Category: Tips

Advice for First-Time Buyers in 2017

The release of the housing white paper “Fixing our Broken Housing Market” predicted that by 2020, only 25% of 30 year-olds will own their own home. The government claims that the housing market is broken because not enough homes are being built, they are being built too slowly and commercial developers still dominate the market.

The paper then outlines how to rectify the crisis. The aim is to build a million new homes by 2020 and make sure that these homes are built in the right places. Only time will tell if the proposals will succeed.

First-Time Buyers

For first-time buyers under 30, you may be concerned about being in the predicted 75% without your own home by 2020. Getting a mortgage for the first time is a struggle many people face, but there are tricks of the trade that can help you on your way. Here is some advice for first-time buyers to help you towards getting on the property ladder.

Check Property Prices in Your Local Area

Since the EU referendum in 2016, the property market has been uncertain about what will happen when we finally leave the European Union. The outcome could fluctuate house prices, so it’s important to keep up to date with what is happening in your area. Monitor the current prices of houses in the area you wish to move to and check what price the houses are currently selling for. Other factors can change house prices as well, such as the introduction of the Cross Rail; the announcement of the line caused an increase in house prices. (more…)

5 Terrible and Desperate Debt Decisions to Avoid

Debt and stress are connected. When you are in debt, you are more likely to be stressed. And when you are stressed, you are more likely to make poor financial decisions.

The connection between stress and debt is one of the reasons that the Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales deals with 4,495 debt-related problems every working day. To make matters worse, manipulative marketing can lure unwary consumers into a vicious spiral of indebtedness. By educating yourself about debt management options, you can understand the best route out of debt.

debt-decisions

Not Paying off your Credit Card

Not paying off your credit card can have serious consequences, especially if you leave it to rack up month after month. First, you’ll be fined by the credit card company itself, and then you’ll be hit by the credit card’s interest fees. The average credit card interest rate in the UK recently hit an all-time high of 21.6% APR, with some credit card retailers charging as much as 50%.

Arguably, the most serious consequence of not paying off your credit card debt is that it will effect your credit score, making it extremely difficult for you to take out other loans, get a mortgage, or buy a car.

Payday Loans

Payday loans are small, unsecured, short-term loans. They’re known as payday loans because they are marketed as a way to cover unexpected expenses until payday.

When you take out a payday loan, you’re nearly always facing sky-high interest rates, with some being as high as 7,000%. This can trap you in a cycle of debt where you’re unable to pay off the interest on your original loan. (more…)

Borrow money from short term loans and get back on your feet

A short term emergency requires a different strategy that you might be used to. You see, when you went to go get a home loan, it took some time from the bank. But this time was necessary for all of the paperwork to be processed, credit to be checked, and references to be verified. You don’t have that type of time when a real emergency hits. In order to weather the storm, you must borrow money online from Short Term Loans 60 instead of just waiting around.

short term loans

The price of inaction is huge. A real emergency means that if you don’t get it handled in a short amount of time, things are only going to get worse from there. Take for example a car breakdown. You need your car to go to work every morning. Sure, friends and family might try to close the gap for a little while, but they will eventually get tired of having to pick you up. You’ll also lose the freedom of just riding where you need to go and doing what you need to do. That’s not a good idea either.

So we come back to short term financing, where you can get the money you need very quickly and move on with your life. It’s not the lender’s job to nose around and see whether or not you’re going to use the money for a good purpose. They don’t focus on that at all. The only thing a short term lender thinks about is whether or not you’re likely to make the payments. Income and employment history is much more important than credit score. There are a lot of people with good jobs but terrible credit. They just need a hand to weather a storm that could spiral out of control if they’re not careful. By putting your focus on getting the problem taken care of quickly, you avoid this problem completely.

All you have to do is sign up online and fill out a short form. Not only will this start the process but multiple lenders will be involved. You get to have people fight over your business, so to speak. Getting the best terms and the best rates through this method is seamless and effortless. You won’t have to wait weeks or even days to figure out if you’ve gotten approved.  You can get a response back in less than 5 minutes and have the money transferred within 24 hours or less.

The time is now to take care of the problem, get back on your feet, and move on. Good luck!

Don´t cancel your credit cards – What?

It may seem funny since my blog is all about saving money and being a cheapskate, but I am encouraging everyone to never close a credit card because it will COST YOU MONEY.

Used correctly credit cards can be a great way to save (and even make) money. This is counter to what many Debt Elimination programs preach. Indeed Ramsey says “There is NO positive side to credit card use. ” I like both Dave and John’s programs and follow much of their advice, but on this point I strongly disagree, credit cards just need to be used responsibly.

I will break down 3 main reasons not to cancel your credit card.

1 – It will hurt your credit rating.
2 – Its an interest free loan.
3 – Rewards.

1 – A large component of your credit rating is credit utilization. That is the percentage of credit you are actually using. If you call and have a credit card canceled you are reducing your amount of available credit so you utilization will go up and your credit rating will go down.

For example, lets say you had two credit cards with a $5000 credit limit and they were both maxed out, this would but your credit utilization at 100% and would greatly reduce your credit rating. Now lets say through saving and scrimping you were able to get one of them paid off. Great your credit utilization has gone down to 50% this will be a nice boost to your credit rating. But you decide to follow the advice of the Dave Ramseys of the world and cancel the paid off card, what happens? Your credit utilization goes back to 100% and your credit rating drops back down.

cancel credit cards

Another component of your credit rating is the length of time you have had credit. If that credit card you just canceled was a very old line of credit you could be in for a double whammy hit on your credit rating.

2 – Where else can you get a short term loan for no interest than a credit card? Just make sure you pay off the full balance of your credit card every month on the due date and its a free loan. I do put everything I can on my credit card. If I am going to buy $30 in groceries today, by putting it on my Discover Card® , I wont actually have to pay for 1 – 2 months (depending on my billing cycle). That is $30 I can have in my Bank of Internet Checking Account earning interest. Obviously keeping $30 for an extra month or two will not make you rich, but if you do this with all your spending all the time, it will add up. (more…)

How to Simplify Your Debt Crisis by the Process of Debt Consolidation

Assuming you took advantage of a student loan, you could already be in debt the minute that you graduate from college. Those student loans are the beginning of your credit history building and unless you are extremely careful, you might end up with more credit than you can actually afford to pay once you land a job. But whether or not you are fresh out of college, there are instances when wrong financial decisions lead to disasters.

If you find yourself dealing with mounting debt, it takes a bit of analysing your situation and knowing which solution applies to your particular case. One type of solution that you can go for is to seek help with debt consolidation. Read on to find out more about how it works, what to look for in a debt company and how you can use it to hopefully put an end to your money woes.

Help with Debt Consolidation – What Is It?

First, when you seek help with debt consolidation, what kind of assistance is it that you are looking for? As the name implies, the process of consolidation is a type of financial solution for those who are in debt. Let us say that you have three credit cards and you are unable to pay at least the minimum amount on all of them. If this is the case, getting help with debt consolidation means that you will hire the services of a professional debt management company.

Debt Consolidation

Getting help with debt consolidation is bound to lower the monthly payments as well as the interest rates once the three debts that you owe from three credit card companies have been negotiated with. One thing you need to watch out for is that the longer the debt stays, the more that you are paying your lender, so make sure that it really is an ideal debt solution for you before going for it. It’s worth pointing out that, a failure to sensibly manage your debt crisis could lead to a number of more challenging scenarios, or force you into bankruptcy. Mike Smith, of leading insolvency firm Jameson Smith and Co comments: ‘The failure to adequately manage debts is a serious situation which ultimately forces creditors to take action with regards to recouping their debts. So as a holistic strategy for managing your financial situation, debt consolidation can certainly help simplify a repayment structure with an eye to keeping on top of things.

A Closer Look At How Debt Consolidation Works

Now, let us take a deeper look at how debt consolidation works. Although you do have the option of taking out a second mortgage or taking advantage of credit card offers, what is usually the best way to consolidate your loans is through the help of a bank or a finance company. Here is a quick list of what the bank or finance company can do for you: (more…)

5 Tips for Throwing a Party on a Budget

1. Invite people to bring their own

This could be the common practice of asking friends to bring ‘what you like to drink’ but you can add a really nice vibe to the affair by asking people to create something special and bring it along e.g. bake a cake to be judged alongside everyone else’s in the style of X Factor, or ‘everyone has at least one dish they’re a master of making, cook your speciality and bring it along and it will be swapped with another random party-goer – like a Secret Santa for dinner!’

2. Bulk out a buffet with cheap carbs that everyone loves

Whether it’s roast potatoes, rice, bruschetta, pasta or toasted pitta fingers everyone loves bulky carbs (unless they’re gluten-free or strict dieters) and these are by far the cheapest ingredients to buy and often the easiest to prepare.

3. Take time to prepare

As with your own food, a little time up front can save lots of money on pre-prepared food and will certainly result in tastier, healthier food. Don’t waste money on pre-cut vegetables, boil in the bag rice or pre-made mashed potatoes. Not only will people know (if they eat fresh food at home they definitely will!) but you’ll feel much better about your nibbles knowing you hand-crafted them.

4. Entertain with food-making

Have a themed night e.g. Mexican, and set out a table to create your own burritos. This requires rice, salsa, guacamole, black beans and chicken with a vegetarian alternative e.g. roast veg or Quorn pieces. You can ask people to bring Mexican drinks (tequila, beer, lemonade etc) to keep the costs low. This can work with many cuisines including Italian pizza, Chinese stir-fry or English sandwiches. Let your imagination run wild and create a memorable party!!

5. Plan with a budget

The first thing you have to do before you start is decide what you can afford to spend. Sounds obvious but many people neglect this crucial step and end up overspending. Once you know what you can afford you can work out the cost per person based on how many people are coming. The next step is to deduct the fixed, non-food costs as these are easier to calculate i.e balloons, disposable cutlery/crockery (only if you need it as it’s an expensive luxury!) and drinks. Whatever you have left will dictate the food you’ll be offering guests. As we said above, if you’re left with very little cash, cheap foods like potatoes, rice and pasta are often the most popular. Vegetables and meat are often cheaper if they’re in season and can be much cheaper from local stores.

Once you’ve settled the financial side of your party planning, the important thing is to have fun and rest easy knowing that the financial stress has been taken out by a little planning in advance.

Making Money in the Recession

While a country is in recession it can be difficult to imagine that it is possible to make more money than you are. You may think that there is just not the opportunity out there. It is true, that it will be tough to do so, but it is possible still. There are a series of things you can try, listed below.

–        Ask for a pay rise – it is possible to ask for a pay rise but you may be worried that this is just not possible. However, as long as you have not asked too recently, it is worth checking. Your manager can only say ‘no’ in the worst instance. You will not be punished for it and there is always the chance that they may say yes.

Recession

–        Work more hours – It is possible that you may be able to get more work at your current job in order to bring in more money. It is worth asking whether this is possible, perhaps to get some overtime or to increase your part-time hours. This may not be available immediately, but showing an interest could help you if the opportunity does arise and so it is always worth making your manager aware that you are happy to do this.

–        Get a second job – working extra hours may be something that some people cannot do. This might be because of child care issues, for example. However, it is worth considering whether you do have the time to fit in some extra time for work. You will need to let your current employer know that you are working two jobs and get in touch with the tax office so that they put you on the right tax code as a second job may be taxed too highly otherwise. Even a few evenings a week or a weekend day, could really help to bring in more money.

–        Work for yourself – this is something that you are wise to do in your spare time if you already have a job, but could be something you could full-time if you do not have a job. There are a lot of opportunities out there for self-employment. You will need to tell your employer and the tax office though. You could deliver catalogues and get commission on sales, you could do freelance work from home or buy and sell things to make money. With the Internet, there are many opportunities to work for yourself and they do not have to cost very much money.

–        Sell things  – you could sell unwanted items to raise some extra cash. You could do this online through an auction website, for example or use classifieds, or a car boot sale. There are many ways that you can sell and you do not have to declare this income to the tax office, if the things that you are selling were yours originally.

–        Voluntary Work – obviously voluntary work does not pay, but sometime sit can lead to paid work. It is also useful because it will give you something to put on your CV so that future employers can not only see that you have been learning new skills, but that you have not just been wasting time while not in paid employment.

Should You Save Your Money Or Pay Off Your Debt?

If you’re lucky enough to have money left over at the end of the month or if you get a bonus through from work, what should you do with the extra money?  Of course, many people will be tempted to spend it on nice things like clothes or gadgets, but realistically the two best options for that money would be to either use it to pay off some of your debt or put it away as savings.

What would be the best option?

Saving Money

One of the biggest arguments for saving your money is that you are covered should a financial emergency pop up. Also, by doing this, you could try to prevent getting into debt in the future. However, the difficulty with doing this and not paying off your debt, is that the interest on things like credit cards will increase, leaving you paying off more money that you might have done before.

Paying Off Your Debt

Paying off your debts is important as the longer you leave it, the more interest you will pay, so it’s a good idea to get rid of the debts as quickly as possible.

However, if you decide to use the money to pay off your debt, you could leave yourself at risk if a financial emergency appears. If an unexpected expense does pop up, then you might find yourself relying on credit cards to cover the costs, which could make the debt worse.

Pay Off Your Debt

Why Not Try Both?

I think realistically, it’s important to do both. It’s a good idea to be able to find a good balance between paying off your debts, but trying to set some aside in case of emergencies. So, maybe if for example, you were lucky enough to be given a £500 bonus at work, then it might be worth putting £250 into a savings account

Obviously, this does depend on your circumstances, as most people aren’t lucky enough to have money left over at the end of the month. If your debts are more urgent, like a utility bill and you don’t have any spare case and don’t want to use credit cards, what are your options?

If you have no emergency fund and an unexpected finance does come up, then you might consider a short term loan like a payday loan. It’s possible to apply for anything from as little as £50 to as much as £1250, which you borrow until your next payday.