Payday Loans – A Saviour in Disguise?

Feeling the financial pinch. Again!Last month, I found myself to have completely maxed out my over draft by the second week. I like to think this was through no fault of my own. After all, I had paid off my well deserved holiday to the South of France and had my car insurance renewal had been sprung on me as if out of nowhere! Unfortunately there was no way I could live to the end of the month and I wasn’t willing to resort back to my student days and live on a diet of super noodles for 2 weeks. I must admit I started to panic and wasn’t too sure how I was going to find some extra cash to get me through the month.After doing a little research it was clear that millions of people find themselves in this position and like me, their predicament was far too short term to go to the bank for a loan. Extending your overdraft isn’t always an option and savings are at an all time low given the current economical climate. So what options are you left with?Are Payday Loans A Scam?Of course I had heard about payday loans and cash advances although I remained very sceptical! Rumours of scams and unthinkable interest rates meant that I had never entertained the idea for very long. Most of these loans are advertised as unsecured and with no credit checks which made me think there must be a catch. Running out of time I investigated a few of these seemingly popular online sites.High Interest RatesFirst things first, the interest rates are high. To borrow about £100 will usually cost you £25 or thereabouts in interest. This sounds steep but when I thought about it for a bit longer it wasn’t so unreasonable. I had already been charged £38 in bank charges because my phone bill had bounced and I was panicking that I’d be stung with these again when my gym membership came out. A £25 interest fee suddenly seemed like a drop in the ocean in comparison to Natwest taking £38 every time I was short on cash!RequirementsImportant things to be aware of are that there are a few requirements. You must have a job so you can repay these short term loans when you receive your next pay check and you must have a debit card that the repayment will come out of. There really are no credit checks so you don’t have to worry about a poor credit history.So what’s the attraction? What is actually really quite attractive about these high interest short term loans is the ease. You don’t have to go into a bank on your lunch hour or wait for post to be sent. These payday loans are done completely online and in many cases the cash is available for you the next day. Another thing I wasn’t aware of is how many of these short term loan websites there were. By typing in a phrase such as “loan to get me to payday” or “payday loans” search engines will return a massive selection. Then there is usually a short form to fill in and surprisingly, that really is all you have to do. Once these sites receive your request they find a suitable lender and deposit the requested amount into the bank account you put on the form.So my brush with financial catastrophe ended up being much briefer than I expected. And although I begrudged paying the £40 interest to borrow £200 it was definitely worth it so I didn’t have to make the dreaded call to mum and dad. In fact, it was a small fee in comparison to the label of “financially incapable” being stuck to me for the rest of my life.A little bit of adviceA little word of warning though before you decide this is the solution to all your problems. While these sites aren’t out to scam you they are a last resort. If you have bills coming out of an account or are likely to be charged for bounced cheques then this is definitely a cheaper solution. However, if you really wanted a new outfit for Saturday night I would probably advise you to wait until next month for it!

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Budgets Can Expose Some Cold Hard Home Truths

Doing a budget can be the simple solution to rectifying a challenging financial situation but few people do a budget because it exposes spending habits which they prefer to keep hidden. Many people do not want to change their habits despite it costing them an arm and a leg.

There are two parts to a budget.

Your income and your spending.

Your income can be wages from a job, profit from a business, or income from investments.

Your spending covers everything which is costing you money.

In short if it makes you money it is income and if it costs you money it is spending.

If you can do some simple maths you will soon discover whether you are left with a surplus or a deficit.

If you have a surplus and you are in debt, use the money to pay off your debt.

If you do not have any debts you can use some or all of your surplus for one or more of your goals; this could be saving for a holiday, saving for a house deposit, saving for a car, or investing it in the share market.

There are so many places to invest your money these days that if you did your homework you will find an appropriate investment for your circumstances.

If you have a deficit you need to take some kind of action rather than bury your head in the sand and do nothing because if you do nothing your financial situation will worsen.

There are two things you can do to balance the books;

1 Reduce spending

2 Increase your income

I don’t know how financially literate you are but if you do not understand financial jargon then I advise you to see a financial advisor to discuss your situation. The public library will have information on where to find a budget advisor.

A budget advisor is unable to help you unless you are completely honest about where your money is going.

It is up to you to make the decision on which sacrifices you are prepared to make. No one else can make that decision for you.

Your spending can be placed in two categories, your needs and your wants. You may be able to reduce some of the money you spend on your needs but it is the money you spend on your wants which you may find easier to eliminate.

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Give Them What They Want, Need and Desire

There will always be those who complain about their lot in life. The economy is bad so that is why I am not doing well. This is wrong and that is wrong, but wait a minute: why do you complain instead of doing things to make it better?

The baby boomer generation will soon be transferring to millennials and others assets known as the great wealth transfer. This transfer is estimated to be between 30 and 70 trillion dollars over the next 20 years. This will certainly make things better for many Millennials, Gen X, Y and Z and their children and grandchildren. Not everyone will be getting large amounts of money but many will.

Also, that generation is known to have created many things that all of us use every day. The key is to find out what people want, need and desire and then provide that to them. For instance, during the 1960s young teens were learning to drive. Ford developed the Mustang. Later when boomers were getting married and having children, Chrysler came out with the minivan.

Not all boomers have become wealthy and certainly many are struggling, so to say that our generation is the reason that successive generations are not doing so well is misguided. The economy was not created by them or any other generation but by the government. There are many from that generation in government but there are also millennials and even Gen Z workers in government. If you want to blame someone for your lot in life, good luck.

Among the many advancements achieved by that generation a few are listed here:
1. DNA Fingerprinting allowing this technology to help solve crimes as well as prove paternity or maternity.
2. The Apple Computer
3. The World Wide Web
4. The portable dialysis machine
5. The Flex-Foot prosthesis
6. The automated external defibrillator (AED)
7. The disposable cell phone
8. The Jarvik 7 implantable artificial heart

Those who created these advances were all baby boomers who decided to do something rather than complain about their lot in life. No one ever succeeded by complaining They succeed because they had a vision for doing something, made plans for implementing that vision and then carried it out. It is up to you and you alone to succeed or not. The economy did not make you fail neither did the any other generation of people.

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