Reasons why Prepaid Cards can help You manage Your Finance Better

Financial management was a subject that was never taught in school and can be a nightmare for many people. There are way too many temptations to spend, there’s always the newest model cell phone, newest model car and big ticket items like renovating or buying a house. However, there is a way for you to stay in control of your funds, by opting to use a prepaid card. Here are several reasons why prepaid cards can help you manage your finances better:

prepaid-cards

No Credit Checks

If you have applied for a credit card and the application has been declined, the last thing you should do is keep applying for a credit card. Further credit card applications can potentially damage your credit rating even more. And since credit checks are not involved in applying for a prepaid account, this mitigates that risk away. [Read more…]

Is Borrowing From My 401K A Good Idea

The economy all over the world right now is a tight one. People are always looking for different ways to get extra cash and often times they need the extra cash quickly. This is where borrowing from your 401K plans might come in handy. Some will say that it is a good idea while others will tell you to avoid it because it might be a dangerous financial move. In this article you will find out why it could be both a good and a bad financial situation.

Interest Rate

If you select to borrow from your 401k you will find that the interest rate you will be given is a very low interest rate. Not to mention that when you are paying the interest it goes directly back into your 401k-retirement account. For this reason you might think that this is one of the better installment loan options you may have. Of course it will all depend on your financial situation as well.

Borrowing From 401K

Repayment Plan

The repayment plan of borrowing from your 401k-retirement account is where things start to get tricky. The general rule is that you will be required to pay back the loan in full within a five year time period. If you do not the loan will be treated like you cashed out and then you will have additional penalties that you will be required to pay. The other requirement is that if you leave your job for any reason and you are making payments the balance of what is remaining on the loan will be treated as if you cashed out of your 401k. [Read more…]

4 Benefits of a Monthly Budget

It’s tough to visit a finance related blog without seeing an article encouraging the creation of a monthly budget. Without trying to reiterate what these article have already stated; budgets are important. However, rather than explaining how to create a budget, we’re going to explain the benefits of creating one and how they can improve your financial future:

It shows you where your money goes

How many times do you hear yourself saying; “I just don’t know where all my money goes”? Well with a budget you can see exactly where it goes.  By splitting outgoings into categories you can highlight areas where you are potentially overspending and then make relevant cutbacks.

Allows you to prioritise outgoings

Not prioritising your outgoings is dangerous as it can land you in financial trouble. For example, if you pay all leisure subscriptions (e.g. Sky TV, Broadband, Gym membership, Netflix and Spotify memberships)  and then get a hefty car repair bill and are unable to pay your rent or mortgage; you could risk losing your home. However if you’ve prioritised your outgoings so that rent or mortgage is number one on your list and you then receive a hefty vehicle bill and are unable to pay your subscriptions; the consequences are much less significant.

Monthly Budget

Highlights overspending

As I mentioned, splitting outgoings into categories will help to highlight potential areas of overspending. For example if you’re spending  £200 on entertainment each month but can only afford to pay the minimum payments on your credit card – then this indicates you should be cutting your entertainment costs and prioritising your credit repayments.

Goal-setting

By having a greater knowledge of your finances and indeed where your money goes, you can then start to set some finance related goals. We recommend you set three different types of goals; short term, medium term and long term. A short term goal would be to pay off an outstanding credit card balance or save X amount for Christmas. A medium term goal may be to get completely debt free or putting a certain amount in a retirement fund. Long term goals may be to pay off your mortgage, buy a holiday home or even save enough to retire.

It’s important that when goal setting you are both ambitious and realistic. Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself, by incentivising goals with rewards you should find you’re never short of drive to succeed.

Conclusion

If you are one of the many that are yet to implement a budget to your finances then now is a great time to do so. If you want to save time then try using an online budget planner such as the one on the Money Advice Service website. Having entered all the relevant details, look for areas where you can make and in turn increase your disposable income. At first, working from a budget will seem alien however in time it will become second nature and you’ll rarely even have to think about it.

This article has been written by Jason Scott on behalf of UK Credit Loans. For more top budgeting tips visit their blog or follow them on Twitter @UKCreditLoans.

Reasons why investing in a personal computer actually saves you money

This article has been provided by Mr. Todd McCullough who writes articles that are designed to help and inform people about their finances and money saving on behalf of the financing and loan website known as Wonga.

It’s never been cheaper than right now to get your hands on a decent machine. With the release of the chromebook it’s now possible for basically everyone in any income bracket to afford a computer capable of browsing the great wide web. These entry level machines can often be a great way to introduce the young and elderly to new computer technology – but if they’re still on the fence about how awesome a personal computer can be then let them read this post.! For the cost of a monthly internet connection (which you can get for a very reasonable price these days) there are countless opportunities for you to utilise your PC to save money you’d otherwise be throwing down the drain, check out the money saving ideas below:

Talk to people over web cam anywhere in the world for free.

Google search a program known as ‘Skype’ and proceed to enjoy free video phone calls to your friends and loved ones who are also using Skype. It’s free to download for private use – and the costs are pretty reasonable if you intend to use it for large commercial communications too. This option becomes a massive money saver if you happen to have a network of contacts you like to keep in contact with all over the world as it remains free to call your friends regardless of whether they live down the road from you or on the other side of the globe.

money saving uk

Free messages to mobile phones.

Continuing the theme of free communication – there are hundreds of websites strewn across the web that provide you with a free service to contact mobile phones with text messages. All you have to do is type in your message with your keyboard and enter the number of the phone you wish to contact. This is particularly handy for keeping in contact with friends and family who do not own / are not near their own personal computer.

Virtually limitless entertainment.

Millions of websites are designed simply to entertain you for free. This can take the form of free to play games, free videos, films and TV shows to watch and of course huge forums and resources for you to converse with other people and learn about anything and everything you desire. We have never been more connected to such a vast amount of information – the possibilities for enriching your mind are endless!

The PC is a tool to actually make money with!

Sure the PC grants you access to the internet which can save you money in the ways we’ve looked at above. But you can take this to the next level and actually use your PC to start earning some money online from the comfort of your armchair! There are many freelance websites where you can easily advertise yourself as anything you want – proof reader, copywriter and graphic designer are all pretty common examples of freelancer positions but the potential expands far beyond these roles. The key is to offer something you can do excellently at a professional level. Make it interesting and make yourself accessible and eager to work – you will soon find your reputation and trustworthiness growing and with it the amount of work you’re winning from clients!

Managing Your debts

With the economy so difficult at the moment there are many more people finding that they are getting in to debt. Knowing how to manage debts can be difficult, especially as it is something that many of us are not taught.

If you have any debts, then you should always be thinking of ways to reduce them. They can drain you of a lot of money and the sooner they are paid off the better. This is where good debt management can be extremely useful.

The first thing that you need to do is to find out exactly how much you owe and who to. Make a list of your debts and then find out how much interest and the fees that you are paying on each one. Look at these charges and work out which one is costing you the most. This is the one that you need to concentrate paying off first. Pay the minimum you have to pay off all of them each month, but pay of extra from the most expensive one. Then once this is paid off, work on the next most expensive and so on, until they are all paid off.

Managing Your debts

Of course, it is not as simple as it sounds because you need to have spare money to be able to pay it off. It is a good idea to use savings to do this, because the debts will cost you more money than you will gain in savings. It is also worth looking at your monthly expenditure and working out how much you can cut down what you spend each month. Anything unnecessary can be cut out and you can try to lower your regular bills as well.

It is also a good idea to see whether you can earn more as well, by doing extra hours at work, changing jobs to a better paid one, getting a second job or selling things to make some money.

Some people find that they owe so much that they cannot afford to even make the minimum payments each month. If this is the case with you and you have done everything you can to reduce what you spend and increase what you earn then debt consolidation could be worthwhile. This will combine all debts and allow you to pay them off over a longer term in smaller amounts. It can be dearer but is more manageable, but you need to make sure you do not get tempted to build up more debt until you have paid off what you owe.