Understanding the Nitty-Gritty of Reverse Mortgages

In theory, everyone loves the sound of retirement. But practically speaking, this period comes with several challenges, especially for those without financial support or multiple income streams. Money is one primary instrument that can help you live an ideal post-retirement lifestyle. Most retirees opt for traditional home loans. These mortgages have huge downsides, one of which includes the risk of losing your home if you fail to meet up with payment deadlines. However, a reverse mortgage may be that financial safety net you have been longing for, as it puts money in your pocket without you losing your residence. But before you apply for one, you need to know how it works.

Repaying a Reverse Mortgage

Unlike a traditional loan that requires you to pay back immediately in specific amounts, a reverse mortgage allows paying back whenever you desire. However, here is the catch: you will pay more in interest than you would with a standard loan. The reason for this outcome is that a reverse mortgage is a long-term loan, which remains valid for your duration of residence. In other words, if you decide to live in your apartment for 15 years, that will be the duration of your loan. You can only pay back when you choose to relocate or put the house up for sale.

Remember the Basics that Come with a Reverse Mortgage

While a reverse mortgage gives you the freedom to make payments when desired, you have to meet up with other requirements, such as continually paying your property taxes, home insurance, and home maintenance cost. Failure to do so may cause your lender to terminate the loan deal and put up the house for sale to cover the cost.

Hence, you have to be sure that the loan is essential. If you have the financial ability to cater to your needs, then you do not have to apply for this loan. Additionally, it is vital to factor in the equity of your home. If the value of your home is less than the amount you intend to borrow, then you should think of other alternatives. Your lender will evaluate your eligibility using a reverse mortgage calculator, including the age of your home, location, and your creditworthiness.

How to Access Your Reverse Mortgage Funds

Once you are eligible for a reverse mortgage, you can set up your payment option, using any of these three options: set it as a line of credit, receiving it as a lump sum, or receiving it as a monthly payment. Importantly, monitor your loan payments to prevent unexpected occurrences or misunderstandings between you and your lender. With the lump sum option, you can sort out immediate expenses beyond your current financial capacity. On the other hand, a credit line helps you access your fund when needed. This option works like a credit card. You can also receive your funds as recurring payments – liken it to your monthly paychecks. This option helps you to meet up with monthly expenses.

Three Energy-Saving Tips to Help You Afford a Little Extra Heat

Creating a cozy home this Christmas doesn’t have to mean cranking up the thermostat. That said, you might like to have the freedom to heat things up now and again for a little extra cosy factor. Whether you’re eco-conscious or on a budget (or both) these tips could help you snip some off your energy bill here and there, giving you a little extra leeway this winter.

Lower Your Thermostat When You’re Not at Home

Lowering your thermostat temperature when there’s nobody home is a no-brainer if you’re looking for ways to reduce your energy use, without impacting your lifestyle. If you’re home during the holidays, you won’t be able to take advantage of the regular nine-to-five schedule of the working week, but you may still find opportunities to schedule temperature decreases throughout your holiday period if you have a holiday line-up of activities planned ahead. You can manually reduce the temperature before you walk out the door, but you may not always remember. Unless it’s an established habit, it’s better to rely on a pre-set if your heating system allows. A system boiler may have a service timer, meaning you can set a range of temps to suit your needs at various times of day according to your family’s schedule.

If your holiday period includes a few days away on holiday somewhere else, take advantage of this time to save on your energy use. Turning your thermostat down for even a few days will make a big difference. Just bear in mind that the thermostat should be high enough to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Run Cold Washes

While many of us choose to run hot laundry cycles as standard, this is not strictly necessary. Most of your family’s regular-use items will wash clean with cold water. What’s more, your clothes are likely to last longer if you wash them cold than if they are subjected to hot temperatures on a regular basis. If your usual laundry routine involves hot washes, you could save up to 90% of the energy you normally use by running cold cycles exclusively. Of course, a hot wash might be necessary on occasion, especially for muddy clothes or soiled items, but it can be useful to group those things together for a hot wash once per week, rather than setting the cycle to hot as your default. The occasional warm cycle shouldn’t make too big an impact if you’re making a conscious effort to stick to cold cycles the rest of the time.

Avoid Using the Dryer

Regularly using the dryer is one of the most reliable ways to guzzle energy. While it may sometimes be necessary, especially for heavy items in winter, you can save a significant amount of energy by only using the dryer as a last resort. Other indoor drying methods may take a little longer but they can be effective if you arrange your space right. For example, hang your clothes on a drying rack in a room with a dehumidifier running. A dehumidifier uses relatively little energy and can dry your clothes overnight. Heated drying racks are another great option. Hot tip: place a bed sheet over the top to trap the heat!

If you plan to spend the Christmas season at home, these tips will help you save a little extra on your energy bill so you can crank the thermostat up when it counts.

5 Tips for a Wedding on a Budget

Last summer, it was reported that UK wedding costs had reached an all-time high, with the average rising to just over £30000. If you are engaged or thinking about getting married soon, numbers like that might fill you with dread. The engagement ring is one thing, but the idea of spending that much on one day might seem a little much.

While it would be lovely to spend that kind of money and have whatever we want, the reality for most of us is that if we wanted to splash the cash in such an extortionate way the only option would be to get into massive amounts of debt, which isn’t always a great way to start married life. Or even an option for all of us.

But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful wedding on a much smaller budget. Many people manage to do it on less than £5000, without spending more than they can afford, or regretting their choices. Here are some great tips to help you to get married on a budget.

wedding on a budget

Prioritise

If you’ve always wanted a band, look here, to find one. If the honeymoon means more than the wedding, go for it. If you want a big meal, or something a little different food wise, have it. Just make cuts elsewhere. Break your budget down into sections, assigning money to every part of your wedding. Spend less on the things that aren’t important to you, and more on your priorities.

Don’t Be A Slave to Tradition

You don’t have to have flowers, just because it’s the tradition. You don’t have to have wedding cars or fancy invites. You certainly don’t need save the date cards or centrepieces. Don’t feel like you have to have everything that everyone else does. If these things are important to you, that’s fine. If they’re not, they are great places to save money.

Get Married on a Monday in November

Venues, entertainers, caterers and even hairdressers could charge you more on Saturdays in the summer. Weddings in the winter and mid-week are often much cheaper than summer weekend weddings.

It’s also worth skipping the word “wedding” when you speak to suppliers. This little word could inflate costs massively. Just tell them that you are planning a party if possible.

It’s Who You Know

You probably know loads of people that could help. It’s time to call in favours or to ask people for help, instead of wedding presents. Ask yourself if you know anyone that could bake a cake, or DJ your reception. Are there any photographers on your friends’ list that could give you a discount?

wedding on a budget

Keep Your Number Small

When it comes to a wedding, people cost money. Every person that you invite costs you money in food, invitations, favours, and drinks. A wedding with 100 guests is much more costly than one with 50.

When it comes to your guest list, don’t fall into the “If I invite her, I have to invite him” trap. You don’t have to invite anyone. It’s your wedding. Instead, ask yourself if you’d buy them a meal usually, if not, do you really need them at your wedding?

Reasons Why You Should Start Saving Now To Better Your Family’s Future

saving for familys future
Working towards the future, there are all kinds of goals we might have in mind for our family. Invariably, many of these goals will be centered around our finances, because if we don’t have the money in our bank accounts, we might inhibit our future and our family’s future later on.

By setting saving goals early on, you can work towards bettering your family’s future today, for the benefit all of you.

#1: Saving for those nice-to-have things your family wants

You don’t need money to have a good time with your family, but let’s admit it, a bit of cash in our pockets certainly helps. Set goals for something specific then, such as those bucket list travel destinations you have in mind, or on home improvements, such as a games room for you and the kids, and you will all benefit. Memories will be created, fun will be had, and you will create bonding moments that will strengthen your relationships.

#2: Save your money for those important life events that may affect your family

Your daughter’s wedding? Your children’s college fees? Moving your family to a new home? Some of these saving goals may not be set in stone at the moment, but they might be one day. The sooner you start saving your money, the more you will have to support yourself and your children when these life events start becoming a reality.

#3: Save money to support yourself after your retirement

You don’t want to be financially dependent on your children when you are older, so you really do need to consider your retirement, no matter how far away it might be. By doing so, you won’t have to carry on working, you will be able to enjoy your retirement, and if you need extra care as you get older, you will be able to afford care homes such as Porthaven instead of landing yourself on your children’s doorstep.

#4: Save money to pay off your debts

If you are forever burdened by debt, you might not have the means to buy those nice-to-have things for your family, or for those important life events that may happen en route. You won’t have the means to put a lot of money into your retirement fund either, and that will limit your lifestyle later on. Debt can inhibit you in lots of different ways, so to ensure you aren’t beholden to them forever, start to put extra money into your savings to clear your debts, and use the debt advice here to climb out of the debt pit sooner.

#5: Save money for those emergency situations

Ideally, you should have two saving accounts: one account for your expected saving goals, and another for those life events that are unexpected. Your car might break down, for example, or you might lose your job. These events can eat into your regular savings, and that can scupper your family’s short and long-term future. Therefore, set up an emergency fund for those ‘just in case’ moments, and despite the personal setbacks, you might be able to soften the financial blow.

So, have you set up a savings account yet? We hope we have given you sufficient incentive here for you to do so. Shop around your local banks if you haven’t already done so, consider the advice here, and then start putting money away. Your family’s future depends on it!

Can You Run A Business Through Ebay?

Long story short: yes you can! But there’s going to be quite a bit of legwork involved, considering the auctioning platform you’re using and the lack of traditional packaging to send your items off in. And those are just a couple of the main worries you’re going to have to think about!

Ebay is a great site for getting rid of your clutter and making a few pounds off of your forgotten old goods, and because of this, it’s incredibly popular amongst the family generation. So if you’re looking to bulk out your income a little, and open up a business via an very well established platform, here’s a few more things to consider.

Can you take plenty of professional photos?

ebay selling taking photos

Your photo’s need to be a good as you possibly can get them so your items stand out int he crowd!

You’ll Need a Permanent Shipping Option

If you’re planning to take your ebay account full term with some business ideas, then you’re going to have to consider just how much money the shipping costs are going to take out of you. They make up a huge portion of your profits margin, as most ebay customers won’t place a bid with you if they’re responsible for the shipping, and there’s no free option!

Remember, there’s quite a few couriers on the market, so trying to find a long term ebay courier can be hard, but it’s not impossible, even as a small business.

Be sure to shop around for the best quotes out there, and make sure you’re always getting the bang for your buck – if you need both big and small delivery, and you need to be able to ship internationally as well, you’re going to need to fork out for bigger contract terms. And you’re going to want some kind of contract with the courier of your choosing, as you’ll be using them a lot in the foreseeable future!

You’re Going to Need Feedback

Even before you start running your account as a business, you’re going to need some feedback from the people you’ve already sold to, as it helps to build a much better sense of trust between you and anyone surfing the ebay search engine. Sellers come from all over the world, have few regulations put upon them, and therefore you have to rely on the word of others.

Ebay puts a huge emphasis on buyer/seller feedback, and both giving and receiving this whenever a transaction occurs is standard practice on the site, so it’s only natural that you’re going to need some good feedback before you even get started. So be sure to use your account as a casual seller before you properly set up shop, and try to get at least 20 positive reviews before you move into making it a proper side hustle.

Running a business through ebay can be a hard option to set up, but if you’ve got the items to sell, as well as the reviews to back you up, you’re well on to a winner here. It’s an approachable business model, so be sure to use it!

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