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Financial Tips – How To Stop Spending Money On The Go

This is it – starting with the next pay check, you will actually save some money. You do a quick calculation in your mind and you think you can save about £400 this month. But at the end of the month, you are left with less than £80. It happens to everyone – have you ever wondered where your money disappears? As unusual as it might seem, you might have eaten or drunk it.

Small things add up, even though they seem inexpensive. You go for a sandwich and a chocolate bar on your lunch break. You grab some crisps when you pay for petrol too. You have a takeaway coffee every morning and you grab a few cans a day from that vending machine in work. A few pounds here and there will add up. If you spend a fiver a day, you spend £150 a month. That is £1,800 a year.

The first step? Set a goal. Without a goal, you will struggle to save. It could be anything – a different car, three holidays abroad for the next year or perhaps a new sofa. People with goals are motivated and everything they do revolves around their goals, so this step will help you get back on track a little. But then, what else do you need to do to stop spending money on the go?

Prepare your lunch

A packed lunch will work wonders. It could be anything. You could make a couple of sandwiches – if you do some calculations for a slice of cheese, a slice of ham and two slices of bread, a homemade sandwich will cost you less than 50p. Buy it from a store and you will spend a couple of quid on it – can you see the difference?

Sure, you may imagine that you do not spend too much anyway. But even an inexpensive £3.5 meal a day, five times a week, will cost you over £900 a year. This is what you would normally pay for a fancy all-inclusive holiday for two weeks in Greece. Why would you eat your holiday away when you can enjoy some time off?

Swap the coffee

You cannot survive without coffee – fine. This is classic. You avoid Starbucks because it is expensive – you do not want to spend £4 for a coffee. You swap to Costa – £2.5. Even local takeaway coffee will cost you about £1.5. It is just some change, right? You are wasting about £550 a year on cheap coffee or over £900 for more expensive coffee. Again, ditch the coffee and you have just secured yourself another holiday.

Simply get an insulated flask or coffee mug, make your own coffee and save the money.

Hydrate yourself the right way

A cheap bottle of water – maybe about 30p – will not ruin your daily budget. Simply get a cheap refillable water bottle instead and stick to tap water. You might as well have one of those water tanks in work, so you can refill it for free. If you like cold drinks, opt for an insulated bottle.

You can also get a large bottle of fizzy stuff if you are into such beverages, rather than forking out a couple of cans a day – chances are you will not even finish them.

Bottom line, lots of people spend a fortune on small things without even realizing it. All these things add up in the long run. Saving a few thousand a year will give you enough money for a home deposit in a few years, not to mention a better car or the holiday of a lifetime.​


Five Tips To Make As Much As Possible From Your Savings Account

Choosing a savings account may seem simple – pretty much every bank has one. But then, there are small differences that can make you money overtime – or push you downwards. Here are a few helpful tips to ensure you gain as much as possible from your savings account.

Come up with a goal

You can have more accounts for different goals. For instance, an instant access account could be excellent for emergencies. On the other hand, you can get a fixed rate account and add money for a house deposit. While you can save without a goal, it helps deciding on something for your savings – it will also push you to save more. Your goal will also determine which type of account is better for you.

Compare rates

Some accounts come with excellent bonuses. They surely look tempting, but these bonuses are temporary. You can, however, shop around all the time and switch every now and then – usually at the end of the bonus rate. It is time consuming, but it could be worth it. If you do not have the time to do it, choose a savings account with a good and stable rate historically. You will have to compare rates over the Internet then.

Considering fixed term deposits

Some products feature unusual structures and provide incredible interest rates, but they may not always be appropriate to save cash. They look like cash bonds, but then, you will need to set some standing orders and bring in the same amount every month, not to mention the necessity to tie up your money for a long period of time. You could get some extra interest though. It depends on when you think you might need the money.

Keep an eye on the taxes

Dealing with taxes and finding the best deals could be a bit tricky if you have no clue what you are doing. If you do not pay income tax, you will have to ask the bank to have the interest paid gross. Otherwise, you will lose money – the tax will be deducted automatically.

On the other hand,, if you pay tax, you will get tax free interest if you opt for a cash ISA. A few calculations are necessary to ensure good final results. Sometimes, you might end up canceling the tax benefit due to some low returns. If the returns are lower than the tax benefits, the deal is simply not worth it.

Stick to £85,000 or less

Stick to building societies and banks that are authorised by the PRA. Then, all the cash you put in will be protected under a so called FSCS – Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The savings protection features a limit of up to £85,000. If you have a joint account, the protection goes up to £170,000.

Now, having more than £85,000 will ruin your protection. Get another account and move the leftovers, then keep throwing money in there. Keep in mind that this limit is not given per banks, but firms or groups. For example, you may have an account with two different banks, but they belong to the same group and your protection is ruined.

Bottom line, these simple ideas will help you find a better purpose for your cash savings. You will know precisely what you save for and everything you do will revolve around that goal. Apart from the self-help part, knowing a bit about how banks and taxing systems work will also lead to better and more informed decisions. More importantly, a bit of education can prevent unpleasant surprises arising out of nowhere.

Credit Cards

Saving Money On Your Credit & Store Cards – Helpful Tips To Lose Debt

Whether you own a credit card or a store card, these things can be extremely valuable. Buy something without having the money for it, tap the card machine and pay for it at the end of the month, when you get paid. However, one thing leads to another and you might end up spending more than what you can pay back. Clearing the whole lot could become mission impossible.

Interest rates will go through the roof and the balance goes higher and higher. You try to put some money back as you get paid, but you finish your wages and end up on the credit card again. It is already too late to stop, but you can still recover. This is the last moment to cut costs and work on your debt. So, how do you get back on track?

Before moving on, you might want to know that credit cards do not always have the highest interest rates. Many times, store cards can be more damaging. The same goes for an overdraft or perhaps a payday loan. While it is imperative to tackle the cards with the highest interest rates first, never overlook priority bills – like rent, mortgage or council tax.

Get your facts straight

Go through all the statements and try to figure out what happened. All those letters from lenders and credit card providers must be opened. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write everything down, be it an overdraft, a credit card or a payday loan.

Write down how much money you owe by each provider. Double check the interest rates. You should also write down the minimum payment requirements, yet the interest rates are more important when trying to clear debt.

Go for the expensive ones

Each type of loan has a price. Some of them are acceptable, but others can be quite painful. Practically, the higher the interest rate is, the more interest you will pay on a monthly basis. If you truly want to clear the debt, go for the most expensive loan instead, rather than the one with the lowest monthly requirements.

A general credit card will charge about 21% APR, but some of the most expensive ones can reach to almost 60%. No matter which one you go first, never overlook your priority debts – council tax, rent, bills and so on.

Bring out more than the minimum

It is the end or the beginning of the month. Bills grab big chunks of your wages one after another. It is definitely tempting to pay the minimum. If your credit card only asks for a fiver, you are happy to do so. In fact, it looks pretty doable – you could clear this debt out without too much hassle.

However, most experts believe this is a bad idea. If you can afford a fiver, you might as well push yourself to a tenner. After all, making minimum payments can hook you in for years. Paying a bit more will help you lose the debt and reduce some of the interest rates. If you can double it up, even better. No matter how much they ask for, make more than just the minimum payment and you will thank yourself later.

In the end, the general idea is fairly simple to understand. Avoid going too deep into debt and if you do, there is a way out. Everything is about organizing yourself and doing some calculations. You need to ensure you do everything in an organized manner or you risk moving debt from one place to another – without actually getting rid of it.