Month: June 2020

Why You Should be Cautious of Special Offers

When we see special offers, we can often be tempted to just buy the items without even thinking about it. It can be great to see anything reduced and we will therefore take a look to see whether we think it is a bargain and buy it if we do. We are more likely to do this if the item is reduced by a lot. However, we should be very wary of special offers for a number of reasons.

Are they just what non-one wants?

It can often be the case that items which are reduced are just items that no one else has bought. They could be old stock that a retailer is trying to get rid of. It might be getting towards the use by date, old packaging, old lines, out of fashion etc. There are many reasons why things might be reduced. So try to identify why the items are reduced and think about whether you really want them if they of out of fashion, about to go off or things that no one else likes.

Special offers are not always what they seem.

Do we need the items?

It is also always wise to ask yourself whether it is something that you really need. We can so often be tempted to buy something because it has been massively reduced and seems like such a bargain. However, we should think about the fact that we might just be buying it because it seems cheap rather than because it is something that we actually want. If it is not something we will have bought at full price why buy it when it is cheap? It might be the case that it is something you really wanted but you could not afford it but now you can. In this case the reduced item will be really great. However, we will often buy items that we would never thought of buying before and therefore they will not be something that we need and maybe even things that we do not really want.

Are we spending more than we can afford?

It is always a good idea to make sure that we are not spending more money than we can afford. We need to think about the items that we are buying and how much they cost. If they are extra to what we would normally be buying then it is really important to think about whether we can afford them. Just because they are reduced, it does not mean that we will be able to afford them. Make sure that you check your bank balance and ensure you have enough money to cover the cost of them and to cover the cost of everything else that you need to buy this month. Once you have done that you will know whether it is something that you can afford or not.

It might seem a bit boring to think about all this. When we see a bargain, we have the impulse just to grab it and buy it and it feels great to know that we have bought something at a fraction of the cost. However, we do not want to get it home and wonder why we even bought it. We do not want to wish that we had not bought it because we did not have enough money to pay for it. We do not want something that was cheap but is not very good, almost out of date or something that no one else wanted. So, it is well worth considering it before you buy to make sure that you do not regret your purchase afterwards.

Should I try to make extra Money in my Spare time?

If you are feeling like you would like some extra money then it can be a good idea to try to make some in your spare time. However, there are pros and cons of doing this and it is worth thinking them through before you start so that you are sure that you are making the right decision.

Advantages

Making some extra money is always great. Having a bit more to spend means that you can buy more things, pay off your debts or save some money towards something later. This means that you will be able to have the security of having that extra money too. It can be great having a bit extra; however you decide to use it.

If you are doing something in your spare time to make extra money that you really enjoy, such as running a business, monetising your hobby or freelancing, you might even find that you can be so successful at it you will be able to give up your regular job. Even if you are not, it can still make the job feel better if you are doing something that you enjoy but being paid for it.

Disadvantages

Some people put a lot of energy into their work or find it stressful or both. This means that they may not feel that they want to use the time in the evening doing more work. They might just want to curl up and relax or go out and socialise to burn off some steam. They may also have other things to do in their spare time such as caring for family or just spending time with family or doing a course. They may also have lots of hobbies that they enjoy.

If you decide that you want to monetise a hobby, this could be a fun way to make money. However, if there is pressure on you to make money from it, it might take away some of the fun. You might find that turning your hobby into a job just takes away the appeal. This will depend on you though and you may need to have a think or even try it to see how you feel about that idea.

You may find that doing extra work becomes tiring. You might enjoy the money but by the time you have done the work you may find you are too tired to actually have the energy to spend it. It therefore might be good to do in the short term, perhaps if you want to save up for something specific or pay off a debt but perhaps it should just be a temporary thing.

It is worth noting that some employers will not allow their employees to do a different job in addition to the one they are doing. You will need to make sure that you check if this is the case for you before you start off doing another job or else you may end up putting you main source of income under threat.

So, this is a decision that you should think very hard about. Whether taking a second job will work for you will depend on your circumstances. You need to find out whether it is something you can do and whether you can fit it in. Then think about whether you will have the energy to do it and whether you feel that you will be able to cope with the extra work. It is a tricky decision but you could always try it out and see whether you feel it will work for you or not.

Is it Worth Paying More for Quality?

There are many items that we buy where we can get things which vary in quality. This means that we might be able to buy something cheap that is poor in quality or buy something dearer that is better quality. Of course, it is not always the case that the more we pay, the better the quality, but you will find that you have to pay more money for something that is better quality. You may wonder whether it is worth doing this.  It is worth asking yourself a few questions first.

Does it offer good value for money?

It is worth asking ourselves whether the items we buy are offering good value for money. If you pay a small amount of money for a pair of trousers but they wear out very quickly compared to paying twice as much for a pair that wear in twice the time then they are equivalent. However, if you find the dearer ones last significantly longer, then this will mean that you are getting much better value for money.

This is something it is not always easy to work out for yourself though. You are unlikely to buy trousers from two shops and wear them equally to compare how they last. However, you can read reviews to get an idea about the quality of the items that particular shop sells. You could also ask people that you know about where they shop and what they think offers good value.

Many people confuse value for money with cheap. They feel that something that offers good value for money is just the cheapest. That is not the case, you need to compare what you are getting for your money and we may not all agree either. Some people might be happy to pay more for something handmade locally produced, good for the environment, suitable for vegans or things like this.

Can I afford it?

Sometimes it does come down to money. You may find that your budget is just so squeezed that you cannot afford to pay more for more quality items. However, if you bought less cheaper things, you might be able to save up for more expensive items. Of course, there are some things that we will just not be able to go without, but you may be able to cut down in some areas so that you can get extra money to buy higher quality items. If you do manage to buy these, you will not need to shop as often as things will not need replacing so much and hopefully it will save you money in the long run and you will be able to put money aside so that you can afford to buy more and more quality items.

The decisions you make might also depend on the type of item you are buying. For some items buying better quality will make more a significant difference. For example, if you buy a good quality car it is likely to last a lot longer and need repairing less often and these could save you a significant amount of money in the long term. However, if you pay more for a quality fashionable dress, but it is only in fashion for one season you may never wear it again so it may have been better to have bought a cheap one as it does not need to last long. It is not an easy decision but once you start thinking about it, you should find it easier to focus on what things are worth paying more for with regards to getting better quality.

Will Getting More Qualifications be a Worthwhile Investment?

If you are interested in doing any sort of course or training, then you might want to think about whether it will be a worthwhile investment before you start.

Cost of the course

The course will normally cost you money and you will need to think about how you will pay for it. Some courses are free such as training paid for by your work, post 16 education for children and some online taster courses but most of them have to be paid for. There are ways of funding courses such as student loans for a degree course or advanced learner loans for A-levels or higher education courses. Also, you could fund them with your savings or by getting out a more general loan. It is important to know how much the course will cost and think about how you are going to pay for it.

Time lost that you could be working

If you take time out of work to study or continue your studies rather than start a career it is important to think about the money and career development that may have been lost as a result. Not working for years will mean that you will not have an income for all of that time and will not be able to establish yourself in a career. However, some people may choose to study part-time during evenings and weekends or work part-time so that they can still continue with their career or get some income while they are studying. This is hard work but if you really enjoy your job or your course or both then it can feel more like fun.

Education for financial gain is a great idea.

Possible financial gain

Once you have completed the course it is possible that you might be able to get a better paid job. Often, we will do a course that will change or further our career and therefore the investment made in the course will be worth it. It can be risky, as there is never a guarantee that we will be able to get a job, but it is good to think about whether it is likely that you will get a job. It is very likely that you will be able to get a better job as a result though.

Other gains

There are other things to be gained from doing a course as well as a better job. It can be a lot of fun learning something new. You might learn something that will help you personally. You might just enjoy having some time away from work to do training instead. It can be really relaxing to have a nice break and to spend some time focussing on something completely different. 

Sometimes we may feel that we should not think about everything in terms of an investment, you might just want to do a course because it is fun. However, it can be worth considering monetary consequences of everything that we are doing. Thinking about the costs and how we will afford it as well as what salary we might lose and what benefit we will get is important. You need to think about the advantages and disadvantages with regards to your finances. It is important to think of other possible gains of doing the course as well, but money is a big factor. You need to make sure that you will be able to manage financially and that you will be able to pay for the cost of the course. If you use a bad credit payday loan to pay for it, you will need to repay it and you need to think about whether this will be something that you can afford as well.

Is it Worth Doing the Lottery?

There are many of us that do the lottery. We might buy a ticket each week for the Saturday draw, a few scratch cards occasionally or buy tickets more often, perhaps even every day or we might play online. However, is it worth doing the lottery at all?

Odds of winning

The odds of winning the National Lottery are pretty small. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 9.3 for the lotto but one of the prizes is just a free ticket in another draw which means that you only get your money back effectively. However, if you are looking to win a big prize the odds are much smaller with a 1 in 45,057,474. You would have to buy a lot of tickets to give yourself a chance of winning the jackpot and the jackpot prize tends to be at least a million pounds but usually more depending on whether there is a roll over and there is a chance that you may need to share the prize with someone else or multiple people. With a National Lottery scratch card the odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3 but sometimes the prizes are lower than the cost of the card and the jackpots are usually a lot lower than the regular National Lottery jackpot.

There are lots of other lotteries that run as well and they will differ in the odds of winning and the prizes that they offer. All of them will have a very small chance of you winning a prize and therefore you will need to think about whether you think that it is worth it.

Value for money

One way to think about it, is to consider whether you feel that you are getting good value for money. Think about how much money you are spending on the tickets and whether you should really be spending that money on something else. If you are going without essential things or you are struggling to make ends meet or having to borrow money, then perhaps it could be wise to cutback on the tickets and use the money towards things that you need instead.

It is also wise to think about the payment for a lottery ticket as you buying some fun. Hopefully you enjoy having the ticket and checking it and the thrill of seeing whether you have won anything. It is wise to think of this as what you are paying for when you buy the ticket and any prize to be a bonus. It is not the way that we tend to be used to thinking about the lottery but it will help us to reason with ourselves as to whether we feel that it is worth spending the money on the tickets or not.

Better in a syndicate?

It can often be felt that it is better to be in a syndicate rather than just buy a ticket on your own. This means that you have a better chance of winning because each group member buys a ticket and you share the prize between you. If the syndicate has 20 members then you have a 20 times higher chance of winning a prize than if there id just one person buying a ticket on their own. However, the prizes have to be shared between the different members so you will only win a twentieth of the prize. So, you need to decide if that is worth it still. You will not increase your odds of winning the min prize by that much as the odds are tiny anyway but a smaller prize will be more likely, but by the time it is split between everyone there will be very little left.