28 September 2011

Pet Insurance Explained

As a nation of animal lovers, many of us have pets. Whether you’re potty about parrots, dizzy over dogs or crazy for cats, the chances are you will need to visit the vet at some point. If you have pets, you know how much these bills can amount to. Pet insurance is a must. You can get all types of cover for a whole menagerie of animals. There is no equivalent to the NHS for your pets, so whether it’s a major operation or a general check-up, you’ll be footing the bill.

You can get cover not only for vet bills, but also if your pet is stolen, strays or dies. You can also get third party liability cover if your animal causes an accident, does any accidental damage and even holiday cancellation due to your pet.

There is often an excess to pay on any vet bill however, which is usually at a level which means you will have to pay for flea control treatments, worming and vaccinations. But this is not always the case, so make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions before you buy.

There are countless numbers of companies that offer insurance, so do your homework and find a policy that suits you and your beloved pet. Most companies cover cats and dogs, but if you have a more unusual animal like a reptile, exotic bird or horse, you may need to find a more specialist insurance company.

There are many pitfalls to look out for when buying pet insurance, other than an excess. Some policies will only cover a certain condition for a year. This means that if your pet has a reoccurring problem, anything from a specific type of cancer to an allergy or epilepsy, then you will only be covered for the first year. Always read the small print!

22 September 2011

Want to Save Money But Don’t Know Where to Start?

Every day seems to bring more bad financial news at the moment, and even if you don’t understand completely the implications of it, we all know it’s not good. If ever there was a time to examine your finances and where your money is going, then this is it.

Saving money however is not always that easy. There always seems to be one reason or another cropping up meaning we can’t add to our savings accounts. It’s your mum’s birthday, the kids need new shoes, you’re going on holiday or whatever it is, there is always something. It can easily feel like your finances are out of your control.

There is no need to feel like this! If everything is a bit overwhelming and you are looking for some clarity, then keep a financial diary for a month or two. Write down everything you spend, in cash and on cards, even direct debits. A picture will quickly emerge of your spending patterns and bad habits.

We all have weaknesses and it’s usually the little things that add up rather than bigger expenses. Look at what you spend your cash on, and if there are ways to avoid parting with this money. We all have busy lives, but this trick is simple and doesn’t take much time. You’ll find that you save money just by keeping the diary as writing everything down will make you more reluctant to spend.

Whether you eat out once or twice too often a week, indulge in expensive clothes, taxis or holidays, there are always areas that you can work on with your spending. Old habits are hard to break, but think about what you’re buying and find a cheaper alternative. You’ll be so grateful in the long term .

15 September 2011

Ways to Tackle your Debt!

There is nothing worse than worrying about money, especially if you have children or any other dependents. It can keep you awake at night, and the stress can seriously affect your health. There is no need to suffer in silence as there are various options available to you to sort out your finances once and for all.

If you feel like you’re drowning in your debts, then a consolidation loan could make all the difference. Owing a range of sums of money to several lenders, all at different interest rates and with different deadlines can be extremely stressful. A consolidation loan allows you to pay off all of your existing debts at once. This leaves you with only one monthly repayment, with one loan to keep track of. The monthly repayments are much lower, and the interest rate is considerably less than you were paying before.

As these loans are specially designed for those in debt, you don’t have to worry about being accepted for bad credit. You can apply online and get your debt situation sorted before you know it. The company will assess your debts and devise an appropriate loan amount, interest rate and repayment plan to suit you. Remember that the lower monthly payments don’t mean you owe any less money in total, and it will take you a lot longer to get out of debt.

If a consolidation loan is not for you, then the best option is to consult a debt solutions company and get your own personalised debt management plan. These are flexible financial plans that can help manage your debt should you not be able to keep up with repayments. The professionals at your debt solutions company will be able to negotiate with your creditors for you when making your plan. Interest rates may be frozen, and you often will be left with a lower monthly payment. You may have to have a minimum amount of debt to qualify for a debt management plan, usually of about £1000, so it’s important to check the terms.

Whatever method you go for when sorting out your debts, it’s important to address the problem sooner rather than later. Paying back existing debts by taking out other loans will only suck you into a debt spiral that is extremely difficult to get out of. So don’t bury your head in the sand and look towards a brighter, stress-free future for you and your loved ones.

06 September 2011

Retail Sales Across the UK Fall in August

According to the British Retail Consortium retail sales across the UK dropped throughout August. As heightened inflation and poor consumer confidence continue to negatively affect spending, a marked decrease was seen on the high street. The group however did dismiss the riots as being a major cause in the drop, saying the disruption was not widespread or long enough to have any significant affect on the sales figures. Data releases on Monday did suggest that the riots did affect footfall on high street throughout the UK, which inevitably would affect sales.

The British Retail Consortium has said that like-for like sales dropped by 0.6% in August this year compared with 2010. This figure does not include sales figures for new stores. Total sales for August 2010 saw a 2.8% increase. This year however the figures were only up by 1.5%.

Other data published yesterday again showed sluggish activity in the services sector in the UK, which saw the largest monthly decrease for over ten years. Food and drink sales increased during the month, whereas clothes remained the same. All other goods, including furniture and footwear, saw falls in sales.

It would seem that high inflation, knocked consumer confidence and the squeeze of personal finances across the country are taking their toll. Many of us are dipping into our savings accounts in order to maintain the lifestyle we have grown accustomed to but perhaps can no longer afford. Others are taking out loans and putting more and more expenses on credit cards.

We put advice articles up on our website every day, with tips on how to save money as well as explaining financial products that could help your situation and make things a bit easier. Click here to read some.

02 September 2011

Do You Need a Payday Loan?

We all have months where our paycheques just don’t stretch far enough. If you get caught out by an unexpected bill, dental cost or car repair, there are loans out there that are specifically designed to help you out of a tight financial situation. Payday loans are tailored to lend you relatively small amounts of money for short periods of time.

You can typically borrow anything up to £1000, usually for a period of a couple of weeks to a month. The application process is quick and easy, with online forms that can be completed in minutes. Credit checks are rarely carried out, making it easy to get your hands on the money you need.

The criteria for being approved for a payday loan is pretty straight forward. You have to be over 18 years old, be a UK citizen, have proof of employment (although this is not always needed) and have a bank account. The money can be in your account within 24 hours.

The loans are short-term, meaning that the interest rates on borrowing can be high. The more money you borrow, the more interest you will have to pay so be careful that you fully understand how much you will be expected to pay back. This factor of the loans also can get people into spirals of debt; once they have paid back the first loan, they need another one to tide them over until the next payday and so the cycle continues. If you are sensible with your budget and make the repayments, payday loans could really get you out of sticky financial situation.