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Home owners in Birmingham could make a whopping £175 a month in 2009 just by clearing away the junk in their spare room, putting it into storage, and renting out the space! That’s as much as £2,100 a year, according to findings from self storage experts Big Yellow Storage, which opened a new facility at Adams Street in Birmingham in early February.

The storage company put the idea to Brummies and found that nearly half of them (41%) said that they would definitely be up for renting out a room to make money and beat the credit crunch, and now is definitely the time to do so thanks to the increasingly buoyant rental market. The government’s ‘Rent a Room’ initiative means that you can even rent space and make these earnings tax free. Who would have thought that your spare room designated to junk, or the room that’s not been touched since your son or daughter went to university, could be such a nice little earner?

There is another huge advantage to putting stuff into storage and that’s domestic bliss. Clutter is a source of contention for everybody polled, with almost 40% of Brummies arguing about mess at least once a week and fifty thousand Brummies arguing about it more than once a day! Of those surveyed, women argue more often than men and 24-35 year olds are quicker to lose their temper over mess. Forty percent of people in the Midlands claim that mess and clutter is the main source of arguments. That’s nearly five times more than rows caused by the remote control and double the number caused by housework!

A new companion could be yet another advantage of clearing space. Big Yellow asked Brummies who they would have as their ideal housemate. When it comes to the perfect lodger, girl next door charm comes out tops as the majority of us voted for Brummie Cat Deeley. Not surprisingly, it was the majority of men (47%) who put their vote in for Cat. Women favoured funny man Lenny Henry (26%).

Michael HolmesMichael Holmes, one of the UK’s leading property experts and presenter from BBC1’s Trading Up, ITV’s Don’t Move Improve and UKTV Style’s decluttering programme Scrubbers, commented, “The survey showed some really interesting findings and there are many more options for those looking for cash savings from storage: If you’re selling your home and renting a smaller property because of the slump, you could put your stuff into storage at Big Yellow, wait until the market bottoms out and then buy back in. If you time it right, you could save tens of thousands on the cost of your next place, and have the flexibility to relocate quickly if you’re unfortunate enough to be looking for new job opportunities. If you can’t move, then why not improve and add space and value to you home? If you have bought a bargain wreck to do up or are improving your current home, you can put your stuff safely into storage until the work is complete.”

Rob Strachan, Head of Sales and Marketing, Big Yellow, added, “Savvy Brummies really could boost their bank balances, for the long or short term, by using self storage. Renting room or garage space can bring great savings for home owners, but alternatively people who need more space and can’t afford to move right now, can go for the cheaper option of putting excess stuff into storage.”

Big Yellow StorageAt Big Yellow you can store things of all shapes & sizes, with room sizes from 9 sq ft up to 400 sq ft. With state of the art customer service and technology, each room is protected by its own alarm and CCTV, monitored by staff round the clock. There’s also unique PIN entry access, well lit corridors and fire detection systems in all self storage locations and have easy access 7 days a week.

Go to www.bigyellow.co.uk to find out how you can benefit from self storage.

secure a saleA premier cash home-buying service in London has this week relaunched its website. The online refurbishment comes at the perfect time for many home owners, desperately looking for fast house sales to release home equity as the credit crisis looks set to continue for the next year.

Run by property experts, Tim Jackson and Eli Robinson, SecureASale offers home owners up to 90% of the value of their property in cash and can, in many cases, exchange contracts within a week of the initial home viewing!

As many families are looking at ways to tighten their belts, SecureASale’s cash home-buying service can ensure that those that need to move for any reason (whether it be a new job elsewhere, a divorce or repossession and money worries) can do so quickly and easily thanks to their fast house sales policy.

Because SecureASale always buys directly from the owner, clients do not have to worry about estate agent fees either, so 100% of the sale price goes to the seller. SecureASale even guarantees to pay all solicitors’ costs.

This week, leading estate agent publication, The Negotiator, heralded Jackson and Robinson as, “not a pair to dismiss” and “a bad estate agent’s worst nightmare!”

Through its fast house sales service, SecureASale hopes to reinvigorate the stagnating London property market by offering Londoners fair cash prices for their homes.

Visit the brand new website at www.secureasale.co.uk

An innovative new service has just been launched to help households record important financial information securely in one place, and then use that as part of an interactive budgeting tool – privately and safely – online.

And it’s already receiving attention from several high street banks, as a potential offering to new customers and those making loan applications.

nutsYour Nutshell offers a number of interlinked services, with the facility to store everything important to a person or household including diaries, life histories and living Wills.

The financial offering, Your Money in a Nutshell, takes users through a full range of prompts to be answered to record every conceivable asset, liability, income and expenditure affecting their household.

Contact details and policy numbers remain fire-, flood- and burglar-proof if ever they’re needed in a hurry, and all payment amounts in and out are recorded with dates.

These figures in turn automatically populate the twelve-month budget forecast, which is unlike any other in that it allows completely interactive control. If a repayment rate is due to change on a given date, or the user has a future one-off expense to factor in – such as a family wedding, holiday, or income such as a bonus – these can be included with dates and amounts, and they will then be reflected in the appropriate section on the budget.

There is even the facility while storing details of policies and accounts to set reminders by email in advance of renewal dates, to ensure smooth transition and finding the best prices.

There is interest from banks in offering membership to their customers, partly to help manage the current economic climate and partly to cut internal processing time when considering loan applications. The list is exhaustive and the resulting budget gives a true reflection of a household’s financial position; and could cut an hour-long application review by more than half, while also helping customers focus on their genuine ability to repay.

It’s useful both for more established households with regular income and expenditure and for others just starting out – such as students or those setting up home for the first time. And membership can be given as a gift.

The website is as secure as any bank’s – password-protected at several levels and encrypted, and only members have access to their files.

Of course, Your Money in a Nutshell makes managing finances easier for absolutely anyone who uploads their details; but should something unforeseen happen to them, those left managing their financial affairs would find everything far easier to administer. Members are encouraged to leave instructions about access to their account with a solicitor or executor, or stored with their Will.

There are more light-hearted parts of Your Nutshell which tie in neatly with storing everything important safely online, surviving mishaps to household or computer – recording memories and events during the year, and last wishes including personal messages and hopes for the future, all with pictures, video and documents as extra illustration.

Your money, your year, your life, your wishes – it’s everything important, in a nutshell!