard and the Mastercard brand mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International
 
© Viola Money Limited 2019

The post Personal Money Management – Budgeting With Viola Black appeared first on Viola Black.

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How to Turn Blue Monday into Your New Monday https://www.violablack.com/how-to-turn-blue-monday-into-your-new-monday/ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 11:49:06 +0000 https://www.violablack.com/?p=947 The post How to Turn Blue Monday into Your New Monday appeared first on Viola Black.

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Blue. Monday. Two pretty innocuous words by themselves; combined, however, and they suddenly strike fear, doom and gloom into people across the UK.

Yep, we’re talking about Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year, typically the third Monday in January.

Coined in 2005, the term came about following a Sky Travel press release, which used an equation to determine that it was the most sombre day of the year.

Inevitably, this is going to have people worrying about their financial situation – perhaps more than they usually would on other days. It doesn’t have to be like that, however.

Because, with Viola Black’s top financial tips for helping you turn over a fresh financial page, we’ll help you turn Blue Monday into your New Monday.

 

#1. Feeling Fine about Your Finances.

Taking control of and feeling good about your finances starts by taking a look at them as a whole. And, if you haven’t already gotten around to it in January, doing so on Blue Monday is the perfect excuse to counteract the most depressing day of the year, by empowering yourself and your finances. Take pen to paper, then sit and commit to creating a detailed plan / calendar comprising your monthly incomings and outgoings. From there, plan weekly and monthly spending budgets, setting aside a designated amount of savings from every pay packet, too – then laugh smugly in Blue Monday’s face.

 

#2. Taking the Direct Approach.

In order to get the most out of tip #1, have a look at which direct debits you can cancel, or easy ways in which you can save with current suppliers. Can I do a home workout instead of paying for a gym membership every month? Do I actually need that many channels on my TV package? Can I add a designated driver to my car insurance to bring down the policy cost? These are all questions to ask yourself on Blue Monday; the answers for which might well bring a smile to your face.

 

#3. Sitting on the Dock of eBay.

Clothes. Electrical equipment. Furniture. Whatever you have lying around the house – if it’s been gathering dust for years, why not sell it? When it comes to choosing what to get rid of, be ruthless and ask yourself: “Would I rather hold on to this because I might need it in the future, or cash in and get some money in the bank?” It doesn’t matter whether you use eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace: get everything online on Blue Monday, then see all that old stock turn into new money.

#4. Changing Blue for Pastures New.

Really feeling the blues on Blue Monday? Then that is the perfect time to start planning and saving for your next holiday. If you’ve already made money from selling your things online using tip #3, you could even go ahead and book it! By looking at sunnier destinations and thinking about the fun, relaxing time you have to look forward to, then all those good vibes will do wonders when it comes to turning any potential frown upside down.

 

#5. The name’s Bond. Premium Bond.

A little fed up of little yields from your savings account? Then you might want to consider Premium Bonds: a financial investment product with potentially huge, tax-free returns. Issued by National Savings and Investment, Premium Bonds require a minimum investment of £100, or £50 if you set up a regular standing order. You get a unique bond number for every £1 you invest, with each bond (having been held for a month) entered into a monthly prize draw. The prize? Anywhere from £25 to £1 million – enough to turn Blue Mondays into Happy Mondays for the rest of your life.

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH.

© Viola Money Limited 2019

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH. The Viola Black Mastercard card is issued by AF Payments Limited pursuant to a license by Mastercard International. Mastercard and the Mastercard brand mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International
 
© Viola Money Limited 2019

The post How to Turn Blue Monday into Your New Monday appeared first on Viola Black.

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In the Black, With Viola Black: Our Top 5 Fun Budgeting Tips. https://www.violablack.com/our-top-5-fun-budgeting-tips/ Fri, 18 Jan 2019 11:57:04 +0000 https://www.violablack.com/?p=953 The post In the Black, With Viola Black: Our Top 5 Fun Budgeting Tips. appeared first on Viola Black.

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In the Black, With Viola Black: Our Top 5 Fun Budgeting Tips.

Introducing In the Black, With Viola Black: our new series of blogs that will help you take control of your finances.

From budgeting to banking, spending to saving; here you’ll find all the best financial advice, tips and tricks – all in one place.
And, because most people start the year off with a budgeting plan, we’re starting with the budgeting tips that put the fun in funds!

Are You Game for It?

The prospect of budgeting every month can be daunting and, truth be told, a little bit boring. But when you make budgeting into a game, it immediately becomes more enjoyable thanks to the element of challenge. Set yourself weekly and monthly budgeting goals, as well as rewards for each; little things like an extra hour in bed on the weekend, or another episode of your favourite Netflix series. These prizes automatically give you more of an incentive to want to succeed, making the whole process of budgeting more fun as a result.

Save the Date. Then save for it.

If you’re looking to budget with the ultimate goal of setting money aside for something specific, create a visual reminder of that something. For argument’s sake, let’s say you’re saving for your dream holiday: have a photo of the destination and getaway date as your mobile phone’s screensaver, or even a framed photo on your office desk. This way, you’ll always be reminded of the fun that will come as a result of budgeting and saving – even when you’re complaining to family, friends or colleagues about having no money!

Aisle Be There for You.

When it comes to food shopping, some people like to do weekly shops, whilst others rather buying on a day-to-day basis; there isn’t a right or wrong way as there are benefits to both, and everybody’s needs are different. A really fun, rewarding game for those that shop daily, however, involves buying food and ingredients solely from the reduced aisle. Depending on the time of day and supermarket, you can pick up and put together great-tasting, nutritious meals for pennies, as opposed to pounds. Sure, you have to get a little bit more creative and adventurous in the kitchen, but – as well as all those savings – that’s part of the fun.

Willpower Will Power Up Your Savings.

The psychology behind why we spend money is, in itself, an interesting subject. But what most people don’t understand, however, is that – as far as budgeting is concerned – learning about it is as advantageous as it is enjoyable. Because, in the same way you train and strengthen your body, there are 100s of great books that will help you train and strengthen your willpower, too; a vital asset when it comes to questioning the need for certain purchases and, ultimately, saving money.

Find a Budgeting Buddy.

Lots of things in life are more enjoyable when you do them with friends: budgeting is no different. If you know someone else who is looking to take control of their finances, why not buddy up with them? Whether it’s sharing advice or keeping each other motivated, think of a budgeting buddy as your very own financial advisor – just without the price tag.

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH.

© Viola Money Limited 2019

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH. The Viola Black Mastercard card is issued by AF Payments Limited pursuant to a license by Mastercard International. Mastercard and the Mastercard brand mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International
 
© Viola Money Limited 2019

The post In the Black, With Viola Black: Our Top 5 Fun Budgeting Tips. appeared first on Viola Black.

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Five Ways To Make Your Money Work Harder https://www.violablack.com/five-ways-to-make-your-money-work-harder/ Sat, 22 Dec 2018 12:11:26 +0000 https://www.violablack.com/?p=972 The post Five Ways To Make Your Money Work Harder appeared first on Viola Black.

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#1 Determine your monthly incomings and outgoings
– Managing your money effectively comes from an accurate understanding of your regular income per month, after taxes.
If you don’t receive a concrete number throughout the year, this can sometimes make it difficult to understand how much you have available – with some months earnings being marginally more or less than others.
As a freelancer, this can be particularly problematic for example as you will need to estimate your earnings based on previous paycheques at this time of year or previous experience of busy periods within your sector.

If you’re earning a salary and receive a fixed pay per month, it will be much simpler for you to figure out your consistent earnings.
Once you have this number in mind, apply any extra income you regularly earn, too.
For example, maybe you run a social media page that earns money on the side or write a blog that produces occasional earnings. Whatever it is that you do on the side, make sure to apply this to your monthly, take-home pay!

#2 Track your spending habits
– Once you have an understanding of your average paycheque, the next step is to realise your frequent spending habits. There will be payments you’re able to keep track of with ease and those that frequently slip under the radar.
Tracking expenditure gets put off by most people because reading into spending habits can all too often become overwhelming. The process needn’t be complicated though and simply requires you to study your bank statements from time to time.

Whenever a bill appears in your statement, jot it down and note the amount being withdrawn into either a spread sheet or diary. In this process, you’ll more than likely find an old subscription or two that you’ve forgotten to cancel, which will save you a bit of cash right away.
Totalling your expenses and tracking your spending helps to categorise and understand exactly how much of your money is going where. By categorising your spending across bills, travel, food costs and entertainment – you’ll be able to identify where you’re spending too much money and what you can look to change.

#3 Mark out your disposable income priorities
– Before budgeting, you’ll need to determine your priorities. After categorising your spending habits, you’ll develop more of an understanding into where your money is heading.
From here, you can decide which of these categories are priorities and use them to help you decide what to do with your disposable income.
Once you’ve got your essentials out of the way, you’ll need to decide on a focus that your remaining money will work towards and with this, your habits will need to align in order to save effectively.

Your focus will be whatever is most important to you and this could range from less fun things like paying off credit card instalments to more fun things like a holiday or a wedding on the horizon.
Picking your saving priorities is crucial in making sure you manage your money accordingly and ultimately sets you a goal that motivates you to control your money properly.

#4 Anticipate emergencies
– Regardless of what you have identified your priorities as, you’ll also need to make sure that over time, you’re developing some easily accessible funds that will really help out in times of need.
You can manage your money at a constant rate but unfortunately, life happens and with it, the unexpected will almost inevitably come along and slightly dent your progress.
It is for this exact reason that keeping some money back in case of emergency is crucial in the management of your money. This won’t quite happen overnight either meaning it’s likely you’ll have to build up this amount up over a few months.

From an unexpected car break-down to a medical emergency or your other half losing their job, whatever the circumstances – money is usually needed to fix an emergency issue to some degree.
Emergencies cause enough stress as it is, let alone if you find yourself with insufficient funds to cover yourself in any unlikely event. Managing your money appropriately to ensure you have something spare for any situation will make you feel more secure and help to take an element of worry away from your already busy plate.

#5 Make a plan and stick to it
– Finally, with all of these steps in mind – you can work towards creating a tangible plan to manage your money.
Once you have an understanding of your regular earnings as well as how much you regularly spend and what your saving priorities are – you can begin to apply this to a plan that you can stick to.
If you have a priority in mind like a holiday for example, you can start working towards this by simply cutting out spending habits that you’ve identified as unnecessary.

Whatever priority you’ve chosen to aim towards, you’ll need to cut down expenses elsewhere to help contribute. Whether it’s changing where you shop to a cheaper alternative, choosing a different form of transportation, creating your own lunch instead of eating out so often – whatever the perpetrator is, cut it down and stick to your new changes for a month.
After a month you’ll begin to build a picture of whether this change has helped you save your money more effectively or not and you can then further decide whether you stick to it or revaluate your budgeting once more.

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH.

© Viola Money Limited 2019

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH. The Viola Black Mastercard card is issued by AF Payments Limited pursuant to a license by Mastercard International. Mastercard and the Mastercard brand mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International
 
© Viola Money Limited 2019

The post Five Ways To Make Your Money Work Harder appeared first on Viola Black.

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Managing Your Money Over Christmas https://www.violablack.com/managing-your-money-over-christmas/ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 12:12:58 +0000 https://www.violablack.com/?p=975 The post Managing Your Money Over Christmas appeared first on Viola Black.

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You might be thinking it’s a little late to be deliberating your Christmas budget at this point in December and to a degree, you’d be right.

Though arguably, this period can also be the most important time of December to take control of your money.

In the final weeks of the month, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re staying true to the budget you’ve set yourself or revaluate what you intend to spend in the final stages of the year, before it’s too late.

 

Understand how much money you have at this exact moment

– First things first, you need to ensure you’re not avoiding checking your balance and understand what it is you actually have available right now in your savings or accounts.

Categorically knowing what is in your bank account is crucial in determining how much you can afford to spare across the remainder of Christmas and sometimes it’s easy to think you have more money to play with than you actually do.

This is often done without thought as we lose track of our expenditure and pending transactions, something that can be devastating in this situation.

Making sure you’re on top of these before setting a budget is essential and a simple tip to help you do this when you have an overdraft is to add your ‘current balance’ to your overdraft limit in order to figure out the exact balance you have available.

Rethink what you already have

– No doubt you have some sort of list written that lays out all of the things you need to buy in preparation for the festive period.

From trimmings and decorations to food and presents – all of these cost money and all can be bought in accidental excess. If you already have things in the house that are on the list and can be reused, don’t be afraid to!

For example, you might already have an assortment of decorations from previous years that can be salvaged and reused – Christmas only comes along once a year after all, who really remembers what you had on show previously?

You might also have wrapping paper or gift bags left over from last year and again, nobody is going to remember that you used these before or even care – try your best to take advantage of this.

Additionally, if you buy habitually purchase collections of Christmas cards every year, you’ll probably find a stack of these untouched in your attic that you can send out to your loved ones.

By not looking out for the potential leftovers of these trimmings, it’s easy to spend a lot of your hard earned cash on them once more, before realising you didn’t need them after all.

 

Last Minute Present Buying

– When it comes to Christmas present buying, we all know that getting purchases out of the way as early as possible is vital in saving you money throughout the month. In particular, when it’s possible – Black Friday is a great opportunity to capitalise upon.

The problem still remains however – that the majority of us are culpable of not learning from our mistakes, still continuing to leave important purchases until the last minute. Every year.

To combat this, yes – presents should be bought as early as possible or even after Christmas if your family love a bargain that much…

Another solution though is to really have a think about what presents you’ve already bought and make certain you definitely need to buy something else before going out to make another purchase.

Have you bought enough presents for your loved ones already? Do you definitely need to buy more? Will they really need the product you’re thinking of purchasing or will it be something that they use once and never again?

 

Travelling to family occasions

– Finally, across the Christmas period, it’s inevitable that you’ll be travelling the country to see family members or close friends.

This could be on several occasions throughout the festive period and so taking advantage of travelling alternatives could be very beneficial to your budget.

Consider car sharing with other family members also attending the same event to help save money on petrol and in doing so, also have the benefit of only needing one designated driver.

Alternatively, if you have a long way to go and you’re not travelling in a group – you could opt for a national express coach or mega bus to get you to your destination. These are cheaper than almost all forms of transport and will help you to save crucial petrol miles.

Keeping these tips in mind across the latter stages of the month will help you save you an amount worth noticing and ultimately make staying afloat in January just that little bit easier. You can thank us later, of course!

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH.

© Viola Money Limited 2019

Viola Black is a trading style of Violacard Limited. The Viola Black current account is operated by Viola Money (Europe) Limited, which is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (900893). Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 09703795. Registered Office address, 3 Waterton Park, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 3PH. The Viola Black Mastercard card is issued by AF Payments Limited pursuant to a license by Mastercard International. Mastercard and the Mastercard brand mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International
 
© Viola Money Limited 2019

The post Managing Your Money Over Christmas appeared first on Viola Black.

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