Author: Libby Peacock

How Can I Pay Less on my Life Insurance?

If you are looking to reduce the amount of money that you are spending then it is wise to look at every item you buy and see whether you can pay less for it. This can apply to the items you buy in shops, but also the services that you use as well, such as insurance. Many of us have life insurance, for example and that can be something that we are paying quite a bit for. However, there might be a way to reduce what we are paying.

Decide if it is Really Needed

It is worth deciding to start with whether you even need life insurance. There are different reasons for having it and you need to think about whether the reason that you have the insurance is a good one and worth the money that you are paying out for it. If you have insurance because you have a mortgage and your mortgage provider wants you to have it as part of your contract with them. If this is the case then you have to keep the insurance. However, if you have chosen to take out insurance, then you can think about whether it is worth keeping or whether you should get rid of it. Consider why you have taken it out, perhaps to give loved ones some money if you die. You may be able to save up some money so that they can have some without the need for insurance or if you already have savings, they will be able to use those.

Compare Insurers

It is always worth comparing insurers on a regular basis to see if there are any cheaper than the one you are with. You will find that life insurance is quite a competitive market and it will swap over time as to which company will be offering the cheapest policy. It therefore is worth comparing the different companies to see whether you can switch to a different one and save some money. Some people will use a comparison website, some use a broker and others do this research themselves. Decide which you want to do bearing in mind that comparison websites and brokers are more convenient as they will do all of the research for you but they may not look at every insurer and they will get commission if you sign up to an insurer they recommend so they might recommend ones that pay them the highest amount of money.

Stop Smoking

Life insurance is assessed using whether insurers think you are likely to die soon. The look at various risk factors such as age that you cannot change but smoking is something that they always look at as well. This is something that you can influence. If you give up smoking, you will find that the cost of your insurance will significantly drop.

Try to Stay Healthy

Staying healthy can help you as well. Many diseases are influenced by our lifestyle and if we get ill, then this will put up our life insurance premium. Therefore, if we can lead a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy food, cutting back on the alcohol, exercising regularly, managing our stress and getting enough sleep, this could mean that we will be less likely to be unwell. This will not only keep our insurance premium down but will help us to have a longer and better quality of life as well.

Pay off Mortgage

If you have life insurance because you have a mortgage, then you will no longer need to pay it once the mortgage is paid off. This means that you will be able to save that money as well as the interest that you are paying on the mortgage. Therefore, it could be worth considering trying to repay the mortgage early and then you will save a significant amount of money in the long term.

Is it More Lucrative to be Self-Employed than Employed?

There are many people that like the idea of being self-employed. They like many of the advantages that come with being self-employed, but perhaps do not really think about the disadvantages. It is a good idea to also think about what the advantages are of being employed compared with the disadvantages as well.

Own Boss

One of the big attractions of being self employed is being your own boss. Many people think that they will feel much better without someone else telling them what to do. Of course, it can be hard, particularly if you do not like your boss, but you need to bear in mind that you will need to have self-discipline to motivate yourself to get the work done. They will be no one there to set your deadlines for you and to pressure you to produce the work – it will be up to you to do this yourself. Some people are very good at this but others are not so good and you have to decide whether you think it is something that you will be able to do or not.

More in Control of Money

It can also be an attractive prospect that you will get all of the money from the clients that you work for or sell things to compared with when you work for someone else and they get most of the money. However, if you are running it, then all of that money will go to you so you might feel that it is much more worthwhile. However, it is worth thinking about the fact that you will also have to pay out a lot of things too, such as insurance and travel, advertising and pension cover and all sorts of things like that which would normally be paid by an employer.

Can Work Any Hours

It can be good to think about the fact that you will be able to work any hours that you wish. If you like working early mornings or late nights or you need to fit the work around your family, then it can be a good thing to be able to work the hours that you really like. However, you may find that this will not necessarily be possible. You could find that you will need to put in a lot of hours because you will be running things by yourself or with a small team helping and that you will need to actually just need to be putting in all the hours that you can.

Can Sell Up

It is a dream of many people that they will set up their own business and then be able to sell it for a lot of money. There are some companies that have managed to do this and it can be extremely lucrative. They can potentially make a lot of money doing it and therefore it is something that others hope that they will be able to do as well. However, it is worth noting that actually there are not that many companies that have managed to be able to do this. There are sadly many more that have actually gone out of business so it is something that you need to be very careful of. You will need to concentrate more at the beginning on making sure that you stay afloat rather than worrying about whether you will be able to build the business up so that you can sell it. Hopefully it will do well, but having the aim to make it successful enough to sell is rather ambitious to be concentrating on right at the beginning.  

Is it Wise to Scrimp and Save?

There are some people who scrimp and save all of the time and they might even be accused of being a modern-day Scrooge. Some people may feel that this is not a good way to be and it is much better to spend money. It is something that it is worth thinking about as you should be doing what is best for you.

Advantages of Scrimping and Saving

  • If you have a lot of savings behind you it means that if you need money in an emergency then you will be able to use those savings to help you out and it could mean that you will not need to borrow instead. This will normally be the cheaper option as well, which is always attractive.
  • When you have money in a savings account it will normally attract interest. This means that the bank or building society will give you some money in exchange for you having the money in there. This means that you can earn some money without actually doing anything. If you find a high interest account then you could get a reasonable rate in return for saving your money.
  • If you do not spend much money beyond what you need to it means that you do not get a home full of clutter. You just have items that you need and maybe a few other things and this can make it easier to keep things clean and tidy and also means that you will not need such a big home as you will not have so many items to find room for.
  • Getting into the habit of spending less means that you will not have such a high risk of having to borrow money as it will be easier for you to stick to a budget and make sure that you do not spend too much as you will be used to it. If you do decide to buy something expensive, such as a house, you will already have a lot of money to put towards it, you may not need to borrow so much and you will find it easier to repay the loan you took out as you will not be used to spending lots of money.
There are many advantages and disadvantages of saving.

Disadvantages of Scrimping and Saving

  • If you do not spend much money you might get a reputation of being tight. People might think that you are not generous, and they may judge you on that and think that you care about money more than anything else.
  •  If you are not spending money you will not be helping out the economy. If people spend money the economy can grow – it means that companies can expand and employ more people and this can benefit everyone as there will be more tax payers and then more spenders and things can grow and grow. By not spending this does not happen and it means there are more unemployed people and less money coming in from tax so public services are not so well financed as a result.
  • If you spend the very minimum amount then you may not be able to enjoy yourself. It could mean that you are not going out anywhere, not doing any hobbies or having any new things at all. This can mean that life is not much fun for you.

So, it is really god to see if you can find a place in the middle. Where you are spending enough money to enjoy yourself and not be seen as tight but you are still able to save some money and you do not feel like you ate paying out so much you are out of control.

Is it a Good Time to Start a Business?

Starting a business can be really lucrative for some people but it can also be expensive. Therefore, it is wise to make sure that you start your business at the right time. However, it can be tricky knowing when it is a good time to start a business.

Do you Have the Time?

The first thing to consider is your time. When you start a business, you will need to be able to commit a lot of time to it. You will need to be able to have the time and energy to not only do what the business is specifically doing but also to do the marketing, accounts, research and learn everything that you will need to learn. It might be that you have done something like it before and so you may be confident that you know most of it, but there will still be differences doing it by yourself and you will need to learn new things. So, you need to make sure that you will have enough time available to be able to do this.

Do you Have the Money?

You also need to think about whether you can afford to start the business. Make sure that you add up all of the costs that you think you will have when you first start the business as you will need to find the money to pay for these. You will also need to think about the fact that you will also need to pay yourself. If you are working for the business full time you will need to find the money that you need to cover your personal bills as well because you could find that you not have any money coming in for a while to pay for things like this. It is also important to have some contingency money as well because you just do not know when you will be able to start taking money from the business or whether the business will need more money investing in it that you had accounted for.

Is the Market Right?

It is a good idea to have a think about whether the market is right for business in general and for your particular business specifically. If the economy is in recession, then it is likely that people will be spending less money and therefore they will possibly not be able to afford the things that you are selling. However, this will depend on the items that you are selling as you could find that if you are selling cheap things, for example, this could help you to do better in a recession when people do not want to pay as much for items, especially if you are selling essentials and undercut other sellers price wise you could do well. However, if you are selling luxury items that are expensive, then you need to wait until people have money available to buy these sorts of things. You could end finding otherwise that you will just not be able to get established at all.

There is a lot to think about and you might be keen to just get going because once you have a business idea you could be really keen and enthusiastic about it. Having enthusiasm is great, you will need it and if you do not have it at the beginning then there is no way that you will have it as things get harder, you get tired and the money isn’t coming in! However, although enthusiasm is really important, you need to make sure that you also have the time to commit to it as well as the money and the right market. Everything need to be in sync to make sure that you can be a success.

Is it Wise to Have Two Credit Cards?

Most of us these days will have a credit card. It can be a very convenient way to buy things, especially when we are buying things online. However, there are some people that have more than one card and you may perhaps wonder whether you should be considering getting a credit card yourself. There are risks but also advantages and it is good to think about both so that you can be sure to make the right decision.

Advantages of a Second Card

  • If you have a second credit card it means that you will be able to access more money. You will have a credit limit on the card and this will add together with the credit limit on your other card. It means that you will be able to borrow more money.
  • This means that if you have used up the credit on the one credit card, you will be able to use the second credit card to spend money. This means that you will have access to more funds which could be really handy.
  • If you have a cashback card, then spending more money on the card, means that you will get more money back, which could be handy as it will go towards repaying the credit card the following month. It could almost be seen as a discount from the next month.
  • You might want to try to split your spending between cards so that it is easier for you to keep a better watch on what is going on with your spending.
  • If you can find a second card with a lower interest rate, then it can be better to spend on this one and try hard to repay the other one so that you can save some money by paying out less in interest.

Disadvantages of a Second Card

  • If you have a second credit card it means that you will have more money available to borrow. This could mean that you will use it to treat yourself to a lot more things and spend a lot of money on it. This could mean that you will quickly accumulate a lot of debt on the card.
  • If you spend too much on the card it could mean that you will not be able to afford to repay it in full. This means that you will be charged interest on it. This interest could be quite high as credit card interest tends to be pretty pricey and it could mean that you start to pay quite a lot for the privilege of borrowing the money to buy those fun things.
  • If you do have a cashback card then it might tempt to spend more money than you otherwise might, Knowing that you will get money back for everything that you spend might motivate you to use the card more. You may even just spend money for the sake of it. It is well worth remembering that a cashback card tends to have higher interest than regular cards and so it is only really worth using them if you know that you will definitely repay the balance in full each month.
  • It might be even harder to keep track of your spending when you have two cards. It will mean two places to check your balance and think about whether you can afford to spend more etc and it might just get to be too much of a hassle to bother with.

It is therefore important to carefully weigh up the pros and cons before getting an additional card so that you can be sure you are doing the right thing.