8 articles Tag cash

Find Money You Might Not Even Know You Had!

MoneyWith the summer holidays just days away, a lot of us will be thinking about how we’re going to afford all of the days out and activities that we’ll be wanting to do with the kids. It would be nice to be able to do a different thing every single day, but with the best will in the world, that’s just not in the budget for most of us. There might be, however, some money hanging about that you didn’t even realise you had, and we’ve got some suggestions of how to find it:

Outstanding PPI?

It’s hard to believe that anyone could still have any outstanding PPI claims with all the reminders on TV, radio and in the papers, but there are still a whole bunch of people who still haven’t claimed. It’s a simple process that could see you entitled to hundreds, even thousands of pounds!

Old Accounts

If you’ve changed bank accounts over the years, there could still be accounts in your name, laying dormant, with money in them. Write to the bank who you were once with and ask for details of any old accounts and you could be in for a surprise windfall!

Premium Bonds

If you’ve got Premium Bonds and haven’t seen much of a return, you might actually be better off cashing them in for an injection of cash now, rather than hoping they’ll come up long term. If you are hoping to win the top prize you probably need to know that the odds of winning £1million are 1 in 35,926,766,878. So I wouldn’t count on a payday anytime soon.Even winning the lowest prize of £25 is a 1 in 24,500 chance!

Pension Plans

If you have a pension plan that you don’t pay into any more, it’s worth having a look at the terms, as some plans will allow you to release the funds early, before the term is up. Have a think about any plans you may have paid into and contact the companies to see if it’s possible to withdraw the money. a

Cash Around the House

This one might be slightly less lucrative, but still worth a try. Gather up any old purses, handbags, wallets and money boxes and pillage them to see if there’s any cash that you forgot about. My kids own about 20 money boxes each and have managed to gather together the cash for some desperately needed toy on more than one occasion!

Don’t forget, the PPI deadline is 29th August, so you’ll need to get your act together if you think you might be entitled to claim!

Are You Sitting on Hidden Treasure?

treasureUnless you’re one of those people who’s a sensible adult with a savings account or an emergency credit card, there’s a good chance that you’ll come to a point in your life where you need quick cash and struggle to find it. There are, however, a few raise to raise some funds and most of us have things in our houses which we no longer use but are of value to someone else. Here are some suggestions of things you could sell to make some cash:

Jewellery

While I’m not suggesting that you flog your family heirlooms, many of us have jewellery boxes full of outdated items that we basically never wear, and there’s never been a better time to recoup some of the value in your items. It’s simple to get cash for gold and you could get a decent amount if you sell enough of it.

 Art

I’ve watched enough Antiques Roadshow in my time to know that the most valuable art is often the smallest, most unassuming pieces which don’t look like much which are worth a small fortune! If you’ve got any paintings which look like they might be originals, have them evaluated by an expert to see if they’re worth anything.

Bags and Purses

Bags and purses hold a surprising amount of value if they’re designer pieces, or even if they’re just made from decent leather. Look on eBay or other selling apps to see what sort of items sell well and to get an idea of what sort of price you’re looking at, and then sell anything that you’re not likely to use again.

Retro Games Consoles

If you’re the sort of person who puts things away nicely and stores them in the loft, and you have retro games consoles squirrelled away, you could be sitting on a small fortune! Retro games consoles are incredibly collectable and the more games and accessories you have with them, the more the bundle will be worth.

Vinyl

A lot of vinyl isn’t worth much these days, purely because there’s only a limited amount of collectors left and the condition isn’t always great. There are, however, particular albums which are worth a LOT of money, especially if they’re ones which are printed on a special vinyl, like clear or coloured records. Go through your collection and see if you have any of the valuable ones.

How to Start an Emergency Fund from Scratch

The future is full of unknowns and many things can happen to us that are beyond our control. That also extends to our finances, so it’s wise to have an emergency fund to help cover unexpected expenses.

Are you prepared if you lose your job or get sick? What would you do in a natural disaster? If your car or household appliances break down, can you fix or replace them?

An emergency fund is an answer to all of these questions. But how do you get started from scratch? Our four tips will help …

1) Prioritize

To successfully build your emergency fund you need to make it a priority. It’s all too easy to skip putting money aside one week because you tell yourself that the likelihood of an emergency is low, but it’s that mentality that will leave you stranded when one occurs.

Choose a set amount to put aside and treat it as a necessity like the electric bill or paying rent. You could even set up an automated bank transfer from your checking account to a savings account so you stay committed.

Another trick is to formulate a budget that excludes your emergency savings from income. If you pretend you never had $20 every week, you won’t miss it. And such a small sum will grow to over $1,000 in one year!

2) Budget

 You can’t save efficiently without having a firm understanding of your finances. That’s why it’s so important to budget, and it really isn’t that difficult to do. Whether you use an app or a good old-fashioned pen and pad, note down all the money you have coming in each month and all the expenses you have going out.

This should include your salary or wages and any other regular income, and all the regular expenses such as your mortgage, rent, utilities, car payments etc. It is also wise to estimate more sporadic income and expenses (you an average this out if you keep track over several months). For example, going out to the movies and buying new clothing.

With your budget clear, you now know exactly how much money you have left over each month and can choose a realistic amount to put aside for emergencies.

3) Set the size of your Fund

Ideally, your emergency fund should be able to cover your basic living expenses for three to six months. This gives you plenty of time to find a new job if you lose it, get your health in order if it takes you out of work, and re-settle in the case of a natural disaster.

The pot will also be big enough to cover other emergency expenses that don’t directly impact your income or home situation.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different and you may have a particularly high and stable income, home equity, and a great credit rating – all of which decrease your odds of a financial emergency. In that case, you may set a lower amount for your emergency fund.

On the flipside, if you’re renting, just starting out in your career or do not have stable work, and you have poor credit or are nearing your credit limits, then it’s wise to build a larger emergency fund to fall back on.

Note: Your fund should always be full, so if you tap into it, remember to start saving again. You might even choose to jump ahead of your savings schedule by using guides like ‘how to make 500 dollars fast,’ to give your fund a quick refill.
4) Make it Work for You

 Having some cash on hand is always a good idea for emergencies, but you don’t want the bulk of your fund under the mattress. The best option is a savings account that gives you full access at any time. This way you will earn some interest to make saving easier and you’ll still be able to withdraw as much as you need at any time during an emergency.

You may decide to put a percentage of your fund in a less liquid account, such as a mutual fund or even physical precious metals like gold and silver. Diversifying is always wise (bank collapses do happen), but you want the bulk of your fund accessible on the day you need it.

By following this simple advice, you will be able to create an accessible insurance policy to protect you and your family from any and all financial emergencies.

 

Ways To Save Money if You Run Your Own Business

Running a Small BusinessWith rising living and childcare costs, more people than ever seem to be looking at ways that they can work from home so that they can limit their expenditure and maximise their income. Starting a business and becoming self employed may seem daunting but there are a lot of advantages to flexible working and many people have huge success. Although it may seem like you’re spending more than you make when you first start, it’s all part of getting started, and we’ve got some tips on how you can save money as a small business owner.

Do Your Own Accounts

Unless your accounts are really complicated (which is unlikely in your first years as a small business) it’s actually really easy to do your accounts yourself online these days, which cuts the need for accountancy fees or an external payroll service. This could save you a lot of money in the long run and is also a great skill to have under your belt for the future.

Online Printing

If you need to use flyers or posters for promoting your business, using an online printing service like https://www.helloprint.co.uk/ could save you a small fortune. Their service is really easy to use, they offer free delivery on all products and they print on an incredibly diverse range of media – you could even print your company logo on a load of umbrellas!

Negotiate

Here in England, so many of us seem uncomfortable with the idea of bartering on prices but it’s common practice throughout almost the whole rest of the world! If you’re doing business with other people, never accept their first price as bartering could save you a lot of money. Many small businesses offer services as part payment for things too, so if you have a valuable skill you could offer this instead of cash.

Check Your Tarrifs

If you use your home as a place of business, check to see if there are better tariffs available for your energy costs, broadband supplier or telephone contract. Many companies offer special business rates, or even if there’s no money off, some companies will prioritise repairs if they’re for business users, so it could be worth a call to find out if it makes a difference.

Learn New Skills

If you’re looking to save money then taking a few courses could be an investment which saves you money in the long run and give you even more autonomy over how you want your business to run. Need to keep marketing costs low? Take a course in social media marketing and run your campaigns yourself. Need to save on accounting costs? Some companies like Sage offer day courses in small business accounts and payroll which will be a lot cheaper than years of services from an accountant or payroll person.

Luke from Caelum Communications said: “Having a quick and reliable internet connection is a basic essential for a running a business. Failover services and other installations are also great considerations for small and large businesses.”

Steps for Getting Your First Loan

Loan

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The days of walking into a bank, asking to see the manager and walking out approved for a big loan have long been over. You won’t be getting any type of loan from a creditor until you fill out an application and then have it approved. Secondly, all approved loan borrowers must have a way to pay their loans back. Even if you are applying for a student loan and don’t currently have a job, consider the fact that one day, when you have started to work in your new career and the money is rolling in, you will have to start paying the loan back. Here are the most important steps to follow for getting approved for a traditional bank loan as well as other options you have for getting a loan when the usual way doesn’t work.

Getting Established Before Applying for a Loan

Although loan applications can be reconsidered and looked at a second time, it is better for applicants to have their applications go through the first time that they apply. In order to have a bank approve your loan application, there are some minimum criteria that you have to meet. First, you have to be a UK resident in good standing and have a valid bank account. Sure, you can open a bank account the same day that you apply for a loan, but it’s better to have some history with your bank. Next, you have to work somewhere and again be established at your workplace. Imagine if banks approved loans for people who had just gotten jobs and bank accounts all the time. Most of those loans would likely end up being defaulted on.

Looking at Your Credit Rating

Credit is really important when you’re applying for a traditional bank loan. A solid credit rating is necessary to get approved for loans products like mortgages, and a little less important if you are looking for a personal loan. Either way, banks and lenders have different rules for the minimum credit ratings they’ll accept from borrowers. In short, if you want a traditional bank loan of any kind you need to have established credit and possibly a co-borrower. This is how young adults get into brand new cars although they’ve only been working at their jobs for less than a year. You can create credit if you don’t have any by establishing a credit card or getting some type of mobile phone plan. If you’ve got existing credit but it’s down in the dumps, work hard at building it back up because it’s going to be hard getting a traditional bank loan without at least a fair credit rating.

Filling Out the Bank Loan Application

Every piece of data that you include on your loan application needs to be accurate and completely up to date. If you change jobs and your income is lowered, you need to be upfront about where you work, even if you think it’ll hurt your chances for a bank loan approval. Your loan application needs to detail where you currently live, work, and you might also be asked to provide references. Basically, your bank loan application is supposed to help creditors validate that you are who you say you are and that all of your pertinent details are accurately reflected. Lenders aren’t particularly impressed when they catch applicants in outright lies, so try to ask for clarification when you need it instead of just guessing or writing down answers that you believe sound good.

Applying for Secured and Payday Loans

Traditional bank loans aren’t for everybody and they don’t meet every purpose. For example, if you want a mortgage or a new car you should absolutely start the money borrowing process with a well-regarded lender. In the case of consumers who want personal loans for emergency expenses, there are payday loans and secured loans such as logbook loans. These types of loans can be better for those who don’t have great credit history, but they also come with higher interest rates. Secured loans are secured on an asset such as a car, so be aware that you could lose your asset if you default on the loan repayments.

You can get a loan all on your own, with the assistance of a co-borrower, or via an alternative method just by understanding how to get prepared and fill out an application. Give potential creditors all of the information that they ask for during the application process to determine if you’re a good match for their financial products. It can take as little as five minutes and up to several weeks to hear by from a potential lender, but getting your first loan can be a really good step toward having a more bountiful financial future.

Three Times When I’ve Needed Money Fast

I have to admit, I’m not one of those people who manages to save money very well. As soon as I get paid and my bills are taken care of, the remaining money seems to burn a hole in my pocket until it gets spent and this means that there isn’t much to squirrel away at the end of the month. However, this approach to money isn’t very useful when an unexpected expense comes along, which is why it’s really fortunate that quick loans are always an option. I thought I’d tell you about three times when we’ve needed to raise cash quickly so that you can see how easy it is to be stuck with a huge bill that you just weren’t expecting:

The £200 Fart

A few years ago, Chuck started acting unwell and was totally off his food. Even when he’s at his most ill, he’s NEVER off his food so we knew that we had to find out what was wrong. Unfortunately, it was a Saturday which meant taking him to an emergency vet and we didn’t have pet insurance as he has so many pre-existing conditions. A few hours and a couple of hundred quid from Husband’s ‘New Computer’ fund later, we found the cause of his illness – trapped wind and an impacted anal gland. It’s got to have been the most expensive trump that ever happened!!

Car Trouble

Just recently, we came to the conclusion that we needed a new car; the old one was limping along and probably wouldn’t go through another MOT but funds were low. Luckily, we found a little Ford Focus through a private dealer that a family member had used in the past and managed to bag ourselves an absolute low-mileage bargain. However, we still had to borrow £200 to be able to afford it, but this small loan gave us the wiggle room we needed to be able to get our new car before the old one died!

Moving House

The last time we moved was a pretty hairy situation – the house we’d been living in before was being sold without notice and we had to be out ASAP, which didn’t give us much time to save. However, the new landlady wanted an extra month’s deposit to allow us to have a pet in the property, which left us about £600 short of what we needed to move in. I was so fortunate to have an amazing friend who offered to lend us the money, interest free and without a repayment deadline, which allowed us to move to our dream home!

Has there been a time in the past when you’ve been desperate for an injection of cash, pronto? Leave me a comment below!

Shoring-Up Personal Financial Accountability

In addition to daily spending obligations, household budgets also accommodate “big picture” goals, such as home ownership and retirement.  And while it may be relatively easy to track day to day outlays, plotting and planning for long-term financial success calls for another layer of management.

Financial accountability within your personal budget ensures long-range goals are recognized, without leaving you vulnerable in the short term. And though each person faces unique financial conditions, some of the same strategies prove beneficial, under wide-ranging circumstances.  If you are experiencing financial inconsistencies or just want greater accountability administering household cash flow, use the following practices to bolster your personal finances.

Maintain Discipline and Spending Resolve

Although it sometimes seems like a mystery (where does the money go?), personal finance is not terribly complicated.  In the end, success managing money relies on consistently balancing income and expenditures.  And since income is relatively static in many households, adjusting spending is the fastest way to correct imbalance.  If you face recurring cash flow shortfalls or other financial irregularities, it may be time to double-down on spending discipline.

Financial concerns cover broad commitments, ranging from customary living expenses to major purchases.  When your approach to finance calls for greater accountability, use the following methods to keep spending in check and reinforce budget discipline at home:

  • Limit credit card use
  • Weigh the pros and cons of each purchase – before committing
  • Make it harder to access discretionary income
  • Learn from buying mistakes
  • If you need to take credit, use a reputable lender

Reduce Oppressive Debt

If you are like many consumers, your debt load is more substantial than you’d like it to be.  Reducing the burden not only frees resources for more important spending obligations, but it gives you more control over your balance sheet.  Too often, oppressive debt quickly gobbles-up income, preventing household money managers from steering their own financial destiny.  With a manageable burden, on the other hand, it is possible to plan and allocate resources as you wish.

The first essential step toward debt reduction is to stop building balances.  As you pay-down outstanding obligations, without adding more charges to your accounts; your budget will begin to feel relief.  With each billing cycle, the weight of debt lifts, taking you one step closer to your financial goals.  For faster results, even with a so-so credit history, it may be possible to borrow money at a more favorable rate, to eliminate balances.  A consolidation or guarantor loan, for example, captures multiple obligations under a single repayment umbrella, refinancing the debt at a lower interest rate – or with better repayment terms.

Expand Financial Understanding

With so many demands pulling at family finances, money managers commonly make mistakes, due to misunderstandings. If you feel uninformed, or uncomfortable with certain aspects of household finance, it is up to you to increase your knowledge base.  Whether it means taking a formal course about finance or studying on your own, clearing-up you financial perception helps create greater accountability at home.  Some of the key concepts at the heart of individual financial success include:

  • Budgeting
  • Using a personal balance sheet
  • Finding favorable financing
  • Saving
  • Investing
  • Preparing for major purchases
  • Retirement planning

A firm grasp of these important concepts gives you the tools needed to establish long-range goals and stay focused, realizing your financial ambitions.  In addition to formal instruction, various online channels furnish references and resources for boosting financial insight.  Each lesson builds on itself, until your financial understanding fills-in, growing into an asset, rather than a liability.

Financial discipline and accountability are vital aspects of successful financial management.  By reducing debt and fortifying financial knowledge, it is possible to reinforce your financial health, setting the stage for long-term security.

How To Have More Money FAST

When you’ve got a family, having as much money to play with as possible can help you to all live a comfortable life. You want to have the money to do things together and enjoy life, as well as enjoy some of life’s luxuries. Here’s how you can have more money FAST:

Have A Tight Handle On Your Finances

So many people don’t have much control over their finances at all, and wonder why they are always broke. Knowing what you have coming in and what you have going out will help you to see what’s going on more accurately. You can then make changes and tweak as you need to!

Cut Back On Luxuries That Don’t Make A Difference

Cutting back on luxuries might sound counterproductive if you want a comfortable life, but some things just don’t make a difference. Do you really need that expensive brand of toilet roll? Be smart and find ways you can cut back.

Give Allowances To The Kids

Instead of spending on your kids without a plan, consider giving them allowances. This will teach them about being good with money. Encourage them to save if they have their eye on something expensive. Not only will it teach them good life lessons, it’ll give you more money to spend on things to do together, while they take care of their own souvenirs, sweets, and other luxuries.

Apply For Credit

If this is an emergency, applying for credit could be the only way. If you have a good credit score, you should be accepted. If not, this infographic will tell you what could happen:


Infographic Design By MyCreditMonitor.co.uk