Money Saving Tips

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Debt, Staying out of Debt

My bills are mounting and my income doesn’t quite live up to my outgoings, so how can I get that sparkling debt management plan that some people have in place. For most this is a quandary and one which increasingly becomes an issue for a lot of UK families and car owners. With budgets spiralling out of control and costs of everyday spending increasing it’s never been so important an issue for many us of.

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Bad Credit, Quick Fix

So you have a bad credit history and a low credit score, ok, so what can you do to patch it up and make it better?
If your credit score is low you may find that getting a loan in the future could be problematic so here is some quick tips that will go a long way to helping you to re-establish a better credit score.

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What is a Credit Score?

Many people have asked me two keys questions: What is a credit report and what information is held on there, well let’s get straight to the point. Your credit score is extremely important and can change based on what you have done in the past and what you do now, it gives lenders a snapshot of how a reliable person you are if they approved a loan or credit card.
There are currently three companies who use information to compile a file on you and your financial history that will be used by companies when you apply for credit. These are Experian, Call Credit and Equifax. Your credit report will contain a wealth of information on your past financial history and give you a credit score that lenders use to identify if you are a reliable borrower. But what does your credit report actually contain about you?

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12 Tips for Cheaper Car Insurance

Hang on to your money and save your wallet from premature slim lining with our top 12 tips for getting cheaper car insurance. Saving money is always top of our agenda and if there is a way to save money then it’s got to be worth a try.

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Pay Gap, Watch the Gap?

I’m a woman doing the same job as my male counterpart but am I getting the same pay? Many women argue that even today this is still not the case despite the Governments promises to make pay equal between the sexes.
There still seems to be a pay gap of up 20% with women having to work until March to get the same amount of pay a man gets in January in some cases in the UK. The Women’s Equality Part (WE) has been fighting on behalf of all women for years and has in part been successful in reducing this pay issue however has it been as successful as it could be we ask? With 45 years of shouting out and making as much noise on this issue as possible it is still a problem in a country that you would think is westernized enough to register that this is just not fair. The Government has issued a mandatory league table to identify which of our companies has addressed the pay divide that has been in the limelight with the Equal Pay Act  since its birth the 1970’s although this data may not become publically available until 2018.

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Puzzling Private Pensions Advice

Do I need a private pension? Well yes, many believe you should if you want to retire at an age you want to plan for and get an income high enough for you to live comfortably and enjoy your retirement years, after all, you’ve worked long and hard for it so why not put plans into place to get the money you want to have in your ‘party years’.
Many have opted for a workplace pension with new guidelines in place by the Government so get employers to sign up to looking after their employees when it comes to retirement but if you haven’t got a workplace pension then you seriously need to think about a private pension instead. You’ll still get your State pension but having a private pension or workplace pension in place allows you to top up what you will get.

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Losing Out on New Pension Rules?

Ahhh! You thought you had your state pension sussed only to find there has been yet again another change to the rules and this one could affect millions with many facing losing out. Lots of people may find that they won’t get the full flat rate £155 they expected. The Governments new changes which came into effect April 2016 looked set to give anyone who retires and who has paid the full National Insurance Contribution would get the new flat rate amount. In reality this appears to be a rather puzzling and complex conundrum that many can’t get their head around and could end up getting much less than what they first thought.

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Marriage Allowance

Hurrah for the Governments new marriage boon, there’s now more reason why getting spliced can net you a tidy sum with a £432 Tax break! This change is the Governments way of rewarding married couple who work. Think of it as a wedding gift from them to you.
So this is how it goes – If you are married or in a Civil Partnership, one of you earns less than £11’000 (yes, that also means if you earn diddly squat) and the other one earns between £11’000 and £43’000 then you can claim Marriage Allowance.  This Allowance lets you transfer your personal allowance i.e. how much Tax you have to pay on your earnings to your partner of they earn more than  you which in turn reduced their Tax bill by up to £220 a year (April 6th to April 5th the following year). This new change even lets you do this if you live abroad or receiving a State Pension!

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State Pensions | The Basics

Getting into a pickle with your pension? Fret no more; let’s get started with a few basics. Rules on State pension changed in April 2016 and these new rules can take some time in getting to grips with how if may affect you and your pension amount. Men born after 6th April 1951 and women who were born after 6th April 1953 will be affected by these new changes.

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Self Employed and NIC’s (National Insurance Contributions)

Self-employed pension headaches

If you are self-employed you’ll already be paying your own tax and have a list as long as your arm of your financial obligations but one thing that can easily be missed off the list is National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s).

By paying NIC’s you’ll be ensuring that you are entitled to certain benefits such as a State Pension when you retire, Maternity Allowance and Bereavements benefits as well as Contributions based Job seekers allowance should you become unemployed later on in life. So it’s important to keep on top of things to make sure you don’t end up losing out later on. 

As a Self- employed worker you would have paid into either a Class 2 or Class 4 NIC’s. Class 2 contributions is for those who have a yearly profit of £5965 or more, if your profits are £8060 or more than you would have paid into Class 4. Although it is worth nothing that from 2018 Class 2 Contributions are set to be abolished, according to the 2016 Budget in March and will be looking into changing the Class 4 to include benefit contributions too. Earned less than these amounts? Then you could pay Class 3 contributions which are a voluntary National Insurance contribution to make sure there are no gaps in your record.

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