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A flatshare Birmingham arrangement is a viable option for managing the costs of living in a city where the rents are going up each year. But it is precisely because of money issues that most flatshare arrangements turn ugly. Depending on the tenancy agreement, some bills are paid collectively, while others are paid individually.

What are these common bills you need to plan for?

  • Water bills paid monthly
  • Electricity and gas paid monthly on a pre-paid tokens meter
  • Council tax paid monthly
  • Landline phone bill if there is one in the house, paid monthly
  • TV license paid monthly, quarterly or annually as you prefer

How can you manage costs in a flatshare for a smoother stay?

Paying bills on time

Apart from the fact that not paying your share in a collective bill raises conflict, there is also the fact that you can get a bad credit rating. If you are registered as part of a payment that gets late, or defaults, your credit rating will suffer.

Some payments have legal implications. If you don’t pay your council tax or TV license fees on time, you could suffer legal consequences including penalties and fines.

Sharing your bills

It is important to sort out this issue at the beginning of the flatshare arrangement. All the flatmatesshould sit and list down all collective bills. The landlord can assist to list what needs to be paid for, how frequently, and the estimates for the payments. The total cost of the bills should then be divided among the flatmates. It is a good idea to put a person in charge of the bills, even if the arrangement is to be on a rotational basis.

Keeping records of flatmates’ payments is essential. This can be done on a simple spreadsheet. You can also use an app to track the payments.

Opening a joint account

An alternative to havingflatmatestake responsibility for managing the bills would be to open a joint account. Each flatmatecan then make his/her contribution to this account monthly. The bills are paid by Direct Debit from this account.

Prioritizing payments

Some bills need to take priority over others. Council tax and TV license have to be paid immediately on taking up the flat since failure to pay them has legal consequences. Water, electricity, andgas follow to make the flat livable.

A flatshare Birmingham arrangement is one of the more interesting living experiences you can get in this multi-cultural city. Manage your flatsharecosts and enjoy the stay.


Unlike 20 or 10 years ago, writing in 2018 is largely a very comfortable and easy going task depending on how well you can deploy tools available. You no longer have to travel halfway across the world for research or scour tons of dusty encyclopedias to get the material you need. You even don’t have to write with a pen or type on a keyboard, there is a tool for converting your dictation to text. A book that would have taken 3 years to write in 1998 can take 3 months to write in 2018. Here are some of the writing tools you should be using to become a better and faster writer.

Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator

Consistency is a highly desirable trait in a blogger. It keeps your readers on a habit of taking a regular dose of whatever you blog on. But every writer will suffer writer’s block every now and then. This is where Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator comes in. you feed it a keyword and it suggests blog topics you can write about.

Freemind

Book authors rarely have a book idea in one clear swoop. It will come in disjointed ideas that will gradually be joined together to make a coherent plot and sub-plots. You no longer have to use messy post-it-notes to keep track of your ideas. Freemind helps you map these ideas into coherent thoughts.

Pocket

While the internet has made it easy to do writing research, it can get overwhelming if you keep saving web pages in folders. Pocket makes your research more organized. You save articles and pages that you find interesting on the web. You can tag them according to research topics. Pocket will integrate with your browser making your research a breeze.

FocusWriter

How often do you find yourself checking up on what is happening on Facebook as your mind wanders from what you were doing? Some writers deal with distractions by working in the quietest room they can find, and disconnecting the web. But you don’t have to be so drastic. FocusWriter transforms your desktop into a bare writing pad by hiding all other apps. You set timers and alarms so that your flow is uninterrupted.

Evernote

For creatives who like to write on the go, Evernote is the best companion app. It syncs all your writing on different platforms; mobile, desktop and the cloud. You can write from wherever you want; on the bus, during work breaks, on the bus and it will all come together seamlessly.

What is your favourite writing app in 2018?


It is important to do a London Tenancy Cleaning as it not only ensures you get back all of your security deposit, but it’s also an effective way of meeting responsibilities in the tenancy agreement. You want to ensure that any damage that occurred during your stay is repaired. Of course, the cheapest way to do end of tenancy cleaning is to do it yourself. Start by giving yourself plenty of time. You should also call the landlord and get a checklist of the final inspection. This is what you will base your work on.

At a bare minimum, the following areas should be cleaned if you are to pass the final inspection.

Living room

This room is often filled with bookshelves and decorations. Make sure you clean all of the cupboards, cabinets, coffee table, bookshelves, TV set etc. Most of the work will involve dusting and vacuuming. Due to multiple awkward surfaces and items, cleaning the living room will take a while.

Kitchen

Start by emptying out all of the shelves and cupboards then removing any deposits or crumbs. Pull out the appliances and clean the floors beneath them. Don’t forget to clean the appliances themselves, including the dishwasher filter and washing machine soap tray. Clean the fridge, switch it off at the mains and leave its doors open to prevent growth of mould.

Bathroom

The sink, bathtub, tiles, toilet and any other accessories in your bathroom should be cleaned. Make sure you clear the plug holes and drains from debris to allow for free waterflow. Remove soap scum, limescale buildup as well as mould from the metallic surfaces.

Windows

Clean the inside and outside of your windows using alcohol and vinegar. Make sure that you replace any cracked window panes.

Curtains and blinds

Following the washing instructions to clean the curtains and dust the curtain rods. If there are any fabric blinds in the property, dust them as well. If your house has venetian blinds, dust both sides of the slats and repair any damage.

Furniture

Vacuum the furniture and use a dry wash solution to wash it. You want to ensure that the upholstery looks pristine and doesn’t have any odor, hair or smell. If you don’t have time or expertise to clean the upholstery, you can hire a steam cleaning service to take care of it. Look for any scratches or scuff marks on the wooden furniture. Almonds and coffee grounds will do a great job of masking the damage. You can apply lemon oil or wood polish for a dazzling finish.


Different people have different stories on cleaning services.  Many have had good experiences while have had woeful tales. The simple fact is that cleaning services save time if you need cleaning done in a hurry and professionally.  Disputes arise between clients and cleaning services mainly because the two parties did not discuss the terms of engagement properly before starting on the job. Here is how to ensure you get a good cleaning service.

Compare and contrast

There are many cleaning services offering good discounts with very attractive brochures, but which deliver less than expected. It is advisable to compare several before making a choice. Take 3 to 5 services to work with, eliminate and leave 2 for a final decision.

Ask about licensing and insurance

If you are allowing strangers into a home full of pricey stuff, it would be good to know that you can trust them. Asking for a license will give you something to follow up on in case stuff goes missing. There are better chances of your items getting replaced if breakage occurs when an insured cleaning service is on the job.

Have a clear checklist

What do you want done by the cleaning service? Is it general cleaning, end of tenancy cleaning or spring cleaning? Most cleaning services will have a checklist for different kinds of jobs. Go over the checklist and agree on tasks to be done. It is also advisable to ask about off-limit tasks which are those that the cleaning service won’t touch, for example, repair jobs.

Agree on costs

Agree on who is responsible for cleaning materials. Cleaning crews will usually come to the site fully loaded with equipment and material, but it is good to get clarifications on anything else needed for the job.

Agree on supervision

Is your presence required during the cleaning? The end of tenancy cleaning service would not usually have a problem with your presence. If you need to keep an eye on things you can be around for any special instructions.

Special needs

Any additional information like the presence of kids and pets should be availed. The cleaning crew should also be informed of anyone who suffers allergies so that they can decide on the products to use.

Give space

Cleaning services are professionals who know more about cleaning than you do. Micromanaging their tasks will cause resentment and a poorly done job. Let them do their job. Any special instructions should be on the checklist and mentioned before the cleaning job starts.


If you have not been told, becoming a better writer boils down to cultivating a reading culture, writing more, and getting sound feedback from established writers. Well, while there’s no magic bullet to honing your writing skills, the following well-read books will come in especially handy. Whether you are a newbie or you just need some inspiration, these eight books are what the doctor prescribed.

#1. Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing

If you are looking for a writing pocket bible, look no further than this small masterpiece by Ray Bradbury. You’ll find well-crafted essays on all things creative writing. I’ve read it several times, and I can’t get enough of it.

#2. Write. Publish. Repeat by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt

Most self-published authors hail this book for its ingenuity, no-bullshit advice, and a ton of writing tips. The book is truly an art and a must-have in your library.

#3. On Writing by Stephen King

Stephen King has become something of a legend in the writing space — and for good reason. He’s astute, unapologizing, and offer practical writing advice. If you are suffering from a writer’s block, On Writing is your cure.

#4. Steering the Craft by Ursula K. LeGuin

Writers, especially upcoming ones, need a pick-me-up once in a while. If that sounds like you, Steering the Craft is what you need. It’s an absolutely fantastic resource for aspiring writers looking to reach greater heights. After all, Ursula LeGuin is a renowned writing tutor.

#5. Revising Prose by Richard Lanham

Whether you are writing a novel, whipping up just another blog or crafting a journal entry, Revising Prose offers fantastic examples. You can get inspiration for writing just about any formal writing, from shareholder letters to end-year report and disclosure documents.

#6. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost

If you haven’t read 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing, well, you are not improving your writing. It’s quite moving and offers actionable writing nuggets.

#7. The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker

If your writing suffers from being too long and over descriptive, here is an excellent resource for you. It’s well written — and backed by psychology work by this notable Harvard professor. It’s simply a delight to read and learn from.

#8. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

From cover to cover, this book is absolute creativity. And a fabulous read if you’re looking for a boost of creative inspiration.


Writing a blog is a digital art form that has gained increased traction in the enterprise space over the years. With business environment more competitive and more demanding than ever before, it comes as no surprise that blogging is the preferred choice for giving your business an added edge over the competition. And for good reason. Right off the bat, a study conducted by the research unit of Bloomberg established that over 60% of businesses experienced a surge in sales and footfall after writing a blog.

If you are a grounded and old-fashion entrepreneur who thinks blogging isn’t necessary, here are 5 reasons that’ll make you rethink your online business approach.

SEO Is the Name of the Game

Gone are the days when static websites were a norm. Today, you need to create search optimized content to drive more traffic to your website. And, that is why writing a blog has become indispensable. It allows you to infuse focus keywords into your blog posts. This way, you can improve your organic ranking on the leading search engines, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and so on.

Harness the Power of the Entire Workforce

Companies like HubSpot, a Boston-based social media firm, allow all their employees to contribute via blogs. This way, everyone’s voice can be heard, creating a sense of teamwork and collaboration. The allure of blogs lies in their variety and substance of the content, but it’s also a numbers game. The more blog posts you churn out, the higher the traffic your website will garner.

Writing Is Fun

Believe it or not, writing a blog can be fun. A lot of fun. With it, you can go down the casual road, ditching those technical terms and business jargon. Also, blogging offers you a chance to keep your creative juices flowing. You can interact, stimulate, and inspire your readers. Of course, your main aim is to convert traffic into business leads and sales.

Become Trustworthy

In the business world, trust is certainly a game-changer. So, how can you become a trust agent to your customers? For one, writing a blog gives you an opportunity to offer pieces of advice, tips, and practical ideas. Your blog should elicit consumer’s point of view, not yours.

Blogs Post Are Shareable — Get Viral Content for your Website

With social media commanding huge following, people need fresh and resourceful content to share with their friends and colleagues. Blogging offers you a chance to establish your authority. Of course, you are the best person to give advice and knowledge about your products and services. So, blog about them and share across social media platforms.