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How to Borrow a Short-Term Loan Wisely

Many people in the UK will turn to a short-term loan at some point. Whether it’s in the form of an online payday loan or another type of short-term funding, these borrowing options tend to be a very convenient way of accessing cash, with swift application processes and many lenders willing to provide much-needed finance to those with a poor credit history or bad credit score. However, even if you’re only borrowing a short amount of money for a short period of time, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t approach with some caution. These types of loans often have high interest rates as they are unsecured, and tend to be provided on the basis that they are there to help in a financial emergency, rather than for purchasing luxuries. So, if you’re considering a short-term loan, what can you do to ensure that you are choosing and using it wisely?

Avoid ending up in a debt trap:

Before applying for payday loans or any other kind of short-term finance, it’s important that you thoroughly assess your finances and determine how much you will need. Many people fall into the trap of taking out a loan only to realise that they have not considered the full amount that they will need to pay back including the interest, and then find themselves in a similar situation to the one they were in before getting the loan. As a result, many borrowers end up tempted to take out another short-term loan to cover their outstanding expenses, which can quickly turn into a cycle of debt. So, be sure that you’re fully aware of the complete amount you’ll need to repay, to avoid any nasty surprises.

Consider alternatives:

Payday and short-term loans are usually provided on the basis that they are for use in a financial emergency, so it’s worth making sure that you have exhausted all other avenues possible before you go down this route. If you need quick cash, there are other options that you might want to consider such as selling higher value items like computers, TVs and other electronics, or jewellery, which could quickly provide you with some much-needed cash. And over the long term, it’s worth setting up an emergency fund that you pay a small amount into each month so that if you do find yourself in a position where you require urgent financial assistance in the future you have savings to turn to instead.

Carefully consider the amount you borrow:

As a general rule of thumb, you should only get a short-term loan to cover the amount that you specifically need in that moment of time. While it can be tempting to borrow more – especially if a larger amount is available to you – it could actually end up being more trouble than it is worth, as the interest amount will be higher when repaying. So, be sure to only use a short-term loan for the essentials such as living costs, emergency bills, or home repairs, and don’t borrow more than the expense is going to cost you.

Short-term loans can be a convenient way to get emergency cash when you need it, but be sure that you approach this kind of borrowing wisely.

3 Tips To Help You Save Money At The Gas Pump

Although many people and countries are trying to move away from using fossil fuels, the majority of people who own their own vehicles still use gas as their main source of fuel. And while many of those people would like another option, because biogas and its byproducts are so prevalent to consumers, this resource dominates the market.

But just because you’re needing to get gas to fuel your car doesn’t mean that you should have to pay more than is necessary for this resource. So to help ensure that you’re able to save as much money and as much fuel as possible, here are three tips to help you save money at the gas pump.

Consider How You Pay For Gas

One reason you might be paying more for gas each time you stop as a gas pump could be that you’re paying for your gas in the wrong way.

According to Anthony Giorgianni, a contributor to Consumer Reports, paying for gas with just a normal debit or credit card might be the worst way to pay for gas. Because many gas stations offer discounts on price if you use cash, stopping by an ATM on your way to fill up could save you at the pump. Additionally, if you fuel up using a credit card that gives you reward dollars or points for every purchase you make at a gas station, you could wind up saving in this way as well.

Make Your Car More Fuel Efficient

To reduce how often you’re having to visit the gas pump in the first place, it can be very helpful to do everything in your power to make your car more fuel-efficient.

To help you with this, Steve Gillman and Nicole Dow, contributors to The Penny Hoarder, recommend that you do things like keep your tires properly inflated, remove excess weight from your vehicle, and purchase the most fuel-efficient car for your needs. By doing these things, you can get more gas mileage for every gallon you put into your car in the first place, saving you from having to get gas as often.

Don’t Get Premium Unless You Have To

According to Melissa Neiman, a contributor to Money Talks News, so many people waste money on gas expenses by buying the wrong type of fuel for their cars.

While you might think that choosing premium gas for your vehicle would be an improvement, this type of gas isn’t required nor recommended for use in most cars. So unless the owner’s manual of your car explicitly states that this is the type of fuel you should be using, save your money by using regular unleaded instead.

To help you save money and fuel, consider using the tips mentioned above to spend less at the gas pump.

 

3 Cost Cutting Ideas to Consider When Buying a New Home

There’s no doubt about it: moving home and buying a new property is going to cost a significant amount of money. It’s a worthy investment, however, which means ultimately investing in real estate is a sound move – as well as enabling you to move into your dream property, of course. Although buying a new home is expensive, you should always be on the lookout for ways to cut costs and save wherever you can.

Here are a few ways you can do so.

  • Work Out a Budget and Stick to It

It’s important before viewing any potential new homes that you work out the absolute maximum figure you can comfortably afford to invest in real estate. If you begin viewing properties without a clear figure in your head, then it can become overwhelming and you may end up falling in love with something which is completely out of your financial league.

A good budget should also include any extras, such as home improvements you might need to make. You may view a property which is in budget but which needs significant work doing to it – do you have the required funds to improve it to your desired standard?

It’s a good idea to avoid viewing any homes which are out of your budget – even just a little bit, no matter how tempting it might be. Although a more expensive home might be offering everything you need, if you can’t afford it, then it will do no good to look. You will only end up being financially worse off in the long run if you scrape together extra money from valuable savings or take out loans to afford a more expensive property.

  • Consider Hiring a Real Estate Attorney

It may be that you come across some legal issues or legal questions which a general real estate agent does not have the knowledge or power to answer for you. If you are ever uncertain about areas regarding a property you wish to purchase, hiring a real estate attorney to help with the proceedings means that you can make the right decision from the first instance. You should also be able to avoid any financial risk in the future by doing this. Watts Law Firm can help with any real estate needs you might have.

  • Improve Your Credit Score

The better your credit score when you come to purchase a property, the lower your lender rates and fees will be, which means a large financial saving for you. You should try to get your credit score in order before applying for a mortgage loan. There are many things you can do to improve your credit score, including ensuring that any credit card balances are cleared and that bills are always paid on time.

It’s also a good idea to avoid taking out any new loans or credit cards directly before searching for a new property, as these can affect your credit score.

 

4 Simple Tips to Save Money

 

There’s no denying that we all need to save money. However, very few can achieve the desired savings without a commitment that involves changes in lifestyle and making a few compromises. But the good news is that the most challenging aspect of the journey to financial security is getting started. And with a little discipline and planning, you’ll be surprised at what you can do even with a modest income. To this end, here are a few simple tips to help you save your hard-earned money.

Track your monthly expenditure

It’s impossible to begin saving money if you don’t have a clear idea of how much you spend. As such, it makes sense to track your monthly expenditure first. From the groceries and utilities to the mortgage, it’s vital to ensure that no expense is overlooked. Number crunching may be a tedious, if not laborious, task but the information that it yields can be invaluable in helping you find areas that you can potentially cut costs in; and as a result, save some money in the process.

Make it a habit to shop around before spending

One of the reasons why a lot of people spend more than they need is that they often buy on impulse. Instead, it’s good standard practice to carefully consider all available options before spending any money. From checking different stores for the essentials like clothing to comparing travel insurance from ucompare.ie for that vacation you’re planning, making it a habit to shop around first will pay dividends in keeping your expenditure to a minimum and your savings high.

Only use your credit card when necessary

These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone without a credit card. After all, they can be incredibly useful in tight situations and emergencies. However, it’s crucial only to use them when necessary. After all, it’s a lot harder to control our budget if we rely on this mode of payment too much. And by sticking with cash, you’re far less likely to spend more than you need. More importantly, you’ll avoid the soaring interest rates too.

Invest in energy-efficiency

There’s a reason why more and more people are going green: not only does it allow them to do their part for the environment, but it can keep the utility bills like gas and electricity to a minimum. As such, so should you. So if and when the opportunity presents itself, invest in energy-efficient technology like LED lighting systems or solar panels. Their upfront costs may not necessarily be cheap, but they’re well worth the investment when you consider the reduction in the monthly bills.

Even with limited financial resources, it’s more than possible to achieve a good amount of savings. The key lies in maintaining self-control and discipline. And by keeping these tips in mind, not only will you reduce your expenditure considerably. But you’ll also increase the amount of money you save in the process as well.

To read more on topics like this, check out the money category

Caught In A College Cash Crisis? 5 Money Hacks to Try Before Asking Your Parents for Help

 

Back to school season is upon us, and a lot of students are looking for tips on how to avoid going broke. This makes sense because as we get older, we develop a strong urge to become financially independent. Read on for five money hacks that’ll keep you financially secure, so you don’t have to ask mommy and daddy for help.

1. Take advantage of student discounts

One of the sweetest perks of being a student is that you get discounts for pretty much anything. This includes restaurants, movies, clothing stores, buses, and even bank accounts.

In fact, certain companies are even willing to offer small loans to students looking to bridge the income gap. That way, if you overspend one month, you’ll have enough to tide you over until the next. You can even save money on laptops and electronic repairs just by carrying your student card.

2. Stop blowing your money

Students are notorious for reckless spending. From late-night UberEats orders to Starbucks runs and video games, there are many ways in which you could be leaking money. It’s important to monitor your spending and see what you can cut out or substitute with cheaper alternatives.

You can still go out with friends on the weekends and enjoy the college experience. But if you’re going out, plan ahead and do your ‘pre-gaming’ at home, so you only need to buy one drink when you get to the club. Meal prep on the weekends so you’re motivated to eat at home instead of buying take-out. Be savvy when shopping and look out for promotions and discounts.

3. Budget

If you’re not spending within your means, you’re going to go broke and find yourself eating beans and toast real quick. The easiest way to budget is to work out how much you’ve got coming in each month from work, your student loan, and/or your parents.

Contrast this with how much is going out in the form of food, fees, books, etc. Work out the difference so you can set a realistic budget that you can live by. Consider using an online banking tool to help you stick to your budget. It’ll alert you each time you’re close to your spending limit and keep you from going into the red.

4. Make extra cash

Try and find ways to make extra money while studying. If you have a skill like music, writing, editing, hairstyling, or even designing websites, leverage it to make extra cash in your spare time.

Consider being a Resident Assistant (RA) so you can earn some money while studying. Some RAs even get free room and board or a discount to stay in the dorms. Granted, it’s a huge commitment because you’re going to have a lot of responsibility. But, it’ll look great on your résumé because it shows you have work experience. Plus, you’ll save so much money on your housing expenses.

5. Buy second-hand textbooks

One of the most expensive things you’re going to spend money on in college is your textbooks. You might need to buy more than ten books per semester, and the cost can really add up. One way to save is to buy your books second-hand from a student who’s a year ahead of you.

Alternatively, split the cost of buying textbooks with a friend who’s doing the same course. Make sure it’s someone who’s willing to share the books. Otherwise, buy them second hand from these websites.

Being a student is tough enough without having to stress about money. Apply these simple tips, and you’ll never go broke again!

 

Money Mistakes That Could Destroy Your Finances

Building a stable financial future is a difficult thing to do, especially these days. Modern breadwinners have to work hard to navigate a treacherous professional landscape in which too many Americans are making too little money, even as the prices of essential things like shelter rise. Still, many Americans manage to scrape together the cash they need to survive and, in many cases, thrive. They’re careful and clever, and they save their pennies for rainy days and retirement.

The care and wisdom of these Americans makes it only more frustrating to see sound financial decisions derailed by occasional mistakes. Unfortunately, it only takes one misstep to undo years’ worth of careful saving and budgeting. That’s why you need to be vigilant and avoid the pitfalls that have destroyed so many lives. Here are a few common money mistakes that could threaten your finances. Steer well clear of them.

Taking out too much auto debt

Debt can be a very dangerous thing in personal finance, but — as many Americans are aware — debt can also be a tool. A home loan can help people increase their net worth in the long run, and loans for large purchases like cars can help pace out a big expense and keep bills paid, savings account stocked, and futures bright.

But be careful, because any type of debt can be toxic if it’s more than you can afford to pay back. You should be particularly careful about loans that might reasonably be viewed as just “OK” debt, rather than “good” or “bad” debt. Car loans are a great example: While they can certainly be sensible, they aren’t exactly good. You’ll want to be careful about how much you take out, so that you don’t end up being one of the many Americans who fall behind on their auto loans.

Part of the trick is to shop in the right places, say the pros at a respected Honda dealership in North Olmstead, OH. You don’t want pushy salespeople urging you to take out tons of debt for a pricey car; you want helpful people who have your best interests at heart. Do your research, shop wisely, and avoid taking out lots of debt. Then, apply this same logic to other large purchases.

Turning investing into gambling

If you’re saving for retirement, then you’re probably already aware that you won’t get far without investing your cash. Thanks to inflation and the relatively meager power of simply pocketing your pennies, you absolutely have to get your money to generate interest if you’re going to retire as comfortably as you might hope.

It matters, though, how you invest. Putting cash into tax-advantaged accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs is a smart move, because it limits your tax burden and helps you maximize the value of what you’re saving. But inside and outside of these accounts, it also matters enormously which stocks, bonds, and funds you buy or buy into.

So crack open a guide to trading for dummies, or hire a financial adviser who knows what he or she is doing. Look for safe and reliable ways to grow your retirement fund. If you have some extra money to play with and want to get creative or start day trading, great — but keep your retirement nest egg growing slowly and safely, and watch out for leveraged strategies that leave you exposed to risk. Investing is sensible, but you need to make sure that investing is what you’re doing — rather than speculating or gambling.

Using credit cards too often

Credit cards are convenient things, because they let us buy things without having to carry loads of cash around. But that convenience isn’t really the point of your credit cards, at least not from the perspective of the credit card companies. The real point is the credit — essentially, each purchase is a little loan that you pay back when you pay your credit card bill.

And if you let your credit card balance roll over month to month, you’ll find out that those loans often come with hefty interest rates. On top of this, psychologists agree that credit cards encourage us to spend more money. So be careful with those credit cards, and limit how much you buy with them. Pay off your full balance every month, and remember: If you can’t afford to pay it off, then you can’t afford to buy it with a credit card.

 

Walk Away When Facing These Situations When Buying a Used Car

 

You need to know when to walk away when you speak with a car dealer. It is not that you are rude, but you know your limits, and because you know there are other options out there that are more satisfying than what the current dealer is offering you. It also wastes your time if you stay with the same dealer or dealership that will not give you what you want.

You cannot spend an extended time test driving the vehicle

The least you can do to determine the quality of a car is take it out on a test drive. If you intend to buy a used car, you cannot sign the deal if you are unsure if it is going to work well. Ask for a longer time for the test drive provided that you agree with the penalties for any damage. If the dealer will not even agree to your request, it means that there could be something wrong with the vehicle. There is no point in pursuing this transaction.

Your dealer will not let a mechanic inspect the vehicle

You need a mechanic to come over and check the car. It is essential that you have an expert review any problems to determine if the vehicle is still worth buying. The mechanic will tell you to avoid the vehicle when they find issues. They understand that used cars will not be perfect, but they will notify you when the flaws are too much to bear. If the dealer will not allow you to take the car to the mechanic or allow the mechanic to come over and do the inspection, it is a red flag that tells you to leave.

Your dealer keeps telling you to wait

If your dealer tells you to keep waiting because the decision needs to come from the boss, you might be patient at first. Eventually, though, after thirty minutes or even an hour of waiting, you need to play the game too and walk away. The dealer is hoping to exhaust you so that you decide to sign the deal instead of asking more questions. It shows that the dealer is not honest with you, and you cannot let it happen.

You do not receive consistent responses

You rely on the words of your dealer, and you want to get the best responses only. If the answers are inconsistent, especially in regard to the price, you need to walk away. It shows that the dealer is only looking for ways to rip you off instead of being honest with you. It is a sign of a bad faith transaction that you should not pursue.

Given these reasons, you need to be tough and learn how to walk away from a deal. Other dealers will give you what you deserve, like the ones at Used Cars Evanston WY. Talk to them about your needs and discuss what to do moving forward.

To read more on topics like this, check out the money category

Buying vs Renting: What Are the Pros and Cons

 

Buying a property is not as easy as it used to be. Besides the more stringent requirements to access home loans, property prices have continuously risen for the past few years. This makes it hard to decide whether it’s high time to buy your own home or continue renting. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, below are some pros and cons of renting and buying, which hopefully can help you decide.

Renting

The pros

Renting a home will leave your savings untouched, meaning you can use them for other things. You don’t have to allocate them to pay for the deposit and other costs related to buying a new property. Instead, you can use them to invest in something which will give you a better rate of return. Maybe you’re at a point in your life where you want to travel and enjoy yourself first, instead of saving every month to pay for a mortgage.

The cons

There has been a steady rise in rental rates for the past few years due to the increase in property prices and inflation. Depending on the property location, mortgage payments may seem heftier at the start, but over time, the interest that you’ll be paying will be reduced as you slowly pay for the principal loan. Come retirement time, there will be no more need to worry about monthly rent since you will probably have paid off your mortgage by then.

Buying your own home

The pros

Buying one of the many flats for sale in Brentwood instead of renting gives you a sense of security knowing that there’s no need to renew tenancy agreements or the risk of being kicked out unexpectedly. As a tenant, you won’t have too much say in the lease terms nor will you have the freedom to make changes to the property. But being a homeowner, you can renovate as much as you can and decorate however you please.

As a property owner, you can expect the value to increase over time. It’s an excellent investment to make because once the pricing reaches its peak, you can look into putting it up for sale.

The cons

The fees and interest you pay during the life of the loan shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a significant amount that, when you think about it, you could use for investment or something else. You could even use it to study or travel somewhere.

There is also no assurance that you will get the increase in property value that you expected when you invested in it.

Comparing the pros and cons of buying and renting isn’t an easy task. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider which include your financial stability, lifestyle choice, needs of the family, and your investment goals in the near future. If you’re unsure of where to start, talk to an expert to get a good idea of what to do. This way, it’s easy to make an informed decision on whether you’ll continue renting and invest your savings elsewhere or pay a deposit for your own home.

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Safety Features that are Must-Haves in Every Car

 

Apart from efficiency and quality, the factor that you need to consider seriously before buying a car is safety. It is true if you are planning to buy used cars. Some of the used cars available right now have been around for a long time. Therefore, it is possible for you to end up with a vehicle that does not have the standard safety features that you need.

Shatter-resistant glass

Before, when cars had an accident, the windshield would end up breaking into pieces and cover the driver and front seat passenger with shards of glass. Today, most cars have shatter-resistant glass. Even if it breaks into pieces when involved in an accident, they will not go towards the direction of the person inside the car. Some modern vehicles even have a windshield that can survive the impact of a bullet.

Stability control

This feature slows drivers to avoid experiencing rollover accidents. The computer helps compensate for the error committed by the driver. For instance, if you turn too hard, you might roll over without this feature. Vehicles with stability control will compensate by sending the power to the different wheels in order to avoid an accident.

Smart camera

This modern feature available in some cars allows you to see what is going on behind the vehicle because of the camera attached to that part. You do not need to keep looking at the side mirrors. Another modern camera feature which is available in trucks has a monitor located at the back. It allows the driver behind to see the vehicles in front of the truck that get obstructed because of its sheer size. It helps prevent accidents since the driver behind will not attempt to overtake the truck even if it is driving at a slow speed.

Anti-lock brakes

This security feature has been around for a while, and it helps prevent the tires from skidding. It puts pressure on the front or back tires as necessary. There are improved versions available in modern cars that make the feature even more effective.

Traction control

This feature helps to retain the grip on the road especially under terrible conditions like when the road is wet and icy. Through this feature, it is easy to distribute power between the wheels and avoid wheel spin. It helps in retaining grip and control.

Seeing these features in a car will make you feel confident that it will be reliable on the road. Even when you are buying a used car that the previous owner has used for years, you will still not regret buying it. You know that you can rely on these features when you commit a driving error.

Of course, these safety features are only among the criteria to consider when purchasing used cars. You still need to look at other aspects too, including the cost. You would not be looking at used cars in the first place if money was not an issue.

For quality used cars that are affordable, you can look at youngautomotive.com for details.

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5 Safe Ways to Make Money from the Legal Cannabis Business

Legal cannabis is a billion dollar industry and one of the fastest growing sectors in the US economy. It’s also making new millionaires every day. However, since the legal status of cannabis is still unclear at the federal level, many would be entrepreneurs might still be unsure about making the jump. However, there are plenty of safe ways that you can profit from this industry directly or indirectly. Here are a few of them.

List Your Property on Bud and Breakfast

Marijuana related tourism is booming at the moment, and many companies are trying to capitalize on this trend. One of them is Bud and Breakfast. Bud and Breakfast works pretty much like Airbnb, with the sole exception being that your property has to be marijuana friendly. This could a fast and easy way to cash in on this growing niche if you don’t mind accommodating marijuana consumers.

Start a Weed Friendly Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are all the rage right now and are a great business model, making them a great way to bank on the cannabis dollar. You could start a subscription box service that provides various forms of paraphernalia like rolling papers, vaporizers, or pipes for instance. Or you could go for a service that provides unique snacks from around the world, or various pieces of marijuana related clothing and accessories.

Become a CBD Oil Distributor

Another thing you could do is start your own CBD oil distribution company. CBD oil is perfectly legal as long as it is sourced from industrial hemp and the THC concentration is less than 0.3%. If you choose to do this, though, it’s absolutely essential that you choose the right supplier, and know exactly what’s in the product. You could buy CBD distillate in bulk and repackage it, buy crude oil and extract it yourself, or start from whole hemp. Or you could use it to make CBD derived products as well.

Invest in Business Sectors that Benefit from Legal Marijuana

Another thing you could do is invest in stocks and companies that could benefit indirectly from legal marijuana. If you don’t want to invest directly in marijuana, or think marijuana stocks are overvalued, then you could invest in one of the many other industries that cater to either cannabis suppliers or users. One example is organic fertilizer manufacturers, or the companies involved in hydroponic growing equipment. Trading platforms like Motif will allow you to zero in on specific sectors and find various stocks that could benefit from legalization.

Offer Services to Suppliers and Dispensaries

Just like any sort of business, marijuana related businesses need help with everything from marketing, to SEO, and POS software solutions. If you have good knowledge of the business, you could provide anything from interior design services to marijuana market research, or special tax services catered to dispensaries.

Conclusion

There are tons of different ways anyone can make money from the legal cannabis industry without selling cannabis directly. All these options could help you make money safely and legally without having to deal with excessive regulation.

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