Category Archive: saving money

Feb 26

Free guide to getting the most out of new ITC contracts

Don’t just sign on the dotted line …   There are a number of ways IT companies try to maximise your expenditure, so here is our free ten point guide to showing you what to look for, and what to insist on, new or upcoming IT contracts.   New Hardware. Unless it’s already part of your plan or budget, be wary of spending on new hardware as part of your upgrade or solution. More often or not, your current hardware can be upgraded at a fraction of the cost. Reselling. If you really do need new hardware, only let your IT supplier bill you for it if they can demonstrate …

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Jan 31

The Evil that is you Printer … part 2, saving money

Save on printing costs

So now we know how printers are designed to bleed you dry, it’s time to start saving money on your printer costs. Forgive me, but I am going to assume that you are already finding ways to avoid printing as much as possible so these tips are designed to save you money on those times you really do need to print. What’s the first step? No matter the size of your organisation, the first step is to know how much you are spending already. Larger charities probably already have this at their fingertips. By which I mean they can send an email to their finance/accounts department, and after an audible …

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Dec 04

Saving money with the ‘Z-Principle’

The Z Principal

When CharityLabs Analytics (CL Analytics), the business end of this blog, sets out to do a procurement review, one of the first things we look at is unit costs. This, as we say, is generally what people first think of when they want to saving money. And they’re right! It’s the cost of the bits-and-bobs you use to ensure the smooth running of your office. Everything from paper and pens to toner and tape! This is officially called your ‘indirect procurement’. It’s not the only part we look at, of course. But we are not going into Resource Matching and Forward Efficiencies just here.     One of the best …

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Nov 26

The Christmas Office Party – CharityLabs style!

Office Christmas Party season is here!

Christmas is coming … the lights are up in Oxford Street, the shops are full with the normal baubles, and we are all ready to engage in economically unproductive Christmas gift giving. So lets find someways to entertain everyone efficiently and amusingly! Sorry, no more humbug, I promise. If you are still struggling to find efficient ways to celebrate, bring the team together and generally have a laugh, I thought I put down some tried and tested ways for you to pick and choose from. Bearing in mind, of course, that this is for smaller organisations with a limited budget. Food Part and parcel of Christmas is the overconsumption of …

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Oct 22

Get repairs for free

A broken light bulb, a bent pen nib and one tired liver

I was watching Mad Men recently, and aside from lamenting the fact that we don’t wear hats anymore (I even tried a trilby some years back – briefly.) I also looked at how different their desks were. I’m not referring to the bottle of scotch that seems to be in everyone’s draw. Specifically I wondered how anyone got anything done without a host of technology taking up all that real estate on their desks! For many of us, our reliance on tech starts before we even reach the office. Before nine, I’ve already checked all my emails on my phone, updated my itinerary and started catching up on my tailored …

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Oct 09

The sunk cost fallacy – lessons from poker

Poker isn't the only place we chase 'sunk costs'

Poker might not seem like the obvious place to start when it comes to learning about saving money. But it is a great showcase of human behaviour.  The best poker players know two things; statistics, and not to chase sunk costs. So you’re playing Texas hold ‘em. You have your two cards in the hole, and the dealer lays out the flop, the first three communal cards. It’s looking good, a potential full house. So you start to bet, feeling reasonably confident. However, as the next card come down, with its own round of betting, it looks like someone could get four of a kind or a straight flush. A …

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Oct 04

Get more life out of your laptop – hardware edition. Pt 2

  In the third and final edition of this series we are looking at upgrading your hard drive. As we mentioned earlier  you can now buy hard drives with 3TB of storage, that’s 3072GB. Give it ten years and we’ll probably have that on our phones (if we’re still using ‘phones’) but at the moment, that’s an awful lot of data. You’ve likely got somewhere between 300 – 600GB on your machine, and 750GB should be more than enough for your work as well as a couple of HD videos and a decent music collection. For when you’re travelling, of course. But there are two reasons you’ll want to upgrade. …

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Sep 24

Get more life out of your laptop – hardware edition. Pt 1

Cheap ways to improve your PC

So, if you’ve followed the first steps and your PC is running a bit better. But you still need a bit more ‘oomph’.  To continue with the race car analogy, we are now tinkering with the engine. So what is the cheapest way to get better hardware performance? We’re going to look at RAM here, and your hard drive in the next part. Preparation. Do a full back up! Including the OS. Essential for a hard drive replacement, but also important for a RAM replacement, as there is a small chance, very small, that something will go wrong. It’s never happened to me, but better safe than sorry. Switch off, unplug from the …

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Sep 21

Get more life out of your laptop – software edition

Run a slicker, faster machine

This is the start of a series about extending the life of your PC, be it laptop or desktop. The idea is to show you how to breathe new life into a machine that you are on the verge of replacing, with the intention of saving you money. To that end, all of the program and tips here are free to use or implement. So why is your computer running slow? A good analogy is to consider the difference between normal cars and racing cars. Essentially the same machine, it’s just that the latter has had everything unnecessary stripped from it to reduce weight. Certainly, they tweak the engines and …

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Sep 17

Free mobile broadband … sort of …

samba mobile - earn 3G roaming by watching adds

Yeah, no such thing as a free lunch, but this is certainly worth considering. It’s a new model for paying for mobile broadband based on watching adverts, called Samba Mobile. Yup, sit down for a few adverts from the likes of Dell, Pot Noodle or British Airways and get some free broadband in return. You actually get to choose the ads you watch, and apparently it learns your preferences and starts to tailor them accordingly. So what’s the deal? It works on the 3 network. For tablets, £5 gets you a SIM (standard or Micro), and for £25 you get a dongle and SIM for a laptop. After that, you …

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