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Shopping for a Home? Here Are 6 Ways to Save Money

A home is one of the best investments you can make in life. For most people, this is also the biggest single purchase they make in life. With your own home comes freedom, and this is one reason most people save right after getting the first job. If you’re shopping for a home, you want to get the best value for your money. This post explores some simple ideas to help you save money buying a home.

Work With a Local Real Estate Agent

If you want to make the home purchase process easier and save money, use a local realtor. These real estate professionals have an intensive knowledge of the market. They know everyone selling and have different properties in the area at varying prices. If you want to save money, the real estate agent can find you a house suited for your needs and at the price range you want.

Look for Features and Additions

When shopping for a home, look beyond the structure and instead look at other features which add value to the property. From solar panels, water and hardscape features, oil tanks, outdoor additions, air conditioning to skylights, there are many features which can save you money. Once you move in, you don’t have to invest more money to improve the property.

Shopping for a Home? Here Are 6 Ways to Save Money  - house for sale image
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Boost your Credit Score

The higher your credit score, the more affordable your loan. As you continue saving towards the down payment of your home, make sure you improve your credit score. Evaluate your finances and make sure you repay all bills on time. Pay down your credit card debt and avoid taking up another loan in the meantime.

Shop for the Right Mortgage

Don’t rush to buy the first mortgage you come across. While your bank might look like the obvious source of financing for your home, consider other options on the market. The mortgage structuring also determines how much initial capital you need and the total cost of the loan.

Working with a financial advisor helps you identify the mortgage options on the market and also determines whether you need a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage. For such a huge investment, take your time to get the best deal. The last thing you want is to struggle with repayments or lose your home.

Save More Down Payment (Deposit)

If you want to enjoy the freedom that comes with homeownership, save more towards the down payment. This is the biggest secret to accessing affordable loans. If you have over 20% of the mortgage, you won’t have to pay for extra costs such as mortgage insurance.

Be Flexible

Everyone wants to buy that dream home, but it might not always be possible. For a start, you should be more flexible when shopping for a home to get the best deal. Don’t look for the grandest property on the listing, but also consider those that need some reworking. With some compromises, you can save on the home purchase and still get a good property.

Buying a home is not an easy process but with the right information, you can ace it and save money in the process. Use these tips to start your home buying process. 

3 Hacks to Owning a Car on a Tight Budget

Post COVID-19 recovery phase is a survival for the fittest era where everyone is needed to adjust their lives to fit the new norm. Among the many problems facing people today, lack of finances tops the list.

Despite this, one has to do whatever is possible to meet their daily needs. Owning a car has become a necessity in the 21st century due to its crucial role in people’s lives. It is thus unfortunate for anyone forced to buy or change their car during these hard economic times.

But all is not lost. If your needs don’t allow you to wait for times to get better to get a car, implement these three simple strategies, and you will own a car within no time.

Go for Used Vehicles

Today, thanks to technological advancement and modernization, people are changing cars faster than ever before and as such, getting a quality and reliable second hand car is no longer a challenge. All you have to do is visit your nearest car supermarket and select from the wide variety of vehicles available.

3 Hacks to Owning a Car on a Tight Budget - smiling couple sitting in a car
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Used cars generally cost lower and have less insurance and maintenance costs. Moreover, opting for this option ensures you make an informed decision before purchasing the vehicle. This is through reading on other people’s experiences with the said vehicle through the reviews.   

You will need to practice patience and do thorough research to purchase a good quality used car. Make sure to follow all the rules, such as having the car first checked by a mechanic before purchasing it. Doing this will save you from a lot of agonies that may befall you later.

Consider a Cheaper Vehicle

Purchasing a used vehicle may not be part of your vocabulary, but this should not stop you from owning a car. There still exist new quality cars that cost way less.

Start by evaluating the vehicle’s main purpose and look around to identify what car model will satisfy and meet your immediate needs. You do not have to go for that car with magnificent features that will cost you a dime when a car with similar simple features serves the same purpose.

Some things to worry you should be safety enhancement features, maintenance costs, and the engine. If this is in good condition, go ahead and purchase the vehicle.

Renting a Vehicle Could Save You Money

If you need to use the car once or occasionally, such as when traveling as a family, you can decide to rent out a car instead of purchasing one. This method will keep you away from insurance and maintenance costs.

Therefore there is no need to demean yourself for not owning a car when you can use a rental car to run your errands. Besides, it’s more comfortable and faster to travel via rental cars than public means.

Parting Shot

Purchasing a car is one of the major investments in life. Apart from the money involved, it requires proper planning and in-depth prior research. If a lack of money has been killing your dream of owning a car, rise and dust yourself as the above three strategies will have you driving your car within the shortest time possible.

Smart Ways to Make Positive Changes in Your Budget

Looking to be a bit more sensible with your finances? Maybe you’re fed up of running out of money mid month- or perhaps you have a new savings goal that you want to reach. You might want to get out of debt, or even just feel more organised. Whatever your motives are, being organised with money is no bad thing- here are some smart ways you can go about making changes. 

Smart Ways to Make Positive Changes in Your Budget - in control of your finance image

Switch bill providers

The companies that you pay your bills to are highly competitive, meaning a little shopping around will snag you the best rates. Every year, run some quotes through price comparison sites, and switch to the company which will provide you with the best rates and overall price- it makes no sense to be loyal to the company you’re with as they make their money from their long term customers. While you’re always going to have to pay for things like electricity, broadband and insurances, you shouldn’t be paying over the odds. A few hours just once a year searching for the best providers can save you a decent amount of money overall. 

Meal plan

Food is one area that just about all of us tend to overspend on. We all need to eat, and so it’s something that everyone should be more organised in, once a week, write up a menu for the next few days and then shop to that list. When you get home from work you know what you’re having and always have the ingredients on hand to make it. You don’t end up buying what you don’t need at the supermarket and you reduce your food waste too. Go on sites like Pinterest and write a list of all of the meals you enjoy eating or want to try. Then when you’re building your menu each week, you can pick meals off the list rather than having to think off the top of your head (which can be harder than it sounds!)

Set a budget for extra or luxury spends

We all enjoy our little luxuries- when you work hard it’s these fun extras that make it all seem worth it. Maybe you enjoy going out for meals in nice restaurants, perhaps clothes are your thing or you might just enjoy a night at home every now and again with a glass of wine, a takeaway and a few dollars to flutter at a slots casino. We all have our little enjoyment and luxuries and it’s nice to have them, but just make sure you’re budgeting for them. Your bills, food, travel and other important expenses should be paid first on payday. It’s only then should you treat yourself to any extras, using money that’s leftover. It can be helpful to have a cap or limit on your treat spends, that way you don’t go overboard and can save anything you have afterwards and put it in a savings account. 

Set up extra sources of income

Even if you already have a full time job, it’s a smart move to set up additional streams of income. Blogging, freelancing, even a home business can generate extra cash- this can make your life easier financially, help towards your savings goals or contribute to paying off your debts depending on your situation. If you ever lose your job then you have at least a little something to fall back on while you look for something new, and it generally provides you with a bit more financial security. 

Sell what you no longer use

Most of us have new things coming into our home all the time, so decluttering needs to be an ongoing process. Not only is this good on a practical level (we can sell what we no longer use to raise money and make space for the things we do) but it’s also great for mental health and wellbeing. Being surrounded by clutter, mess and having a house packed to the rafters can create feelings of stress and unease- research even shows that a messy bedroom can cause sleep problems. Go through your cupboards, drawers, wardrobes and other areas of your life and sell anything that’s still good but that you don’t use any more. Put this money into a savings account or spend it on debt- either is a much better use than having it tied up in items that are simply sitting there collecting dust. 

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Small steps for sizeable savings

When it comes to saving money for your next family holiday or trying to set a good example for your younger children, it’s important to get into good habits. So, whether you’re opening your first savings pot or already an experienced saver, putting money away is something everyone can get into the habit of doing without making it feel like too much of a chore.

While there’s various ways to save your cash, it can often be easier said than done. So, why don’t you challenge yourself? Become a habitual saver by trying the 52-week saving challenge. Save £1 in your first week, £2 in your second week and so on. By the end of the challenge, you’ll have saved an impressive £1,378 plus any interest!

Sainsbury’s Bank Visual Guide to Habitual Saving http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/denga-zaimy-nalichnimi.html

Balancing Money Saving with a Social Life

One of the biggest problems people seem to face when saving money is to be able to socialize at the same time. It is often misconstrued that these two things cannot be compatible, which is totally false. It requires is a little bit of budget analysis and bargain hunting in places, but most of all it just requires more research.

Work out the Budget

Firstly, look at the amount you need to save and work out a time frame so that you can budget effectively for that period.  Make sure that you don’t try and save too much so that you are able to spend money on other essentials and leisure. This requires a fair amount of time to make sure all of the numbers are worked out, with a contingency plan for any unexpected occurrences.

There may be a way to rearrange your funds to accommodate your leisure time. For example, if you only eat home cooked meals 4 times a week, you could change that to 5 or 6 times. You may spend more on groceries, but a lot less in the long run.

Bargain Hunting

This is pretty self-explanatory, people every day are constantly looking for ways to get bargains, whether it be through coupons or discount codes. One of the best examples of this is Groupon, which is a website/app that finds discount deals for group events. The brilliant thing about this is that the deal literally requires you to have a social group to attend with you.

Choose the Right Event

When money saving, choosing the correct event to attend is an important part of both of the previous points. This goes hand in hand with budgeting as you shouldn’t go to an event that you know will cost extortionate amounts of money for minimal experiences. There are so many options for reasonably priced, great experiences, comedy clubs London being one example among many. It is all about how much effort you put in.

It is always important to prioritize certain things, but it is also important for the mind to enjoy yourself from time to time. Even if you still can’t afford these things, don’t let it stop you from socializing. You can still go to cafes or invite friends to your home, which can definitely brighten your day. For something extra to brighten your day, check out this brilliant infographic containing some entertaining jokes.

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