Top Tips on Choosing the Right Mortgage

When you want to buy a home the chances are that you will need to use a mortgage so that you can afford it. This seems simple enough but once you start looking into mortgages you could find that things get rather confusing. This is because there are lots of different types and it can be tricky knowing which will be the best for you.

Understand the Types of Mortgage

There are different types of mortgage and it is important to understand what these are and the differences between them. This will help you to be able to make a good decision when it comes to picking the right one for you. There are fixed rate mortgage which will have a fixed interest rate for certain period of time and variable rate mortgages where the interest rate can change. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and you will need to think about them and investigate them thoroughly. Simply put you will need to decide if you are happy to potentially pay more but pay a consistent amount or potentially pay less but risk rates going up. The way these work will vary a little between different lenders as well, so you will need to be careful that once you have a general idea about how they work, that you check out how they may vary.

Focus on Repayments

It is really important to make sure that you will be able to afford the repayments on the mortgage that you do decide to take out. It can be easy to get carried away with comparing interest rates and features of different lenders etc and forget about the fact that you will need to find the money to repay the loan. Each month you will need to find the money to make the repayment. This amount is likely to be significant and you need to think about whether you are happy with the amount that you are being expected to pay. If you are renting and it is about the amount that you are paying for rent and you are managing that okay, then it is likely that will be fine. However, if you have not been renting or the amount is higher than you rent, then you need to be careful. It can be wise to take a careful look at your finances and make sure that you are confident that you will be able to afford the repayments. You may find that the repayment amount differs between lenders and so you may need to look at a different lender if you feel that one is unaffordable.

Consider Using a Financial Advisor

It could be worth using an independent financial advisor to help you. You will have to pay them, but it could be worth it if they are able to help you. They will be able to explain to you about all the types of mortgages and then you will be able to make a confident choice. They will also know all of the mortgages that are available and will be able to point you in the direction of the one that will be best for you. It will save you doing a lot of research and so save you time and they are experts in this and so will be better able to advise you towards the right mortgage than you might be able to do for yourself. It could be well worth paying them as you will be able to sign a mortgage knowing that it is the best available for you at that time and you could save more money than you have paid for their services.

How to Prepare for the Costs of Adulthood

It can be hard to suddenly enter adulthood and have no understanding of how to manage money and have no awareness of what we need to pay out money for. This is particularly tricky once we move out of the parental home as we will then have to start coping with paying household expenses for ourselves. This cost can be really high and a big shock. It is therefore a good idea to be really well prepared. Parents can guide their children, but young people can also help themselves too.

Find out what Bills are paid in your Parental Home

It is a good idea to start by investigating what bills are being paid in the parental home. It is easy enough to do this by just asking whoever deals with this. Find out the types of things that they pay for and how much they have to pay for it. This will help you to start to be aware of the sorts of things that you will have to buy. It is worth asking which things have to be bought and paid for and which are optional as well. This will help you to know whether you will have to buy everything that they are buying or whether you will have some choice on certain items.

Check out Whether this is Typical for Where you are Moving to

It is worth expanding your search to beyond the home that you are in. For example, if you are moving to university, then what you have to pay for will be different and so you will need to consider this. Also think about the part of the country (or world) you are moving to as this could have implications about how much things cost as well as the types of things that you will need to buy. Try to contact someone in the situation you will be in to find out a bit more.

Learning about common bills is a great way to learn about money management.

Start Saving up as Soon as Possible

It can be wise to start saving up as soon as possible. This will have all sorts of advantages for you. Firstly, you will be able to build up a sum of money which could help you out with paying a deposit for renting or mortgage, which everyone normally has to provide. You will also need money to buy furniture and other household items so this could help towards that as well. It will also help you to learn how to be more frugal with your spending. Learning how to spend less is really important. It enables us to be able to be more in control of our money and we will therefore be more confident about our ability to pay for everything we need. It is important to prioritise paying for things that are important such as rent or mortgage, food, contracts and loan repayments such as those via and by learning to save some money and spend some you will start to identify what things you can and cannot buy.

Get a Good Job

Having more income makes it easy to cope with the costs of buying things. This is something that we have a lot of influence over while we are younger. This is because we are studying at that time and our qualifications will help to determine what sort of job we will be able to get. Therefore, working hard at school, college and university can have a big impact. It can also have an impact on our attitude towards work. If we have a good work ethic towards studying, this is likely to reflected in the way that we are at work and this will mean that we will be more likely to be offered promotions which could lead to higher pay.

How to Afford the Best Education for Your Children

As parents we always want the best for our children. This can be very much focussed around school as this is a big part of their lives. However, most of us cannot afford the private schools with the best reputations so we may think that there is nothing that we can do. However, there are many things that we can do that should still help them which will be affordable.

Choose the Best Schools in the Area

There are now useful resources that you can use to help you to pick the best schools in your area. We do normally have to pick a school within our catchment area for secondary, but with primary schools there are less restrictions. Take a look at the website of the schools in the area and that will help you to start getting an idea of what they are like. You can compare results by looking at the Ofsted league tables, although they do not give the full picture. Ofsted reports are also useful to give some guidance. Phoning the school will give you an idea of how friendly they are and then visiting is very important. There will be open days or opportunities for families to get personal tours around schools and these can be very useful. Try to talk to students as well as teachers. Also walk or drive past the school at the start and/or end of the day to get an idea of what it is like then.

Tutor them Yourself

Many parents will get a tutor for their children so that they can do better. This tends to be to prepare them for tests such as SATs, entrance exams, GCSE’s or A-Levels but sometime sit is just for general learning as well. These can be extremely expensive, but it is something that you can do yourself as a parent. There are lots of resources online, videos, websites etc that you can use for free. There are paid ones as well and books which could be worth considering and they will still be cheaper than paying a tutor. You will need to try to find ways of engaging your child though and some parents do struggle with this.

Buy Second Hand Equipment

It can be useful to consider buying second hand items to save money. Within education this is possible with quite a few things. Firstly, school uniform, which can be really expensive, can be bought second hand at times. It may be the case that it is sold through the school, perhaps through the PTA. You may be able to find it in second hand shops or online through local for sale pages. It can also be useful to look for second hand books to help with study as well. It may be that you can get these from parents of children in older years or buy them online. School may also sell books and equipment at cost price which could be useful.

It is easy to think that your child will not get a good education because you cannot afford the best for them. However, it is worth recognising that there are children who go through the comprehensive school system and still get really good grades. It is also possible for you to tutor them to get them into a grammar school which will mean that they will be taught at a higher level which should help them get better grades, although, it can be daunting for those that are less capable to be put into this type of environment. Rewarding effort all of the time can encourage them to work hard and get the best results.

How to be Healthy and Spend Less

It is often thought that being healthy is a luxury that only better off people can afford. However, there are ways that we can be healthy on a budget. It is good to understand that health is not always about buying the latest health foods and paying for a personal trainer. There are lots of things that you can do and changes that you can make which cost very little or might even be free.

Exercise at a Low Cost

You do not need to go to a gym in order to get the exercise that you need. You can do other things instead which will keep you fit. Walking can be great exercise and needs no special equipment at all. You may also find that you can easily run, if you have a pair of decent running shoes or cycle, if you own a bike. You could do other exercises in the home, perhaps following a video that you find online for free. It can also be a great idea to make use of your stairs, if you have any and do step ups as these are great exercise for most people. It is easy to be flexible and find all sorts of ways to keep fit without paying out any or much money at all.

Buy Healthy Food

It can seem like healthy food is expensive but if you avoid the food labelled as ‘health’ food you can save money and you could be healthier. Food that is labelled as low fat or low sugar etc tends to be processed and not very healthy at all. It can be much better to think about cooking things from scratch and cutting out the processed items. Also think about whether you are eating too much and if you can just cut back as well. Also snacking and eating puddings is an area where we spend money that is unnecessary. It can be easy to think that because biscuits etc are cheap, that it is okay to buy them but they tend to make you feel more hungry, they are unhealthy and you can at least save some money if you stop eating them.

Sleep More

Getting the right amount of sleep is something that many people do not consider when they are thinking about health and fitness. However, there are many of us that do not get enough sleep because we are too busy and this means that we are not healthy. There are quite a few impacts that not having enough sleep can have and the health benefits are varied. One is that if you are sleep deprived then it can mean that you will eat more. This is partly because you will need the pick me up but also because your body needs the energy and when you are tired you tend to gain weight more easily.

Control Stress

Stress can have a big impact on many aspects of our health as well. Learning to cope with stress can help us to manage addictions better, cut down on comfort eating, reduce blood pressure and many other things. It is something we can do without paying any money as there is plenty of useful and free information online that we can use. There are free meditation apps, yoga videos and mindfulness recommendations which can all help with this. With stress there is no one solution for everyone though and so it is worth trying different things to see which will help you the best. You may find that that you would like to combine several things or that one option is suitable for you.

How to Reduce the Cost of Your Holiday

If you are planning a holiday, then you will be thinking about the cost of it. Obviously, we always have to think about the cost as we will only be able to afford certain things. Some people will be comparing the costs of world cruises while others are looking at local camp sites. You will have in mind the sort of thing that you know you will be able to afford but you will still be making comparisons to see which is best. It is good to consider ways that you might be able to reduce the cost though. This might help you to be able to book something a bit more expensive or just spend less money overall.

Compare Costs

It is so important to make sure that you compare the costs between different travel providers. Make sure that you look at the differences between a package deal and paying for things separately, if this is relevant. Also think about everything that you will be paying for – travel, accommodation, entertainment, food &drink and make sure that you get the very best value for them. You may want to pay a bit extra to get something that is a bit better, but make sure that this is a concious decision.

Consider Food and Drink Costs

When we go on holiday, we can find that the cost of food and drink will really add up. If we go out to eat and drink, whether we use a bar, café or restaurant then the costs of this will increase significantly compared with catering for ourselves. Of course, if we are staying somewhere with cooking facilities then this will be easy but if we are staying in a hotel then we will not be able to prepare things but buying take away food could be cheaper than restaurants. It is also worth considering taking food and drink with you such as snacks, instant coffee and tea bags and things like this so that you will not have to pay out extra money by buying them. It could also be worth setting a budget so that you are sure that you will not spend more money than you can afford.

Try to Avoid Buying Extras

When we are about to go on holiday we can use it as an excuse to buy extra things. We may fancy buying some new luggage, new clothes and things like this. However, it is very likely that we have enough items already and will not need new ones. This means that we will be able to save money by not buying these items.

Take Your Own Entertainment

It can be expensive to pay for entertainment on holiday. Going to see shows, watching films, going out to bars and clubs, museums, art galleries, theme parks etc is all expensive. So, it can be worth thinking about whether you can do things cheaper. You may be able to take games with you, watch film on your devices, take books to read and things like this. These experiences can be just as pleasurable but cheaper.

Book Off-Season

A way to save money on the trip itself is to book off season. By travelling outside of peak time it means that you will be able to pay a bit less for the accommodation, possibly the transport as well and even the entertainment might be cheaper. Of course, if you have children you will not be able to do this and you will miss the better weather but you may not mind this anyway and if you time it right you may even have better weather anyway. Weather is always a bit of an unknown and you never quite know what it might be like.