Can I Spend Less and be Healthy?

It is often felt that in order to be healthier we will need to spend more money. The idea of gym membership, personal trainers, exercise classes, health foods and special diets conjures up the idea that we will have to pay out lots of money. Of course, if you do employ all of these things the you will have to pay out for them and this could mean that you will end up paying out a lot more money than you are at the moment. However, there are things that we can do which will help us to improve our health and will not cost us lots more money.  

Cut Back on Unhealthy Food

We all buy food of course, but lots of the food sold in supermarkets and restaurants is not all healthy. This means that we could be buying food that we do not really need. For example, good marketing has convinced us that it is essential to snack between meals, when a few generations ago no one snacked between meals. We are also told that if we do not have foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar then we are not treating ourselves when these foods are not a treat for our body at all. Therefore, it can be possible for us to cut out some of the unhealthy foods that we have and not replace them with anything so we will save money. It can be a useful exercise to actually note down all of the foods that we eat that are extra to our meals – so puddings, snacks etc and note the cost. It could be interesting to see how much they cost and that could help you to be motivated to give some of them up. Of course, it is very hard giving up foods that we really like, but if we can limit them a little but then we can easily become healthier without spending so much money.

Embrace Opportunities to Exercise

There are lots of opportunities for us to exercise in our day without having to pay out. For example, we could walk to work, walk to children to school or walk to the shop. We can take stairs instead of lifts and walk around when we are sending texts or making phone calls. We could also take longer routes when we are walking about in the day and just be a bit more aware of how long we are sitting down for. When we are watching TV we can get up each break and walk around and things like this. Just small changes like this can be easy to slowly implement and completely free to do.

Use Free Meditation Apps

Looking after our mental health is important too and meditation can be a way that can help a lot of people. There are a lot of different meditation apps available which we could try out and many of them are free or have free trials which means that you will not have to pay for them. They can help to guide you to relax more which can have a big impact on health.

Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is also something that many of us should address to help our general health. Getting enough sleep is tricky for a lot of people as many do not want to make the time to do it. It is important to do this and to try to get a good quality sleep. By having a peaceful bedroom where you can relax and not using screen too close to bedtime as well as being comfortable and warm but not too hot will all help.

Should I Save up for a Holiday or Borrow the Money?

We all enjoy taking a holiday from time to time and it can be really beneficial for our mental health as well as helping us bond with family or friends. However, it can be expensive to do this and this will mean that you will have to think about how you are going to pay for it. You may decide that you will save up for the holiday or you might borrow the money, if you do not have any spare. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these approaches and it is a good idea to think about both of them so that you can make the right decision for you.

Advantages of Borrowing

  • If you borrow the money for the holiday it means that you will be able to get your money pretty quickly. You will normally find that arranging a loan will not take that long. It tends to take longer if you want to borrow more money but you should be able to get the money that you need within a couple of days.
  • Once you have the loan, you will be able to repay it in instalments normally which means that you will be able to spread the cost across a series of months, making it more manageable.
  • You may find that you do not have the self-discipline to save up and so your only choice is to borrow. You may find that repaying a payday loan is easier for you than saving up regularly because you know that there will be consequences if you do not do it.
There are many advantages to saving up.

Advantages of Saving Up

  • If you save up for the holiday then you will be able to save the cost of the loan. All borrowing has a cost and this will mean that your holiday is more expensive. It could mean that it makes it too expensive for you to be able to go on or that you will have to change your plans so that you take a cheaper holiday which may not be the one that he really wanted to go on.
  • You might also appreciate the holiday more if you have waited and saved up for it. Sometimes when we have made a lot of effort to save up for something it can help it feel a lot more special and we remember it more and enjoy it more.

So, you can see that it is not that simple. If you borrow the money it will mean that you will be able to get the money quickly and take your holiday soon, but there is a cost which means that the holiday will be more expensive if you pay for it this way. However, some people find that they are not good at saving so borrowing might be suited better to them but those people that enjoy saving up and find they enjoy things better if they have saved for them would find saving up is a much better option. Therefore, you will need to think about what sort of person you are with regards to saving and borrowing and this will help you to decide which option will be better for you. You will also need to consider how quickly you want to go on holiday and whether the time you go is important. Also, make sure that you find out how much it will cost and this will allow you to calculate the additional cost of the holiday if you borrow money to pay for it so that you can decide whether you think that it will give you good value for money. However, make sure that you find out how much the repayments will be and make sure that you are confident that you will be able to afford them.

Is a Tracker Mortgage Worthwhile?

There are many types of mortgage and it is worth understanding the differences between them before you choose one for you. Whether you are looking for your first mortgage or thinking of switching mortgages it is really important to make sure that you are able to use the mortgage that is most suitable to you. This should mean that you will get the best value for money form that mortgage. However, if you do not know what the mortgages are, then it will make it very difficult for you to choose between them. Many people understand the difference between the main two mortgage types – fixed and variable, but there tends to be some confusion when it comes to tracker mortgages. They are less common but still good to consider. Therefore it is worth finding out more about them and how they work.

What is a Tracker Mortgage?

A tracker mortgage is a type of variable mortgage. This means that the interest that you pay will vary and therefore it could go up or down and this means that the amount of money you pay each month will go up and down as well. Unlike a normal variable mortgage though, the interest rate is made up of two parts. There will be a fixed percentage that you always pay which will cover the mortgage companies’ costs and then you will also pay the base rate on top of that. The base rate is the mortgage rate set by the Bank of England. This rate has the potential to change each month as a panel of employee from the Bank of England will discuss what it should be. They generally will adjust the rate according to inflation, as they have a government target to keep inflation at a certain level and they will adjust the interest rate to try to influence inflation. Therefore, the rate of interest of the tracker mortgage could potentially change on a monthly level in line with what the Bank of England does.

Who Does it Suit the Best?

Some people like to know exactly how much they will be paying each month with regards to interest and they will benefit most from a fixed rate mortgage. However, if there are people that like the idea of a variable rate mortgage, because of the flexibility (you are tied in to a fixed rate) and the fact that it is often cheaper, then a tracker could be worth considering. There is one main advantage and that is because when the base rate is reduced, your mortgage rate will immediately go down. This is something that will never happen with a fixed rate and is not guaranteed to happen with a general variable rate mortgage. This means that there is a big chance that the tracker will be cheaper. Of course, as soon as rates go up, you will have to pay more with your tracker mortgage. However, it is very likely that any lender will put their rates up when the base rate goes up anyway, so that they can male more money, they are far less likely to put the rates down.

Therefore, if you want to try to take advantage of falling interest rates then a tracker mortgage could work for you. Obviously, you will need to check the priced and compare them to other types of mortgages to work out how they compare and whether they do look as if they will save you money or not. You will also be wise to think about what you think might happen to interest rates in the near future so that you can decide whether you will want to take advantage of them decreasing or protect yourself from them increasing. This is not easy to work out but if rates are low they are more likely to rise and vice versa, although you can never guarantee it.

Easy Steps to Repaying Your Mortgage Early

Many people like the idea of repaying their mortgage early. This is because it means that it will be cheaper as they will be paying interest for less time. It also means that they will no longer need to find the money each month to make the repayments and can use it for other things or put it into a savings account. Some people find that the burden of having a mortgage hanging over them is stressful and so repaying it early can help with that. However, there is a big difference between wanting to do this and having the resources available to actually do it. There are things that you can try though, which will help you to have more money available to make overpayments.

Switch to a Cheaper Mortgage

The first useful step is to switch to a cheaper mortgage. This will allow you to be able to pay less in interest on the mortgage and so you will have more money available for the actual repayment. This will be easier for some mortgages than others though. You will find that there are some mortgages where you might be tied in for a particular time. This is most likely when you have a fixed rate mortgage. If your mortgage is like this then you will not be able to move lenders until this time is up and you may even need to stay with them afterwards too. Soe will charge a fee if you switch. This can just be a small administration fee but with some lenders it will be a significant amount of money. It is therefore worth checking this to start with and seeing if there is a charge and if there is then working out of it is worth paying considering hat you might be able to save. Make sure that you compare all lenders that you can find and then you will know exactly who is the cheapest.

Use Your Savings

If you have some savings then it might be a good idea to use these to repay some or all of the mortgage. This will normally be well worthwhile, bit it will depend on how much interest you are getting on your savings. Normally savings interest is very much lower than mortgage interest so it is worth using the savings to repay. However, there may be some cases where this is not the case and it is important for you to check this out. So, find out what the interest rate if on your savings and what it is on your mortgage and compare. Do bear in mind that there may be other fees to pay with the mortgage too. You may have to buy insurance, such as life insurance to go alongside the mortgage as well, which you would not otherwise have and that could add to the mortgage expenses.

Pay Less for What you Buy

It is well worth comparing the prices on the things that you are buying to see whether there are things that you could buy for less. For example, many of us stick with the same mobile phone provider, insurers, electricity providers etc, year after year but if we compared prices we could find that we are paying a lot more than necessary and that we should consider switching so that we can pay less. It is well worth comparing the prices on everything that we are buying and that could help us to have more money available to put towards paying off the mortgage without having to buy less,

Use All Spare Money for Mortgage

It is wise to make sure that all of the spare money that we have is put towards the mortgage. Therefore, if you have money left in your account after buying essentials, then it can be wise to transfer it to your mortgage account so that it can go towards repaying it.

Top Tips for Adding to Your Savings Account

Many of us would like to increase the amount of money that we have in our savings account, but it is not always that easy to be able to do this. We might feel quite determined, but by the time the bills are paid, there may just seem to never be any money left to be able to afford to put any in a savings account. There are things that we can try though, which might help such as the things suggested below.

Put Money in Savings First

It can be wise to consider putting money into a savings account just after you get paid. Set up a transfer for some money to go in. This will mean that you will not forget about doing it and you will not accidently spend the money on other things. Most of us will check our bank account to see how much money we have before we draw out money or spend money. If the money is not there, because it is in the savings account, then we may not be tempted to spend so much. Of course, if you need money, then it will be in the savings account for you to draw out if you need it.

Compare Prices

Many people always buy the same things and do not think about comparing the prices on what they are buying. This can be a problem because it means that we are not checking how much we are paying for items and how that compares to alternatives. It can therefore be a good idea to see whether you can take a step back and think about how much you are paying and if you can pay less. This could be through buying from cheaper retailers and through buying cheaper brands. If you can do this with lots of things, both goods and services, you should find that you will soon be paying out less money. This will allow you to have some extra money available to put into your savings account.

Look for Ways to Earn More

It can also be a good idea to look out for ways to earn more money. For some people this can be easier than spending less, perhaps because they really like spending or because they are already spending a minimum amount. It might be tricky to think of ways to earn more, but there are lots of things that you could try. If you have things at home that you no longer want or need then you could try selling them at a car boot sale, on a social media group, online auction or something like this. By selling items that you no longer use it means that you will be able to get some money that you can immediately put into your savings account, it will be tax free and you will be able to declutter. Just be careful that you allow for any costs when you are selling items.

You could also see whether you could make money from your home. This may only be possible if you own your home, but it could be worth finding out if you can do it as a renter. Things you could try are getting a lodger, providing a bed and breakfast service, renting out attic or garage space as storage or even renting out your driveway. These will provide you with an income which could mean that you will be able to put money regularly into your savings account.

You could also see whether you will be able to work more hours in the job you do now or take on a second job working hours you do not in your current one. This can be tricky though, you may get really tired or find that you do not have time to fit In everything else. However, a few extra hours here and there could ne manageable and useful.