Posts tagged: financial assistance

Is Owning Your Home Worth The Hassle?

home owningA dream for many of us is to eventually own our homes so that we don’t have to worry about things like being kicked out by a landlord, or having to move because of renovations being done to the building. Also, once you have paid off your mortgage you no longer have to worry about paying towards the cost of the property unlike if you were renting. All you have to pay for is your utility bills and other essentials like food and clothing. However, with the rising cost of properties and the difficulty of obtaining one, is it worth owning a property? This article is going to explore why we think that even though it’s a hassle, it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

Cost

It’s a little known fact that when you buy a property, not only do you have to find the money for a deposit (it’s usually 10% but it can be lower depending on your lender), but you also have to find the money for upfront fees. These are usually from your realtor and they are to compensate them for handling your property and your move. These charges aren’t something that many people think about until their realtor puts it in front of them.

While these charges might be more of a hinderance than anything else, it’s definitely worth digging into your pockets to pay for it because when it’s all said and done, you’re officially a homeowner and can begin looking forward to creating memories in your new home.

Location

If you’re looking to buy a home away from where you usually reside, it can be difficult to pick a location for you to settle down in. Competa properties offer people that are looking into becoming a homeowner the chance to own their own property for much cheaper than you would in the USA or UK. So if the prospect of living abroad excites you, it’s definitely worth checking out what they’ve got on offer.

If you’re planning to stay local, then a simple trip to a realtor will help you discover what kind of properties are on offer, and it will even help you plan how much you’re going to need to save to get the property of your dreams.

While choosing a location might be something that blows your mind a little, think about the fact that you’re in a position to live anywhere that you want, whereas people who rent don’t often have a wide choice.

Upkeep

Another thing that puts people off buying their own homes is the upkeep of the property. When something goes wrong, it’s up to you to make the repairs to your home. Unless of course, it’s on the pavement that you don’t own. If for example your boiler breaks, it’s up to you to either replace it yourself, or hire a professional to come and do the work for you. Obviously this can be costly, and if you’re salary is only making enough to pay your mortgage and other bills, this could be a problem.

One way of solving this is to arrange with your bank a saving scheme for when times like these arise. Most banks these days offer something to help you save money, whatever it’s for. Alternatively, you could put as much money as you can afford away each month so that if something does happen, you know that you’ve got some money to dip into for repairs.

Again, while this is something that puts people off, it can also be turned into a good thing. This is because when you do have repairs made, you can ensure that it’s done to the best quality so that you don’t have to pay for it again any time soon. Whereas if you were renting, you’d have to contribute to your landlord who might go cheap on the repairs and keep the extra money for themselves.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many downsides to owning a property but in the long run there are always solutions around it. For example, if you ensure that you have home insurance, some repairs you might be able to claim from that, especially if it’s caused by a natural disaster or robbery. While it might be difficult to begin with, wouldn’t you rather have your home to own when it comes to later on in life too?

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Making Your Retirement Fund Last

retirement timeNo matter how big or small your retirement fund is, it is always going to be in your interest to make it stretch further and last as long as possible. Retirement, when you’re finally free from responsibilities, can be great fun, but only if you have enough money to actually enjoy yourself, even if that just means enjoying the simple things in life without having to worry about how you’re going to pay the power bill.

To ensure that your retirement is the best it can be, here are some tips to help you save cash and make your fund go further:

Create a Retirement Plan

Obviously (or at least it should be obvious), sitting down with a financial planner and actually looking at your finances so that you can come up with a realistic retirement plan, is the most essential thing you can do to make your retirement fund last.

A good financial planner will always tell you the brutal truth about your finances and help you to maximize the money available to you through wise investments and a realistic budget, As long as you stick to the plan you create, you should not, barring any serious financial calamities, have to worry unduly about your retirement fund.

Liquidate Your Assets

When you finally get to retirement age, chances are that you will have accumulated a lot of stuff and although many of the things you have you will use regularly or get a lot of enjoyment out of, chances are there’s a lot of stuff you no longer get anything out of too. It’s foolish to hold onto this stuff when you could sell it and liquidate that cash, add to your retirement fund and keep yourself going for longer.

Downsize

In a similar vein, if you own your own property, you might want to think about downsizing and releasing some of the equity in your home. Moving to a smaller place or even an independent living community could three up several thousands which you can then use to pay the bills, have fun during your retirement, or even invest in stocks and shares that will actually give you a return, rather than sit doing next to nothing like the equity in your home does.

Look After Your Health

If you want to avoid expensive medical bills in the future as you age, then the best thing you can do now that will prolong you5r retirement fund in the future, is to take good care of your health. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and take any preventative measures you can to cut your chances of getting seriously ill and you won’t have to worry half as much about your retirement fund and how fast it’s dwindling!

Review Your Bills

No matter whether you’re retired or not, one of the best ways to make your money go further is by using price comparison sites to ensure that you are always getting the best deals on everything from electricity to your cell phone bill. You might not think it would, but reviewing how much you’re paying and whether you’re paying over the odds every six months or so will really make a huge difference to your financial situation and how far your retirement fund will stretch.

Living on a retirement fund isn’t always easy, but if you’re sensible and you do all of the above, it shouldn’t be too difficult either!

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Mortgage Repayments: What to do When You Can’t Pay

payment for home loanStruggling to pay your mortgage can be a scary time. When taking out a mortgage, every person is told that failure to make repayments could result in repossession of the property. For many people with families, this is a terrifying thought. In fact, it’s so terrifying that many people bury their heads in the sand and try to ignore the problem instead of addressing it. However, addressing the problem before it gets out of control is the best way of handling it. So, what do you do if you’re worried about making your mortgage repayments on time?

Talk to Your Mortgage Provider

There are lots of consequences to not paying your mortgage, including bad credit reports. The more you ignore the problem, the worse off your credit score will become, which puts you at risk of not being accepted for future credit. Take a look at some tips from bestcreditrepair.co for restoring your credit ratings. If your lender knows you’re struggling to come up with the repayments for your mortgage there could be something they could do. For instance, many mortgage lenders offer payment holidays if you’re unable to work. You could also ask if it’s possible to extend the term of the mortgage so you’re paying smaller amounts for a longer period.

Get Advice

There are so many agencies out there that are ready and willing to help in a financial crisis. You don’t have to feel like it’s all on your shoulders to get the problem solved. Managing debt well takes a lot of skill, so it’s okay to ask professionals for their help. If your debt problems are making you feel depressed, it’s also worth calling a depression hotline to talk to someone about your worries. Bottling everything up won’t help you find a solution to your problems and won’t help you maintain your health.

Repayment Holiday

There are certain times when a lender may consider giving an account holder a repayment holiday. Often times, many people just need a financial boost to get back on track and a repayment holiday could be the ideal solution. Talk to your lender about a repayment holiday and agree to the terms and conditions. During your repayment holiday, do what you can to save up as much money as possible so you don’t have to face the same struggle again.

Create a Budget

Creating and sticking to a budget is easier said than done, but once you get used to it, you may never have to face financial pressure again. Write down your income and all of your outgoings and stop any unnecessary payments, like TV subscriptions. Limit your spending to things you need, instead of things you want, and use any disposable income to lower your debt. The less you have going out on a monthly basis, the less likely you are to find it difficult to pay your bills when something unexpected occurs.

The most important thing you can do when you can’t make a mortgage repayment is be open about it.

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There’s a Difference Between Good and Bad Debt

money debtsMost people contribute the word debt to something negative. If you’re in debt, it’s usually because you’re bad at managing your money and you’ve somehow ended up in the negative. You probably had to resort to loans to pay for something important, and that set you on a slippery slope that has plunged you into debt.

At least, that’s the stigma against people who take out loans and say they’re in debt.

Fortunately, it’s not as bleak as it sounds. There is such a thing as good debt despite what many people say. Before you start borrowing money, it’s a good idea to understand the concepts of good and bad debt because it could change your entire opinion on loans. In fact, you could go as far to say that being in debt is actually a positive thing if used correctly. But before you go apply for a personal loan and get yourself in trouble for misunderstanding this idea, here is some advice.

What is Good Debt?

Good debts can be characterised by good and productive uses of the money. For instance, if your car breaks down and you need to fix it so you can ferry your kids to school, then it can be considered a long-term investment for your future. Another example is taking out a loan in order to start a business. These are positive uses for your money because they serve as investments, which is the general idea that your borrowing should follow.

Thanks to sources like cashloans.co, it’s possible to look up all the different types of loans you can take out so you can fit the interest rates and terms to your needs. As long as you’re able to pay it back in a reasonable amount of time (or even make earlier repayments) there’s almost no reason not to take out a loan as long as it’s put towards something useful that can help you. Other good examples of good debt are student loans, mortgages and paying for child services.

What is Bad Debt?

Bad debt covers anything that is used to pay for your personal enjoyment and luxury. A week-long holiday to China paid with a personal loan? Bad debt. Purchasing a luxury new television that you didn’t really need? Yet another example of bad debt. Borrowing money to pay back other loans? That’s probably the worst thing you could do.

Bad debt is characterised by bad decisions. If you struggle to pay all of your bills at the end of the month, then you might be living a lifestyle that you really can’t afford. Perhaps you’re subscribed to too many entertainment services or maybe you eat out far too much. Good financial management will eliminate all sources of bad debt, but you need to be self-aware that you’re overspending.

If you’re still unsure if your reasons for getting a loan is good or bad, then this article from nasdaq.com has a couple of examples that you could follow. In short, make sure you take out a loan for a good reason, not a personal one for your own enjoyment.

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Your Flexible Friend? Four Things That You Should Know Before Getting a Credit Card

before getting a credit cardIf you’re thinking about getting your first ever credit card, then it may just seem like another way of spending money and making purchases. But in reality, and something that is often forgotten about, it can be much, much more. If you use a credit card wisely, it can help to give your credit score a boost. If you weren’t aware of that, though, then it could damage your credit score without you even realizing it. Experian.com explains that a credit score can be an influence when it comes to things like mortgages, loans, and even a new cell phone contract, you want to make sure that your score is a positive one.

So, what are the other things you should know before getting yourself a credit card? Here are some things to be thinking about or finding out the answer to before you commit to a credit card.

You Should Know What a Credit Card Is

It might silly, but you’d be surprised at just how many people think that a credit card is like a debit card. In the ways you physically use it, they are basically the same. But in terms of money, they couldn’t be more different. A credit card is like a small loan essentially, that you have been approved for. But you have to pay it off each month. Otherwise, it costs you more than it would have been if you’d used your debit card.

You Should Know Why You Want a Credit Card

If you’re looking to get a credit card, simply because you find yourself in your overdraft each month, then that is not the wisest of reasons to get one. If you’re looking to get it to help build a credit score and to practice discipline with money, then that will stand you in much greater stead.

You Should Know How To Budget

Again, in order to make your credit card work for you, then it is a good idea that you know how to budget. A credit card can be helpful when you don’t have money right now, but you have some coming in. You need to know your finances well, as well as being able to budget, to really make your card work for you. If not, it can spiral out of control, and the next thing you know, you could be looking at a site like consolidate.loan in order to help you to consolidate your credit card debt. So budget, know your finances and pay off your card as soon as you have the money to do so.

You Should Know About Interest Rates

If you are getting a credit card, then you need to know all about interest rates. What interest rate does the card you have, or are looking at, have? If you don’t pay off your card in full each month, then what will it mean for your finances? How much will it end up costing? A credit card only works for you, if you don’t have to pay any interest.

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