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Alvin Hall Q&A: Your business or your life?

Alvin Hall, financial adviser, author and media personality, tells us why, in business, you to need know your ‘nut’; make your business sexy and prepare for the unexpected. Your Business: Alvin, you’ve had a number of successes throughout your career including your BBC series Your Money or Your Life and your highly acclaimed literature, but where did your career begin? Alvin Hall: I’ve had several careers. ...

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How to shop smart

With job insecurity on the up, before handing over our cash or credit cards we're stopping, thinking, and asking ourselves do I really need this, and can I really afford it? So far, so sensible, but there's no need to embrace frugality with too much fervour - with a little shopping savvy it's possible to make some seriously smart savings and still afford the odd treat too... Cash back credit cards This is s ...

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Making your hard-earned money grow

If you're disheartened by the measly interest rates offered by most banks on savings due to the Bank of England base rate being at a historic low, it's good to know there are ways of getting a decent return on your cash. Before you look at investment options though, it may be wise to consider paying off any debts you have. Interest accrued on credit card balances and personal loans could well cost you more ...

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Travel on a budget

With the current economic climate, holidays are the last thing on most of our minds. But when times are tough getting away from it all can be more important than ever. And it needn’t cost the earth. Long-haul flights are surprisingly cheap and the pound still goes a fair distance in certain countries. Doing it on a shoestring is all about embracing your spirit of adventure. ESCAPE TO THE SUN FOR ...

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Sell your home without moving

Losing your job can be a shocking and stressful experience, especially if you haven’t been given much warning. For some, there will be an offer of a redundancy package. This can ease the panic if there is money to tide you over for the next couple of months. But for others, being made redundant will impact straightaway, as the funds to pay even the most important creditors, like the mortgage, are simp ...

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Turn old clothes into cash

Many women are guilty of wearing just 20% of what's in their wardrobes, according to the recycling charity, Traid (www.traid.org.uk). But these unused or forgotten clothes could earn you extra cash. Even if you think an old dress is horrible, it might appeal to someone else. And the simplest way to cash in on your unwanted clothes is through the web. Go online There are several online trading sites or commu ...

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Alvin’s quick credit crunch quiz

Q: What’s the point of putting it in the bank if the interest rate is almost zero? You put it in the bank because banks do pay you a little interest rate and a little interest is better than losing money. Look for a safe bank vehicle that will give you a reasonable return. Making a little is better than losing a lot. Q: Is it still worth saving even in these difficult times? Yes, cash is your friend d ...

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Three people who’ve turned their lives around

'I had to change my ways to clear my debts' Carol Pritchard, 35, is a magazine journalist who lives in London. She was £12,000 in debt but with a bit of dedication managed to wipe the lot. 'My spiral of debt started when I took out a £7,000 loan to pay for an MA course and then on top of that I started paying for everything on credit cards without, if I'm honest, keeping track. I wasn't making m ...

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Who’s winning the jobs war?

In the first three months of this year the number of people out of work rose to 2.22 million. And many experts believe the unemployment rate is certain to get worse. But as BT reported an annual loss of £134 million and announced a further 15,000 job cuts, supermarket giant Sainsbury's posted an 11.3% hike in profits to £543 million. Its 120,000 staff will share a bonus pot of £60 million. ...

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Entertain without spending a fortune

Times may be tough but that's when you need your friends the most, so why not treat yourself - and them - to a night in? And before you break out into a cold sweat at the thought of spending loads of cash on food and booze, our guide will show you it really is possible to have a great night of fun - without breaking your budget. Taking pot luck An American concept, Potluck Supper (or lunch) is when all the ...

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