6 Questions to ask before you borrow

By: Alex Hartley Mar 31, 2016 6 Questions to ask before you borrow Borrowing is as much a part of life for us all now as work/weddings/childcare/holidays and supermarket queues on a Friday night. It’s something that most of us factor in to our finances at some point, from using credit cards, to taking out a mortgage to help buy a home. As credit has become an every day occurrence for British consumers, the markets for different credit types have expanded and there is now a broad range of choice for those looking for financial help. So, here are six questions you should ask yourself if you thinking of borrowing: How much do you want to borrow? Determining how much credit you need is the first step to identifying the best credit option out there. Most will have a cap on the maximum level of credit that you will be offered so do some research and work out how much you need. For example, if you want to borrow five or six figures to fund a property purchase then a mortgage is really your


Apps that can earn you money

By: Oliver Jones Mar 29, 2016 Apps that can earn you money There’s an enormous range of smartphone apps that can help you earn extra cash for relatively little effort. We live in an age where technology is ultra accessible. 70% of the UK population has a smartphone and for the majority this is their main means of accessing the internet. We can all communicate, create and promote with access to a global audience and a wide range of resources. So with this trend in mind what apps will pay you for the use of a little of your time? Downloading and testing apps You can get paid for helping app developers create and refine their products – test out the latest technology and at the same time get paid for your input. There’s a variety of different apps you can download that will give you access (such as appxpert) and you can be paid in cash via PayPal (minimum payout £5). The process is simple too – download and sign up to the app, take part in an investigation and then get paid for ev

Borrowing to help your future

By: Alex Hartley Mar 24, 2016 Borrowing to help your future Debt is part of modern life – figures from The Money Charity indicate that in the UK the average household debt (inc. mortgages) is around £54,000 and collectively we owe £1.460 trillion. That’s mortgages, unsecured loans, credit cards, overdrafts, stored card, homeowner loans, etc. So, it’s very rare to come across someone who hasn’t some form of borrowing, particularly if they are younger. The idea behind consumer debt is simple – rather than saving first and then spending, borrow the money, make the purchase to get the benefit earlier and then worry how to pay it off. Yes, there is always the potential to get into trouble with debt but using it sensibly can help set you up for the future. Mortgages Borrowing to fund a property purchase is one of the most typical types of debt in the UK. We are a society very focused on property ownership but with house prices climbing at rates far faster than our salaries are incre

Mental tricks to help improve bad money habits

Oct 13, 2014 Blog RSS feed Like many other areas of life, when it comes to money management, a lot of the issues that many of us have are related to the bad habits that we have fallen into. You may be an over spender, or perhaps you’re the kind of person more likely to stick your head in the sand than deal with the red letters landing on your doormat. Either way, negative money attitudes are simply behaviour patterns that have been picked up over the years – and that means that they can be altered. Sometimes, the easiest way to take the first steps towards changing those patterns is to trick your brain into leaving them behind. Stick your head out of the sand One of the easiest ways to keep overspending and wasting money is through ignorance. If you have no idea what is coming into your account or going out then you don’t really know how much you’re spending or what anything costs. Many of us don’t want to think about our finances – especially if times are tight – but a

What could Brexit mean for you and me?

By: Alex Hartley Mar 17, 2016 What could Brexit mean for you and me? It is certainly one of the biggest news items of recent times – the ‘Brexit,’ the idea that Britain may exit the EU. The referendum that will take place on June 23rd will give those of us who live in Britain a direct choice between staying in the EU and stepping out of it. The EU was formed in 1993 as an evolution of the EEC or “Common Market”, that the UK joined in 1973. It has developed policies to cover aspects of free movement of people, goods, services, and capital for those who are based within its borders. There are currently 28 members of the EU and this huge body includes a number of different European institutions, such as the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Central Bank. We’ve all seen the satirical cartoons, the splits in the Conservative party that have resulted from

Haggling – just not cricket?

By: Oliver Jones Mar 14, 2016 Haggling – just not cricket? When we think of haggling it tends to be in the context of markets on foreign shores, perhaps good naturedly arguing over the price of a piece of fabric or a snow globe. In British culture, haggling is fairly frowned upon and few of us would even think of querying the price of something when it’s put in front of us. We assume that the cost is the cost and, perhaps, that there is some authority that has set this price that cannot be questioned. In actual fact, this is not the case at all – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go into a shop, even a large chain, and query why the price of an item is set at a certain level. Recent initiatives from enormous brands have proven that it’s possible to get price reductions – for example the Tesco Brand Guarantee, which gives customers who speak up about a product they have seen cheaper elsewhere a discount at the till. While you may see this as just another cynical marketing e

How to save £1000s this year from life’s small stuff

By: Alex Hartley Mar 09, 2016 How to save £1000s this year from life’s small stuff With 2016 well under way if you’ve so far failed to get your finances under control, and you’re really keen to do so soon, then budgeting and cutting back are important first steps. You may think that you’re already making all the savings that you can when it comes to your spending but there is always room to cut back a little more. We’ve got a few suggestions for small changes you can make in 2016 that together will save you thousands, rather than a few hundred, per year. Make your own brew Yes, your daily latte (or double dose of lattes) might seem like a little luxury but if you drop the habit you could be saving yourself £5-6 a day. That’s upwards of £20 a week, £80 a month and almost £1,000 a year. Swap your shop bought caffeine consumption for supplies at the office or go old school and bring a thermos from home. Be wary of multibuys We tend to see signs offering us any kind of disc