Four Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

Buying a new home is a potentially once-in-a-lifetime purchase so you’ll no doubt want to make sure you get the best deal. The bad news for you is that buying a property is almost certainly going to cost more than you originally thought. Without proper research, even the most critical buyer will likely end up overlooking something. Here are four expenses that people often forget about.

Stamp Duty
Stamp Duty is a requirement when purchasing residential properties over £125,000 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The rate ranges from 2% to 12% of the value, depending on the final value of the home. Since April of this year, there’s also an additional 3% tax if this isn’t your only property (this also applies to homes that cost less than £125,000 too). Take a look at this Stamp Duty calculator to see how much you’ll have to pay.

Mortgage Expenses
If you’re taking out a mortgage to pay for your home, you’ll likely have to pay some additional fees. Arrangement fees can range from just a few hundred pounds to 1% of the final value, which could end up a significant figure. Similarly, if you decide to use a mortgage broker, you may be required to pay a fee equivalent to 1% of the cost of your mortgage, though some brokers don’t charge for this at all.

Legal Fees
You’ll need a solicitor or qualified conveyancer to carry out all of the necessary legal paperwork that goes with purchasing a property. Solicitor like Withers Worldwide are qualified lawyers, whose training covers many aspects of the law, whereas a conveyancer typically has less training but is specialised in real estate. What you need will be dependent on the complexity of your situation, but regardless you should budget between £500-£1,500 plus VAT to cover the service.

Removal Costs
Finally, another area that people seldom consider is removal costs. If you have friends who like you — and we mean really like you — they may not begrudge you asking them to spend a day hauling heavy furniture. The alternative is to pay a team of professionals, which could set you back several hundred pounds. Even if you have friends willing to help you, you may also need to rent a truck for the day.

Start Saving Money Right Now!

There’s not a single soul on this planet who wouldn’t want to use more money. Everyone wants to save some more and spend some more at the same time, but that’s not an easy task. If you’re looking to save some money for future occasions, you’ll either have to earn more or spend less.

IN todays’ economy, making more money is a dream that seems ever out of reach. Your earning may go slightly up, but keep in mind that the inflation rate and cost of living is increasing at all times. With the increasing cost of EVERYTHING, your increase in earnings will seem meager.

You might get a promotion, but that takes time and besides, in an economy this crippled, you can’t rely on that option. You might take on another part-time job, but trust me when I say this, that’s absolutely exhausting and monotonous.

So the option you have is to lower your expenses. It may sound difficult, but with proper planning and a little control, you can save more without even knowing the difference. Look around your house and ask yourself: “Did I really get the best deal in buying these things? Would I be able to retire when I want to?” If your answers are no, then you’ve probably missed out on opportunities in your life that could’ve changed your life.

Don’t get too upset. Achieving financial security is a difficult task, and it’s not something that we’re taught. You’ll have to learn them yourselves. All we can do is to show you a few ways to improve your financial state.

Set your goals. Whether it’s going on a nice vacation or buying a bigger house or retiring early, set your priorities. From that moment onwards, whenever you’re about to spend, consider whether it’s worth risking your goals.

If you own a house, see if you can refinance your mortgage. Find out if you can refinance them with lower interest rates, and hopefully you can save hundreds of dollars.

Don’t keep huge balance on your credit cards. If you already have a balance, see if you can transfer them to a card with lower interest rates. Many cards offer 0% interest for a year or more, transfer your balance to these cards and pay off as much money as possible, as soon as possible. Keep an eye out on credit report and if anything seems unusual, get it checked immediately.

Don’t be a Victim of Cyber-Crime – Follow our Tips and Stay Safe Online

Each time you make a financial transaction online you are potentially making yourself vulnerable to cyber-theft. Online shopping, gaming, and even making charitable donations means submitting details which could be copied by thieves who will go on to extract as much cash as possible from your accounts. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you don’t become a victim of online theft.

Update Your Online Security Settings

Ensure your anti-virus and anti-malware software is up to date and switched on. Once these are installed you will have to do very little to make sure your details can not be snatched from your PC, laptop or tablet.

Use Reputable Sites

If you haven’t heard of a certain retailer before and their site looks unprofessional, avoid it at all costs. Should you be inundated with pop ups, this is yet another sign that the site perhaps should not be trusted. Stick to the more famous and reputable sites and companies as they will have measures in place to protect any transactions.

Look out for Secure Payment Methods

Online companies are well aware of the need to provide their customers with secure methods of payment and will clarify precisely how you can transfer money, or collect payment on their site. For example, if you visit the popular casino and sports games site, Betway, you will find an entire page dedicated to informing customers about their many secure and flexible payment options. Lookout for PayPal, PaysafeCard, EntroPay Card and Neteller as these are known secure online payment methods.

Use a Credit Card Rather than a Debit Card

As credit cards come under the Consumer Credit Directive your credit card provider is jointly responsible for any purchases you make, along side the company from which you make your purchase. This means that if you have bought something between the value of £100 and £60,260 and the supplier or service provider can not or will not reimburse you if needed, then your credit card provider will do so instead.

Choose Strong Passwords

This seems like simple common sense, but many people choose very simple passwords, using their own birthday or even their name in the belief that nobody would attempt to access their details. Always use obscure symbols, as well as a mix of numbers and upper and lower-case letters, and resist the urge to keep it written down anywhere. It is always wise to change your password frequently so that if someone has managed to correctly guess any previous passwords, they will not be able to access any off your online information.

Always Log Out

This is especially vital if you are using a public computer or somebody else’s laptop and if you are making any kind of online transaction, always log out. Even if you are using your own device, ensure you log out so that if your laptop, mobile or tablet is stolen nobody can access your personal information.

Money Saving Tips On Funerals

Funeral arrangements are one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make in life. Like purchasing a car, planning a wedding or buying a home, planning a funeral can have quite an impact on one’s finances. And while it’s normal to worry about the finances, a funeral of a loved one is something that can’t be done over. How the funeral is planned should show the kind of respect for the deceased one has, as well as reflect their unique personality. The good news is that there are money saving ways to meet all these objectives and more without having to break the bank. But to make that happen, below are a few tips that will help you save money when planning a funeral.

Skip embalming: If you wish for people to view the body of the deceased, you can easily achieve that without having to go through with embalming. If the body was kept in a refrigerated area, some areas will allow public viewing of a body that’s not being embalmed before the funeral thus helping cut on the cost of the funeral. In cases where you still don’t want to embalm but your locality doesn’t allow public viewing of a body that’s yet to be embalmed; you can instead opt for a private visitation where only family members are allowed.

Limit attendance: Another effective way of saving on funerals is to limit the number of people who attend the funeral service of cremation. In some cases, the families prefer to have the cremation or burial first and then a bigger service where charges may or may not apply. Either way, it’s something worth considering.
Opt for a less expensive gravestone or avoid it altogether: The price of gravestones imprinted with the information of your loved one can easily spike the overall cost of a funeral. To save money on it, you can opt not to use a gravestone and put a wooden cross with the details of your loved one at the gravesite. Additionally, you can opt for less expensive stone and have as little information as possible imprinted.

Opt for a less expensive casket: When selecting a casket for the deceased, there are several ways of making sure that you save money. Rather than go for a casket made of hardwood or metal, consider choosing one that’s made heavy –duty cardboard or fiberboard. While they aren’t the most exotic materials for caskets, they sure are a great way to save.

Where Should You Save Your Money?

Saving money can be difficult, particularly in the current financial climate. As such, when you actually have money saved, you want to ensure that it’s working for you. This means that you want your money to be earning you the highest possible level of interest, so it’s worth more when you need it. Here we look at three places that you could save your money.

Savings Accounts
Savings accounts are widely available both on the high street and through banks operating online. They’re popular with most people because they’re convenient. If you get a savings account from the same bank that you have a current account with, transferring funds can be simple, too.
However, just taking out a savings account with the bank you currently bank with can also mean that you’re not fully benefitting and, as a result, you should shop around. Just because you’ve banked with someone for ten years plus doesn’t mean that you’ll get the best rate, so compare options up and down the high street.
The other downside to savings accounts is that, although you’ll gain interest, it may not be as high as through other options. However, they are a great risk free option.

Investments
Investments, either in property or stocks and shares can provide you with great returns. However, unlike savings accounts, there’s an element of risk too.
Although the value of property, for example, has risen rapidly over the past decade, prices also go down like they did in the last financial crash. This could lead to you losing some (or even all) of the money that you invested.
As well as the risk associated, investments can also be hard work. You have to constantly monitor any investment in stocks and shares and houses often need repair work. So, although returns on investments can be very high, be sure to fully research the downsides and ensure you can commit to monitoring.

Premium Bonds
Nearly half of the UK has premium bonds. Premium bonds are a savings account you put money into where the interest paid is decided by a monthly prize draw. Generally, people can win between £25 and £1,000,000 tax free. Every £1 you have represents a bond, and each individual bond is then entered into a prize draw. The more bonds you have, the higher your chances are of winning.
Premium bonds are great because they’re completely safe and there’s no risk. However, your chances of winning the £1,000,000 is 29.2 billion to one. Generally, people win less than they would through interest – but you have to be in it to win it.
To conclude, there are a number of places you can put your money, and all have different levels of risk. Ensure you do your research before investing.

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Money saving tips for your daily commute to work

How much do you spend to commute to work daily? Well, for most people, the amount spent is unbearable. With everyone trying to save money to invest on other projects, commuting costs continue to hinder the plans. However, cutting the commuting cost is possible if only the proper money saving tips are applied.

Tips to save money on your commute costs
Several aspects need to be considered if you are to reduce the commute costs by a considerable amount. In addition, you should consider applying a long-term solution that will help you save a significant amount of the commuting costs. Some of the money saving tips include:

Moving closer to your work area
Most people love their jobs but hate the fact that they spend a lot on commuting. Therefore, if you can find an apartment around your area of work that allows you to live within your current budget or lower, this should be the best option. In no time, you will notice a steady growth in your savings.

Working extra hours
If your employer is kind enough to compensate you for the extra hours worked, then this could be a great way to save on commuter costs. The amount paid in the extra hours could be dedicated to commuter costs while the rest of the income is channeled towards other projects.

Find greener pastures
In some instances, the job might not be well paying yet you travel a long distance and spend a lot on commuting costs. Try and look for a better paying job in your home area or neighboring area that will not eat into your finances in the name of commuting costs. Preferably, you may opt to start working from home. With the availability of modern technology and the internet, it should not be long before you find a decent income from online gigs or jobs. Additionally, your employer may allow you to work from home for a few days in the week thus allowing you to save some cash.

Changing your mode of travel
If you feel that refueling your car is having a negative impact on your finances, you could opt to change the mode of commuting. You may decide to ride a bicycle to work if you live within your work area. Secondly, using public means will also cut your transport costs by a substantial margin. Moreover, you can decide to buy a used car with a good fuel consumption record. This guide about buying a used car will be of immense help.

Conclusion
Commuting costs is one of the most recurring expenses. More to that, commuting costs exhaust most of our finances. However, it is important to make arrangements with your employer in order to know their stance on the matter.

Primary vs. Secondary Market

This article will give us an insight of the various financial aspects of the capital market trading. Both primary and secondary markets are types of Capital Market depending on the issuance of securities.

Primary Market – deals with the trading of newly issued securities. The government, corporations, and companies issue securities like stocks and bonds when they are need of capital. The investors purchase stocks and bonds issued by such companies and in turn help them in raising capital. Money earned from selling of securities directly to the issuing company.  Another name for this market is ‘New Issue Market’ (NIM). IPO (Initial Public Offering) is a usual method of issuing securities in the primary market. The functioning of primary market is essential for both the economy and capital market as this is the place where the capital formation takes place. Other types of issues made by the corporation are a Public issue, Offer for sale, Right Issue, Bonus Issue, Issue of IDR etc…

Secondary Market – is that part of the capital market that deals with securities already issued primary market. Investors who purchased the newly issued securities in the primary market sell them in the secondary market. The nature of the secondary market is liquid and transparent. The value of stocks varies from that of the face value. The resale value of the securities depends upon the fluctuating interest rates.

 

 

Conclusion

The two financial markets play a major role in the mobilization of money in a country’s economy. Primary Market encourages direct interaction between the company and the investor while the secondary market is opposite where brokers help the investors to buy and sell the stocks among other investors. There are many brokers in the capital market for spread betting the best in this trade is ETX Capital, which provides their investors with satisfactory profits.

The main difference between two markets is – who benefits from the sale or purchase of a company’s stock. When new stocks are issued the co. benefits from the sale and the cash flow of the new stock is used to invest in the company’s operations. When investors buy or sell stock, the company does not benefit from the sale or purchase because money changes hands only between the two investors.

The Factors Affecting Gold Bullion Prices

How much do you know about silver and gold premiums? Do you know how to spot a fair premium and what causes gold prices to rise and fall? If you’re planning to invest in gold bullion bars or coins, then you need to know the factors that highly affect the price of gold bullion. The spot price is the current price of gold per ounce that day in international selling markets.

⦁ Economic conditions – This means both internationally and locally. If there is a financial crisis worldwide like in 2008 then that would likely cause premiums to rise because of the increase needed. However, if there is only one gold bullion dealer in a smaller town, they’d have to set their prices carefully because of the fear of setting them too high and driving customers away but wanting to make a profit too.

⦁ Supply and demand – This is the biggest factor as gold dealers need to make a profit. If bullion dealers have too much in stock, they often raise their prices, but if they don’t have enough gold bars or gold coins in stock, customers may walk away angry or frustrated. The seasons may play a part as well as it is often more beneficial to buy gold bullion in the summer when some sellers lower prices to attract new investors.

⦁ Volume being sold – Some of these gold dealers is a business trying to stay successful and they need to account for overhead charges, employees, and processing when pricing their supply. This means that often a larger bullion bar may have a lower premium than a single gold coin since they tend to spread costs out more evenly among larger amounts. If you’re looking for both kinds, come see a collection of authentic gold bullion in Brisbane.

⦁ Type and popularity of Bullion – This especially pertains to bullion coins. Certain gold bullion coins are extremely popular, such as the Australian Gold Kangaroos, the Chinese Gold Pandas, or the American Gold Eagles. These popular coins may have pricier premiums because of their popularity so you may want to stick to other means of bullion for your financial portfolio and collect those for other reasons.

⦁ The seller’s objectives – It doesn’t matter if the seller is the only dealer in town or if they’re part of a large corporation, they’re going to aim to get the best price for their gold bullion. Dealers mainly factor in their competitors’ prices, as well as setting the “best price,” so that it’s high enough where they make a profit but not too high where customers go elsewhere. However, in the real world, it doesn’t always work out that way; and sometimes, you can negotiate with a dealer to lower their price.

The formula for calculating the premium involves taking the price of the gold bullion bar or coin and subtracting the spot price and then dividing it by the spot price. If it’s fewer than 10 percent after taking the above factors into consideration, you’ve found a good deal.

Where Does Money Come From?

Get ready for a shock if you don’t already know….

Every day countless millions of transactions are facilitated with money. Why do we need money? How does it get into “circulation?” Who puts it there? Who creates money? And on what basis? Is it the government? If not, why not? Who is it? And how do they know how much to “print?” What if they add too much or too little to the economy?

Three chapters of my book How to Profit from the Coming Great Depression are devoted to these questions. Most people are shocked when they first learn about our “fractional reserve” money system, which has sewn within it the seeds of its own destruction.

First of all, we need money because the barter system is too unwieldy. If you are a building contractor and I am a potato farmer, and I want you to build me a house, how am I going to pay you? How many potatoes can you and your family eat before they go rotten?

Clearly we need something that represents both houses and potatoes. But note that that does not make money a resource in itself. It is merely a vehicle for transferring the value of resources from one person to another. There are natural resources, both under the ground and above it, and there are human resources – labor and intellect. Put these together and man can produce. But although money may be used to value and transfer these resources, money is not a resource itself. Those who control money really want the resources that money represents.

Centuries ago things like gold and silver were used as money, before we had notes and coins like today. Remember the old western movies where highwaymen would hold up the stage coach and people would have to hand over all their valuables? Why, on earth, would people carry their gold and silver with them? Because they had nowhere else to put it.

This created an opening for the goldsmiths, who were the forerunners to our modern day bankers. They built large, secure vaults and allowed people to deposit their precious metals in these safes. In return they gave people “receipts” confirming the amount of gold held on their behalf. In time people began trading with the receipts rather than the gold. Today these receipts are called banknotes.

But that’s not all the goldsmiths did. They even paid interest to those who had deposited gold in their vaults (e.g. 3%), but then lent the gold out to others (in the form of more receipts) at say 6%. That’s how they covered their costs.

In time the goldsmiths noticed that nobody ever came back to collect their gold, and not all being honest, began to lend out more in new “receipts” than was represented by the gold in their vaults. In time there was ten times as much “money” in circulation as there was gold in the vaults.

That’s exactly how our money system operates today. For every dollar you deposit in a bank, the bank lends out about ten dollars. Money is created by banks – out of thin air! All money comes into existence by way of a bank loan. Less than 5% of it is ever converted to notes and coins. Most of it is never anything but a balance on a computer at the bank.

A hundred questions come to your mind. Right? They are all answered in my book.

Why do I say the system has sewn within it the seeds of its own destruction? It has a use-by date. That is why we have an economic depression at least once each century. It is not a question of if the system implodes. Only when it implodes.

Let’s say you borrow £100,000 from the bank (which takes security over your real estate worth £150,000). But you have to pay back £110,000 with interest added.

Where does that other £10,000 come from? You will have to get it from someone else. Where will they get it? What’s the only way money comes into existence? They will have to borrow it from a bank.

Can you see how in our debt money system it is not possible for everyone to pay their debts? Some have to go bankrupt. And as money is sucked out of the system in interest by the banks, money supply is reduced. The only way it can be replaced is with more borrowed money. So debt must rise exponentially. Can you see now why we have a debt bubble and why there is no solution to it other than a massive purging, with all of the horrific deflationary economic consequences, not to mention social dislocation that will come with it?

The Importance of strategy when saving: How to optimise your earnings for the future

As a general rule, savings rates have tumbled over the course of the last few years. Interestingly, this trend has not impacted on the traditional savings account, which is usually made available alongside current account options. While this type of regular savings account offered an average return of 1.64% back in December, it has risen slightly to 1.72% at the beginning of 2016. While this is still below the rate of 1.72% available 12 months ago, it at least shows that some savings accounts are heading in the right direction.

How to develop the ideal saving strategy in three simple steps

This is just one element of saving money, however, and if you are to successfully make the most of your earnings you must create a viable, simple and manageable strategy. Here are three steps towards achieving this goal:

1. Choose a viable savings Vehicle

To begin with, you will need a viable savings vehicle to deposit and grow your wealth. We have already touched on how regular savings accounts offer optimised returns in the current climate, but it is still important to compare the market before making an informed decision. This will offer you access to an account with the highest possible rate of interest, while also enabling you to operate within the limits and thresholds that are relevant to you. Entities such as Kent Reliance even offer regular savings accounts with interests up to 4%, which ensures that you can quickly optimise your original savings and future deposits.

2. Consider Investment Options

There is an old adage which suggests that you must 'speculate to accumulate, but this works better if you are dealing with a large fund to begin with. So once you have used a regular savings account to gradually build your wealth in a risk-free environment, you can begin to diversify and seek out more substantial returns. There are a wide range of investment options available, from low-risk vehicles like secure bonds and dividend investments to more profitable entities such as forex trading. They key is to scale your efforts and look to diversify across a broad range of options, creating a portfolio that reflects your level of knowledge, experience and appetite for risk.

3. Create passive income streams where possible

Over time, this strategy should begin to deliver returns while helping you to build and manage your wealth. The final step is to consider automating your earnings through the development of passive income streams, which instantly increases the amount that you commit to your savings in the first instance. While you can seek out extra work or look to sell your skills as a freelancer, this may compromise your work-life balance over time. Whether you look to invest in real estate or generate an annual return from a blue-chip stock investment, passive income offers you the best possible chance to grow your savings quickly and in a risk-averse scenario.

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