A summary of pawnbroking and how to use a pawnbroker

Pawnbroking is a custom as old as time – it even existed in the Ancient Greek and Roman Empires. The practice arrived in England with William the Conqueror in the 1050s and has been used by kings and paupers to help raise cash at essential moments. Even some of the most successful historical figures have a history of pawning their stuff – King Henry V pawned his jewels in 1415 to raise money for a war with France. The famous Medici family of Florence is thought to have provided the symbol of pawnbrokers worldwide – three spheres hanging from a bar. Wherever you see that sign then there’s a pawnbroker nearby. Does pawnbroking still exist? Yes, very much so. If you’re looking to pawn one of your possessions then you normally have two options. Either you can opt to sell the item to the pawnbroker or you can loan cash from the pawnbroker for a set period, such as six months, with the item as security. You can retrieve what you’ve pawned at any time by repaying the loan and the


Is it finally time to buy an electric car and join the party?

There used to be a time when an electric car was a serious novelty. The idea of being able to plug in a car and charge it up like a mobile phone was a bit of a conceptual leap for some. Today, however, that’s no longer the case. By the end of June 2017 new registrations for plug in cars had reached 105,000 – up from just 3,500 in 2013. Many major manufacturers now offer electric vehicles as part of their range and more and more drivers are switching on to the benefits of leaving petrol behind. So, is now the time to buy an electric car? The cost of buying an electric car In the early days the cost of manufacturing electric vehicles meant that the sale price was pretty high. Motorists would pay a premium to buy but then make savings later, such as the cost of fuel and avoiding the Congestion Charge in London. Now, however, electric car costs are dropping fast. A 2017 forecast by the investment bank UBS predicted that electric cars would soon be on a level, price-wise, with your sta

Squirrel away your acorns to save £60,000 before you’re 40

If you’re a first-time buyer and are looking for your first house, how much do you need to have in the bank for a deposit? And, perhaps more importantly, if you don’t have it how to you go about saving up enough for that deposit? You will need a deposit of at least 5% of the value of the home you want to buy. That means, that if you wanted to buy a house worth £150,000, then you would need to save up at least £7,500. But most mortgage lenders are now looking for a deposit of at least 10% or £15,000 on that house worth just £150,000. Yet, the average price of a property in the UK hit close to £220,000 last year meaning that you might need to find £22,000 for a deposit. And if you planning to live in London, the news is even worse with average house prices knocking on £450,000. Saving up £45,000 sounds like a nightmare, particularly when you consider that 16 million people have less than £100 in the bank. Becoming a squirrel Financial campaigners, though, believe that sav

Diet & Fitness tips for the New Year

It’s that time of year again when carb intake shoots up and exercise frequency drops down. What with all the mince pies, alcohol and late nights of December, most of us end up a little out of shape come New Year’s Eve. But, with a fresh year on the horizon, it’s time to think about some healthy changes for 2017. Whether you want to lose weight, or just get stronger, there are lots of ways to slim down and shape up in 2017. Try the GOLO diet GOLO was actually the most searched diet online in 2016 and yet somehow managed to stay mostly under the press radar. The diet is designed to help control weight by managing insulin. Meals are designed around fresh food and are low in processed ingredients. Insulin is the hormone that the human body uses to turn sugars from food into energy. The aim of the diet is to eat in a way that allows insulin to work properly and to encourage weight loss, rather than gain, from properly using food as fuel. Work your exercise around your life Tough Mudd

What sort of Personal Loan would work for you?

There’s never been a better time to borrow money ongoing record low interest rates and an increasing number of lenders on the market mean that even if you have a poor credit rating, taking out a loan need not mean that you break the monthly budget (lenders will scrutinise affordability). You might be planning a great holiday in 2017, want to replace your car, consolidate some other debts or make home improvements. So, what should you be looking out for when it comes to choosing a personal loan? Interest rates No matter what your personal circumstances, the rates being offered on a raft of personal loans have never been lower. If you have a good credit rating, then there are some particularly good deals out there at the moment. For instance, Sainsbury s Bank has a representative APR of 3 per cent on loans of between £7,500 and £15,000 but your repayment term is limited to between one and three years. Also, only Nectar card holders are able to apply for this loan. Those who don’t

What to do now to cut the cost of Christmas

Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone. Research from the Money Advice Trust s National Debtline found that the average British family spends £800+ on Christmas. Such a substantial amount of cash can be difficult to find in one go. However, there are ways to reduce this total. If you’re smart, you can cut the cost of Christmas right now. Start planning now Some of the most expensive mistakes we make at Christmas are the result of last minute panic buying. From gifts, through to the turkey, if you’re buying everything on Christmas Eve then choice is limited and prices high. Even leaving all your shopping until December can mean your budget suffers. To avoid the chaos that can lead to over spending, start planning now. Make decisions about gift choices, where the turkey is coming from and when you’re going to make purchases. Getting organised well in advance gives you the luxury of time and being able to shop around. Make use of sales Between now and Christmas, some

Your rights when working part time as a student

For many students, working part time while studying is part of student life. A 2015 study found that some 77% of students take a part time job during their studies. Whether you’re covering living costs, paying for tuition or saving up, there are many benefits to some extra term time work. The general perception is often that working as a student means you have fewer rights than other employees. You will most likely be employed on a part time basis and you may not even have a contract. However, no matter how casual your agreement, there are still rights that you have, as well as requirements to bear in mind. Zero hours contracts The zero hours contract has been quite controversial. It tends to be weighted heavily in favour of an employer. For example, there is no requirement that you are guaranteed work. In fact, you will only be asked to work as and when you’re needed, often at short notice. The advantage of this is that you have greater flexibility over the hours that you work. Y