Category: Tips

Rewards Credit Cards Are Making a Big Splash This Holiday Season

The holidays are often seen as a time for family, but that doesn’t mean that the UK financial industry is going to stop marketing. If anything, it feels like the marketing increases because they know that you’re going to have time off work. They want to have your business and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. They provide a service that many people want. You need to build your credit history, but you have to make sure that you’re doing in a smart, systematic, orderly and healthy way as it relates to your overall financial blueprint. If you’ve been looking for some opportunities to build new credit, you might want to take a look at actually getting some of the rewards credit cards that come out.

The idea behind these cards is pretty simple — they want to reward you for actually using the card. It’s going to be hard to not use a rewards card, especially when you know that you can earn points and miles by doing so.

Should you go with a card that awards points, miles, or a mix of the two? This is a classic question that comes up when these cards are mentioned. It’s up to you to figure out which one you would rather have. Most of us here around the money blog prefer to go with miles, because we all travel. It’s very nice getting cheap international tickets, especially when we want to go on summer holiday. However, if you’re not a super traveler, you might as well get points that you can use at other places, or get gift certificates for all of your favorite restaurants.

Rewards Credit Cards

The best part of it is that you don’t have to search far and wide for these credit cards. They’re going to be clearly advertised, because they are truly that popular. There’s no need to worry that you’re going to be automatically shut down when you apply. Some rejection happens, but overall even people who have had some credit problems in the past can still be approved. It really depends on what type of credit score you have. If you haven’t pulled your credit file in a while, you might want to do so.

If you’re rejected by a rewards credit card, you can pull your credit file for free. This is a good way to make sure that all of the information that they looked at is correct. If the information isn’t correct, then you’re going to have a world of problems waiting for you, which isn’t what you want. Correcting incorrect information is possible, but negative information that is correct will unfortunately have to stay.

We think that rewards credit cards can be a good first, but you will want to read the fine print carefully. A high interest rate just to earn points and miles should be avoided at all costs. You also want to make sure that you’re going with the one that’s going to offer you the best incoming deal. The new customer is valued in the credit card industry, so make sure that you’re getting as many perks as possible from the very beginning. You want to feel valued, because you’re going to be making them money. You might as well get as much out of it as possible.

The time is right to check these things out. Even though you might be gearing up for a very busy holiday season, you have to make time for some things in life!

Don’t Leave Yourself an Opening for Disaster With Your Investing

Are you tired of worrying about whether or not you’re really going to be able to take care of all of your needs with investing? The truth is that investing is a great way to grow your money, but it’s certainly not without risk. We like to get that out of the way quickly so that people know exactly where they stand. It’s not just enough to think that you’re going to be okay with the overall risks that come into play. You need to know what those risks are, that you could lose all of your capital and then some. It’s all about making sure that you play your odds in such a way that you do not lose the power to keep growing your money. You want to have a mixed portfolio that has multiple outlets towards wealth. The trouble that investors get into is that they think that they’re going to get rich in one field, when it’s really a mix of different things. You can have stocks, bonds, REITs, unit trusts… the whole nine years. You can even invest in pure real estate, if that’s what you want to do.

Your overall risk tolerance will alter your investment strategy. Don’t forget that you might as well get your ISA fully funded while you’re thinking about growing your money. It’s tax-free money that you can claim every single year. While it won’t serve as primary income, it is a cushion that you can use for just about any reason you can think of. It’s your money, so you might as well use it for things that matter to you.

bad investment

Going back to your financial blueprint and really thinking about investing can help you avoid disaster. When things start spiraling out of control, you will be able to figure out exactly what you want to do and how you want to get it done. Feeling confused? Go back to the blueprint.

Don’t forget that there are more investing groups now than ever before. There’s nothing wrong with thinking about all of your options and not getting discouraged. There are plenty of people that are absolutely hungry to get things done, and they don’t mind taking you under their wing. You do need to be prepared to do a lot of studying. Investing is all about paying attention to what the market is telling you. If you’re not well versed in the world of say, stock charting, then you need to make sure that you get your stock charting education. People will help you as long as you show that you have a willingness to actually learn something. That’s the way it goes, and you’ll have to deal with it.

Good luck with your journey through investing. It’s not going to be an easy battle. Sometimes you might have to pull back when you really wanted to drive forward. It just depends on what you’re really trying to accomplish. Be good to yourself and remember — if a deal feels wrong, don’t get into it. Back out of it. There will always be opportunities to make money, don’t worry about it!

Take the Sting Out of the Winter Months Now

Are you trying to think ahead of time in order to really keep your finances on track? If so, you’re definitely not the only one. However, we’ve always found it strange that people seem so opposed to actually getting things done with their finances all year long. They just assume that winters have to be hard, and summers have to be hot. You can enjoy a summer filled with activates and a winter filled with a cities as long as you’re thinking about the bigger picture through all of it. Now, what we think you should do might be a little different than other financial blogs out there. But if you really think about it, you’ll find our suggestions will be pretty helpful.

First and foremost, you need to think about all of the bills from last year. Generally speaking, humans are pretty predictable. You should be able to look at last year’s bills and determine who actually paid what and what happened from there. If you know that December is your highest month for electric and gas, then you’ll probably want to save money ahead of time to be sure that you don’t have to deal with the stress of trying to find the money to pay the bill.

keep your finances on track

It’s really stressful when you feel like there’s just not enough money. Try as you might, there are always other little problems that come up. Surely it would make more sense to focus on what you can fix rather than being trapped in the habit of not being able to do anything about it — right?

Setting money aside should be on your mind, but what about making money? What about selling off things that you don’t need? Not only will this give you a cleaner house, but it’ll also help you drill down on what’s really important. In our opinion, most people have way too many things in their homes anyway. It just makes things complicated when all you have in your home is a bunch of things that you don’t even use. Some people will benefit from being able to just float and focus on what’s really important, while others might find it difficult.

But it’s not just about that. You want to reset your expectations of the winter. If you go into it thinking that it has to be a very stressful and hectic experience, guess what? It’s going to really be a stressful experience! You get what you put in.

This winter, face it with pride. It’s going to come whether you like it or not. You don’t have to spend out of your means just to hang out with people that you care about. The same token goes for people that feel compelled to have to be in the middle of everything. Sometimes it’s perfectly okay to just relax and take breaks. It’s okay to not spend money. Invite people into your home if you’re comfortable, but if you’re really having a rough time financially there’s nothing wrong with telling people what’s out of your reach. That doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means that you’re starting to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. If that’s wrong, well — we really don’t want to be right then.

What matters here is that you start focusing on the real pathways to success. You have to be able to stand up for yourself, claim what you actually want in life, and build a plan to go get it.

If you’re intrigued by our little opener in the “transition to fall and winter” series, then you definitely want to stay tuned. This is truly financial news that you can use right here, right now!

Why Willpower and Debt Elimination Don’t Mix Well

Are you looking at finally getting a grip on your finances? You’ve circled the calendar. You know that today is going to be the day…until it isn’t. Instead of doing that budget, you watch a whole day of Dr. Who. Instead of finally asking your boss for that raise, you turn around and head the other direction. No matter what the goal is, somehow you find yourself being more than a little afraid to really make things happen.

That’s not the best way to handle the situation at all, and it’s time to make sure that you step up. Fight back well. Think about all of your options. That’s the best way to go, no matter what it looks like. You just need to make sure that you’re going to be taking things in good stride. That’s the best way to go, no matter what. You just have to think about all of your options and figure out what you want to do.

Debt Elimination

For many, this can be easier said than done. You might feel that you’re on the right track…until you’re suddenly stressed out and overwhelmed at trying to get everything done. The truth: you’re trying to run on willower. The reality here is that willpower and your financial goals really don’t mix well. When it comes to debt elimination — the systematic approach to getting out of debt for good — you might find yourself facing even more problems. The reason why willpower doesn’t work is that the human mind will always find a reason to keep doing what it’s been doing all along. So if you’re someone that procrastinates, you’ll keep doing that until you’re forced to make changes. That’s not something that we can just say off the top of our head — it’s something that we’ve seen over and over again. If you’re someone that procrastinates heavily, you’ll keep doing that until you have a reason to stop. This is the same with personal finance. If you’re trying to avoid the pain of doing a budget or your own taxes, you’ll keep finding reasons to put them off. You’ll keep telling yourself that it’s not really a big deal. Pretty soon though, you’ll run out of time. This is where the negative emotions come in. Instead of being happy, you’ll beat yourself up. Instead of focusing, you beat yourself up. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just skip over the emotional breakdown and do the right thing for your life?

The key here is that you need to change yourself from the inside. A lot of people really can’t imagine a life without debt. Therefore, they see no reason to push themselves to obtain or achieve a life without debt. See that problem? If you feel that there’s no problem that exists, you’re going to be hard pressed to do anything about it. That’s the truth that you need to realize. The more that you struggle and fight to deal with something, the more likely it is that you’re going to have problems making that change.

The biggest tip that we can give you is to avoid trying to do it alone. This is where a lot of people mess up. Not only do they feel like they’re out of their comfort zone, they really can’t imagine a world where they can make all of these changes and still be the best that they can be in regular life.

Busy mums have this problem in spades — they are so busy trying to be the best for their children that they’re really can’t think about doing anything else. They might feel that taking the time to learn more about personal finance is selfish, when they could be missing a critical milestone in their child’s life. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be so black and white. You can set aside time to learn about new things that are going to benefit the entire family.

Go beyond willpower. Start digging into yourself as a person and figuring out what you believe. Everything else will fall into place if you can do that. Why not get started today, while it’s all still on your mind? Good luck!

Whoa! Debt Is Considered Normal For Youth Now?

There’s something that we need to talk about right here and right now. There’s a new report out that for many British youth, debt is considered part of the “new normal”.

Stop the presses. There should be nothing normal about being in debt. Sure, there are some debts that are definitely better than others. These are usually debts that we think about more than anything else. For example, if you’re going to buy your first home, you know that you’re going to have to get a mortgage. You might want to get a traditional mortgage that decreases with every payment that you make. If you’re going to go with an interest only mortgage, you’re going to have problems keeping up on the payments. It’s something that takes a little more planning, but you have plenty of resources.

What today’s youth need to do is stop thinking that they have to do everything on their own. This is what independent financial advisers are actually there for. They will work with you on these decisions. Yes, there are some that will even just leave you with a fee — no commission is required. These fee based advisers mean that you can get professional advice that you really can use to chart your life. But you don’t want to just leave it up to them to chart a course for your future.

Debt

It’s time to see a world without debt. If you’re going to get credit cards, start out small. Don’t just go for any advertisement that screams at you. That’s the business of marketing, but you don’t have to throw money at every advert that looks like it should be answered. You can go online to different supermarket websites so that you can literally look at what will be the best deal on a credit card. Keep in mind that if you’ve never had one, you’re going to pay a slightly higher interest rate than your parents can probably qualify for. Now, if your parents are going to be nice and co-sign on a credit card for you, that will help you build credit faster. It means that lenders will give you a better rate because they know that your parents have joined forces with you for that card. So if you don’t pay, they will have the legal right to go after your parents.

You’re young. Start out slowly. Don’t rush. You don’t have to “have it all together” at such a young age. Think about college, but make sure that you’re majoring in something that’s really going to leave you with money. That’s really the best way to go, if you ask us what we would do. The worst mistake that we made as teenagers and even young adults is that we thought we didn’t have to think about finances at all. You have to seize control of your future, or someone else will seize control of it for you. It’s completely up to you to choose which direction you will ultimately go towards. Good luck!

Choosing the Right Loan for You

If you need money then it can be difficult to know where to get it from. If you are earning you could ask for a pay rise or more hours or even find a second job. However, this is not easy in this day and age, when jobs are very highly demanded and there are not enough to go round. This means that employers have no motivation for paying more money.

This is why many people are turning to loans if they need money. If you need instant loan in an emergency then this can be the worst position to be in. You will need to try to take your time if you want a loan though. It can be so easy to just take the first thing that is offered to you, especially if you are really desperate. However, you need to look at the different rates and compare them. This is because you want to make sure that you are getting the best possible deal for you. Try to investigate every possibility and perhaps speak to your bank to see whether they can offer you a quick deal. They may be able to give you an overdraft.

instant loans uk

It is worth remembering that whatever money you borrow, will need to be paid back. This sounds very obvious, but often people will not think further than getting the money and getting out of the trouble that they are in. They do not think about the consequences of this, how they will pay it back, how much it will cost and how long they will take to pay it back. If they do not pay it back, then there could be extra fees and charges that add up quickly and this is something that needs to be considered as well.

There are plenty of websites where you can compare different loans and find out which are the cheapest or quickest and this could help you to make the best decision with regards to borrowing money. Do not forget to ask friends and family as well because they may have borrowed money and be able to tell you whether particular lenders or types of loans are good or bad.

Remember when you are choosing a loan that you should be considering whether a loan is the right option for you at all. Unless you are in an emergency situation, then you should try to delay paying out the money you need to, until you can earn it or get it from a different source than a loan.

Ten things to do to save energy and burn calories

A recent study has shown that British households waste £68 million each year, simply by overfilling their kettles. Now, I know that we love a nice cup of tea, even in a heat wave, but that seems more than a little excessive. It isn’t just in this way that we waste energy: we spend too long in the shower or have baths that use much more hot water than necessary; we leave our countless electronic gadgets on standby for no good reason… With a little effort, we could use less gas or electricity by putting our own physical energy to good use. I don’t know about you, but I could do with burning a few extra calories and these are some good ways to do it.

In the house

We use so many ‘labour-saving’ devices that it takes us even longer to get jobs done than it used to: we have to assemble vacuum cleaners, wash the components that make up our food processors, load and unload a dishwasher in the time it would have taken us to wash the dishes three times over. So, for a change, why not chop those carrots and onions by hand instead of using the food processor? You could wash the dishes in the kitchen sink, making a special effort to put the shine back on your pans and when it’s time to clean the carpet, leave the vacuum cleaner in the cupboard and give your muscles a workout with an old-fashioned sweeping brush. When you do the washing, don’t automatically throw it into the tumble dryer! If the weather is good – which happens occasionally – hang the washing outside, or invest in one or two clothes maidens for the house. Don’t underestimate the physical benefits of bending repeatedly to pick up wet washing to hang; it’s practically an aerobics class, but without the terrible music and annoyingly slim instructor.

ave money uk

In the garden

To save fuel and get fit, use a push mower on your lawn instead of an electric or diesel-powered one. If you don’t have one, you can bet somebody in your family or a friend has one squirreled away in their shed. In the autumn, leave the leaf-blower and get the rake out and if that isn’t enough exercise for your arms, try watering your entire garden using a can instead of turning on the sprinklers. You could even use waste water from the washing-up! Pressure hoses are very wasteful, but a stiff brush and a bucket of water will get your patio or driveway just as clean and give you a great workout. The garden can be your new gym!

At work

The most obvious energy saver is to leave the car at home and travel by bicycle, public transport or on foot if you live close enough. If you have to take the car, park closer to home and walk part of the way. You’ll even save money on petrol as you get fitter. When you get to work, avoid using the lifts and walk up the stairs instead, unless you work on the ground floor.

By following these ten simple tips, not only will you be preventing energy from being wasted, reducing your carbon footprint and leading a healthier lifestyle, but you’ll find you are effectively gaining cheap electricity by saving so much of the energy you normally use. With the money you save on your energy bills, you might want to buy yourself some smaller clothes – you’ll probably need them.

The PPI mis-selling fiasco and reclaiming mis-sold policies

Even though there had been a lot of people bullied into giving up their PPI claims, or outright rejected when they asked their banks about it, there’s still a greater majority that won’t give up the fight. They look into trying every possible way to reclaim the payments they made to Payment Protection Insurance they were wrongly signed up to. They either felt cheated or pushed to the wall into buying the policy that was supposed to protect them but almost made them broke.

The truth is PPI seemed to be an ideal policy for credit consumers. When taken out alongside a loan, credit card, or mortgage, the policy takes over the repayment by covering a portion of the dues in the event that a consumer gets sick, meets an accident, or gets fired at work. The policy continues the repayment for 12 months (or 24 for others) or until such time that a means of payment is available again, whichever is sooner.

However, the way it has been sold to people became unacceptable leading them to make PPI claims as soon as the High Court discovered the anomaly and ruled on it.

PPI mis-selling

If you ever felt that you were deceived into having a PPI alongside any of your finance agreements, you better make a claim as soon as possible to find out how much you are owed to in refund and interest.

You will know that it was wrongly sold if it does appear in your account without your knowledge that you in fact agreed to buy it. This happens especially when upon completing an online application for a loan you overlooked a small tick box automatically marked indicating you agree to buy the insurance.

Other cases of mis-selling would be being forced to buy PPI like it is compulsory or would increase your chances of getting approved, or getting a higher amount.

Moreover, you were likely mis-sold, too, if the terms and conditions, cover extent, limitations, and exclusions were not entirely discussed. Factors affecting your cover like age limit, employment status, residence status, pre-existing medical conditions and others should have been clearly stated during the sale process. Cooling-off periods should also have been made clear to you.

As soon as you have established the way you were wrongly signed up to the policy, write to your bank about it so a review of your account can commence immediately. Do not forget to attach important documents to back up your claim. Search you drawers and file cabinets for any paperwork related to PPI – statements, credit agreement forms, policy certificates, etc.

PPI claims reviews ideally take 6 to 8 weeks. By then a decision whether you will be refunded or not will be made by the bank. Needless to say, you’ll have to be notified by your bank about it. If you’re unhappy with the result or you didn’t hear from your bank, you can lodge a complaint against the Ombudsman. However, keep in mind that cases that are lacking evidence may take longer to be looked into. So make sure you’ve attached all related proof of the mis-selling.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is an independent body that expertly resolves financial disputes between banks and their customers. There, they will review the case further and decide after questioning your bank and looking into the information you presented.

At the moment, there’s an 85% success rate on PPI claims. Credit consumers have started getting their money back. If your claim is proved to be valid, you will then be entitled to a full premium refund, plus the interest that PPI incurred over time.

If you’re in doubt of how to go about the process on your own, you may also seek assistance from PPI claims advisers who are willing to help you through it. And while giving up the fight is what others have gone to, you should remember that you’ve got every right to get that money back. So start looking at your paperwork and recall the events that took place when PPI was offered to you.