Personal Lending Guide
A guide to personal finance, loans and lending.

How to Save for a Deposit

If you need a deposit, whether for a mortgage or a rental property, you will need to save up money. This can usually be a considerable chunk of money and you will need to save for a while. A mortgage will usually require a much bigger amount, but the principles of saving will be the same for both.

Set a Goal

To start with you should set a savings goal. You should know how much money you will need to save up and so this will be a good start. You will also need to think about when you want to have the money available. Then you can calculate how much you will need to save up each month. Make a note of this and you will then be on your way.

Calculate What You Can Afford to Save

Your next step is to calculate how much you can afford to save. This is slightly trickier as you will need to look at your household accounts and see how much money you normally earn and how much you normally pay out and work out what the difference is to see how much you will normally have left to save. Of course, not all months are ‘typical’ and some may be more expensive than others. This could be due to things like birthdays and Christmas, car services and MOT, water bills and insurances or things like this. Try to think about whether the month you looked at to calculate how much you normally had left was typical or not.

Knowing what you can afford to save in advance can help with budgeting.

Make a Plan to Fill the Gap

It is very possible that you will not have enough money every month to be able to afford to save the amount that you want. So you may need to rely on guaranteed payday loans. You may also find you can save more some months and less others which could be useful for you. However, if you feel that you will be short most of the time, then you will need to work out what you are going to do about it.

Really you will have a choice of either finding a way to earn more or to spend less. The options are very different and one might be much easier for some people than others so it is worth thinking about this. Although some people may feel that they are equally difficult or easy for them and decide to try both. Of course, trying both could also mean that you will free up even more money and it could mean that you will be able to save up more quickly.

If you need some ideas, then you might be able to earn more if you have a job already by doing more hours, asking for a pay rise or looking for a promotion. You may even need to look for a new job to get more money. It might be that you will need to do an additional job. This could be something inside or outside of the home as there are online jobs that you could consider as well as more traditional things.

Spending less can be achieved by comparing prices and making sure that you are not paying more than necessary for anything that you are buying. You may also find that you might be able to cut back on the amount of things that you are buying. This can be tricky but if you can cut out some treats then you will be able to save up more money. Perhaps limit your luxury spending so that you can save more. It is worth making sure that you remember why you are doing this and that it will be worth it in the end.

How to Increase Earnings

There are many of us that would like to earn more money. However, it can sometimes seem really tricky to work out a way that will get us more money. If we already have a job, then we might feel that is enough and we cannot cope with doing anything else. However, there might be some easy things that you could do to get a bit of extra money that will be fun as well.

  • Online surveys – there are a lot of companies online that will pay you to answer surveys. Although they do not pay a high rate, it can be possible to get quite a few surveys to do and make some extra money. If you enjoy answering surveys and giving your opinions on things then this could be something that you can do which will be fun for you and give you some extra money. There are other small online jobs that you might also be able to do that could help you to earn bits of extra money. Sometimes companies that pay for surveys will also have some other jobs that you can choose to do.
  • Temp work – there are many agencies that will offer temp work. This will be a job that will not last for very long. It could be the odd day or few days work or a week or so. If you already work then it might be possible to fit something around your normal job if you feel that you can cope with it. If you have a family then you might be able to do something when another family member can look after them for you.
  • Freelance work – freelance work can sometimes be done to fit around your current job or family commitments. It is something that you tend to pick and choose and decide how much you do and what hours, which means that it can be very flexible. There are often jobs online that you can find and you might be able to find things such as writing, programming, graphic design and general admin. Anything that can be done online, you may be able to do as a freelancer.
  • Starting a business – starting a business can be a big step, but it can be a lot of fun, even thought it is hard work. There will always be a lot to learn but if you enjoy learning then this can be beneficial to you. You may also find that you will be able to do something that you really enjoy. We might think that starting a business is really expensive, but it does not have to be. It just depends on what you choose to do, so pick wisely.
  • Renting a room – if you own your own home then you could make some extra money by renting out a room there. If you have a spare room, then you could find someone to live in it permanently and pay you rent. Otherwise you could set up as a bed and breakfast which will allow you to earn more money per guest, but will be more work as you will have to wash the sheets, clean the room and provide a meal. It is worth thinking about though as both options could help to bring in some extra money.
  • Monetising your hobby – if you have a hobby that you really enjoy then it could be worth trying to think of a way to make money from it. This could be by doing something like selling items that you make, teaching people to do what you do or setting up some sort of website with information about it. Depending on your hobby there will be different things that you can do that will bring in some money for you.

How Much Should I Pay for My Wedding?

If you are getting married soon you may be thinking about setting a budget. This can be quite tricky as you may have all sorts of plans and not really want to compromise but still want to make sure that you can afford it. There are several things that you should be doing in order to think about how much you should be paying.

Consider What You Want and Price It

To start with it is a good idea to think about what you want for a wedding and work out the price of it all. It should be fairly easy to make some enquiries and find out how much everything will cost. You might be able to do this online or speak to people who have recently got married and aks them. It does not need to be completely accurate but you just some sort of idea of how much it will all be when you allow for everything. Include the cost of the venue(s) registrar or vicar, catering, cars, photographer, videographer, flowers, gifts, decorations, favours, stationery (invites, menus, order of service, place names etc) clothing, hotel rooms, honeymoon and cake. Also consider whether there is anything else that you might be paying for as well. There are lots of different things that will need to be considered and they will all need to be accounted for.

Weddings are one of the most costly expenses we encounter in our lifetimes.

Calculate How Much You Can Afford

The next step is rather more sobering! You will need to work out how much you can afford. Have a look at your personal finances and see how much you have saved and invested and think about how much you can afford to put towards the cost of the wedding. If you do not have enough, then you will need to think about what you are going to do.

You do have a selection of options so you need not despair. The most obvious is to cut back the wedding plans to something that you can afford. You might be happy with doing this as you may feel that the vows and commitment are the important things and the extras you can go without. However, there are many people that will want to still have all of those things to make the day really special and memorable. Therefore, they will need to find the money. They will have tow option left. They will either need to wait and save up, so the delay the wedding until they can afford it. The other option is to borrow the money and then they will not need to delay the wedding. There are obviously pros and cons to both and it will be a very personal decision as to what you want to do.

So, thinking about how much you should pay for your wedding will depend on a few factors. You will have to think about what you want and this will determine the cost. However, you will also need to think about whether you can afford this amount. If you cannot afford it, then you will need to decide whether you want to borrow the money, delay and save up or cut the cost. This is a big decision as a wedding is a very important one. You will be wise to discuss it with your partner but perhaps also with friends and family so that you can be sure that you are making the right decision as you do not want it to be a decision that you later regret.

Is A Fixed or Variable Rate Mortgage Better?

When you are considering a mortgage then you may find it quite confusing to decide what to take out. There are lots of lenders and you may wonder how to start to pick between them. One useful way to start with this is to think about whether you want a fixed or variable rate mortgage. However, you will need to understand what they are and what the advantage of them are.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

With a fixed rate mortgage you will always pay the same interest rate during the fixed rate period. This means that even if the base rate changes, you will still be paying the same amount. This can be useful if you feel that there could be a risk that the rate will go up and that you will struggle to cover the payments. Many times this is used by first time borrowers who might be younger and on a lower income and therefore less able to afford more should the payments go up. However, it could be useful for anyone. It is worth making sure that you are aware that the cost of a fixed rate mortgage could be higher though. Firstly, the lender will set the rate higher than their variable rate in case the rates go up as they will not want to lose out. The variable rates may also go down, especially if the base rate goes down, which means that if you are on a fixed rate you will lose out on this reduction in rates.

It is worth noting that sometimes with a fixed rate mortgage you will be tied in to a lender. So, if you choose a rate that is fixed for five years, you could find that you will have to stay with that lender for those five years. This means that if the base rate decreases hugely, you will not be able to take advantage of that reduction in rates and there may be other mortgage lenders with fixed rate deals at lower rates too. You may even find that you get tied in beyond the fixed rate and have to move on to their variable rate for a certain time period before you can move lenders which could mean you are paying an unfavourable rate.

Variable Rate Mortgages

A variable rate mortgage has an interest rate that can potentially change at any time. This means that you may find that you will be paying more or less than you originally signed up to pay as the base rate changes or when the lender decides to change the amount that they are charging you. They will be able to change the rate whenever they wish unless you are on a tracker mortgage. This means that they can put up the rate even if the base rate does not go up and if the base rate falls, they can choose not to decrease the rate. However, mortgages are a competitive business and so they will not tend to be excessive with their charges as they want to make sure that they do not lose customers.

A tracker mortgage will just track the base rate, which means that if it goes down you will pay less, if it goes up you will pay more. This can be great if the rates are falling and you pay less and less but if they are rising you will pay more. However, if they rise variable rates will tend to rise anyway.

So, which type of mortgage will suit you, will depend on what your circumstances are what you think will fit in better with you. It may depend on how confident you are that you will be able to cover the mortgage interest even if it goes up. Some people also just like the certainty of knowing exactly how much they will be paying.

Tips For Finding a Cheap Holiday

If you are looking to go on holiday then it is a good idea to make sure that you are not paying more than you need to. It can be really annoying when you book something up and then find that you could have had the holiday for less or that you could have gone somewhere very similar but paid less money for it. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you do a lot of research first so that you know that you are not paying extra.

Consider Exactly What You Want

It is a good idea to start by identifying exactly what we want from a holiday. We can sometimes find that we will be keen to just snap up the first holiday we see and then we might find one later that we like better. Therefore, if we take the time to do this first, then we should be able to avoid disappointment as we will not find that there is something better suited. It is worth considering other holidays that you have had and whether you want something the same as that. It can also be tempting to think about what other people have done and feel like you want to do that as well. Do be careful though and make sure that it is something that all of your family want to do.

It pays to shop around when looking for a cheap holiday.

Compare the Cost of Different Holidays

It can also be a good idea to compare the costs of different types of holidays. This will help you to start to think about what will give you better value for money. Think about what you want to get out of your holiday and which will help to address that the best. For example, it might be that you want to have a relaxing holiday where you do not need to cook and therefore, you need to find a hotel. Or it may be that you want to be on a warm beach, a cool woodland or something like that. It is a good idea to think carefully about all of the things that you and anyone you want to be with wants and you will then be able to compare the holiday types and their costs. You will find, for example, that a foreign holiday in an exotic place where it is quiet and peaceful with good quality food and good weather is likely to cost more than a UK holiday on a camp site. You may know this already but there are lots of different types of holiday where you may not be completely clear on how much they cost and whether they will be dearer or cheaper than alternative options. It is a good plan to have a clear idea about this and then you will know exactly what types of holidays are within your budget.

Compare Different Providers

Once you have thought about what type of holiday you want then you can compare providers. For example, if you want a woodland cabin type holiday then you will find that there are a number of companies that provide this sort of break and you will need to compare them. Not only on price which is of course very important but also on value for money. You will find that some might be cheaper but you may not like them so much or they may not have so many facilities. Therefore, you will need to decide whether you would rather pay more money to get something which is more like what you are hoping for. It might be that you will have to have a shorter holiday to keep it within your budget and you will have to think about whether you think that this will be worthwhile.