The price of summer package deals is soaring, with places like Mallorca, the Canaries and Portugal in great demand as ‘safe bets’ with a lot of cheaper destinations considered vulnerable to terror attacks. And that’s before you consider the strength of the Euro against the pound.
Google Trends figures show us that web searches for certain hot phrases are higher in January/February now than at any time of the year other than mid-summer, when most people are searching for the best crumbs of what’s left.
To get 2017 off to a bright new start and set yourself some achievable financial goals, we asked some of our favourite finance and budgeting bloggers to tell us their best tips for how to budget for the year ahead.
Francesca from the super From Pennies To Pounds blog said: “Make sure you allow yourself some wriggle room in your budget for some fun things as this will make you much more likely to stick to your budget.”
There’s nothing quite like the end of the year for taking stock of your finances, and budgeting for the year ahead.
So to help us out, we asked some of our favourite finance and budgeting bloggers to tell us the best financial advice they’d had this year.
Cass from family blog Diary Of A Frugal Familytold us: “This year I’ve found out that changing energy suppliers is so much easier than I thought it would be.
I’d been putting it off for ages because I thought it would involve lots of time and energy for not very much return but it took me a total of about 10 minutes and I saved enough each month for a treat takeaway. ;-)”
Nicola, who runs budgeting blog The Frugal Cottage, has this to say: “When you invest, you are always going to take a risk. However, if you’re in it for the long term, then ignore the ups and downs that happen daily and enjoy the ride.”
And Francesca From Pennies To Pounds told us she’d learned this year that: “You can only squeeze so much out of your budget – earning more money should be one of the key focuses when you are paying off debt or working towards a financial goal.” Continue reading →
April 2015 saw the introduction of ‘pension freedoms’, which essentially gave those aged 55 and over wider access to their pension funds.
In previous years, this meant being able to take a quarter of their ‘defined contribution’ pension (ie: one based on how much they paid into it) as a tax-free lump sum, but invariably using the rest of the money to buy an annuity designed to pay out an income each year for the rest of your life.
What kind of financial future is in store for us when we’re older? With house prices higher than ever and the cost of living making putting away savings a real challenge for many, there is plenty that may make some feel the glass is half-empty rather than half-full.
Almost half (44%) the people asked in a new Experian survey of over-55s say they are concerned about their financial future, with over half (56%) worrying about not having enough savings and (55%) not having disposable income. In fact, 40% have concerns over high monthly bills.
Video: Money through the generations – the future of money
The Bank Of Mum and Dad is often thought of as a bottomless pit of financial assistance for children needing a leg up after they’ve ‘flown the coop’ – but a third (33%) of parents have been under financial pressure as a result of bailing their children out financially.
Over half the parents Experian surveyed last month said their children (aged 18+) have ‘used’ the Bank of Mum & Dad an average of four times – and to the value of £6,000 – since becoming financially independent.
The slippery road to financial independence
Our research found that 41% of parents were called upon as their child had no savings to cover for an unforeseen expense, with almost a quarter (24%) admitting that their child is simply bad at managing money and ran out of money. 15% of children had to ask for help as they had got themselves into a debt they couldn’t afford to repay. Continue reading →
These tend to be couples and singles aged 65-plus, who have chosen to move to green and pleasant market towns for their retirement . Places with a thriving community of all ages, small enough to have a ‘villagey’ feel but large enough to have all the regular amenities and social needs that they would be used to.
“Old age and retirement used to be a more homogenous group,” explained Richard Jenkings from Experian.
“In the past people would go on holiday to the seaside and then a lucky few would then retire to those same resorts. Today we still see this happening, but a rising trend is for better-off retirees to move not to the traditional sea-side resorts, but instead to pleasant, often historic, cathedral cities and quality market towns. Continue reading →
It’s never easy to know how much you’ll need to have set aside for your retirement. So it can be useful to think ahead and start planning for the long-term financial future.
How much might you need? Everyone’s circumstances are different of course, but some factors can be common. If you’ve paid off your mortgage, that would free up a large part of your outgoings. However, if you are helping to fund your children in their quest for homes/studies/weddings etc, then that can push costs right back up.