Financial strain

Four Ways to Deal with Unexpected Expenses

How is it that however well we plan, there’s guaranteed to be an unexpected expense at some point during the month. Funny that, because there’s never an unexpected windfall to balance it out.

Some expenses are small and can be soaked up using cash reserved for treats or by cutting back a little. Unfortunately, not all bills are small and there comes a point where it’s too much money to fork out from a single pay packet.

Most bills require urgent attention and usually need to be paid within a couple of weeks at most — so what options do you have if you haven’t got spare cash to hand?

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 (wisely)

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 soon 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 among 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, clear the balance as quick as you can. Not only will you save on fees, you’ll be in a better position to deal with the next financial emergency when it inevitably comes.

Take out a short-term  3 month loan

A short-term 3 month loan could provide a lifeline if you don’t have any other kind of backup in place.

Websites like Instant Lolly provide 3 month loans, help you shop around and get cash in your bank in under an hour.

It’s a good option if you’re bad at managing your finances. When you take out a short-term loan, 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 three instalments.

If you’re a spendaholic, ensure you schedule repayments just after your pay dates so you’re not tempted to blow the money on a big night out first.

Put yourself on a financial diet


Financial diet


Whichever solution you decide is right for you, its’ a good idea 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. Add up last months non-essential spending, you might be surprised!

Nor do you need to do without completely — just think up some creative solutions instead.

For instance,  if you normally have a couple of takeaways per week, cut down to just one and cook cheaper, healthier meals at home the rest of the time. Better still, suggest a catch up with parents or friends and invite yourself round for tea at their house once in a while — not too often though — they might catch on :-).

Top money blog

Top 10 UK Money Blogs: An Alternative View

Here in the UK, we have some great money blogs. They share financial tips and tricks to help us manage our cash better, deal with unexpected costs, and for those who are fortunate enough to have a little put aside, get the more from savings.

The explosion of quality personal finance websites has undoubtedly been fueled by the relentless austerity measures the country has 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 nation’s financial bloggers, we’re publishing a list of the top UK personal finance blogs. I’m not talking about the MoneySavingExperts of this world with 100’s of journalistic staff and a marketing budget of millions behind them; nor have I taken any notice of a site’s ranking stats. I’m talking about the unsung heroes – passionate bedroom bloggers who give up their spare time to share knowledge and experience with us so that we’re better equipped to cope in a tough financial world.

We’ve come up with our own Mailround formula to rank the top 10 money blogs — a combination of measurable metrics and our own personal views as a reader and subscriber. Just as important, each blog must also manage to be both and educational and entertaining. We’ll be reading, learning and updating the list on a regular basis to bring you the rising stars as we find them.

Top 10 money blogs

Here’s our top 10 UK money blogs, updated Jun 17:

Down and out: – sold out and fueled by cheap guest posts. – gone down the drain!

On the cusp of glory

#10 NEW Money Nuggets

#9 (4)

#8 (7)

#7 (5) Instant Lolly World

#6 (1)

Great reads

#5 (6) A Thrifty Mrs

#4 (10) Simple Life In Suffolk

#3 (3) Monevator

#2 (2) The Savvy Scot

#1 NEW Can’t Swing a Cat

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.


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?


Not to be outdone by #5.


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


Just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it.


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.


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


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


This creative numpty jumps on the Phones 4 U bandwagon.


This dilbert does a super job at keyword stuffing.


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!