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Saving for summer

Saving for summer

Saving for summer

Being a parent and trying to save money can sometimes prove very difficult. Even more so for summer activities and a family summer holiday. I don’t know about you but it often feels as if money evaporates before our eyes. As the saying goes “every little helps”. A few small changes to spending habits can help a great deal and make quite a difference to the savings pot.

Saving doesn’t have to be boring, you can still have fun and save at the same time.

Here are a few saving ideas that may help you save a few pennies for summer:

  • Are you one for going off of lunch dates with friends? Try and cut out on the expensive coffee shops or pub lunches, try and meet for a picnic or even play host and take turns to lunch at each others house. That way you could save a few pounds but your still meeting and having fun.
  • Do you meal plan? Meal planning we find also helps watch the pennies. If meals are planned out in advance for the week it helps with budgeting the funds, it helps to cut out on the impulse buying and also food waste. I am guilty of always impulse buying and buying the “I may need this” item. I am always buying food products and forgetting that they are there and before I know it the food has gone out-of-date. Having a list to stick to and a budget in mind has helped massively. I now try and do online shopping to save the risk of temptation.
  • Voucher codes are always worth looking out for to help keep the costs down. A quick look online could help reduce your bill.
  • Having a sort out of unused items could bring in a few pounds to your saving pot. I think we are all guilty of having a junk area and unused things shoved to the back of the cupboard.  It may be worth having a sort out and advertising the products for sale, someone could grab a bargain and you make a few pounds.
  • Have a closer look at your usage to see what you truly need/use. We recently reduced our TV and internet package as half the channels we didn’t even watch. We are also going more energy-efficient around the home. In the long run the savings here will help keep costs down.
  • Comparison sites is always worth a browse. We never just auto-renew our insurances/contracts we always take a look at the end of every contract. This helps to keep the bills down each month.
  • Walking where possible saves us money and keeps us fit. Being a two car family due to both working and needing a car this means double the car bill. Where possible we leave the car at home and walk. This saves on wear-and-tear on the car, petrol and also parking fees.
  • Grow your own is something we done last year and really enjoyed. Have you ever tried growing your own fruit and veg? this saved us money last year and we hope to do it again this year. Home grown tastes so much better.
  • Try out cheaper brands in store, you never know you may be surprised and even like the cheaper brand. If you can change just a few items to a cheaper brand that could save you a few pounds to add to your savings pot.

These are just a few ideas that may help with saving a few pounds to put towards something for the summer. We are off on a few family holidays over the next few weeks, making a few changes will save on having to apply for a loan. Some may say short term loans can be a good solution but we would rather avoid loans as much as possible.

Do you have any good money-saving ideas?

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Finance

Money under the mattress: finding funds from your home

Money under the mattress: finding funds from your home

Money under the mattress: finding funds from your home

In the modern world, most people have less than perfect finances. With the expense of living, jobs paying less than they used to, and housing being so pricey, it can be hard for people to get enough out of their salary. In this case, life is a challenge and will be very hard for you to manage. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, using your home, you can find ways to give yourself a good windfall, taking away some of the financial strain you feel. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the best ways to make money out of your home.

  • Giving Away A Slice

As the kids start to move out and space starts to open up in your home, the possibility of hosting a lodger becomes a reality. Of course, you won’t want this with young kids, so, for some, it might not work. Without a young child, though, having a young professional live in your home won’t impact your life that much at all. In most cases, lodgers will pay good rent for the place you give them, especially if you’re willing to provide food to them.

For people with young kids, the issues with hosting a lodger will probably be clear. Of course, though, this doesn’t mean that you can’t downsize. By moving to a smaller property, you can rent your current home to someone else. While they live there, the rent you pay will be covered by the rent you receive, leaving a little bit for you. This sort of action has to be taken very carefully, as it can be easy to lose if you’re not careful.

A lot of people will need a little bit of help to carry out action like this. Thankfully, in most cases, an estate agent is all you should need to be able to get started with something like this. They will be able to handle all of the paperwork while making the transaction nice and simple.

  • Using It As Collateral

In some cases, it can be better to keep the space you have and give away some of the equity from your home, instead. One of the best ways to do this is through home owner loans. This sort of option uses your house as a guarantee for the loan, making it easier for the banks to trust you. Along with this, this sort of loan is very easy to apply for, as you don’t have to go through the same vetting as a regular applicant.

Of course, though, in some cases, you will need a lot of money to be able to get on your feet. In this position, it can be worth sacrificing a large part of your home. A remortgage can achieve this for you, as long as you’re not too old to pay back what you owe before you leave work. A lot of people find this method extremely helpful, as it can be done very soon after taking the initial mortgage.

Making a decision like the ones above is never something which can be taken lightly. So, in most cases, it’s a good idea to get some help before you start. Your bank will be a good place to begin, as they will be able to provide you advice for free. For some, though, looking for professional help could be a better way to get the support you need.

  • A Clean Out

When bills are stretching the bank and you’re struggling to make ends meet, even a small boost could be enough to help you out. Though you may be attached to them, the unused items around your home could be plenty to fill your gap. You can start by looking for things of high-value which don’t get used very often. For example, an old music player or other electronic gadget. Then, you can start to look for some ways to sell it.

eBay and other auction websites can be the best to help you if you want to sell quite a few items, as they make it very easy to manage. Alongside this, though, you could also use a social media marketplace, like Facebook’s local sales tools. Using options like this will expand your reach and be much more effective than selling to customers in the flesh.

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of what can be done when you’re trying to find new ways to make money from your home. When you have a resource like this, you have a lot of potential behind you. To learn how to use it, you just have to do some research.

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Finance

Buying Our First House

Buying Our First House

Buying Our First House

We have been married now for sixteen years come August, we have three beautiful teenage boys and have always been a working family but the timing for buying our first house has never been right.

We have lived in our housing association three bedroom house since 2003, we exchanged to move here from our two bedroom council flat – we was very lucky.

Since living here we have done so much to the house to improve it and make it more homely, we have put in a new fitted kitchen and bathroom, added a conservatory and even paved both gardens to make it more pet friendly for Buddy our German Shepherd dog.

The timing hasn’t really been right for buying our first house until now – the house is now comfortable to how we want it and now feels like home – a home that we really want to buy. This is the house all three boys have grown up in, these walls hold so many happy memories.

We did look into trying to buy our house a few years ago but due to the (right to buy) law at the time it came back as a big fat NO!

Now due to recent law changes some people are now being given to right to buy their property if they wish so we recently looked into buying our house again and was totally shocked when they said YES, yes we will be happy to send you out the application pack needed.

Things are now starting to look up for us, we still have a long way to go but we are now a step closer than we was last year and we are keeping positive. We now have an application pack being sent out to us and all the relevant paperwork out to apply to be homeowners……Eeek exciting times!

Looking back to the very first time that we phoned to ask if we had the right to buy our property, in a way we are glad they said no because Ian was then working for a family run business and the boss never paid regular, we went from week to week not knowing when the next payday was or even worst still we never knew how much for. This wouldn’t look good on a mortgage application now would it?

It was a financial struggle and yes bills mounted up but he kept the job because it was a job and they are hard to find nowadays aren’t they?

Things are now different, I have been in a secured job now for a good few years and Ian has since changed jobs, he is now working for a very stable company that has been going for years. This company pays Ian on a set date each month without fail, now this has got to look much better for when applying for a mortgage hasn’t it?

With us both being in a steady job that we’ve been in for a few years now, bills have always been paid on time, we don’t have any rent arrears and we have means to show we can afford a mortgage and have means to pay on time each month.

So looking back – no the timing would have been completely wrong for us to apply but we have worked hard to get to where we are now the main thing we done was financially planned to get to where we are now, that is to be stable enough to be able to apply comfortably for buying our first house.

Your credit report holds all the cards as to whether you will be allowed the credit needed, so having a good credit rating is very important as it is used by lenders to determine how much of a risk you are to loan too. Do you check your credit score? we have been keeping a close eye on ours over the past few years. Credit score checks are used by most lenders, this can be for loans, mortgages, car finance, credit cards and so on.

Ways you can financially help yourself.

Financially plan if you wish to buy something.

Try and avoid getting into bad unessersary debt if possible.

Keep on top of all your bills. Paying on time shows you’re a good trustworthy person to lend to.

Keep an eye on your credit report and try to fix any problems that may show up.

Register on the electoral roll.

Try your best to avoid getting loans.

Keep a check on your outgoing’s, it is so easy to overspend.

Don’t abuse any credit that is available to you.

Are you looking to renew your car? take a look at Stoneacre Car Finance they offer great options ranging from interest free to low payments, also a no deposit car finance offer.

Buying our first home

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