Financial strain

Unexpected Expenses: The Best Ways to Deal With Them

There’s a point where an unexpected one-off expense becomes unmanageable – where the bill is just too much money to fork out from a single pay packet, but an expense that needs urgent attention nonetheless. Spreading the cost over two or three months would avoid financial turmoil — so what options are available when you don’t have spare cash to hand?

Four ways to pay for unexpected costs

Visit the Bank of Mum ‘n’ Dad

Family and friends might be able to help with money problems. Although undoubtedly the cheapest option you’re going to find, it’s also my least favourite, as it can put people in compromising positions and lead to awkward situations. Do you really want to divulge your financial situation to others anyhow?

Use credit cards

If you have a credit card with enough credit available then you’re onto a winner – just make sure you have a solid plan to pay it back as quick as possible. Draw up a schedule of repayments for yourself, including interest – and stick to it! Here’s an interest calculator you can use. Remember, credit card interest is amongst the highest you can pay, so don’t let the debt linger any longer than necessary.

Take advantage of your overdraft facility

An authorised overdraft might be an option, but don’t even think about allowing you account to go overdrawn if have no arrangement in place with your bank, because unauthorised overdraft charges can be financially crippling. Like with credit cards, ensure you are strict about clearing the balance as quick as you can. Not only will you be saving on fees, you just never know when the next financial emergency will strike, and it goes without saying that one emergency is easier to deal with than two.

Take out a 3 month loan

A 3 month payday loan can provide a lifeline if you don’t have any other kind of backup in place. Websites like Instant Lolly offer 3 month loans online, which make it easy to apply and possible to get cash in your bank within an hour or so. What’s more, when you take out a 3 month loan such as this, the lender will organise to take repayments automatically, so all you need to do it ensure you have enough funds to cover the cost of the 3 instalments on the agreed dates – make it simple for yourself by scheduling payments just after your pay dates.

Put yourself on a financial diet

Financial diet

Whichever financial solution you decide is right for you, a good tip is to put yourself on a financial diet until you pay the debt off. I’m not suggesting you cut back on essentials, but we all tend to spend frivolously on something or other without necessarily realising it. Make a list of last months non-essential spend – you might be surprised!

You don’t always need to do without completely — think of some creative solutions. For instance,  if you normally have a couple of takeaways per week, consider cutting down to just one treat and cook cheaper, healthier meals at home the rest of the time – or if you’re feeling cheeky, suggest having a catchup with parents or friends and invite yourself round for tea at their house once in a while 🙂

miss thrifty blog

Top 10 UK Money Blogs: Our Take

Here in the UK, we have some great personal finance blogs, offering the best tips and tricks to manage our cash better, and for those who are fortunate enough to have a little put aside, advice on how to get that little bit extra from your savings.

The explosion of quality personal finance sites has no doubt been fuelled by the relentless austerity measures we’ve all faced during recent times – it seems that not a day goes by without an item of news telling us about job cuts, slashed budgets, wage freezes and benefits caps.

In celebration of our intrepid financial bloggers, I’m publishing a list of what I consider to be the top UK personal finance blogs. I’m not talking about the MoneySavingExperts of this world with 100+ journalistic staff and a marketing budget of millions behind them; nor have I taken any notice of a site’s Alexa or Google PR rank. I’m talking about the untold saviours – passionate individuals, groups and small companies who spend their valuable time, knowledge and experiences with us so that we’re better armed and informed to cope in a tough financial world.

We’ve devised our own mailround formula to rank our prospects – made up of some metrics, such as post frequency, and some real world elements, such as ‘do we like it?’, and if so, how much? We’ll be tweaking this as we go on, and will no doubt extend the list in the near future as their are many more quality sites worthy of a mention.

For now, here’s our first list top 10 list:

On the cusp of glory

#10 – Simple Life In Suffolk

#9 – Five Pence Piece

#8 – The Money Bulldog

#7 – Eco Thrifty Living

#6 – A Thrifty Mrs

Great reads

#5 – Instant Lolly World

#4 – The Money Principle

#3 – Monevator

#2 – The Savvy Scot

Our #1

Miss Thrifty

Miss Thrifty is a woman on a mission. She lives in Yorkshire, UK, and never pays full price for anything. Spend less, live within your means and get out of debt – without resorting to recycling teabags.

Payday Loans

Payday Loans: Emergency Friend or Expensive Foe?

Imagine the scenario; you’ve worked like a dog all month and its finally payday – you’ve paid the bills, put fuel in the car, and have just enough cash spare to treat yourself to that great night out you’ve been looking forward to. That of course, is when sods law kicks in – maybe the washing machine packs up or the car unexpectedly fails its MOT. When emergencies like this happen, there’s often got no alternative – you just have to find cash from somewhere – and find it quick.

Plumbers Bum

Payday loans are suited to just this kind of emergency. They’re a great way to help you overcome those unexpected financial hiccups that threaten to sabotage your perfectly planned cash-flow. The beauty is that you can sort payday loans online, and have the cash in your bank account in under an hour – speed and convenience, no bank or credit union come close to. However, payday loans do have their limitations – they’re only meant as a short term financial fix – when you need to borrow for a month or less, and are usually limited to a maximum of £300 to £500 for first time customers. They’re also one of the most expensive forms of borrowing.

You can easily find online payday lenders by Googling “payday loans”, or if you fancy a walk, scattered along the high-street between the estate agents and the bookies. However, if you want to find a payday loan with the least amount of effort, you can use one of the online payday loan matching services offered by brokers. Fill out a single online application form and they will search the best payday lenders for you in one go. It should cost nothing to use the service and will save you the time and hassle of applying to multiple lenders, should you be unsuccessful first time round.

Speedy Cash Payday Loans

Do remember however, like any form of lending, taking out a payday loan shouldn’t be taken lightly. Stop and ask yourself the following before applying:

  • Can I borrow the cash you need from close friends or family or another cheaper source?
  • Can I afford to repay the loan back in full on your pay day? If not you might be better off looking at an instalment loan instead.

If you can’t find the cash you need elsewhere (put your pride to one side on this one), but think there’s even a remote possibility that you’ll be unable to make the repayment on time, try to think of a work round or do without – even if doing will inflict some degree of inconvenience for a short while. Not fulfilling your part of the bargain, such as missing your payment date, can be expensive, will undoubtedly cause you grief, and could have a negative impact on your credit record.

Whether you are pro, anti, or impartial about these instant payday loans, it’s good to know that there is a least a solution out there if you really need it – just remember to borrow responsibly.

Crazy Cat

The Craziest Payday Names: Part II

Hot on the heels of my original post The Craziest Payday Names, is this next instalment – creatively titled “The Craziest Payday Names II”. If truth be told, I could easily have been posting “The Craziest Payday Names 20” by now, such is the raft of exceptionally stupid names propping Google’s search listings. Thankfully, it was jobs that needed doing around around the house which stopped it happening.

However, I did find time to check out this crazy lot.

#5 nocreditcheckloanss.co.uk

What do you do when the domain name you want has gone? – add an extra letter at the end of course – no-one will ever notice – will they?

#4 lloansdirect.co.uk

Not to be outdone by #5.

#3 andalusianhorsedirect.com

Ah yes, andalusian-horse-direct.com – the first name that springs to mind when I think of no credit check loans.

#2 ez.sundaypaydayloansdirectlenders.co.uk

Just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it.

#1 loansforpoorpeople.co.uk

Well, one thing’s for certain – no-one can deny that this one does exactly what it says on the tin.

Crazy Cat

The Craziest Payday Names

Unusually, I found myself with some time to spare time this week. In typical bloke fashion, I decided to fritter the time away streaming daft videos of funny animals and people engaged in dangerous tomfoolery – silly stunts! On my journey, I happened upon a payday loan website which had such a stupid name – it could only have been picked by Mr Stupid, from Stupidville after being pummeled with a stupid-stick – but it made me curious to see what else I could find lurking in Google’s rankings. Ok, I admit it – I was bored – but it seemed kind of fun at the time, and I’d grown tired of watching spotty oiks falling zit-first off a skateboard.

I chose a random payday related keyword and decided to check out the top 100 sites for each – bear in mind these are the sites that Google considers ‘quality content’.

This phrase contained so many corkers, It made it extremely difficult to narrow it down, but I eventually did – here are my top 5.

#5 samedaylaons.co.uk

Hats off to this guy for trying and failing to spell ‘loans’ correctly.

#4 loansfortheunemployedpeople.co.uk

The use of english here is fantastic – not “loans for unemployed people”, but “loans for the unemployed people”

#3 loansforpeopleonbenefits-4u.co.uk

This creative numpty jumps on the Phones 4 U bandwagon.

#2 samedayeasypaydayloansnocreditcheck.co.uk

This dilbert does a super job at keyword stuffing.

#1 samadayunenployedloansforpeopleonbenefits.co.uk

My #1 – it wasn’t just the fact that this guy had the longest domain name with an eyewatering 48 characters – he also managed to sneak in 2 misspelling too!