3 articles Tag finance

The Benefits of Car Leasing

The Benefits of Car LeasingWhen it comes to being a motorist, there are a lot of expenses to consider. Aside from the initial purchase price of a car, there’s the tax, insurance, MOT costs, maintenance, fuel…it all adds up. There are, however, cheaper ways of running a car, such a leasing, so we’ve teamed up with Genus Leasing to talk to you about all of the benefits of leasing a car instead of buying outright. Here are a few of them:

You’ll Get More for Your Money

When you lease a car, you usually find you’re driving a better vehicle than you would if you had bought one. This is because, with a car lease you only pay the car’s depreciation for the lease period, not the value of the car (because you don’t own it). As a result, your monthly payments are usually lower compared with other forms of finance, so you can lease a better make, trim or option.

You’ll Always Have a Newer Model

After the initial lease period ends, you will be able to exchange the car for a brand new vehicle. This means that you will be able to reap the advantages of having a new car on a regular basis, allowing you to get the maximum benefits of fuel economy, performance and safety. It also means that you will be able to avoid massive depreciation costs, as you do not own a vehicle that is likely to be rapidly losing value.

You’ll Reduce Your Monthly Outgoings

Apart from fuel and insurance, when you lease a car you know exactly what motoring is going to cost you because your expenses are rolled into one – monthly payments, Road Tax and breakdown cover. And if you include a maintenance package, your ability to budget becomes even stronger because you’ll know what’s going out of your account all in one go.

Cheaper Maintenence

Leasing provides much lower maintenance costs than other forms of buying. This is because the person leasing the car does not retain ownership, so general maintenance costs are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty period. If the car being leased requires servicing or repair, the costs will be covered; this usually includes tyre and exhaust replacement.

No MOTs to Remember

Generally speaking, lease car are less than a year or two old, and cars don’t need to be MOT’d until they’re three years old. This means that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to worry about MOTs with a lease car because you’ll have upgraded to a newer model before it’s even due.

Bonus Tip

If you really don’t use a car that much but still need one to get around occasionally, why not think about using All Transportation Network to book reservations for chauffeured transportation? You’ll be travelling in serious style and saving yourself a whole lot of hassle.

Managing Financial Stress This Christmas

Christmas is typically a time of joy and love, giving and receiving, peace to all men and all the lovely things that we look forward to around this time of year, from tasty treats and delicious Christmas dinners to meeting up with immediate family and having a laugh.

There is a darker side of Christmas however, one that parents usually keep wrapped up in their own mind; financial stress. Too often do people believe they need to go over the top every year and have a bigger, better Christmas than years before. This can quickly lead to debt which casts a dark cloud over the New Year celebrations when you are more focused on saving the pennies to make it through the typically longer pay period between Christmas and January.

If you are concerned about the effect financial stress is having on your mental health and home environment, here are some tips to make your Christmas less about the cost and more about the sentiment.

Reduce Santa Presents

A modern trend that is causing more harm to children than good is the increase in cost and number of presents from Santa children get each year. While in your own home it might be wonderful to see the joy on your child’s face as they open their gifts from Father Christmas, however, this is often the greatest cause of financial stress for parents, who see no appreciation or gratitude for the presents they get from Santa.

Not only does this cause financial worry in the household (which your children can and will pick up on), but this can have a knock-on effect on less-fortunate children when they go back to school and see the disparity between what Santa brought one child when compared to them. Of course, while no family needs to curb their spending to protect somebody else’s feelings, your child won’t be worse off from one less gift.

Introduce Secret Santa Amongst the Adults

Secret Santa is typically a gift giving activity that takes place in offices and between large friend groups, however, with bills ever increasing and the cost of goods going up, buying decent gifts for the adults in your family can soon get expensive. Consider introducing the opportunity for Secret Santa in your family. Each person puts together a list of different things they would like to receive below a certain budget, choosing multiple items so the gift giver can offer a surprise rather than an expected gift. Names are then put into a hat and picked at random, just make sure nobody picks themselves out!

Sell Things Around the Home You Don’t Need or Use

Sometimes things pop up that are unexpected, and you may find that an expensive bill or expenditure is going to leave you short for the season. To make a quick bit of cash without taking up more of your precious time (like getting a second job would do), consider having a look around your home for bits you can sell, popular items that sell well second hand include; children’s toys, baby and toddler clothing, working homewares and unblemished furniture. If you are crafty, consider putting together some homemade Christmas cards or decorations, you can even work with your local shop to sell your creations or create an online store via Amazon, eBay or Etsy.

Other Small Areas to Make Savings

There are few things we typically do at Christmas that can be changed up in order to save money, for example, rather than sending out physical cards, put some effort into creating a digital card and email this around your friends and family. Rather than give gifts that don’t offer anything value, like gag gifts and silly presents, you could instead give the gift of a charity donation, adopt an animal or even sponsor an orphan. These sorts of gifts can make the receiver feel like they’ve helped a bigger cause and save getting something cheap and plastic that will be thrown out in the next house clearing.

 

If you are worried about funding Christmas this year, think about the places you can cut back and consider setting rules, a popular one going around at the moment is a “ban on unnecessary gifts” where you reduce the giving circle to immediate family only. This stops people thinking they need to give you a gift in return, just make sure to discuss with friends and colleagues before hand so you don’t receive a gift and feel obligated to give back.

Christmas shouldn’t be about the monetary aspect, so spend more time with the people you care about and let them know how special they are to you with your words and actions, rather than your wallet and if you do find yourself struggling from month to month, without the extra cost of holidays, consider talking to your employer about a pay review.

Monday Morning…

I think, until I sat down to write this, I didn’t quite realise the enormity of what’s happening next week. As of Monday, our lives change completely.

Monday is the day that I start my new job.

I know I worked up until April of last year, but that was three days a week, 9.30 til 2.30. It fitted around Sausage’s nursery and I had four full days a week to spend with my girl. My new job is 34 hours a week, 9.30 til 5.30 (except Fridays when I finish at 4.30), which means I get to drop Sausage at school and by the time I get home I won’t have seen her for nearly 9 hours. That’s a LONG time for me to spend away from her. I’m not even going to start talking about the guilt or I’ll never stop.

The thing is, I realise I’m very lucky. A lot of people simply can’t afford to go back to work as even with an extra income they still won’t have enough to cover childcare. Because Husband works from home, he’s able to collect Sausage from school which means we won’t need any childcare. And quite frankly, in the current financial climate*, I’m lucky to have found a job at all, let alone one that pays decent wages and is flexible enough to let me come in after I drop my kid off at school.

I’m excited about my new job, I’m ‘Payroll Manager’ now, as opposed to ‘clerk’ or ‘assistant’ and once the lady who’s training me has retired in April, I’ll be running the whole department. It’s a great opportunity for me and my ten-odd years of experience in the same field are finally paying off, in title and pay rise.

But I still have a sinking feeling. A bit like what it must be like for those ‘celebs’ (I use that term with the full quotient of irony that it deserves) on that diving show ‘Splash’. Standing on the edge of the high-diving board, toes dangling over the edge, waiting to jump and not knowing what it’s going to feel like when they hit the water. 

We’ve been lucky (there’s that word again…) since Sausage was born, I’ve been able to stay at home, do some social media work to keep me in extravagant Barry M nail varnish purchases (it’s like a sickness, honestly) and generally take things easy. I feel like my life is about to kick up a notch and involve a whole lot more rushing round than I’ve been used to since, well, since before I buggered off to Asia and got married. But that’s a story for a different day.

I’m sure I’ll be updating you all on how things are going, but for now, I’m going to climb down off the diving board and try to relax before Monday morning, when I become a fully-fledged Working Mum.

Wish me luck!

*Is anyone else sick to the back teeth of sentences which contain the phrase ‘in the current financial climate’? YAWN.