The greatest problem when buying a property lies in the fact that you never know the exact worth. Sure, the price of houses in the area goes at a certain price range and you can use this as a starting point in order to set your price against theirs, yet, this is not the most reliable of methods. Think about it, the circumstances may change, the real estate market may crumble and the home you intend to sell may fit the personal needs of the client so much that they’re willing to go far above the real price. After all, there’s no such thing as “the real price”, seeing as how things are only worth as much as people are willing to pay for them. This is why you need a buyer’s agent. [Read more…]
When you start at the beginning of trying to achieve goals and progress, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and disheartened by the progress of others.
When I first made the decision to change financial habits it wasn’t easy. After years of over spending and not giving too much thought to the value of things, these habits were extremely hard to break.
Originally posted 2015-12-31 15:50:18.
It’s the 17 September, still a week away from pay day and all you have left is £6.20 to your name. In the cupboard there is only enough food to feed your family for three days and on top of this your one year old only has four nappies left.
This is the situation we found ourselves this month. We knew it would be tight financially, it always is, but this month was worse than others. Normally, a week before pay day we at least have enough food to last even if there isn’t any money left.
This time is was different.
We were literally surviving on the breadline.
When you’re faced with a situation like that, what is the first thing you do? Well the first thing we did was panic, then cry, then panic again.
For the first time in a long time we had gotten ourselves into a situation that I was unsure how to get out of. We’d always struggled financially but never to this extent.
The good news (if you can call it that) is we did make it through to pay day, we did survive.
Surviving on the breadline
First of all we needed to set some priorities. There was us, our nine year old daughter Daniella and our one year old daughter Chloe. We needed to eat and Chloe needed nappies.
These is what we wrote down on a scrap of paper in order of importance:
1. Feeding the children
2. Nappies for youngest
3. Feeding mum and dad
Next we went to the kitchen and made a list of all the food we had in the cupboards, fridge and freezer. It wasn’t a great deal but more than we presumed.
We worked out that with the food we had in the house, if we were careful, we could feed the children breakfast, lunch and dinner for four days. This would mean me and Skint Mum missing out on “proper” dinner a couple of times but we were OK with that.
So that left us with three days’ worth of food to purchase and sort out nappies. It was getting late and we were both emotionally shattered so we went to bed.
I didn’t sleep much that night. It was 2 am when I last looked at the time. Lots of things going through my mind. I felt like I’d let my family down by getting into this situation. I kept having flashbacks about bills coming through the door, creditors ringing demanding money, and me having to borrow from anywhere and anyone just to keep our head afloat.
I had let them down.
The next morning Skint Mum left for work and Daniella left for school, leaving me and Chloe to go to the shops and try to make our £6.20 stretch as far as possible.
The first item I looked at was nappies. We normally bought Pampers but I obviously couldn’t afford them so I grabbed the cheapest ones I could find. It was the shops own brand, 20 nappies for £1.41. I was concerned about the quality but what else could I do?
Next on to the food. I had just under a fiver left so I headed straight for the pasta which I knew would be reasonably cheap. Grabbing three bags of basic shapes for 29p per 500g I started to think we could do this.
Pasta sauce next, two jars for 39p per 440g and I could split the jars if I had to. I then headed to the frozen aisle where I picked up twenty frozen sausages for 91p and a 1kg bag of frozen mixed veg for 75p.
That left me £1.48 which I used to buy two tins of new potatoes for 15p each, two tins of beans for 25p each and six bananas.
When I arrived home I put the kettle on, sat Chloe in the lounge, laid all the food we had and what I had bought onto the kitchen side. We had done it. We had enough food to last until more money came in the following week.
OK, I’ll admit, the food we had wasn’t the most nutritious also there wasn’t really any variety but at least we could eat. At least when I put my children to bed every night I knew they had a full belly.
Today is pay day and it all starts again. After all the bills are paid we don’t have much left. The last week has really opened my eyes to how close we actually are to the breadline every single month.
I’ve realised we cannot carry on living pay check to pay check because it’s not living is it? It’s surviving.
Starting from this month, Skint Mum and I are going make some changes. We are going to stop surviving and start believing. Believing that we don’t have to live like this. Believing that we can make a better life for our family.
I don’t want to live in poverty. I don’t want my children to grow up thinking this is normal.
We want a better life and I’m going to use everything I have to achieve it.
Do you struggle to make ends meet? What have you done to change this? What advice can you give for us not to be in the same situation next month?
Originally posted 2015-12-22 15:52:48.
Although life insurance and life assurance may sound the same, in reality, they’re very different.
“When shopping for insurance you may see the terms life insurance and life assurance used interchangeably, but there are some key differences you need to understand before taking out a policy.” (Source: USwitch) [Read more…]
Bargain hunters were muscled out of the way at an annual charity shop sale by second-hand dealers desperate to get their hands on cut-price items.
Originally posted 2015-12-10 12:04:46.
Rural houses are being discounted — some by as much as £3 million
Originally posted 2015-12-03 12:09:04.
The BBC’s annual “Price of Football” survey has landed, calculating and comparing the cost to the fan of the match-day experience across a “basket” of products: ticket, programme, tea, pie, replica shirt. So, what savings are out there for the eagle-eyed, cost-conscious supporter?
Originally posted 2015-11-26 12:13:11.
Christmas trading has sparkled into life on the high street with retailers reporting frantic Sunday shopping after a better-than expected Boxing Day, with suggestions that shoppers had been browsing for bargains in their pyjamas before heading to the shops.
Originally posted 2015-11-17 11:58:33.
With the right guidance and support, now is a great time to invest in a holiday home in Germany.
If you’ve always dreamed of making a second income from a holiday home, here are four tips to make yours pay.
Know Your Target Audience
It is wise to have a target audience in mind when searching for the perfect holiday home in Germany. If you plan to rent your holiday home to families, students or couples this should be determined before you begin house hunting. Successfully renting out your holiday home requires you to tailor your property to a particular target audience and choosing an appropriate location is all part and parcel of this. Rather than making your home appeal to everyone, target a particular niche right from the start. For example, if you plan to market your holiday home to families or elderly tenants, steer clear of steep staircases and other aspects that could be hazardous.
Do The Maths
Before you commit to purchasing a holiday home in Germany, do your homework. There are many hidden costs that you should take into account before you buy. Property maintenance, home improvements, council tax and legal fees can all add up. Factoring in all of these costs can help you to work out the return on investment and don’t forget to be realistic in that the property may not be rented out all of the time. By law in Germany every house over 25 years old requires a new roof, a new heating system and new windows and you should also be aware that fees are higher than that of the UK. You can expect to spend 12% of the house price on fees.
Know The Pitfalls
Buying a property in Germany can be profitable but it is important to consider potential pitfalls before you invest. Germany attracts a lot of buy-to-let investors as over 50% of the country choose to rent rather than buying a house so you should be prepared to make a long-term investment. If you choose to sell the property in less that 10 years, you will have to pay 15% capital gains tax.
Furnishing Your Holiday Home
It can be tempting to furnish your holiday home with hand-me-down pieces of furniture in order to keep costs low. However, threadbare sofas aren’t going to attract many holidaymakers so you should take care and attention when picking out your furnishings. If you want to attract families, create a child-friendly environment with stair gates, cots and a high chair. If you are attracting elite holidaymakers, add luxury touches such as plush bathrobes, toiletries in the bathrooms and Egyptian cotton sheets.
So, there you have it, buying a holiday home in Germany can be lucrative as long as you are aware of the possible pitfalls involved.
Originally posted 2016-01-12 09:45:42.
For the last 15 years of my life I have been in debt. It’s not always been for such a huge amount though. At first it was small and manageable but then it quickly started to snowball and get really out of control.
Looking back I can’t think of a time in my life when I was in the black.
Originally posted 2016-01-07 15:48:24.