Categories
Insurance

How to find a Cheap Insurance Policy

All of us tend to have insurance. It will provide peace on mind in various situations so you know that you will be able to get money if you need it, usually for repairs or treatment. There are many types, but they all tend to be pretty expensive. We might even be tempted to give up and not bother to insure because they can be so expensive. This might be a wise decision for some things as it just may not be worth insuring for a very unlikely risk. In some cases, it is a legal requirement to have insurance and therefore we cannot go without having it. However, some insurance is optional, but we might still like to have it because otherwise we will not be able to afford to pay the cost of repairs, replacing items or whatever. It is worth thinking hard about this. There are ways, though, to get cheaper insurance if you do decide to buy it.

Comparison websites

There are websites that you can go to which will compare the prices of different insurers. You can use these to find out whether you can change to a different insurer and save money by doing so. It can be a good way to find out whether you are paying more than you should and if it is worth switching to a different one. However, you do need to make sure that you are comparing like for like. They might be cheaper because they are not providing so much cover. You will therefore need to find out what you are looking for in insurance and whether this one will cover you for everything that you need. It is also worth noting that not all insurers will appear on these sites as some only deal with customers directly (many have the word ‘direct’ in their name). These may be cheaper still as they will not have to pay commission to sites like this.

Negotiate with provider

It is always a good idea to try to negotiate with your provider when your renewal comes up. They will send you a price but if you phone them it is likely that they will reduce it. This does seem unfair that they send out a high price and will automatically lower it if you call, but it is something that they all do, so well worth the cost of time of a quick phone call to make sure that you are not paying more than necessary. You may also be able to change the cover that you have to get the price down. Sometimes there are optional parts and you may be able to remove them from the policy. Obviously, you will have to decide whether you want those in the policy or not and t will depend on what is important to you and what you feel that it is worth paying for.

Don’t make claims

Many people will make small claims on their insurance because they feel that is what the insurance is for. However, every time you make a claim you are seen as a higher risk and this means that your premium will go up. This can be expensive and it can mean that you will end up paying out a lot more than the money that you have claimed. So, if you can afford to pay without claiming, then consider whether it is better to do this than to claim and then end up paying for that in increased premiums. Even if you have a protected no claims, you will still have to state that you have made a claim if you want to change insurer to try to save money.

Categories
Make Money

Ways to Make Money from your Home

If you own your own home, there are things that you can do which might enable you to make money form it. You will have to check with your mortgage company, if you do not own it outright and your insurer first though. Most will be okay with what you are doing and you could end up making a significant increase to your income.

Get a lodger

It can be a good idea to think about whether you want a lodger. There are advantages and disadvantages. You can charge them rent and make a fair bit of money for doing very little. However, you will need to share your home with them and so you will need to decide whether that is something that you are prepared to do. You might like some company if you live alone and if you have a friend that needs a room that will be even easier. However, if you live with your family it might be more intrusive if you have a lodger even if it is someone that you know.

Set up B&B

If you do not like the idea of someone living in your home all of the time, you might be happier to set up as a B&B. Then you will possibly have people there less often, although it depends how popular you will be and your location. With a B&B you will have to change the bedding between guests and clean the room and provide breakfast and possibly and evening meal as well. This will be a lot more work that getting a lodger as they will do all of this themselves. However, you can charge significantly more as a B&B but you will need to think about how you will advertise and how much this will cost you.

Rent out attic/garage space

Some people do not have enough room to store things but they do not have enough to fit in a whole storage locker. This means that they will be happy to leave them in someone’s house if they charge a lower amount, so that they consider it to be good value. Therefore, you will need to research how much local self-storage costs and price your space accordingly.

Rent your driveway

If you live near to an office where there is no car park, then you may find that people will happily pay to pay to park on your driveway. This can be especially good if you never use your driveway. You will have to make it available everyday and be prepared that you will need to move your car before they arrive and put it back after they leave even if you have a day off work so will not be driving your car that day. You will need to find an alternative place to park it if you are staying home that day.

These methods vary in how much money you will be able to make from them. It can depend on your location and the size of your house, how much space you have and your circumstances. For most of these, you may need to keep your home clean and tidy as you may find that people may not want to stay with you or store their items at your home if it is messy and dirty. You also need to make sure that you are aware that you will need to declare any income that you make to the tax man. Therefore you will need to fill out a self-assessment tax return so that the tax office can calculate whether you need to pay tax on those earnings.

Categories
Finance Tips

Tips on Saving for a Wedding

If you are getting married soon, then it is likely that you will be paying for the wedding. It used to be the case that a bride’s father would pay for the wedding, but these days this is no longer traditional. It means that more often than not, it is up to the couple to pay for the wedding themselves. This can be difficult though as a wedding can be expensive and it will take a lot of time to save up. There are some things you can do though, to make saving easier.

Calculate how much you need

The best way to start is by calculating how much you will need to spend in total. You will need to think about every aspect that you will need to pay for, which can actually be quite daunting! You will need to pay for a venue, registrar, food, transport, flowers, decorations, clothing, gifts, alcohol, cake, honeymoon etc. Some things will be more necessary than others and it will be up to you to decide whether you want to include everything or not. You will also need to decide whether you want to spend lots or a little money on them. There might be some things that you are prepared to spend less on but other things that you will want to spend more on and not be prepared to cut down in those areas. It will be tricky to come up with a very specific amount of money, but it can be a good idea to estimate on the generous side to allow for the fact that things might be more expensive when you get round to paying for them due to inflation. You may also find that there are things you have forgotten and so you will need extra money for these as well.

Save some each month

It is a good idea to save some money each month. This will be easier as you will have a habit of saving. It can be wise to set up a direct debit for doing this. This will allow you to ensure that there is money always going into your savings account and that the fund is accumulating. You should also set this up for just after you are paid. Then you will be able to be sure that the money will be there. We often keep an eye on our account and if there is money there, we will spend it. So, if we can save the money first, then it will not be available to spend.

Find ways to save more

It might be useful to also find ways to increase the amount of money that you can afford to save. There are lots of things that you could potentially do which might help. Make sure, for example, that you compare the prices on everything that you buy. If you can find a cheaper version then consider whether it will give you the same value for money and if so, you might want to switch to buying it. You may also want to consider buying less things. Going without things that you do not need, such as reducing your evenings out, book purchases, holidays etc could mean that you have more money available to save up. You may also want to look for ways to make some extra money. Perhaps, you could work more hours, work a second job or find some ways to make extra money from home. If you do find ways to make more money or spend less, make sure that you put this extra money straight into the savings account.

Categories
Financial Planning

How to Financially Prepare for Children

If you are planning a family, then it is important to prepare in all sorts of ways including financially. Children come with all sorts of additional expenses which will continue to increase as they grow until they leave home (and sometimes beyond). Therefore, you need to think about how you will manage this increase in costs.

Managing incomes

It is important to think about what income you will have coming in when you have the children. If both parents are working full-time then this may need to change when you have children. One may give up work, both may work part time or you may find another alternative to make things work. However, there is likely to be a reduction in income for a household, either because one or both parents are earning less or there may be increased spending by way of someone providing childcare. Therefore, you will need to think carefully about whether you will be able to manage like this.

Saving in advance

It can be a good idea to be prepared by saving money in advance of having a family. Putting some money aside can be a good idea especially if there will be a reduction in money coming in until the children are at school. Even when they are at school, they will not be outside of the home for as long as parents that are working full-time so they may still need some care. It can therefore be a good idea to see whether you can put some money aside to cover the cost of this. Working out how much you will need will be difficult, but you should be able to estimate how much you are likely to need. It might just be the case that you decide to save as much as you can so that you accumulate as much money as possible.

Reducing general spending

It might be wise, especially once you have the children, that you reduce your general spending. You will still have to buy essentials, but if you give up some of the luxuries you buy then this could help. You may have to anyway, as it is hard to go out at night, eat out, have holidays and experiences when you have young children. You might also decide that rather than buying yourself new things, like clothes, shoes etc, you would rather spoil the children. However, it is important to make sure that you do not overspend and justify it by spoiling the children. It is lovely to buy them things, but they will not suffer form not having all the latest trends and fashions as long as you entertain them and provide them with the basics.

Earning more

It could be possible that you can earn more money before you have children so that you can save up more easily. It might be that you can take on a second job, work more hours or whatever so that you can accumulate more money. This is not always easy and sometimes not even possible, but it is an idea worth exploring.

So, it can be wise to start by being aware that children are expensive. Then if you can think about how your income and expenses will change, this will enable you to plan better. The more that you can save up, the better you will be able to manage. This means that you will be able to afford more of what you need and manage more easily while your income is reduced. It is a good idea to plan as much as you can so that you can cope better. Having children takes a lot of adjustment and you do not want the stress of managing money to interfere with parenting.

Categories
Save Money

Easy Tips if you Want to Save Money


There are lots of us that would like to save some money. We can often find that we get to the end of month and we do not have any money left or very little or that we often struggle to manage at the end of the month. This can be quite frustrating and means that we might hope for some help so that we can find it easier to manage. One thing that will help is if you can save some money by spending less on items. This might be easier than you think.

How to spend less on things you buy

It can be really useful if you can start by making sure that you are not spending more than necessary on the items that you buy regularly. We might be stuck in a routine of always buying form the same retailer, provider or supplier and not looking into whether it will be cheaper to buy elsewhere. Therefore, it can be wise to check this. Think about whether you will be able to save money if you buy things elsewhere. For example, when you buy anything compare the cost to see whether it is cheaper elsewhere. If you do this with things that you spend a lot of money on then it could make more of significant difference. For example, if you can reduce your insurance premiums, your loans repayments, your utilities and your contracts by switching to cheaper companies, these savings could be quite significant. If you buy cheaper tea bags, it will not make such a big difference but it can be a good idea to do it with everything that you buy if you can. Even small savings will add up, so if you do not have any places that you can save larger amounts of money or you have already done this then it can help. It can be good to get into the habit of comparing all prices anyway as you will then be able to continue to make sure that you are not over spending. It is a good idea to also make sure that you are getting value for money. This means that you will need to think about whether feel that it is worth buying cheaper items. For some things, such as electricity, you will find that it will make no difference and you will actually have the same supply but you might find that the customer service will vary between providers. However, if you buy cheaper cereal from a cheaper supermarket you may find that it will not be such good quality, perhaps less in the packet, more added sugar, less likely to be wholemeal etc. So, it depends on what you are looking for and whether you will be happy with the cheaper alternatives.

How to spend less by buying less

Another method is to buy less things altogether. This means that you will need to think about whether there are items that you can go without. You may find that there will be a number of things that you buy that are not necessary that you could cut down on. For example, it is necessary to eat, but you might be able to cut down on eating out, take away food, alcohol, processed foods, snacks and puddings and buy more food to cook from scratch with in order to save money. We also tend to buy lots of extra things which are not necessary to have. It is nice to treat ourselves though, but we should not be doing it so much that it means we struggle to buy the things that we need. It can be wise therefore, to work out how much those necessary items cost us. Then we will be able to work out whether we have enough money to buy any extras and if so, how much. If we can set a budget for those luxury items it means that we will not have to go without entirely, but we will be able to stay in control of what we are spending.