Secret tips to avoiding holiday debt this 2014 – Save your bucks this Christmas

For majority of the Americans, holiday debt is just a part of the season. Along with decorating X-mas trees, exchanging gifts among your loved ones and building snowmen, these days most of the Americans are willing to fold debt into their traditions. In fact, according to a study by Lexington Law, 57% of American adults with children say they’re willing to take on debt in order to make their children happy. This year, holiday debt will linger longer for middle-class families compared to the other income groups, as per a recent research by Nerd Wallet. Little do they realize that lingering debt can hurt family finances and yet there are many people who simply get caught up in the emotional tug of war between gift-giving and getting lured by the one-time deals. Continue reading

Trading Online For Profit

When people want to learn how to make money online, they need to read some online trading academy reviews. These reviews show the trader how to make the most of their initial investment. People can put a small amount of money into their business, and they can use these trading academies to learn to multiply that investment. The best way for someone to make a career change is to learn how to trade on the markets through these academies. Continue reading

Litigation Finance Explained

Litigation finance for commercial cases can be invaluable to claimants pursuing damages in a business dispute. It minimises financial risk, allows smaller businesses to pursue claims against larger companies and keeps legal expenses as an off-balance sheet cost. However, most people are unaware of the options available to them. Continue reading

You Get What You Pay For With Cheap Mortgages – Buyer Beware

Far too many home owners are being tempted by the idea of getting a cheap mortgage. First time buyers are especially vulnerable, because they are so eager to get a house by giving as little a deposit as possible. However, experts have warned these people that many of the cheap mortgages they are signing up for are not what they seem to be. These so called discount mortgages will actually lead people to pay back a lot more than they expect. Here is an overview of some pitfalls that are generally associated with these cheap mortgages.

Discounted Variable Mortgages

The cheap mortgages being dangled out by banks and building societies are known as discounted variable mortgages. These mortgages have an interest rate that is far lower than the standard variable rate the lender would normally charge. However, these companies have the ability to change the standard variable rate on the mortgage at any time they want. This means that they may offer a young couple a mortgage at 5% interest rate, only to raise that amount to 10% or 15% whenever they want.

For example, the 5,000 or so borrowers who have taken out a mortgage through ING Direct will see the interest rate on their mortgage go up from 3.5% to 4%. This increase would result in the average monthly payment change from 750 pounds to roughly 400 pounds. This is an increase of about 50 pounds a month, and that is just the start.


The number of people who sign up for these mortgages is in the millions, with companies such as Halifax, Yorkshire Bank, Bank of Ireland, and Co-Op offering discounted variable mortgages. Each of these companies has been slowly increasing the rates on the borrowed amounts, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Nationwide, an institution that often lends at discounted variable rates, used to have a SVR that was at 2.5%. This figure was costing the bank up to 750 million in a year. As a result, they made a decision to raise their SVR to 4%, which was far more than the current Bank Rate in the UK. In the past, lenders would always have a correlation between their SVR and the current bank rate. However, the crisis with the Eurozone, and other European economic troubles, have lead to them changing their minds.

Increase in Discount Borrowers

While institutions continue to offer these discounted mortgages, the number of people signing up for them has been steadily increasing. In 2009 there were only 3% of borrowers who were taking on this type of mortgage. By 2012 that number had risen to 8%,and will only continue to rise. Borrowers are tempted by the low initial offer, and do not spend much time thinking about what future increases could mean.

If you are serious about buying a home for the long term, it is much better to get a reputable deal. Getting a temporary discount, only to see that amount rise as much as the lender sees fit, is not a good idea. It will throw of your budget in future years, and could lead to you having to default on your mortgage.

De-Clutter to Make Money

Do you know what a “two-for” is? It’s when you get “two-for-one,” and that’s what you get when you turn your unused belongings into cash. By taking stuff you no longer need and converting it into sweet dollar bills, you have more space where you live and less space in your wallet – because it’s full of money.

  • First, identify items you will never use. So you lost your iPod, then replaced it, then found the one you lost? That’s good to sell. The fancy food processor your mom gave you last December? That’s great, too. Take a simple inventory of your possessions (that means look around the house) and see what jumps out at you. We’d wager that you find at least three things worth selling. Start with a few pieces that have real value.
  • Do you know how to sell on Ebay? If so, great! If not, you should learn. It’s easy and you may need that skill someday… but not today. We’re going to recommend that you search Ebay to find the right dollar value and description for the items you want to sell, and that you actually sell your stuff locally.
  • So, let’s say you have a pair tap shoes you wore once before changing your mind about professional tapping. You paid $60.00. Research ”tap shoes” on Ebay and when you find something similar (possibly an exact match), voila! You’ve determined that used tap shoes sell for $20.00…plus shipping.
  • Here’s the great part. You’re not going to charge shipping because you’re not going to ship. Instead, you’re going to sell your tap shoes locally, via a website like Craigslist or a local forum or social media page for your neighborhood or group contacts (hello… other tap dancers?).
  • Look for “online garage sale” or a similar link and be sure to find a safe venue for selling. You may even find that posting to your own social media site and making your friends aware you have a an on-line sale going is enough. You probably know other people who think they want to tap dance, and there’s no shipping involved. You may even be able to barter an exchange for something you need.
  • Alternatively, have your own “brick and mortar” garage sale… or yard sale or trunk sale, even. Worried you don’t have enough stuff to sell or that your location doesn’t get enough traffic? Offer to pair with a friend. Look around for large items that will attract attention, including old sports or exercise equipment and furniture.
  • For extra fun and cash, make lemonade and cookies and sell them for a buck or so each. People will love this special touch and linger longer to buy more of your castaways, for cash. Remember to advertise and remove the signs when it’s over.

Get in the habit of de-cluttering for cash and remember that for every single thing you get rid of, you’re making room for something new – money in your pocket!