Monthly Archives

March 2021

Lifestyle

The Types Of Car Loans Explained

March 21, 2021

Purchasing a new car can often cost you thousands of pounds, making it not a feasible option for everyone. In an ideal world, you would save up and pay it off in one go, but another more achievable option is to use a car loan. They are a great way to spread the cost of a car over several months or years, resulting in a more affordable option for buying a new or used car. However, there are risks and costs involved with each one, so it is important to research and compare offers before securing a loan.

What Are The Different Types Of Car Loans?

There are several ways to finance your new car purchase and here are the main ones:

1. Personal Loan

A personal loan could provide you with enough money to buy the car outright. You will then pay the loan back over a set length of time, typically at a fixed interest rate. One advantage of a personal loan is that they tend to be unsecured, so you do not need to secure it against an asset, such as your house, as collateral. However, as there is no security for the lender, you may only be approved for a personal loan if you have a good credit score.

2. Hire Purchase

With a hire purchase agreement, you may need to put down a deposit to drive away with the car. You will then make monthly repayments that add up to the full value of the car and the interest, which means that at the end of the agreed term, you will own the car. The debt is secured against the car, so if you fail to make repayments, the company may take the car off you to recover the money that you still owe them. However, if you can make the repayments, this is a great, affordable option for owning a car.

3. Personal Contract Purchase

PCP loans are one of the newer forms of car loan, but they can be quite complex. With this type of finance, you will not buy the car outright. Instead, you will put down a deposit, then make monthly payments to cover interest and the cost of depreciation. At the end of the term, you have the option to pay a lump sum to buy the car outright, trade it in for a replacement PCP contract, or return it. This makes it a great option for people who like to change their cars regularly, but the interest rates can often be higher than other loans.

4. Leasing

If you opt for a car lease, you do not ever own the vehicle, but instead, make regular payments for using it. You will usually be charged based on the value of the car, how long you use it for, and an agreed mileage allowance. You may pay less each month than if you were paying off a car bought on credit, but there may be extra costs involved, such as excessive wear and tear fees.

5. 0% Purchase Credit Card

Using a 0% purchase credit card is an option that is becoming more accepted by car dealers. You will usually need to have a good credit score to get a high limit on a purchase credit card, but it will allow you to have greater flexibility and you can decide how much to pay off each month, as long as you meet the minimum repayment.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to car loans, so you should take the time to research all of the available options, and decide which is best for you and your financial situation.

Lifestyle

Are You on Track for Retirement? Benchmarks You Should be Hitting Each Decade

March 16, 2021

Unlike tracking your daily steps, your calorie intake or your latest jogging route, there doesn’t appear to be an app for tracking your retirement savings. 

So, how much should you be putting away for your twilight years to live comfortably? 

Survey data published by Wonga recently revealed that out of nearly 8,000 respondents, most people aspire to retire between the ages of 50 and 70, but only 50% of people between 25 and 44 have actually started saving for their retirement. If this sounds familiar, you might want to catch up with your retirement saving goals and try to hit these benchmarks.

Retirement Savings in Your 20s

In your early 20s, it is unlikely that you have started putting away any money for your retirement. You are probably in education or have an entry-level position with a low income, just figuring out how to budget accurately. This is okay.

But once you start working with disposable income in your later 20s, it is time to start putting money away for retirement. Don’t create a goal at this stage, but do open a dedicated savings account you can add to whenever you have managed to save a little. Your 30-year-old self will thank you.

Retirement Savings in Your 30s and 40s

Your 30s and 40s are where you put in the hard yards towards your retirement saving goal. An effective – but not the only – way to make retirement saving targets is to base your targets off your annual income. Experts believe that you should save around 15% of your pay during your 30s, which should equate to x1.5 your annual income over the decade. 

In your 40s, you might want to ramp this up a little and save more, aiming for around x2 your annual income over the decade. This should provide you with a solid foundation as you enter your 50s.

Retirement Savings in Your 50s

In your 50s, when you are likely to have paid off your mortgage, there should be more room to save. Workers are typically more dedicated to contributing as retirement comes into view. Experts suggest that you aim to have x5 to x9 your annual income by the time you reach 60. 

Your Benchmarks Should Be Personalised

Although experts can make rough perditions on how much you should save or aim to save each decade, these rules are flexible. 

How much you need to save will depend on how much money you earn, if you are single or married – and if your partner works as well. And of course, they depend on what plans you have for your retirement. Some people make money last longer in retirement than others. 

Moreover, these benchmarks are not stipulated to make you feel bad for not hitting them. They should serve as motivation and help you inch your way closer to financial security in later life. 

Lifestyle

Title: Creating the Perfect Home for You

March 8, 2021

Who hasn’t spent time thinking of the perfect home for themselves at some point in their lives? From its location to the number of rooms, size of the kitchen and outdoor space, so many elements make up the complete package. The good news is you don’t necessarily have to have an unlimited budget and choice of the world’s best properties to have the perfect home. No, you can easily start to create your dream setting from scratch in the home you currently occupy and without breaking the bank. Here are a few ways to get started with creating the perfect home for you.

It’s all about the details

Every house is a home they say, but until the finer details have been put in place and perfected, only then can you say it’s a perfect home. From small touches like door handles, light switches and pictures on the wall, there are many different things you can do to make your own really unique and personal. This can even extend to larger appliances and features that are throughout your home by upgrading them to fit your aesthetic. The humble radiator is an example of this, where you can elevate the heating in your home to match your décor. There are many great examples of quality radiators by Stelrad, from designer styles to colourful vertical radiators and column radiators. Sometimes overlooked when perfecting your home, radiators can help bring out even more of your character whilst ensuring your home is always at the perfect temperature.

Let there be light

It’s a fact that natural light will improve the mood of anyone, and your home deserves the same treatment. Having a home with plenty of windows and openings can ensure not only sufficient lighting, but also ensures fresh air is circulating at all times. Part of having the perfect home is feeling great living there, with wellness and wellbeing at the core of achieving this. As well as natural light, having other natural elements as part of your interior design is a great choice. Plants and flowers will bring the garden into the home, especially ideal if you don’t have any outdoor space to enjoy such as in an apartment. 

Comfort over style

It can be tempting to try and implement different interior design trends into one home, but it doesn’t always create the perfect environment. Rather than choosing options based on what is popular or trending online, or what is deemed to be stylish at this moment in time, it’s best to choose something that will last, and you won’t have to upgrade in a few years. Comfort is high on that list as above all you want to enjoy the space and not fill it with uncomfortable furniture just because it looks good. In the same way that the clothes you wear should promote comfort, your home should be the same. 

Remember, the perfect home is not the same for everyone and you’ll want to fill it with personality and items that are close to you. Pictures of family and friends help with this as well as creating room designs that are both practical and are full of your favourite things. That way, the perfect home can be achieved right where you are without too much effort or spend.