How to Live Comfortably in Retirement

By: Alex Hartley Jan 27, 2016 How to Live Comfortably in Retirement If you read the personal finance press at the moment you will no doubt notice that there’s a lot of doom and gloom when it comes to the prospect of retirement. “Will you be able to afford to retire? Many think they won’t,” says the media while also reporting on the closure of final salary pension schemes and the fact that at least one in seven people due to retire in the next year or so don’t have a pension. Yes, given issues with debts and interest rates, as well as the economic problems since 2008, things are difficult. However, it is possible to find a way to live comfortably in retirement with our useful list of tips. Start planning now. Whatever age you are when you’re reading this, you can do your retirement prospects no harm by starting to save for a pension with your next salary payment. A pension is very much like putting away savings every month – if you don’t do this automatically then it’s


Eight ways to reduce your money worries

By: Oliver Jones Jan 24, 2016 Eight ways to reduce your money worries There have been many anxiety surveys over the past five years and most of them indicate that between a third and two thirds of us are worrying about money – all of the time. If you recognise yourself in this then you are certainly not alone. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, as it is possible to stop worrying about money, even if you don’t win the lottery. Don’t stick your head in the sand. The ‘ostrich’ method of managing your money is pretty much guaranteed to make you really anxious. If you’re the kind of person who throws bills straight in the bin or won’t look at your bank account for months on end because you’re worried about what you might find, be aware that you’re actually increasing your worry by doing this, rather than easing it. Get some perspective. Most financial realities are not ideal – but neither are they a disaster. Instead of becoming lost in the failures and fears th

2016 is the year you win at your finances

By: Alex Hartley Jan 21, 2016 2016 is the year you win at your finances We’re far enough into 2016 now for the resolution-breaking weeks to be behind us. New Year’s Eve is just a distant memory and it’s time to start seriously looking at the year ahead. For many of us, it’s our finances that could do with some serious attention this year – sorting out money matters is at the top of the agenda for many people. 2016 is a great year to start winning with your cash – here’s why (and how). You can start saving to buy a home In December the government introduced the new Help to Buy ISA, a scheme designed to get anyone looking to plant a foot on the housing ladder to start saving. You also get the added boost of a 25% top up from the government. So, for every £100 that you put into the ISA the government will add another £25 – plus the ISA is a tax free form of savings. You can deposit a lump sum of up to £1,200 into the ISA in the first month and then £200 a month after

The best personal finance tips of all time

Oct 13, 2014 Blog RSS feed Is 2016 the year that you’re going to sort your finances out? Whether you want to make the most of your income, deal with your debts or find new ways to manage your money, there are lots of opportunities for changing your financial landscape this year. To get you off on the right foot we’ve got a list of the best personal finance tips of all time. De-stress the experience. We tend to associate our finances with a feeling of tension or stress (most of us at least!). Before you start rearranging your money matters, take a step back and get some perspective – remember that it’s always possible to make a change and the calmer you are when you start making plans, the more effective you will be. Structure your payments. If you’re missing payments, you’re not sure what is due when and you don’t really have any idea of what your outgoings are, create a schedule. Order regular payments such as energy bills and rent or mortgage and create a calendar that

How to minimise your energy bills

By: Oliver Jones Jan 14, 2016 How to minimise your energy bills There are many advantages to reducing your energy bills this winter – not only will you cut the amount you need to pay to utilities companies but you will also have a positive impact on the environment too. But how do you do it? Don’t use standby mode According to the Energy Saving Trust you can save around £30 a year if you don’t leave your appliances on standby when you’re not using them – turn them off at the plug to stop the energy drain. Shower smarter There are lots of savings to be made on energy when it comes to the bathroom – if you shower for one minute less every day you could shave around £10 a year on energy bills, per person. An water efficient shower head soon (which you can fit if you have a shower fed straight from your boiler or hot water tank) pays for itself with savings of nearly £70 a year in a four person household. Buy a thermostat Heating our homes is one of the biggest energy expen

How to prepare for a long, hard winter

By: Alex Hartley Jan 11, 2016 How to prepare for a long, hard winter Although we had one of the mildest Decembers on record this year, we’re now in the period of winter that often results in snow, where temperatures plummet, and when spring can seem very, very far away. As well as this being the worst time for weather, it can be a difficult period for your finances too, and even your state of mind. As we’re looking ahead at what could be a long, hard winter we’ve got a few tips to help you get through the worst of it. Tip 1: Heat yourself, not your house Many of us waste money on heating during the winter months and it’s the time of year when the temptation to just turn up the thermostat and shut the door is overwhelming. However, your home doesn’t need to be warm if you’re not in it and the way you dress and act can have an impact on how much heat you need. Buy yourself warm slippers or socks, a cosy duvet and perhaps a hot water bottle so that when it gets really cold you

How to avoid the (financial) winter blues

Oct 13, 2014 Blog RSS feed Is January the most depressing month of the year? Christmas is over, it’s cold and grey, you might be submitting your tax return, you’re out of cash after Christmas, you’ve gained a few festive pounds…the list of reasons why this part of winter is no one’s favourite time of year could go on and on. You probably have a few to add yourself and if you look around you, the grim stares on most people’s faces will confirm that others are feeling the same. However, while on paper this may be a fairly challenging time, you don’t have to suffer with the winter blues, as we’ve got some tips to help put a smile back on your face again. See family and friends As many of us are trying to save money at the start of the year, or perhaps attempt a ‘Dry January’ or introduce a new fitness regime, we often sacrifice friends and family visits, particularly if these usually involve eating or drinking. However, this is exactly the time of year that you need y