If you are shopping for car insurance, then of course your premium will be a major point of concern for you. If you have managed to maintain your no claims bonus and are driving the same car, then it is likely that your premium has gone down although this is not always the case. Staying with the same insurer is not always the best way to make the best savings and so today we are going to go through some techniques on how to save big on car insurance.
1.) Install a tracker
This will only work if you are a responsible driver who does not break speed limits or drive during danger times. If you are a safe driver, installing a tracker can have a dramatic impact on the cost of your car insurance. Car insurance companies quickly cottoned on to the fact that its not fair to customers to charge dangerous drivers and safe drivers in the same way and so came up with the tracker concept to reward drivers who were of low risk. A tracker is a GPS system that, when installed into your car, will keep a record of your speed, distances driven and general road behavior which it will feed back to you in a pie chart that you can access to monitor your driving. With well-behaved driving, the reduction in your car insurance premium is significant. On the flip side, if you are a bad driver or if you drive past the speed limit only once or twice, then you could be penalized with more cost.
2.) Go third party fire and theft
If you car is of low value, then there is really no point in opting for a fully comprehensive insurance, which you may be doing out of sheer habit. When you first bought your car it would have had a higher value and a lower mileage, which would make it worth insuring fully comprehensively. Over time, you would be accustomed to renewing your insurance, and in renewing, maintained the fully comprehensive element of your car’s insurance policy. Now though, your car is older, less valuable and if in need of replacing in the next year or so is really not worth the extra cost of fully comprehensive insurance. Opt for third party fire and theft instead to keep the costs down.
3.) Find off road parking
Where you park your car has a huge impact on the level of risk your car is at for car crashes. Nowadays, off road car parking can be rented or purchased, and you may find that the reduction in insurance costs far outweigh the cost of private parking. If the cost of private parking is less than the amount saved by having off road parking then you make a big saving on your car insurance.
Many people believe that they are more or less stuck with the quote that they have been given on the computer or phone, but the truth is if you have been with the same company for more than a year and have found a better deal elsewhere, informing your insurance company of your thoughts of changing for a better deal will often generate an on the spot discount to stay. Therefore, before you purchase your insurance speak to someone on the phone and negotiate – you could end up with a better deal than you thought possible!
Ben loves cars and he is a Guernsey car insurance expert. He is always helping people save money on their premiums.
Most people believe that real estate is of one type, a personal home, but in reality, real estate comes in numerous shapes and most notably, price points. As a result of this, regardless of your income, you have a chance to invest, earn money, reduce taxes and create a concrete savings account. There are many ways through which real estate can earn you money. Here is a look at top 5 reasons why you should be investing in property.
Purchasing investment property reduces your taxes hence helping you to have more of your returns in your pocket. Deductions for owning investment property have all the expenses incurred in buying the property included plus the money forked over to operate and manage it such as maintenance, utilities, repairs and advertising among others. Other government issued deductions are depreciation, interest and insurance.
You have the ability to change your tax rate just by owning investment property. Investing in real estate is that powerful. What most people do not realize, however, is that they can virtually get rid of their tax liability with the purchase of only a few income properties.
2. Cash Flow
Cash flow is among the most crucial real estate investing elements and this explains why it is very commonly talked about. Cash flow can get an average individual to financial independent quicker than anything else you might think of.
Passive income, what you are receiving from investment properties, is taxed at a lesser rate than money that you work for. This means more tax savings. Besides, if you are negatively cash flowing, you can write it off as a loss, which saves you more money.
Leverage is central to true wealth creation. Smart investors prefer using very little, if any, of their own money when investing, and instead, use funding from other people to get the same result. First, income made from borrowed money is taxed very low. Second, your wealth builds unbelievably faster.
For instance, if you have $100,000, you could buy one house, and own it free and plain. Or you could leverage that amount and purchase 10 houses with 10 percent down and utilize the lender’s money. If you are borrowing money at 5 percent but getting 18 percent returns from your investment, you are responsibly and positively leveraged. Leverage that is responsibly managed is an influential thing and can make you very rich.
Equity refers to the difference between the worth of a property and what you owe. This can be acquired through several ways. If you obtain a good deal, you will come into the asset with equity. Equity can be increased by paying down you mortgage plus capital improvements. After reaching your equity objective in a certain property, consider selling it and moving the money into another one that gives a higher return.
When prices increase, so does your property’s value. Inflation causes increase in your rental income while your mortgage payment remains the same. This means you get more money. Having looked at the above points, it is clear that everyone should consider investing in real estate.
Tim is a property nut and spends his free time viewing real-estate and researching ways to use positive gearing and property investment work for his future.
Why Barack Obama Is More Australian Than American
Australia has a socialist democracy. This means that Australians generally believe that the good of all citizens is more important that any particular citizen’s rights. For example, in Australia we believe that the collective right of people not to be shot is more important than the right of an individual to bear arms.
It would seem from the decision making of the US congress that America is certainly not a socialist democracy. In fact the US congress is in fact quite tolerant of the citizens of the US suffering en mass if it means upholding the principle that the individual is the answer rather than the collective effort of the many. In fact the US congress treats any policy that seeks to improve the lives of those that can’t help themselves as akin to communism and they treat this way of thinking with the same fear and disdain.
Australian’s for the most part breathed a collective sigh of relief when George W Bush was out and Barack Obama came in. If we take a look at some of Barack Obama’s policies it is clear that he has socialist leanings. It is fair to say the he is one of the few US politicians that actually cares about all Americans not just “the ones like him”.
On economic policy
In 2006, Obama wrote: “We should be asking ourselves what mix of policies will lead to a dynamic free market and widespread economic security, entrepreneurial innovation and upward mobility we should be guided by what works.”
Australia believes in free market economics and the concept of upward mobility shows that Obama believes that a socialist economic policy can lift people out of poverty and give them the hand they need. He does not advocate a system where citizens are thrown in the deep end to sink or swim.
On foreign policy
Obama believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should be ended as does Australia. Barack is willing to use US power but understands that you win more friends and gain less enemies if you use your power to create a win win environment. Bush jnr was very keen to go to war on a lie but Obama understands that all the war has done is create a new generation of America hates and denied a generation of adequate health care and social services.
On social policy
Obama repealed the don’t ask don’t tell policy in the US military. In one strike he lifted the collective military heads out of the sand regarding an aspect of human behaviour that has existed since we developed overly enlarged brains.
The US is one of the only countries in the western world where a citizen can be bankrupted by health care costs. Obama had to fight tooth and nail to drag the US into a health system that many Asian and South American countries would be embarrassed to have.
On gun policy
Finally the US, the home of the handgun is infected with an epidemic of death and injury due to gun ownership. After the Newtown massacre Obama was practically lynched by congress for the mere suggestion of a slight tightening of gun ownership laws. In contrast in Australia after the Port Arthur massacre of 1996 John Howard (a prime minister of mixed popularity) love him or hate him was collectively appreciated by the Australian people for initiating a gun buy back scheme. Gun murders dropped by nearly 50% after the gun buy back and to top it off it was paid for by an increase in taxes. Nobody complained and the job got done.
To conclude, the world needs Barack Obama. He is a guiding light for the people of the US and the world. He is a proud American, he loves god, he loves his wife and children and he thinks that little kids have the right to go to school without being shot. When you are done with him, send him to Australia, he would fit in nicely.
Since the economic crash two things have happened. Interest rates have remained low and borrowing has become increasingly hard.
One new form of lending that has hit the market, with the aim of matchmaking or helping both lender and borrower is peer to peer lending or P2P lending. This form of lending offers borrowers the chance to team up with lenders or savers. These people lend secured loans to borrowers who would otherwise find it hard to get finance. For the lender it offers far better returns than savings rates in banks, while for borrowers it offers finance at lower rates than they would pay via a payday loan or the like.
Peer to peer lending sites need to have a credit licence before they can trade or offer loans and this has to be received from the office of fair trading. In essence, it’s the same as borrowing from a regular financial institution.
The website aims to meet all the security checks a traditional bank would and credit checks are part and parcel of the procedure. These checks are soft credit checks and so don’t have any result on the credit rating you have. Underwriting checks are also taken, so you will have all your details and other information scrutinised, as you would in a bank.
Lenders choose the sort of borrower they would like to lend to and also they will chose the length and the rate of interest on the loan. These lenders are then given a choice of borrowers from the website. The credit check is a large part of this matching.
Credit can be received for cheaper as these sites act as matchmaking services rather than intermediaries as is the case of a bank. Sites have few overhead costs and so fewer outgoings. These sites do charge a percentage of the secured loan, but it is a lot less than a bank and so very competitive.
There are a number of factors that will determine what the borrower has to pay back and the credit history, rate lenders wish to earn, the size and the length of the loan as well as whether you repay early are all factors here. These will affect the rate of interest and the overall cost of the loan. If you do not repay back the loan it will affect your credit rating in the same way not paying a loan back to the bank would.
The peer to peer loan sector has grown significantly in recent years. This is partially due to the fact banks are lending less. However, this doesn’t mean a loan is a certainty. These sites require people to meet a number of criteria before they will lend. For instance people with CCJs or defaults, as well as people under the age of 18 or without current accounts may find it hard to borrow from these sites.
Peer to peer loans offer an interesting answer to bank lending drying up and are worth taking a look at if you are considering a payday loan.
Jack Leahy has written for a variety of financial sites and has used a number of financial products. He has an interest in peer to peer systems, though has still preferences towards secure loans and most recently used one from Baker financial.
One of the reasons so many of us don’t go through with really trying our hardest to save our cash, is down to the fact it seems hard graft for small gain. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of ways to counter the hand the economy has given a lot of us. Saving without sacrifice can be quite easily achieved – here’s how!
The number one tip for those looking to save, or just get a grip on their savings is to make an effort to keep a log of purchases and to take account of your income and expenses. Budgeting is the best possible way to get on top of money and move towards those goals – so begin with it.
The current account is often the downfall of a lot of us and expenses really mount up here. Look through the account with a red pen and cross off all those direct debits that you don’t use. For instance, think of the gym memberships, the unused Netflix accounts and the seldom utilised Tastecard subscription. These are all easily cut and can make your life a lot more manageable without taking anything from it.
It Begins at Home
Do you bring a packed lunch to work each week, or do you have a cleaner, or how much do you spend on takeaways? There are all sorts of savings that can be achieved here and can really allow you to cut costs. Take for instance that daily latte from Starbucks – over a month it’s going to cost you around £60. That’s a lot of money.
Learning to do things yourself saves a lot of cash and also is a good thing to know. From changing the oil in your car, to cleaning your own home, to learning how to fix that door, unblock that drain or clean those gutters – there are plenty of savings to be had. Be brave, open minded and take to saving money with a can do attitude and you’ll cut costs.
Coupons are everywhere – in fact we live in a coupon like age. So, use them to their fullest. Check for coupons here, there and everywhere and you’ll soon be saving on each and every shop.
Credit is a terrible thing and can really cost you a lot more. For instance, if you purchase an item on a 20% APR credit card and then don’t pay it off for a year, it’ll end up one fifth more expensive. So, use cash and avoid credit, otherwise things can get messy. We’re not going to start on pay day loans – all we’ll say is avoid them.
Look for PPI Returns
So many of us ended up paying into the PPI pot without realising and were essentially ripped off by the banks. Look to see if you have a viable PPI claim and then perhaps go and look for a PPI compensation claim to get back what’s rightly yours.
Saving money doesn’t have to be nearly as hard as you would imagine it to be and with these tips you may not even notice the difference.
John Priest has been in all sorts of tight financial situations before, but has always found a way out of them. He has worked on a variety of blogs and sites in his time.
Picture the scene: you’re home alone on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon, dreading the start of the week, perhaps watching some television, when the phone rings. It’s a cold-call from a company who offer you a tempting deal – how would you like to access your pension early and have thousands of pounds to spend on whatever you like? With the rising cost of living, pressure to buy the latest fashions and gadgets and more of us going on several holidays abroad a year than ever before, money never seems to go far enough and if you’re in financial difficulties, the thought of accessing your pension pot early could be too tempting to resist. But who are these companies, what exactly are they offering consumers and what are the risks? Read on to find out, but beware, this could come as shocking news!
Calling and texting thousands of consumers every week, these unscrupulous companies are enticing the public to access their pensions before the age of 55, without warning people of the risks involved. They’re promising a ‘loophole in the law’ which actually doesn’t exist which amounts to an abuse of pension tax legislation. Pushy salesmen target the most desperate and easily influenced people and more than £200 million worth of pensions funds have been released using this method since 2008.
These ‘agents’ call consumers, promising to release their pension funds before they reach the age of 55 and allowing them to re-invest in offshore schemes and unregulated funds; but what’s the catch? These agents charge a hefty commission and that’s not all. Releasing your pension early leaves you liable for a tax bill of 55 per cent of your total pension pot; imagine how much money you could lose! Many of those who have been taken in by this scam have been forced to sell assets such as their family home as a result. With the high agent commission fees and tax bill, you could be left with practically no pension at all, leaving future pensioners at risk!
Times are tough and it’s usually during times like these that fraudsters and scam firms target consumers. These firms are currently being investigated by The Pensions Regulator and the government, but at the moment all they can do is make the public aware and advise them to stay away from anyone offering what is, quite frankly, an offer that’s too good to be true.
One company, Lead Performance Limited, hires staff for its cold calling scheme – they have openly admitted that their pension transfer scheme is not ethical, but also admitted they were running the organisation to cash in on the opportunity to earn thousands of pounds in commission each year. They are currently one of the largest tele-marketing firms in the UK, teaming up with investment firms such as City Bay Consultants and cold-calling more than 2 million people every month in a bid to encourage them to sign up for the pension transfer scam. They sell details gained through cold-calling to their clients, who then follow up these leads with a hard-sell technique that pushes the supposed benefits of these schemes to consumers.
If something sounds too good to be true then it usually is. So don’t waste your time listening to the cold-caller trying to sell you the benefits of a pension transfer scheme over the phone. Instead, just hang up the phone and sit back, safe in the knowledge that your pension will be there to provide for you in old age.
Kay Brown is a writer who urges everyone to ignore cold-callers who are intent on selling you pension transfer schemes. These schemes are unethical and will leave you having to pay a huge amount on your pension; sometimes leaving you penniless.
For someone in their 20s making less than $30,000 a year, retirement seems like a long way off and thus looms fairly small on that person’s priority list. If you’re at that point in your life, retirement definitely isn’t going to seem urgent, or feel like something you need to start preparing for yet.
What that person might be overlooking though, is how effective a small, weekly contributions to a savings or investment account can actually be.
Saving for retirement is something that the young professional is in a great position to do. Why? Because it only takes a small amount of money on a consistent basis. You don’t need to sock away hundreds or thousands of dollars on a regular basis. In fact, starting at $20-$25 a week is more than enough to establish a livable and respectable retirement savings by the time you’re 65.
Putting a small amount into a simple mutual fund and increasing that amount as you’re able, over the course of 40 years will in all likelihood get you close to the $1 million mark by the time you’re ready to retire. Even if you don’t break seven figures, you’re certain to have a workable amount saved by that time if you remain consistent, which should not be hard, considering most of us can spare $20 a week.
The main thing to watch out for is another financial crash like the one in 2008-09. Even if we were to see another similar situation, it’s probably just a matter of a couple years before your investments recover.
If you start early, you don’t need to give up that much of your weekly income. Just start with $20 and work your way up from there as you’re able.
If you’re fortunate enough to work a job that matches your contribution to a 401(k), the recommended 7 percent is more than enough to build a sizable retirement savings, especially if you start in your 20s.
Most companies who provide a 401(k) will match a contribution close to 10 percent. Even if they don’t match it, the 7 percent contribution from you is untaxed and if invested wisely will still build up over time.
The rule of thumb with retirement savings is that the longer you wait, the harder it gets. Don’t neglect putting money aside until you’re in your 40s, when the amount you’ll need to put back is far more than what it’ll be if you start in your 20s.
If you’re a young professional, don’t feel like retirement savings has to go in big chunks. It’s all about consistency and if you’re regularly and faithfully putting money away in small percentages over the course of 40 or 50 years, the end result will be better than you could have ever hoped for.
In fact, being able to routinely put in small amounts of money is going to be far more beneficial than if you were to bring home a bigger paycheck. People making more than $100,000 a year are just as nervous about retirement as the ones making less than $30,000. Don’t let culture fool you into thinking that big money means security.
Security will be had in faithfully saving over a long period of time. As your income gradually increases over the years, so will your ability to save and invest your money.
It might be cliché’ but in regards to your retirement, slow and steady definitely wins the race.
Brandon Mills is a professional blogger that reviews title loan companies and online title loans and provieds information on how title loan works. He writes for TitleMax, a leading title loan provider.
China’s middle-income earners are sitting pretty – but can the country gather enough pace to break through and join the rich nations?
After 30 plus years of remarkable growth, China’s policymakers have been discussing a key question: When will that trend bend downwards?
They’re focused on the “middle-income country trap”, where countries escape abject poverty, but slow down so much that they never become rich.
Looking around the world, it becomes clear why.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that only 17 out of some 200 countries have overcome that trap.
Chinese growth is slowing after an almost unprecedented three decades of strong growth. The question is by how much. The answer matters to us all as we look to China as an engine of growth amid a slowly recovering West.
Evidence of that slowing is already visible. The economy expanded by 7.7% year-on-year in the first quarter, the slowest pace of growth since the Asian financial crisis 13 years ago.
The latest indicators, such as the purchasing managers’ surveys, suggest that April was even slower.
But Chinese policy has already shifted. The target is for 7.5% growth this year and until 2020. It suggests that the new “trend” growth rate will be substantially below the 9.6% growth China has averaged since reforms started in 1979.
Even at that pace, China’s average income will still nearly double from $9,100 (adjusted for purchasing power) to around $15,000 by 2020, according to IMF estimates.
The Bank of Canada has named long-term bureaucrat and economist Stephen Poloz as its new head, replacing Mark Carney who is going to run the Bank of England.
Mr Poloz was a surprise choice as many observers expected Mr Carney’s senior deputy, Tiff Macklem, to succeed him.
His previous post was as chief executive of Canada’s export credit agency.
He has worked in Canada’s public service for 25 years.
Mr Poloz will take up his post, which runs for seven years, next month.
David Laidley, chair of the bank’s search committee said in a statement: “Mr Poloz has significant knowledge of financial markets and monetary policy issues and extensive management experience.
“We are confident Mr Poloz will make an outstanding contribution to the work of the bank and uphold its reputation as a leading central bank.”
Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank, said it was a good, if somewhat unexpected choice: “Surprised, yes. Shocked, I wouldn’t say so.
India has cut interest rates for the third time this year in an attempt to revive growth in its sluggish economy.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lowered its key rate to 7.25% from 7.5%.
India’s growth rate has dipped, amid a slowdown in key sectors such as manufacturing, prompting the government to lower growth forecasts.
As a result, the central bank has been under pressure to take steps to help stimulate a fresh wave of economic growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.
However, the bank – which has taken some measures in recent months – said that there was limited room for it to ease its policies further.
It said that high consumer price growth continued to remain a key threat and that it “cannot afford to lower its guard against the possibility of resurgence of inflation pressures”.
“The balance of risks stemming from the Reserve Bank’s assessment of the growth-inflation dynamic yields little space for further monetary easing,” the RBI said in its monetary policy statement.