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How to Run Your Car More Economically

Times are uncertain at the moment. Everything seems to be rising in cost, from your local supermarket shop to the petrol in your car. Some people are having to choose between eating and heating, and many people are considering getting rid of their second car. Unfortunately, there is no way to know how long the current financial situation will last, and that means we all better start making some changes to get through. The good news is that there are many ways you can make your car run more economically. If you are thinking of getting rid of a second car that your family relies on at the moment, you can try and implement some measures instead to see if you can make it more affordable. 

there are many ways you can make your car run more economically - old gas station pumps image
Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Your Driving Style

Your driving style has a massive impact on how much fuel your car uses. An aggressive driving style which means you accelerate too quickly, brake too hard, and fight the gear stick, among other things, will cause your fuel to deplete a lot quicker. Not to mention all the other wear and tear issue on the car itself. If you want your car to run more cheaply, look at yourself. Maybe read up about driving style for fuel economy, or look to attend a class. Even if you think you are an economic driver, it may be ab idea to refresh your driving style. No one is perfect, after all. Chaing your driving style just a little bit may save you a lot of money in the long run.

Your Tyres

If you don’t regularly check your tyres, then it is time you start. Underinflated tyres can cost you a fortune in wasted fuel. Under-inflated tyres increase road resistance which increases fuel consumption. Additionally, if all four of your tyres are inflated to different PSIs, then you are causing issues with your car’s suspension and axels, etc. this is because you are running an unaligned car. If you need new tyres, buy decent tyres like Kumho Tyres, for example, which are high quality and will last a long time but are not as expensive as other high-quality brands. 

Weight

Is your boot always full? Is there a lot of rubbish in your passenger seat or back seats? Every unnecessary thing in your car can cost you fuel. So, if your car is full of a lot of junk, now is the time to remove it. If you can, maybe even think about removing the spare wheel and jack if you have them. Also, you may be able to remove the backseats in some cars, although this definitely is not for everyone. Another thing to consider is how much you refuel. It may be more economical to refuel more often with less fuel due to the weight of a full tank. Living close to a petrol station may make this more feasible. 

Your Oil

Cars need oil to run. However, if you are using low-quality oil, then you are not given the engine and moving parts the best things to make it run. High-quality or synthetic oil is far thinner than the standard stuff. High-quality oil can perform much better in evert circumstance; it does clog up as easily and can make your car cheaper to run because the car is being looked after better. Parts will last longer, everything will run more smoothly, and this can even save you on fuel costs too.   

Solar Panels

If you have an electric car, you may already be seeing how expensive this can make your electricity bill. With the cost of electricity rising, you need to find ways to make it cheaper to charge up your car. Perhaps your energy supplier offers a specialist tariff for electric cars, where you can fill up at night at a cheap electric rate. This means that you would get a two-rate meter where electricity at peak times during the day is more expensive. Perhaps you should discuss this with your energy supplier if you haven’t already. Another thing you could consider is getting solar panels on the roof of your house if you own your own home. If you work full time, then it still can make it cheaper to run an electric car as you can charge your car at the weekends for free and in the summer evenings. Additionally, solar panels, even in the winter, will make it cheaper to run the rest of the house, which can have a knock-on effect on the cost of your electricity bill. 

How to Plan For a Happy Retirement

Retirement can creep up quickly and many people find they’re unprepared. Planning retirement in advance is essential if you want to live a good life in old age. Getting your finances in order now will help you set the scene for a happy retirement.

So, how can you get prepared? Take a look at how to get your plan into action.

How to Plan For a Happy Retirement - image of older couple sitting on a bench
Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

Work Out Your Retirement Income

Do you know how much money you’ll have to live on when you’re retired? Many people find out much later than they should. You can find out how much you’ll receive during your retirement today.

Once you know what you’re likely to receive, you can work out what you’re likely to spend. Work out your expenditure on essentials like paying your bills, food, clothes etc. This will give you the money you have left for non-essentials.

If you need to boost your income to cover any of your expenditure, now is the time to start putting money aside.

Start a Savings Account

Every little helps when it comes to retirement finances. If you’re dreaming of holidays abroad or second homes, you’ve got no time to lose. There are tons of banks with incentives to open savings accounts and you may gain on what you save through interest over the years.

Starting a savings account means getting into the habit of putting a percentage of your wage to the side. If you’re already doing this through your employment, it can seem unfair but it will all benefit you in the future.

Wait As Long As You Can

You can start taking your state pension from the age of 55, even if you’re still working. However, the earlier you start taking it, the earlier you’ll run out of money. If you can wait as long as possible before you start dipping into your pension, you’ll be better off in the long run.

This may mean working for as long as you can, putting money aside in your savings, or becoming self-employed so you can set your own working hours but still have a small income to subsidise your wage in retirement.

Ask a Professional

Getting professional help from financialadvisers.co.uk is a great way to start preparing for your retirement. They may be able to give you insight that you would never have come across without them. They will be able to advise on the best ways to use your income and how to best prepare yourself for retirement.

The great thing about getting financial advice is that it’s tailored to your situation. You can form a specific plan that will put you on solid financial ground in the years to come.

Downsize in Advance

You don’t want to be paying for things in retirement that you don’t need. Retirement is for enjoying but cutting down on a few things may give you the disposal cash you need to do the things you want. It’s worth asking yourself whether you really need the expensive car, the second home, or the extension on your house.

Cutting down on your spending by getting rid of things that are taking big chunks of your money could put you in a better position.

Develop a Routine

Developing a routine in retirement can help in all aspects of life. You should still wake up early in the morning and cook regular meals. You should still get plenty of exercise and see friends as often as you can.

The same goes for using your money. Getting into good routines with your money will help you to use it wisely. Give yourself a budget when you go out and when you buy your weekly food shopping. 

When you do this, you’ll know exactly how much you’ve spent and how much you’ve got left to spend.

Mentally Challenge Yourself

Brain power deteriorates as we get older and it can become more difficult to deal with numbers. Banking is something that requires concentration and strong brain power. You can make sure you stay alert with your finances by challenging yourself mentally.

Crossword puzzles, math problems, and reading books can all keep your mind sharp as you age. You will remain proficient with language, literacy, and numbers. When it comes to your banking, you can make sure you don’t miss anything or get caught out by scammers.

It’s never possible to be entirely prepared for the future because no-one can know what the future holds. However, when it comes to planning for a happy retirement, the earlier you start, the better.

Property Investment Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Are you planning to start investing your money in property? Maybe you have started out on your property investment journey recently. Either way, you have probably decided to take the opportunity to put your money into bricks-and-mortar to help see a healthy return on your investment. There is no doubt that property investment can be lucrative, which is why it is one of the most popular ways to invest money. Even in times of economic uncertainty, property investment can deliver returns if you buy wisely. However, putting your money into property is not without its pitfalls. As a newcomer to the world of property investment, it is crucial to be aware of the potential issues so that you can take action to avoid them. With this in mind, here are some of the property investment mistakes that you need to avoid:

Property Investment Mistakes You Need to Avoid - nice family home image
Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

Buying With Your Heart, Not Your Head

Buying a property as an investment and choosing one you would like to live in are two very different things. Choosing an investment property based on how you feel about it is nearly always a mistake. Investment properties should always be purchased based on figures and understanding of the current local housing market. Thinking about the return on investment you will achieve when you sell the property or the rental yield it will generate are crucial considerations. Keeping these two outcomes in mind will ensure you make informed investment decisions. 

Paying too Much for the Property

When you are hoping to make a profit on a property, you mustn’t pay too much to purchase it in the first place. To make a profit, you must ensure you buy the property under value rather than over. Understanding the ceiling price for the area and how the local housing market is performing should ensure you do not overspend.

Overlooking Opportunities to Save Money

As you become more experienced in property investment, you will soon be able to spot opportunities to save money. Carrying out thorough research and seeking out incentive schemes can help you find some excellent ways to make savings. If you have bought a house that requires so much work it is uninhabitable, you may even be able to claim a refund of stamp duty. Looking out for these opportunities will help you find more ways to save money when investing in property.

Spending too Much When Renovating the Property

Renovating your first property is always an exciting prospect. Refurbishing a home can provide some impressive results and can also significantly increase the value of the property. However, many new property investors overspend when renovating homes. Spending more on renovations than you can expect to realise in re-sell value is a big mistake and could leave you making a loss rather than a profit. Understanding how much the property will be worth after renovations are completed is essential before you start work. Based on these figures, you can set a realistic budget and contingency fund that allows you to make a profit.

5 Important Financial Calculators to Use: Why and How

No one is born knowing about personal finance. It’s a topic that we all have to learn as we go along, and it can be tricky to get the hang of. That’s why it’s important to use calculators to help you make the best financial decisions for your life. In this blog post, we will discuss five important financial calculators and why you should use them. We’ll also provide instructions on how to use each calculator so you can get started right away!

5 Important Financial Calculators to Use: Why and How - calculator and money image
Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash

Investment Return Calculator

The first important financial calculator is the investment return calculator. This can help you determine how much your investments will be worth in the future, based on their current value and your expected rate of return. To use this calculator, you will need to input your current investment value, your expected rate of return, and the number of years you plan to invest. The calculator will then output an estimate of your future investment value. Why use an investment return calculator? This tool can be helpful if you’re trying to decide whether or not to invest in a particular stock or mutual fund. It can also be useful for estimating how much money you’ll need to save for retirement.

Mortgage Payment Calculator

The second important calculator is the mortgage payment calculator. This calculator can help you determine your monthly mortgage payment based on your loan amount, interest rate, and loan term. To use this calculator, you will need to input your loan amount, interest rate, and loan term (in years). The calculator will then output your monthly mortgage payment. Why use a mortgage payment calculator? This tool can be helpful if you’re trying to decide how much house you can afford. It can also be useful for estimating your monthly budget after buying a home.

Debt Snowball Calculator

The third important financial calculator is the debt snowball calculator. This calculator can help you pay off your debts, starting with the smallest balance first. To use this calculator, you will need to input your total debt amount, interest rate, and monthly payment. The calculator will then output a plan for paying off your debts, starting with the smallest balance first. Why use a debt snowball calculator? This tool can be helpful if you’re trying to get out of debt quickly. It can also be useful for creating a budget and sticking to it.

Equity Release Calculator

The fourth important calculator is the equity release calculator. This calculator can help you determine how much money you can borrow against the value of your home. To use this calculator, you will need to input your home value, mortgage balance, and interest rate. The calculator will then output an estimate of the amount of money you could borrow. So why use an equity release calculator? This tool can be helpful if you’re trying to decide whether or not to take out a home equity loan or line of credit. It can also be useful for estimating how much money you could potentially borrow against your home’s value.

Retirement Savings Calculator

The fifth important financial calculator is the retirement savings calculator. This calculator can help you determine how much money you need to save for retirement based on your current age, retirement age, and desired lifestyle. To use this calculator, you will need to input your current age, retirement age, and desired lifestyle. The calculator will then output an estimate of the amount of money you need to save for retirement. Why use a retirement savings calculator? This tool can be helpful if you’re trying to decide how much money you need to save for retirement. It can also be useful for estimating how your lifestyle choices will affect your ability to retire comfortably.

There are a lot of different calculators out there that can be helpful in your financial life. These are just a few of the most important ones. Be sure to research and find the calculator that’s right for you and your situation.

What’s the Difference Between A Freehold and Leasehold Property?

When buying a home, you may come across the two terms ‘freehold’ and ‘leasehold’. It’s important to understand the difference between the two as there can be different costs associated with each. This post explains exactly what freehold and leasehold properties are and the important difference between them. 

What’s The Difference Between A Freehold and Leasehold Property? - high rise buildings cityscape image
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Freehold vs leasehold explained

The difference between freehold and leasehold all comes down to land ownership. When you buy a freehold property, you own both the property and the land. When you buy a leasehold property, you own the property, but not the land it’s built on.

The terms are also different in both cases. With a freehold property, you have ownership of the property until you decide to sell. With a leasehold property, you have ownership for a fixed term until your lease expires or until you sell. Unless you renew your lease, you will lose ownership of your home. That said, most leases are very long and never need to be renewed. 

In the UK most leasehold properties are flats, while most freehold properties are houses. Of course, there are exceptions, so you need to be wary when buying a flat or house not to assume that it is leasehold or freehold. 

What is ground rent?

Because you do not own the land when moving into a leasehold property, you’ll usually have to pay an extra fee called ground rent. This can vary in cost, but is usually not too expensive – the average ground rent is between £200 and £500 per year.

Some leasehold owners charge very low ground rent rates of as little as £1 per year. This is often known as ‘peppercorn’ ground rent, Some leasehold owners may not even bother to collect peppercorn rent, meaning that you essentially don’t have to pay anything. Such leasehold properties are worth looking out for. 

Is a service charge the same as ground rent?

Many apartment blocks will also ask for a service charge, which is different from ground rent. The service charge covers maintenance of communal and shared areas of the apartment building. The service charge and ground rent may be billed together, or billed separately. 

What are your rights when it comes to renovating?

With a freehold property, you have the right to make any improvements you want, providing that they’re legal and permitted by your local planning committee. This is typically what people think about when they think of home ownership.

When renovating a leasehold property, there are likely to be more restrictions when it comes to renovating. In some cases, it can be just as restrictive as renting – you may not be able to make any structural changes and may even have to ask permission to make minor improvements. That said, you’re more likely to get permission to do things like painting walls, replacing flooring and hanging up shelves than you would renting.

What are the benefits of a leasehold property?

It may seem that there aren’t many benefits to leasehold properties compared to freehold properties. After all, you have a set lease term, you have to pay ground rent and renovations are more heavily restricted. 

However, leasehold properties do still allow you to build equity and get your money back when you sell. You can also rent them out as you would with a freehold property. Compared to freehold properties, they can also be cheaper to buy overall. All in all, a leasehold property is still better than renting.