Posted - 31/05/12 | 0 Comments

The bill that bit back!

Booked your holiday yet?  In the current economic climate, we all want great-value deals. But don’t be tempted to scrimp on travel insurance.

A 23-year-old Norwegian student was glad he took out a policy – after what happened during his student exchange visit to the USA.

First of all, Dag-Are Trydal was bitten by a rattlesnake when walking to his vehicle in a car park in San Diego. But if that wasn’t painful enough, a second shock followed!

His hospital invoice amounted to $143,000, according to reports. Fortunately he was covered, but apparently his insurer reckons it’s the biggest bill they’ve ever received.


Posted - 23/05/12 | 0 Comments

Are footie fans about to pay the penalty?

Last weekend, English football fans savoured something special and quite unexpected … one of our teams going to Europe and returning with silverware. Winning a penalty shoot-out against a formidable German team made victory taste even sweeter.

Congratulations Chelsea.

And their success may have spurred on fans to aspire to something greater … next month’s Euro 2012 Championships.

Of course, it won’t be cheap to follow England (even if they fail to make it past the first stage). Tickets, travel and accommodation all stack up.

But a big warning about another potential bill should be ringing in the ears of any fans heading towards Ukraine.

The alert is about phoning home – and it comes from the price comparison people at

The issue arises because the EU legislation to cap roaming charges does not cover the non-EU countries, like Ukraine. So this might result in eye-watering bills for fans.

The number-crunchers at uSwitch reckon that bills of £35 a day are easily possible. And this could arise from merely making and receiving two five-minute phone calls, listening to a two-minute voicemail message and sending five text messages and one photo message.

The web site also warns of daily data bills could hit a terrifying £228 if mobile users don’t use free local wi-fi and keep their phone’s data roaming switched off.

So it’s worth checking your bank balance first …. before uploading that photo to your Facebook of the English team lifting aloft the trophy!

Mind you, if that really happens, then I don’t think any of us will mind paying a few extra quid for the privilege!


Posted - 10/05/12 | 0 Comments

Dart guns, catapults and slime – the new weapons of choice in the war against stress

Life has become especially stressful for small businesses. The economic turns has meant falling demand for many firms – while costs are increasing and loans are harder to secure.

But some companies are using creative ways to beat the stress. This week, toy supplier revealed that its sales to companies have boomed since the latest downturn started in 2008, according to media reports.

Apparently, fluorescent slime and foam slingshots have become best-sellers, while foam dart guns, flying toys and brain teasers are also proving popular among businesses of all sizes.

It’s reckoned that office toys can help improve employee morale, focus, and creativity by providing an opportunity for us all to escape and then refocus.

At Clear, we have to agree. Our own Mario Kart racing competitions have been a great idea, along with other team activities, creative thinking sessions and social get-togethers.

But there are practical ways to beat stress too – and that’s what our service is about, as well as saving you money.

For starters, creating invoices can be a hassle – so Clear make it quick and simple. Posting invoices can be expensive (which is a growing worry now after the recent stamp price hike) – so we make it free to send online.  And chasing invoices can be stressful, so Clear can do it automatically for you.

The bottom line is this … your invoicing is done faster and you get paid quicker. As a result, there’s more time left in the day to relax, not worry, earn extra money … or have a blast with an office foam dart-gun shoot-out!


Posted - 03/05/12 | 0 Comments

Lifting of ban stays a pipe dream

Question: How do you make it rain?
Answer: Announce a hosepipe ban.

Despite last month being the wettest April on record, hosepipe bans look set to continue after being introduced in parts of southern and eastern England.

Anyone flouting the rules could face fines of up to £1,000. That said, a quarter of gardeners are breaking the hosepipe ban, according to a new survey.

But one UK resident was left facing the prospect of a big bill, despite cutting down on water use – including how many times he flushed the loo. He has no garden to water either.

Retired train driver Paul Hawkins was left “steaming mad” after he was told by his local water authority that he had tripled his water use, say reports. Apparently, a letter from them claimed he was getting through a drenching 200-plus litres per day.

But Mr Hawkins reckons it could be down to a meter mix-up, add the reports. The local water authority is investigating and promising he’ll only pay for what he’s actually used.

  • Clear has its own equivalent of the water meter – a stopwatch – for invoices that are accurate to the second. The option is ideal if you want to bill your customers for time rather than a fixed price.

You can start the clock ticking whenever you’re working for clients – and log the activity in a timesheet diary that gets turned into your invoice. It’s as easy as turning the tap on and off.

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