On toward better spending habits

Who doesn’t want money? Everybody could use some extra cash, especially so if you are retiring. However, not many people are able to get it. Most people, fail to save up enough for their retirement owing to bad spending habits.

You cannot build your retirement fund in a day or two. It will require time but you can speed up the process a little bit by bettering your spending habits. Nevertheless, it is possible to change your lifestyle so that you can develop better spending habits.

First, avoid spending a lot of time simply sitting in front of your television. Not only is it bad for your circulation, it steals away the time that you could have otherwise spent with your family. If you happen to like reading, then you should frequent your local public library as often as you can. You do not need to purchase any books from any store. If you be patient then you will see that your library has acquired the book that you wanted to read so much.

People tend to spend a lot after their addictions. Hence, if you happen to smoke then you can begin to reduce the amount of cigarettes that you smoke every day. You might not be able to give up smoking suddenly. However, with time, you might be able to even that. Thus, you will save not only that extra money you spent every month on cigarettes, but you will also save your health and hence the medical bills.

If you work somewhere not too far from your home then you can ride a bike to work or even walk to work if that is possible. It will help you boost your overall health while also doing good to their environment as well as your pocket.

Avoid eating out too frequently. Eat at home. You can try out different recipes while saving money simultaneously. Moreover, you will get to spend quality time with your family and you will also learn to improve your cooking.

Several people drop in a coffee joint on their way to work and spend a few bucks on coffee every day. Now, if you sum it up for a month, it can be quite a lot. Therefore, it is better to take your coffee from home. You can use a thermos to keep it hot.

Avoid using your car as far as possible. Take a walk instead of your car. Saving on parking fees and gas can be quite a big save.

These are just a few of the changes that you can make to your lifestyle to see more money saved as well as more health improved.

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Lowering your telephone bills

Well, let me think. Yes, here is an interesting way to reduce your telephone bills. Simply call someone when you know they will not be there. This way you can leave a message and they will have to pay when they return your call. So, what if your timing is bad?

Alright, let us all get serious here. I am not here to tell you about some hopeless technique. These are simply some practical ways in which you can actually reduce your phone bills. Read on and find out.

Set your priorities straight. It is better to work towards reducing your telecom bill by 20% instead of working to halve your spending on vending machines. Understand the things that you can and cannot do. It is better to hire someone to help you reduce costs instead of trying to do it yourself when you do not have the time to know what the costs are in the first place.

Learn to do the calculations first. If you are switching to a new company simply because of some great offer then check if the costs do not rise up drastically after the initial “grace” period. You can save a lot on your phone bills by limiting the calls you make to mobile phones. The prices are high and they make up for about half of your monthly phone bill. Therefore, make sensible use of your phone.

Consider the minimum charges of each call and the strategy of rounding up. You can end up paying quite a lot.  Capped calls are another area where you can expect to pay more. Business calls usually last no more than two minutes. If you have a capped call tariff then such calls will cost you a lot more.

You can reduce your line rental as much as between 10% to 25%. The calls to 0870 numbers are always expensive and it is possible to reduce this expense even though at times these calls are inevitable. You can request the respective company if they have any local number that you can use if you want to call from outside the country or from abroad.

You can also note down the number when they happen to call you. Caller displays usually will help you see their original number. If you do not get it then you can find them on BT’s directory enquiries online or you can get it from their website. Alternatively, you can look on 192.com. You might just find them there.

Another website is saynoto0870.com. This is an amazing website where you can find the listings of the phone numbers of several companies.

Thus, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce your phone bills.

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How to select the right mortgage lender?

Enter mortgage into any search engine and you will find scores of sites offering you mortgage. On the other hand, enter any bank or financial institution and say that you want a mortgage then you will most likely be hurried into some private office for a meeting with the mortgage advisor or be showered with several leaflets.

However, the point is not finding somebody who will give you a mortgage but it is about finding the right one. Mortgages mean big business. Hence, every financial institution has several different loans for buying any property on offer.  Therefore, you need to shop around before deciding, check out a number of lenders and then make your decision. Comparing can save you quite some money.

The best place to start with is your bank. If you have been with the same bank for quite a while besides having a good record financially then they will be much more confident to loan you more amount of money as mortgage.

The competition amidst lenders is quite fierce these days with the interest rates dropping. Therefore, it is possible that you might find a better deal somewhere else also. Hence, you do not have to feel compelled to use your bank to get your mortgage.

You can make things easier for yourself by using several websites online that help you out with several comparative tables of mortgage offers. Simply type ‘mortgage’ in the search box and you will see several results. One such site is moneysupermarket.com/mortgages. It is good for comparing.

Then there are several comparison sites online. You can use any of them to your benefit. Another good place to look is the finance section of your newspaper. They carry many advertisements besides any news on the recent offers. However, do not get lured by any adverts that simply promise lower rates while not revealing any other information.

Mortgage is not all about rates. Most often, banks advertise displaying the lowest rate that they offer. However, before you can avail that rate you will have to pass several qualifying criteria. Besides that, you should look out for any hidden charges, or clauses.

Always remember to read the fine print, the terms and conditions before you sign up for any deal. People usually get scammed because they do not pay enough attention. Therefore, be careful when you decide.

Then some of the borrowers can also consider ethical investment. For example, Muslim banks are not allowed to charge or pay interest.

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Lower monthly bills means higher monthly savings

The biggest and most effective method of saving money each month is by lowering the bills every month. You will be able to save quite a lot without having to do much about it.

Paying your bill is that one expense that most of us struggle to keep up with. In fact, the many unfortunate ones who think of ignoring the problem will put off paying their bills and then end up in big debts.  You can save a lot of money by saving on your monthly bills. You can save on just about anything from food, clothing, gas to the bigger ones like your insurance or even your mortgage. The trick is to look in the right direction.

First, begin by eliminating all your useless or unnecessary expenses. This will include things like eating out during the weekends, magazine or newspaper subscriptions that you can get at your library or online, cable TV, buying lunch and such other things. These are seemingly small expenses but once you get them out of your budget, you will surprise yourself at the money you save.

Now, I am not saying you have to lead a drab life. You can of course give yourself a reward every now and then, but if you want out of debt fast, then it is only logical to save all that you can.

These are the general savings you can make. In order to find out some more expenses that you might be making without actually knowing it, you can go through your card statements or your chequebook.

Another thing to do would be to call up your card company and inquire if they can lower your rates of interest, even if that is for some short period. Good prices come to those who look for them. This is one moneysaving principle that you should not forget. If you make the effort and look around then you will surely find what you need at a cheaper price. This principle comes in useful especially for those things that you simply cannot eliminate out of your expense list. Shop around and look for good deals on the different things.

In fact, you can save hundreds every month if you can find better deals. You can find good deals on your car insurance, mortgage, internet service, telephone and even those utility bills. You do not need any particular skills for doing this. All you need is some patience and a good eye and you will be able to save enough to come out of your debt soon.

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Frugal living

Frugal living needs certain specific set of skills and a certain perspective of things so that you learn to make the most of every opportunity of saving money. A truly frugal individual learns to make habits of these. Some such habits are given below.

If you want to live frugally, it is important to understand the value of different things. For example, how do you know if the deal on some car is good or not unless you know the actual value of the car? Therefore, make it a habit to learn about prices of different things. Do this especially if you are planning to buy something expensive. It might not take more than some hours to flip through the sale listings of houses in your area. However, knowing that will help you make savings of thousands.

Keep yourself open to learning. Most people have someone they know who seems to get the best deal around on cars, homes, boats, groceries and just about everything. So, ask him or her on how they happen to do it. Learn from others.

An important part of frugal living is to keep looking for options or alternatives. If you have more fun enjoying that delicious pizza at home than eating at some high-end French restaurant, then why not call Pizza Hut and skip that expensive eat-out. It is not so much about sacrificing anything as it is about getting things that you enjoy while paying less for their alternatives.

Do not use that plastic money. It is simply a rule to pay cash if you want to save money. You will have to pay interest if you pay through your credit card. Why pay more when you can have it for less! So, if you want that sofa set then divide its price by the exact number of weeks that you are ready to wait for getting it.

Keep saving that much every week and then purchase it for cash. You will save not only on the interest but also you will get better prices when paying in cash.

Make friends with numbers or in other words, learn to calculate. This is important. Are you really saving on your car when it is actually costing you hundreds in gas every year? Do not simply go for the bigger pack thinking it will be cheaper. Many are profiting because of this very misconception of people. Therefore, do the calculation before buying anything.

Mention what you need in conversations. People might get cheap or free things simply because they happen to talk about it.

These are habits and therefore, you will need to keep doing these for several weeks before they become a part of your lifestyle.

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Do you really want to remortgage?

Remortgaging or refinancing your house is not so uncommon these days and most often, the reasons for doing it also seem to be quite viable too. Refinancing or remortgaging means changing your present mortgage to another one may be even a different provider in order to avail the benefits of better options.

You might want to change your mortgage for a number of reasons, some of them being change of your circumstances, availability of other lower interest loans or better options. All of these and many other reasons seem enough to make a decision to remortgage. However, before you do it, take a look at the following considerations that you need to make.

Consider any charges

Most often, lenders include prepayment penalties in their loan conditions. Therefore, you should first check your loan documents to see if there are such penalties or charges attached to your loan. If they are then you might have to calculate your penalties and the difference in the interest between the two loans. This will help you decide if paying the penalties is a better option.

Consider any fees

Taking out a new mortgage will include fees. You have to do that calculation also. Include the fees of a surveyor for valuation, solicitors’ fees as well as any other extra fees that you might have to pay. Some deals also offer cash so that you can cover any costs or even fee-free deals. You should calculate and decide based upon the difference.

Consider the features

Sometimes, people change loans also because they are more comfortable with the new loan terms compared to their previous one. They might want more flexibility or less flexibility, basically different terms that suit their needs. Therefore, consider all the features along with any extra charges or fees.

Consider the equity of your home

If your house has become more valuable or more expensive over the past years then you might want to remortgage for the simple reason of releasing the equity of your house as cash. Now, there will be some limits as to the amount that you will be able to borrow. That will mainly depend on the property value as well as your income.

If you are retired then there are schemes for equity release for you. You can access cash or get an income regularly based upon the value of your home. In other words, your sell your house to them and yet they give you the right to stay in your house until you live.

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Finances, loans and more

Everybody needs an extra hand at their finances at some point of time in their lives. Loans come in handy at such times of need and it is better to know about them beforehand so that you can understand what decision to make when the time comes.

Loans are mainly of two types, unsecured and secured loans. Based upon your circumstances, you can take the loan. An unsecured loan will require nothing from you in terms of security for the creditor. The creditor will require you to have a sound credit as well as a good reputation. However, because there is nothing besides your name to offer to the creditor as security, you will have to pay higher rates of interest. Besides that, the loan term will be short as well as the loan amount will not be so big.

A secured loan is very different with respect to the unsecured one. The security is for the creditor in this type of a loan. In other words, you will have to offer something valuable as collateral or security to the creditor against which they will offer you the loan. The collateral can be anything from expensive jewellery, your car or even your house. Because you give up something as collateral, the creditor will offer you a lower rate of interest while also giving you a bigger loan amount. The repayment period for your loan will also be longer compared to what you can get on an unsecured loan.

The risk for the creditor is almost nil in such a case and therefore, they will see this as a favorable option to offer. Hence, you will find many attractive offers in this category.

A mortgage is a form of secured loan. Your bank or any other financial institution will lend you money so that you can purchase a house for yourself. Your house is their security. In any case if you are not able to make payments for your mortgage, then the bank has the authority to repossess the house and sell it to make up for its lost payments. If anything is extra then they will return that money to you.

Choosing one out of the two can be a tough selection to make. Most often, people prefer the secured loan owing to the attractive interest rates that they offer. Nevertheless, if you do not have anything that you can offer as collateral or security then it is inevitable that you select an unsecured loan that offers you a good deal. You can go for the unsecured option if you do not want to risk any of your assets.

Both of these options are good and it mainly depends upon your present circumstances and personal preferences what decision you make.

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