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What’s the Difference between a Bank and a Building Society?

Walk down any UK high street and you’ll easily be able to identify all of the banks; every town has at least a couple of them, and for the most part they appear to be pretty much the same. Some of them however, may actually be building societies. The clue will be in the name for a lot of them, but it’s not so obvious for the rest. The question is, are these building societies just the same as the banks that they look like?

The answer is unequivocally no. While both are financial institutions designed to allow people to manage their money in numerous different aspects, the two are fundamentally different because of their purpose.

The purpose of a bank is ultimately to deliver financial success to its shareholders. While good customer service and helping consumers do well in life through offering mortgages and business loans may come with this, the end goal is always to make a profit that can be passed onto those who hold stock in the company.

A building society on the other hand is a mutual institution of members who hold accounts. There are no shareholders, and there isn’t the same pressure to turn a profit. Every account holder, no matter how much money they have in their account, has the right to vote, which means that the society is run by its members.

So, What Does This All Mean?

In theory, there are two primary benefits of a building society. The first is that because there is less pressure to make a large profit, the cost of products, whether small loans or mortgages, is generally cheaper. The second is that because the society is run by those who hold accounts, it should have their best interests at heart. This can be demonstrated by the fact that building societies generally receive far fewer complaints than other institutions like banks. Some like Saffron Building Society can even offer independent financial advice.

Your takeaway then is that if you’re looking for a financial product like a savings account or mortgage, then take a look at a building society when you’re making your decision. You’ll still always need a bank for a current account, but it may well be better to be part of a society that you have a say in when it comes to everything else.

Never Get Stressed Again By Managing Your Finances With These 5 Practices

The average consumer can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to taking care of his finances and paying his bills. The key to avoiding stress when it comes to bills is to have good financial habits that take all of the tension out of balancing your checkbook.


Have A Monthly Budget

Reputable financial organizations will always tell customers that it is impossible to keep personal finances balanced without a budget. But once you have a personal budget in place, it becomes so much easier to pay bills every month. A budget will show you when you pay your bills, how much you pay for each bill, and how much you have left over for expenses.


Avoid Credit Card Spending

One of the best pieces of advice that consumers using McLay debt counseling in London Ontario will give is to avoid using credit cards at all costs, especially if you are already in over your head. If you want to use credit cards to take advantage of the incentives and the rewards, then be smart about it. For example, you can buy your groceries each month with your credit card and then pay the balance with the cash you have set aside for expenses. That way you can get the bonus points, cash back, and airline miles but without the credit card debt.


Have A Savings Account

You should take something from each paycheck and put it into a savings account for emergency situations. That way, when the car needs expensive repairs, you can get the repairs done and not worry about it because you have the cash on hand.


Pay Bills On Time

Paying bills on time will give you two financial benefits. The first benefit is that you will avoid the late fees that get charged to your accounts when you do not pay on time. The second benefit is that your credit score will remain high and that can help you to get a low interest rate when it is time to buy a car or get a mortgage.


Always Look To Share Expenses

Activities such as car pooling to work and going on group vacations will allow you save money on things that you need. If you have extra space, then take on a roommate and instantly cut your expenses in half.


The people who seem the calmest are the ones who have their finances under control. By developing good financial habits, you can remove the stress from your life.

5 Bright Ideas for Saving Money on Expensive Car Parts

The need to replace essential car parts is a dreaded process, mostly because of the cost. While getting new parts for your car isn’t a pleasant ordeal, there are a few things you can do to bring down the cost so that getting back on the road isn’t as painful for you, or detrimental to your wallet.


Check Your Warranty


You should first look into the warranty that you have for the car. This investigation applies to any service contracts as well. By carefully checking through all that you have been promised by the dealership, you might actually find that this service is going to be free of charge. Even if it’s not entirely free, a discount may apply, so it’s worth taking a look at the warranty.


Look Into Wholesale


If you are a mechanic or an auto-repair shop looking for a discount on parts, you have it a bit easier. You should look into a wholesale outlet for the parts. When you are willing to purchase a bundle as opposed to just one piece at a time, you are very likely to save money. Establishing a relationship with this supplier can help you obtain discounts as well.


Call Your Dealership


Perhaps you have already scoured through the warranty and service contract, and you do not see any information that will help you to obtain a new car part at a low charge. Now is the time to call your dealership. Find out if anything is included if a part of your car breaks that shouldn’t. Furthermore, if you have been a loyal customer of the dealership, the entity may be able to help you get a discount on car parts. For example, drivers looking for specific Subaru Forester car parts have been able to get discounted prices from Subaru dealerships, and at the very least, the dealership was able to point these customers in the right direction to get a good deal.


Purchase Used Parts


This is one option that has both its benefits and its drawbacks. Purchasing used car parts that you need, as opposed to brand new ones, is certainly going to save you money. Still though, you must be very careful where you buy them from. Also, you should ensure that they are in good condition, or you may just need to purchase another one in a short while.


Browse Online


Whenever you need to comparison shop, looking online is one of the smartest routes to take. You can instantly compare prices at different outlets in a matter of minutes. Once again, you must exercise caution to be sure you are actually getting the part that you are paying for, and that the website is legitimate.


The price of car parts can be daunting to many people, but if you do a little research (and don’t settle for the first price you see), there are better options out there for you. Find out what the part or parts typically go for and look to other sources to try and bring the price down. Don’t get tricked into buying the first parts at the first price you are given—do your homework and you’ll find you can get a better deal just by shopping around.

Ethical Ways to Use Social Media in the HR Department

Today employees are frequently hired and fired based on social media research done by an employer. In fact, many employers make demands that employees do not discuss their employer in a negative light on social media from Facebook to Twitter. But recent legislation has said that such restrictions are illegal. The National Labor Relations Board says employees can discuss work life whatever way they want whether they are discussing it at dinner or on Facebook should make no difference. The organization fought for the reinstatement of several employees who were fired over disparaging posts on Facebook. “Many view social media as the new water cooler,” says Mark G. Pearce, the board’s chairman. “All we’re doing is applying traditional rules to new technology.”
But, there are instances when social media is rightfully used in matters of HR. Here are some of those instances:

Social Media apps

Firing Because An Employee’s Negative Social Media Posts Are Not About Working Conditions

While the NLRB supports employee discussion of poor work conditions as a way of bettering said conditions, it doesn’t support generally offensive reflection of employers based on employee actions. Recently a reporter posted on his Twitter account: “What?!?!?! No overnight homicide…You’re slacking Tucson.” And he also posted, “Stay homicidal, Tucson.” The NLRB had no problem with the newspaper firing this employee over the posts because they were not trying to better work conditions, but rather were offensive and poorly reflected on the newspaper. Likewise, the NLRB supported a bar’s firing of a bartender who posted on his Facebook page that he hoped his “redneck” customers choked on glass as they drove home drunk. Because the posts poorly reflected the employer and had nothing to do with improving work conditions or employment, the NLRB supported the employee’s dismissal.

I hate this job

Firing Because An Employee Discloses Trade Secrets or Private Company Details

In the case that an employee agrees not to divulge company trade secrets and other details, HR departments are legally entitled to dismiss the offending employee. The HR department just needs to make sure that these social media policies are clear, according to Denise M. Keyser, a labor lawyer. She advises companies to implement specific social media policies rather than loose “across-the-board” restrictions.

Hiring Based on Social Media sites

Social Media Explained (with Donuts)

Employers are not just firing based on social media sites; they’re also hiring by screening Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to find prospective employees. Lawyers suggest if employers do this that they tread lightly. Not hiring someone based on decimation build off of Facebook research can be grounds for a lawsuit. Likewise, as more and more people become aware of HR’s use of Facebook to determine employee character, many are creating ‘fake’ Facebook pages that don’t accurately reflect the person’s daily activities. If you’re using Facebook as a way to recruit, just make sure that you do so in a respectful and non-discriminatory way and that you make sure the page is legitimate.

Social media brings private lives into public sight; in fact, that’s essentially the definition of social media’s goal. So it’s no surprise that HR departments are using social media to help them determine the effectiveness of a given prospective or current employee. As legislation starts to catch up with social technologies, just make sure that your HR department treads lightly, legally, and ethically.

Christopher Shanks is a blogger and uses several social media sites as inspiration for his articles about employment related stories. He also uses and to find interesting people for his articles.


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