4 Important Financial Steps You Need to Take This Year

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When it comes to money, there are a lot of things that you will need to keep in mind. Every year you should be reassessing the direction your finances are taking, and looking at what you can do to make things better. There are so many changes you can make to your money management each year, and this is something that will help you to be more comfortable and focused.

Of course, it is important to think about the present and ensure you have plenty of money now. But, you also need to make sure you think about the future as well, and this is something important to keep in mind. You have to make sure you make the right choices now that are going to help you in the future, and this is crucial for a better and more comfortable life. These are 4 of the most essential things you need to keep in mind today.

1. Make Investments

There are a lot of different options these days for those who are looking to make investments. This is an important step for the future and one that is going to help you improve your financial situation in the future. There are loads of different things you can invest money in these days, and this includes something like cryptocurrency, stocks and shares, and even fine art. There are a lot of things you can do that will help you to make the right investments today, and this is something that can really improve stuff in the future.

2. Stop Overspending

Overspending is something that we are often all guilty of, but it is also something you need to make sure stop as much as possible. There are a lot of things you can do to achieve this, and it is something that you need to get right as soon as you can. Stop overspending by visiting https://cheapautoinsurance.co/ to get cheaper auto insurance. Make sure you are only using the essentials, and that you try to cut your phone and TV bills down.

3. Get Out of Debt

Getting out of debt is absolutely crucial for the future because it can affect many areas of your life. There are a lot of things that need to play a role in the process of debt management, and getting out of the red as quickly as possible is so important. This might involve becoming part of a debt management program, or getting rid of things like credit cards to help you reduce your outgoings.

4. Pay off the Mortgage

Paying off your mortgage is absolutely essential, and you need to make sure you focus on improving the way things work financially. You need to think about the future and what you can do to keep on top of your mortgage payments. This needs to be a primary focus for you, and you need to make sure your finances are such that it will help you to keep up with these payments.

As you can see, there are a lot of steps you can take to ensure that you are making the right financial decisions. When it comes to money, you need to think a little further ahead than just the moment. This is why you have to make sure you consider what it takes to make the right financial decisions moving forward.

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Managing Your Finances As A Student Is As Easy As ABC

University is one of the most crucial parts of your life, which is why you mustn’t let financial worries get in the way. Encountering a few hurdles along the way is perfectly natural. Still, disruptions to your academic progress cannot be allowed to creep in. If they do, there’s a strong chance you’ll be left with regrets and unfulfilled potential.

Learning to take responsibility and manage your finances in a suitable manner is essential. It may seem daunting, but you can overcome most of the issues in just three easy steps. Here’s all you need to do.

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Accumulate

Tuition and related university fees are far from cheap, but finding the right student loan can remove some of the pressure. Other forms of funding may be available too, but it’s important to find one where the repayment starts after graduation. Otherwise, this could become a source of great stress.

Earning a little money to support your studies can be highly beneficial. A part-time job is a good option but isn’t the only way. These examples of trading show how the online arena can be used to increase your bank balance. Likewise, starting a blog or offering your services on a freelance basis can work wonders too.

While you don’t need to be rich to get yourself through the student years, having a little money in your pocket will remove a lot of strain. Do not forget it.

Budget

Having money certainly eases the tension, but you still need to be frugal with it. After all, you’re not going to have a full-time job when you’re busy studying. Getting organised with online banking and a clear understanding of when direct debits leave your account is vital. This will help you avoid late fees.

Moreover, you should try to incorporate these money-saving tips for students into your life. By spending less on daily habits and direct student fees, you’ll gain a huge sense of satisfaction. Better still, those skills should stand you in good stead for future life challenges once you’ve finished university.

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You needn’t stick religiously to your budgets. But knowing exactly how much you spend should help you pinpoint and eradicate problematic habits far sooner.

Credit

Good financial health isn’t solely about the amount of money sitting in your bank account at any given time. It’s likely that you’ll be a little short of money from time to time, and buying items on credit can be a solution. However, you must ensure that you are capable of meeting the repayment terms while also securing the best deals.

Several factors will contribute to the rates offered and the opportunities that are made available. Therefore, going the extra mile to keep your credit score in good health should be one of the top items on your agenda. By landing the best deals, you will naturally keep your finances in a far better condition.

Get each of these three aspects under control, and your finances will remain in good health. It won’t suddenly make you rich, but it will let you focus on your studies.

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7 Ways To Spend Less As A Student

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Many students can find it difficult to financially survive even with a student loan. Fortunately, there are many cost-cutting tricks that can help you to make the most of uni life. Here are just 7 ways in which you can spend less as a student.

Download e-books

Most courses will require you to buy some form of literature whether it’s a textbook or a novel to study. You can often save money on these by downloading them as e-books rather than buying physical copies. This may require investing in an e-reader first, although you can still read them on a tablet or a laptop.

Shop around online for supplies

You can buy many supplies such as HP printer ink and cartridges online for much cheaper than you would in the stores. Even with the cost of delivery, many of these supplies are cheaper. Don’t forget to also try second-hand sites such as Gumtree for cheap supplies such as used books.

Rent a laptop

If you don’t own a laptop and don’t have enough to buy one, you could always rent one. Many universities now offer laptop rental services for students in which you pay a small amount each month. You often don’t have to rent the laptop for a fixed term – if you only need a PC for a couple months whilst writing your dissertation, this could be a good shout.

Cook your own meals

It’s all too easy to overspend on takeaways and pub meals. Get into a habit of cooking your own meals. When shopping at the supermarket, buy food supplies in bulk and give own brand food items a chance. Try to eat healthily and not stick to £1 pizzas and noodles – vegetables are often very cheap compared to meets.

Pre-drink

Uni life can often involve a fair amount of boozing. Rather than spending huge amounts on drinks at your local bar or club, take advantage of comparatively cheap supermarket drink prices and dedicate some time to pre-drinking. You’ll end up spending a lot less when you go out and a lot less overall.

Share stuff with fellow students

You can save a lot of money by sharing things with fellow students. This could include cooking each other meals, sharing Netflix accounts and even sharing textbooks. By sharing the cost of these items, you could each save money.

Take advantage of student discounts

There are many places where you can take advantage of student discounts – many of which people aren’t aware of. With an NUS card, you can get discounts on shopping at Co-op, discounts on clothes at ASOS, A 12% discount on a 16 – 25 railcard and a 49% discount at Alton Towers. You can find out more about these discounts at the NUS site. Be wary that there may be local bars, restaurants and shops also offering student discounts.

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Money Issues Everyone Faces

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Money, money, money… Everyone has it in life, and unfortunately the world won’t go around without it. Money and finance isn’t the most exciting topic in the world to talk about however it is integral to the way we live our lives. When you reach teenage and adulthood, money will start to become a large part of your life and eventually it will be common place to worry about your savings and bills. Here are some of the most common issues that everyone faces with money during their lives, and don’t worry because you are not alone with money troubles in life!

Getting into credit card debt

One of the things which will surprise you as you get older is the fact that it can actually be beneficial to have a credit card or take out short term loans for yourself now and again. Our credit history is built upon the credit cards and loans we take out and pay back, and by taking out loans and paying them back in time you can actually build up a decent credit score for your future mortgage or car. The issue that comes with a credit card is the temptation to spend beyond our means, and so many of us overestimate how much we can afford to use and this can cause us to end up getting into debt.

Students loans

After reaching college and potentially going off for university or an online degree, one of the main things you will suffer with is student debt. Student loans are often the only way you will be able to afford to study at university and it is this which can be an inescapable trap for many young people in this day and age. The good news is that you only have to start paying back your student loan once you earn a certain wage so you can spend some years saving up a small sum for when that day finally does arrive.

Struggling to save

Saving is the ultimate buzzword when it comes to finance as you grow into adulthood, and we spend our whole lives trying to save up money for one thing or another. To start off with it is usually a car or a house, then it could be a wedding, and then it could be children.. but no matter what, saving up can be hard. The key to saving successfully is to create a standing order which comes out of your account every time you get paid and goes straight to your savings account, this way you can’t spend the money you should be saving up.

Low wages for your lifestyle

Everyone wants to live a life of luxury, adventure and fun, but there are so many of us nowadays who struggle to do what they want to do with their lives. Living a fun lifestyle can be expensive and we often don’t have the money to go out and enjoyhe things we want to. The key is to remember that life’s what you make of it and you can have fun without spending a pretty penny. As long as you are surrounded by people you love, you can do anything and have a great life.

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Simplify Your Life and Save Money at the Same Time

Is your life a little more complicated than it really needs to be? If you’re not sure about which direction you should go in or how to save some more money, you should definitely think about simplifying your life. You will find that when you make things simpler than they currently are, you will pretty much always improving your finances and saving money at the reason in there.

Declutter and Aim to Own Less Stuff

Decluttering is one of the perfect ways to make your life simpler and less stressful. Simply owning less stuff and having less stuff taking up room in your living space is will make you feel so much better about yourself. And of course, you will spend a lot less money if you’re buying fewer items. It’s good for your mental health to focus less on material possessions as well.

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Work Out the Cheapest Way to Commute and Seek to Reduce Stress

Commuting is stressful and no one enjoys doing it. It’s just one of those things that has to happen in life. Try to work out the cheapest way for your to commute and see if you can make it less stressful too. Not driving your car is often the solution to both of these issues. It won’t be the solution for everyone out there but it works for many people.

Find an Efficient and Easy to Drive Car

You definitely need to simplify and streamline your approach to driving because this is one area in which it really pays off to be smart about things. You don’t want to end up driving a car that’s difficult to manoeuvre and expensive to keep running. Places like the Smart car dealership might be worth a visit if you want to upgrade to a more efficient and easy to drive car.

Take Pleasure in the Simple (and Free) Things in Life

There are many things to take pleasure from in life, and you should definitely try to enjoy as many of them as possible. Many of the best things in life are entirely free and you shouldn’t forget that. Spending time with friends, walking in nature and a million other pleasurable things don’t cost you any money at all so should be embraced.

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Achieving Your Financial Goals

Everyone should move gracefully through into adult life with financial goals. We hope you remember your first taste of getting money, and imagined all of the cool things you were going to be able to do with it. Well, we’re talking something a little similar to that, but maybe with a bit of an adult edge to it. Without financial goals, we’re just sort of floating through life, hoping that our next paycheck comes in because we feel as though we’re living on the edge until the end of the month. Without financial goals, you have nothing to look forward to, and nothing to motivate you to do more with your money. Well, we’re the people who are going to change this for you. Here are some financial goals we think you should set, and how you can achieve them.

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What To Set

There are some base goals that everyone should set. One of them is to get financially stable, and this is something that some people never have the pleasure of doing. So, one way you can do it is by minimising your debts, increasing income, and increasing savings. Don’t think that this is going to happen all over the space of a few months. This is a process that’s going to take years to master, so don’t panic. First work on any debts, then work on increasing your income, then smash out the savings. You can always get some financial advice along the way to help you. You could also have the financial goal of buying a new car, rather than renting it, or moving house to your dream house etc. Whatever you’ve always wanted to do in life that involves money, do it!

Achieving Greatness

There’s always ways to achieve financial greatness, you just have to be smart enough to do it. To achieve greatness, you have to learn to take risks. So, let’s put a holiday as a scenario. You’re dying to go on holiday, but you’re still at the stage of working to increase your income. So, why not check out companies such as personalloan.co to try and get a little loan for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re still working to build your credit score up, you can still take out a loan to go on the holiday you want. To achieve greatness, you should let anything in life hold you back, even money. But when thinking of this, you definitely shouldn’t be getting yourself into hot water with money. Any loans you take, aim to repay within 3 or 4 months.

Financial Growth

Once you’ve got to a stage in life where you feel as though you’ve achieved your financial goals, you need to work on financial growth. Sort of like a business, you should always be looking to increase the money you have. So, think about little investment options. Whether it be from a little home business, thinking about trading money, or anything else you can think of that might give you a nice little extra income!

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Better Money Management in Simple Steps

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Money is a pretty important of life. Most things we do involve money in some way so it’s strange that we don’t get taught very much about managing our money at school or college at all. This has led to a lot of people not really knowing how to take care of the financial side of life which leads to poor decisions, debts and quite a lot of regrets in many cases.

If you find dealing with your money more challenging than it perhaps should be, follow these simple steps to better money management and change that starting today:

Spend Less Than You Make

It’s a pretty basic point, but if you spend less of your money than you make every month, then you’ll always a have a surplus that you can put into savings, invest or simply just keep you from being tempted by loans and credit cards. The easiest way to consistently spend less than you make is by writing your own household budget and in order to do that, you’ll need to track your spending using an app, like the ones at https://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/living/article/top-5-budgeting-apps.jsp spreadsheet or even pen and paper for a month to identify your spending trends. You may need to cut out a few extras that you don’t really need (gym membership, Sky TV, all of those posh coffees) but it will be worth it in the end.

Diversify Your Income Streams

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Having more than one source of income means that if you should, say, lose your job, you will still have something coming in to help keep you afloat. This doesn’t mean you need to get another job (unless you want to) but you could set up and monetise a blog, start your own online business or even rent out the spare room – anything you can do to increase your income will help.

Fix Your Credit Score

If you have a low credit score and you need to, for example, take out a mortgage, if you can get one, it will be at a much higher interest rate than someone with identical circumstances, but who has a better credit score, and that will mean that you have to spend more of your income on interest. So, if you want to be able to minimise the cost of big future expenses like that, visit http://repair.credit/best-credit-repair-companies/ and start sorting your credit score out today. It may take some time, but it will be worth it for the cheap credit you can access when it is vital that you do so.

Automate Your Finances

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If you want to avoid getting behind on your bills and getting penalised because of that, it makes sense to set up direct debits that will automatically pay the minimum in a timely manner. You might want to do the same for savings too because if you have a sum deposited into your savings account each payday, you won’t miss it nearly as much and you’ll be far less likely to spend it frivolously to boot.

It’s pretty easy really, isn’t it?

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Affordable Luxury: Get The Best Without Breaking The Bank!

Most of us love to own nice things, and when you spend a huge chunk of your life working it’s being able to have the things we want that can make it feel worthwhile. However the finer things in life do come at a cost, and even if you work hard many of us find that we can’t always afford the luxuries we want. Thankfully there are ways to bring down the prices- here are some ideas.

Property

When it comes to property, one of the best ways you can achieve luxury on a budget is to buy cheaply and renovate. Once you own your home you can make changes to it over time, a nice new kitchen, a new bathroom, built in wardrobes, luxurious fixtures and accessories. You can add an extension, a conservatory, build into the loft or down into the basement. This allows you to completely tailor your house and add luxury and style without having to have lots of money up front. When you buy a home that’s ‘move- in ready’ you will always pay a premium for it, if you go with something that needs work and have this done yourself it will almost always work out cheaper. Just use caution, have a survey done so you know exactly what needs doing and how much it will cost. Anything major, make sure you’re making a lower offer to compensate for this. When it comes to decorating your home, always check clearance stores. These have furniture that’s perfectly good but is just being discontinued by the supplier so it massively reduced. Here you can get huge discounts on the original RRP so are well worth checking out.

Cars

Our cars are much more than a method of transportation, a way to get from A to B. They’re a reflection of us and our personal style, which is why we’re all so precious about our vehicles. We wash them lovingly, we drive them with pride and we genuinely enjoy having them. If you want an upgrade but don’t think you can afford the high prices that come with luxury models, then you could be in for a surprise. Take brands like Porsche for example, while the top models and new cars can cost an eye watering amount- there are plenty that are much more affordable. Just be sure to give any vehicle you buy a thorough check, especially if it is a little older. You want something rust free, with good paintwork and a full service history. Check insurance prices on a comparison site like GoCompare too to make sure you’re not paying over the odds. Lots of older cars or less expensive models still look incredible but are far cheaper than you might think.

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Clothes

Clothes show off our style, they help us to express ourselves and can be a fun way to show personality. If you have a liking for designer gear but don’t have the budget to constantly splash out then how about checking in second hand stores? A good tip is to go to a wealthier area, as these people are more likely to give good quality designer items to charity. Using sales, vouchers and discounts is also useful- the sales after Christmas time are usually particularly generous. Save your money and check out these, chances are you can snag some items you want at bargain prices.

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How Debt Can Seriously Affect Your Life

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Warning! Debt can seriously affect your life! You probably don’t need us to tell you that, especially if you have already experienced debt in your life, but then again, you may be in need of a few reminders. You see, while you may be tempted to take out or a loan or credit card, whether it’s for the first time, or to add onto your other debts, you are going to feel the pain down the line.

How debt can affect your life

  • You will never have enough money to save for your life’s goals. Want to go away on holiday with the family? Thinking about buying a new car? Hope to have extra money to top up your pension fund? If you’re still paying your debts off for years to come, you can forget about some of your future aspirations.
  • You will feel sick! Not only through the stress and worry that comes with having the burden of debt, but in all those other ways stress can affect your health. Mentally, you may suffer from depression and heightened anxiety. Physically, you will feel aches and pains throughout your body, high blood-pressure, or be at higher risk of a heart attack or stroke. Our advice if this is you now: see your doctor!
  • You won’t get a step on the property ladder. Assuming you’re still renting of course. Sadly, mortgage lenders take debt into account when you are trying to buy a house, so you will struggle to make the move from rented accommodation into a place to call your own.
  • You will get into more debt. Whether frivolous or not, you may get into the trap of paying off your current debts with another loan or credit card. Now, this is acceptable if you are consolidating your existing debts with one easier to pay loan or credit card (see best.creditcard), but you still need that resolve to get the new debt paid off quickly. Always check interest rates if you ever do consider replacing old debts with new; otherwise, you may end up in a worse position than you are already in.
  • Your assets are at risk. If you have put your car or house up as collateral for a loan, you may be in danger of losing them if you fail to make your monthly payments on time. Needless to say, this could be catastrophic, especially if you lose your home to the bank.
  • You will struggle to support your family. Being single is one thing, but if you have family to support, consider how your debt will affect them. You will struggle to feed and clothe them, as well as have the luxury of those things families do together, such as having holidays or having treat days indoors and out.

If you are in debt

If you are bogged down in debt, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are debt charities out there who will give you professional advice to help you manage your finances. As well as talking to them, start taking steps in all aspects of your life to improve your situation. Start budgeting, try to make savings, and stop squandering your money on anything that isn’t essential. Help is available to you, but you do need to be responsible in managing your money.

Finally

Should you be one of the lucky few not in debt, consider our warnings, and continue to practice good money habits to steer you away from that awful pit. If you are in debt (and many of us are), do get the help you need and form good habits in the future to protect you from further harm. If you have any further advice for our readers, perhaps from your own experiences of debt or money-management, please let us know.

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Buying vs Leasing: The Pros And Cons

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When it comes to obtaining a brand new car, you have two major options; Buying and leasing. A few years ago, leasing was practically unheard of in the UK, but has become increasingly popular in recent years and is now considered one of the best ways of securing a new car. If you’re on the lookout for a car and want to think through your options, then take a look at the pros and cons below.

Buying A Car

Pro – It’s Your Car

When you buy a car, it is your car straight away. This means that, if you want to make any modifications to the car or customise it in any way, then you are allowed to do that. You can also drive your car as much as you like, as you don’t have to any mileage limits.

Pro – Payments Will End

Another great advantage of owning your car is that you won’t have to keep paying for it. Of course, you’ll still have to pay tax and insurance, but once you’ve paid off the loan for the car, the payments will end, and the car is yours completely.

Con – More Expensive

Unfortunately, while the payments may end eventually, while you have them, they are likely to be fairly high. The down payment will also be pretty pricey, which is why lots of people can’t afford to buy brand new cars. As your car gets older, you will also have to pay more for maintenance and repairs.

Con – Depreciates In Value

As it explains at whatcar.com, your car is going to massively depreciate the longer you own it. Of course, some cars depreciate less than others, and you can reduce the effects depreciation, but you are never going to sell your car for the price you bought it.

Leasing A Car

Pro – Lower Costs

When you lease a car from a company like IntelligentCarLeasing.com, you are pretty much guaranteed to spend less each month than you would do buying a car. You also rarely have to provide a down payment and don’t have to worry about depreciation, as car owners do.

Pro – Covered By Warranty

Another great thing about leasing is that you are usually covered by some sort of warranty for the entire duration of the lease, so you don’t have to pay out large amounts of money on repairs if your car has a mechanical problem.

Con – You Don’t Own It

The biggest downside of leasing a car is that it’s never really your car. Because of this, you have to stick to mileage limits and aren’t allowed to customise or modify your car in any way. You also have to give it back when the lease runs out, which you may not want to do.

Con – Payments Continue

Because the car isn’t yours, you are going to have to pay for it each month for as long as you have it. You will also have to pay fees for going over your mileage limit and for any damage that the car incurs, so leasing isn’t always as cheap as it appears to be.

When it comes to buying or leasing, there is no “better” option; It comes down to preference and circumstance. If you want to save money, but still want a new car, then leasing is probably better, but if you want to own your car and keep it for longer, then buying is the way to go.

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