Most first-time buyers don’t plan beyond the down payment, but that’s just the beginning. There are also: Closing costs (which average between 2 percent and 5 percent of the purchase price, according to Zillow). Prepaid taxes. Prorated mortgage interest. Homeowners association fees, if applicable. One year of homeowners insurance, which averages more than $1,000. There are also moving costs, repairs and upgrades you might want to make, decorating, and landscaping. You’ll also likely find the within a few months of moving in, you may need an array of tools and equipment, ranging from a lawn mower to a power drill to snow blower. It’s a lot to think about, but with some planning and strict saving, you can realize your dream of homeownership sooner than you might think. :woohoo: :woohoo:
British credit card holders owe an average of £2,000 on their plastic. To clear a debt of £2,000 on a card with an interest rate of 17% will take two years assuming a monthly repayment of £100. To clear that £2,000 with a monthly payment of a more affordable £30 (at 17%) will take 17 YEARS. But people are turning to other ways of borrowing, including payday lenders, friends, family, store cards and other loans for cars - even day-to-day living costs. According to one survey, average household debt now stands at around £13,000. To clear a debt of £13,000 at a modest 6% interest with a monthly repayment of £100 will also take around 17 years to clear. We’ve run out of money. :woohoo:
There are, however, plenty of simple ways to make significant savings on your regular spending that could clear your debt in less than a year. Here are... This is Money's top 50 – updated – money-saving tips. These tips may appear light-hearted but are deadly serious. Unless you make the mistake of buying a train ticket in Britain on the day of travel, the most expensive item you are ever likely to buy is your home. If you're not in the privileged position to pay cash, make sure the loan you use to finance it is the best available. For example, if you are paying your lender's full standard variable rate (SVR) you are probably paying hundreds of pounds a year more than you need to. :side: :side:
There are thousands of deals to choose from and while it is vital to check the small print for hidden catches, this is a relatively easy way to save a lot of money. Remember: loyalty to your bank benefits your bank, not you. Even better, if you can afford to make overpayments on your mortgage, you'll clear your debt several years early and make massive savings. For example, if you borrow £100,000 at 6% over 25 years, you'll pay it back at £643 a month. The total charge for credit will be £93,000. But if you can overpay by £100 a month you'll clear the loan in less than 19 years, giving you 6 years of mortgage-free living and saving a staggering £25,000 in interest. :oops: :oops:
Clear your credit card debt! One of the golden rules of financial planning is to clear your most expensive debts first, in other words your credit cards. OK, credit cards offer a convenient way to pay for goods and services but if you can't clear the balance every month, consider a low-cost loan as an alternative. Do the sums: a credit card debt (APR 16.8%) of £2,500 over five years will cost £1,212 in interest. A loan at 7.8% will cost £527. A saving of £685. Saving: £100s. Cut the cost of your fuel bills! Because official inflation calculations don’t include the price of things that go up, energy companies are allowed to increase bills by 10.4% whenever they feel like it. :S :S
They try to do it every time you blink. Average gas and electricity bills now stand at around £1,500 a year. In exchange for one fifth of a state pension, you get completely incomprehensible bills and guff from the chief executive about how everyone else is to blame. But that doesn't mean you need to be ripped off. If you’ve never dumped your original supplier you can still save more than £300 a year. If you have switched before, you can, as a result of this flawed privatisation, switch again to any number of companies that will charge you about the same. If you believe that gas and electricity prices won't fall in the near future, you can fix your bills for up to four years. :) B)
Consider installing a water meter!!! We take our tap water for granted. And why not? The companies behind the supply exist to make a profit, we pay them to supply water and have every right to expect it to flow from our taps. But if it doesn't rain the water companies have to import bottles of Evian and put up prices. It costs 2p to flush the loo - but that rises to about two quid if you have to use Perrier. So you may want to consider the possibility of installing a meter. If you have a big home with few occupants you may be surprised to learn you could halve your annual bill. Saving: £100s. :whistle: :whistle:
Cut your home phone bills! BT used to be called British Telecommunications but shortened it after a survey found that only 4% of school leavers could spell telecommunications, while 6% could spell BT - even if they believed it was a sandwich without the lettuce. It was also shortened to reflect its habit of charging more and more for less and less. It owned the infrastructure it could do what it liked. If you must use your phone there are scores of cheaper alternatives that package your telephone, television and broadband access, some that offer low-cost alternatives using your existing BT line. :) ;)
Consider a pay-as-you go mobile. If you’ve ever argued that that a mobile phone is a necessity rather than a luxury – great news, you win! This year it was reported that statistically everyone in Senegal and Algeria now has a mobile phone. Something everyone has loses its luxury status. What can end up being completely over the top, is the type of phone you can’t afford and the packages of minutes, texts and that internet access measured in megas that no one understands which are by-and-large sold by liars. Point is, if you hand over £50 a month to your mobile phone company, that's £600 a year - or around £1,000 of your gross salary. But you can buy phones for less than a tenner and top up with a pay- as-you-go vouchers for not much more. ;) :angry: :P
Make a shopping list. If you’re not organised or haven’t got a pen, this one is really hard. But stick with it and you can eat well and save enough for a holiday without thinking about it. Part of the problem is the power of the supermarkets. These giant museums of food have spent millions on tricks to make you put stuff you don’t want in giant trolleys, keep in the fridge for a week and then throw away. We each chuck out nearly £500 of food each a year. That’s moronic but that’s the supermarket business model. Make a shopping list. Dig out the cookery books, plan a few meals and only buy what you need. :whistle: :S
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