Posts tagged: savings

Taking Charge Of Your Debt – What Are Your Options?

If you’re struggling with debt, you could soon find yourself caught in a web that is difficult to get out of. Debt isn’t something that will just go away, so you’ll need to put a plan in place to get yourself out of it. The sooner you face up to it, the sooner you can be back in the black and ensure better financial security for you and your family. Want to know what your options are? Read some of the ways you can take charge of your debt below.

Pay it off

Paying off your debt is something that you’ll have to do, regardless of what option you choose. If you’re able to put a plan in place to budget and make savings, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to pay off your debt.

Rank your debts in order from the highest to lowest interest rate

Starting with the debt that incurs the highest interest will help you to pay your debts off quicker, as you’ll be paying off less interest overall. Work out how much you can set aside each month to pay off your debts, allocating more to the account at the top of your list first.

Set yourself a budget

Sticking to a budget is one of the easiest ways you’ll be able to clear your debt. By giving yourself a set amount for your monthly expenses, you can set aside a decent sum to put towards your debts. If you under spend on your budget, use the extra to pay off even more and help reduce your debts quicker.

Close paid-off accounts

Once you’ve paid off your accounts, close them. Having too many open credit accounts with high available balances will reflect poorly on your credit score, and could scupper your chances of being approved for a loan or mortgage. Keep one or two open and keep their balances low – you’ll need to use some credit to rebuild your credit score.


If you want to tackle your debt by avoiding high-interest rates and making your debts easier to manage, you might want to take out a consolidation loan instead. You should only do this if you can manage the monthly payments, and are willing to close the accounts immediately after paying them off.

Do your research first

Before deciding whether or not to take out a consolidation loan, you should do your research as to whether it will actually save you money in the long term. Compare the interest rate versus what you pay now and see if it could be a better deal for you. If you often miss payments because of carelessness or you find it difficult to keep track of multiple payments, this could be a good option to help you stay on track and focus on one monthly payment instead.

Choose the right provider

If your credit rating is poor because of your current financial habits, providers like could help you to get a good rate on a consolidation loan. With a good rate behind you and end date in sight, you could be much happier and less-stress about money. Read all of the terms carefully and see if there’s a way you can up your repayments without a penalty should your financial situation improve.

Avoid taking out more credit

A consolidation loan is a great way to make your debts easier to manage, but you should resist the temptation of taking on more debt. Stop spending on credit cards (cut them up if you have to) and don’t make any further financial agreements until you’ve paid off what you owe.

Set up a debt management plan

Alternatively, if you’re really struggling to handle your debt – a debt management plan could be the right option for you. Reading up on how a debt management plan works can help you decide if this is the right option for you.

Can you stick to it?

A debt management plan is great if you can stick to it. If you fail to make payments – you could lose the decreased interest rates or goodwill that has been given to you by your creditors.

Will you need to take out credit in the future?

A debt management plan is only recommended if you don’t intend on taking out more credit soon. If you’re planning to open a new credit card, take out a mortgage or a car loan, you may need to think twice before starting a debt management plan. The rationale behind a plan is to help you take care of your debt, not free you up to add more.

Consider all of the options above to work out which is the most suitable for you. Stop struggling with debt today and work towards a more stable financial future.

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The Essential Pre-Christmas Financial Check

pre xmas savings“Isn’t it a little bit early to think about Christmas? It’s not even been Halloween yet…”

Okay, so we’ll acknowledge the fact that that’s a legitimate complaint. Christmas seems to come earlier every year and this article isn’t helping that. However, there’s no denying the fact that for people who focus on the health of their personal finances, Christmas can be a testing time. That’s why it deserves focus this early on, even if it does feel strange to be contemplating buying gifts and decorating your home when the leaves have only just begun to change.

If you begin now, you have an early start on your Christmas preparations, meaning that you can survive the festive season with your financial state intact. There are four key questions you need to be able to answer, and then you can forget about Christmas until December.

Who Do You Have To Buy For?

Try and keep the list small, if you’re going to be financially responsible. Family members usually go to the top of the list. If you have a big family, then have some great tips on how to keep it affordable.

Friends are more difficult, so it’s often best to just ask if they want to swap gifts, or would everyone prefer a get-together around Christmas in lieu of actual gifts. You’re unlikely to be the only one of your friendship group worrying about money, so it’s always worth venturing the idea.

How Much Are You Going To Spend On Each Person?

This decision is largely personal, depending on your financial circumstances. However, there are a few universal things you need to keep in mind:

Set yourself a budget per person and don’t exceed it; there will be something you can find within budget, if you’re willing to look hard enough to find it. Christmas gift guides will explode online in the next few months, so scan through them and see what might work. There’s no point setting a budget if you’re going to break it — plan to be very stringent with yourself, keep the numbers amenable to your financial circumstances, and be willing to hunt for good deals.

What Can Make Christmas More Affordable?

Obviously, saving for Christmas is the best way to make it affordable. However, if you haven’t saved anything yet, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to put away as much money as you need in time for December.

If that means you’re going to have to borrow to fund some of your Christmas frivolity, you need to make it as affordable as possible. Look through to see how you can reduce the cost of borrowing, and move any existing debts onto low-interest repayment plans. Combine this with a little extra saving for the next few months, and your personal finances should come through the holiday period unscathed.

With the above answered, you — and your bank account — can look forward to Christmas, rather than dreading the financial toll it may take!

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Fighting The Financial Struggle Later In Life: Saving Money In Your 20s

early money savingsWhen you’re in your 20s, you feel like your whole life is ahead of you, you may have just got out of college, so you feel like you owe it to yourself to relax for a while and take everything in your stride. However, the issue for a lot of people in their 20s is that they don’t put money aside. A GO Banking Rates survey found that 44% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 have no money in their savings accounts or don’t even have a savings account! And while it’s important to make the most of life when you’re young and exuberant, but there are some things to begin thinking about now.

Start An Emergency Fund

The fact of the matter is that there will be financial issues that crop up from time to time that you are ill-equipped to deal with. You may end up having an accident and are faced with a medical bill you are unable to pay straight away. And there could be many potential issues that arise that could affect your ability to work, and while making an injury claim is all well and good, it’s not something you can bank on to get you a huge pile of cash. So make sure you start to find ways to stockpile money from your existing earnings. The best way to do it is to set up a transfer, so the funds out of your bank accounts on the same day every month to go into a savings account. That way you don’t need to think about it. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be a huge amount of money either, whatever little amount you can put away will be of some benefit.

Prepare For Retirement Now

If you started saving for your retirement in your 20s, as opposed to later in life, you would end up saving more in the long term, but you can also put away less money during your 30s, 40s, and 50s because you tend to have less financial obligations. Let’s do the math, someone who is 25 and saves at $700 every year will have saved $28,000 by the time they are 65. Compare this to someone who is 35 and just started saving, they will have only saved $21,000 and will need to save that bit more to catch up.

Go For The High-Interest Bank Accounts

Common sense prevails in this, the more interest in a bank account, the more money you will be able to save. And not just this, but there are savings accounts you can take advantage of, such as Certificates of Deposit (CD) accounts, money market accounts, as well as traditional savings accounts.

Get Investing

The final point to make when saving money in your 20s is that it can be very difficult, especially if you work a low paid job and are barely making ends meet. You may want to think about a type of investment that can pay out on a regular basis. While savings bonds, peer to peer investments, as well as real estate are common methods, you may want to start thinking about other approaches to investments, such as gold bullion, or even Bitcoin. Having a decent amount of knowledge in terms of investments will give you that extra bit of money you will need to set yourself up for a life without financial struggle.

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The Best Ways To Keep On Top Of Your Finances

top financial positionKeeping your finances in check is a very important thing to do in the 21st century. You’re going to need to be able to keep everything where it is because the world revolves around money! Everything you need and want you have to pay for with money, including your house and food, so it’s important to make sure it’s all in order so you don’t go without anything, but how can you do it? Well, if you read on, you’ll learn how!

Keep A Good Credit Score

Credit scores have been around for a while but have only recently become used, so what is it? Well, your credit score is a representation of how good your financial standings are in terms of credit. It takes into account things like how much credit has been used in your past, how long it’s taken you to pay it back and if there were any discrepancies with the payment. When you apply for a loan, banks will look at your credit score and judge you off it; if it’s in a poor state then they’re going to be likely to turn you down for the applied loan, however if your credit score is good then you’re going to be in the green and get your loan! Not getting loans can become a very serious problem if you need to money urgently, so we need to find a way around this, and luckily there is. Websites like are able to repair your credit score by filtering through very small loans and repayments through your account, improving your credit score so you don’t have to worry about getting turned down for a loan ever again!

Opening A Savings Account

Savings accounts are brilliant ways to raise money without actually having to do anything or invest anywhere, so what are they? They are small accounts that are attached to your main bank account and serve as a way to store money. Each month, your savings account will take a predetermined amount of money from your main bank account into your savings account, which will stack up and accumulate after a while. You can open these accounts from banks like american express, and the real beauty of them is revealed once you’ve been paying into them for a few years. You’re going to have a sum of money that has interest on it so that it grows within the account, which can be a huge amount depending on how long you leave it! This can get you through a rainy day when you need funds but don’t have the available in your bank account. Another good thing about them is that they are temptation free; you need not worry about accidently spending what is in your savings account because you are unable to access it with your card, perfect for anyone that might find themselves buying extra things because they think the money is there which makes it a great tool for keeping on top of your money.

Debt Consolidation

Having and dealing with debt is part of life, and an unavoidable one at that too! Debt just means something that you need to pay back, and with the amount of things we have to borrow money for in the 21st century this covers a lot of things. Debt can come in the form of credit card payments, loan repayments, mortgages and so on, and the single thing that makes them a pain is how many there are. Debts become a problem when you’ve got lots of them; they become hard to follow and track, which means that you’re going to struggle a bit trying to work out how much money is going out of your account each month to what company! This means it’s more difficult to budget, meaning that life gets more difficult. However there is a solution. Debt consolidation loans that you can find more about if you read on at, operate in a way that allows all of your debt repayments to be funneled into one, monthly repayment. This reduces the amount of tracking down money you have to do, you know how much you’re going to have to pay at the end of the month in one easy instalment making life easier for you!

Smart Meters

This is a great way to keep a track of how much you’re going to be spending on your utility bills at the end of the month! Smart meters are installed into your system, and it will gather data from all of the different sources your house pulls from, mainly being electricity, gas and water. It will be able to read how much of each commodity you have used, and by inputting how much you pay for a given volume or measurement of each of the commodities, it can tell you how much you’ve used and therefore how much it’s going to cost at the end of the month. It will be able to make basic predictions about your resource usage so you can effectively plan for the month ahead by knowing how much your bills are going to be instead of being stuck doing guesswork like the days of old!

Coupon Shopping

Everyone loves coupons; they’re given to us by supermarkets and other retailers and give us brilliant discounts that we then go and take full advantage of, but there is a problem with them. Nothing in the world comes for free, and unfortunately neither do coupons; they’re given away when a customer spends over a certain amount, which means that if you don’t reach the quota like a lot of us won’t, you’re not going to be eligible for the coupon and this means you’re going to miss out! So what can we do to circumvent this? Well, websites like groupon exist to serve this purpose for us. They have online coupons available for free, for everyone to use however they’re only available for a limited time so if you’re wanting to use something for a later date it’s best to do it sooner rather than later! They’re able to do this because the company coupons are a form of advertising, meaning that it’s completely legal and nothing for you to worry about getting in trouble for. Some coupon sites are illegal though, so you will have to use your head and avoid websites that look dodgy to save yourself from having a nightmare!

Budgeting Properly

Budgeting is the key to managing your finances properly, it’s an essential skill that you need to learn in order to be able to properly manage your finances. Budgeting involves being able to plan out where your money is going to go for the next month, or where it should be going at least! You’re going to have to know how much you spend each month on each bill that you have to pay, as well as for food and taking into account how much money you’re going to be putting away each month! This can all be very difficult to do when you’re starting off and chances are that you’re not going to be able to do it very well, but there is a helping hand available to you! Online budget planners are available for free on the internet, which you should take advantage of if you find yourself struggling! They’re able to take out all of the pain of trying to do all the maths work manually; instead, these planners do it for you and show how much money you’re going to have at the end of the month and how much you should be saving each payday to keep some spare.

It’s recommended to do all of these things to make sure that you keep on top of everything to do with your money, if you have a good credit score you’re not going to have to worry about getting refused for a loan when you need it most, you’ll have a savings account that you can dip into as and when you need it for those days that cost just the little bit extra, you could have yourself a debt consolidation loan to help you pay back all those small niggling debts that somehow creep up on you, a smart meter so you know exactly what your bills are going to be that month too. And then to top it all off you’ll have loads of coupons at your disposal to make your life cheaper and you’ll have a proper budget so you know what your plan for your money is for the month! When you’ve got all this income, it’s important to not only know where to spend it, but how to protect it once you’ve spent it. If you go out and buy something new with all your savings, only for it to break, you’ve just lost yourself a lot of money, so if you want to know how to keep what you invest in safe then read this!

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Difference Between Saving and Investment?

savings for investmentsWhen it is time to decide what you would like to do with the extra money leftover after paying off all your bills. You can either save it or invest it. Although savings and investment are sometimes used interchangeably, many people confuse savings and investment for the concept – however, they are not the same. Both savings and investments can be used for meeting various expenses in life, there are some major differences between them.

The primary difference between savings and investments is that while saving money generally implies putting aside a part of your income regularly in order to meet unforeseen expenses, investment means putting your saved money in various financial instruments in order to maximize your returns and grow your wealth.

Another key difference between savings and investment is the appetite for risk that you are willing to take when putting aside money for savings and investments. It might not make sense to park your savings in long term instruments with a lock in period that does not allow you to access them during a financial emergency – what savings were designed to do in the first place.

At the same time, keeping all your money stored in a safety vault might be very safe, but will not generate any returns over the years. On the other hand, if the money invested in various products like stocks, mutual funds, gold, etc. you may have to take on more risks, but there is potential for your investment to grow over time. If invested wisely, your money can grow over the years. If planned smartly, then investment in stock market can make your invested money grow manifold.

People typically save for meeting short term needs – a set target or objective. However, investment generally entails a longer horizon of six months or more. It is designed to provide returns and grow your money over a period of time.

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