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 Personal Finance – Do you know how much your loan or mortgage is really costing you?

Take this test on listening skills

The Art of Success - 12 Habits of Creative People that Can Lead to Your Success




Personal Finance – Do you know how much your loan or mortgage is really costing you?


A mortgage of €250,000 taken out today, over 25 years, at 4% interest, will cost you €146,000 in interest.  That’s 58% interest over the life of the loan

Like many of us, you probably have a loan for a car, or a mortgage for a house.  In fact, many of us have both. But do you know how much this loan is actually really costing you?  You know some people are paying 4% - 6% interest right (unless you are lucky enough to have a tracker!!). But have you ever done the math.  Over the life of your loan, do you know how much you are paying in interest?

There are a few ways you can reduce your interest.  If you have extra cash each month and you are currently saving it, why not consider increasing your monthly repayment to your loan.  Alternatively, if you do have savings and don’t see the need for it, why don’t you put a lump sum off your mortgage?

On a €250,000 mortgage as in the example in image 1, if we increased the repayment by €100 per month, we would save over €18K in interest, and we would also reduce the loan term by 34 months.  Alternatively if we paid a lump sum off the loan, say €25K, we would save over €35K in interest and reduce the life of the loan by 48 months

To use this worksheet, just enter the values in the grey cells.  When you click on the cells you will be given details of the value that you must enter.

The first value you need is the loan amount, you will also need the annual interest rate.  After this, you will need to know how long you have left on your loan or mortgage.  The next two cells will depend on how much extra you can afford to pay against your loan, by way of increasing your monthly payment or by putting a lump sum against the loan.

Download the Excel workbook here and calculate how much you can save on your mortgage

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Take this test on listening skills

Short-term memory, concentration, motivation and the vocabulary range will all affect your listening skills. Our short-term memory span is between five and nine items of information. Some people have better short-term memory spans than others. Age, gender, fatigue, and disposition also affect your ability to listen. Some experts maintain that we forget 50 per cent of what we hear immediately, 65 per cent within eight hours and 80 per cent within 24 hours.


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The Art of Success - 12 Habits of Creative People that Can Lead to Your Success

Written by Tracy Bowens

“The habits of Pablo Picasso may hold the secrets to your success. So are the results of IBM's 2012 Global CEO Study. The study shows that CEOs view collaboration, creativity, and flexibility as the key to employee success.

 And they're not alone in finding that successful business people tend to have many of the same qualities as those in creative fields.

 Authors studying the qualities of super-achievers found that qualities including: dedication; intelligent persistence; community; listening; testing; managing emotions; evolving; patience; and happiness topped the list.

 Here's how artists use these qualities to their advantage and tips on how you can, too.


 Artists are known for building communities and collaborating with their members. Writers form writer's groups. Some cafes are famous due to the artists who gathered there. Creatives know the value of batting ideas off of other creatives. The members of their community serve as supporters, advisors and mentors.

They also shield the creative person from the stress and negative thinking of the outside world.

Anyone can benefit from creating and collaborating with a community.

Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield, the authors of The Art of Doing: How Super achievers Do What They Do AndHow They Do It So Well, relay the story of Jessica Watson who successfully sailed around the world alone at the age of 16. Even though she made the trip alone, she accomplished her feat by collaborating with a community that she started building at the age of 11.

Your community can be found amongst your friends, mentors, fans, or gathered through social media.

Creativity/Flexibility/Constantly Evolving

 When people hear the word "creativity" they tend to think of artists, writers, composers, and actors. But anyone can be creative because creativity can be defined as the ability to use one's imagination or original ideas. And yes, this can be done in the business world.

CEOs responding to IBM's 2010 Global CEO Study stated that creative leaders should:

•Expect to make more business model changes to support their strategies;

•Initiate disruptive innovation;

•Consider ways to change the organizations which have never been heard of before;

•Be comfortable with ambiguity;

•Be courageous and visionary enough to make changes to the status quo;

•Invent new business models based on totally different assumptions.

Inherent in these actions in the flexibility to change, evolve, and adapt based on the current environment.

Dedication/Practicing Patience/Intelligent Persistence

 Overnight, lasting success is rare. The truth is that magazines do not document unknowns. And once unknowns become famous, they tend to forget to mention the hours spent honing their craft and the failures they met along the way.

Malcolm Gladwell documented such success stories in Outliners. The Beatles spent many nights playing in Hamburg for hours on end before finding "overnight success." During this period they gelled as a band and even met the man behind their famous haircut.

Bill Gates was working with computers long before he dropped out of Harvard. And like The Beatles, he spent hours upon hours honing his craft after school.

Successful creative people realize, though, that blind dedication is dangerous. When something isn't working, they fix it. The fix may be a slight tweak or it may mean literally wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch.

And patience is key. Sweeney and Gosfield say that this could mean waiting until the right moment to make a move or continuing to work towards your vision even though you aren't receiving immediate rewards.

Are you using those skills you've honed over time? If not, and you're not happy with your current career path, maybe it's time to stop banging your head against the same wall and make some adjustments.

Managing Emotions

 "There's no bad weather, only bad clothing." That's saying is often heard in countries where the weather tends to always be bad. Creative people have the same outlook. They are excellent at reframing situations, meaning that they look at them from different angles.

In business it means possibility recognizing opportunities that you may otherwise have missed or being able to figure out how to do things differently to give new life to demoralized teams.


 Creative people aren't afraid to ship. They realize the importance of putting their ideas out there and seeing the result. If they don't work, or fail, in other words, it's okay. Along the road to success, failures are bound to happen. It's part of the process.

Nick Swinmurn, the man who came up with the idea that we now know as Zappos, first tested his concept by convincing a store to let him take pictures of some shoes to see if people would buy them online. He told the store that he would buy them if it worked.

Pursuing Happiness

 "Do what you love and the money will come." It is easy to see how this works for creative people, but it can work for anyone. Passion leads to success, self-confidence, and more success.”

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