What To Do If You’ve Received A Cash Windfall

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Cash is the basic monetary unit that makes the world go round, in a sense! Without cash, we wouldn’t be able to buy things, and would have to resort to bartering for goods and services!

Most people get along in life just fine with the money that they earn through their employment with some folks obviously earning more than others! So it can be a welcome surprise if you are just “managing” in a financial sense, and you benefit from a decent cash windfall!

Whether you have inherited some money from a recently-deceased relative or friend, or are the beneficiary of an investment that has matured, if that new stack of cash is burning a hole in your pocket, what should you do with it?

Rather than flying to Las Vegas and blowing it all on poker games and slot machines, there are some practical things you can do with the extra money. Here are some ideas to help you:

Pay off your debts

People often say that it is better to pay off your debts than to save up money at the same time, and I agree with them.

Because the money you owe will most likely have interest added onto the balance, the longer you have outstanding balances, the more money you will owe. If your cash windfall isn’t sufficient to pay off all of your debts, pay the ones with the highest amount of interest; these are usually credit cards.

Fix your car

One thing that George from Hilton Garage recommends you do is to use some of the money to fix your car if it needs repair work.

Most of us rely upon our cars to get to work and back each day, and the last thing we want to do is spend ages going on public transport and potentially ending up late for work, as a result. Of course, there should be a limit to the amount you spend on your repairs.

If the required repairs exceed the total value of the car, it is wiser to trade in your car for a newer, more-reliable model and use some of your cash windfall to pay for it.

Fix your house

Anyone that owns a house will have some repairs that need completing, such as plastering, guttering, or even double-glazing.

Most of us put these jobs off because they cost a lot of money, but now that you have a cash windfall you could put that money to good use and repair your home, whilst increasing its value in the process.

Invest your money

Would you rather make your money work for you? If so, you should consider investing it. There are all sorts of commodities that you can invest in.

One popular way that people invest their spare cash is by lending it to others through peer-to-peer lending websites such as Zopa. The type of risk category you lend to determines how much interest you make, with higher risk borrowers proving to be the highest interest earners.

 

Life Insurance: Do You Need It?

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Life insurance isn’t a necessity for everybody. However, if you have children, a partner, or another relative that depends on your income to cover the mortgage or other living expenses, then you need this kind of insurance. In the event of your death, the life insurance will provide for your family. Read on to learn more:

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Photo taken from Flickr

Life insurance can pay your dependants a lump sum, or give them regular payments if you die. Certain life insurance policies run for a fixed period of time, but will only pay out if you die within that period. There’s the option to get a whole of life policy that will pay out no matter when you die, providing you keep up with your premium payments.

There are some things to consider when it comes to life insurance. This insurance only covers you in the event of death – if you can’t provide for your family due to illness or injury, it won’t pay out.

You need to be sure of the terms of the life insurance policy you take out. Some may refuse to pay out if you die from drug/alcohol abuse, and you might even have to pay extra if you take part in a risky sport.

There are policies available with other types of cover, for example, critical illness and permanent disability.

A life insurance policy is suitable for people who have dependents like children, or a partner/relative who depend on their income. The money your family may get from the government wouldn’t be much at all if anything, so if you want to provide for your family in the event of your death you need to take out insurance.

The good thing about life insurance is that it can be good value for money if you’re young and healthy. You may only need to pay a few pence per day to provide your family with enough money to live on in the event of your death. Make sure you shop around first though – IH Life Insurance offer good value for money.

You wouldn’t dream of running off and leaving your children, partner, or a defendant relative with nothing to support themselves, but that’s exactly what it’ll be like if you die without life insurance. You may not know it, but your family will struggle not only emotionally, but financially without you. In order to ensure they continue to have the best life possible without you, you need to take the appropriate steps to protect them.

Who Doesn’t Need Life Insurance?

If you’re single with no dependants, then you may not need life insurance. However, you might want to put enough money aside to help with your funeral. It’s up to you!

Hopefully this guide will have helped you decide whether or not you need life insurance. Thinking about dying is never pleasant, but if we have dependants then we must do it for them. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments – thanks for reading!

 

Essential Motorhome Insurance Advice

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Whether you like it or not, you need insurance. If you are a motorhome owner, it is imperative that you ensure that you have the correct insurance policy in order to protect you and your motorhome. There are a number of considerations that you will need to think about prior to purchasing a new insurance policy. If you are a new motorhome owner and you don’t know where to start, this guide will give you practical advice in helping you choose the correct policy for you.

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With thanks to Chris Potter for the image

You need to ensure that you have the best plan. The right plan will allow you to get the most from your motorhome. After all, what is the point in spending a lot of money on insurance if you are not covered for all the things that you should be. What is more, your insurance may be null and void if you do not take out the correct policy, so not only will you be out of pocket but you could also be breaking the law.

 

  1. Never insure your motorhome under a normal car policy. You will be within a legal framework, but your motorhome isn’t a car. It needs specialist insurance. You can compare campervan insurance quotes at www.motorhomeinsurance.org.uk.
  2. Don’t purchase an insurance policy on price alone. While you may be getting a cheaper rate, you may not be covered for all eventualities. This means that while you save money in the short term, you may be out of pocket in the long term. After all, if you don’t have the right policy you could prove to make a very costly mistake.
  3. Do not assume that your policy covers everything. You need to read the documentation thoroughly and ensure that your cover meets your expectations. If it doesn’t, you can change your policy accordingly.
  4. As you well know, motorhomes are expensive. So, if you are looking at insurance make sure that you go for fully comprehensive cover. While fully comprehensive is more expensive than third-party, fire and theft cover, you will save yourself from a lot of financial heartache in the future. Spend a little now and see a return in the future.
  5. As there is a wide variety of motorhome types, you need to ensure that your vehicle is covered under current insurance policies. Talking to a specialist motorhome insurance company will help you with this. You cannot put a price on expert advice.
  6. One key point to remember is that if you are planning on travelling abroad that your motorhome insurance covers you for this. Some people prefer to use their motorhomes for domestic purposes only. However, if you are planning on travelling the world in yours, you need to make sure that you take out the right insurance.

One of the main things to remember when insuring your motorhome is that you have the correct cover for all eventualities. Do not be lured in by cheap introductory prices. This may result in you not being covered for every eventuality. While you make small savings now, this mistake could prove to be costly in the future. Of course, insurance is one of those necessary evils but do endeavour to take the correct policy out to avoid making expensive mistakes.

How to buy Cheap gas for Your Business

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All business owners should try to reduce their overheads, so finding a cheap, suitable energy supplier is important. Usually, electricity and gas is purchased well ahead of time, and energy companies speculate on the wholesale price movement. Consequently, when the energy comes to be sold, no two suppliers are in the same financial situation, so they charge different amounts.

As a result, to find the most competitive energy rates, it is wise to research the prices of several different suppliers, prior to choosing one. Thankfully, the world wide web has made this a simple task, because an energy supplier comparison website is the best way to find a good deal. A variety of suppliers and energy plans are offered throughout the UK. On many websites, you can type in your postcode, and it will list the suppliers that are local to you.  Have a look here for example: http://www.businessenergystore.com/half-hourly.

Another factor that can influence your choice of energy plan is the quantity of energy your company uses. Some energy firms will request a recent copy of your gas bill, to help them assess your present energy consumption. Some energy plans feature fixed standing fees, along with a reduced per unit price for electricity and gas. This is counterproductive for companies that use a relatively small amount of energy, but beneficial for companies with high energy consumption. Fixed priced plans allow businesses to know in advance how much their energy bills will be, so they can budget accordingly. For some business owners, this is considerably more convenient.

Occasionally, after using a comparison website, you may find that the most suitable energy plan for your business is through a provider that you are unfamiliar with. However, most of these websites display links to customer feedback scores as well. This means that you can compare different energy suppliers, based on price and customer ratings. In a worse case scenario, if your provider fails to maintain your energy supply, Ofgem has introduced measures to ensure that you are compensated.

Certainly, you should not experience any blips with your energy supply. The same cables and pipes will be used to deliver your gas and electricity. Therefore, when conducting your research into different energy plans, you can rest assured that there will be no power outages, if you do opt to change suppliers.

Although shopping around to ensure that you are getting value for money is important, reducing your energy consumption is a more effective way of lowering your energy costs. Installing half hourly meters on your business premises enables you to regularly check your energy usage. This way, you can identify money saving opportunities.

Half hourly meters measure power consumption every thirty minutes, and relay this data to your energy supplier. As a result, your readings are constantly updated, and no manual intervention is required. Best of all, you only have to pay for the power your company uses. The Business Energy Store, which was started by two brothers called Jonathan and Keith, specializes in the bespoke gas and half hourly markets.

Why Residential Landlord Insurance is Important

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It seems that many people have the same opinion on insurance that it is a necessary evil that we have to purchase. Changing your perception of insurance is the first thing that you need to do. As a landlord, you have certain responsibilities and a care of duty to your tenants. This is why landlords insurance is such an important factor when renting out property.

Should you have a buy-to-let property, you are naturally going to be keen on seeing a return on your investment. Sadly, not all tenants are well-behaved and law abiding. In the event that you have a particularly troublesome tenant, you are going to want to ensure that you insured so you do not see a loss on your most critical investment.

It is worth bearing in mind that while landlord insurance is not compulsory, and you are not breaking any laws by not having it, think about the reasons why you need it. The reason that you take out home insurance is as a precautionary measure. The same is with landlord insurance. By paying out a nominal fee every month, you are potentially saving yourself a small fortune in the long run. Similarly, can you afford to dip into your own savings to pay for any disrepair on the property? Discount landlord insurance is also available, so it may be worth doing some research before you purchase insurance.

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One key factor to remember is that home insurance and landlords insurance are very different things. If you are letting a property it is almost critical that you cover yourself with landlord insurance and not home insurance. While the cost may be higher, you will be entirely covered in the event that something goes wrong within the home. Sadly, a home insurance policy will become invalid if claimed upon by a landlord.

It may be wise to research the different types of insurance that are available to landlords. Certainly building cover is a sound investment, but taking out contents insurance may be a considerate waste of money. Contents insurance for landlords should only be taken out in the event that the property you are renting is furnished. It may be sensible to be covered by this kind of policy should you rent out homes that have white goods come with them as a standard. White goods are notoriously expensive and you do not want to face a huge bill to replace them in the event that something goes wrong while your property is being rented out.

Finally, as a landlord you have a responsibility to your tenants. In the event that something goes wrong within the home, do you have the financial backing to assist with their query? After all, the home is your investment, not theirs, so your tenant is going to be unlikely to fix the issues on your behalf. By taking out landlords insurance you can ensure that you are good landlord to your tenants and that you have financial assistance when you need it. Be a savvy landlord and take out the relevant policy today.

New Drivers: Here’s How To Drive Down The Cost Of Your Car Insurance!

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Perhaps the biggest benefit to learner drivers that have recently passed their driving test is that they can now go out and buy a car! It’s always great to go car shopping, because you get the opportunity to browse and test drive all sorts of different cars until you find “the one”.

As you will probably already know, in order to legally drive a car on public roads one of the things that you need to pay out for is car insurance. In a nutshell, car insurance is a legal requirement that entitles you to make a claim for theft or accidental damage, depending on the type of insurance policy you take out at the time.

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Image Credit: ** RCB **, via Flickr

Why is car insurance so high for new drivers?

It might not surprise you to learn that car insurance is generally dearer for new drivers on the road, especially if they are aged between 18 and 25 years old, as insurance companies deem such drivers as “high risk”.

Another reason that car insurance is significantly higher for new drivers is also down to insurance fraud. A minority of rogue drivers looking to make a quick buck stage car accidents or claim for injuries they don’t have in order to receive a large amount of compensation.

If you are struggling to work out how you can afford insurance for your car and you’ve only just passed your driving test, you are probably feeling somewhat depressed by now as it could potentially mean the difference between being able to drive your own car or not!

Luckily there are some tips to lower your car insurance premiums that insurance companies won’t openly tell you about (for obvious reasons)! Thanks to Driving Lessons Leeds for sharing these top tips with us.

Don’t buy a gas guzzler

When you are out shopping for your first car, it is important that you don’t opt for a model that will cost you a small fortune to insure! New drivers typically buy small cars such as city cars and superminis. Examples include the Fiat 500, Mini One and the Ford Fiesta.

If you had your eye on a Chevrolet Camaro, you would be better off waiting until you’ve either got a few years of claim-free driving experience under your belt, or you have won the lottery.

Not that most new drivers can afford to buy one, but it is worth noting that brand new cars cost more to insure than their used equivalents so even if you were thinking of buying a new one, it would be worth buying a model that’s at least 12 months old (plus you will miss out that on that massive depreciation hit that all brand new cars suffer from)!

Take an advanced driving course

Insurance companies love to use the excuse of “you’re an inexperienced driver” to justify charging you high premiums!

But did you know that many sympathetic car insurers will give you a discount on your car insurance policy if you can provide evidence that you have attended and successfully completed an advanced driving course?

 

How to claim back PPI

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If you’ve had a credit card, catalogue, car finance or overdraft in the past, there is a good chance you could successfully claim back PPI.

 

PPI means Payment Protection Insurance and was sold alongside financial products for a number of years and was designed to help if you were off work through sickness or lost your job through redundancy.

It has come to light that many PPI policies were mis-sold and all financial institutions have been ordered by the courts to repay the money if it is proved that the insurance was taken out following poor advice.

Over £12 billion has now been refunded and all the major banks have set aside large amounts of funds to cover the money which is still to be returned.

If you were sold PPI with any financial product, it is worth checking to see if you are eligible for your money to be refunded to you.

Check the details on the policy or if you don’t know if you had PPI, call or write to the relevant company. They will let you know. You can make a claim for an account which is still open or one which was closed some time ago.

The most important aspect to consider is whether you feel that PPI was mis-sold to you. If you were told or discover any of the following:

-        It was compulsory

-        you didn’t realise they had added it to the  finance package without your knowledge

-        you were sold something you didn’t need as you’re already covered elsewhere

-        you were self-employed, retired or unemployed

-        you had medical problems in the past

-        the provider has already been fined

then there is a strong possibility you have a case.

Telephone the lender and tell them you want a refund and the reason why. Some are now handling the issue directly over the phone which makes things easy to resolve. If not, there is a questionnaire to complete which has been issued by the Financial Ombudsman. Complete this and you will receive a reply. If you receive an offer, ensure they include all the money you are owed. If rejected, write to the Financial Ombudsman who will look to handle the case for you.  The Ombudsman is free to use and their role is to settle disputes between customers and companies.

If paying PPI has left you short each month and you now need to pay for an emergency situation such as a post-winter utility bill, you can look to redress the balance with a small loan until you hear about your refund.  Visit payday choice to compare payday loans as they understand that situations crop up in life where you need an injection of cash for a short amount of time.  Payday loans don’t include PPI, so you can rest assured that whilst you are dealing with your refund, you can relax and know the rest of your finances are covered.

PPI has been claimed back by millions of people so don’t delay if you feel that you are owed money.

 

How I Quit My Job and Became Stress-Free

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I know what you’re thinking: I hit the lottery and I was able to retire in a style I had never really expected. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen; otherwise, chances are I wouldn’t even be writing this article. However, many people these days are finding themselves fairly fed up with their extremely stressful jobs. This can be due to a wide variety of reasons, from a long commute to work and back home, to a very demanding and fairly aggravating boss, to excessive physical labour, which can literally wear you out. But it doesn’t mean that you have to continue with your present employment, especially if it’s wearing you down and keeping you from enjoying your leisure time, perhaps your family, or perhaps a night out at the local pub with your mates. Perhaps it’s time to explore some unusual jobs which can be extremely stress-free.

 

Have Beds, Will Test

Yes, this could truly be one of the most bizarre yet satisfying jobs you could ever imagine. How about being a professional bed tester? Many hotels, in an effort to provide their customers with the most rewarding experience, need to continually check how comfortable their beds are. They can’t necessarily rely on feedback from their clients, so some chains have begun creating positions for professional bed testers, who go around lying down on the job, so to speak, and reporting back as to which beds are acceptable and which need to be changed. As long as you have plenty of energy, and are not prone to falling asleep on the job, this could be just the thing you need.

Traveling the World in Your Swimsuit

Did you ever stop to think why some water parks provide more enjoyable rides than others? It is partly due to the fact that some organizations that have multiple water parks actually employ people to test their waterslides, to make sure that they are not only safe, but that they provide an entertaining experience for young and old alike. Yes, you have to travel the world testing waterslides all over the world, but hey, you get to wear suntan lotion most of the time and go to work in your swimsuit. It could be a lot worse. If the idea of sun and sand appeals to you, you might want to see if the position of caretaker for the 900 or so islands that surround the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is available. The last time I checked, the position was actually awarded to a British fellow out of over 35,000 applicants, but you never know. He might actually get bored by all of that natural beauty and decide to go do something else.

Leveraging the Power of Our Modern Economy

Granted, these are fairly unique situations, but they go to show that if you think a little outside the box, you might just find yourself a great job which has very little stress attached to it. Then again, you may have thought of setting up a recruitment agency, which is also not a bad idea. Getting yourself set up can be fairly simple, as long as you visit www.startupsimply.co.uk and learn about all the ways they can help you get up and running in no time at all. With the money you can generate, you can go try out the waterslides yourself.