Archive | Save Money

How To Save Money On The Essentials During Your Life

Are you constantly worried about having enough money to take essential steps in your life? Do you often wonder how other people manage to cope with the financial strains of getting married and starting a family? Then you’re almost certainly going to benefit from the advice we have for you today.

Life is never going to be easy, and there are always going to be times when you feel under pressure. However, you can limit the effects if you simply think ahead and take time to learn about the best ways of cutting back. No matter which milestone you might be at right now, there are lots of things you can do to save money.

Save Money

Tristan Martin

Attending university

When you reach the age of eighteen, you may well consider a university course. That will help you to gain qualifications and find better jobs in the future. Most people are a little hesitant to commit due to the amount of money they have to spend. So, it’s wise to think of ways you can reduce the strain on finances. One of the best methods for doing that involves getting a scholarship. Even top universities like Cambridge and Oxford offer a limited number of fee of subsidised places each year. You just have to work hard to impress people.

Buying your first home

There are lots of ways you can limit spending when purchasing your first home. However, the best method is to select somewhere cheap. At the end of the day, you will almost certainly move from that property in under ten years. That is why you shouldn’t be too concerned about finding your dream home. You can look for that later once your feet are firmly on the ladder.

Having children

Saving money when having children can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Your main expenses will be associated with preparing your home and getting nappies, etc. Some parents also like to take out insurance so their child will be looked after if anything bad happens. Life cover for mums and dads is not as expensive as you might think. However, you should always shop around for the best deals. Just remember to read the small print before signing any contracts.

Getting married

Marriage can be the most expensive thing you ever pay for. Depending on the type of wedding that appeals to you, it could cost up to and including £30,000. For that reason, it’s vitally important to make savings wherever possible. Do you need that £2000 dress, or is there something a little cheaper that might be suitable? Is it essential that you get married in a castle? Surely there are plenty of other romantic locations that aren’t going to break the bank in quite the same way. Just use your head and don’t spend money unnecessarily.

So long as you’ve paid attention to our advice, you should be in a better position to make the right moves. Nobody likes to think about money, but having too little of it can cause major issues. So, you need to think ahead and keep on top of your finances.

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Are Your Savings Safe In A Bank?

During the recession, many banks went under. Some of the most iconic images of the whole affair were the huge queues of people waiting to withdraw their money from their accounts. This has lead to an understandable anxiety in the public imagination, namely the idea that in a bank our money is not safe.

It used to be that everyone had a similar idea as to what a bank actually did. There was a sense that when you gave your money to a bank you were giving it to them for security. They would look after your money, using it for their own safe investments, and in the long term everyone would profit.

But a string of irresponsible lending and buying by banks meant that some of their investments were not sound. As a result, they could no longer guarantee the savings of their customers. Now everyone is a bit anxious to completely leave their money in a bank, and with good cause.

As an average saver, there are several things that you should be doing. In this harsh financial climate, you should generally consider none of your investments to be completely safe. And you should consider your savings account with a bank to be a form of investment. Of course, it is an investment that is predicated on security rather than returns, but it is an investment nonetheless.

As well as having a savings account, you should also be looking to find some reliable investments outside of a traditional bank. You should read some Regal Assets reviews, for example, and maybe then consider an investment in gold and silver. In the same way that an IRA is promised as a long term investment, so too are gold and silver.

In order to keep the money that you have already banked safe, you should also do some reading up on your rights. After the crash, there was plenty of legislation passed to ensure that savers are no longer held accountable for the actions of the banks. If you do your research and know what it is that you are entitled to if your bank is in trouble, then you will have more peace of mind and less difficulty when any trouble comes around.

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You should also be aware of the practices of your bank. Many different banks invest in different ways, and some of these are more risky than others. As a consumer, you should be thinking about what has just happened in the world of finance, and you should be wary of any bank that has not learned its lessons. Have a read around the general literature on the bank, and try to find out whether the government believes that they have been behaving responsibly with savers’ money.

The general advice here is to be aware and wary. The whole world sleepwalked into a financial crisis, and so it is up to all of us to make sure that the same will not happen again. As a saver, however, you should be aware that the ultimate responsibility to keep your money safe will fall on your shoulders.

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Finding The Ideal Home To Suit Your Budget



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There is no bigger commitment you can make than investing money into a property. For first-time buyers, the property market can be a minefield. Investing money in real estate can be something of a gamble, and if you don’t do your research you could end up losing out on a lot of cash. Rather than wasting your money, you should look to buying a home on a budget. You can always upgrade your property at a later date. For now, it is vital that you choose a budget within your financial means so that you can be secure in your property. The key to finding your ideal home is knowing what you value in the home environment and using that as a guide. Here’s a quick guide to buying your ideal home on a budget.

Calculate your potential mortgage

Before you do anything, you should use an online mortgage calculator to see how much a mortgage will cost you in the long-run. Doing so will give you an idea of the amount you can lend for your mortgage. You must never lend the most that you can as this will cripple your finances. Choose a sound number in the middle of your total budget that will be affordable. Once you have calculated your mortgage, you know what price range you are looking at by way of real estate.

Make a list of priorities

What is the most-important thing you are looking for in a home? You (and your family) need to decide on what you want from a home before you start your search. You can’t have it all. You will need to choose one main priority to be the focus of your house search. For example, if you value space and seclusion, you can look at a semi-detached property in Battlefield. Whereas, those looking for a more urban lifestyle will look at city-center apartments. Knowing what it is that you are looking for will help you to find your ideal property. You can save money in less important areas of your house, whilst still getting what you want.

Consider a small property

You might think that you need four bedrooms and two bathrooms in your new home, but you need to be realistic. How many people will be living in the property? You may have to sacrifice having a guest bedroom as this will cost you more money than you need to spend. Remember, this property is your first home. As you get older and progress in your career, you can upgrade your property, but for now you need to be frugal.

Play the housing market

Playing the housing market is the best way to find the ideal home when you are on a tight budget. If you are smart then, you can get a home at almost half its usual value. You will need to do your research to find out when housing prices are down. Knowing about the property market will mean that you can buy a home when it is at its cheapest. Research the property market cycle and find out more about how to save a lot of money on your house.

Get the best mortgage

Remember, there is not just one mortgage lender in the world. You are the customer and, as such, can shop around when it comes to finding a decent mortgage deal. Different mortgages have a different interest rate. You can pay more or less for your property depending on your mortgage. Don’t let agencies fool you with low introductory offers. Many mortgage providers will give you a low-interest rate for the first five years. They will hike up this price after your introductory period.  You could waste a lot of cash by failing to read the terms and conditions of your mortgage loan.

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Bringing Home the Bacon vs Staying at Home

Back in the day, it was pretty normal for the man to go to work while the wife stayed at home to watch the kids and maintain the house. This kind of situation is not as common as it used to be, but there are still plenty of situations out there where one person works all day while the other takes care of the kids. There is nothing fundamentally wrong about this setup because watching the home and the kids during the day can be a job in itself. Going to work and staying at home are two completely different roles, but they both hold value in today’s society. Let’s take a closer look at the breakdown between these two different lifestyles.

Life Insurance is a Requirement for the Breadwinner

The first thing that needs to be realized when it comes to being the breadwinner is that being the sole income earner in the family mandates life insurance for me. While the person staying at home could definitely re-enter the workforce if something were to happen to the breadwinner, there is a likelihood that the stay at home mom or dad will not be making as much money as the former breadwinner when they re-enter the workforce. There needs to be a safety net in case something happens to the person who is earning all of the money for the family, and that’s exactly what life insurance is for. Performing the duties of a breadwinner without having a life insurance policy is a rather dangerous situation.

The One Who Stays at Home Needs to Be a Teacher

The mom or dad who stays at home to take care of the kids needs to be able to teach the children certain life values. Children are definitely capable of making their own decisions, but there is nothing wrong with pushing them in the right direction. They will have plenty of new things to learn once they start going to school, but it’s a good idea to get them started off on the right foot by teaching them someone basic things about life before they leave for their first day of school. The children are going to be the main focus of the person who stays at home all day, so there will be plenty of time to teach them right from wrong.

There Cannot Only Be One Parent

One important thing to remember when it comes to have one breadwinner in the household is that there cannot only be one parent. The breadwinner still needs to be active in the life of their children because every child needs both a mother and a father. The breadwinner definitely needs to be able to bring home enough money for the entire family, but that does not mean that he or she should skip out on family vacations and big events in the child’s life. If the breadwinner is in an occupation that requires him or her to work more than 40 hours a week, then something probably needs to change.

Try to Switch Roles Sometimes

If at all possible, the mother and father should try to switch roles rather often. It is hard for the breadwinner to understand how much work it is to take care of the home and the kids during the day, so it makes sense for them to experience it for themselves from time to time. The stay at home mother or father also needs to understand how hard it is to hold down a job in this economy. When both parents understand how much work the other puts it on a regular basis, it makes it much easier for them to respect each other and understand each other’s value as a parent.

Do it for the Kids

At the end of the day, the mother and father do all of this for the kids. Whenever times get tough and it feels like the breadwinner or stay at home parent wants to give up on the situation, just remember that it’s all for the children.

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How You Can Actually Lose Money when Trying to Save Some

Save - Green ButtonThey say you should save at least 10% of what you earn every month. If possible, in the best months, even more. In addition to all those needs that we have to fulfill, there is another “future” we need to take into account: retirement. For our generation, the idea of retirement is slightly shrouded in the shadows, especially since at this point the system is not working properly due to the difficult financial environment. What makes you believe that in 30 years things will be better?

The harsh economic situation (you can read more on the matter by checking out this best business websites article) plus the bad experiences we have all been through make us think twice before spending money and try to have some savings. And fortunately, there are a lot of ways to save money. A cool tool in this aspect is the HelloWallet, a financial services app that tracks your expenses and provides insight based on your spending.

Nonetheless, there are some situations in which, in the attempt to save money, we actually end up spending more. Here are some of those situations.

Buying too much and ending up throwing stuff away

You buy more food products because they are at an irresistible price and you do not get to eat them. If you eat altered food, there is a high risk you will end up at the doctor’s office, so it’s very likely that you will throw away that food. Saving money on one hand, throwing it away on the other hand.

Very little car maintenance

When you have a car, you have to take care of it. And the costs are not the lowest. By choosing to ignore technical inspections and buying only what is cheaper, this will actually end up costing you even more. When you have a car, the rules are simple: put quality petrol, change filters when needed with good ones, use very good engine oil. A carefully maintained car can be used for a long time, compared to one which you don’t care of. Not to mention the fact that using cheap pieces on your car can put your health at risk: the car becomes unstable and you might even crash it.

You rush to ‘save’ time, but pay traffic fines

In general, there is no reason to speed in traffic. There are few occasions when it is necessary, but otherwise most people do it because they are impatient and aggressive. A fine for speeding is not a lot of money, but it is a pity to pay those amounts just because. Drive carefully and you will have your money in your pocket.

Skipping medical checkups

This is probably the biggest mistake when trying to save money. A regular checkup every six month or at least once a year is not that cheap, I’ll give you that. But it is a lot less cheaper than having to pay hundreds of dollars every few years.

But two, get the third one free

Or any other similar offer. Sounds very tempting to fill your home with toilet paper because it is at a price you can’t ignore. Or buying three pairs of shoes for the price of two. You quickly consume toilet paper anyway, so you can take advantage of the offer. But is it the same with three pairs of shoes? Do you really need three pairs?

All these are great ways to save, but it’s always best to know which are the really good offers. Take extra detergent for example, or buy dog food for three months. But maybe you should take it easy with clothes, even if the offer is good, given that maybe you don’t have space in your closet anymore.

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Saving Energy in the Office: Top Ways to Reduce your Consumption

Saving Energy

Saving Energy

Whatever your work environment, if you care about your utility bills and want to be greener, you should be considering your energy consumption and what you can do to reduce it. While competitive prices provided by British Gas business gas and electricity tariffs help to keep costs low, staff members can do their bit to reduce the overheads even more. Not only would your balance sheet be happier if you managed to reduce your usage, but the planet would thank you for it too.

Thousands of companies all of the country rely on British Gas Business to supply their gas and electricity and, with many years’ experience, they know exactly what to do to ensure your needs are taken care of.

Working in an office opens up plenty of opportunities to monitor your energy usage and reduce your consumption. Encourage your employees to join you in energy-saving initiatives and encourage them with incentives if need be.

  • Encourage staff to use lights when they need them, rather than leaving them switched on all the time. Kitchens, store rooms, bathrooms and the boardroom don’t need to be lit when you’re not using them. If there are less staff in the office, only light the areas being used. Make it known to your staff which lights don’t need to be on all the time.
  • Use time switches and daylight sensors so that even if staff forget to turn lights off on leaving the office, they won’t stay switched on throughout the night.
  • Swap all bulbs to energy saving ones.
  • Switch off electrical equipment when not in use. While standby mode is considerably less energy hungry than normal mode, it still consumes energy so if possible, turn them off altogether. If you have the funds, invest in more recent models which are more energy efficient than older ones.
  • Turn thermostats down, particularly during the summer. Even a one degree reduction can have a huge positive impact on energy usage – up to 8% in many cases.
  • Avoid using heating and air conditioning if you’re going to open the windows too, to avoid heat loss and unnecessary overheating.
  • Close window blinds on leaving the office, to help reduce heat loss.

According to The Carbon Trust, an energy efficient office could see bills 65% cheaper than a typical office that doesn’t consider their energy consumption. As a business owner, the savings are huge and many are so simple to implement too.

Saving Energy in the Office: Top Ways to Reduce your Consumption

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Tips for Spending Your PPI Refund When You Get It

Spending the money

Spending the money

If you have recently made a claim for your payment protection insurance, you may be dreaming about spending the money. The average payout is £2,500 but there are some people gaining five figures due to the amount of accounts and the length of their loans. So, what should you do with the money that you get?

This will partially depend on the amount that you gain back. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Get yourself into a debt free position: will the payout cover the existing debts that you have? Could you get yourself into a debt free position? This isn’t likely to cover your mortgage and student debts, but you could find that it covers the amount on credit cards, store cards or other unsecured loans. By clearing these debts off sooner, you will pay less in the long term since there will be less interest applied. However, you will have to check for any early payment penalties that may be applied.
  2. Treat yourself to a holiday: if you don’t have debts or there are none that you can use the money for, why not treat yourself? Go away on a break with you and your family. If you can’t get the time off work, consider going for a weekend break or put the money into a savings account until you can book some time away. There is a world full of opportunities, depending on the amount that you get back.
  3. Put a deposit on a house: if you get a larger amount back, it could work out as a deposit on a house. This is an excellent idea for first time buyers trying to get onto the market. Now is the time to buy but you will need a large deposit to get started. Think about your needs and the amount you can afford to pay each month and then start looking for lenders and options.
  4. Make some home improvements: for those who already have a home, this is the perfect chance to make those home improvements that you’ve always wanted. This could be as little as kitchen or bathroom remodelling or you may want to add an extension to your property. Talk it over with your partner and a real estate agent to determine if something will add more value to your home when it comes to selling it. If you’re not looking for something big, this could be the perfect time to make small improvements, like just redecorating the home.
  5. Put it away for a rainy day: if you don’t have anything that you want to spend the money on yet, or it’s not quite enough for a deposit or home improvements, consider putting it in a savings account. Earn some interest on it and go from there. You could soon find that you have a few hundred pounds more in the future by waiting a little while. This is also beneficial if you have other claims that you are making and waiting to hear about results.

Take your time to think about the amount that you get. If you just get a small amount, you may want to clear some of your debts or enjoy a holiday. However, if you get a large amount, consider putting it down as a deposit on a house or doing some home improvements. Don’t rush into this decision, especially if you do gain a lot.

Author bio:

This guest post was written by Thomas Gonzalez, a financial advisor. He has worked with many who have gained money when they claim back PPI and works with their needs to find something suitable for them.

Tips for Spending Your PPI Refund When You Get It

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4 Reasons You Need to Save Money Now

Save Money Now

Save Money Now

When it comes to personal finance, saving is mentioned all the time. While many banks offer low rates for savers, it is still important to start saving today. You will need different types of savings accounts, including those for emergencies, one for your retirement (or look into specific retirement plans) and for your children. Here are some of the reasons you need to start saving today!

1.      You Never Know When an Emergency Will Happen

What will you do when there is an emergency? Do you have the money in your checking account to cover the costs or would it force you to go into debt? Do you worry at the thought of the boiler breaking, the car breaking down or even a medical problem arising? You need to start saving in the event of an emergency.

Think about the problems that could happen and make sure you put a small amount that would cover them. It’s uncommon for one thing to happen at a time – you’ll usually find that there are multiple emergencies (it’s Murphy’s Law!) so save the amount you need and then a little extra if you can.

2.      You Deserve to Treat Yourself

Whether you want a family holiday or a meal with your partner, you deserve to be able to treat yourself. It’s worth creating a savings account specifically for this so you don’t need to dip into your emergency fund or your retirement pot. If you don’t treat yourself every now and then you will start to resent your life. You won’t find the joy in your work and will struggle meeting with your friends.

3.      You Deserve a Good Retirement

It’s never too early to start saving for your retirement – in fact, the earlier you start putting money away the better! You deserve to give yourself the best retirement future as possible. You could put your money in a savings account or look into pots specifically for retirement. There are pros and cons to each of them so look into your options carefully. It may be worth talking to a bank manager or financial advisor to find the best option for you.

When saving for retirement, you need to think about the amount that you would like each year to survive on. There are retirement calculators online available to help with this.

4.      Don’t Let Your Children Start With Debt

Student loans are common but why are you letting your children start their life with debt? Start saving for their future today so that they can make the most out of it. They may not want to go to college in the end, but at least they will have the money for a down payment on a house or even for their own business.

It is worth having different accounts for each child. This helps to keep them separate and makes sure they get the same amount of money. Of course, you need to make sure that the same amount of money is put into each account each month to avoid playing favorites. You can also set ground rules for what the money can be used for to make sure it goes to their future.

So, there you have it – four reasons why you need to start saving today. Don’t let the low interest rates put you off putting money aside – a little interest is better than nothing, right? It is definitely better than realizing you don’t have the money for an emergency medical bill or to retire comfortably in the future.

Author bio:

This guest post was written by Shirley Jackson, a personal finance advisor. She helps many people organize their finances to find the best option for them, whether it is choosing the best personal loan or finding the right savings account.

4 Reasons You Need to Save Money Now

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Steps to consider while withdrawing and depositing through binary trading account

Trading account

Trading account

One of the most popular financial tools these days is binary trading. Being a relatively new trading tool, it has gained a lot of popularity among people wanting to work from home without the hassle of a boss standing over their shoulders all the time. The response of traders all over the world has amazed the financial market as a whole. Binary trading is easy to understand even for new comers and it is very easy to make money at it once you do your research properly. Since the profits are lucrative and turnabout time is quite low, this tool is becoming one of the most widely used financial tool in the financial market.

Why have binary trade options become popular?

Binary trade options are a type of financial system where the binary trading brokers invests their money on an asset on the increase or decrease in the price of the asset over a certain period of time. The payoffs in binary trading are sometimes uncertain but it has become popular because of the simplicity of the system.

Basic Features of Binary Trade Options:

  • Binary trade options provide the facility to trade in a variety of commodities, currencies, etc. Since these are not restricted to any countries, the trade may be carried on across various countries at the same time.
  • These are mostly on a short-term scale.
  • The minimum investment required to start trade in binary options is twenty five dollars which are to be deposited. It can be safely assumed that these twenty five dollars are the only real risk for a trader.
  • Whenever a trader is investing in a particular option, the possible assumed profit from the trade is known to the trader before he or she invests in it. This is one of the primary advantages of binary trade options that attracts people because for any investor, knowing the probably returns is always a boost and an attraction.

Online transactions- Provisions through an online binary trading account

Binary trading is available online which makes it easy to access and simple to use. Also this gives the traders flexibility in terms of time allotted to the binary trading since they can work at any time that suits their daily schedule without worrying about working hours and the like. The first thing to do to start off with binary trading is to create an online account for binary trading. There are no extra charges to be incurred on making this account. The money can be deposited in this account using credit cards, debit cards and also PayPal in some cases. There are advisors that you can consult online who can help you with creating the required accounts. The money can be transferred using online bank transactions too which makes it very easy and convenient for most people who use internet banking for daily transactions.

The online transactions are safe and secured by agents offering the accounts. Binary trade options are a very safe and secure way to use your money to increase your savings using the advantages of this remarkable financial tool.

Steps to consider while withdrawing and depositing through binary trading account

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What Can Income Protection Insurance Provide You With

Income Protection

Income Protection

If you’re considering getting coverage of some form you will want to do your research. Perhaps you already have health insurance you may even be covered with life insurance. There are countless different forms of insurance and every policy has something different to offer. If you like to play it safe and make sure your loved ones are taken care of then you’ve likely looked at many coverage options. One item you should think about insuring against is your paycheck. Considering getting income protection insurance may be the right idea for your family because of what it can offer at its affordable pricing.

Stability When You Are Self-Employed

Many of those who have an employer also have sick pay offered to them. This will allow a person to continue to earn even if they fall ill. This kind of safety net is often why people hunt for jobs with benefits. When you are self-employed you don’t make money unless you are working and you don’t have benefits unless you pay for them. This means that even one day off from illness has the potential to cost you income. When you have income protection insurance you can relax because you’ll be covered if you get sick. You can even select a policy that will cover your business’s income if you carry the responsibility for this as well.

The Ability To Maintain Your Current Lifestyle

While it is true there are programs out there for those who aren’t insured there are things people don’t often consider about these programs. They can be difficult to get all the paper work in to qualify for them. In addition programs like ESA- government Employment and Support Allowance, though a lifesaver for some, don’t offer enough for the lifestyle that many already have. Many programs that offer financial support often only do so at 50-60 percent of what the person was earning while working. This can make covering just the essentials be very difficult for many people.  When you have income protection coverage you’ll be able to safely live your normal lifestyle because you will be earning the same as before you fell ill.

You Can Be Covered Until You Retire

When you select income protection coverage you’ll be able to get a pay out until your retirement age if it is needed. These options will need to be gone over when the coverage is selected. There is generally a section where the insured can select a benefit period, which is the length of time covered in the event you can’t work. There are benefits options that will allow you to receive benefits from when you are injured or get ill until you are able to return to work or until you are 65, whichever happens first.

Redundancy Is Covered

There are some policies for income protection that will cover accident and sickness as well as redundancy. Quite often this coverage is only for a year so make sure to inquire when you are looking at polices on the specifics.

What Can Income Protection Insurance Provide You With

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The Easiest Way To Help Keep Your Money

Keep Your Money

Keep Your Money

The best way to keep your money is to have a plan that covers all aspects your finances. This applies to both your personal life and your business, if applicable. No matter what your situation may be, the most effective way to make your money work for you is to have an effective plan in place to manage your money in an efficient and responsible manner. While planning is very important for day to day operations, it is also a critical component when it comes to organizing your tax documents. Doing the small things like organizing your account payable and receivable, expenses, and other tax related documents will help to simply the process of preparing your tax documents each year.

Even if you are organized when it comes to tax preparation, it is still advisable to employ the services of an accounting firm or knowledgeable chartered tax accountant. These professionals are trained to understand the tax code and laws of your jurisdiction in order to help you get the best tax return possible. They also have the tools and resources to not only keep up with the latest developments in taxation law, they will help you keep more of your money. A good accounting firm and conscientious tax accountant can relieve a lot of worry and stress. They can become a vital partner in your business and will allow you to focus on your business, while they handle all of the tax related processes. As you build trust over time, a great accountant will become more of a business consultant than a simple service provider.

In most cases, the cost of utilizing the services of a reputable accounting firm and building a long term relationship with a chartered tax accountant is repaid many times over by utilizing the timely suggestions and long term planning you gain. Individuals or companies that look only at the cost of the tax return are short sighted. They are not likely to take the time to understand the benefits they gain and money they will save by the tax savings that an accountant can identify and apply to your business.

In terms of tax planning strategies,there are a number that could be applied to your situation. However, it is the role of a tax accountant to identify the best strategy that will work for your specific situation based on your business and personal needs, goals, and objectives. This is why it is important for you to meet with your account to discuss your tax situation and options at least once per year. Everyone wants to keep more money in their pocket and this can be done by finding ways to minimize the amount of tax that you pay on a yearly basis. This is why enlisting the services of a reputable accounting firm and taking the advice to your chartered tax accountant is one of the best ways to help keep your money.

Author Bio
This year for his tax return, David Reid chose to hire a tax account in Toronto instead of one of the many accounting firms in Mississauga where he used to live. He got the refund he hoped for and now is sharing his experience through his blogs.

The Easiest Way To Help Keep Your Money

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Green Homes: Save Big on Home Insurance

Save Big on Home Insurance

Save Big on Home Insurance

Home insurers are now joining the growing number of industry players and authoritative bodies who are supporting the green initiative. Homeowners can now benefit from incentives that will help them save big on their insurance when they go green. Homes that are noted as having gone green are those who have satisfied the stipulations of the LEED certification which is the accepted standard for measuring building sustainability. The green initiative is meant to support building/construction practices that will lead to increased profitability as well as a reduction in the negative impacts that building has on the environment. The improved the health and well-being of the occupants are also supported.

The significant increase in natural disasters and the ensuing large sums that insurers have to pay out in claims have prompted them take on this venture. The homeowners, the environment and the insurers will gain mutual benefits from such as agreement. Here are ways you can go green and save big on home insurance.

Saving Big with Green Insurance

Home insurers are rolling out the discounts and passing them on to homeowners who have gone green. Insurance companies are quick to encourage this practice among homeowners because indications from a study point to less accidents and accidental damages among homeowners who have invested in green technology. As the owner of a green home or someone going green you will stand to benefit from:

* A 5 percent discount that home insurance companies offer to homeowners whose homes are green.

* As much as a 30 percent reduction in your monthly utility bill due to your investment in energy-efficient technology. According an estimation recorded in the 2005 Building Energy Data Book, space heating and cooling accounts for up to 47 percent of total energy used in homes. Experts are of the belief that energy-efficient technology will greatly reduce that usage therefore bringing you the customer savings on your energy bill. Environmental sensitivity and the responsible usage of energy are highly promoted by the insurance companies.

* Some insurance policies make provision for the rebuilding of the home of green owners based on the standard of LEED. This means that if your home is damaged or destroyed the structure of that home will be rebuilt according to strict LEED standards which would see the use of bamboo as well as other sustainable materials.

* Your appliances that were damaged or destroyed will be replaced with Energy Star-qualified (eco-friendly) equipment. Energy-saving equipment such as the heating, electrical and plumbing systems will also replace the old. You will not have be bothered about waste materials as those generate by through the construction of the house will be taken away to recycling companies and not junkyards. This will be of no additional cost to you homeowner. Some insurers may also take on the responsibility of having energy systems, such as HVAC inspected. This is to satisfy the need for the systems are optimized to yield maximum efficiency.

Homeowners who are serious about going green can save big on their home insurance when they go green.

Sam Fenton is a professional insurance agent. He writes about a variety of insurance-related subjects and enjoys helping his clients and readers get the best deal possible.


Green Homes: Save Big on Home Insurance


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Is it worthwhile to opt for high value metals investing?

High value metals investing

High value metals investing

Most of us would consider investing in platinum, silver and gold whenever we’re discussing about high value metals investing.
There are two different forms of such investments. Physical metal is often bought and stored privately. For instance, a large section of our population will buy silver or gold coins and preserve them at a personal shelf within our homes or at a safe deposit box in our preferred banks. We’d often come across individuals that opt for high value metals investing; their safes are full of gold coins worth pounds.

High value metal ETF

A high value metal ETF is another quality purchase option for investors. This gives out an indication that you’re purchasing a stock that has its prices tied with the latest value of your chosen high value metal. This in general means that the ETF holds ownership of the precious metal in small amounts. The ETF rises in value whenever the metal rises in value.

Precious metal interests are represented by ETFs like the ownership of gold or silver refiners and miners. The increase or decrease in value of precious metals would often be track by these although not quite perfectly. Once you possess them, you’ll understand how less volatile they seem to be.

The Advantages

There are a lot of positives to high value metals investing that some of us are aware of.
First, the commodity is physical. You’ll be the owner of a portion of the precious metal when you buy gold. This is actually a bit different from that of investing in stock shares; you’ll find them only on paper.

Second, the commodity is limited. You won’t find these precious metals in abundance all around the globe. Although these metals are mined continuously, they aren’t growing rapidly in terms of their overall quantity.

Finally like the US economy, a number of Western economies have experienced a decline in the value of precious metals.

According to many of us, the primary cause behind the rise in value of precious metals is high inflation. You mustn’t forget that the latest rise has taken place during a low inflation period. The weakened US economy is mainly responsible for the repeating pattern.

The bigger picture gets clearer at a time when you understand the fact that our US investors opt out of gold once our nation gets stronger economically (leading to a rise in price), and they opt for it when our economy gets weaker (leading to a drop in price).

Is it worthwhile to opt for high value metals investing?

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Australia’s Central Bank Defies Expectations with No Rate Cut

No Rate Cut

No Rate Cut

The RBA has put an end to its streak of rate cuts and defied expectations by holding the national cash rate steady at 3.25%. The Reserve Bank cited an increase in inflation and a more positive international outlook as motivating factors for their decision not to drop the interest rate, in what would have been the seventh consecutive decrease. They also noted the strength of the Aussie dollar at US$104c, which it reached for the first time again since September this year.

In the Bloomberg poll that preceded the latest RBA meeting 20 out of the 27 economists surveyed said they expected another 25 basis point cut – but they were left disappointed.

Economists had focused on issues like the hike in the unemployment rate to 5.4% and the subsiding of activity in the mining sector as reasons to drop interest rates lower.

And, while forecasters might have been wrong with their first prediction it hasn’t deterred them from trying to analyse this move either with many of them agreeing that it looks like the series of rate cuts is coming to an end.

An economist for HSBC said he still expected another rate cut in December but that it was a difficult call to make. The manufacturing, building and retail industries have been quick on the draw to express their disagreement with the decision indicating that the economy would suffer over the festive season as a result. They also acknowledged that it would put the RBA under more pressure to enforce rate cuts in December to stimulate buying activity over Christmas. The Housing Industry Association has also spoken out saying it would affect construction projects negatively.

On a positive note the economy is still believed to be integrating the effects of the past rate cuts and the RBA’s decision to hold back may just have come at the right time. The RBA has also said it wants to monitor and assess the results of the other rate cuts and how they have impacted on inflation and growth to date. Some analysts believe the RBA may also pass up the opportunity to cut rates again in December seeing as this decision was tied to inflation. The next inflation readings are only expected in January next year which would mean they could push the next rate cut back as far as February 2013 if they continue to base their decision on inflation.

On one hand the move could do some good to restore consumer confidence as it has been speculated that many home buyers have held off entering the property market as they wait to see whether rate cuts will be cut further. The cascades of rate cuts may have sent mixed messages to consumers about whether prices would hold or whether holding back could see them bag a better deal in the not so distant future. The decision has also indicated that the RBA is trying to find ways to appease business sectors and consumers, given the large number of people who are reaching retirement and relying on interest to fund their retirement nest eggs. The RBA holding back at this time of year also sends a strong message to consumers to continue to save up and not over-indulge over the festive season with luxuries and unessential items.

Areas that the decision not to cut interest rates could influence are the property market and personal loanswhich have both seen a slow uptake in recent months. Personal loan rates we checked out at are coming in close to the official rate cuts, as implemented by the central bank; however, not all lenders have chosen to cut interest rates similarly. The credit card reforms that took effect in July, as well as property incentives and the series of rate cuts have all been put in place to make life more comfortable for consumers and it will take a few months for the RBA to assess how effective these measures have been.


Australia’s Central Bank Defies Expectations with No Rate Cut


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A Century Of Spending Habits – infographic

Image source:

A Century Of Spending Habits – infographic


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Help Your Personal Finance When Off Work

Personal Finance

Personal Finance

If you are being forced to take time off work due to an injury then you may find that money is becoming tight.

Most employers will pay full salary for a certain amount of sick leave, but after that you may have to rely on statutory sick pay from the government. This usually comes in at less than $80 a week and is paid two weeks in arrears.

If you find you have no income at all for two weeks and then only a drastically reduced amount you could find that you have to make some serious cutbacks.

Prioritising your needs is a vital first step when living on a tight budget.

Make a list of everything you need to pay for, including bills and grocery shopping. You might have to let go of several luxuries even in these areas, such as buying store’s own brand produce and turning the heating off earlier at night to reduce your spending.

If you are struggling to make ends meet and your accident or injury was not your fault, accident at work specialist’s could help you seek compensation. This can help increase personal finance and you are it is your legal right to claim of your employer if it was an accident at work.

Being awarded financial compensation after an accident can help you start to feel better as you will feel that justice has been done. It could also help you provide for yourself and your family during your recovery period.

If your primary source of income has to be put on hold whilst you recuperate then it stands to reason that you deserve some sort of financial help from those who caused you to be off work in the first place.

As all claims are taken on as no win, no fee accounts, there is nothing for you to pay unless you win your case.

Help Your Personal Finance When Off Work

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