Current Balance = £3001.04
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Managing my award programs just got a lot easier!

I am often asked to endorse sites but rarely do because most I simply don’t use myself, but there is an exception in awardwallet.com which I recently signed up for myself. Its fantastic for managing all your award balances in one place and even emails me weekly with my updated balances so I can easily check all my points from a recent trip were awarded correctly.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Internet Needs

Maslow is part of the staple diet for anyone studying Business Studies whether it be GCSE, A-Level, Degree or MBA level so I am sure you will understand why I felt so compelled to share this with you after it landed in my inbox at the weekend:

 

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Millionaire Adventure goes back to school

Clearly primary school, secondary school, college and university were not enough education for me so I find myself about to embark on my next educational challenge… an MBA.

I wrote those words back in January the day before my course started, and as you can see by the fact it’s now July life has been a little bit hectic ever since… well actually that’s an understatement, life has been crazy since then!

And it’s not just my studies that have consumed all my time, but work has taken me to Berlin for 5 weeks and another 2 weeks in Chicago along with my long awaited trip to South Africa for the World Cup (amazing place which I’ll share more of in a later blog post – hopefully before Christmas!).

So what have I learned so far, well two things really:

1) Time is a resource more scarce than money;

2) How to prioritise those things that need to be done right, and what just needs to be done.

Which gives me another couple of ideas for some more blog posts…..

Happy New Year…

… and welcome to 2010 the year of the economic recovery!

Ok, I can’t say for sure that the economic recovery is underway but public confidence definitely seems to be improving. Just 2 months ago I was writing about fireworks being a good economic measure as people will be reluctant to spend money on something they are going to set fire to and watch shoot off into the sky when times are tough. Back in November I saw very few fireworks, but last night there were plenty to welcome the new year.

It seems people are desperate for the recession to end and go back to the old borrow and spend model we had pre-boom. Further evidence of this can be seen in the number of people that were queuing into all the major shopping centers today looking for bargains. Many say more people than ever are flocking to these shrines of consumerism to take advantage before VAT returns to 17.5% but my personal opinion is people are desperate to shop and the sales means they can do this guilt-free.

Chancellor to announce ‘temporary refund adjustment’

It’s common knowledge that the Treasury has to deal with the widening gap between it’s tax revenues and public spending in the pre-budget report this week. And with an election coming next year Alistair Darling will want to avoid the phrases “spending cuts” and “tax rises” in an attempt to retain some votes next summer. But the Chancellor still needs to act now as government borrowing already stands at a worrying £175bn.

Which reminds me of a recent Simpsons episode titled “Bart to the Future” where Bart sees a vision of his future, with Lisa installed as President trying to rescue America from it’s debt hole. I’d like to imagine Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have had a similar conversation this weekend:

Lisa: If I’m going to bail the country out, I’ll have to raise taxes, but in my speech I’d like to avoid calling it a, “painful emergency tax.”
Milhouse: What about, “colossal salary grab.”
Lisa: See, that has the same problem.  We need to soften the blow.
Milhouse: Well, if you just want to out-and-out lie … [Lisa doesn't object] Okay, we could call it a, “temporary refund adjustment.”
Lisa: I love it.
Milhouse: Really?  What else do you love, Lisa?
Lisa: Fiscal solvency.
Milhouse: [disappointed] Oh.  Yeah, me too.

So what is going to be our temporary refund adjustment?

How about a 2.5% hike in the interest rate students pay on their loans…. it’s like a tax on graduates, but without having to use the word tax. In goverment speak it’s “a 2.5 per cent real rate of interest on student loans” and the University Minister David Lammy has been giving his backing to the idea this weekend so you have to presume this is being seriously considered.

The beauty of this tax idea is that with Labour’s goal of 50% of school leavers going on to University, and an employment rate of around 70% in the UK it will effectively mean that most people joining the workforce for the first time will be paying this new tax. But it gets better, Labour knows it will be hitting the rich hard in the coming years but this policy wont affect them as they don’t need to take out student loans, and it’s traditional low income supporters wont mind either as there are means tested grants instead of loans.

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