Monthly Archives: March 2013

Top 10 Ways to Improve your Returns on Savings

file7391271797864Due to inflation and depreciation banks are dropping their interest rates. If a customer did not call the tax credit phone number and be informed, then the rates can be dropped without the knowledge of the customer. Saving money in banks will not have a big impact on the capital deposited, because of the low interest rates provided by the banks. In the end the consumer will get low profits from banks. Inflation and depreciation does not seem to ease up and analysts predict that this pattern may follow for the next couple of years. Saving money in banks will become meaningless because of the low interest rates. Hence consumers should tap on other forms of deposit schemes where the interest rates are higher than those provided by banks. The best ways to get high returns on investment is depicted as below

1) Current accounts provide higher interest rates. Santander provides an interest rate of five percentages over the capital deposited in one of its accounts. Its partner A&L’s current account also provides the same interest rate.

2) Another way to get high returns on savings is through online credit facility. If a person has a small amount of money then the person can invest it on online banks. These online banks will loan the person’s capital at higher rates and provides the investor an average of seven percentages.

3) Fixed deposit provides promising returns with safety on investment. If a person has huge amount of money then the money can be invested for a period of one year to more than 6 years. As the term increases the interest on investment also increases.

4) Mortgage offsets do not provide the high interest rates, but they can save a lot of money. If a person has considerable amount of money and a grand mortgage, then the money can be invested in a bank account so that the amount is deducted from the mortgage. (Mortgage – investment). The person may pay for the remaining mortgage amount alone. Thus saving money.

5) If a person has a relatively large amount of money, then the same can be deposited in Invested. High security over the amount deposited, is Investor’s contribution. However the interest rates are low to about 3.5%
Isa accounts propose a tax free transaction for the money deposited. But the sum of money should be deposited for at least three years. If not then the consumer may face penalty charges.

6) Corporate bonds provide huge returns of up to 11%. These bonds are for the development of an organization. If the organization meets huge losses then the consumer will have to face the same.

7) Inflation related bonds have the potential to reap profits for the customer. To explain in simple terms, if the rate of inflation increases then the rate of interest for the deposit will also increase. Still the capital invested is safe from unstable market rates.

8) Investing in the government by Gilts for long term is the answer. To explain in simple forms, if inflation decreases, the interest rate will conversely increase. As the country grows, the interest rate also grows. Still the period of investment is very long.

9) Stock dividend will be promising. If a company is making profits then it will provide dividends to its share holders.

10) Buying the stocks of a profiting organization just before they announce dividends, can earn persons large interest rates.


Yakezie Carnival at The Ultimate Juggle
Carnival of Retirement at Dividend Monk
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at Freeat33
Carnival of MoneyPros at Financial Conflict Coach
The Money Mail Carnival at Money Mail Carnival

The Total Cost of Raising a Child

In the case of some animals, a newborn is able to walk within just 10 minutes of being born. This is especially true for horses, whose newborns are often seen to run on the first day of life. However, a human child is in a totally different league than such animals, who are almost savants when compared to the human child. Not only is a human child unable to move for the initial months of his or her life, the child cannot reach any sort of maturity for at least 15-20 years of his life. During this time, the parents are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the child, which they of course love to do.

The total cost of raising a child includes all the expenses that go into the care and upkeep and growth of the child. In the following sections, we look into the major costs associated with raising a child, starting from the costliest one first, which is education.

Education Costs

A child needs an education not just to be successful, but also to be a functional citizen in our complicated modern world. Since everyone needs good education, there is a lot of demand for it, resulting in higher cost of education for everyone. From ages 5 to 18, and beyond, your child will need your help to pay for his or her education, and the total expenses over the years could easily end up in hundreds of thousands of pounds, in school fees and related expenses.

When joining college, you could help your child by chipping in, or could ask them to get a loan or pay for it themselves. Even if you are not expected or do not plan to pay for your child’s college education, even then the total expenses will likely be in hundreds of thousands of pounds. Education costs are likely to be the single largest block of expense when it comes to raising a child.

Costs of Upkeep and Other Expenses

As a parent, you are fully responsible for each piece of clothing worn by your child, each toy he or she plays with and then breaks, each type of corn flakes that he likes, and for every other product that he needs or likes to use. Even though, as a parent, you may love to buy these things for your child, the costs of buying these products adds up over time, and definitely reduces funds available for other expenses. In a recent survey in the UK, 75% of parents reported that they had to cut back on other expenses when raising a child. Therefore, odds are that you too will have to cut back on your other expenses to fully take care of your kid.

Costs of Tuitions and Hobbies

Education and upkeep are the kind of expenses that can be called necessary expenses. But there are other expenses that you may have to make to help your child grow into a successful and confident adult. Tuitions of all kinds, whether in music, skating, dance or programming, can help your child learn new skills and make new friendships. There are also expenses associated with hobbies that your child may pursue.

Overall, we find that for an average family, the cost of raising a child today can easily touch a million pounds over the 18 years of the child’s life. This is a rough estimate, and the expenses will vary from one family to another; but, as we have seen above, there are a number of costs associated with raising a child, and there is no shortcut that you can use to avoid them. However, you can definitely make sure that your child always feels loved even when you do not have too much money to splurge on the best kinds of products. In the end, your relationship with your child, and your guidance, will be the best investment you can make in your child.

Five Budgeting Tips that will Help you keep your Finances under Control

canstockphoto9933226Keeping your finances in control is always important, but it is even more important in this weak economy. One never knows whether the situation will improve or even worse, economically, so the importance of budgeting for our financial security cannot be overstressed. That is why we have collected the following five tips that should help you achieve your financial goals.

1.       Maintain a Budget

It is curious how few households even try to keep track of their monthly spending. The result, for most households, is a financial mess that no one knows the head or tail of. When you don’t know what you are spending your money on, you cannot decide what you have to cut to reduce your spending. Therefore, it is important that you keep a budget, and track your spending and income for every month. This should inform you about your spending patterns, and caution you against overspending.

2.       Avoid recurring Liabilities

Recurring liabilities are the kind of services for which you have to pay a monthly or weekly fee. It may cost as low as a cup of coffee you have every day after lunch in your office, or it could be your costly phone plan that you barely use to its fullest extent. These types of liabilities seem cheaper because we do not pay for them at the same time, but over the longer periods, they add up. A cup of coffee everyday may cost you as much as the price of a car over 20 years.

3.       Shop Smarter

A behavioural sciences study was reported to have observed that people who ate a meal before going for shopping spent lesser than people who were hungry when they were shopping. The result may seem surprising, but it is not hard to explain. When we are hungry, we are prone to feel attracted to objects that can satiate our need; and shopping can serve like such an outlet.

This technique, of not being hungry when you shop, is just one of the many techniques of shopping smarter. Another is to use vouchers to save on your grocery and other kind of shopping.

4.       Use Personal Financial Services to Remain under Budget

Services like Money Dashboard, which is a site but made for United Kingdom residents, allow you to keep track of your spending by collating your various financial accounts in the same login. Such services can not only inform you about your spending patterns, but also inspire you to spend well.

5.       Increase Your Income

Strictly, this does not come under budgeting. However, it is hard to overestimate the importance of increasing your income to meet your financial goals. The harsh truth of life is that even the best budgeting cannot allow you to buy something that is just out of your reach financially. The only way to achieve costlier goals is to increase your income. Therefore, whenever you are talking about finance, and budgeting yourself, think about how much you will be earning in the future, and try to increase it.

6 Things To Consider When It Comes To Property Insurance

1020195_20559248Property insurance has become a necessity from luxury. Shopping for property insurance is nagging and challenging. If you want to protect your home from any future danger or disaster, you should take home insurance which covers your valuable possessions. If you have a loan on your property, you should ask your lender for payment protection insurance which is different from property insurance. If you are unable to repay the loan amount due to unemployment or disability, PPI claims will get activated to repay the remaining amount. Following are the six things to consider when it comes to home insurance.

  1. Credit record: Credit rating is one of the essential factors to consider while taking property insurance. Credit record allows you to estimate your credit risk. It is the one of the basic parameter for banker to grant you loan. A good credit record assures your all forms of loans like car loans, mortgage loans and personal loans. Many insurance organisations thoroughly checks customer’s credit record before granting loans due to recent economic downturn. If you want to maintain a good credit score, pay the bills before the due date, avoid taking many credit cards and analyse the credit report. If you want instant improvement in your credit score, you can apply for pay day loans, as these are easiest way to increase your credit score.
  2. Deals and discounts: Most insurance firms which offer discounts on wide range of insurance policies. Ask them for discounts on interest rates and period of payment, unless you won’t request they will not grant. Discount is one the most important thing to consider before buying home insurance.
  3. Compare rates: There are several insurance offering agencies in the market with various policy ranges and rates. Compare interest rates and policy premiums before signing a deal. You may get the same insurance policy with low interest rate when you compare with other insurance firm which is offering the same policy at high interest rates. You should snatch the best insurance policy among the various property insurances.
  4. Home security: Many home owners have no idea that they can save little extra money, when they work on their home security options. It is even helpful to secure their home from uncertainties. Almost every insurance organisation reduce around 15-20% of premium on security alarms and give at least 5% discount for fire and smoke detectors. Secure your home with smoke and fire detectors, burglar alarms and dead-bolt locks.
  5. Stay with the same insurer: Make sure that you are holding your insurance policy with the same insurer for longer periods. You can avail special discounts of up to 5-10 % when you stay with the same insurance firm.
  6. Purchase online: Online purchasers may get property insurance policies with attractive discounts. Few organisations may decrease monthly premiums and some may reduce overall interest rates, so shop online to grab the opportunity.


Maria R is passionate writer who loves to write related to general topics.  Follow her at ppiclaimsmaria


Yakezie Carnival at Young And Thrifty
Carnival of MoneyPros at Family Money Values

What to do after Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is one of the most significant events in life, comparable with marriage or divorce in its impact. However, unlike those two events bankruptcy is almost always a sign of bad times.

To make sure that the bad times are a thing of the past and you do not repeat the same mistakes that led to the bankruptcy in the first place, we have collected this handy guide to what to do after bankruptcy. Even a divorce may be a favorable event if it is done amicably, but a bankruptcy inherently means that you have fumbled financially; therefore it is a good time to make a new start using the following tips.

Assess your Credit Report and Finances

The first step to better financial management after declaring bankruptcy is to educate yourself about not just finance, but also about your own finances. You should read your credit card reports, as well as bank reports, to find out where you spend your money and what your sources of income are. Once you know more about your spending habits, you can take steps to change them for the better.

Learn to Live within your Means

Maybe you have done that always, but a bankruptcy should be taken as another chance to start living within your means. Make sure that you change your spending habits so that you cut back on all unnecessary expenses. When you are in this phase, it is a good time to learn about the differences between liabilities and assets. Any product or service, such as cable or mobile phone is a liability in the long run, whereas the vehicle that allows you to go to work is an asset. You should acquire assets, and try to reduce liabilities.

Pay Your Bills on Time

By paying your bills on time, you not only develop financial discipline, but also improve your credit score. If you find that your bills are too high or too many for your means, you should cut back on some of the services to reduce them. For example, if you have monthly subscription to entertainment or other services, you can unsubscribe till the time your finances are better.

Repair your Credit Worthiness

By declaring bankruptcy, you have definitely taken a huge blow to your credit worthiness. However, it is perfectly possible to repair your credit worthiness by using your credit card wisely. Paying bills on time is also a part of the process of improving your credit score. For a while, you will find that you can only get loans, such as car loans, at a higher interest rate. However, once you have paid them in full and on time, your credit score will improve and you should be able to access loans at a lower interest rate.

When you are recovering from bankruptcy, you are likely also recovering from a number of bad financial habits. Therefore, bankruptcy should be taken as an opportunity to change those habits, as well as to improve your credit score. Once you r credit score has improved, and you have successfully paid off all your debt, you can definitely call yourself a bankruptcy survivor.


Carnival of MoneyPros at The Savvy Scot
Carnival of Retirement at Midlife Finance
Yakezie Carnival at Making The Life You Want

Time to Refinance or Not

1193074_83871887Since the 2008 financial crisis, the home market has seen a lot of churning, with the result that home sales are close to an all time low in at least two decades. Home mortgage rates have also nosedived over the last four years, making them very attractive for anyone who wants to refinance their mortgage. In the United Kingdom, home mortgage rates too have hit new lows.

Mortgage Rates in UK

It has recently been reported that fixed home mortgage rates in the United Kingdom are at their lowest levels since 1989, when fixed-rate home loans were first introduced. This mostly impacts new buyers, because lower rates are a marketing technique to get buyers. Even taking that into account, the lower rate of interest is making refinance an attractive option.

The low mortgage rates are a result of the Funding for Lending scheme launched by the British government in concert with the Bank of England in August 2012. Ever since the launch of that scheme, home loan rates have been falling steeply. The scheme aims to push about £80 billion into the hands of borrowers, and is therefore making it easy for borrowers to access money at low rates. The government in the United Kingdom is making a lot of efforts to encourage the sales of houses in UK, which will help the average buyer in the long run because it will indirectly increase the value of every home.

Other reasons to Refinance Your Home

The other main reason to refinance your home at lower rates is purely financial. Once you have zeroed in on a bank offering a lower rate, you should make an calculation about how much can you save, and from there you can make a decision on whether you want to refinance or not.

For example, if you have a £100,000 mortgage that is at a fixed rate of 5.5%, for a duration of 30 years, you will incur a monthly payment of £568 for it. However, if you refinance it with a rate of 3.5%, your monthly payment will fall drastically to £408. Refinancing at a lower rate makes mathematical sense at every point; however, you do have to take care that there are no hidden costs or fees in the refinance deal.

In conclusion, we can say that this is the best time to refinance your home in the UK. With fixed-rate interest rates at their 20-year lows, you can easily get a deal that would have been unthinkable when you got your mortgage.