How to Reduce the Costs of Public Transport?

If you travel a lot on public transport then you will certainly be aware of the rising prices. These will vary around the country but rises do have a tendency to go up and public transport tends to be dearer these days than driving in many cases. However, you may not be able to drive, not be able to afford a car or you may prefer the environmental benefits of using public transport. If this is the case, then you may be looking for ideas on how to get the costs down. There are different things that you can try.

Book in advance

With some journeys, particularly long journeys, it is a good idea to book in advance as you will get a discount. This is especially true for some train and coach travel. It is worth investigating this to see whether it will make a difference. If you travel short distances on a daily basis then this is less likely to be something that you will be able to do. Do contact the company you travel with though and check, as you never know what they may be able to offer you.

Booking transport in advance is a great way to save money.

Get a season ticket

Sometimes if you buy a season ticket it will enable you to travel for less. You might be able to buy a ten journey ticket and only pay for nine or for a ticket that lasts three months where you get some free journeys. These tickets may have restrictions and if you do not use them that often you can end up paying more rather than less. So make sure that you are completely sure of how the ticket needs to be used and whether it will be cheaper for you or not.

See if there are discounts

Sometimes certain groups of people might be bale to get discounts. For example, you might be able to buy a student, family or young persons railcard. You will have to pay for this but it will give you a discount on rail tickets. This means that if you travel a lot, then it could be worthwhile, but you will have to work it out and calculate whether it is worth getting. You will also find that you might get an a discount if you are young or old on a bus, as there is a young person and an old persons discount. You may have to prove your age though.

Travel off peak

It can often be more expensive to travel at peak times. This means that if you want to travel during rush hour, such as before 9am, then you will need to pay more than if you travel later in the day. Whether prices do vary like this will depend on the form of transport you use, so it is worth checking this out with the company that you travel with.

Walk or cycle

It can be worth thinking about whether you could walk or cycle instead. It might be possible to walk to a different bus stop, for example and pay less for your journey or to cycle to a train station rather than taking the bus there and save money that way. You may even consider walking or cycling for your whole journey and that will mean that you will not need to pay anything extra at all, assuming of course that you already own a bike. It can also mean that you will not be tied to a timetable which could be useful, with regards to your journey, working hours etc as well as the fact that you will get some exercise.

When Should I Start Saving for the Future?

Some of us think that it is a good idea to save for the future. Perhaps saving up for a deposit for a home, towards retirement or in case we lose our job might be something that some people might be saving up for. This means that perhaps we should all save up for the future. We may wonder though, when we should start to do this.

From birth

It might be that you think it could be a good idea to start saving money up from birth. Obviously, we can’t do that but we can do it for our children. We can open them up a child saver account, child trust fund or similar and start putting money into it. This can be money you regularly give them as parents, money they get as gifts or just odd bits of money they get from time to time. Some children will get given a lot more money than others but if you can start saving it, then it can start gaining interest and they will have some accumulated. This will be better than buying them toys and things when they are very young as they are unlikely to really need them. The money is likely to be far more useful as they get older.

Through childhood

As children get older they may start to want pocket money or be more likely to be given money as gifts rather than presents. This means that they will have opportunities to spend money on all sorts of things like sweets, comic, toys, books and games. However, as a parent you will also have the opportunity to talk to them about saving and the benefits of doing so, some parents choose to let their children decide, some suggest they spend half and save half, others gently encourage them to save everything. You will have to decide which approach you feel will be the most relevant for your child. If you cannot buy them many treats then you might like them to be able to treat themselves but if you can afford it you might think it is more valuable for them to save. It can get a bit awkward when relatives give them money and expect them to spend it on something, so you will have to decide how to deal with that as well.

Once we start work

Starting work is a good opportunity to start seriously saving. This is because we will have more money coming in than we have ever had before. If we are still living with parents then our expenses are unlikely to be really big so we will be able to save a lot of money. Of course, we might like to treat ourselves to all sorts of things and may also want to pay our way at home and give some money to our parents. However, if we can get into the habit at this point, of saving money then this can help us to build up a good pot of savings and get us into a routine of not spending everything we earn which can be a great habit for life.

As soon as possible

If you have not started saving yet, then starting right away is a good thing. Of course, if you have debts, then it could be better to pay those off first. These can be costly and repaying them early will mean that you will not have to pay out so much money in interest. However, you may find that the loan is not flexible and here is a fee for repaying it early. Make sure that you check and if it is very expensive to make early repayments (often called an early redemption fee) then it will be wise to save instead.

Does Having Savings Really Make a Difference?

If you have never had much in the way of savings, you may wonder whether it is really worth bothering. You might that that it will not be worth the hassle and you would rather spend the money than put it into a savings account. There are some people though, that have lots of savings and thing it is really worthwhile. They meticulously put money into savings each month and always make sure they have a certain amount. However, you may wonder why they bother to do this. It is worth understanding what the advantages of having savings is and this will help you to make sure that can decide whether you think that it is something that will work for you.

Get interest

When you put money into a savings account you will get paid some interest on it. This means that you make a bit of money by doing nothing apart from not spending. If you put it in a high interest account or a bond then it will get even more interest paid on it. This will enable you to gain some money from your savings. This interest is not that high though, especially when interest rates are low. This means that you will need to think carefully about whether you feel it is worth keeping the money for just this reason. It could be better to think about investing the money because the return is potentially better. It is a risk though, as an investment could lose value as well as gain it. With an investment you will be buying an item that you hope will increase in value. There is a risk that it will not go up in value or that it will go down, so you can lose money and it is best to keep your money invested in it for a significant period of time such as at least a decade, to allow for natural increases and decreases in value to flatten out.

Have something to fall back on

Some people really like the security of having some money available to fall back on. They like to be careful, so that if they have an emergency and need extra money then they will have the savings there to use. Some people may even save up enough money to cover several months of costs in case they lose their job and do not find one for a while. Some people will want to have enough money to replace a car if it breaks down and cannot be repaired or other things like that.

Can save up for things instead of borrowing

Some people like to have savings so that they are able to buy things without borrowing. Although borrowing can be helpful in some situations, it does have a cost, which means that if you borrow to buy something, it will cost you more money than if you buy it using money that you have. Therefore, some people will save up before they buy something so that they do not have to borrow the money.

So, now you know different reasons that people might have savings, it is good idea to contemplate whether you feel that it is a good idea to save yourself. Think about how you normally spend money and whether you borrow much and whether you think that savings might be helpful. Consider whether savings will give you peace of mind also think about whether the prospect of getting some extra money as a result of saving, both form interest and from not having to borrow, is appealing to you.

How do I pay off my Credit card?

If you have a credit card that you owe money on then you might want to try to pay off some of the debt. This is something that will save you money as you will no longer have to pay interest on it, but you will need to figure out a way that you will repay it. The great thing about credit cards is that you can repay any amount at any time and, unlike some loans, there are no fees for doing this. You will need to think about where you will get this extra money from.

Where to start

To start with you need to make sure that you are always paying the minimum amount each month off the card. It is wise to set up a direct debit to do this and then you will never forget. This will mean that you will not get extra charges on top of what you are normally being charged. It is also wise to stop using your card as much as possible so that you do not build up the debt. You might want to use the card if you make online orders for security, but otherwise try to avoid using it.

Spend less elsewhere

If you want more money available to pay off the credit card debt, then a good place to start looking is to try to spend less elsewhere. It might be that you spend a lot of money on luxury items and this will mean that you could potentially cut back on some of these things to free up some money to pay off the card. You might feel like you do not want to go without things, so this might be tricky. However even if you just cut back a little bit it will help you to put some money towards paying off the card. If you want to pay off the card, then you need to think about how much effort you want to put into doing this and this might make you feel keener about buying less things.

It is also a good idea to try to spend less money on the things that you do buy. You may be able to find cheaper options for items that you buy, even necessities. For example, if you switch electricity supplier you may be able to pay less for the electricity that you use. If you can try to cut down in several different areas, then you may find that you will be able spend quite a bit less and you will be able to use this money to pay some more money off the card.

Earn More

It could be the case that it might be better to try to earn a bit more money rather than trying to spend less. This could be easier if you already try to spend as little as possible or if you would rather continue to buy a few extra items. Earning ore may be harder for some people than for others. You could manage it by taking on more hours in your job, but if you have no job, no time or no opportunity then this will not be possible. You may be able to pick up some temporary work or freelance work though. You may even be able to do some work online. There are lots of opportunities, you just have to look and also be prepared to do it. You may find that you can only find things that are paid less than you currently earn or that pay less than the minimum wage. If you do online work then this could be the case and you might not feel it is worth it. However, if you can do something easy and work from home you may decide that you want to have a go and see if you can make a bit extra.

Is it Worth Having Life Insurance?

There are some people that have life insurance and others that do not and you may wonder whether it is something that is worth having or not. It is a good idea to therefore think carefully about the advantages and disadvantages and think about whether you feel that it will work for you in your specific situation.

Advantages

Life insurance will pay out in certain situations. There are different types of policy and some will pay out if you die and others if you get ill. Sometimes these are held together with another financial product. For example, if you have a mortgage, then you have to have a type of life insurance that will pay off the full amount of the mortgage off, if you die. The mortgage provider wants this put in place so that they know that this loan will be repaid. Other people might want this sort of cover so that any depends they have, usually children, will get some money if they die and can no longer provide for them. Some companies offer insurance as part of a bonus package to employees so that they get cover if they are injured or die while at work.

A lot of people like to have the peace of mind that their family will have cover if they are no longer able to provide for them. This could be quite a significant sum of money or it could be an amount each month and this can be extremely helpful. If there is no other earner or no other source of money, then this can be really important for them to make sure that they can still have a good standard of living or at least have a lump sum to pay off the loans.

Disadvantages

The problem with life insurance is that you have to pay for it. You have to make monthly instalments until a claim is made on the policy. If you are paying into it for a long time then you could end up paying more in than you or your family ever get paid out. You may also find that paying this amount might be more than you can manage. We all have lots of things to pay for and with the life insurance on top, it could mean that you struggle.

There are many advantages to having a life insurance policy, but some disadvantages too.

Life insurance will vary in price as well. If you are young, fit and healthy and do not smoke it will be relatively cheap. However, if you smoke, have an illness and are older it will be a lot more expensive. This is because there is a greater risk that you will die younger and the insurance company wants to try to get more money out of you in premiums than they will have to pay out. With an insurance linked to a loan, such as a mortgage, this will be cheaper as the insurance will only last the length of the mortgage but if it is a policy that you intend to pay until you die, then you will have a pay out at some point and the insurer will want to try to get that money form you first.

So, whether the insurance is right for you will depend. If you have to take it out, then you will have little choice. If you do have a choice, then it is worth thinking about whether it is worth paying in that much money for the return that will be given. Consider whether it might be better to pay that money into a savings account each month instead. Then you will get interest on it and it may add up to more money than would be paid out by an insurance. Of course, there is a risk that you may die before you accumulate much money or that you will spend the money or not have the self-discipline to save it. You will need to decide whether this is likely to be a problem for you or not.