Talk Loans https://www.talkloans.co.uk Loans Made Easy Tue, 20 Nov 2018 09:39:26 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/cropped-talkloansbubble-32x32.png Talk Loans https://www.talkloans.co.uk 32 32 3 of the Best Places to Sell Your Unwanted Goods in 2018 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/making-money/3-of-the-best-places-to-sell-your-unwanted-goods-in-2018/ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:55:46 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=7869 The welcome spell of warm weather that has finally blessed the UK over the past few days has given many of us hope that spring may have finally sprung! Spring means different things to different people. For some it’s a chance to finally get tto work on their garden, for others it means the arduous […]

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The welcome spell of warm weather that has finally blessed the UK over the past few days has given many of us hope that spring may have finally sprung!

Spring means different things to different people. For some it’s a chance to finally get tto work on their garden, for others it means the arduous task of spring cleaning.

Whilst spring cleaning can be some-what time consuming, it does provide an excellent opportunity to make some extra cash off your unwanted goods. Cash that could go towards that summer holiday that you’ve been wanting to book!

But where’s the best place to sell all of your unwanted goods? Historically you might head to the local car boot sale, but the introduction of the internet has brought with it a plethora of online auctions and sale sites.

In this guide, we’re going to discuss some of the top places to flog your unwanted items this spring.

 

1.      Depop

Sell Your Unwanted Goods

If you’ve got any good quality clothing, then Depop is an excellent place to sell them. It’s a mobile app-based service that allows you to post or browse items of clothing, shoes or accessories.

Similar to social media sites like Instagram, users are able to follow each other. Once you follow someone their activity is published on your timeline.

Once a place to simply flog unwanted items from your wardrobe, Depop has now seen users generate huge followings, allowing them to launch successful businesses re-selling goods.

As we mentioned, Depop is generally best suited to designer or high-quality clothing that is in good condition. If you’re holding on to any vintage garments, you may also be surprised just how much they could fetch on here.

Setting up an account is free, and the only fee charged is a 10% fee on the total transaction amount of a sale.

 

2.      Ebay

ebay sell unwanted goods

This guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning eBay. This online auction giant is one of the most visited sites in the world – making it an excellent place to get eyes on your unwanted goods.

The chances are, for everyone selling something there’s multiple users looking to buy that very item. As a result, the price you can fetch on eBay is often higher than most other services.

There is an art to getting the most out of your listed items. Taking good quality photos is a must. Taking the time to write a detailed description is also a good idea. Then there’s shipping, setting it too high will put bidders off, but setting it too low could put you at risk of being out of pocket when it comes time to post your goods.

 

3.      Facebook Marketplace

Facebook is the 2nd most visited site in the UK, with only Google getting more daily visits. Once a social network that allowed users to simply connect and chat with one another, Facebook has since launched a number of additional services, including its Marketplace.

Facebook’s marketplace was created following a surge of user-created groups where individuals would post statuses advertising their unwanted items. Often these groups would be named something like “Free or for sale in and around Norwich”.

Facebook Marketplace works similarly to the old-school free classified sites. Users are presented with items that have been listed within a certain radius of their geographic location.

Facebook’s main advantage over its competitors is the fact that it’s fee-free. The downside is that the price you’ll fetch on the marketplace is usually inferior to online auctions like eBay.

In general, we’d recommend utilising Facebook for bulkier items such as items of furniture or large electricals that would otherwise be tough or expensive to ship.

Smaller items like clothing, DVDs or games are better suited to eBay or Depop.

 

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App-Based Bank Accounts: The Future of Banking? https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/bank-accounts/app-based-bank-accounts-the-future-of-banking/ Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:58:12 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=7674 Some of the visionaries within the financial field have spotted an opportunity. Queue app-based banking.

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If you’ve recently been in the market for a new current or savings accounts, you may have noticed that the traditional high-street bank accounts have been joined by a new wave of app-based accounts.

It’s no secret that mobile banking has grown exponentially over the last 5 years. For many, if a bank doesn’t offer a mobile banking app as parts of its service, it’s a straight-up deal breaker.

With this in mind, some of the visionaries within the financial field have spotted an opportunity. Queue app-based banking.

 

What is app-based banking?

As you’d expect, app-based banking is simply a way to bank using a mobile app. Providers of these apps do not have any physical locations but instead base all of their infrastructure on the app.

Most companies offering app-based banking do offer in-app support in the form of instant messenger or chat-bots.

 

The major benefit of app-based banking

One of the biggest benefits to these apps over traditional banking methods, is their budgeting and spend-tracking features. Many of these apps will have integrated features to help keep your finances in check.

Some will use push notifications to notify you of what you’ve spent or saved. Many also give you an insight into your spending habits by grouping purchases per store. Whilst this feature will be enough to make most coffee drinkers cringe, it will make budgeting much, much simpler!

In addition, these apps can help to automate savings. Not only that, but they can calculate how much you can afford to save (based on recent spending) and automatically deposits this amount into a separate savings account either weekly or monthly.

 

Are they safe?

One of the biggest question marks surrounding these apps is their security. UK-regulated banks have full Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection – but do these apps offer the same level of financial protection?

In short, some do, and some don’t. Instead, some will have an electronic money licence. This licence essentially dictates that they must hold your cash in an account that is ring-fenced from their operating cash.

This means that if the app-based bank goes bust, your money would be protected as it’s held in a completely separate account.

Prior to opening an app-based account, we would recommend investigating that company’s stance of consumer protection.

 

Is this the future of banking?

There’s no doubt that app-based banking trumps high-street banking when it comes to automating savings and budgeting. But is this enough to make them the future of banking?

Possibly not. See, whilst these apps are revolutionary in many of their features, it’s easy to forget that consumers still value traditional qualities of a current account. We’re talking about switching bonuses, 0% overdrafts, high interest rates, fee-free overseas spending and cashback rewards.

Currently, most app-based banks are sparse of these traditional features which will be enough to put many off. What’s more, not everyone will be completely at home with the idea of managing their money through their phone. Some still value going in-store and talking with a human face-to-face about their money.

There’s no doubt that as these apps develop, they will grow in popularity. But it’s unlikely that the traditional high-street bank will be going anywhere in the near future.

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First Time Buyers Warned of a Potential Problem with Help to Buy https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/mortgages/first-time-buyers-warned-of-a-potential-problem-with-help-to-buy/ Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:51:02 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=7573 Since its launch in April 2013, over 100,000 households have taken advantage...

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It’s now been 5 years since The Government launched their Help to Buy scheme as an incentive to get more first-time buyers on the property ladder.

Since its launch in April 2013, over 100,000 households have taken advantage of the opportunity to purchase a home with just a 5% deposit.

Whilst many are enjoying the freedom that owning their first home has offered, the first wave of borrowers are now facing a problem they may not have considered.

 

What is the problem with Help to Buy?

Help to Buy provides borrowers with a 20% equity loan. This loan works alongside the borrower’s 5% deposit to help them put down a 25% deposit on their new home. It is interest free for the first 5 years.

For many of the early Help to Buy borrowers, this interest free period is coming to a close meaning they are faced with the unenviable task of repaying the equity loan and trying to remortgage in a higher interest environment.

Of course, borrowers could choose to sell up and use the funds to pay off the loan, but this is neither convenient nor affordable for many who may now have settled in their new home. Subsequently, remortgaging becomes the obvious alternative.

Unfortunately, borrowers are now finding the remortgaging may not even be an option under the Help to Buy scheme.

 

Is remortgaging simple under Help to Buy?

Data from Moneyfacts has found that there are now over 100 options for those looking for a Help to Buy mortgage. The problem is, when it comes to remortgaging, the options become sparse.

Some of the largest Help to Buy lenders such as Nationwide and Santander do not offer the option to remortgage under the Help-To-Buy scheme.

So, if the value of a property has dropped and your existing lender is unable to offer a remortgaging option, it could mean that borrowers are left paying expensive variable rates.

In addition, in year six of the equity loan the borrower is charged 1.75% of the loan’s value, monthly. This increases every year in line with the RPI, plus 1%.

So those with outstanding balances on the equity loan are getting hit with a double whammy that could leave them with a host of financial problems.

 

What is the solution?

It is thought that many of the larger lenders will shortly come to market with a product transfer option under the Help to Buy scheme. This should help some of the second-wave of Help to Buy borrowers who will shortly be faced with the remortgaging decision.

One final option would be to buy out the whole equity loan. By paying off the equity loan in its entirety, you are essentially turning the Help to Buy mortgage into a standard mortgage. This will help to give you access to a wider variety of mortgages as you are no longer tied to the repayments of the equity loan.

 

Summary

This article is not designed to spread scaremongering amongst first time buyers, but instead, inform those who may be looking into the Help to Buy scheme.

Of course, as the scheme matures, loopholes such as this one is likely to be ironed out, offering borrowers a more complete product option to get them on the property ladder.

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3 Tricks to Keep Holiday Spending to a Minimum https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/holidays/3-tricks-to-keep-holiday-spending-to-a-minimum/ Mon, 09 Apr 2018 14:48:37 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=7531 In this post, we’re going to focus on some of the best tricks to help you save on overseas spending.

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We recently published a blog post detailing 5 of the cheapest destinations for your 2018 summer holiday.

In this post, we’re going to focus on some of the best tricks to help you save on overseas spending. After all, purchasing the flights and accommodation is one thing, but the host of additional costs that come along with a holiday is another.

In-fact, us Brit’s spend an average of £227 per person for each week we’re away, and this number is likely to be heavily elevated depending on your holiday destination and the board basis of your accommodation.

Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your overseas spending in check. Below are some of the best.

Keep Holiday Spending Down

 

1.      Shop around for your travel money

If you’ve ever bought travel money at the airport, or withdrawn it from an ATM abroad, you’ll notice that the rates are significantly worse than those available on the high street.

You may also be surprised just how much rates differ from one high-street supplier to another.

To illustrate this, we carried out a quick comparison where we compared rates when purchasing £500 worth of Euros, here’s what we found:

  • Best rates: €565.15 (1.1303)
  • Worst rates: €540.15 (1.0803)

(Figures obtained from CompareHolidayMoney.com)

As you can see, by spending just 30 seconds comparing rates, we could have earnt an additional £25 for our sterling. Naturally, the more you’re exchanging, the better the saving.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on any deals that suppliers may offer. For example, Euro Change will often improve their rates for those buying more than a certain amount of currency.

 

2.      Consider hiring a car

If you plan on spending plenty of time exploring your resort and the surrounding areas, you’ll probably find yourself forking out a small fortune in taxi fares.

Even if you plan on spending most of your time by the pool, hiring a car may still be a good idea. And here’s why:

Let’s say you and your partner have booked a 7-night holiday to Marbella. Your hotel is 45 minutes from Malaga airport, here’s what you can expect to pay for a transfer:

  • Shuttle transfer: £39.02 per person
  • Speedy Shuttle: £47.94 per person
  • Private transfer: £67.84 per person

Now, here is the costs of 7 days car hire:

Seat Ibiza – £15.16

(Cost obtained via Travel Supermarket)

Even if you spend £20 worth of fuel getting to and from the airport, you’re still saving a significant amount vs. the cost of a shuttle transfer.

 

3.      Consider going all inclusive

The upfront cost of going all-inclusive can be off-putting. However, you’ll usually find that the majority of your travel money gets spent of simple things like meals out, bottles of water, alcoholic drinks and evening entertainment – all things that would be covered when you go all-inclusive.

As an example, let’s say you’re planning on going to Mallorca for 7 nights in mid-June. A standard room in a 4* hotel would cost you:

  • Bed & Breakfast: £226 per person
  • All-Inclusive: £355 per person

(All prices obtained from Travel Republic)

As you can see, the discrepancy in price between B&B and All-inclusive is £129 per person. That works out at £18.42 per day.

For that £18.42 per day, you get:

  • 2 additional meals per day
  • Unlimited beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
  • Unlimited access to the snack bar

Even the most frugal of holiday makers will struggle to keep the cost of food and drink below £18 a day!

These are just three of the ways you can reduce the cost of overseas spending. Have you got any other tips to add to the list? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below.

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5 Step Guide to Buying Your First Home https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/mortgages/5-step-guide-to-buying-your-first-home/ Mon, 09 Apr 2018 14:38:58 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=7523 With so many different types of mortgages it can be tough to know where to start.

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Unless you’ve spent significant time researching the purchase of your first home, or have worked within the mortgage industry, the process of buying your first home can seem like a daunting one.

With so many different types of mortgages, all requiring different deposits, fees and legal obligations, it can be tough to know where to start.

In-fact, many of us will put off the idea of buying a home on the basis that the process seems to intimidating or arduous.

This shouldn’t be the case. Buying your first home is exciting and marks the start of a new chapter in your life. For many, it could mean independence from your parents, for others it could be the chance to finally build a home around your own personal tastes and requirements.

We’ve created this simple five step guide as a starter pack for those looking to get their foot on the property ladder. We won’t be using any technical jargon or industry terms, we’ll simply lay-out the basic steps required to help you understand the home-buying process.

 

Step 1 – Save for a deposit

Step 1. Deposit

On the basis that you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you may have already made inroads into saving for a deposit.

It may be worth browsing property websites to get a rough idea of how much properties in your desired area are selling for. We wouldn’t recommend spending too much time on this at this stage as prices will be susceptible to change between now and then.

How much of a deposit will you need to save? Somewhere between 5% and 20% of the total cost of the home.

The government’s recent Help to Buy scheme is designed help first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder. With this scheme you are only required to provide a 5% deposit, however it is currently only available on new build properties.

For example, if you wanted to buy a property for £150,000, you’ll need to save at least £7,500 (5%) before entering the mortgage application process.

It’s also worth mentioning that there will be other fees involved in the application process, so always be prepared for these before making the leap.

 

Step 2 – Find a property

Step 2. Property Search

Now that you’ve saved for a deposit, it’s time to start looking for properties.

It’s important to remember that your first home doesn’t have to be the home you live in for the rest of your life. With this in mind, it may help to accept that your first home may have imperfections or not be exactly as you wish, this is fine, and for many, part and parcel of the process.

Upon finding a suitable property you will need to arrange a viewing. On new build homes, this may simply involve popping into the show home, for older properties, you’ll probably need to arrange an appointment with the assigned agent.

 

Step 3 – Make an application

Step 3. Apply

If, following the viewing, you’re happy with the property, it’s time to make an application. Nowadays, a good portion of the application can be completed online, however there will be some physical paperwork to complete.

At this stage, you will need to pay a reservation fee which will vary from one provider to the next. You will also need to provide a range of documentation such as proof of ID, income and address to support the application.

The mortgage lender will use the details of the application to run eligibility checks and present a mortgage proposal to suit your budget. Whilst it is in the lender’s best interest to provide you with a feasible mortgage solution, it’s also worth doing your own budgeting to ensure you’re fully comfortable with the agreement you’re about to enter.

 

Step 4 – Surveys and conveyancing

Step 4. Get the Checks Done

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of red tape involved in buying a house, especially when it’s your first home. This is where solicitors and conveyancers come in.

To buy a home you will need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf. Of course, there will be a cost to this, however it is absolutely necessary to ensure the legal handover of the title deeds.

 

Step 5 – Exchange of contracts and completion

Step 5. Exchange Contracts

Providing everything goes smoothly, a date will be diarised to exchange contracts. This usually happens within 2 to 4 months of the initial reservation of the property.

It is at this stage that the deposit payment is made, and the transaction becomes legally binding. If contracts are not exchanged on the agreed date the property may be placed back on the market.

Finally, there’s the legal completion of the purchase. This is when the mortgage lender releases funds to pay for your home.

On the completion date, a sales advisor will arrange to meet you at the property to give you the keys, provide the handover pack, take initial meter readings and answer any final questions you may have.

And that’s it, you are now the owner of your first home. Of course, there are several finer details that will be required as part of the process, but this is the 5-step framework to help you understand what’s involved.

Are you looking to get on the property ladder in the near future? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment in the section below.

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5 Most Reliable Used Cars for Under £10,000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/car-loans/5-most-reliable-used-cars-for-under-10000/ Fri, 06 Apr 2018 11:37:37 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=7499 If you are in the market for a used car but are unsure what model to go for, we may just be able to help.

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Following the recent financial uncertainty from Brexit, many have steared clear of purchasing a brand-new car in 2018. In fact, recent figures show that new car sales were down 15.7% on March 2017.

With the average cost of a new car now exceeding £33,000 and depreciation exceeding 60% within just 3 years, it’s easy to see why more and more people are turning to used cars.

Of course, the major worry for many who buy a used car is reliability. Are you going to be hit with a huge repair bill just 6 months after driving the car away from its previous owners?

Of course, many potential issues can be identified when inspecting and test-driving the vehicle. Doing research on any common problems with the model prior to purchasing is also a good idea.

If you are in the market for a used car but are unsure what model to go for, we may just be able to help. Below are 5 of the most reliable used cars for less than £10,000.

 

BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series

A brand new 3 Series is likely to set you back somewhere in the region of £40,000. For £10,000 though you could drive away with a 2013 model with less than 50,000 miles on the clock.

BMW have long been synonymous with quality engineering and the 3 series is no exception. The 2.0 litre diesel will be good for 60MPG and boasts an impressive 184BHP. In addition, you can expect to pay just £30 a year for road tax.

The 3 series also come with an enviable list of interior and exterior features including on-board computers, auto start-stop, heated seats and 12V internal power sockets to name just a few.

 

Audi A3

Audi A3 Reliable Car

Slightly smaller than the 3 Series, the Audi A3 is still an excellent all-rounder.

For £10,000 you can expect to get a 2014 model with a 2.0L diesel 3 door model. Much like to BMW, the A3 boasts an extremely economical average MPG of 68MPG. Not only will this mean you’re taking less regular trips to the fuel station, but it means your tax bill will be an extremely affordable £20 a year.

The 3-door model may not be a great option for those with a young family, however for £10,000 the 2014 5dr Sportback model is an excellent option.

 

Volvo V40

Volvo V40 Under £10,000

If the usual German hatchbacks a not for you, then the Volvo V40 is an worthy alternative.

For less than £10,000, you’ll be able to find a range of 2015 models with mileage as low as 40,000. The 1.6 Litre diesel is extremely economical, achieving MPG in excess of 90 on long journeys. With CO2 emissions of just 88g/km, the V40 is completely road tax exempt.

For a similar price you could go for the sharper-designed 2014 Cross Country Lux model with full leather interior.

 

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf Reliable Car under £10,000

No good reliable car guide would be complete without featuring the Volkswagen Golf!

The gold is the ultimate all-rounder and for £10,000 you can find a huge breadth of low-mileage models from the economical TSI petrol engines to the high-performance GTI.

On our search, we found an immaculate 2017 1.6 litre TDI Bluemotion 5dr model with just 18,500 miles on the clock. The plush interior features a 6.5 inch colour touch-screen display, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors.

 

Nissan Qashqia

Nissan Qashqai

If you’re in the market for something a little more spacious, the Nissan Qashqai may be the one for you.

£10,000 is likely to get you a 2015 model with less than 60,000 miles on the clock. This sleekly designed SUV features cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, telephone Bluetooth integration and 17inch alloy wheels. The economical 1.2 litre petrol engine is also capable of achieving 55mpg – excellent numbers for an SUV.

We hope this article provides you with some inspiration if you’re in the market for a used car. Remember to spend plenty of time comparing prices online to ensure you get the best possible value for money. Carrying our HPI checks or taking someone with a good knowledge of cars to the viewing is also a good idea.

Have you had any good or bad experiences buying used cars? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

If you’re looking for car financing options, here at Talk Loans we can help you find a range of affordable options, even if you have poor credit. Simply contact us to find out more.

Image Credit:
Audi A3: David Villarreal Fernandez
Volvo V40: The NRMA
Volkswagen Golf: Miles Continental
Nissan Qashqai: M 93

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Top 5 Affordable Holiday Destinations for Summer 2018 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/holidays/top-5-affordable-holiday-destinations-for-summer-2018/ Thu, 05 Apr 2018 08:38:06 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=7456 If you haven’t already done so, booking a summer holiday is likely to be at the top of your priority list as we roll into Spring. Several studies have shown that taking a short vacation can have profound effects on cortisol levels. With work-related stress becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society, many companies are urging […]

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If you haven’t already done so, booking a summer holiday is likely to be at the top of your priority list as we roll into Spring.

Several studies have shown that taking a short vacation can have profound effects on cortisol levels. With work-related stress becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society, many companies are urging their employees to take a holiday to help reduce stress levels.

The problem is, holidays are not cheap, especially if you have children. The last thing you want to do is add financial worries to your list of stressors.

Fortunately, there are loads of ways you can reduce the cost the overall costs of your summer holiday. One of the most effective methods is choosing a cheap destination, as this will ultimately make up the largest portion of the overall cost.

Below is 5 of the most affordable holiday destination for summer 2018.

1. Turkey

Turkey is a destination that has grown greatly in popularity over the last decade, not least because of the weather in the summer months. In July you’ll be hard pressed to find a day where temperatures drop below 30 degrees.

Turkey has several beautiful destinations to choose from. Antalya and Dalaman are excellent for sun-seekers, whereas Istanbul and Izmir are perfect for sightseeing with their host of exquisite monuments, mosques and museums.

Not only is accommodation incredibly well-priced in Turkey, but excursions, food and public transport tends to be very affordable too. Even at peak times, you’ll be able to find flights from as little as £110pp for adults.

 

 

2. Mallorca

Unlike Turkey, Mallorca has been one of the most popular destinations for UK holiday-makers for decades now, and it’s easy to see why.

It’s beautiful beaches, upbeat nightlife, cool bars and plentiful excursions make it the perfect destination for the masses.

For those looking for a relaxed family or couples getaway, Cala D’or would be perfect. For the sightseeing enthusiasts you’ve got Palma, and for nightlife there’s Magaluf and its super club, BCM.

Cheap accommodation is not hard to come by, regardless of the resort you choose. Going all-inclusive is also an excellent way to save on food and drinks and many hotels will have abundant entertainment schedules to keep you and the family amused.

With flights from London taking less than 2.5 hours, it makes it an excellent destination for those with young ones or inexperienced flyers.

 

3. Croatia

Despite the recent increase in demand for Croatian destinations Dubrovnik and Split, this hotspot still offers excellent value for money.

Formerly a well-kept secret, the beautiful beaches and breath-taking scenery of Croatia have been thrust into the limelight on HBO’s popular show Game of Thrones. Many experts predict that Croatia will continue to grow in popularity exponentially forcing prices to rise. So, if you are keen to take advantage of current great prices, now is an excellent time to do so.

Did we mention that daytime temperatures regularly exceed 30 degrees in the summer months?

 

4. Bulgaria

Despite it’s relatively recent rise in popularity, 18 UK airports now fly to Sunny Beach meaning it’s accessible to almost everyone, regardless of airport proximity.

It’s no secret that the reputation of Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach was tainted by the various nightlife documentaries that circled UK televisions a few years ago. Despite this, Bulgaria is not all loud music, nightclubs and alcoholic fishbowls, it offers a great range of excursions and accommodation for everyone.

Nessebar is one of the oldest towns in Europe and offers an excellent touristic experience. The remarkable Roman tombs and medieval monastery of Pomorie are also well worth a visit.

Beer prices in Bulgaria are also amongst the cheapest in Europe, so if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway with a few drinks (or an alcohol fuelled stag or hen do), Sunny beach is an excellent option.

 

5. Morocco

If you’re looking for an affordable destination outside Europe, then look no further than Morocco. Often referred to as “The Gateway to Africa”, Morocco is home to a plethora of epic mountain ranges, golden deserts and ancient cities.

Popular resorts include Marrakesh, Fes, Casablanca and Tangier, however it may be worth searching further ashore to find the best deals. Agadir is a city based in mid-southern Morocco boasting a huge variety of affordable accommodation options. It is also not short of excursions, such as Majorelle Garden; a home of exotic plants and fountains and Bahia Palace; an ornate 19th century palace complex.Beautiful Morocco Scene 2018 Bargain Holidays

July is the hottest month where temperatures regularly exceed 30 degrees during the day. Even during winter months, it is not uncommon to see temperatures in the late teens and early twenty degrees Celsius.

These are just five of the more affordable holiday destinations available in 2018. If you’re in the market for a summer holiday, but haven’t decided on a destination, we hope this blog post helps. We also recommend using comparison sites to find the cheapest deals on flights and accommodation.

 

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3 Money Moves That Will Benefit Your Finances in 2018 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/personal-finance/3-money-moves-that-will-benefit-your-finances-in-2018/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:45:26 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=6490 As we move into the final month of 2017, many of us will spend time reflecting on the year that’s just passed. For many, 2017 may have been a year of financial success. Perhaps you managed to clear that credit card debt, improve your credit score or make your first contributions towards a savings accounts. […]

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As we move into the final month of 2017, many of us will spend time reflecting on the year that’s just passed.

For many, 2017 may have been a year of financial success. Perhaps you managed to clear that credit card debt, improve your credit score or make your first contributions towards a savings accounts.

Regardless of how 2017 has treated your finances, now is a great time to put all of that behind you and focus on the next 12 months.

In this post we’re going to discuss 5 money moves that will benefit your finances in 2018.

1.     Review your monthly expenses and adjust NOW!

Alongside losing weight and improving health, budgeting is one of the top new years resolutions in the UK. And much like the health-related resolutions, staying on top of a budget goes out of the window after the first few months.

Creating a budget is one thing, but sticking to it and reviewing it regularly is another. All too often, unnecessary expenses such as TV subscriptions, takeaways and clothing purchases start to creep in. Before you know it, your savings goals are out of the window and its back to the normality of living from pay check to pay check.

There is no better time than now to re-create your budget and make the necessary adjustments. Here’s how you do it:

  • Access the last 3-6 months’ worth of statements from your internet banking
  • Highlight areas of overspending or unnecessary spending
  • Cancel any unused subscriptions
  • Create a realistic budget for all other expenses

Often where people go wrong is being over-ambitious with their savings. Start with small goals like reducing your food bill but £20 a month or reducing the amount spend on nights-out by £30 a month.

By reviewing your expenses now, you are putting yourself in an excellent position for 2018.

2.     Open a Savings Account

A huge mistake that many will make is not putting in the infrastructure to facilitate their goals.

We see this all the time with those looking to lose weight in the new year. They buy a gym membership on the 1st January but go in without a plan. Their home is still laden with festive treats waiting to sabotage their diet plans.

The same goes for personal finance related goals. Everyone has the best intentions at heart, but they simply don’t have the plans in place to reach the goal.

A simple savings goal would be to put £100 away each month. Yet people wait until the banks open again after the new year to apply for a savings account. This process takes a while to complete and before you know it, it’s mid-January and you can’t afford to put money away. Failing month-one leaves an uphill battle for the rest of the year – one that many simply won’t be able to climb.

Open your savings account now, and set up a direct debit (on payday) for your savings amount. Remember, start small and acclimate – this is a marathon, not a sprint!

3.     Educate yourself

As Brits, it’s up to us to learn about personal finances. There is financial guidance in the curriculum, nothing to teach us about getting on to the property ladder or handling our credit card debt.

Because of this, many will go through their 20s without ever learning the fundamentals of personal finances.

Fortunately, we can access everything we’ll ever need to know about finance via our smartphone. From blogs to forums and podcasts to audiobooks, we have an endless stock of information at out fingertips.

Spending some time over the next 12 months learning about different types of mortgages, savings accounts, investment funds will have huge benefits to your personal finances in the long-run.

So, download a few audio-books or subscribe to a few podcasts and listen to them onto your drive into work – it’s better than that same old music they play on the radio!

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Autumn Budget 2017 – How Will It Affect Me? https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/financial-news/autumn-budget-2017-how-will-it-affect-me/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:45:15 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=6484 As many of you will be aware, earlier this week Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Budget to Parliament. The budget means different things to different people. However, one thing that remains prevalent amongst the majority if the question; how will it affect me? 2016’s Autumn Budget was a mixed bag. Amongst several other talking points, […]

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As many of you will be aware, earlier this week Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Budget to Parliament.

The budget means different things to different people. However, one thing that remains prevalent amongst the majority if the question; how will it affect me?

2016’s Autumn Budget was a mixed bag. Amongst several other talking points, we saw insurance premium tax rise from 10% to 12%, a planned increase in tax-free allowance and a small rise national living wage.

But how we UK taxpayers fair following this year’s autumn budget. Below are some of the main talking points and how they may affect you.

Stamp Duty Reform

The point that has generated the most attention was the immediate abolition of stamp duty on properties costing up to £300,000.

This is music to the ears of many first-time buyers, who until now, would have paid £1,660 in stamp duty on the average property cost of £211,980.

It’s also good news for those spending a little more on property. Previously, those spending up to £500,000 on a property would pay stamp duty on anything over the minimum threshold of £125,000. The recent reform means that no stamp duty will be paid on the first £300,000.

Increase in Personal Allowance

The amount earned before income tax is paid is known as your personal allowance.

In April, the personal allowance will rise from £11,500 to £11,850.

As it stands, there are 31 million UK income taxpayers. Of that, 26 million pay the basic tax rate.

For someone paying the basic tax rate, this increase in personal allowance is likely to shave less than £100 off their annual bill.

The higher rate tax threshold of 40% will also increase from £45,000 to £46,350.

Beer and cigarettes

Based on previous years, an increase in duty on alcohol would have come as no surprise to MANY.

Surprisingly though, the chancellor announced that duty on beer cider and spirits has been frozen in this Autumn’s Budget. However, duty on some high strength drinks (including some ciders) will increase.

The chancellor did announce that there will be an additional duty on hand-rolling tobacco.

Good news for drivers?

In the past, the Budget has been notoriously unkind to drivers, with recent rises in tax, fuel and insurance.

The good news is, fuel duty has once again been frozen this year.

There is some food-for-thought for those in the market for a new car in 2018. As of April, those driving new diesel cars will be levied on one band higher than those with petrol cars.

The millennial railcard

Finally, the government announced that there would be an extension to the 16 -25 railcard. This means that those up to 30-years-old will now be able to purchase the £30 railcard and subsequently be eligible for discounts on some regular rail fares.

This ‘millennials card’ will be available as of spring next year.

The chancellor also announced that the Autumn budget will be abolished. This gave some people the impression that Philip Hammond would be resigning – this was not the case! Instead it is to be moved from Autumn to March, meaning there will now be a Spring statement.

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Save On Christmas Shopping Using Cashback Websites https://www.talkloans.co.uk/blog/christmas/save-on-christmas-shopping-using-cashback-websites/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:45:04 +0000 https://www.talkloans.co.uk/?p=6423 Whether you’re someone who is well prepared or a last-minute bargain grabber, the chances are you’re probably spending some time thinking about Christmas Shopping, whether that’s online or instore. According to statistics from The Centre of Retail Research, online sales accounted for 27% of total retail sales for the 2016 Christmas period. Many experts believe […]

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Whether you’re someone who is well prepared or a last-minute bargain grabber, the chances are you’re probably spending some time thinking about Christmas Shopping, whether that’s online or instore.

According to statistics from The Centre of Retail Research, online sales accounted for 27% of total retail sales for the 2016 Christmas period. Many experts believe that we could see this number rise by up to 15% in 2017.

It’s likely that huge sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have had an impact on these statistics. As many retailers choose to place their best deals online to avoid the instore rushes we’ve all become accustomed to seeing over the past few years.

If, like many others, you are planning to do your Christmas shopping online, we’re going to let you in on an excellent way to save money on your purchases.

An introduction to cashback websites

In short, cashback websites allow you to earn cashback on purchases you make online. This can be a few pence on small retail purchases to £100s on large mobile phone contracts, broadband deals or insurance policies.

How to earn cashback on Christmas Shopping

To start earning cashback on your online purchases, you must first sign up to a cashback site. The two highest rated cashback sites nowadays are TopCashback and Quidco. Both sites give you the option to choose a free or premium membership. The premium membership cost just £5 and give you several additional features – something that’s certainly worth considering prior to committing.

Upon signing up you are then presented with a huge database of online retailers that offer cashback on purchases. Different retailers will offer different amounts of cashback, ranging anywhere from 1% to 15% on the total purchase amount.

To qualify for cashback, you must click the links on the cashback sites and purchase the product from that click-through. When you make that purchase, the cashback site receives commission for the retailer which they then pass to you in the form of cashback. You can then withdraw the cashback from your account or leave it in there to accumulate over weeks or months.

Things to be aware of

There are a few pitfalls of cashback sites that you should be aware of before you start using them.

Firstly, there are occasionally tracking issues with purchases, especially if you’ve visited the retailer before. Some customers advise that you can get around these by clearing your cache and then visiting making the purchase via the cashback site, however this is not a bulletproof strategy.

Secondly, it’s important that you avoid making a purchase based purely on the cashback reward. Just because a retailer is offering 15% cashback on your purchase, it doesn’t make them the most cost-effective. Always consider the pre-cashback amount prior to purchasing anything. For example, Retailer A may not offer any cashback, but their products are half the price of the retailer B who is offering 15% cashback. In this situation, it would Retailer A would be the smarter choice, despite not offering any cashback.

Finally, most cashback sites will have thresholds which you must reach before withdrawing cash. We recommend that you withdraw the cash as soon as your reach this threshold. This is because that cash will not be earning income whilst it is sitting in your cashback account. Also, if that site is to go out of business or make significant changes to its pay-out policy, you could risk losing your money.

Summary

Cashback sites are not the answer to all your financial woes. They are however a handy tool to use when buying items online. So, sign up today and see how much you can earn – you may be surprised!

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