If you’re moving house regularly, you’ll want to stay on top of things. This sounds easy enough, but experienced movers tend to let their confidence override their attention to organising things. Moving should always be treated like you’re doing it for the first time, i.e. with a good plan and a good team. Here are a few tips for regular movers.
Hundreds of thousands of people have done it before you and hundreds of thousands will follow after you, but the truth of the matter is that buying your first home, or buying any home for that matter, will undoubtedly be one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime. As such it is important that you take extreme care when considering a house for purchase, you weigh up all the options and you do your research! [Read more…]
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it certainly makes life easier if you don’t have to worry about it! No matter how much you earn, what job you do, or how big your family is, everyone has to budget. Everyone has to decide, whatever their income, whether they can afford the new pair of shoes they want, a night out, a holiday, a meal at a restaurant, whether to re-decorate the living room or not. Disposable income – what we have left after bills and all the necessary boring stuff has come out of our wages – impacts largely on how much you can enjoy yourself in a month, but it’s interesting how this part of your budget varies depending on your employment status.
This week I’ve come across an article that claims that, after bills and essential outgoings have been paid, those not in employment have more money left over each month than those working part-time hours, or those in zero-hours jobs. Hard to believe, but it certainly seems there’s some truth in it, as their data shows.
According to Scottish Friendly’s ‘Disposable Income Index’ it certainly is true! According to their findings, 9.3% of an average unemployed person’s wages is disposable income, compared to 7.9% of a part time worker’s and 7.8% of a zero-hours worker.
For obvious reasons, this is a concern! Where’s the incentive to work?! In my opinion, it seems only fair that those working should be rewarded.
The Other Side!
Having said that, concentrating solely on the percentage of wage that is a person’s disposable income may not show the whole story. Scottish Friendly suggests the average disposable income for someone unemployed is £174 a month, but £192 for part-time workers. There’s not much of a difference, but it does clearly show those in employment have more money to “play” with each month than those not working, suggesting there is a benefit to gaining employment. Not a great deal of difference though!
Although on further examination of the report, it seems hourly workers only have £130 disposable income a month (on average)! A significantly lower number! Don’t think you’d be able to treat yourself to many pairs of shoes or days out on that!
And the Good News?
According to the report, our disposable income is on the up! Hooray! Nationwide, it’s risen by an average of 2.3% in the last 3 months. Seems that’s occurred right in time for Christmas!
This is a sponsored post from Scottish Friendly
Planning the most magical day of your life is a wonderful experience, but it comes at a high premium. If you add up the average cost of a wedding in the UK it comes to a staggering £21,000 – and that doesn’t even include the rings. But don’t worry – we’ve got some top money saving tips to help you get the wedding of your dreams without having to worry about the stresses of starting your married life in debt.
Plan a wedding budget
As soon as you set foot in a wedding fair you’ll see how easy it is to get carried away preparing for your fairy-tale wedding. Start your wedding preparations by writing out a wedding budget that takes in every last detail, from catering and drinks to photography, wedding favours, accessories and gifts for the bridesmaids and the best man. Try to keep your wedding budget as realistic as you can and leave some contingency for the inevitable impulse buys along the way!
Negotiate the best deals
Another top money saving tip for your wedding is to practise your negotiation skills! While many hotels or stately homes only work within set deals that include catering and drinks, some venues will let you choose your own caterers which will give you the chance to shop around and get the very best deals. If wine isn’t included in a venue package, consider taking a trip across the channel to France and stock up on some cheap bottles for your wedding celebrations. Photographers and florists are often prepared to negotiate their prices, particularly if you’re opting for a date in February or March where they might not have any other bookings. Quite simply, if you don’t ask, you don’t get – so negotiating the best deals is always worth a try!
Go vintage for your special day
Vintage wedding themes are definitely on trend at the moment and also offer a fantastic way to keep costs down in style. Your vintage theme can be carried through your entire wedding day, from your dress, shoes and accessories to wedding favours and table centrepieces. Avoid vintage wedding fairs where prices will be sky high, and concentrate on finding vintage bargains in second-hand shops or antique centres for the best deals. You could even get together with friends and family and make your own vintage centrepieces or wedding favours using lace decorations or painting flowery jugs. The vintage wedding theme is also perfect for homemade wedding invitations and thank you cards after the big event.
Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life, and you’ll want it to be an unforgettable celebration of your love for each other. But there’s really no need to overspend and start your married life off in crippling debt; with a realistic budget, good negotiation and a little help from your friends you can have the wedding day of your dreams without breaking the bank.
In August it was revealed that the gender pay gap between men and women in the UK had increased for the first time in five years. Since the recession the research claimed that more than 820,000 women have moved into low paid, insecure jobs which have finally widened the pay gap so that now, across all jobs, men earn an average of 19.1% more than their female counterparts.
What is the one thing that we all have in common yet the majority of us still bury (no pun intended) our heads in the sand and do nothing about?
The thing that causes many families to turn to credit cards as the only way to meet the costs?
The thing that could be so much easier if we just thought about it in advance?
Yes you’ve got it – we are all going to die.
We go through our lives insuring our families against all types of risk however when it comes to funeral insurance, many of us don’t even give it a second thought. Well perhaps it’s about time that changed.
Dying is an expensive business
The average cost of a funeral has increased by around 7% every year for the last decade and is now more than £3,400. If this pattern continues, prices could easily exceed £6,000 in just 10 years time which understandably will cause financial hardship for many families.
Thinking about these costs in advance and putting some form of funeral insurance in place could relieve your family of that pressure, not to mention saving them the additional stress of having to make all the arrangements when the time comes
What is funeral insurance?
When people talk about funeral insurance or a way to pay for funeral costs, they are usually either referring to a Prepaid Funeral Plan or Over 50s Life Insurance.
A prepaid funeral plan gives you the opportunity to pay for funeral costs in advance at today’s prices, which could be quite a saving considering the way prices are consistently rising.
An over 50s life insurance plan pays out a cash sum when you die that can be used to help towards the cost of a funeral, so may be an option if you prefer to leave some money to your family.
Which is the right form of funeral insurance for you?
This really depends on your needs and your budget.
If you want to plan everything yourself, then a funeral plan may be the most suitable option. You should expect to pay between £3,000 and £4,000 for a plan that guarantees to cover the Funeral Director’s costs, includes an allowance for third party costs (disbursements – which includes Ministers, Doctors, and cremation or burial fees) and gives you the option to have a limousine for family members.
If you prefer to spread the cost, you can decide between instalments over 1, 3 and 5 years, with monthly payments from £50 to over £300 depending on the term and the level of service you choose.
Alternatively some funeral plan providers now offer fixed monthly instalments with lower monthly premiums starting from around £23 that are dependent on your age and are payable either until you die or until your 90th birthday.
With the instalment option, you are covered for your services once you have completed your payments. With the fixed monthly payment option you are covered after an initial period of between 6 months and 2 years, depending on the provider.
Over 50s life insurance starts from around £7 a month with premiums again payable either for life or until you are 90. As long as you are between the ages of 50 and 80 and live in the UK you are guaranteed to be accepted regardless of the state of your health and you will be covered for the full cash sum after an initial period of either 1 or 2 years.
As the cash sum is fixed, inflation will reduce its value so take this into consideration if you are looking for it to help pay funeral costs and also there is a chance that you could pay more in than the cash sum paid out; it just depends on how long you live.
How to start planning
If you are thinking about funeral prepayment options, it is worth looking online as there are a number of websites such as Over50choices who offer comparisons on prepaid funeral plans and over 50s life insurance. That way you can choose the best plan that suits your circumstance and pay the right price.
This article was written for Saving Sally by Ashley Shepherd; Managing Director of Over50choices, a personal finance and comparison website for the Over 50s, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
John Cooper Works is a company that was founded by the son of John Cooper, the person that created race and highly-tuned “original” Minis.
Established in 2000 and acquired a couple of years later by BMW (the manufacturers of the “current” Mini), the legacy of the man behind the race-prepped Minis of the 20th century still lives on.
You will have doubtless seen the Mini “John Cooper Works” available for sale at Mini dealers such as www.coopermini.co.uk. You might also have wondered how you could afford to buy such a beast, considering the price tag of £22k?
Guess what? You can afford to buy this awesome Mini! Here are some ways to help you achieve the goal of buying your dream car – the Mini John Cooper Works:
Sell your existing car privately
A lot of people that want to buy the Mini John Cooper Works from their local dealer make the mistake of part-exchanging their car.
Car dealers will make a profit on your car by selling it on their forecourt at the full retail price, or by selling it on to somebody else, such as a car supermarket or auction house.
What you should be doing is selling your car privately. There are plenty of guides available online to help you sell your car, and the key to attaining top dollar for your existing car is to make it look like showroom condition!
In other words, you need to clean your car inside and out. If you don’t feel comfortable taking on such a task, there are plenty of mobile valeters available that can come out and do the job for you, at your home or place of work, if required.
Save up some cash
Unless you are planning on spending the rest of your life saving up for a Mini John Cooper Works, you will probably be obtaining finance for it.
In order to take advantage of the best finance deals, it is essential that you save up as much money as possible for a deposit.
Obviously you will get some money for your existing car once you sell it, but as you are going to obtain finance for the car, I recommend saving up at least 20% as a deposit.
For example, assuming the Mini John Cooper Works is still retailing for £22,460, as it is at the time of writing, you would need to come up with a deposit of £4,492. If you roll around in an old banger that’s worth £500, for argument’s sake, all you would need to save up is £3,992.
That is entirely achievable if you save up £333 a month over 12 months, or £142 a month over 24 months. Alternatively, you could sell some unwanted items at home to put towards your new car fund!
Lease the car
Finally, I highly recommend leasing your new Mini John Cooper Works rather than buying it outright using hire purchase. Whilst you won’t technically own the car outright at the end of the leasing term, you are free to go ahead and buy another brand new model!
Living In Oz?
And finally, for our readership in Australia trying to locate an affordable Mini, we’ve found that www.carsearchbrokers.com.au works a treat.