Should I Repay my mortgage Early?
Mortgages

Should I Repay my mortgage Early?

We often hear that we should try to repay our debts early, but we may wonder whether this will also apply to our mortgage. Paying off early does have advantages but it may not always be the best idea. It is worth exploring the idea further before going ahead with making any extra payments.

Check the Cost

IT is good to start by checking how much you are actually paying for the mortgage. This is the cost of the interest and any other fees you have to pay. Also, the cost of anything else you have to pay because you have a mortgage that you may not have if you didn’t have one – such as life insurance and buildings insurance. If you feel you would keep these even without a mortgage then do not include them, but if you will cancel the policies once the mortgage is paid off then they are a fee associated with having a mortgage. It might be that you would keep the buildings insurance but not any life insurance and so you will save the cost of that life insurance.

Check for an Early Redemption Fee

It is worth checking to see whether there is a cost of repaying the mortgage early. This tends to be called an early redemption fee. If you are not sure where to find out then contact the lender directly and ask them. This fee can be quite small, but in some cases it will be really expensive and so it is well worth investigating it carefully. If you are in a fixed rate deal, then it could be more likely that you will have a fee to pay, but you will need to check to be sure. The fee could be just a small administration fee, but there is a chance that it will be a large amount of money which will make it more expensive to repay early than to keep the mortgage and it is therefore well worth checking this out.

Consider Whether you can Afford it

It is also worth making sure that you are able to afford to repay the mortgage early. You will need to be repaying more each month than you are now and you need to think about whether this is something that you will struggle to do. It is wise to check out your bank statements and see how you are managing each month first. This will enable you to see whether you normally have money left at the end of the month that you can use for this purpose or whether you will need to find some extra money elsewhere. You may need to think about ways that you can cut down your spending or try to earn more so that you are able to get the money you need. You need to also consider whether this will be fairly easy for you or whether you might find it stressful and if so, whether you should do it or not. You may find that you will be able to afford more at certain times than others. If this is the case then you might be able to repay limp sums of money at certain times and therefore this could be helpful. You will need a flexible mortgage to be able to do this though, or a savings account that offsets against the mortgage. Find out more about your mortgage and whether you are able to do this or consider moving your mortgage. This could make it easier to repay, if you find a cheaper mortgage as you will have less interest to pay so more money left over to put towards repaying what you owe.

How to Afford the Things you Enjoy in Life
Debt

How to Afford the Things you Enjoy in Life

It can sometimes feel like we are always just finding money to pay for all the bills and we do not have anything left to pay for anything fun. This can make it feel like working is almost a waste of time as the money does not pay for anything that we really want. However, the good news is that for most people, there are ways that they can have some more money so that they can buy some fun things. There are some different things that you can try.

Make Sure You are Not Overpaying for Things

When we pay for things, we often just keep buying them from the same place without thinking about how much they cost and whether we are paying more than necessary. We might compare prices in the supermarket, but often we will forget about the bigger things. For example, think about how much you are paying for insurance, utilities and things like this. Make sure that you compare prices when you are renewing insurance or try to negotiate with your insurer to get the price down. Also think about your utilities and whether you can switch to a different supplier in order to save some money. Obviously you will want to make sure that you get good value for money so you will not want to pay so little that you get a poor service or poor quality items, but often we pay more than necessary as well because we are paying for a brand name or we assume that dearer means better value for money, when this is not always the case. Try to look at reviews and examine companies and products carefully and you should be able to judge for yourself.

Pay Off Your Debts

This suggestion might seem a bit odd, but it makes sense in the long run. While you have debts you will be paying interest on the money that you owe and that interest is money that you would otherwise have been able to spend on fun things.  Some debts are better not to repay, as they have a big charge if you repay them early. This is something that is well worth looking out for. However, most debts will not have this and you will be better off if you do repay them early. Try to start with the ones that are costing you the most money with regards to fees and interest and try repaying that one first. Of course, you need to make sure that you are paying the minimum amount for each debt as well or else you will get extra charges form them.

Check You Need Everything You Buy

It is worth making sure that you need everything that you are buying. This may sound odd, but we often buy things and then end up not really using them very much or getting much pleasure out of them. So just ask yourself, when you are buying something, whether you are going to use it and get pleasure from it and whether you feel that it will be worth buying.

Look Out for Earning Opportunities

It can also be wise to keep a look out for any opportunities to make any extra money. Perhaps selling things that you do not use anymore could allow you to buy some more fun things. Taking on a bit of extra work here or there could also help out. Maybe looking online, doing some temping or freelance work or even a few extra hours in your job, will help you to be able to get some extra money to buy a few more fun things.

What are the Advantages of Banking Online?
Online Banking

What are the Advantages of Banking Online?

These days there are many people that bank online, but there are also people that feel that they do not want to. It is good to understand what the advantages are of banking online and then you will be able to decide whether it is something that will work for you.

Can Check Balance Instantly

It can be extremely useful being able to check your bank balance instantly. You will be able to take a look at what you have and then know what you can afford to buy. This is something which can be extremely useful when you are trying to stick to a budget. You will be able to work out whether you have enough money to afford what you want or whether you need to wait until you get paid next, before you can buy the things. It is really great to be able to have quick access like this, rather than having to wait until you go to a cash machine or a branch of your bank. It is particularly useful if you tend to buy items online when you are at home and therefore are not near these places to be able to check the balance o your account and can also be good when you are planning spending.

Easy to Transfer Money

If you want to transfer some money, perhaps to your savings account or from it or to someone else, then this can be really easy to do this online. You could use it to pay workmen etc as well by moving money into their bank account. It is quicker and easier than using a cheque and means that you can get money moved fast if you need to.

Easy to Pay Bills

If you want to pay a bill, then you can do it through your online banking. It is much easier to make a bill payment through their system than it is to pay the bill at the post office, send them a cheque or use another way to pay. It can mean that you can get it paid quickly and easily and you will also be able to check first that you have the money available to pay it and if not transfer some money into your current account first. It makes things very simple.

No Need to Queue

It can be much easier to bank online because you do not have to go to a branch and queue. With some things you can deal through the post office and others you will need a branch and it is very common to have to queue up in a branch and wait to see someone. You may even not have a branch that close to where you live and so have to travel some distance to get there. If this is the case, then banking online can be very much more convenient.

Some people do worry about the security of online banking. However, if you have good passwords and are very careful when entering your bank details, then you should be fine. If fraud does happen, then you bank should be able to deal with it and make sure that you get back any money that was taken from you. If you have a telephone banking account, then there is risk there as well, but if you feel comfortable with the security of that, you should feel the same with regards to online banking as well. Just make sure that you log in in a secure place where no one can see you entering your details and you should be fine.

Should I Play the Lottery?
Make Money

Should I Play the Lottery?

There are many of us that play the lottery and it is considered to be quite a normal thing for people to do. Many would not even consider why they should not play it. However, there are things that we should think about with regards to the lottery to make sure that we are really benefitting from playing it.

Cost

It is good to start by considering how much you pay on the lottery. Some people will just buy the odd ticket every month or so and there are others that will pay out for tickets every day, including scratch cards. Think about how much you spend each day, week, month and year and then you will be able to start to decide whether you feel that you are getting good value for money. Consider what else you might be able to spend that money on and whether you think that you would rather spend the money on something else. Keep the amount in mind as you think about the other factors in this article.

Wins

It is worth considering how much you have won on the lottery. You may have had some small wins, but it is unlikely that you will have had a big win. Although there is always the hope of a big win, it is a good idea to look at the odds of winning. These should be published on the back of a scratch card or the website of the lottery organiser. It is so tempting to think that because someone has to win that one day it will be you. However, if you look and calculate how many tickets you would need to buy to ensure that you won, then you will begin to see why it might be a good idea to stop imagining that you might win, as it is so unlikely that you will. Of course, there will be a chance you will win a small prize, but if it is the jackpot that you are after then this will be very unlikely.

Pleasure

It is worth thinking about how much pleasure you get from the lottery. Consider whether you have fun when you do it and enjoy playing and finding out if you have won or whether you get frustrated with it when you do not win. Sometimes we play due to a habit or because we are desperate for money and see it as a solution. However, we have to think about whether this is a good reason for playing. If it is making us stressed and frustrated and we are spending money and not getting much back then we are not getting much from it then it might be wise to not do the lottery any more. However, if you find it lots of fun, it is a good idea to think about whether you feel that it is worth the money that you pay for it. Think about whether you feel that the fun you have is worth the money that you are paying.

Alternatives

It is a good idea to think about whether there are any alternative ways that you can still have a chance of winning money without paying out like this. You may think there are not, but there are a couple of possibilities. For example, you could buy some premium bonds, where you will be entered in a monthly draw, but you can get your money back whenever you need it. You can also do free lotteries online. These may sound like a con, but they are not as the websites earn money through advertising revenue which they then spend on the prizes that they give away.

How Can I Pay for a New Bed?
Spending

How Can I Pay for a New Bed?

If you decide that you need a new bed, perhaps because yours has broken or is getting uncomfortable, then you may wonder how you will be able to afford it. There are different ways that you can pay for it and there will be advantages and disadvantages to all of them, so it is good to have a careful think about them all so that you will be able to choose the option that will suit you the best.

Use Savings

If you have some money saved up then you could use this to pay for the bed. If the money is in an instant access savings account, you will be able to get hold of it right away. It might be that your money is tied up though and it might mean that you will need to wait a bit longer to get it. Some accounts will take a few days, but others the money could need a months notice or so or you may need to wait a while. If you have a bond you may have to wait until it matures before you can cash out. Therefore, you will have to find out how so you can get the money and whether you are willing to wait until you can get it.

Save Up

If you do not have the money in your savings account at the moment, you may find that you will be able to save up some money. This will mean that you will not have to borrow the money, but you will have to wait a while until you have accumulated what you need. This could be something that you are able to do, but it depends on how urgent your need is to buy the bed. If it has broken and cannot be repaired then you may have to get one. However, if it is uncomfortable, then you might be able to cope with it for a little while, so that you can save up.

You could try borrowing the money…

Borrow the Money

Borrowing the money if you desperately need money now will mean that you will be able to get the bed quickly. You will be able to normally arrange a loan pretty fast or if you use a credit card you will be able to buy it right away. It could take a little longer in some cases than using your savings though, depending on the type of loan that you use and where you get it from. Of course, if you have a poor credit record, then you may not easily be able to borrow money and so borrowing might not be an option for you. There will also be a cost associated with a loan. All lenders will charge you for borrowing money and you will need to think about whether you think that it is worth paying this money so that you can buy the bed more quickly. You are paying for the privilege and you need to decide whether you think that it is worth doing this or not.

So, there are three main options and you will need to consider which will be the best for you. It is good to think about how urgent your need is first as that will be a big factor. You also need to consider whether you have enough money saved and how easy it will be to get a loan. The cost of the loan is also a big thing to consider. Take some time to weigh it all up as the decision is important and will make a difference to how long it is until you get the bed and the total cost of it, so it is an important one to make.