Friday, 25 October 2013

9 Everyday Tips to Save Money in your Household

1. Mortgage

The most expensive item you are ever likely to buy is your home. However if you do not have the luxury of being able to pay in cash, make sure the loan you use to finance it is the best available. For example, if you are paying your lender's full standard variable rate (SVR) you are probably paying hundreds of pounds a year more than you need to.
There are thousands of deals and this is a relatively easy way to save a lot of money. Remember: loyalty to your bank benefits your bank, not you and also remember to check the small print to make sure their are not any hidden catches.
Even better, if you can afford to make overpayments on your mortgage, you'll clear your debt years early and make massive savings.

2. Credit Card

One of the golden rules of financial planning is to clear your most expensive debts first, which almost always means your credit cards. Although credit cards are very convenient, if you can't clear the balance every month they can become very costly. Consider a low-cost loan as a much better alternative.

3. Fuel Bills

Recently Ed Miliband has announced that he promises to freeze fuel bills for two years should labour come into government, however this does not change the fact the global demand for power threatens to outstrip supply. Companies prices are always rising, but that doesn't mean you need to be ripped off. Changing supplier and making sure you’re on the lowest tariff possible could save you hundreds of pounds. Your new supplier will take care of the switch once you have worked out who is the cheapest, saving you money every month.

4. Water Meters

In the UK most us take water for granted, not only do we have a supply on tap but we have a brilliantly executed supply system that enables us to have water in our homes. The companies providing the water make a profit from doing so and we get the water as we want it. However if we had a sustained dry spell supply could run short and the price will go up. If you install a water meter you can monitor your outgoings and you could even halve your bill for only paying for what you use exactly.

5. Shopping Lists

Food shopping takes a considerable amount of your monthly outgoings and supermarkets take most of that money. Tesco takes £1 in every £8 spent by UK shoppers. Supermarkets try everything to try and get you to spend money, from the store layout to the background music. If you are unfocused on what you actually need, you can end up spending much more money. Simply make a shopping list. Dig out the cookery books, plan a few meals and only buy what you need.
Also never go shopping on an empty stomach or buy only a days food at a time. You should buy enough food to last at least a week, if you are going to your local shop every day you are often spending a lot more than you should on more expensive items.

6. Markets / Green Grocers

You can eat healthily for less by going to your local greengrocers or market stall. Lower overheads mean lower prices. Plus you get the added bonus of supporting the local businesses and economy!

7. Own Brand Costs

Supermarket home brands are hugely cheaper than their famous brand equivalents for virtually the same product. It makes sense to use them to save cash.

8. Designer labels

You may only wear some outfit once, can you justify paying hundreds of pounds over the odds because it is designed by a name brand designer? And can you honestly tell the difference at a distance between a £600 designer bag and a £9.99 one from the market? Think about it. Cutting out unnecessary extravagances can save you lots of cash.

9. Use Your Talent

Whether you’re a talented guitarist, writer or businessman. You can use your talent to make cash, whether it is teaching someone the guitar or writing content for cash. There are many sites which offer you money to use your talents and if you are feeling really entrepreneurial you can set up a business. Maybe one day it might even be your main source of income.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

5 Top Tips for Budgeting this Christmas...

Hello and welcome to our blog, we are aiming to make this the place to go for financial tips and advice. For this first post realising their is only 77 days until Christmas! We have put together some money saving tips...

1) Save NOW!

According to polls the average family tends to spend around £900 on Christmas. Could you afford to take £900 or £450 from one pay packet and still meet all your other outgoings? Most people can't and this is why people end up borrowing. Why not put money aside each month now, at no cost to you? Much better than borrowing and paying back next year with interest.
Christmas Savings
Work out the budget and put money aside from each pay packet.

2) Buy Stuff Early!

Sales and offers happen throughout the year, so as long as you know the people you need to buy for (make lists!), buy presents when you see a bargain and put it in the cupboard for Christmas.

Take advantage of the various vouchers, sales and bargains that happen throughout the year. Often people forget all of these shopping principles in the mad rush around Christmas.

3) Cashback Credit Cards

Some credit card companies pay you every time you spend. Sometimes with the ability to earn up to 5% back on your purchases. The trick here is to buy stuff on them and pay them back in full each month. You do your regular spending and replace the cash, cheques or debit cards.

American Express's Platinum Everyday is a good example, paying 5% cashback (max £100) on all spending in the first 3 months. Getting one of these for the Christmas period means you can earn money back when buying your presents. Although always remember the huge APR you will have to pay if you don't pay the amount off in full.

4) If you REALLY have to borrow, get a 0% Card

Some people will always borrow at Christmas, regardless of any advice. If do, make sure you get a long 0% on spending credit card, you can get some cards that has no interest for up to 18 months. Plan repayments so they are cleared as early as affordable into next year and definitely make sure you don't go over the period when the 0% ends.

If you can't currently afford Christmas and you can't even get a 0% card, it might be worth really cutting back this Christmas and just enjoying the family.

5) Plan for Next Christmas in January!

To be honest the best time to save cash for Christmas is in January. Everything is sold off super cheap and their are many many bargains to be had.

Remember, if you're trudging around the January sales to pick up any decorations or Christmas items (that won't perish) for next year. With plummeting prices, its the perfect time to buy.

It might also be worth starting a savings fund, putting cash aside every month. So when next Christmas rolls around, you'll know exactly how much you have to spend and no borrowing worries.

These are just our top five, keep checking back at the blog for more tips throughout the next couple of months!