Posts tagged: income

Saving Up For Christmas

christmas moneyChristmas is only a couple of months away, and many people are already way into their Christmas shopping. But the real task is budgeting for your perfect Christmas as well as making sure you enjoy the festive season as much as possible.

Work Out What You Can Afford

Before you start planning all of your decorations, food and gifts for everyone you know, first take the time to sit down and look at what you can realistically afford. Think about it this way- Christmas is only one day a year. You don’t want to splash out on 24 hours and regret it for the next year. Be smart and think about how much expendable income you have saved for the festive season.

Stop Buying Unnecessary Presents

Sure, Christmas is a time for puzzle games and silly gifts; but if you are trying to save up and stay smart with your finances, it’s not really a great idea to buy 10 whoopee cushions for your friends. Stick to presents you know your loved ones will love.

Or, if you really hate the idea of not being able to be a bit fun- give yourself and your friends a small budget to stick to for silly presents. Maybe even arrange a secret santa

$100+ in time for Xmas

Yes, that’s right. You can bag yourself some extra cash for the festive season by simply switching bank accounts. Make the switch and get yourself a nice little bonus to go towards your festivities.

Supermarket Saving Stamps

Supermarket saving stamps schemes are used to help families save up for Christmas throughout the year to cut the bow at the end. However, if you are smart about it you could get an extra 4% bonus on your savings in time for Christmas. If you add in a large amount to the card at once, the supermarket will give you a bonus. So pay in, get your extra cash and spend on all of your winter essentials.

Christmas IOU generator

As many of you will know, during December the price of even the simplest item can sky rocket. However, in contrast the prices drop in January. So if you are trying to save up for something big such as a TV or Games Console, just wait for it. Yes, it might mean that the kids are opening an empty box (or a cheaper gift in the meantime) on Christmas Day, but it will save you a huge amount of money in the long run.

Black Friday

When you think of Black Friday, you may have visions of riots in the street and carnage at the supermarket…you wouldn’t be wrong. But you don’t have to step out into no man’s land this November to bag yourself a bargain. Instead, shop online. Sites such as Amazon run week-long events for Black Friday and chop the prices of products by anything up to 80-90%. If you are waiting for a game or DVD release, hold out for Black Friday because the likelihood is that a deal will come on for it.

Sell Your Old Stuff

Out with the old, in with the new. And money goes straight into your pocket ready for the festive season. We get a lot of things around Christmas, and often it can be difficult to move in a sea of gifts for the week afterwards. Get onto GumTree and sell some of your old things to make room for the new stuff, it’ll also mean a nice financial bonus for the festive season.

Home Or Away?

Although staying at home is the obvious choice for most of us, you don’t have to spend Christmas in your house using up all of your own electricity and water. Why not club together as a whole family and rent a lovely cottage or apartment from a site such as Meriton? It will be exciting for the whole family and means that you all club together for a great holiday and amazing memories.

Avoid Expensive Turkey

Now, of course turkey is the star of the show for your Christmas Dinner, but to be honest, you don’t need to splash out for the most expensive brand to get a good quality bird. Try swapping out your usual choice for a lower brand option, you probably won’t even notice the difference!

And there is another option… you could eat a different meat.

‘That’s sacrilege!’ you say- but it is well known that stores will hike up the price of turkey through the winter months because they know people are willing to pay for it. But actually, not everyone likes turkey, and a great alternative would be a beautiful joint of roast beef.

Consider the Risk of Gift Cards

You might think that getting someone you don’t know very well a gift card is much better than buying them a gift that they won’t like, and that can be the case. However, sometimes there can be a few risks with opting for a gift card over money.

• Big Retailers can go under. It’s happened before, and it could happen again. When a retailer declares bankruptcy, they will stop accepting gift cards as payment.

• Expiry Dates – always check that there is a good amount of time for the recipient to use the card.

Kids Don’t Care

If you have children, you’ll know that you could buy them the most expensive and elaborate toy for Christmas and they will still play with the box. Children don’t care how much you’ve spent on decorations, how many presents they have in front of them or whether you’ve bought a budget turkey. For kids, it’s the magic of Christmas and the thought of Santa visiting which makes it special.

So save up your cash for a rainy day and keep it simple. Put out a cookie and a carrot for Santa and his reindeer, read them a bedtime story and sleep safe in the knowledge that you can have a perfect family Christmas without spending all of your savings.

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Navigating The Financial Struggles That Come With Being Out Of Work

money strugglesAt one point or another, most people have found themselves out of work. Whether it’s because the company that you work for has folded, you’ve lost your job or are on sick leave, being out of work can have a huge impact on your financial health. Whatever the reason that you are out of work, having a small amount of money to live on and no guaranteed monthly income is a daunting and stressful prospect. Luckily for you, we are here to help make the process of living without an income as easy and free of stress as possible. Below are a few handy hacks that should make navigating the financial struggles that come with being out of work easier.

Set a strict budget (and stick to it)

The first, and most important, rule of living when you are out of work is setting a strict budget and sticking to it. The fact is that it’s possible to live on a tiny amount each month, it’s just a case of learning how to be savvy with your funds and not overspend, which is a habit that many of us have got stuck in – spending money when we don’t need to. There are various budgeting apps that can help you to set a budget and ensure it’s stuck to by linking up your bank account to your budgeting list. These apps really are invaluable when it comes to living within your means.

Find alternative solutions for cash flow

Budgeting will help to make living on a small amount easier, but it won’t solve the problem altogether. The fact is that you can’t get by without a livable income, so if you aren’t earning from work, you need to find a way to supplement your income so that you have an alternative cash flow coming in. This could be by doing some freelance work, it could be by taking out a loan from, or it could mean selling a few of your old and unwanted items. The fact is that when times are tight, it’s important to ensure that you have an income stream so that you are able to keep on top of your rent/mortgage payments, your bills, and afford food. That is why finding an alternative cash flow solution is so important.

Research what you’re entitled to

Another option, when it comes to making life easier when times are tight, is to research what help you are entitled to. There is always help available from local authorities; it’s just a case of determining what help you are entitled to. If you are on sick leave, you may also be entitled to pay from your place of work, depending on your role, the time you have been there, and what your contract says. Don’t struggle on without looking at the help that is available, take the time to research what you are entitled to and apply for it. There is no shame in taking help when you are struggling, so it’s worth taking the time to research what you are entitled to.

It’s not easy navigating the financial struggles that come with being out of work, but if you take note of the tips above, you can make the process a little easier and a little less stressful for yourself.

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Questions to Help you Save Money

money saving queriesSaving money seems easy enough on paper; you just put aside a certain chunk of your monthly income and don’t touch it until or unless there’s a special occasion for it.

The only problem is that theory and reality aren’t always the same thing, and there are many subconscious lifestyle habits and attitudes that can sabotage our money-saving efforts.

Here are a few questions to help you get a better sense of perspective on your spending, and to improve your saving habits.

What are my real financial goals?

The first question to answer is “what are my real financial goals?” It’s easy to get side-tracked when you have no clear idea of what you’re actually putting your savings aside for. When you’ve got a lump-sum of money in a savings account, or a handy chunk of capital at hand via a company such as, it’s easy to feel artificially wealthy and become complacent about your financial goals.

Without a clear purpose attached to your savings, however, any vaguely interesting investment opportunity can suddenly seem like a fair reason to dip into them.

If, on the other hand, you know that you’ve got a specific amount of money set aside for a specific purpose – buying a new car, for example – you’ll not only know to leave that money alone until it’s time to go car shopping, but you’ll be more motivated to regularly add to your savings. After all, you’ll be excited by the prospect of getting in your new ride.

Is there a cheaper way I could get this done?

There are certain expenses which we need to accept during the course of day-to-day life. Some of these will be personal, such as an internet connection, or clothes and grocery shopping. Others will be professional – such as web hosting, budgeting software, or transport fees for the commute in to work.

But while these expenses generally can’t be avoided – that doesn’t mean they can’t be reduced. Take a mental inventory of everything that you regularly spend money on, and ask yourself whether there’s a cheaper way you can achieve the same benefit.

Perhaps you could cut your internet bill in half with a rival service provider.

Am I conscious of what’s actually happens to my money?

Often, if we’re not used to budgeting meticulously, we’ll end up “bleeding” money in different ways, without even being conscious of it. This can happen, for example, if you regularly grab a coffee on the way to work, or eat out on a regular basis.

What may seem like a small expense here and there can rapidly add up and become a real source of undiagnosed financial strain.

It’s worth looking at your bank statements and making a note of just how much money you really do spend on “invisible” costs like cups of coffee. When you’ve identified an area where you’re spending far more than you’d like to be, you can work on sealing-up the “leaks”.

Is any of my spending purely habit driven?

Habit is a powerful thing, and spending can often be triggered by subconscious manipulation. That’s one of the great secrets of the advertising industry, after all.

If you’re the kind of person who’s prone to frequent impulse-buying and suspect purchases, ask yourself; how many of these purchases are really improving my quality of life, and how many are just empty spending, inspired by a shopping habit?

Ultimately, if you’re spending substantial amounts of money without any real benefit over time, you should work on re-programming that habit loop.

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Big Money Moves And Why You Should Make Them

big money movesThroughout life, there will be loads of points where you have to make decisions about your money. During these times, it will be important that you make calculation moves, choosing the right options at every junction. Thankfully, this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Instead, you have plenty of support, and a lot of it can come from posts just like this one. In fact, this will be going through some of the different moves you can make with your money for the best possible financial future. In a lot of cases, people don’t consider this sort of work. But, it can make a real difference and isn’t too hard to accomplish.

To start, a lot of people begin this process after realizing that they need to make a change in their financial life. It doesn’t matter what your issue, though, as there’s usually a way to solve it. With loans, for example, a lot of people find themselves borrowing too much from a lot of places. Making this easier is just a matter of consolidation, and a company like can help you to find the right people to support you. Most money problems can be solved with a similar approach.

Once you’ve had a bit of time to save, it’s a good idea to think about investments. Most people have a limited amount of time. The time you do have is usually spent working or consuming entertainment. If you want to reach your full financial potential, though, you need to make more money than just your salary. To achieve this, an investment enables you make money without having to put time and effort in. Just make you have at least three months worth of savings before you start thinking about it.

It can feel a little bit wrong to think about the time after you pass, as most people would rather focus on the time they have around. Of course, though, to make sure your family are able to make the best of your departure, most people like the idea of setting up a legacy. A great way to ensure your loved ones get a good amount of money when you pass, life insurance is a great option. It’s best to start with something like this early, though. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a lot for each installment.

Finally, it’s time to think about the life goals you have for yourself. In most cases, people want to own a house by the time they retire, and you’ll probably want to get the ball rolling on it long before that. A mortgage can take anywhere up to fifty years to pay off. So, it’s important to consider this area while you’re still young. To get started, you just need a reliable job and a little bit of money saved for a deposit.

This post should give you a good dose of inspiration and drive you to start making some changes with your money. A lot of people leave these areas too late and aren’t able to make the most of them. So, instead, it’s much better to get started as early as you can.

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Your Financial Afterlife: Preparing for the Inevitable

fix your financesIf you have a family, being financially healthy isn’t just for you. It also helps you to provide for your family. Even when your children have grown up and left home, you still want to make sure you can be there for them when they need it. You might even be considering how you might help them after you’ve gone. When it’s your time to go, perhaps you’re hoping to leave your family in a financially stable position. Although you hope you won’t die until you reach old age, you never really know when it might happen. So it’s always best to be prepared, especially if you have a young family.

Take Out Life Insurance

If you have a family and you work, your family relies on your income. Some families decide to live using only one income, even if they have two, so that it’s not so difficult to deal with if one income is lost. However, many families need to make the most of any income they have. Whether or not you’re the primary breadwinner, the loss of your income could make a big difference to your family, especially when they’re grieving. Using a site like to find the perfect life insurance helps to protect your family. Some employers offer life insurance as a benefit, but if yours doesn’t, you should consider taking it out yourself.

Write a Will

Writing a will is one of the best things you can do to make sure you’re prepared for the end of your life. Since you can’t usually know when you’re going to die, it’s important to keep your will updated so that it reflects your wishes. You might change it at different stages, like if one of your children moves out or you get a new grandchild. You can easily find templates and will writing kits to make things easier. However, you might want to use a lawyer to help you write your will, especially if you want to set up something that isn’t straightforward.

Create a Funeral Plan

Funerals can actually be very expensive, so it’s worth thinking about how you might prepare for that. You might like to come up with some ideas or even instructions on how you want your funeral or memorial service to go. In terms of finances, it’s a good idea to have funds specifically intended to pay for it. You might have some savings, or you could consider paying for a funeral plan or insurance. These are intended to cover the costs of funerals to make the burden easier on your family. You might also want to take other financial considerations into account, like buying a burial plot.

Keep Debts Organized

When you pass away, remaining debts might have to be paid from your estate. To make things easier for your heirs, it’s a good idea to organize your debts and bills. This will mean they don’t need to spend too much time figuring out what is owed and paying it off.

Planning your finances for after your death is just as important as paying attention to them while you’re alive. Look after your family by being prepared.

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