The Hidden Costs Of Moving You Should Keep In Mind

Moving homes can be an extremely exciting time in your life. It signifies that the next chapter is on its way, and often this might mean an upgrade in your living situation. If not an upgrade in the physical size of your home or the quality of the area you live in, it might be upgrading your social situation, such as living with your beloved while about to start a family. Moving is an extremely wonderful time for most people, but it does require that we keep aware of all factors we must pay attention to.

Of course, one of the first considerations people think of when moving are the costs involved. This is not surprising; moving home can be very expensive. However, so can the hidden costs, or rather, the costs that seem to spring up the moment you decide to buy. These amounts can build up quickly, so it’s critical to plan for them in advance. Here some of the costs you need to keep in mind when moving home…

The Hidden Costs Of Moving You Should Keep In Mind title house image

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is not particularly a hidden cost, but it can be one that you might not keep in mind. If your home is worth a certain value, the mere act of moving paperwork and taking care of the application process will warrant its own tax. This means you need to calculate this in advance, and you can do so online. This will likely need to be accommodated for, and can obviously be added onto the final house valuation as one of those pre-emptive costs you understand and accept before making an offer. Good property agents will help you make this decision, but so will your own careful calculation. If you plan in advance, there’s no reason why this should limit the kind of property you can afford and search for from the beginning.

Moving Insurance

Moving your belongings from one area to another can be fraught with dangers to your property. Of course, for the most part removal companies are careful and willing to accommodate any and all requests that mean something to you. However, it’s also important to understand that you might need to pay a decent amount ensuring your goods are insured for the entire trip. For short distances, this might not be that much to consider. If moving long distance or even internationally, the cost of transmitting your goods will be much higher, and your insurance might even run into the thousands. It’s important to also factor this into the price of your home, as it’s likely when buying you’ll need to move by a certain date. Contacting your local removals company with the capacity to go long distance is important, because they can likely quote you an amount you can refer to in the future when it comes to budgeting your move.

Notary Public Services

If you are moving internationally, you might well need Notary Public Services to help with authorising legal documents or opening a new bank account, such as the services offered by Prosperity Law. This is another cost to be factored in, but one that could be essential to ensure a smooth move – either as a non UK citizen entering the country, or as a UK citizen opening a bank account abroad, for example.

Damage Collateral

This might not seem like a consideration, but often transporting goods ourselves, especially long distance, can lead to us damaging our own goods. When we damage our own goods we are responsible for them, and mostly no amount of insurance will help us with that. The removals company might mvoe your goods in pristine condition, but t’s always best to consider your own failings in this regard. This is because moving is quite a complex process. You need to not only manuevre your belongings but pack them, transport them and unpack them. It’s not uncommon for a person to drop, damage or incorrectly store items and thus lose out on their value. For example, storing a box in a garage susceptible to moisture might run your sofa cushion covers that you had paid a premium for.

This is not something that is guaranteed or that can even be assigned a set value from the outset, but it can be important to keep in mind. At the very least, having a working extra budget assigned for personal damages can help soften the blow if these things do occur.

Energy Tariff Costs

Of course, setting up your energy tariffs for your home will likely incur a set up charge, particularly if you’re hoping to switch providers. This can potentially take a few days to be provided in the first place also, so it’s important to keep in mind any extra considerations you might have in the first few days of moving. For example, it might be that no gas requires you to focus on takeout food or eating at restaurants – a fine and indulgent method of cheering yourself into your new home.

Some energy tariffs require payment in advance, while others might simply require a call out charge and a setup potential. This can be essentially important to consider when moving in, because you cannot evade this cost by any means at all.

Additional Setup Costs

There are many other costs that might come in apart from your usual energy tariffs. These might be your internet installations, your cable television provisions, and maybe even a payment to your local housing authority for a service rendered. For example, if living in a gated community you might be expected to contribute to the servicing of the front security station keeping your home safe. It could even be that your home has hidden damage in need of repair, such as a broken window or a damaged garage door. Again, allowing your working budget to work with you rather than against you in these circumstances can help you to no end.

In Summary

Before long you will find yourself set up and comfortable in your own home, but that might require some extra financial investment that you might not be realizing when excited to move in. Be sure to keep a large working budget to help you skirt around any issues, and to identify and calculate the costs that might be the most important for you to resolve.

With theses simple tips, you are sure to move into your new place without hassle or worry.

Do you have any moving cost tips to help plan finances and manage money? Tell me in comments!

* This is a collaborative post.

Self-Employment Issues: How To Deal With Variable Monthly Income

If you are self- employed you may well find your monthly income is variable. It might depend on how promptly invoices are paid, some of your work might be seasonal or you might simply have an unpredictable flow of work each month. This can make it difficult to manage finances and create unexpected shortfalls. Here are some practical tips to dealing with a variable monthly income…

Self-Employment Issues: How To Deal With Variable Monthly Income title. Image of desk with keyboard, wallet, plant and pencil

Plan Ahead

If you know your work is seasonal, or you happen to have a particularly good month, then you need to make sure you budget the extra income carefully so that you will be prepared for the slower months when they come around. It might be tempting to spend it while you have it, but don’t!

Once your business is established enough, take an average of your monthly earnings then use that to base your budget on. Ideally, budget for slightly under your average figure to be on the safe side. You can also try to forecast your predicted future earnings and use this information too, but don’t rely too heavily on it – at best it is most likely still just an educated guess! (Unless your business is fairly predictable in nature of course).

Tax Returns

When you calculate your budget, make sure you remember taxes; you don’t want to find yourself with a tax bill that you hadn’t accounted for! Work out roughly how much your tax is each month and set that aside. That way, when you complete your tax return at the end of the financial year, the lump sum will be there ready and waiting to pay the outstanding amount immediately.

Stack of coins and pens on finance sheet

Late Invoices

If you are self- employed it is essential to make sure you invoice corrently, and you must record income and expenditure accurately. So keep a careful track of all of your invoices and note when they have been paid. Chase up late payments after 30 days past the due date and have a clear policy for any late fees. If absolutely necessary, seek legal action to recoup the money. Late invoices sadly are a fairly common occurance and can really mess up your finances so it is important to have a clear process for dealing with this, as well as a financial back up plan.

Income Shortfalls

In reference to the previous point, what happens when an unpaid invoice, or an unexpected fluctuation in income, creates a shortfall? This can be one of the hazards of self- employment unfortunately. Ideally you will have budgeted for this and have some money saved aside. But we all know that of course sometimes this isn’t the case.

As already suggested, the first step is to chase any outstanding overdue invoices, which hopefully might prompt them to pay. There is also plenty of advice on how to make some extra pennies when needed.

However, if this isn’t enough to balance the shortfall, you could consider taking out a loan as a last resort. If you need cash fast you could research quick loans. Alternatively, if you are on Universal Credit, you could also enquire about a budgeting advance from them. Borrowing from family or friends maybe another option. Just remember, you will need to pay it back as soon as possible and you may need to modify your budget to enable you to pay off the interest, and to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Are you self- employed? Do you have a variable income? I would love to hear your tips for managing this. Leave me a comment!

*This is a collaborative post.

Getting More Bang For Your Buck

Often, the amount of purchases people make where it is just wasting money is incredible. There are so many ways that we can get more bang for our buck that we just seem to be ignoring. Why this is, I guess we’ll never know! It is, of course, more helpful to make the most of the money you have. You most probably will have realised that life isn’t always easy, and money seems to come out of the bank quicker than it goes in. It’s a problem most of us are plagued with, certainly at some time or another anyway, but one that can be avoided by a large amount if we just try and get more bang for our buck. Here’s a few ways that you can do just that…

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Resellers

Resellers are the ones you need to be looking at. You can get something nearly brand new, for next to nothing compared to what you would pay if you went into the store and bought it. Resellers offer pretty much anything, and you can find them almost anywhere. For example, you’ve got resellers of clothes. You don’t even have to pick up your laptop to sort this one, a lot of resellers of clothes have apps that you can use. The clothes you’ll buy might have been worn once or twice, but it’ll be some excellent designer things with the price slashed completely. There’s also resellers of items that aren’t second hand, such as food. You’ll probably need to go online for something like this, or look out for stores such as Costco. You will be absolutely amazed at how much money you can spend here, and how much you’ll be able to get for it.

More In The Long Run

To get more in the long run, you need to be looking at the long term bargains. Let’s talk about cars for example. People usually take out finance to get a brand new car, meaning you’re tied in for years, or buy it outright. So, consider leasing instead. It allows you to switch from car to car every two years, and that way you always have a brand new car! Check out All Car Leasing for more information. If you know you’re a lover of cars, and the newest ones at that, this is going to work out really well for you. So many people go for financing, when that is often actually the more expensive option. At least this way you know you’re going to get a new treat every so often. And that will likely save on maintence costs too, which tend to increase as the car ages.

Cheaper Essentials

Cheaper essentials is something we should all be looking out for. We’re talking about the things you’ll buy on a daily basis, that you probably usually spend hundreds a year on. Again, you’re going to need to go bargain hunting. There are discount stores that will sell essentials such as shampoo and conditioner for next to nothing, whereas mainstream supermarkets will make you pay through the nose in comparison. You can also try your hand at couponing to see how much money you would be able to save!

A pile of £20 notes

What are your top tips for saving money? Tell me in comments!

*This is a collaborative post.

Overcoming The Slippery Slope of Debt

Economically, times have been tough for some time now, and this has resulted in many people falling down the slippery slope of debt because they are in dire need to make money. But even if you have the money in place, it can still be hard to keep your head above water, let alone enjoy the prosperity of financial freedom.

Getting out of debt can feel like an uphill struggle to the point people want to give up. When people are in serious amounts of debt, they often do end up on a downward spiral, falling down the slippery slope of interest and other fees accruing on overdue payments. Indeed, one of the vicious cycles in terms of debt is that people often end up paying more in interest and fees than they are from the actual balance. The challenge is that once you start missing a few payments, your financial position can quickly go downhill, and this is when people lose control of their financial situation.

It’s the same in business, yet there tend to be more options available to manoeuvre. As an example debtor factoring helps business to borrow money and you can always get venture capital to expand your business, or avoid a financially disastrous situation.

It’s understandable that people in debt wish to bury their head in the sand due to the emotional overwhelm they face. But the best starting point, if you’re feeling this way, is to contact the money advice service; an independent organisation that offers free and impartial advice on how to get out of debt.

An image of spreadsheet, calculator and coins in a vice

If you’re feeling the pinch and are trapped in debt, it can often feel completely hopeless – yet, there’s always hope. It’s important to remember that just like how the bodies cells replenish themselves, so does your financial history, as CCJ’s and the like are all wiped away after six years.

Even the social stigma that was once associated with bankruptcy is nowadays much less potent. In part this is due to the number of people having to file for bankruptcy, as well as the entrepreneurial culture we are now living in, which has seen many highly successful business people go bankrupt multiple times only to rise up like a phoenix.

The point is that just because you’re in debt, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It can feel like it, when you are backed into a corner and have creditors banging on your door – nobody likes to receive intimidating letters, or be threatened with the prospects of bailiffs. Indeed this is a tremendously stressful experience for anyone to endure; yet there are a number of ways to relieve the pressure.

The best thing you can do, is to take the bull by the horns and seek some advice. There are a plethora of options from IVAs, debt reduction and debt consolidation programs, where you can get one loan that covers all existing debt and then just make one monthly manageable payment. If you own your home, you could even remortgage your property to consolidate the debt you have accrued, and pay it off, in a similar way.

In summary, you always have options, the trick is to take control of your money situation – rather than letting the situation control you!

*This is a collaborative post.

Are You Wasting Money In The Worst Areas?

Do you have trouble with money? It’s possible that you struggle to save because your money is actually draining away in wasteful areas. There are lots of areas in life where you might be spending a lot more than you actually need to. Cut the cost, and you will find you have a lot more money to play with at the end of each month. Let’s start by thinking about purchases that you should never have made in the first place…

Are You Wasting Money In The Worst Areas? title with image of piles of coins

Straight Out The Box

Financial experts will tell you that you should never purchase a car brand new on the market. The reason for this is simply the depreciation. When you buy a car, it will immediately start to drop in value. There is literally no way that you can make money off a car that is purchased brand new when it comes time to sell. Unless of course, you decide to purchase a classic. However, even then, you will need to be careful how much you drive the vehicle and what you use it for. You see? Even purchasing a classic vehicle, something that should always balloon in value, isn’t guaranteed to lead to an ROI. The obvious answer then is to purchase a car second hand. While this can be risky, it does mean that you won’t be losing as much money when it does inevitably start to drop in price Instead of losing half the value of the car, that value will already be gone when you make the purchase. There are other benefits too. You’ll be able to afford a nicer car, and that car will be cheaper to insure. Gocompare.com can show you how expensive it is to insure a Merc and one that is second hand will always be a lot cheaper.

An image of an expensive new car

The Package Deal

Are you booking a holiday this year? You might have heard that booking a package holiday is cheaper. Unfortunately, it isn’t. If you use a package holiday, you’ll be buying your holiday from an agent. They will search through the indexes and systems to find the right holiday for you including hotels, flights, add-ons and anything else that you might have asked them about. They’ll then bunch all these items together. But on top of that, you’ll need to pay for their services. Agents will typically add money to the cost of your flight to cover their service. As such, instead, it’s far better to use sites like Lastminute.com to find your own. Right now, it’s possible that your holidays are costing you a fortune, but they really don’t have to.

A group of people on the beach on holiday

Throwing It Away

How much do you spend on shopping every week? Fifty, a hundred or more? If you’re spending a lot on food, you at least want to make sure that you’re getting the greatest use out of it possible. But most people don’t because leftovers get binned. Instead, you should be saving these, freezing what you can. With the right planning, you can have whole meals frozen ready to feed your family another day of the week. You’ll be amazed how much money this will save you overall.

Spaghetti bolognaise. Dinners can be prepared from frozen leftovers

We hope you find this advice useful when you’re looking for ways to cut back the waste in your life. Do you have other suggestions? Leave a comment!

*This is a collaborative post.

Your Family And Finances: The Rules

When it comes to your family and finances, you need to make sure that you’re handling them the right way. Many people don’t realize that the way they handle their finances and talk about their finances teaches their kids everything they believe about money before they’ve even grown up and had a chance to experience it for themselves. Take a look at your family and finances: the rules…

Your Family And Finances: The Rules title on faded background image of pennies

Always Use Positive Language When Discussing Money

When talking about money, especially in front of your kids, always use positive language. If you talk about money in a negative way, they’ll have a bad relationship with money right from the start. You don’t want that!

Have Regular Meetings

Having regular family meetings where you discuss money, amongst other things, can make it less of a taboo topic of discussion for your family.

Give Your Kids Pocket Money

There’s nothing wrong with buying kids things that they want, but giving your kids pocket money is usually a better way of going about it. This way, your kids get to decide how to use their money early on. Do they want to save it up for a bigger purchase, or spend it on something small? You can use this as an opportunity to get them into their own saving habits, too.

Get Into Good Saving Habits

Make sure you’re in good saving habits. This will be evident to your kids and they will learn from watching you – it’ll also make your family less stressed out when an emergency payment or something of importance pops up! Take a look at the superhero saving habits below for help:

credit to Sunny

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Easy Ways To Save For Your Family Adventures

Family adventures are great, but unlike the ones you read about in books, they cost money. Whether you like to plan for big trips or days out, it’s nice to have a little rainy day fund to help you pay for your adventures. A family has a lot of expenses, making it hard to put money away, but thanks to these clever savings ideas you can help your family save easily for your next adventure…

Easy Ways To Save For Your Family Adventures title. Sunset beach image with family on pier.

Don’t Buy Anything Without Checking For A Voucher First

In the age of internet shopping, it is possible to find discount codes for almost anything – including days out. It only takes a few minutes to do a quick search, but you could save a lot of money on things you were planning to buy anyway.

Vouchers from supermarkets, clothes shops and other places could help you save a few extra pennies to put towards your family adventures. Sites like Groupon are great for family dinners, and it’s worth signing up to VoucherCloud and other discount code websites too. Always do a price search and see if you could save yourself some money.

Sell Your Unwanted Items

Each Christmas or birthday helps you realise just how little space there is in your home, and how much stuff doesn’t get used. Instead of just letting unwanted items clutter up your home, sell them. If you’ve got streaming subscriptions, you can easily save yourself some money by selling off your old DVDs and Blu-Rays, while unwanted clothes and toys are perfect for eBay. If you want an easy way of posting your items, https://www.shiply.com/ is a great service to make shipping your items a breeze. Having a regular clear out not only helps you to make a bit of money but will keep your house in order too.

Keep A Forfeit Jar

Many families have swear jars, but if your family tends to be good on the bad language front, you might want to consider a different kind of forfeit jar instead. You could have one for anytime someone forgets a household rule, or whenever someone leaves a light on in the house. Keep it up and at the very least, you’ll stop some bad habits, while the best you can expect is a nice healthy sum for your savings pot.

Cut Your Bills

It’s becoming more common for people to switch providers for everything, including your utilities and banking. It’s worth ringing other providers for a quote and seeing if your current provider can match it. There are some great ways to haggle with service providers that can at least get you a temporary saving. Put the difference into savings and watch them grow month after month.

Saving money can be a fun and rewarding challenge for all the family, helping you to afford those little extras. Looking for some more great money saving tips? Check out this useful article on how to what to do when you need money fast. Enjoy finding ways of saving money with your family so that you can look forward to creating many more happy memories together.

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

What To Do When You Need Money Fast

If you’re in a bind and need some quick cash it can be a very frustrating and emotionally distressing position to be in. Nobody likes to be backed into a corner, but if unfortunate circumstances prevail then what you really need are some options – and you need them fast. So here is some inspiration as to how to get a prompt cash injection to help you through difficult times…

Title 'What To Do When You Need Money Fast' with background image of clock and piles on coins

Declutter

You might be surprised by just how much some of your stuff is worth, particularly if you happen to have any collectibles lying around. Even if you don’t have single items of value, decluttering and selling what you no longer need can quickly add up. You can list them on ebay or local selling sites on social media. Or even have a carboot sale!

Sell Your Old Phone

How many of us still have our old phone laying around? It is easy to shove it in a drawer and then promptly forget all about it! But, as I already mentioned above, selling on unwanted or discarded items that are just laying around unused can really help when you are at a pinch. And old phones often have a decent value, especially if it is still in good condition and working order, which is often the case if you upgrade regularly. You can expect even more if you had one of the latest models at the time and it hasn’t been sat around too long! So this item in particular is one to note when looking for items to sell. Of course, the same goes for tablets too.

Find Your Creative Flair

Another thing you can do is to look in the free adverts section, or check out freecycle, then upcycle the items to create something worth selling. Again, you can promote these items on eBay or, with a little creative flair, you could even create an Etsy store.  Try to think outside the box in terms of what are the growing trends and you can make a fortune.

If you are a good photographer, or even artist, why not try selling some of your own work? Either as digital downloads on one of the many stock image sites, on a canvas or as small prints.

If you have a craft skill you could also make handmade items to sell.

Sell Gift Cards

Exchange gift cards for cash. Do you have any gift cards that you haven’t yet spent? Assuming you can’t spend them on essentials, try selling them on local selling groups, or sites such as Zeek.

Market Research Participation

There are tons of market research companies, both online and offline, that require you to simply provide your opinion on a variety of products and services.  The work itself doesn’t pay much, but it can be practically instant and requires no track record, skills, experience, or protracted interview and onboarding process.  The work itself is limited mostly to filling in a few questionnaires and offering verbal feedback.

Odd Jobs

Take a step out of the thirsty teenager’s book; where they’ll knock on doors or leaflet drop offering their services – mowing laws, cleaning windows, walking dogs, chopping down trees, doing ironing; whatever it is, they’ll be open to doing it.

There are plenty of things people will pay money for, particularly the time starved, that you can offer to help them with. It might sound a little embarrassing but you will be amazed by how open some people can be to paying cash for odd jobs they need doing but can’t find the time.

Temporary Work

You could also ask to take on extra shifts at work, or enquire about any potential overtime opportunities. If this is not an option, you could try temp agencies. There are often temporary assignments available, particularly if you don’t mind unskilled manual work and are happy to work shifts. Remember it is only temporary!

Casual Work

If you are more of an office based computer type person, there are online sites like fiverr. Or you could also look into casual work at local bars and restaurants too. Mystery shopper is another popular choice.

Get a Loan

In today’s global economic crisis and this prolonged credit crunch we have been experiencing, getting a standard loan from a bank is proving to be more and more challenging. Banks have an increased sensitivity to risk and are reluctance to lend to people. Not only that, but the interest on the loan is often a lot higher than it would have been ten years ago. Therefore, for many people, the option to get a standard loan from a high street bank isn’t all that viable,

If it is a real emergency, then there are a number of same day loan providers such as New Horizon that subject to approval can pay up to £2,500 within less than 15 months. Whilst this is convenient in an emergency, it is a very expensive way to borrow money so is best used as a short-term stop-gap solution rather than as a long-term financial strategy.

Renting Out Space

If you have a spare room in your home you may wish to consider taking in a lodger. Another popular idea, particularly if you live close to a commuter line station, is to rent out your parking space. Lastly you could even rent out your garage, if you have one. (Although beware of any insurance implications when doing so!)

Switch Your Bank

Sometimes when you switch to a new back they give you an incentive, such as £250 cashback. If you shop around for such a deal you might find you are able to take advantage of one of these offers when you truly need it the most.

Ask! (Or at least talk to someone)

Consider if you have any family or friends you can open up to, and explain the situation. Even if they can’t help in a practical sense, you will probably feel much better having talked it through with someone. And they might well help you out if they possibly can in one way or another. Just like you would hopefully do for them!

*This is a collaborative post.

Make Your Christmas More Creative

It’s easy to let Christmas take over your house, mind and wallet. Maybe it even instills a feeling of dread and an expectation that you’ll start the new year on the back foot in a bank overdraft. But there are many ways to upgrade your Christmas that don’t revolve around presents and decorations. Fun, personal and thoughtful touches will win every time! Here are some ideas to get those creative juices flowing, so that you can make some changes this year that’ll be more creative, fun, and also save you money – without compromising on time with loved ones.

A picture of Christmas accessories on a blue background with the title written in white.

Get crafty

If you’ve got a skill or talent that could be used to make a gift instead of buying one, this would add a personal touch and could save money (depending on the skill). If you’re a keen cook, why not offer to make a dish for Christmas dinner rather than buying everyone a gift? Perhaps you’d rather make a delicious dessert for everyone to share – it’ll be really appreciated, will help out the host and is something you can all share. If you’re more into sewing or painting, you may prefer to make small handmade gifts instead – just remember to give yourself enough time to complete them in the busy time leading up to Christmas.

Save money

Take advantage of cheaper options and make sure you shop around. If you have a particular gift in mind, see if you can get hold of it second hand – sites like eBay may have the same item either brand new or used – in many cases you might find one that’s been opened but never used, or still comes in the original box. Why spend more for no reason? Shopping around more could save you a lot of money! Just don’t forget that you may need to arrange your own courier which you’ll need to factor into your budget.

Take charge of Christmas games

Games are a big part of Christmas for many and a great way to bond with family. If games aren’t part of your Christmas day usually, why not give yourself the title of Games Coordinator, do some research and find a few easy games that’ll get you all working together and passing the time so you’ve got something to keep your mind busy when waiting for your food! 

If you’re already a lover of games, why not find a few new ones to try – perhaps you’ve got that one person that never wants to play and they need something else to get them motivated. If there’s a certain game that divides family members, try to find one that includes everyone and that appeals to their interests. Ask friends which games they play at Christmas time and steal any good recommendations!

New board games can be expensive so it’ll pay to shop around – a good tip is to look in charity shops or borrow from others. There are also so many games that only need a pen and paper or a pack of cards so you don’t need to spend a fortune!

Hopefully these tips give you some inspiration for cutting the cost of your Christmas this year and add a little sprinkle of creativity whilst saving you money!

*This is a collaborative post.