Why Should I Bother to Save Money?

It could be the case that you often have people telling you that you should make more effort to save money. This can be really annoying and you might wonder why you should be bothering to save and what is so good about it. It is worth having an understanding of why some people save money and that might help you to decide whether saving will be a good idea for you.

  • For a rainy day – we might hear people saying that they are saving for a rainy day. What they actually mean is that they are putting aside some money for the future to fall back on. This means that if they need some extra money, perhaps in an emergency to pay for something or if they want to treat themselves to something new, they will be able to do so because they have the money put by. It can mean that they can pay for things rather than taking out a loan. This will be cheaper and quicker than a loan as well and can give you peace of mind to know that the money is there for when you need it.
  • To save for something specific – many people will save up with something specific in mind. It might be that they are saving to go to university or for their children to go, for a holiday or to get married. There are all sorts of things that we might save up for. Saving like this can be really beneficial. We will appreciate the items more because we have taken the time to save up for them. We will also have time to think about whether we really want the item. It takes hard work to save up and we may decide we would rather spend that hard-earned money on something else.
  • Paying off a loan can be a great way to save money in the long run.
  • To pay off a loan – it could be that people have a loan that they want to repay quickly. They may decide to put some money aside and then when they have enough they will use it to repay their loan. Repaying a loan early can save money because you will not have to pay so much interest on the loan. However, some will have a charge for repaying early and you will need to calculate whether it is worth paying this charge or not. If you do not have long before the loan is due to be repaid anyway, it might be less worthwhile as you will not have many interest payments to make.

Saving can also be a lot easier than you might imagine. Often people will wait until just before they get paid and see if they have any money left to save and often there is nothing left. However, if you set up a direct debit to pay some money into a savings account each month before you spend any, then you will find it easier. We will often find that we spend the money that we have, but if there is not much left, we will not be able to. Therefore, if we save the money first, it will not be available to spend. The amount that you choose to spend will be determined by how much we can afford to save. Make sure that you have enough money to pay your essentials and se what is left for treats. Take a bit of that money to save. It might seem hard but it will good when you can save up for that item you really want or have some money to cover an emergency should you get one. Knowing that you have some money behind you can give you peace of mind.

Is it Worth Getting a Credit Card?

Many people already have credit cards but there are some people that do not and may wonder whether they should take one out or not. This is because they may have concerns about the card. It is well worth addressing these concerns so that they can then make a decision as to whether the card will be worthwhile.

  • In is insecure – some people worry that their credit card could be stolen and they could then lose money. This is not an unreasonable concern as it does happen. People do steal cards or card numbers and use them to buy things. However, these is also this risk with a debit card as well. Credit card companies also have departments that deal with this. As soon as you report your card as stolen or notice transactions on there which you have not made, they will start investigating and they will repay any money to you that has been stolen.
  • It is expensive – there is an expense associated with all borrowing. This includes credit cards. However, there is a way of using a credit card and not paying for it. This is that you can use the credit card and then repay it in full when you get a bill. If you repay it all by the date they give you, then you will not have to pay anything in interest but you will have borrowed money for a short period of time. If you choose just to repay the minimum amount or any amount less than the full balance, then you will be charge. This charge will vary depending on the lender and the amount that you have borrowed.
  • Credit cards can be helpful if used correctly.
  • It can lead to debt – it is of course possible that using a credit card will lead to you getting in debt. If you spend all of your credit limit and then only repay the minimum amount you will owe money. This might be useful to you in a way, if you need to buy something and would not otherwise be able to afford it. However, you will have to pay interest on the money that you owe. If you are aware of how much this is and have decided that you are happy with paying that interest then that is fine, but otherwise you will need to try not to let it lead to debt. This is easier for some people than others. You can set up a direct debit to repay the credit card in full each month and then you will never owe money and you will be safe. However, some people will not do this and might see the credit on the card as money that they can spend and that they can treat themselves to things and this could lead to problems with debt. So, think about which attitude you are likely to have before you take out the card.

It is also worth thinking about the advantages of having a credit card. You can buy things now and you will not have to pay for them until you get your bill. The bill may come after you are paid so it could mean that you can get a few things that you would not normally be able to afford. It is also good to think about the fact that credit cards offer some insurance. If you buy an item online and it does not turn up or it not fit for purpose and you have no luck getting a refund, then the card issuer will refund the money to your credit card and pursue the claim themselves.

How to Pick the Best Lender

There are lots of different lenders available and it can sometimes be really daunting knowing which one will be the best one to choose. You will probably want to make sure that you are not paying more than necessary for the loan that you are taking out but you do not want to choose a lender which is not very good either. It can be quite a dilemma. There are things that you can do though, which will ensure that you are getting good value for money.

  • Establish your needs – it is a good idea to start by researching what you needs are from a lender. Think about what you are looking for. It is very likely that you will be looking for a good price and you should think about whether this is the only priority for you or whether there are other things as well. It could be important, for example, to make sure that the repayments are manageable for you. You should be able to find out how much the repayments will be and how often you will need to repay them for. You will also need to check if they will be able to lend you the amount of money you need from them. Also, you might have requirements with regards to the lender and perhaps want one you have heard of, has good reviews, has been recommended to you, that you have used before, has good customer service or whatever so that is important as well.
  • It is extremely important to research lenders before choosing one to go with.
  • Be wary of cost – it is often a big requirement that people will want a lender that is pretty cheap. Often, we will compare them on interest rates to establish this. However, it is well worth being cautious as they may be fixed fees on top of the rates and this could make a difference to which lender will be the cheapest, so make sure you are comparing the full costs. Also, there will be costs if you miss a repayment. These can vary considerably between different lenders and so you might be wise to compare these as well. Even if you feel you will repay on time, it can be worth making sure that you are aware of the cost difference as it could help you to make a better choice.
  • Research lenders – once you have established what you want from a lender, be it a bad credit payday loan or otherwise, you will then need to research the different lenders to find out what they are like. Find out how much they are charging, how you repay them, what their reputation is like and things like this. You might be able to eliminate some pretty quickly because they obviously do not match up to your requirements.
  • Match up – once we have just a few then we will be able to match up the one that most closely fits our needs. You might find that there are quite a few which are similar and you might need to decide which one will be the most suitable. You may find that you will need to prioritise your needs so that you can pick the one that is the very best. Just think about what is the most important factor to you when picking a lender and then see which comes closest. For many people this will be the cost, but do make sure that you consider value for money. It could be worth paying a bit more money if you find that the lender will be better for you as the repayments are more manageable, for example, so make sure that you choose really carefully.

Five Ways to Reduce your Food Bill

Many of us will find that our food bills make up a big percentage of our outgoings. We can sometimes feel that it is going up and up all of the time and might be looking for ways to lower it. There are different things that we could try but below are five suggestions which could help that you may not of thought of trying before.

  • Eat out less – eating out can be really expensive. Although it can be convenient not having to cook yourself and you may be able to get food that you cannot easily cook, it is worth thinking about whether the cost is really worth it. Consider how much more it costs compare to making the meal for yourself and whether it will be better to stop eating out or just save it for the odd occasion as a very special treat.
  • Have less take away food – take away food can be very convenient and often we will order it because we feel too tired too cook. However, it can be really expensive as well. It can be worth comparing the price of a pizza on a take away menu to one form a supermarket as the difference is huge. It takes very little effort to cook a supermarket pizza and it is massively cheaper. The supermarkets will sell other convenience foods too, which are similar to take away food but a lot cheaper and can be cooked in the oven or microwave with very little effort and so well worthwhile.
  • Buy less convenient food – convenience food can be expensive though compared to cooking form scratch. Many of us do not feel we have a lot of time for this, but there are many meals will take only 10-20 minutes to cook and so you could find that if you look online for recipes there are some cheap and easy meals that you can make. It can feel hard to get used to cooking all of the time, but sometimes a bit extra and freezing some portions or putting them in the fridge means that you will not have to cook every day. It can be great to start to discover that you will be able to make food that is suited exactly to your taste rather than having to eat things that others have flavoured.
  • Watch out for offers – there are lots of offers often in supermarkets and they can be good and bad so it is wise to be very careful. You need to think about whether the offers are as good as they seem. If they are on items that you regularly buy, then go for it, stock up and take advantage but make sure that you do not buy so much that it goes off before you eat it. However, we will always that there will be offers on things that we do not normally buy. We can still be tempted to buy things though because they are cheap. However, it is always worth remembering that it is cheaper not to buy the items at all.
  • Check portion sizes and snacks – It is really easy to eat more than we need both by having portions that are unnecessarily large or by having snacks between meals that we do not really need. By cutting back on the amount of items we eat, we can easily save money and we will be healthier too. In fact, doing all of these things will help us to be healthier in most cases and so as well as saving money we will also be doing our bodies good.

Should I Repay my Mortgage Early?

There has been a recent trend in people trying to repay loans and mortgage early. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing this and if you are wondering whether it is the right decision for you then it is a good idea to think about these.

Advantages of Repaying Early

There are quite a few advantages to repaying your mortgage early but we have chosen to focus on just two of them.

  • Cheaper mortgage – the longer you keep a loan; the more expensive it will be in most cases. This is because loans are generally charged using interest. The interest is charged for each day that you have the loan for and so if you repay it early, the amount of interest that you repay will be less. In most cases this will mean that the mortgage will be cheaper, however, some lenders will charge an early repayment fee for doing this. This could be a massive sum of money, which will not make the mortgage cheaper, but it varies as some lender do not charge one at all and some charge just a small amount of money.
  • Reduce debt – it can be good to get rid of some of your debt. Not only can this just generally feel good because you have paid something back in full, but it can mean that if you want to borrow for something else you might be more able to do it. Not only will your credit report be better but you will be more able to manage more loan repayments as you no longer have to make mortgage repayments. It can also feel good to know that you will not have to find those monthly repayments. For some people a debt can feel like a burden hanging over them and clearing it quicker can be a really positive experience.

Disadvantages of Repaying Early

You may think that there would not be disadvantages to repaying early bit there are some.

  • Cheap debt – a mortgage can be a relatively cheap debt compared to some other forms of borrowing. Although you have a mortgage for a long time so the cost adds up, the interest rate can be a lot lower than things like overdrafts or credit cards. This means that it could be sensible to repay these rather than the mortgage. So, if you have a selection of different debts, then you should compare the cost of them to see which will be the best to repay.
  • Can use money for other things – if you are using your money to repay your debt, then you are not able to use it for other things. If you are cutting back on luxuries such as jewellery or cushions, then this will probably not matter but you may be cutting back in areas that are important. If you cut back on buying books for your children to help them pass their exams, cut back on training courses to help your progress in your career or cut back on medication, vitamins or gym subscriptions and you are then less healthy. So, it is important to get a balance.

So, as you can see it may not be as straightforward as you think. Make sure that you are choosing carefully when deciding which loans to repay and make sure that you are making the right decision to repay it. Think about where you will be cutting back and what you will be going without and whether it is sensible to do this. Also consider how long you will need to be cutting back in order to repay early and whether that will be something that you will be able to manage.