Money Savings

Which UK Bank Account Offers The Best Returns

There are many banks in the UK that are fighting for their customers and they are doing this by offering new customers some great deals, and now that you can change banks in just 7 days it is a great time to get the service that you deserve and any perks that are being offered.

 UK Money or Tender

But before you jump straight into a move you must consider your financial position and to make sure that you are not about to re-mortgage your property or need a new loan, changing banks when these are just coming up might not be in your best interest. The reason for this can be your credit file, if you have applied for a new current account and you need to have an overdraft facility this will have required the bank to check your credit report and even though it can be great any new deals on their will have an effect for a few months at least.

Banking deals

Some of the banks seem to be throwing money at new customers and this can be great news but you will need to make sure that you follow all the terms and conditions carefully because you will not want to jeopardise your chances of claiming the money offered.

Some of the best deals that are around at the moment include:

First Direct – they are offering a £100 when you switch to them. There is no monthly fee with this account but there are restrictions that you must meet if you are hoping to secure the cash back offer. You will need to pay a £1000 into the account every month and sometimes this payment in must come from an outside source.

Santander – they are offering a 3% cash back offer on all the household bills that you pay including 1% cash back on their own mortgage too. Their catch is a minimum payment into the account of £500 per month and there is a £2 per month charge for the account.

 

Halifax – are offering with their reward current account the chance to make £160 over the course of the first year of banking with them. You are able to get this amount of money because when you switch you are automatically given the £100 switching bonus but this account also pays you £5 per month and this means over the course of the first year you have made £160. But, you must pay into the account £750 per month and have at least 2 direct debts set up and coming out of that account each and every month.

NatWest – select account is a free account but you can earn 1% cash back. This is with their debt card, you need to register the card and then in certain shops you will find that you earn cash back which you can have paid directly into your current account. The nice thing with this account is you are not tied to the amount that you have to pay in each month to receive the benefits there is no minimum.

 

Nationwide – This is a fee paying account and it is going to cost you £10 per month for the benefits of this account but it offers some great deals that if you purchased them separately then they would cost more than the £120 that the account costs. The other bonus of this account is the interest that you are able to get it is a whopping 3% on balances less than £2500. This is staggering because at the moment many savings accounts are paying out less than 0.1% in interest.

 

Co-operative bank -If you are looking for an account that is ethical in their approach then you might choose an account from the Co-op. This company has always focused on getting the fair deal and this is true for their banking too. You need to pay in £800 per calendar month to qualify for their current account.

Consider your options

As with all financial products you will need to look at the company that offers you the best deal for your money. Some banking companies will suit your needs better than others and you will need to take these individual requirements into your equation when you are deciding which current account is right for you.

You will need to be cautious as to the bank that you choose to use because if you swap accounts too frequently this will have a negative impact on your current credit situation. It is important that you look at all your options available and make sure that you apply for the one account that best suits your needs. You need to consider the overdraft facilities that the bank offers and the charges that they will make if you go over drawn. Because at first glance the Halifax account might look great with the potential to make £160 in the first year but if you are a frequent user of an overdraft facility any of the benefits of the account will quickly be taken up by their charges. You are looking at a minimum daily charge of £1 up to £3 if you are within your authorised limit this goes up to £5 per day if it is an unauthorised overdraft.

Banking caution

As with the financial difficulties that many of the UK banks have been facing over the last few years it is a good idea to check that you are not going to transfer to a bank with bad service and the potential to cause more problems. It is always a good idea to research the potential bank that you are thinking about transferring all your banking to. This will ensure that the customers that are already a part of that bank think that it is a good place for you to put your money. If you don’t like any of the local banks then your final option might be to check out your local credit union.

Credit union

There are many of these popping up all over the UK and they offer some great ways to have accounts and not to be profiting some big banking organisation. They are non-profit organisations that are run for those people that invest their money with them. They are a great way to grow savings and to borrow money too.

Whatever option that you choose it is important that you think carefully before making your decision.

As always please comment below if you have any further insights into the UK banks that are offering something more for their customers.

 

Emergency Fund: Great Article That Highlights Some Of The Main Points

If you are looking for reasons why you should have an emergency fund, then these will fall into the category of budgeting and having control of your finances, even ones that you can’t control in the future. There is an article that highlights some basic steps that you can take and this is important in any budget that you look at the bigger picture, you might think that if you put all spare money into a debt reduction it will be the best option, but this is not the only thing that you should be considering when it comes to planning a great budget.

Budget

 Budget

A budget needs to consider all aspects of the financial responsibilities and the end of the budget the figure that you are looking for is zero, this means that you have allocated all the money and that you are making sure that every penny is accounted for. You need to consider all the aspects including saving for the odd expense that you haven’t planned for, there is not going to be a set amount for each person that you will need to have access too. It will depend on the personal situation and there are many different aspects that you will need to consider and creating a budget that works for each individual is essential.

Great advice

This article touches on the basics as to why you should be setting up the emergency fund, but it is there to find ways to help you start to fund this account.

The reasons behind getting an established emergency account is that if something happens and you need quick access to your money and you need to know that this money can be used to help pay for those emergencies like a car break down, or a medical bill that wasn’t expected, the emergency fund can save you money because you won’t need to borrow any money to pay for these repairs and unexpected bills.

The article expresses briefly that the first steps to creating an emergency fund is to first start with a budget. It is only when you know what money that you have coming in each month can you work out how much you can afford to pay into an emergency account. You will need to make sure that you have included a debt management plan and have some prevision for your retirement in your budget. Only then will you be truly ready to work out how you are going to fund this new account, one that can save you money in interest payments that you will no longer need if there is a problem.

How to fund the account                     

        Coin City II                          

One of the major questions that you will probably ask is how to fund this account and it is important to consider where you are going to get the money from. This article touches on this and has come up with some great ways to start and boost that ever important account.

  • The first suggestion that the article highlights is paying your own savings accounts first. This notion has been around for a long time and this comes from your budget, when you are planning your different areas of expenditure, don’t fall into the trap of saving whatever is left at the end of the month, or when you have paid everything else because you will tend to put less into the savings account. You can do this by various means that you are able to put a direct deposit from your account into your savings account will save you time, but make sure that you have completed your budget carefully so you know what spare money that you will allocate to your savings account, you do not want to have to transfer the money back out because you forgot a bill payment.
  • The next suggestion on the article is to sell things that you no longer need or require. This will give you space and it will free up money that you never would have acquired. This can be on the many internet sites or as the article suggests you might choose to hold a garage sale. It is possible to make some money but people tend not to make vast sums of money and you need to be dedicated to pay this money into your savings account and not to have a little spending spree on more items. The best option when you have made some money with one of these sales is to put a percentage into the savings account and for the remaining amount use this as the funds for a little treat.
  • The third suggestion that the article suggests is to increase your income by getting another job, having a second income will increase the amount of money that you will be saving. But you will need to pay tax on this income as well; you need to think carefully because if you need to pay out more money for clothes or fuel it might cost you more money in the long run.
  • The forth suggestion is to work freelance, this is a growing industry and it is one that you might do well in, but it will take hard work and dedication to make money with working freelance. You will need to remember that any freelance work that you undertake will mean that you will need to register as self-employed and this could mean that you will need to consider the tax implication that will be involved in making money from freelancing. The article implies that it will be easy to make money and this isn’t always the case, you need to make sure that you understand all implications before taking the freelance plunge.
  • Keep the change is the final option that the article discusses, this is the principal that you round up money that you spend and the change becomes the separate commodity that you can use to build up a savings account with, and you will be surprised how quickly this change can build up.

As with all articles that you read it is important to make your own mind up about the different advice that you are getting. However, this article makes a lot of sense in many ways. It looks at the importance of having that account that you can turn to when the worst happens. This is important to achieve even if you have debts, you want to be able to afford these slips in the road that always happen and that way you can avoid the debt that in the past would have occurred.

There is nothing worse than saving money every month to pay back the debts that you already owe only to find that you have no money left to pay for the problems in life that normally happens to throw a spanner in the debt reduction plan that you have created.

Again this is a great article if you are looking to find ways in which you can increase the funds in an emergency account, it will enable you to take the pressure of your monthly budget.

Therefore, this article will make you think about how you can start growing money in an emergency account, and it is a great little article that will make you think about ways to save money for those unexpected bills. How do you fund your emergency fund?

 

How To Save Money On Bills

It is important in this climate that you look for ways in which you can save money, this will help your budget and it will mean that you will have more money each month.

There are many different ways in which you can look at cutting back the costs and there are some that you might not have even considered.
Solar Energy

Energy

The price of energy that we use in our homes seems to be going up each year and this means that you need to find more money each month to put to electric and gas bills. If it is possible to save in these areas it will mean that you might not to put as much money away.

  • Turning down your heating by just a few degrees can mean a great saving each year.
  • Turning off appliances when they are not in use will save you money, they are not drawing energy.
  • Turn of lights if you are not in the room. Consider using Led lighting, these can save up to 80% of what a normal light bulb will cost to run. They don’t produce heat and they look great, they are not ugly energy savings bulbs, but great choice if you want to save money long term.
  • Generating your own power, installing solar panels could be a way to save you money on your electric bills. In the UK the government give you money for the production of the electric. There are many different schemes and ways in which you can benefit from reduced electric bills by producing your own electricity. Solar panels are not as expensive as they used to be, the cost of instillation has come down.

How do you heat your home? There are alternative’s here too. If you live where there is ample supply of wood have you considered going back to having the fires in your home? The new generation of wood burning and multi fuelled stoves could mean that you pay less for the energy to heat your home.

  • If you are plagued with junk mail then this can be used to fuel your fire too. I use junk mail and make burning bricks with them, this is free energy and it means that I am not just throwing this rubbish in the bin; it now has a purpose when it comes into my home.

Water bills seem to be going higher and higher too and depending on where you live you could be collecting rain water and using this to water your garden or even to flush the toilet with. This will save you money that you are paying to the utility companies each month.

If your toilet has a large capacity cistern then it is possible to save money every time you flush by having a brick or solid object that won’t disintegrate. This item is there to take up space, the reduced space means that you are putting reduced amount of water into the tank and this will save you money.

How do you save money on your energy bills?

6 Easy Ways to Save Your Money

Most of the people find it difficult to save money even without trying it. What if there are some easy ways to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle? Some easy tricks can help you save your hard-earned dollars. The only thing you need is motivation and a little bit of imagination.

“On savings: A dollar here, a dollar there. Over time, it adds up to two dollars.

Jarod Kintz

6 Easy Ways to Save Your Money

6 Easy Ways to Save Your Money

How to save money on your monthly expenses?

It is always better to have those extra dollars in your pocket. Here are some important steps, which will ensure that you would be saving money without making any sacrifice in your life.

  1. Choose streaming TV: Most of the people in US use streaming TV services such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. If you are not a TV junkie, it might be an excellent idea to cut off your cable/satellite television.
  2. Evaluate your internet speed requirement: Many people have easy access to high-speed internet without realizing the fact that they are overpaying for the service. An average user will not be able to use ten percent of the internet speed of his/her current plan. If you are among these users, it might help to degrade to a reduced yet sufficient speed.
  3. Get discount on insurance: Does your children go to college? Most of the insurance companies offer discount on premium for a car used by your college-going children. It is best to get in touch with your insurance agent and avail the best discount possible.
  4. Debt refinance: A large part of the monthly income is being diverted towards debt payment. You can refinance your debts to lower your monthly expenses. There are chances that one might save money on student loan refinancing. Consult your banking agent about zero percent balance transfer cards and facilities.
  5. Check your cell phone bill: Cell phones are among the best inventions of human race. You can get in touch with everyone with the click of a button. However, cell phone services cost a considerable amount of money. Make sure that you have the lowest-rate service available on your cell phone. It is best to choose prepaid plans and recharge according to your usage.
  6. Enjoy freebies: Everyone loves to get freebies and they are an excellent method to save money. You can start with cash-back credit cards and reward programs offered in the grocery chains. Online portals allow you to save up to 10 percent on your regular purchases.

How To Make A $100 Before The Holiday Season

Do you want to make some extra money or are you trying to boost your holiday saving budget? These are all tried and tested methods where if you put in some time you might be able to increase your budget before the end of the year.
Sometimes the added pressure of the holiday season can be difficult on any budget and at this time of the year the expenses seem to rocket. If you are able to save some of that expense from ruining your hard work then you need to start thinking sooner rather than later on how you are going to tackle this problem.

International Money Pile with Free Cash and Forex Coins
Selling


This option has become very popular in the last few years selling goods and products that you no longer need or want. There are various different sites including EBay. You log the product that you want to sell and include the postage price too and this is stored on the site for a set amount of time, your choice, and you see what bids you are able to get. You have to sell to the highest bidder and they transfer the money through pay pal and you send off the goods. EBay and PayPal might take a percentage of the money, they are businesses and they are in the business to make money. You have to be cautious that you do not lose money on your sales and you will need to do research before you sell an item.
You have the potential to make some money before the holiday season starts, if you aim to sell $50 of goods in the next two months that will add to the total that you could make.
Cash back sites


It is possible with every purchase that you make you could be saving money with each purchase. You just head to the shop by going through the cash back sites and in return you will be making some of the commission money back.
If you look at the site www.shopathome.com you can earn anywhere from 1.5% to 9% cash back on your purchase, so it you where to spend $200 you could potentially make $10 in cash back if the rate was 5%, obviously if the percentage was higher, the cash back that you would receive would also be higher.
Refer a friend

There are many companies that are on the look-out for new customers and the best way to get them is from friend referrals.

A great friend referral scheme is being run by www.airbnb.com/referals, you can earn $25 for your referral when your friend takes their first trip and a staggering $75 when they rent out their place. So, even if you are just refer a friend that you know is just about to take a holiday then this could add to your holiday season spending money.

If you use moneybookers for your money transfers you can earn money each year with your friend referrals to this site. In one year you can earn a maximum of $135.31 by referring friends to this site. So in the two months before the holiday season you might be able to make in referrals up to $22.5.

Target


With these few ideas you would have made a staggering $107.50 dollars and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. Just imagine the potential that you could achieve if you started this idea in January and whatever money you made in this way will be used to pay for the holiday season.
Whatever option that you consider trying you need to be able to keep up the momentum which is why I look at these ideas later in the year, that way I am not bored with some of the repetition that some of the sites require you to do to earn points or money.
Other options


One of the fastest growing areas is www.swagbucks.com here you are able to do the normal internet usage but at the same time earn Swagbucks. These are great and you can use them to purchase items in the Swagbucks shop or exchange them for vouchers. You just use the internet as you usually would after registering on their site and down load their tool bar and there you have it a complete system that will allow you to gain Swagbucks for just surfing on-line. I have heard of people using this system during the year and using it to pay for their festive season completely, this will free up the expense and means you will have more money to invest and watch it grow.
Best time to buy


These are just a few great deals that you can get when you are considering increasing your income before the holiday season. But what if you are planning any big purchases do you know when you will get the best deals?
The best time to buy any large ticket item is between January and March, these are the months that for retailers are the hardest months to sell their products and they tend to have the largest sales during these months. So if you are looking to save money then you should consider these months as the best time to get the greatest deals. This is when customers have the least money to spend because they are normally still paying for the festive seasons and if you are able to take advantage of this time and save money, it will help towards the holiday season next year.
Different options

Some of the ideas that you can use to make money are:
• Selling
• Swagbucks
• Friend referrals
• Cash back sites
There are many different options that people use to make points or save for the festive season and having different ideas can always make people think about making their money stretch that bit further, so if there are some different ways that you like to make money or are able to build up points that you can swap for purchasing power please recommend them in the comment section below.

Top 5 Tips to Save Money on Car Insurance

Do you need new car insurance? Car insurance is an expense that everyone has to bear. Most of the people are unaware of the fact that car insurance is not a fixed cost and there are some tips that can help you in lowering car insurance cost. You can save hundreds of dollars every year with a good driving record, location, vehicle, and driving habits.

How to save money on car insurance?

How to save money on car insurance?

How to save money on car insurance?

Image Credits: nj1015.com

Let us find out some tips to save money on car insurance.

  • Carpooling: Mileage is an important parameter for every insurance company. A driver with 7,500 miles falls under pleasure rate category. If you fall under this category, you will get the lowest possible rate on your insurance. Drivers driving up to 13,000 miles fall under medium category and above 13,000 miles have to pay higher rates. Carpooling can help you cut down up to 75 of the driving miles. The cost of car insurance may vary up to 25 percent in the pleasure and higher rate category.
  • Choose car insurance according to your need: There is a significant difference between the type of insurance you require for a brand new and an old car. A new car requires both comprehensive and collision coverage which costs slightly higher. If you own an older model, it is best to check the collision coverage that you require and drop the extra coverage you are paying for.
  • Shop from a single vendor: It is best to buy all your policies from a single insurer. A company providing homeowner insurance or renter’s insurance for your house might offer a discount in your car insurance. Car insurance poses a huge risk to the insurers and you can bring that risk down by combining different insurance policies. This approach is often called as a “multiline” approach in insurance industry.
  • Choose higher deductibles: Every owner has to choose a deductible at the time of purchasing car insurance. Deductible is the amount of money that you need to pay towards repairs in case of an accident. For a 2008 Honda Accord with a deductible of $250, you need to pay a premium of $516. On the contrary, with a deductible of $2,500, you would be required to pay only $248 for the insurance. However, this option is only for the drivers with a safe-driving record. Maintain a contingency fund for any emergency accidents.
  • Audit driving habits and requirements: Did you have a change of job? If you have lowered your driving requirements, it is best to inform your insurance agent. Reduced driving mileage can help you cut down unnecessary car insurance payments. Most of the people ignore this fact and pay higher insurance rates.

 Saving money is an art and you need knowledge to succeed in saving your money. Keep these points in your mind before choosing your next car insurance.

How To Save Money Budgeting

A Balance Scale I

Many people are sacred when they hear the word budgeting, it is not something that should scare you. You should learn to love your budget and let it start working for you to help make your money grow.

There are many different budgeting sheets that can help you focus your mind and sometimes they can help and other times they can scare you with too much information.

Understanding a budget

The concept of a budget is that you are able to balance your money and the end result should be zero. This will have taken into account all your savings, bills and living expenses.

Once you have practice it won’t take you long to create your budget each month. Some people have elaborate spread-sheets others prefer the paper method. There is no right choice it is just the one that suits you the best. The best type of budget is one that you understand and can make work.

You need to make sure that you are paying money each month towards any debt that you have outstanding as well as saving for emergencies and for your future.

If you have a budget then at the end of the month you will have the same amount of money each week for your shopping as you did in the beginning of the month. It is important that in each budget that you are saving up for those bills that come around each year, many companies will charge you interest each month if you spread payments over the year. If you save up each month for the bill then you will save money on your bills each year.

What budgeting enables

Budgeting enables the user the chance to plan their future and to learn to live within their means and the more that you are able to save each month and the less you will owe in debt. This will enable you to make your money work harder for you each month.

This will mean that you will have more access to your money each month; you will know where you need to place your money to pay for bills that are due each month and you will need to have a separate account where you can put money for the bills that you are saving up for. As long as you are aware of the money that you are saving for then you can group this all together, this potentially could give you a better rate of interest.

Emergency accounts are vital; you are looking to hold three to six months living expenses in these accounts. That way any money that you are looking to invest long term will not need to be touched if you need access to money short notice for an emergency. This will save you having loans and finance to pay for repairs or replacement items that break, this will save you money on paying interest on these items and loans.

Budgeting is not there to scare you into submission but to help you develop a strategy so that you can make your money work for you.

Free Money

If you are looking for some free money or ways to be growing money then you might want to consider what products and services that are out there just waiting for you.

There are many banks and other money institutions that are crying out for new customers and they have some great ways to entice you in. They tend to offer money or great interest rates. Don’t just jump at the first offer that you see, you will need to check out the literature to make sure that it is the right product for you.

You will also need to be aware that if you are applying for financial products it could affect your credit rating so be cautious with any move that you make.

If you are looking for some great deals for your banking then check out these deals.

The First Trade Union Bank are offering up to $100. This is with their FT High-Yield Savings account. This is when you use their new payment app for this account. But you have to consider the rate of interest which is just 0.05% if the account has a balance less than $2500, the rate goes up to 0.7% after this.

If you are already a customer of  Salem Five Bank and you introduce a friend they will give you both $50 visa cards to spend on what you like.

If you are looking for a back account that offers you more than you might do well with a  Huntington Bank account. Here you will find some great service and a 24 hour grace overdraft waiver, you pay money in within 24 hours and you don’t pay overdraft charges. This could save some people more money.

You might find just what you were looking for.
 

Great News: UK Mortgage Borrowers

With the recent news from the Governor of The Bank of England, Mark Carney, he has made the long term plans clear for the Bank of England’s base rate. This will give those that are looking at the future some certainty as what the future might hold and what the rates might look like.

Investing In Bricks and Mortar

This will give a clear message to those that are looking to investing in the UK, it will mean that borrowing will be great with low interest rates, especially for 203k mortgage, but equally savings are not going to be working as hard. The housing market is cautious because even though money should be relatively safe in bricks and mortar, unfortunately this hasn’t been the case in recent years in the UK.

March 2009 was historical for England when the bank of England dropped their rates to the lowest that they have ever been, just 0.5 per cent. They have stayed this low, and it has been welcomed news for borrowers. But without this knowledge that Mark Carney has now provided, it has been difficult to look at an uncertain future, this move will help encourage those wanting to move and businesses to prosper.

It is the first time that there has been a confirmed connection between the interest rates and the employment in the UK and this gives a base to work towards. The intended rise is supposed to happen when there have been the creation of over seven hundred thousand jobs, and this is predicted to be in three years’ time, but if at that time the economy will not benefit from the rise then this can be addressed again.

Knowing that the rates will stay low for this time will help those with mortgages, it will mean that we will not see the interest rates that the UK suffered under in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The rates might have been high but the cost of living was lower and so were the house prices. Low interest rates mean that the mortgage rates will stay low; this will help those who are on the banks, standard variable rate mortgages and the tracker mortgages. Those that are looking for fixed rate terms should now be looking at the longer fixed rate options over the three years, they should be more beneficial.

Investing in property will be easier and potentially more profitable in the UK at the present than having money in savings accounts. This is due to this base rate at 0.5 per cent, it will be reflected in the savings products that are available and they are at the moment extremely low.

Savings

So, it is difficult to be optimistic if you are a saver in the UK, you will be looking at the ISA, Individual Savings Accounts, that are available that are still holding on to slightly better interest options than an ordinary savings account. But, a borrower could repay a mortgage early by taking advantage of the low rates and paying off more capital each month, potentially saving thousands in interest payments alone.