Who is Really In Control of Your Spending?


There’s a lot of debate in personal finance circles, and that’s definitely a good thing. We want to make sure that people really do get the picture when it comes to taking responsibility for their own actions. However, who is really in control of your spending? A lot of people think that spending is something that can’t be controlled, but we disagree.

Of course, we do need to clarify a bit here. You’re going to have to spend money in order to live. You need to have a place to live, and you need to make sure that you and your family have something to eat. However, does that mean that you always have to give in to your desire to have material goods? That’s the part that comes under fire.

A lot of people feel that with the rise in advertising, spending is just unavoidable. You have to get the nice things, because how will you know that you’ve made it or not? The truth is that there are other ways to measure success than just the amount of money in your bank account that you can use to buy things that you don’t really need. At the end of the day, you are truly in control of your spending. No one is forcing you to lust for designer clothing. In fact, there are many people that don’t lust for these things at all. They feel no need or desire to go and get luxury items — they would rather have good food, good family, and time to rest. If you are happy at what you are doing in life, then you really don’t need to spend money in order to have a good life.

There are a lot of people that want to spend money that don’t really have the money to spend. Discretionary income is what we use to have fun with; well, that’s what we should be doing. Instead, a lot of people make the dangerous mistake of playing with their rent money, hoping that they’ll be able to replace it before it’s time to pay the rent. That’s a dangerous game that has led to numerous eviction notices over the years. Why would you want to play that game with your family’s welfare?

The other thing that you will want to keep in mind is that when it really comes time to make the big decisions on spending, you don’t want to make them in a vacuum. You don’t want to just assume that you have full authority. Now, in many families there is one person that makes the bulk of the financial decisions. However, you don’t want to just do that all of the time. It will make your family feel like their opinions don’t count and that leads to a lot of hurt feelings. The reality of the matter is that since you are in control of your spending, you have all of the power in the world to create a great life. Continue reading “Who is Really In Control of Your Spending?”

Adjusting To the Idea of Critical Illness Cover

Adjusting To the Idea of Critical Illness Cover


We try to stay plugged into the consumer side of insurance often, and that means hearing form real people trying to go through life and take care of their families. One of the first things that people talk about when it comes to preparing their families for anything is that that they assume that nothing bad will ever happen to them. They are good people, they pay their taxes, and they don’t harm anyone or anything — so why would they expect the worst to happen?

The thing about life is that you never know what can happen. We have seen a lot of good people that never harmed a soul in their life come down with critical illnesses. That means that you can’t just assume that nothing will happen to you because you don’t hurt anyone and you pay your taxes. This means that you have to adjust to the idea of having at least critical illness cover if you choose nothing else.

An illness can take a successful, healthy family and turn it upside down. You’re going to have to make sure that you focus on the bigger picture if you really want to get things done. It would be better to make sure that you have your eyes on what’s going to be important, rather than just assuming that there’s no reason to take any extra precautions about life. You might wake up and find yourself sick without too many courses of action.

Now, you might assume that the government is going to be there to take care of you, but that doesn’t always happen. So that means that you need to act in your best interests before anything else. You might be hoping that your family is going to receive some sort of benefits until you get back on your feet, but who knows when those are going to actually kick in? It would be a better idea to see what you can do on your own.

Looking up life insurance quotes online gives you the inside angle to getting the information you want without having to spend a lot of time looking for that knowledge. The last thing anyone wants to mess with is a lot of confusion just to get a little insight into a situation.

Yes, you might need to adjust to the idea of having critical illness cover. Insurance is one of those things that nobody really wants to mess with, but everyone actually needs. If you try to worry too much about how you’re going to handle the future, all you will do is stress yourself out! Choose great life insurance instead, as it’s so much easier!

Will debt management affect my credit rating?


We are going to look at two questions in this article: firstly, what is debt management, and secondly, will entering debt management affect your credit rating?

If you’re already familiar with debt management and how it works, you can skip straight to the second section of this article, which looks at how entering a debt management plan can affect your credit rating.

What is debt management?

If you’re having difficulty repaying your unsecured debts – such as credit cards, personal loans, overdrafts, etc. – every month, it’s important to find a way of repaying your debts at a rate you can afford as soon as possible.

A debt management plan could be one suitable option. If you can’t make your repayments to your unsecured lenders as originally agreed, a debt management plan could allow you to make one payment per month, following a repayment plan that’s tailored to what you can actually afford.

You could choose to draw up and follow your own debt management plan, but if you agree one with the help of a professional debt management company, they could also deal directly with your lenders on your behalf, which can take away much of the pressure of phone calls and paperwork.

So how exactly does a debt management plan work? It’s an informal (non-legally binding) agreement between you and your unsecured lenders, in which you – or your debt management company – will ask them to accept reduced monthly payments you can afford every month.

If your repayment plan is accepted, your unsecured lenders may also agree to reduce or freeze interest and other charges on your debts, so they won’t increase as you’re repaying them.

However, it’s important to remember that making lower repayments every month means you’ll also be paying off your debts for a longer period. And if your lenders don’t agree to freeze or reduce interest on your debts, it could end up costing you more in interest overall, since your debt will have longer to accrue interest.

Will debt management damage my credit rating?

As debt management is only an appropriate option if you actually can’t afford your original repayments, chances are you’ll already be in financial difficulty before your agreement is accepted.

So your credit rating may have already been damaged. Whether or not you actually enter a debt management plan, failing to make the payments you agreed to when you first took on a debt can affect your credit rating for five years, potentially making it harder and/or more expensive to obtain further credit in that time.

Credit Cards Make Life a Little More Flexible – Be Prepared!


What is the real purpose of credit cards? For some, credit cards are a great way to buy the things that they want now, and just pay it off when they get their regular paycheck. In this way, it provides flexibility. It’s not a tool that’s being used to live outside of one’s means. In essence, you want your credit card to benefit you in some way without taking away from the quality of life that you have already built for yourself. You just need to make sure that you are staying very focused on the road ahead no matter what. If you’re not careful, you can get off track when it comes to credit. This is where the negative aspect of credit comes in — people feel that it’s worth even worth looking for.

Remember, it’s all about the resources you use when you go to make your decisions. This is why you should check out Totally Money. At Totally Money you can comparing credit cards, which is the perfect way to save money.

Comparison shopping isn’t just limited to credit cards. If you don’t want to pay more for car insurance than what you really need to, you will need to hunt around for the best deal. You probably already comparison shop at the grocery store, so why wouldn’t you want to look at great deals on credit cards? Make sure that you step back to think about the type of card that really speaks to you. You want to always get something that you’re going to gain a great value out of. For example, if you do a lot of shopping, a rewards credit card really does make sense for your needs. If you aren’t focusing on that, then you could end up with a card that doesn’t serve you as well as another card would. This is all part of comparison shopping. Even though it may appear that this takes a long time, it really doesn’t. You just need to make sure that you are always giving all of your options a second glance.

Keep in mind that just because you don’t see any deals that you want to take advantage of right off the bat, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to want to look at deals in the future. There are always new promotions coming out, so don’t get discouraged…good luck!

Essentials Things to Consider in Personal Loans

Essentials Things to Consider in Personal Loans


When you are planning to get a personal loan, you will find out that it is not that easy to instantly make a decision as there are lots of things that have to be considered.  There is a need for you to ask yourself several questions before finally arriving at a decision.  Here are the questions and answer them intelligently so you will end up landing on a loan that’s perfect for you.

1.    How much money do I need?

Before determining the money that you need, you first have to know where the money will be used so you know exactly how much do you need.  After you have determined the amount of money, you are now ready to shop around for personal loans.  You have to gather several loans mainly for the purpose of comparison.

2.    How much do I need to pay?

When you see ads about personal loans, creditors usually post low interest rates, but the rates don’t usually apply to everyone.  The rates might only be referring to people with high salaries and good credit scores.  There are so many factors that you have to look into when it comes to interest rates.  Interest rates that will be applied on your personal loan will basically be based on your monthly income, on your other outstanding loans, and on your credit record.  All this information will clearly tell the creditors what type of borrower you are.
You must also be aware that there are other fees that companies will require you to pay like processing fees, pre-payment penalties and administration fees.

3.    Should I choose a secured loan or an unsecured loan?

Some people prefer secured loans because they are more flexible than unsecured loans.  In a secured loan, monthly payments are lower as the interest rates are very reasonable, but it can also be very risky as you may lose the property that you’ve used as collateral in case of non-payment of your personal loan.  If you do not want to risk your property and you think you can deal with higher interest rates, then the unsecured loan is right for you.

4.    How long do I intend to pay my personal loan?

If you’re planning to loan a big amount, you might want to repay it for a longer period of time so you can afford the monthly installments.  But if you think you can afford bigger monthly installments and you want to reduce the interest on your personal loan, choose a shorter mode of payment.

Student Life: Kit Out Your Digs On A Budget


Starting university is an exciting and decisive time. Not only will you be meeting new people, learning new things and forming new opinions, but moving into your own space can also be a liberating opportunity to reinvent who you are and what you stand for.

Whilst it is neither advisable nor attractive to pretend to be someone you’re not, liberating yourself from the constraining influences of family and childhood friends can allow you to discover within yourself previously unexplored avenues of ideas and beliefs. Having your own space in which to grow and expand can have a surprisingly significant impact on how you begin to evolve as an adult.

Although it is important to create a calm, welcoming environment within that space, living on a student budget away from such luxuries as home-cooked food and free laundry services leaves little money for interior design. Luckily, styling your student digs doesn’t have to cost the earth, so hide that debit card in a drawer and start using your creativity.

Don’t Bring Too Much

As tempting as it might be to bring the entire contents of your bedroom (and your parents’ kitchen) with you to university, it’s simply not necessary. Rather than putting food processors and ornaments into the car on the morning you’re due to leave, set aside time well in advance to sit down with a practical parent or friend and make a detailed list of essential belongings you’ll need to pack.

Working out what you need to take in advance reduces your chances of splashing out on expensive panic buys at the last minute. Knowing just how much you need to take also allows you to plan your journey to university smoothly. If you find you really can’t fit everything into the car, working this out in advance allows you to plan ahead. Hiring a van can be cheaper than you might imagine and might work out as the cost-effective alternative to making several trips or buying lots of new things when you arrive.

Most van-hire companies take out insurance on your behalf, but if you’re planning to transport all your most important possessions halfway across the country, you may wish to take out additional cover. You can compare van insurance policies to find the best one.

However, unless your university is in the middle of nowhere, it will be much easier to buy things such as kitchen utensils once you have arrived as you can then team up with your flatmates to work out what you might need.

How to Jazz up Your Digs

Once you’ve moved all your essentials into your new home, it’s time to decorate. However keen you might be to make a fresh start, bringing a few home comforts such as photos or bedspreads can help to assuage any homesickness you might feel. In addition to these, even the barest of rooms can be made welcoming with a snazzy new duvet set, a string of fairy lights or a few scarves draped artistically around the corners, all of which can often be bought very cheaply in student sales.

Many universities also have poster sales towards the start of term, where new students can buy posters for very reasonable prices. Buying something decorative related to your subject, such as a world map for geographers, can help to keep you motivated during long study periods. When making any purchase, don’t forget to ask whether the store offers student discounts as these can save you a serious amount of money in the long run.

Article provided by Jeff, a British money saving blogger on behalf SO Switch.

Use Your End of the Year Bonus on Paying Down Your Credit Cards!

Use Your End of the Year Bonus on Paying Down Your Credit Cards!


If you’re looking for fast ways of paying down your , don’t worry — you are completely in good company! You just need to make sure that you look into all of your options, and we do mean all of your options. For example, you might have just received a year end bonus from your job. Does this mean that you should run out and immediately spend it on the latest and greatest fashions or even the latest cell phone? Definitely not. You will need to think about how to best use the money to make your life easier. For example, you can pay down your credit card debt quickly with your bonus, as long as you follow a few simple steps:

First and foremost, you will want to make sure that your credit card debts are actually current. This will make it a lot easier to pay money towards the principal of the credit card, rather than just the interest. If you can pay early in your cycle, you will actually save a lot of money on interest as well. This is because when you pay early you are shaving off days where interest is calculated. After all, you can’t really calculate interest on a day where there is no balance to be had, right?

From there, you will also need to make sure that you send in the payment as soon as possible. This is where it helps to have your bank account already connected to your credit card company’s payment site. If you have a debit card, then you can make a one time payment. You don’t want to go with a money order, because you will be at the mercy of the post office instead of actually having things together.

As a side note, you might want to think about going with automatic payments through a checking account or even off your debit card. This will help you stay on track even after you use your bonus to pay down your credit card bills. This will also give you the good credit history to ask for a reduction on your interest rate, or even to ask for an increase on your rate limit. If you show the company that you can handle more responsibility, then you will definitely get anything that you request.

Finally, you need to make sure that you keep the momentum going. Surely there are things that you can do to bring in extra money. For most people, this means either making more money, or cutting back on expenses and using the savings towards your credit card payments. One thing that a lot of people do is switch down their cable subscription, since most of us are far too busy to actually sit down and watch television.

Overall, taking care of your credit card payments is something that you will need to make a priority if you really want to have the good financial history necessary to move forward in life. With the tips in this guide, you shouldn’t have a problem working towards a brighter credit future!

What do credit card companies do to attract and retain more clients

What do credit card companies do to attract and retain more clients


There is a lot of competition in the credit card arena and many different cards for consumers to choose from. In order to succeed in this crowded space, credit card issuers need to provide solid customer service and reward their most loyal customers. Credit card issuers can serve and reward their customers with a number of initiatives.

Longer Grace Periods

The grace period on the credit card is the period of time between the closing date of the statement and the date when the payment is due. Some credit card issuers have been reducing the number of days customers have to pay their bills, resulting in increased late payments and increased charges to customers. Credit card issuers can differentiate themselves by offering a longer grace period than their competitors, giving customers more time to pay without incurring any additional fees or charges.

Lower Fees

Fees for things like late payments or going over the pre-established credit limit have been on the rise in recent years. One thing credit card issuers can do to attract more customers and provide better service is to lower those fees to less than the industry average. Waiving fees for long term customers who make a single late payment can also foster customer loyalty and provide better customer service.

Better Rewards

Many credit cards allow their cardholders to earn reward points that can be redeemed for gift cards, special event packages and even cash. Credit cards issuers can make their cards more attractive by using a simple formula to calculate the points earned, as well as offering bonus points for spending in certain categories. For instance, many credit cards offer a higher percentage of points for spending on groceries, gasoline and other popular categories. Some credit cards also use a tiered system that rewards those who spend more on their cards with a higher percentage of rewards and cash back, or access to special award categories.

By implementing these changes and providing better service to their existing customers, credit card issuers can gain market share and improve their perception in the eyes of customers. The credit card industry is rarely at the top of customer service surveys, but there are some things issuers can do to make their products more appealing, and more useful, to their customers. And if you’re on the customer side, you can only benefit from more competition – but of course, you’ll have to do some asking around to get the best!

Borrowing Money

Borrowing Money


Borrowing money is something which is relatively easy these days. Gone are the years where you would have to dress up smartly and plead your case to the bank manager so that you could afford to buy a new fridge. These days it is a lot easier to borrow money and it is almost the norm to use credit to buy things.

Being able to borrow money can be extremely useful. If we need money in an emergency, we can get it and so we do not have to worry about what will happen if our car breaks down and we need to repair it to get to work, we can just borrow the money. It is also useful to be able to have a credit card for online purchases and to delay the time until we need to pay off the debt. It is almost hard to imagine a world without credit.

However, there are problems with borrowing money as well. Unless you pay back your credit card each month or have an agreed overdraft limit, you may find that the cost of borrowing soon escalates. If you just have one loan then it may be easily managed but once they start to build up, problems can occur. It is easy to have several credit cards, an overdraft, student loan,. Mortgage and store cards and then suddenly find yourself in massive debt. The problem with debt is that it can be extremely expensive. So use it wisely, use it to your advantage and make sure that it does not take you over.

So think hard before you borrow money. It can be extremely useful, but also a menace. Make sure that you have the means to pay it back and that you are not spending too much. Use it just for necessary purchases and emergencies and make sure you think hard about the cost of your borrowing before you get in to debt. Also make sure that if you lose your means of paying your debt, such as losing your job, that you have a back up plan or some insurance to help you out.

The Social Lending World Can Be a Great Place to Find Second Mortgage Lenders


Looking for second mortgage lenders can be a hassle, but did you know that you can find some in the social lending world? If things don’t quite work out the way you want to in the traditional world of mortgages, the social lending world can be just as good. One of the top things that you need to do is look closer to the world of social lending and figuring out more about what you actually want to achieve.

It all starts with the proposal that you need to make for things to take off. A proposal is basically talking to people about what you need to achieve with the second mortgage. Even though you can get a second mortgage for any purpose, social lenders want to hear about what you will honestly do for the money. Some will finance you even if you just want to get things for your home and maybe take the kids on holiday, but most will expect you to do something a bit more serious with the money.

And for good reason — you’re going to be putting up your house as collateral, and that’s a pretty serious thing. So this isn’t really one of those loans that you take out to get your spouse a new wedding ring because the old one is broken – it’s the type of thing that you take out when you really want to turn a new page in your life. It’s one of those things that actually depends on your ability to sell the idea to someone else.

You will also need to do some research outside the world of social lending in order to set the best interest rate. Some social lenders will vote your interest down, while some will want you to pay more in terms of interest depending on what you are trying to do and what your credit rating actually is. Just like in the traditional world, your credit score still makes a difference.

However, that’s where the differences end. You will find that a lot of social lenders are more likely to excuse previous bad financial problems if you can show that you have turned a new leaf. That’s something that you can use to convince the others to believe in you and your dreams.

So, the bottom line here is that you need to check out your prospects and make sure that you have your proposal filled out to the fullest — you just don’t know who is willing to invest in you!