Category: Tips

4 Things You Need to Know to Avoid Costly Divorces

No-one wants to be prepared for a divorce. What you want is for your marriage to last forever and for your divorce to be over as soon as possible. Sadly, the legal fact is that ending a marriage union is just as complicated — if not more complicated — than starting one.

Yet, rushing through a divorce without thinking through the financial side of things properly is never a good idea. Without sound legal counsel and a slow, meticulous process, a nightmare divorce can wind up costing several times more than a dream wedding. So, in order to make sure that a divorce doesn’t cost you, here are four things you need to know.

1. The best divorce lawyers in London are the best divorce lawyers in the country

London is home to a lot more lawyers than you probably realise. Of all the lawyers that operate in the UK, 75% of them operate in the Greater London area. For that reason, if you can find the best divorce lawyer in London, you’ve likely found the best divorce lawyer in the country. What’s more, what with London’s immense size and influence on the global stage, the best divorce lawyer in London may well be one of the best divorce lawyers in the world.

This isn’t just true of the best divorce lawyers in London. The best divorce lawyers in New York City or Los Angeles are likely to be some of the best lawyers in the United States because, just like London, they too are world cities with huge populations and a disproportionately large number of lawyers.

2. If you’re irrational, even the best divorce lawyers in London won’t be able to help you

One of the most common mistakes that people make during a divorce is to prioritise things based on how they feel about them, rather than their financial value. While this may be good life advice, it’s terrible divorce advice. Divorce settlements are based on the money that each partner in the relationship is entitled to. Don’t undermine the importance of this by stubbornly sticking to personal attachments. To do so, make sure you and your ex-partner’s asset valuations are performed by a quality, dispassionate observer.

Divorce lawyers are there to offer you sound legal counsel and emotion-free, impartial advice. The problem is that, when you’re going through a divorce, this advice can be hard to hear. As such, you might choose to ignore it. You are free to do so, of course. Your lawyer’s job isn’t to make you do anything. So if you choose to make huge mistakes because you were thinking with your heart and not your brain, not even the best divorce lawyer in London could help you.

In short, controlling your emotions and avoiding rash decisions based on sentimental attachments is your job and yours alone.

3. Divorce doesn’t make debt magically disappear

A marriage contract means that a lot of debt is shared, and a divorce doesn’t automatically change that. If your ex-partner has some serious money issues, you need to know about them. Not having that difficult conversation now will cause some extreme headaches later down the line. (more…)

4 Ways Bloggers Can Monetize Their Websites

The idea of making money might not be at the forefront of every blogger’s mind. However, for those bloggers who do want to make money writing, there are many ways of doing it. Because not every monetization technique is perfect, here’s a quick guide to four of the best.

1. Monetize Websites by Merchandising Your Brand

If you’re a blogger who wants to make money, it’s time to start thinking of yourself as a brand. You are more than a blogger with a laptop. You are a business with values, ideas and a trademarkable image. With all that in mind, there’s no reason why you can’t start selling branded merchandise.

This is a common way for bloggers and internet creators of all kinds to make money online. DFTBA.com was set up as a way for internet creators to monetize their online activity through merchandise sales, and plenty of internet creators jumped at the opportunity to sell stuff through DFTBA. Of course, if you don’t want to sell something physical, a branded eBook is also a great way of monetizing your blog.

2. Monetize Websites Through Donations

Openness goes a long way, which is why asking users for donations is another popular monetization model for bloggers and other kinds of internet creators. Patreon was a website set up to help creators do this, but you don’t necessarily need Patreon.

The Guardian takes donations directly and so too does the fifth biggest website in the world: Wikipedia. In summary, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a small-time blogger or the world’s largest online encyclopedia; the donation model can and does work. Wikipedia fundraisers raise more each time. This is what has allowed the site to grow.

There’s no set way of asking for money. Just ask and see what happens.

3. Monetize Websites Behind Paywalls

Not everyone likes paywalls, but there are some strong arguments for them — and not just from business-minded people. Before David Simon created The Wire, he was a journalist at the Baltimore Sun for several years. He left at around the time online journalism took off. It was his opinion in 2009 that if newspapers don’t put up paywalls, journalism will die.

Journalism didn’t die, but many news websites did put up paywalls. The Times, The Telegraph, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review all have paywalls with varying degrees of hardness. Soft paywalls allow people to sample a handful of free articles, whereas hard paywalls need your money straight away.

Do paywalls work? Some say yes, and some say no. Either way, they remain immensely popular. Perhaps the best paywall model comes from streaming websites. By offering a month’s free trial, websites like Netflix and others retain a third of customers after the trial ends. It’s hard to say which type of paywall — if any — would work for your website, but they’ve certainly helped some websites to make a lot of money.

4. Monetize Websites with Affiliate Marketing Experts

Affiliate marketing experts specialise in helping people to monetize websites. By connecting advertisers with bloggers and website owners who are looking to make money, affiliate marketing experts take away a lot of the legwork needed in order to find reputable and relevant advertisers.

If you work with trustworthy affiliate marketing experts, you don’t need to worry about bad, spammy, or otherwise strange adverts appearing on your website. Instead, you can start making money straight away. It’s a simple idea, and it’s probably because of its simplicity that advertising is the longest running website monetization model. Affiliate marketing experts have built upon the years of success and failures that have defined the ad-funded internet. It’s because of this wealth of wisdom that using affiliate marketing experts to monetize a website is such a popular model.

Why You Need to Make a Claim Before the PPI Deadline

In the past six years, over £27 billion has been paid out due to mis-sold PPI. Millions of people in the UK are owed money by their bank or credit card providers for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

The banks have suffered massively for the mistakes they have made. However, they aren’t the only ones suffering from PPI claims.  The Financial Ombudsman has been struggling with PPI claim cases being referred to them for final decisions. The ever-increasing backlog of complaints means that some consumers are waiting up to two years for claims to be resolved.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) decided that a deadline needed to be put in place for people to make claims — that date is 29th August 2019. This means that consumers have two years to contact a PPI claims company or to make a claim themselves. The FCA is hoping that a deadline will encourage people to make claims and not put it off any longer.

Two years may seem like a long time, but it can take banks months to resolve a claim. If you are unhappy with your result, it will take even longer if referred to the financial ombudsman.

This means now is the time to organise your PPI claims and hold your bank to account for any money they owe you from mis-sold PPI. (more…)

New ‘Tenant Tax’ Creating Financial Headaches for Landlords

George Osborne wanted to create a more level playing field in the buy-to-let market. Instead, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer and newly minted newspaper editor has generated consternation amongst private landlords.

Some landlords in the residential sector are now thinking about scaling back their property portfolios, while others are mulling over a change to commercial property — and others are of a mind to throw in the whole landlord thing altogether. What’s got them all so worked up? More tax and potentially fewer profits is the answer.

Tenant Tax

Mr Osborne’s Section 24 changes to the Finance Act came into effect on April 6 and directly affected the rental incomes of landlords and landlord agents operating in the residential sector (the legislation does not apply to companies renting commercial space, which is why some private landlords are considering the switch). From now until April 2020, the amount that private landlords can claim in tax relief for finance costs such as mortgages and loans will gradually decline, from 75% this year to 50%, 25% and then 0% in the coming years.

Panic

Unsurprisingly, this has created widespread alarm among private landlords, but according to one survey, well over a million of them are not aware of how they are now financially impacted by the newly enacted legislation. The poll showed that 1.4 million landlords did not know about the impending tax changes and their implications and that, altogether, some 8.2 million people in England could be affected. (more…)

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…)