Money

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Haggle Over

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Haggle Over

There are certain traits which are quintessentially British. Generally speaking, we are known for all good manners, our insistence on queueing, and Enjoying fish and chips, amongst other things. Something else that Brits are prone to do is paying full price for something without even considering haggling over the advertised cost.

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Money

2 Types Of Investments You Can Make For A Better Future 

2 Types Of Investments You Can Make For A Better Future 

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Preparing yourself financially for family life can be quite stressful, and many people are often surprised by what’s to come, and that doesn’t hold up. As time goes on, you’ve got both your future and the future of your children to think about, which is why you should be taking steps to prepare for that. Saving can only take you so far, and you should be thinking of ways you can stretch those savings to something even bigger.

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Home · Money

Ways to Reduce Your Home Insurance Premium

Buying home insurance is a great idea for many reasons, not least of all the fact that you will be covered in the event of any theft or accidents. Shopping around and finding the best policy for you is always going to be one of the best ways to ensure that you get a good price and a good value policy, but there are things that you can do in and around your home which will also help to bring your insurance premiums down, especially if you live in area which is identified as a higher risk. Here are five things that you can do to keep your premiums down:

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Money

9 Common Mistakes When it Comes to Debts

9 Common Mistakes When it Comes to Debts

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In this day and age, debts are inevitable for most people. Taking out a loan can be of tremendous help, especially when you are in a financial emergency, be it for business or personal reasons. However, there are many mistakes that people make, leading to a stressful life of debt. To help you avoid becoming a victim, here are some common debt mistakes to keep in mind:

  1. Same Old Spending Habits

We are creatures of habit and spending money is no exception to that rule. That’s because driving the same car, eating in the same restaurants, and buying at the same store proves to be comfortable. However, it could be costing you more than you can handle financial wise. It’s pretty simple- if you do not change your spending habits, then you will never get out of debt. Consider beginning with your morning habits and take breakfast at home. Next, carry lunch from home, rather than eating at a restaurant. In the evening, watch movies or games at your house while enjoying a homemade meal. These simple changes will have an immediate significant effect on how much you spend on a daily basis. You do not have to do what you like or prefer, you just have to make better choices when it comes to it.

  1. Attempting to Get Out of Debt Alone

Almost everyone doesn’t like to ask their friends and relatives for support when it comes to handling debt. A wise remedy is to contact a non-profit credit counseling agency and seek help from the experts. These counselors are well-trained and certified by national organizations such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and will recommend debt-relief solutions including credit consolidation, debt management programs, debt settlement, and even bankruptcy if things are really bad. They will show you how to create an ideal budget and suggest a solution that will match your needs. The best thing about this is that the advice is free. Ask, am I eligible for a debt management plan?

  1. Failure to Create a Practical Budget

It is virtually impossible to gain control of your money if you do not have a practical budget. Many individuals think it is too much work until they reach into $10K or $20K credit card debt and wonder how they got there.

A great solution is to create a realistic budget that addresses common financial needs such as health care, food, housing, education, and insurance, while also creating room for paying your loans. Do away with the credit cards and only work with cash. Yes, this will mean cutting back on things like dining out, hitting the movies, buying new electronics or clothes, but if you really want to get out of debt, having a practical budget and using cash is a solid start.

  1. Getting into a Debt-Relief Program but Not Understanding What it Entails

There is rarely a quick-fix solution for debt issues. If you come across this claim, then immediately look elsewhere. One of the most important things to bear in mind is that debt-relief programs tend to take three to five years and so, you’ll need to be patient. Next, you need to assess the firm providing these solutions. A great place to start the check is the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the local state attorney’s office. Military bases, universities, and credit unions should also be reliable sources for suggestions. Just ensure the organization you pick is licensed and does not have a record of client complaints.

  1. Trying to Clear Multiple Debts at Once

Many people in debt usually have multiple sources including student loans, credit cards, car loans, mortgages, etc. Unfortunately, they try to handle them all at once. This is a move that will only see you give up and be unable to make progress in clearing debt. Instead, go back to your budget, trim everything to the essentials and create a surplus that goes to the credit card with the highest interest rate. Once that is cleared, go to the next credit card, and so on, until you clear all the debt.

  1. Failure to Put Aside Savings for Emergencies

According to reports, over 55% of American consumers do not have adequate finances to cover emergency expenses of at least $500. You cannot predict car accidents, plumbing failure, unemployment, etc. That’s why every household requires an emergency fund account. Experts suggest putting three to six months of expenses aside to cover any emergency you might experience. It may take time to get there, but if you are determined to pay off your debt, it needs to be part of your monthly budget. So, consider putting aside at least 5% of your monthly income towards an emergency fund. This way, you won’t have to depend on loans to cover an unexpected expense.

  1. Failure to Contribute to a Retirement Account

Yes, it seems good to devote your money to clear your loans today, but it is a costly mistake in the long haul. There will come a time where you need to retire and so, ensure you devote at least 5% of your monthly income towards a retirement savings account. The earlier you begin contributing to that 401(K), the better off you will be when you retire.

  1. Failure to Prioritize Your Debt

We all have bills and many people want to get out of debt. However, many people fail to be focused, and doing so isn’t a priority. One of the best solutions is to consolidate your debts and only make a single payment per month. Another way to stay focused is by writing down the top 5 debts you want to clear. Put this note in a place you will see every day to remind you of your mission. Whenever you see that note, you will remember that you are getting rid of and not adding to the debt.

  1. Closing Accounts When They’re Paid Off

The remedy for this is straightforward, pay off your account but do not close it. Keep in mind that credit score systems not only depend on how much you owe but how much credit you have available.

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.