3 Signs You Should Consider Debt Consolidation

Living with debt is something that no one truly wants to do. Month after month of watching more expenses pile up than can actually be paid out can make even the most patient person be ready for a change. Fortunately, there is a better way to finally get out of debt. Debt consolidation can be a great route for many people. However, it can be difficult to actually know when debt consolidation is right for you. There are really 3 major signs that you should consider debt consolidation for your situation.

The first sign is having a high number of bills that appear month after month, such as credit cards. Debt consolidation can actually pull those together for you into one single payment, so you don’t have to sent out 8-9 envelopes every month or remember to write checks. You make one payment that covers all the bills.

The second sign is having bills with high interest rates. When the interest rate is too high, it can be difficult to actually see any progress in paying down past bills. A good debt consolidation loan can actually carry a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying, helping you save money.

The final sign is something so many people are all too familiar with: feeling like you just can’t keep up anymore. This is one of the biggest signs a debt consolidation plan is something you should look into — no one should have to feel that way about their finances when there are so many resources out there to help you move forward to a bright debt-free future!

Overall, everyone will have unique reasons why debt consolidation is a right step for them. However, if you’re seeing your situation reflected in these three signs, you might want to look into a good debt consolidation plan today!

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Advantages and disadvantages of an IVA

If you are struggling with an unmanageable level of unsecured debt that you can’t afford to repay within a realistic amount of time, but that you can commit to making regular reduced monthly payments towards, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) may be right for you.

However, it is important that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of IVAs before you decide whether this might be the right way for you to clear your debts.

Advantages

1.      Lower your monthly payments ­- with an IVA, your payments will be based on what you can actually afford after taking into account all your essential expenses (including mortgage/rent and utility bills).

2.      Write off the debt you can’t afford to repay­ – once you have made your final payment, the IVA will come to a successful conclusion and your unsecured creditors will write off any outstanding debt.

3.      Help meeting your other monthly expenses – the payments you make towards your IVA will be calculated to leave you enough for your other commitments (mortgage/rent payments, food, travel, etc.).

4.      Your home will almost certainly be safe – if you’re a homeowner, an IVA is very unlikely to force the sale of your home.

5.      IVAs are legally binding – and once your IVA has been approved, your lenders won’t be able to take any legal action against you (including trying to make you bankrupt) as long as you stick to your side of the agreement.

Disadvantages

1.      Homeowners may be required to release equity – if you are a homeowner, you may be required to free up some of the equity in your home so you can repay more of your debt.

2.      Damage to your credit rating – an IVA will stay on your credit report for six years from the time it starts, making further credit harder and/or more expensive to obtain.

3.      An IVA will last longer than bankruptcy – in general, you would be discharged from bankruptcy after one year (although you might have to make payments for three years). An IVA usually lasts 5 years.

4.      Restrictions on the amount you can borrow – while the IVA is underway, there will be restrictions on taking out further credit.

5.      IVAs don’t come with a guarantee of success – if you can stick to your side of the agreement, your IVA will succeed. But if you can’t, and your IVA fails, you would have to consider alternative ways of tackling your debts – for example, entering a debt management plan or declaring yourself bankrupt.

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Want to save money? Do not try these methods

People will do just about anything in order to save money. Whether it is stuffing in those extra condiments or asking for a ride. It is exciting and it is even better than a raise because the saved twenty quid are entirely yours to keep, whereas you will lose five or more out of the earned twenty.

It is alright and even good to look to save money on stuff. There is nothing wrong in shopping around and looking for cheaper deals. However, some of the ways that you find in magazines or websites are simply outrageous.

Apart from raising some ethical concerns, they are nothing more than time pass entertainment. I would recommend you to read them for the sake of entertainment but would never suggest them to anyone as a means to save money.

Here are a few that simply top the charts.

Here is a mother’s confession. She used to tell her children to take as many free condiments, all the ketchup, mustard, salt and others that they could possibly take whenever they “paid” a visit to any fast food place. Moreover, she also made her kids empty these packets into her regular ketchup and mustard jars. The proud mother says that she hasn’t had to purchase any of these condiments.

There is one more creative suggestion from one penny pincher. He saved money on his car washes this way. No, not by washing it himself (because technically the soap and water would still cost him!) but by doing it using that gas station squeegee; the things people can do!

Well, if that was out of the earth then read this one. A man suggests that if you want an umbrella for free then simply visit the lost and found section of any big public library. Inform them that you have lost your black umbrella.  Almost certainly, they will have several. You can choose the one you like and claim it for yourself. Now, what if they do not have black ones? Well, we might have to wait until this guy suggests a chart colour frequency.

This is an amusing suggestion here about saving on long distance calls. Simply, call when you are sure that they will not be at home. You can simply leave them a message and then they will pay when they call back. However, nothing is said about the chance that you call and they happen to answer. Well, I think then you simply hang up and call back later.

None of these suggestions should be used by anyone. They are nothing more than a mere waste of time. you can read them and use a few laughs but I don’t think they are of no more use than that.

Instead of spending your time and energy after these “techniques,” you would save far if you simply work an extra hour.

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Simplicity is the first rule of budgeting

People are inherently rebellious, it is in our nature and we cannot deny it. However, all of us know that rules are in place for a reason and rules give us safety and bring order in our lives. While we might not like them, they are there to help us and make our lives easier.

The same is true for developing a budget. In order to have financial success, you need order in the form of a budget. Now, the first and the most basic rule of budgeting is to keep it simple. If you do not like rules then do not worry because there are no specific “rules” for budgeting. People tend to create a big hype around budgeting and that you need to stick to specific rules if you want to succeed.  Nevertheless, the thing is that there is only one rule that you need to remember when formulating your budget and that is to keep it all simple.

You need not be an accountant or even have any degree whatsoever in any accountancy subjects. All you need is a paper, a pen and a calculator.

Do not complicate things when they are much better left simple. There is no need to use fancy graphs or linked spreadsheets or any complicated tables. No, you will not need any hi-tech software to create your budget. You will not even have to take any extra degree or classes to do it.

As I said earlier, if you have a blank sheet of paper or a spreadsheet then you have all you need. Enlist all the expenses that you make every month. Yes, this is what it is. It is preparing a list and nothing more than that. Now you tell me if this is difficult.

If you are one of those people who cannot seem to remember what you spent your money on then you can do this. Carry a paper and pencil everywhere you go. Note every expense you make. By the time the week ends, you are sure to know your expenses. Keeping in mind the notes that you took during the week, prepare your monthly budget. You can make things even simpler by doing budgets for each pay check. Alternatively, you can assign a column to every pay check.

When you are done, plan your expenses surrounding your pay check. Simply decide what you want to spend money on, this week or when you get your pay check this time. If you can keep a track of where you are spending, you will be able to plan how you want to spend it.

The planning will keep you from making any unnecessary or impulsive purchases that you will regret later on. Stick to your budget and you will do well.

Simplicity is of prime importance when you plan your budget. Without it, you will be lost in complicated terms and columns and you will end up in a mess. Therefore, plan a budget and make it simple.

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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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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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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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