Adulting · Money

How Does A Poor Credit Score Affect Your Day to Day Life?

Everyone should know the importance of sound money management and the detrimental effects of having poor credit. Sadly around 18 million brits are currently thought to be actively harming their credit score and risking their financial future.

How Does A Poor Credit Score Affect Your Day to Day Life?

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Recently the economic downturn due to the Covid pandemic has seen the increased strain on people’s incomes and has resulted in more people missing payments or falling behind with their prices on credit accounts due to reduced revenues or increased bills eating into the money they have.

What Is A Poor Credit Score?

There are two main credit agencies in the UK and a list of variables that make up whether or not al ender accepts your credit application. On Experian, anything under 800 is classed as poor, and 720 and under is very poor. Equifax rates poor credit scores as those with a score of 420 or below with very poor from 0-279.

How Does Poor Credit Affect Your Day to Day Life?

Whether you realise it or not, having a poor credit score can affect more than a simple yes or no for applications you make. The effects can be wide-reaching and have an impact on many different things in your life. However, having poor credit now doesn’t mean this is it for you. You can always change your score and work to improve it by keeping on top of payments. You can follow money bloggers, listen to a credit risk podcast or join forums to get inspiration from others on how to improve your credit score.

This post looks at some of the ways a poor credit score can impact your life.

Renting Accommodation

If you have a good credit score, you can have your pick of homes to rent. Because many landlords and letting agencies conduct credit checks before allowing you to move in, having a poor credit history could jeopardise your plans to relocate.

The prevelance of ‘comprehensive’ credit checks from companies such as Experian has made it possible for landlords to check your financial history before you move in. Over six years, they look for any financial mistakes, such as a CCJ or defaults, that may have occurred in your life.

This isn’t just restricted to those applying for a mortgage now. Everyone is aware of how a poor credit history and bad financial mistakes can stop you from getting reasonable mortgage rates or even a mortgage at all. But a poor credit score also affects your renting ability too.

Buying A New Car

Buying a new car isn’t cheap. Many people consider financing their new vehicle with a personal loan to spread the cost over a more extended period. Personal loans are typically subject to a credit check. The same is true if you choose to go the traditional route and secure a PCP or hire purchase deal through a car dealership, in which case your credit would also be checked.

For the most part, if you’re entering a financial agreement with a company – whether it’s to finance a new car, a new sofa, or anything in between – you’ll almost certainly be asked to provide information about your credit history.

Applying for Jobs

If you apply for a job in specific industries – for example, if you’re involved in financial transactions or cash handling – the employer may run a credit check on you before extending you the offer. This is solely due to the nature of the employment you’re seeking, and it is not a common practice in the recruitment industry as a whole.

Careers that require good credit include;

  • Accounting
  • Police
  • Army
  • Legal

Higher Interest Rates

The better your credit score, the lower your interest rates will be. Lower rates and a good credit score means you are more likely to pay back what you owe on time as per your contract. A lower credit score is reflective of missing payments and bad financial decisions. So frequently, lenders will offer a higher interest rate to mitigate the risk of lending. Meaning, you are paying more money back as a buffer in case you default.

Insurance Premiums

Do you have household or car insurance? Or how about life insurance? All the insurance premiums you are offered will be based in part on your credit score. Much like with loans, the more chequered your history, the higher your payments will be. If you are paying a lump sum upfront, you can usually eradicate this. However, if you make monthly instalments, you are being credited the insurance premium you are paying back, thus accounting for the higher interest rates or increased premiums.

Household Bills

Whatever your mobile phone tariff or utility bills, if you’re looking to set up a Direct Debit to pay your bills, it’s likely that your credit report will be scrutinised as part of the process.

When it comes to paying your bills, you’ll most likely have no issues whatsoever. If, on the other hand, you have a poor credit history – for example, if you’ve defaulted on a loan in the past – your utility company may require you to have prepayment meters to avoid running up bills meaning you end up paying more than direct debits.

New Relationships

While this might not be a make or break topic for new relationships, it can impact budding relationships, especially if you haven’t gotten your financial situation under control. People want to know what type of person you are embarking on a relationship with and your credit history and money habits play a big part in this. If you have experienced financial difficulties you have recovered from, you may find this isn’t an issue. But if you are exhibiting poor financial choices and errant behaviour as far as your credit is concerned, this can be a warning flag in a new relationship.

On the face of it, a poor credit score can simply look like being refused credit. However, suppose you fail to make amends and improve your credit score. In that case, you may find that you are experiencing the effects of this in other areas of your life, such as getting preferable energy rates or being able to advance your career or maybe even pursuing a new relationship.

Adulting · Business · Parenting

How To Balance Business and Parenthood

Working parents understand how difficult it is to juggle a career with child care. Parents who own their own businesses, on the other hand, face an additional layer of difficulty. To an extent, business-owning parents are trying to juggle two kinds of infants: the children they are trying to raise and the business they are trying to build. To be successful, both require nurturing and attention, especially in their early phases, and business-owning parents must learn to meticulously plan and prioritise their time to make sure that each receives the care they necessitate and expect.

Here we look at some tips to help you to balance parenthood and business.

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Delegate, outsource and learn to say no

As a business-owning parent, balancing your venture and family time can be tricky, as both require a significant lot of time and resources. The sooner you realise you can’t be in two places at the same time, the better. Prioritize the moments with your children that require your full attention, and make sure you have someone to stand in for you during those times. Outsourcing is a popular strategy for many small business owners, for example, paying a digital marketing agency to handle your online marketing or an SEO specialist to get your ranking up. This frees up valuable time for you to spend with your family.

Prioritize your health and wellbeing

Use mindfulness or relaxation techniques. Set your well-being as a top priority. When life becomes an unending demand on your time, the first thing to go is your self-care. However, with 40% of firms not having a succession plan in place, taking care of yourself is critical to the future of your business – as well as ensuring you are the best parent that you can be.

Create clear boundaries between home and work – and stick to them

Establish firm time limits. Define when you are and are not available, and stick to those boundaries. This is a good lesson for your kids to learn. When you are not available, you are not available – unless it is an emergency, of course. However, when it is time to be with your family, you leave work behind and be entirely present with them. Create home/work boundaries and stick to them.

Don’t expect perfect balance every day

If we believe that we can remain balanced every day, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing we are pushing extra hard or disregarding our business. Reassure yourself that your children benefit from seeing you work hard at times and that spending quality time with your children benefits your governance

Be in charge of your own calendar

One of the benefits of being your own boss is that you can control your own calendar and be in charge of your schedule. Arrange meetings with clients when the children are at school, switch off completely when they come home from school, and do your admin work when they are in bed, for example. Find a routine that works for you and your family.

Adulting · Home · Humour

The Day I Became a PROPER Adult

The Day I Became a PROPER AdultThe other day, I rang my Mum and said the following words:

“Mum. It’s official. I am a PROPER adult.”

One could argue that having two kids, a Husband, a job and various pets were a fairly good sign that I’ve been an adult for a while, or the fact that I’ve spent many a leisurely hour randomly browsing Rightmove or researching leak free shower cabins,  but the event that propelled me into proper adulthood was dealing with my very first flying ant bloom.

When I was a kid, I remember “flying ant day” happening once a year at my grandparents house. Every year, sometime at the end of July, a massive swarm of ants and flying ants would emerge from behind their gas fire in their 1960’s terraced council house and all hell would break loose. Nan would be vaccuming them up and throwing ant powder down with a speed to rival someone from Krypton, while Grandad would be swatting any escapees with a slipper in a manner that made me wonder why he wasn’t competing at Wimbledon. It was as horrifying as it was hilarious, seeing my ageing grandparents dealing with the infestation and it’s something I’d never had to deal with myself…until now.

According to The National History Museum ” This annual swarming event usually occurs in July or August and coincides with a period of hot and humid weather. Winged ants appear at different times around the country and local weather conditions are critical for the coordination of swarming activity. Ants tend to fly earlier in urban areas than rural areas, probably because temperatures are generally warmer in urban environments, known as the urban heat island effect.”

There are a number of options for dealing with flying ant blooms which don’t involve using noxious chemicals which can be dangerous to pets and other wildlife. Here are a few of them:

Pour boiling water into the ant hill

Once you have located the ant hill, pour boiling water over it. This should kill most of the ants and detract other ones from coming back.

Attack ants with an artificial sweetener

Certain types of sweeteners are very toxic for ants. For example, if you mix in the sweetener with apple juice, it forms a viscous paste that the ants will carry back to the colony. Once consumed there, it will kill off a portion of their population.

Spray with dishwashing soap

One household item can tackle flying ants and that is dishwashing soap. The soap attaches to the bodies of the ants and dehydrates them. You can use a spray bottle and fill it with water and two to three squirts of dish soap, and then spray it at any flying ants you see.

Use sticky tape to catch them

If you place some food on the ground to attract the flying pests, you can place some sticky tape down with the sticky side up. Put the tape as close as possible to the food, and the ants will land on it. This will then trap the ants in place and stop them from flying anywhere else.

Obviously, if the ants are outside and aren’t bothering you, you can just leave them in peace, as I would much rather have done, but having ants crawling up my legs while I’m trying to work is just too much to bear!

Do you have any tips for dealing with becoming an adult or dealing flying ants?

Adulting · DIY · Home

Five DIY Tips for People With Zero DIY Skills!

Despite the fact that we live in rented accomodation, Husband and I like to do as much as we can to make our house feel like a home, and we’re both pretty happy to get stuck in when it comes to DIY. As well as doing our best to keep the house and garden looking nice, our landlady also sometimes looks to us for basic maintenance to the property and it’s generally something we’re happy to do.

There are, however, a few things which are a little beyond our skillset, so with this in mind I thought I’d share some tips on how to improve your home when you don’t want to (or can’t!) do major works:

Stick-On Tiles

Stick and Go TilesTiling is something that takes a fair amount of skill, a whole lot of time and a number of different materials and tools. It’s not an easy job and it’s something that can easily look rubbish if you get it wrong as there’s not a huge margin for error. However, there is such a thing as Stick and Go Wall Tiles, which can be stuck directly over any size tile, or straight onto the wall and require zero cementing or grouting! Perfect for a DIY project!

Vinyl Wrapping

DIY Vinyl WrappingIf you don’t want to replace your whole kitchen, or simply don’t have the budget to upgrade, using vinyl to “wrap” your units can give you a fresh look with little outlay. It’s not the easiest thing to do and does take patience, but the effects can be absolutely brilliant and can massively modernise the look of your space. It’s also WAY less distruptive and less messy than ripping out units to replace with new, and it’s also better for the environment as nothing ends up in landfill!

Adhesive Strips

If your lease prevents you from drilling into your walls, this can mean that you’re unable to put curtains up, no hanging pictures and definitely no shelves, which can be a real drag. Pictures, shelves and soft furnishings can make a major difference in how homely your house feels, so we recommend using adhesive strips like Command strips to put things on the walls instead of nails and screws. There’s a huge variety of different strips for different things and you’d be surprised just how much weight some of them can hold.

DIY Patterned Walls

patterned wallsIf you fancy having patterned walls but really don’t like the thought of wallpapering, there are other ways to create DIY patterned walls. From using a laundry basket to create polka dots to masking tape to make geometric patterns, you can create a completely unique, bespoke design which will look really effective, without spending hours trying to line up sheets of wallpaper.

DIY No-Sew Curtains

No Sew Boho Curtains DIYMaking new curtains for your home might seem like a really daunting task if you aren’t a confident sewer, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think, and you don’t even need to sew a single stitch! There are lots of hardy fabric glues and adhesive strips on the market that allow you to hem fabric and attach curtain tape, as well as an internet FULL of tutorials, showing you how to do it.

Adulting · Cleaning · Family · Parenting

Tips for Busy Moms: No House Helps

Moms have a lot on their plates, probably more than men have in their briefcases. How do you manage a home without going insane? Good organization is critical. If you are a busy mom feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to read through these tips. They will make your life easier.

Meals

Nothing is more exhausting than daily cooking. What immense efforts were made for a meal that was then quickly swallowed! But offering healthy food to your family is well worth the time. Use these tips.

Frozen foods: Stock up on frozen foods. They are picked at full maturity, stored at the best time of freshness, and they will save you precious time: no need to peel them! 

Meal planning: Plan your menus for the five evenings of the week. Indeed, it is not preparing a meal that takes the most time. It is choosing what to cook! Last-minute decisions about meals are not just time-consuming; they can be stressful.

Cook on weekends: During the weekend, spend half a day cooking. Prepare as many dishes as possible for the week, which you will store in the refrigerator or freezer. When you get from work in the evening, all you have to do is reheat them and add the final touch (a fresh sauce, parsley, etc.).

Shopping

Make a shopping list: Make a shopping list of the products you need regularly. You will hang it on the refrigerator. Whenever you / the nanny / your husband find that something is missing, update it. When it’s time to go shopping, refer to it. It will save you from unending trips to the store during the week.

Use home delivery: Take advantage of the stores’ delivery services. As long as you group your purchases, the amount of the bill will surely entitle you to free delivery.

Shop online: Shopping online can be a bit more expensive. Butyou save the cost of the car trip, and you save yourself a lot of effort. A shopping cart for four people weighs at least 30 kg. Think about the strain on your back when you load and unload!

Cleaning

Pace yourself: It’s not about cleaning everything thoroughly every day but about keeping your home consistently tidy and clean. Clean that uncluttered kitchen table, dirty sink, a stained floor as soon as you notice that they need cleaning.

Use the right products: Most of us are don’t have the time to clean. So finding a cleaning product that speeds up the work can significantly save your time and effort. The right tile cleaner, for instance, should be tough on stains and gentle on the tile surface.

Get every tool you need: Gather all the equipment you need in a plastic bin that you can carry with you. This will eliminate the need to leave one room to pick up a brush or soap in another or from wondering where you may have put the mop or the cleaning product.

Be strategic: When you tackle the cleaning of a room, proceed methodically. Update your knowledge on how to clean grout. Learn about the products and techniques that work best. When cleaning, start at a corner of the room and dust while going around until you return to the starting point. Then clean what is in the middle of the room.

Laundry

Get a laundry basket: Install a basket of dirty laundry in each bedroom or on each floor to encourage everyone to throw away their belongings. This will prevent you from stalking dirty socks under the bed and picking up T-shirts behind the toy box.

Documents

Talk to the children: Teach your children and your partner to empty the pockets of their clothes before putting them in the dirty basket. Nothing is more painful than the white paper handkerchief that we find crumbled on all the clothes or the purple bus ticket, leaving its mark on the ivory blouse!

Sort your receipts and papers, including pay slips, bank statements, reservations—separate bills from correspondence.

Among the documents to be processed, immediately deal with those which require an urgent response or which do not require more than five minutes (a check to write, a slip to fill out). Andgather the others in a file. You will deal with them later.

Good luck!