How To Avoid Overspending During The Holiday Season

When the holidays roll around, many people get so caught up in the joy of the season that all financial responsibility goes out of the window. As a result, they end up in a money pit that plagues them long after the holidays are over. If you are someone who overspends a lot during this time of year and you are looking for a way to cut back, here are some ideas that will save you a lot of money.

Create A Budget (And Stick To It)

Many people have an idea of how much they intend to spend over the holidays, but it is common for all of that to go out of the window once they head to a few shops and start making purchases. One way to avoid this problem is to sit down and create a written budget before getting started. Keep in mind that the only way for this to work is to stick to it, so try your best to follow all of the guidelines you have set prior to heading out.

Reduce Extra Spending

While there is nothing wrong with ordering a pizza now and then or grabbing a cup of coffee on your way to work, you should consider limiting extra spending over the holidays. By saving money on things that you do not necessarily need, you can take what you have saved and use this for gifts and other holiday items.

Host A Potluck

If you are someone who spends a great deal of money on food in order to host a large holiday gathering, you should consider going about things another way. Instead of providing all of the food for all of the invitees, turn it into a potluck instead. Having everyone bring a dish will take some of the financial burden off of you. All you have to worry about is providing a venue, linens and one or two of your signature dishes.

Set A Gift Budget Amongst Your Friends

Talk to everyone you know and discuss the fact that the holidays are rife with overspending and the true meaning of love and togetherness has been lost. Pose the idea of everyone only giving gifts that fall into a chosen price range. Many of the people you know will see this as a challenge and they will try so hard to be creative they won’t even notice you are doing this as a way to save money.

Don’t Buy Sales Items On Autopilot

There are many people who cannot resist the urge to take advantage of a good sale. If you are one of them, you should try your best to resist temptation. Just because there is a discount on something, that does not mean that you have to make a purchase. Before you buy anything you see on sale, ask yourself it is really necessary. If the answer is “no,” or you are unsure, then do yourself a favour and leave it on the shelf.

It can be easy to lose yourself in the holiday season and spend more than you can afford. Use these tips to help you celebrate the season without going broke.

Tips For Saving Money On Car Insurance

Finding quality car insurance involves research, patience, and willingness to plan.

Too many people end up paying far more than they should by ignoring their options. Instead of settling for an unfair plan and out of line with your expectations, it’s time to save on car insurance.

Here are the most important tips to focus on while shopping for a new plan.

Shop Around

Start by shopping around and looking at 2-4 providers.

You want to compare different options based on costs, features, and customer service. Each detail is important and deserves time as you assess what the various agencies are all about. If you don’t shop around, you will never know what’s available for you to sign. This is why people end up with a bad deal and don’t even know they’ve been duped!

This is an important investment and you should take the time to see what is out there before signing on the dotted line.

Maximise Discounts

You have various discounts available through insurance agencies in this day and age. It’s best to take advantage of those discounts to reduce your expenses.

What discounts are available to the average client?

You can end up saving based on student discounts, new car discounts, and more. The options are endless and it’s all about taking the time to read up on what’s out there.

As long as you are ready to ask about discounts, you’re going to find something that’s in line with your case. Even saving a few pounds goes a long way.

Combine Insurance Plans

You want to think about combining insurance plans.

This can include combining your life insurance, home insurance, and dental insurance under one bill. When an agency is getting a larger client such as this, they are more willing to make concessions on costs. They love the idea of combining plans and seek out such clients. You are someone they covet and it’s time to take advantage on your end.

Let them know you are willing to give them all of your business as long as they come down on their rates. This is when a great deal can be found sooner than later.

Raise the Deductible

Do you want to find a good deal on your car insurance?

One of the easiest ways to bring those expenses down is to simply raise the deductible. This means you have to pay more out of pocket before the insurance plan kicks into action.

This is something insurance agencies are ready to offer and it depends on what you are hoping to get out of the deal. Of course, there’s a balance to strike because an increasingly high deductible may pose a risk if you get into an accident. You do require some type of meaningful protection and it starts with a reasonable plan.

Find a balance between something that reduces the rates but remains within reach.

Optimise Your Credit Score

The final tip is to focus on your credit score and this goes for most investments.

If your credit history isn’t good, it may be time to take a look at your debt profile. By making simple adjustments by paying off debt, you are going to look like a far more reliable client in the eyes of insurance agencies.

They want someone that has a clean record because it makes it easier for them to rely on you.

Final Thoughts

Car insurance doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you are implementing these tips. The right deal is out there when you’re willing to do a bit of research and stick to your plan.

All You Need To Know About Property Investment As A Beginner.

The sad truth that we all have to live by is that the majority of us will not get rich by doing our day jobs. Even with the vast amount of time and money we are putting into those jobs, the harsh truth is that we need to have another source of income to keep afloat and live the life of our dreams. To ensure that we achieve the financial independence that we need to succeed, sources of passive income are paramount. This is where property investment comes in. Property investment may seem challenging and quite intimidating at first, but with the below tips, you will able to sail through the process with ease. Below are some of the tips to follow to grow your property portfolio as a beginner with property consultants Sterling Woodrow.

Have A Strategy.

One of the first steps that you need to follow is to ensure that you have a property investment strategy that works for you. Some of the critical questions that you need to ask yourself include:

• How much money do I want to spend?

• What risks are involved?

• What type of property do I need to buy: is it residential or commercial?

• What cash flow should I expect?

• What suburb fits my profile?

When making a property investment, you will have to ask yourself the above critical questions. Doing so will help you narrow down the options to a smaller search. An example is that the budget that you have allocated for it will dictate the location of the house that you will buy.

Also, you should steer away from getting rich quick schemes. These schemes are quite popular in property investment. The secret to making it in this business is to be patient; these winning strategies may seem tempting, but they may end up giving you more losses than you had anticipated.

Getting The Right Investment Property.

Once you have figured out the budget that you have for the investment, the next step is getting the right property. This is a crucial step since getting a property will go a long way to determine whether the venture will be successful or not. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that you get the right one for you. When buying property, you will need to know who the tenants and the homebuyers in the location will be so that you will select one that appeals to both parties. An example of this is by buying a one-bedroom apartment in the outer suburbs where the residents are young people with growing families. This will not be a smart investment decision since they will want to move out once the family gets bigger. Some of the other things that you should consider in the suburb you choose include:

• It should have easy access to public transport.

• Choose properties that are in high demand from tenants.

• It should have versatile public amenities such as schools, shops and
leisure activities.

• They should have access to employment opportunities for the people.

Know The Ins And Outs Of The Purchasing Process.

Knowing how to negotiate is critical in getting a reasonable price for your property. You should know how to negotiate on the sale price, the terms of the contract, and the settlement terms. Practically, everything in property buying is negotiable; hence, it is essential to sharpen your skills. However, do not go overboard to the extent where the purchaser finds your offer unattractive in the end and quits on you.

Use Your Head, Not Your Heart.

When investing, it is vital to avoid letting your heart get in the way. It is understandable to allow your heart to go above your head since it will be your home where you will raise your children. However, doing so will cloud your judgment since you may find yourself over-capitalising on your purchase instead of negotiating and getting the best price. Avoid buying a house because you loved the location as a great holiday retreat place for you and the kids, and instead, buy it after doing an analytical; research of the property. Ensure that you think about it based on financial gains, rather than personal feelings. Also, avoid seeing yourself living in that property, and instead think of yourself as a tenant and see if they would love the place or not. It is one of the ways to avoid going above your head. Be objective about it by ensuring that your strategy aligns with the property in question, and it will help you build your successful investment portfolio.

Property investment is not easy money; you will have to put in a lot of hard work, time, and patience into it for it to turn into a profit. With the above tips, you will be able to make strides in the property investment business as a beginner and get rewarding benefits in the long-run.

How to Save Money on the Cost of Asbestos Removal?

Asbestos is a highly damaging substance. Throughout history it has been used as a fire-retardant. Even the ancient Romans, however, had noticed that those who worked extensively with it often fell ill. Asbestos fibres are harmful to the lungs, and if inhaled they can lead to a condition called Mesothelioma.

The damage does not show up immediately. It can take decades to surface, but once someone has been exposed to asbestos it is likely that the damage will have already been done. For this reason, the government has banned the use of asbestos in building materials. Many old buildings, however, still have asbestos present in tiles, insulation, and walls.

In most cases, if the asbestos is concealed, in a low-traffic area, and left undisturbed, it is considered relatively ‘safe’ and may be left as-is. However, if the asbestos is in an area where there is the risk of it being damaged, then it must be safely removed by an accredited professional at Inner City Environmental.

Asbestos In The Home

Many residential properties built in the 1970’s and before used asbestos during the construction. These properties are required to be tested for asbestos if they are being sold or if there are building or refurbishment works to be carried out. This is a legal requirement that cannot be ignored as the penalties are severe as are the potential consequences.

Asbestos Requires Careful Handling

You should not attempt to remove asbestos yourself. As soon as you start moving it, there is the risk that harmful fibres will be released into the air. If you think that you have asbestos in your property, you should have a surveyor come out and confirm that this is the case. A survey could cost around £250 for an average domestic property, then, once they have confirmed that asbestos is present, you have the choice of ‘encapsulating’ it to stop the fibres from escaping, or having it entirely removed.

Encapsulation, on average, should cost around £8 per square meter, while full removal can be £50 or more per square meter. Prices can vary massively depending on the size of the project, and the area that you live in. If you live in an expensive area and the asbestos is in a ‘difficult to reach’ part of the building or you have a very old property which requires special attention then you can expect to pay much more than it would cost to remove an asbestos garage roof from a small property in the North East.

Domestic water tanks with asbestos cladding would be far less expensive to take care of than an asbestos-clad garage. Talk to your local council for advice, because they are often happy to do subsidized work on asbestos for homeowners. In some cases, small amounts of asbestos can be removed by your local council free of charge.

4 Reasons To Choose A Staycation For Your Next Family Holiday

Going on holiday with your family can be a fun and exciting experience. It can also be something that causes you a great deal of stress. This is why many UK residents are choosing to stay close to home when planning trips. Besides being less of a headache, here are 4 good reasons to stick around instead of heading out of the area.

  • It Costs Less

Spending holidays in foreign lands can be a very unique and thrilling experience for a family, but getting there can break the bank. If you have a rather large family, booking flights for all of them can be extremely expensive, depending on where you planned to go. Staying in the UK means that you can have a great time without having to worry about high priced airfare.

  • Fewer Restrictions

When you are travelling out of town, there are limits on the things that you can bring with you, especially when you are checking bags at the airport. Bringing extra clothes and other personal items can lead to higher flight rates. As a result, some of the things you wanted to bring along may need to be left at home.

If you are planning a vacation in your local area, you can feel free to bring anything you like since you will likely be using your own personal vehicle or public transit to get around.

  • Pets Welcome

If you have a very large dog, you will not be able to bring them along if you are travelling by plane. This can be a serious issue, especially if you do not have enough money available to send them to a kennel while you are gone. Staycationing in the UK means that all you will need to worry about is making sure that any property where you plan to stay is pet-friendly.

  • Teaching Local Culture

There is no excuse for being a parent and not teaching your children anything about the history and customs of the place where they live. Instead of taking them to a foreign country, stay close to home and immerse them in UK culture. This will show them that you have pride in who you are and where you are from, which is an admirable value.

Instead of looking for a far off land to visit the next time you go on holiday, you should think about staying in the UK. With all of the advantages mentioned here, it should be clear why this is a good choice.

Tips For Budgeting Money During Summer Holidays

While summer holidays can get expensive, they don’t have to completely wreck your bank account. There are plenty of ways to minimise excess spending during the summer holidays. Below, we will be going over some of the top tips for budgeting money during summer holidays.

Tips For Budgeting Money During Summer Holidays:

  • Be Flexible.

One of the best ways to really save money on your holiday would be to be as flexible as possible. The more rigid you are with the dates you can travel and other aspects of your travel, the more you can expect to pay. By being more flexible, you should be able to save a lot of money on flights, accommodations, and more. A great way to maximise your savings is by travelling to a place during its off-season. By travelling during non-peak seasons, you can really cut down on the total cost of your entire trip.

  • Stick To Flats.

Rather than spending the money on a hotel, you should be looking to rent out a flat. Using a service like Airbnb will help you find some of the more affordable flats available in the area you are travelling. By doing this, you will be able to cut down a lot of excess money you would be spending on your trip in multiple ways. For one, it is generally cheaper to rent a flat over a hotel. Another reason it can save you money is by giving you a full kitchen that you can use throughout your entire holiday. By having a kitchen available, you won’t be forced to eating out every single meal which can add up considerably.

  • Use a Local SIM.

If you are going to be travelling Internationally, you will want to be sure that you plan ahead. Using your local SIM can get very costly if you are not careful. Without the right plan, you could rack up serious charges. Instead, you should look to acquire a local SIM wherever you are travelling and signing up for a pre-paid service once you arrive. By doing this, you should be able to minimise the excess spending you generate due to high International fees associated with using your local SIM abroad.

  • Plan Ahead.

If you don’t plan out your holiday in advance, you might find yourself being forced into last-minute decisions which can come with last-minute prices. By planning ahead, you should be able to save money throughout your entire holiday. Not only are you going to be able to minimise transportation costs, but you will be able to minimise other costs associated with your trip, as well.

Overall, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you are properly budgeting during your summer holidays. By following the tips above, you should be able to do so successfully.

How To Save Money During Weekly Shopping Trips

These days, people spend so much on groceries that it can start to feel like a real burden. Instead of allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by food expenses, use these tips to save money on your weekly shopping trips.

  • Avoid Prepared Vegetables

It may seem really convenient to purchase things like peppers that are already diced and onions that have been sliced, but this costs more money in the long run. The economical choice would be buying whole vegetables and spending a little extra time prepping them yourself. The savings will make it worth the effort.

  • Eat Before You Shop

You may have thought this was just a myth when you heard it in the past, but it is a good idea to eat before heading to the market. People who shop when they are hungry are more likely to purchase things they do not really need, like extra snacks. Even if you do not have time for a full meal, you should have a snack at the very least.

  • Buy Sale Items

This is a bit tricky for some, but you can save a lot if you stick to buying things that are on sale that week. Instead of writing a grocery list at random, you should look through all of the available deals and create a menu based on what is for sale. Not only will you save money, but there is a chance that it can help you be more creative than usual when it comes to creating an eating plan.

  • Focus On Seasonal Produce

When you buy produce that is not in season, you will have to pay a premium since these items are imported from another country. Things like potatoes and butternut squash grow during the winter and items like chard and summer squash are more common during warmer months. By only purchasing things that are in season, you can avoid paying the upcharge for off-season veggies.

  • Sign Up For Loyalty Programs

There are some markets that offer shoppers incentives for visiting often. In return for your loyalty, you are often given free items and/or discounts on products that you buy regularly. Many people are wary of these programs since your purchases are tracked in order to offer you relevant deals, but you can save a great deal, so consider whether losing a bit of privacy is worth it to you.

  • Stay Away From Convenience Foods

Things like frozen pizzas and chicken can be really tempting since they can be cooked in a short time, but the downside is the fact that some brands are rather costly. Instead of buying items that are precooked and frozen, consider buying the raw ingredients and cooking the items yourself. Not only will you save money, but you will have more control over what you are eating and avoid unnecessary preservatives and additives.

While the cost of food is constantly rising, there are ways to keep things at a reasonable level. Keep all of these budgeting tips in mind the next time you head to the store.

Key Advantages Of Having Family Fleet Insurance

If there are multiple vehicles in your household, it would be a good idea to think about purchasing family fleet insurance. There are many benefits to choosing this as opposed to an individual policy, including the following:

Saving Money

As most people know, insurance is not cheap, but it is a necessary expense that cannot be avoided. One advantage of a family fleet policy is the fact that you are able to save money. If you have drivers under the age of 25 on a traditional policy, it is common for insurance companies to increase your monthly premium significantly. When you have this type of coverage, you will still have to pay a bit extra since younger drivers are considered a liability, but it is typically less than usual. If you have more than one young driver in the home, this can be a significant amount of savings.

Older vehicles also cost more to insure so if you have cars or vans past their prime consider selling your van to m3commercials and upgrade to a newer model.

In addition to all of the money you can save this way, opting for an annual payment is another way to save a great deal on premiums. Some people avoid this because the upfront costs are so large, but if you split the costs with all of those who will be covered, it would be more reasonable and help you keep more money in your pocket.

Customised Policies

When you sign up for family fleet car insurance, they are able to customise a policy according to the needs of your family. Since everyone does not have the same vehicle type and driving style, it only makes sense that an insurer is able to consider that when creating the perfect policy. For instance, you may have a classic car that you only drive when the weather is really nice, yet your spouse has a newer, economy vehicle that they drive to work and back every day. You could benefit from a low mileage policy while they would have to opt for a typical policy that covers cars that have heavy usage.

Another good thing is that you are able to add names to each of the individual vehicles that are on the policy. If you have a car that is very expensive and/or the younger adults in the home are not allowed to drive them, you can omit their names from the policy so you will not have to pay extra in order to cover them.


It is much easier to keep track of all the auto insurance in the home if they are all covered by one payment. Trying to keep track of different policies for every vehicle can be really exhausting, especially if you have more than a handful of them. Instead of taking a chance and trying to juggle a large number of payments, which may have different due dates, everything gets paid at once.

This will also help immensely if you or someone else in your home is quite forgetful and often misses payments and has to pay all kinds of fees as a result. Since everyone will be responsible for having the payments in on time, it is not likely that it will go unpaid. In addition, if you opt for the annual policy that was mentioned above this is definitely not something that you will have to worry about.

Every day, more people across the UK are forgoing individual policies and signing up for family fleet insurance. As you can tell, you can save a lot of time, hassle and money. If this is something that you are interested in, you should do some research, get a few quotes and see what is available to you.

Advice On Budgeting For Your UK Wedding

A wedding is important for most people but it all starts with organised budgeting.

Without a proper plan or approach, it’s difficult to host a wedding that’s in line with your expectations. As a result, it’s time to break down what’s required to make sure you are heading in the right direction.

Understand the Costs

Let’s begin with the costs because that creates a baseline for you to follow. While the figures are going to vary from wedding to wedding, it’s never a bad idea to keep this information in the back of your mind moving forward.

Wedding costs in the UK can include:

  • Venue – £5,000 – £6,000
  • Photography – £1,000
  • Catering – £5,000-£6,000
  • Wedding Flowers – £1,000
  • Videography – £500
  • Cake – £500
  • DJ – £500
  • Shoes – £200
  • Wedding Dress – £1,000
  • Groom’s Attire – £600
  • Wedding Rings – £1,000
  • Gifts – £500

These are the general costs associated with a UK wedding.

As mentioned before, these numbers are going to differ from person to person depending on how many guests are coming. Go through each detail and figure out what the total sum is.

Create a Budget

It’s time to sit down and start working on a proper budget while saving up. The average couple isn’t going to have everything ready to go from a financial perspective and that’s why organised budgeting is a must. Otherwise, you are not going to save as much money as you need to for the big day.

In general, budgeting is all about taking a look at how much money is coming in, minusing expenses, and figuring out how much money is saved each month.

You want to have this number in mind before dividing everything and pushing money towards the wedding.

When you have a plan in place, it becomes easier to save additional money by cutting unnecessary expenses. Think about this as you put together a detailed strategy and work towards saving enough money for the big day.

Set a Date

Yes, it’s important to have a date while working out how much time you have to work with.

A couple that is getting married within 12 months is going to have a far different approach to someone getting married in 3 years. This is why it’s important to have a personalised date in mind along with general information regarding how many people are attending. Having this information is going to shed light on what you need and how long it’s going to take.

When you have a date in mind, everything starts to fall into place.

Remove Unnecessary Expenses

Now, it’s time to focus on the budget and how you are going to handle funds while looking towards the wedding.

It’s important to note the money isn’t going to save itself. You will have to start finding ways to save as much as possible. If not, you are going to end up running in circles figuring out where the money went and why you didn’t save enough.

The main expenses a person should focus on are the unnecessary ones such as entertainment, trips out to eat, or anything that is not essential over the long-term. Yes, everyone likes going out to eat each week but it may not be possible while saving up. Think about the long-term goal and everything will become easier to manage and understand.

Ask for Quotes

If you are getting married within the year, it may be time to start asking for quotes. Even if you are getting married 2-3 years from now, it never hurts to get a general estimate of what the going rates are.

Having information about specific venues, videographers, photographers, and more is going to go a long way. You will have a fair idea of how much is required in your neck of the woods.

Feel free to shop around while going through this process because it will make your life easier when it’s time to plan things out in detail.

Keep Track

Don’t assume the money is being saved because that’s when you start slipping. Too many couples end up surprised when their funds don’t line up with what they had budgeted.

A UK wedding isn’t going to be cheap and it will come with additional expenses. So, you need to come prepared and make sure you are tracking how much money is being saved monthly.

If you are not able to do this, the funding is going to become a major hurdle that is difficult to deal with. Prepare to record everything and keep track of things as much as you can.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing is to focus on following this advice and budgeting with passion. As long as you do this, the results are going to come and you will host a memorable wedding. Remember to seriously consider hotel wedding venues when planning everything out!