Better For Some, Worse For Others

Best Home For Your Savings

As Personal Debt Shrinks for Some, Others Face Crisis The way people spend money reveals a great deal about their financial attitudes. And if the recent uptick in consumer spending is any indication, UK shoppers are feeling pretty good about the economic recovery. But economic trends send mixed signals, so it makes sense to consider the big picture before jumping to conclusions. And though positive economic activity is good, by most measures, spending driven by debt is unsustainable. As many borrowers found out in 2008, taking-on too much debt leads to catastrophic outcomes. And though stop gap measures have been fortified within the mortgage industry, a new wave of debt is showing up, … [Read more...]

Be An ISA Millionaire

Be A Millionaire

Do you want to be an ISA millionaire ? How long will it take you to be an ISA millionaire ? Here in the UK we have a fantastic tax free savings scheme called an ISA (Individual Savings Account) which allows people to save up t0 £15,000 per year in a tax free account. No tax on interest earnt, no tax on capital growth or dividends The only tax on these accounts Inheritance tax when you die Prior to July 2014 you could save a maximum of £5,640 in a cash ISA - which enabled you to save in a deposit style account And a maximum of £11,280 in a stocks and shares or investment ISA which enabled you to save in Unit or Investment Trusts, stocks and bonds. Yesterday the rules changed, … [Read more...]

Saving Or Investing ?

Saving Or Investing

I've read quite a few articles and blogs recently which seem to confuse the two separate principles of saving or investing. In my opinion Savings and Investing are two different things. Saving can mean reducing the amount of money or time you spend on something but when comparing saving to investing I think that saving can be described as putting money aside in cash, or deposit style account. These savings accounts carry little to no investment risk (eg you won't make a lot, but you won't lose much either). You can either make a nil return - by stashing your savings under the bed or a safe but low return from a bank or deposit account. Investment involves risk and chance - plus … [Read more...]

Living On A Knife Edge

Living on a knife edge

Are you living on a knife edge ? Am I living on a knife edge ? A recent Yougov survey in the UK which sampled 7,500 families revealed that 44% of families only have enough savings to pay for one months rent or mortgage if they were to lose their jobs. 29% of families would not be able to pay their immediate months rent or mortgage if they were to lose their jobs. Thats Scary ! Examining my own position, I would just about be able to manage as my wife earns a decent income, but if we were both to lose our jobs then we would be in serious doo doo At the beginning of my process of paying off my debts and climbing out of a financial hole I saved up £1,000 to act as an … [Read more...]

Payday Mugging

Payday Mugging

Payday Mugging No one wants to be the victim of a mugging. We’re all shocked when something like this happens in our neighbourhood. There is outrage on the news, and column inches written in the press. My last post about how taking out a short term payday loan can have a long term negative impact on your credit rating made me realise that payday loans are nothing but a legalised financial payday mugging. So rather than being a payday mug – I think it’s right that this post should be about the alternatives to taking out a payday loan. Reading about students using payday loans to buy concert tickets, without realising the damage they are doing to their long term financial prospects, … [Read more...]

November Spending Plan and To Do List

November Spending Plan

Lets start off with the plans I set for last month before I get on to November spending plan. I'm not really happy with my progress, like I've said in a previous post, "Old Habits Dies Hard" and this has proved to be the case in November. I've not really achieved what I set out to at the start of the month and to be honest am a little disappointed with myself. October has been a month of distraction - my in laws moved in with us at the start of the month, and to say its caused a domestic upheaval is something of an understatement. Anyway - after a month of seemingly endless Atlantic storms blowing across - the sun is shining this morning and I feel as though I'm going to have a much … [Read more...]

How Big Should Your Emergency Fund Be

how big should your emergency fund be

How big should your emergency fund be? An emergency fund is an amount of money that you put away for when a rainy day comes. Rainy days can come in an infinite variety – from the gearbox packing up on your car, to your roof leaking, or being made redundant – the list is endless. Its money that you can call on quickly to fix these events in life which you know will come but don’t know when they’re coming. Events which are just that bit bigger than your usual monthly budget can cope with. I think that having an emergency fund is an essential part of developing a financial plan and the first thing I’ve done since deciding to turn my financial life around is save £1,000 (or $1,600) which … [Read more...]

Cutting Your Costs

Cutting Your Costs

After sitting down and drawing up a spending plan, cutting your costs is the next step on the road towards financial freedom. Take a good long hard look at your spending plan / budget – especially the big ticket items like your mortgage, insurances and domestic utilities. These large expenses are where you should concentrate your energy because these are the areas where you have the opportunity to make the biggest savings. When was the last time you reviewed these high ticket items? Check your credit report to ensure that there are no mistakes which might be costing you thousands – if your credit score is impaired – it can affect your ability to borrow at reasonable rates. Cutting … [Read more...]

War On Utility Bills

War On Utility Bills

One mans war on Utility Bills Here in UK, as well as being famous for our warm beer, terrible weather and a now nonexistent empire – we are also famous for having more than our fair share of eccentrics. One guy Lee Beaumont has recently raised his head above the parapet by taking on a range of Utility providers in order to save money. His first attack in his war on utility bills came via installing a second phone line at his property and attaching a premium rate 10p/minute (about 16 cents) phone number to it - he gets 7p per minute paid into his account. His friends and family can call him via his usual low toll number, but when he signs up to any companies products and is requested to … [Read more...]

Writing A Spending Plan

Spending Plan

Writing A Spending Plan Tracking your income and expenditure is an essential first step in creating good money management habits. Back in August, after lifetime of "muddling through" I sat down and wrote my first ever monthly budget - it was a sobering experience. Like most first attempts they soon prove to be lacking in quality or detail and revisions are inevitable. So the first revision I'm making to my monthly budget is that I'm not going to use the phrase "monthly budget" again. The word "budget" has very negative connotations for most people, and creates an invisible barrier to action. Instead I think that the term "Spending Plan" seems far more positive, and positivity leads … [Read more...]