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Effective Retirement Planning Tips

Thankfully in this day and age, we are in a position where we never really have to be put in a position where we are unable to manage our finances effectively. With payday loans that are dedicated to cover short term emergency cash flow problems to mortgages to assist you with buying a house, we are offered more security than ever in terms of managing our finances. However as you grow older, you certainly do tend to become very aware of the power and purpose that money can offer you when you are looking towards retirement. It is important to remember that there is no short term solution for successful retirement planning however. Here are some of the most popular tips and tricks out there that are geared up to ensure that you are able to plan as thoroughly as possible for your future retirement.

Time

When it comes to being one of the most valuable benefits for investment in your future retirement, time is everything. And, while there are many excuses out there to not invest your money into the stock market, that is not to say that when done in the right way, the method of doing so can be very effective indeed. Starting early by putting your money behind a company that best fits your interests can offer a significant pay off in the future. Start early with your investments and over time you are likely to see a great return on your hard work- particularly as you approach retirement.

Spend less money

One of the easiest things you can do on a day to day basis is making the decision to spend less money. Whether that means putting more into your saving account to making the effort to eat out less each week. Think of your financial situation as something that runs the course of your life and spend according to this ideas.

Budgeting and making a list of your priorities will allow you to improve your spending habits and show you areas where you can afford to spend that little bit less and save a little bit more.

Allocate your assets with care

It is important to keep an eye on where you are placing your assets so that in the future you are not faced with the problem of only receiving one form of investment payoff as opposed to several pieces. The act of going through and rebalancing your investment and asset allocation portfolio is something that is becoming ever more important. Through allocating your assets more broadly you are better able to reduce the amount of risk you face with losing out on one of them in the event of a market crash etc.

Discuss your retirement lifestyle

Some of the savviest retirement savers and planners are those that take the time to discuss their retirement lifestyle with their families and other halves. This works in allowing you and your loved ones with being on the same page when it comes to your future and making your prepared for what your goals are once you retire from work.

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How to choose the right savings account for you

Saving money successfully is a fantastic thing to get into the habit of doing, offering both long term and short term benefits. It is important that you make it a goal to put some money away each month so that your financial situation is as stable and secure as possible. Knowing where to put your savings and finding the right savings account can be tricky which is why we have accumulated some of the very best ways to ensure that you are always able to find the ideal savings account for your needs.

Knowing where to place your earnings should be straightforward but due to the wealth of options in which to do so out there, this can sometimes cause confusion and problems. There is often so much more than interest rates to think about and you will need to thoroughly evaluate the way that each savings account works so that your personal financial circumstances match up with the perfect account. Here are the main things that you should be looking out for:

Interest rates

Something to keep an eye on and compare is what interest rates are on offer. Some banks will offer higher interest rates initially which will then drop later on, others will do the opposite- as long as you are fully aware and up to date with how your contract will work then you can go ahead with your savings plan and make it a success.

Notice period

Another thing to keep an eye on is what the notice period is before you are able to withdraw funds. This can be anywhere from 30 days to a years, so make sure that you are comfortable with what is on offer before choosing to save your money in that location.

Time

Some savings accounts will require you to leave money in your account for a certain period of time before you are able to have access to interest payments and higher interest rates. Find out where you stand with this early on so that you are able to stay ahead and plan you time accordingly.

How is interest paid?

Establishing how you will be paid interest on what you deposit into your account is crucial. Different accounts offer various ways of paying you- some monthly, some annually etc. Make sure you are able to establish your arrangement in a way that best benefits you.

What about minimum deposits?

Before you choose your savings account make sure that you check whether or not you will need to make a particular minimum deposit before being able to continue saving. Some banks also prefer that you make a certain number of deposits in a certain time period, which is something to be aware of before making your final decision.

And taxes

The government here in the UK seeks to encourage people to save money by offering certain incentives for us to do so more effectively. An example of this is through offering no tax as is evident in the Individual Savings Accounts or ISAs. Make sure that you always make the most of these incentives as you will not only be able to save money but also do so without having to pay tax too!

While generally it is most people’s goal to be able to save enough to ensure that they have enough money to cover them in the event of an emergency, this is not always a viable option. If you ever find yourself not knowing where to turn when it comes to managing your cash flow problems, perhaps considering a short term loan may be an ideal solution in the short term. Make sure that whatever decision you make with regards to your finances is one that suits you and your particular needs best.

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UK Family spending habits

UK families have it rough today with so many things to worry about. Studies have shown that parents are paying more and more each year to raise their children in the UK and new parents can find it difficult to manage their finances and figure out costs. That’s why we’ve put together our findings on UK family spending habits – to find out how much UK parents are spending and where all of these expenses are coming from.

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How much are UK Families Spending?

Family spending continues to go up across the UK, but it’s London families that are seeing the worst of it. On average, families in London are spending as much as £117.90 a week on housing and fuel alone, which is a lot when you compare it to families in Northern Ireland who spend less than half of that amount. When you compare the costs overall, however, it can seem even worse as the total weekly spending for London families averages at £652.40, which is almost 200 pounds more than families in the North-East. London is the most expensive place to live in the world, coming in the top 10 of world’s most expenses places to buy property, so it’s no wonder London families are facing such heft bills.

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What Are UK Families Spending Their Money On?

When you look at where family income is going, you can start to see why having a family can be as costly as it is. As well as housing and fuel being some of the most substantial expenses, families can spend as much as 14% of their income on transport in general. London has one of the world’s most expensive transport systems and most people working in London get around by train. While most Londoners use Oyster cards to reduce the cost of their travel, Londoners can end up paying anywhere between £4 and £12 per day to get around – even with an Oyster card – which all adds up over time. But, travel isn’t the only cost that families need to worry about. Food can get pretty costly as well, taking an average of 11% out of your income and that doesn’t include the additional 9% that goes towards restaurants.

Overall, there are a lot of expenses that UK families need to worry about, which is why putting together a budget is one of the first steps you can make to save money and organise your bills.

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How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Family In the UK?

The average cost of raising a child last year managed to range between £72,000 and £183,000. Even without considering the extra expenses of providing for children, the cost of raising a child has gone up by more than £1,000 for single parents in the UK. Statistics from 2016 have also shown us that the full cost of raising children – which includes council tax and childcare – is going up for both single parents and married couples. In four years, the full cost of raising children has gone up by almost £9,000 for couples raising a child and over £27,000 for single parents – that’s an increase of over 15%.

Increasing costs are showing parents that it’s never too early to start teaching children about financial responsibility, which is why more and more UK parents are giving their children pocket money. However, most parents take different approaches to giving their children an allowance with some parents controlling what their children spend their money on and others letting them buy what they want. 21% of UK parents are also making the decision to encourage their children to save their pocket money, which may help children learn the right way to save.

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How Much are UK Families Saving and Why?

While it’s sad to see that costs are going up for UK families, a positive thing to note is that UK families are also getting better at saving their money. Whereas seven years ago 35% of families were not making any effort to save money, in 2015 that number went down to 25%. The amount that people are saving is going up, too. In 2010 families saved an average of £70 per month, but in 2015 they were saving around £105 a month and that number continues to go up. With families overall saving at least five times more in 2015 than they managed to in 2010, they are more prepared to deal with the expenses that worry them.

While different families have different motivations for saving, concern over emergency expenses seems to be on the rise and is the biggest worry for UK families today, more so than parents losing their job or falling ill. In 2015, 57% of families considered unexpected expenses to be one of their main motivations to save money and these types of expenses are often why many people turn to direct lenders like Wizzcash. The payday loans that were provide are specifically designed to help out people encountering unexpected expenses, like repairing damages around the home. However, if families continue to get better at saving, they will have more money put away to fall back and won’t need fast loans as frequently and teaching their children to save will lead to better saving habits in the future.

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Your Guide To Understanding Interest Rates

When it comes down to money management, one of the most important things that we should all understand prior to taking out a loan is how interest rates work. When taking out any form of loan, it is so important to know what interest you will be looking to pay and use it as the basis for comparison when it comes to finding the best deal for you. Interest is essentially the amount of money you will be looking to pay back on top of your loan amount. If you are looking to take out a loan and want to know more about what certain interest rates mean for you and your money, then you have come to the right place!

APR
The Annual Percentage Rate is a level of interest and fees that arelculated across the space of a year and works out how much you would be looking to repay over the space of a year when taking out any kind of loan. The APR is a legal requirement to be shown when dealing with short term loans, personal loans, credit cards, quick loans and hire purchase agreements. A lower level of APR will translate to you making smaller monthly repayments, which is precisely why it so important to assess the APR rating you are offered before making the decision to take out a particular loan. Here at Wizzcash, for example, our representative APR is 1265%.

Compound interest

Compound interest is typically associated with saving accounts and refers to recurring interest. This means that after you have accumulated interest on an amount of money further interest will be calculated using the new amount. For example, if you were to open a savings account and deposit £2000 into a bank that offers 10% interest a year, you would have amassed £2200 at the end of the first year. After this point you can either take the money out of your account or may prefer to keep the money in the account and allow a further 10% to accumulate on top of the £2200 you already have, thus earning you £2420 at the end of the second year. This type of interest allows you to reinvest your money and increase your earnings exponentially.

Fixed interest

Fixed interest rates are those which do not change over the course of the repayment period and is typically associated with those borrowing for a mortgage. A fixed interest rate is helpful in terms of keeping your repayment amounts set so that you are better able to budget prepare for how much you are going to be spending. This allows stability when it comes to maintaining repayments despite the economic climate at any given time.

Variable interest

Variable interest is a type of interest that fluctuates and changes in accordance with certain factors. These interest rates are typically affected by economic changes or international rates and are very much influenced by external factors, which can be somewhat unsettling for some. Variable interest is an appealing option for those who would prefer to not have to pay a set interest amount until the end of their repayment term and would rather reap the benefits of any drops in interest rate at certain times.

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6 Ways You Can Save Money On Your Energy Bills

It’s safe to say that you learn a lot once you move out of your family home and have to live independently. Once you have to become the one responsible for paying for your rent, utilities and everything else that comes with living by your own means, only then do we truly realise how expensive everything really is! In order for you to live comfortably and save money, we have come up with some useful tips that will really help you improve the way you manage your money.

  1. Unplug appliances

If you are not using an appliance, then it is great practice to always unplug it; this includes TVs, toasters and anything else that you usually leave plugged in. When left plugged in, they can use up to 50 watts of energy, which all adds up over time and, more importantly, adds to your energy bills!

  1. Heating and cooling the home

One area where we tend to spend the majority of our utility budget on is in heating and cooling our homes. The following can really help you stop spending excessive amounts on either one:

  • Conduct an energy audit, which will help you find practical and inexpensive ways to reduce your monthly energy outgoings
  • Improve your home’s heat retention by using draft excluders and window coverings to keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • Use a fan to cool the room on hot days as opposed to using air conditioning

 

  1. Set your water temperature

Typically you will find that a manufacturer setting on a water heater is set to 140F, however if you change this to 120F you will be able to make between a 5% and 10% saving on your bills.

  1. Replace light bulbs

If you are committed to not only saving money but also reducing your carbon footprint, it is a good idea to switch all of your bulbs to LED ones. LED light bulbs last more than 5 years and will save you a considerable sum of money if you consider how infrequently you will need to replace them.

  1. Limit your baths and showers

Of course we aren’t suggesting that you should stop bathing, but consider the impact it would have on your bills if you limited your showers to 10 minutes?

  1. Fix leaks

If you notice any leaks in your home, it’s important that you have them seen to as soon as possible as you could find yourself literally watching money flow away down the drain! If you notice that your water bills are suddenly spiking this could also be an indicator that you have a leak in your home.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to make ends meet in the light of being faced with an emergency repair in your home, then why not get some help from our team at Wizzcash? We can help you secure the perfect payday loan amount so that you can spend less time worrying and focus more on living your life as normal, free of financial fears.

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What Are The Different Types Of Personal Loans?

Applying for a personal loans can be a difficult process, especially when you don’t know what kind of loan you should be applying for. There are many different types of personal loans to match different demands and financial situations. If you are in need of a personal loan but aren’t sure which one is right for you, here are some of the basics that you need to know:

Secured/ Unsecured Loan

A secured loan is one that requires you to put forward an asset for collateral in case you are unable to make your payments while unsecured loans don’t require an asset. Secured personal loans tend to be worth more than unsecured personal loans because the asset that you put up represents a guaranteed method of paying back your debt whereas with an unsecured loan a lender is putting their trust in you to be able to pay back your loan, which is why some lenders that offer unsecured loans might require you to present evidence of your income or perform credit checks.

Student Loan

A student loan is a loan provided by a lending institution or public sector organisation that is usually long term. In the UK, a student loan is provided by The Student Loans Company who provide fuds to over a million students every year. While interest is applied to these personal loans, in the UK they tend not to be particularly high and after leaving University it is possible for you to defer repayments until you have found reliable, full term employment that allows you to afford your repayments.

Overdraft

Some types of bank accounts come with an overdraft, which refers to the amount that you are able to overdraw from your bank account should you need it. This means that you can own a bank account with a negative amount of money. Overdrafts differ greatly and it is important for you to know the terms of your overdraft before you attempt to overdraw from your bank account. Certain types of overdrafts charge interest for however long your bank balance is below zero, which can make it more difficult to pay your way out of your overdraft.

Payday/ Short Term Loans

Pay day loans and short term loans are only some of the many different types of unsecured loans that are available. These are small loans with high interest that are designed to pay off emergency expenses if you are running short on money before payday. The high interest rates imply that these types of loans need to be repaid quickly and you can see for yourself the effects of payday loan interest rates on your original loan using our homepage Loan Calculator. To apply for these types of personal loans, you may need to undergo a series of checks – including a credit check and employment – to reassure the lender that you can afford the loan and will be able to pay it back. Over the years, payday loans have undergone many changes which can help people to avoid taking out a loan they can’t afford and accumulating debt that is difficult to repay.

Credit Cards

When you spend money using a credit card you are effectively borrowing money from your credit card provider, which is something that not many people are aware of. There are many different types of credit cards with different limits and interest rates, which is something you should research thoroughly before applying for one. However, many people use credit cards to improve their credit score. If you can pay back your credit card debt on time and in full, you will demonstrate to future lenders that you are dependable borrower that will pay back the loan on time.

Debt Consolidation

If you are struggling to pay off debts to lenders, a debt consolidation loan will move all of your debt to one place to help you pay it off. If you apply for a debt consolidation loan, a lender will provide you with the money to pay off your existing debt with other lenders, effectively purchasing your debt. This way, you will only have one debt to repay rather than several that are difficult to keep track of. Some lenders will even improve the terms of your loan when they buy your debt, lowering the interest rates and allowing you to pay back in easy monthly repayments that you have agreed upon.

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Top Things To Know About Your Bank Account

When it comes to opening a bank account there are a few things that you should know. While many people will have their own bank accounts opened for them when they were children, as we grow older we may consider switching banks or taking out a credit card depending on our needs. Here, we’re taking a look back at the basics of what you should know about your bank account, to help you make the right decision.

Types Of Bank Accounts

There are a number of different types of bank account that you can choose from when you first set one up. With new rules put in place in order to make the process of opening or transferring a bank account even easier, there are more options than ever. Some of the bank accounts that you can choose from include:

  • Current Accounts
  • Basic bank accounts
  • Credit union current accounts
  • Joint accounts
  • Packaged accounts

Current accounts are generally the most popular type of account to choose from and are a great option for those who are looking to manage their day to day spending. However, there are a number of different features and add-ons that you can choose from when it comes to opening a current account depending on the bank, and so it is important to look around to find the account that works best for you. Basic bank accounts however are a fee-free version, which do not offer as many benefits. They do not have any overdraft facilities and can become an easier, more hassle-free way of managing money, without any additional features.

Credit union current accounts on the other hand, provide an option for those who are struggling to open a bank account with a bank. They are also an option for those who are not interested in opening a bank account per say and would rather a not-for-profit organisation take control of their money. Joint accounts are those designed to share with someone such as your partner or even a housemate. Packaged accounts however, when opened offer a monthly fee and have benefits like travel insurance all included within the account – but these aren’t always good value for money.

Types Of Bank Cards

There are a few different types of bank cards that you may come across depending on the type of account that you set up. For example, a debit card will be the first-choice of those who are looking to stay away from borrowing credit. A credit card on the other hand, lets you buy things on credit, and you can spend up to a certain amount (known as a credit limit) which is set beforehand. There are a number of credit cards that offer a 0% introductory period, which means you are not being charged interest on top of what you already owe. Pre-paid cards are another type of bank card that you can get, that works like a pay as you go phone, but these can charge a fee.

Spending More Than What’s In Your Account

When you spend more than what is in your account, you can end up going into what is known as an overdraft. Having been compared to payday loans in recent years due to the interest that can be added onto an unarranged overdraft, they can be deemed as a problem. However there is a difference between falling into an unarranged overdraft and an arranged overdraft, and these are important to know about when you open your account.

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How To Teach Your Children About Personal Finance

Talking to your children about financial responsibility can be a difficult subject to approach casually. As a parent, you want to prepare your child to be independent in the future, and teaching them about saving/spending responsibly is an important part of this process. Before your child reaches the age of ten, there are certain things you can do to prepare them to take charge of their own finances and teach them about the importance of personal finance, which can impact their lives for years to come.

Give them a weekly/monthly allowance

Rather than buying your children the things they want when they ask, once they reach a certain age you can start giving them pocket money. Giving them an allowance gives them the opportunity to experience having responsibility over their own money and can teach them to spend it more sensibly. However, in order for this to work, you have to commit to the amount you give them and not give into demands for more.  You might reward your child with additional pocket money if they were to achieve something particularly noteworthy or demonstrate exceptionally good behaviour, but without firmly setting an amount you might be giving them the message that they can always rely on you for more money if they need it.

Open a savings account

If your child is regularly receiving birthday or holiday money from relatives – or if they are gifted with large amounts of money – rather than allowing them to take charge of it, place it in a savings account opened in their name. Be sure to include your child in the process of opening and monitoring the account so they can see for themselves how saving money works and how much money they have to finance their future. Discuss with them when you’re opening the account what this money can be used for in the future, e.g. education, accommodation, holidays and vehicles. Opening a savings account from a young age also means that your child will have money to fall back on in the future should they find themselves in a financial emergency. While payday loans may be an option when facing unexpected expenses, many prefer to have savings accounts to fall back on when facing financial emergencies. Helping your child to understand the need for savings may give them an insight into a better personal financial future.

Get them a piggy bank

Having their own personal piggy bank is a great way for your child to learn about saving. As they add money to the piggy bank, they will be able to see the results of their saving for themselves in a tangible format. Be sure to give each of your children their own piggy bank so that they are firmly aware of how much money they personally own as opposed to a collective amount that they might share with their siblings. Unlike your child’s savings account, this money can be used freely. While children might be frivolous with their money to begin with, giving them full control will allow them to learn an important lesson about spending wisely. Failure and mistakes are an important part of the learning process, so it’s better that they make them when they’re younger rather than when they’re older and need to rely on their savings. If they spend all of the money in their piggy bank, you must allow them to experience the consequences and not give in to demands for compensation unless there is just reason for it.

Talk to them

Ultimately, one of the best ways to teach your children about personal finance is to discuss it with them and give them advice about saving and spending wisely as they get older. This conversation needn’t be a serious or intense discussion, but sitting down with them and talking them through the importance of saving money and being careful about the money they have might help them to make better financial decisions in the future. Let them know that they can always come to you for advice about money and direct them to sources of information that they might find useful when they start taking on more financial responsibility. Loans in particular are an important element of personal finance that you should discuss with your child, although you might not need to address this subject until they get a bit older. Tell them about the process of taking out a loan, what it entails, and the different types of loans that are available to them. You can use online and printed resources to affirm this information, and you can use our online Loan Calculator to show them how interest works. Your child should be learning to make more informed decisions when it comes to their personal finances and be more considerate of the consequences of them.

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Do Men & Women Spend Differently?

Men and women can sometimes be very different and this includes the way they spend money. While we all try our best to save and stay out of debt, we all have moments of weakness and tend to splurge on things that we maybe don’t need. But, if you’re able to recognise these bad spending habits, you can be one step closer to breaking them. If you have always wondered what men and women spend their money on, why not find out:

What do single men and women buy?

Being single is the time where both men and women spend money on having fun. On average, men spend nearly double on alcohol than women when they’re single and it’s been found that men actually tend to spend a lot more when there are no women around. On the other hand, women on average typically spend a lot more on personal care and services than men do. This includes make-up, haircuts, gym memberships etc.

What do they buy to cheer up?

Retail therapy is very common, and maybe we all feel like spending a little extra money when we’re feeling down. But, the majority of men and women tend to buy very different things to lift their spirits.

Women

When it comes to cheering up, most women will buy clothes, food and shoes to make themselves feel better, with accessories and books/magazines being next on the list. In fact, over 50% of women buy clothes when they’re feeling depressed.

Men

When it comes to retail therapy for men, there is a bit more variety when it comes to what they choose to spend their money on. Some buy food, others buy electronics or movies/music and only around 20% of men would spend money on clothes to cheer themselves up.

Who is more sensible with their money?

Men and women have very different spending habits and in regards to how they spend their money, there isn’t one that’s necessarily better than the other. While women are likely to spend money more often, men are more likely to splurge and spend more when they do buy something. Ultimately, they’re spending the same amount of money, but women spread it out while men spend it all at once. Similarly, while men have slightly better saving habits, women are smarter at spending and know how to get what they want for less. So, while men might be putting their money away, women are saving money by finding deals and discounts and are more patient when it comes to waiting for an item to go on sale.

Of course, every person is different and we all have our own guilty pleasures that we tend to waste money on when we should be saving it. If you don’t save your money you could one day find yourself with unexpected bills that you can’t afford. When that happens, you can always come to Wizzcash for a reliable short term loan that can help you get out of tricky financial situations. If you’re interested in applying for a Wizzcash loan, use our helpful Loan Calculator today.

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Home Improvements That Can Pay For Themselves

Being a homeowner can sometimes seem like a chore more than a pleasure. With bills flying in day after day, it can be hard to tell where your money is going and how much you’re spending, especially when it comes to costs around the home. If you’re a home owner looking for a way to make some cost effective improvements around your home, here are a few suggestions:

Upgrade your kitchen

The kitchen is probably the most valuable room in the home, and an attractive, fully furbished kitchen can add a pretty hefty sum on top of your property value. Rather than stripping it bare and starting from scratch, making a few smart upgrades around your kitchen is all you really need. Get some new appliances, replace your countertops, get some high-end drawers or cupboards, and clean up your kitchen’s most visible features to increase your home’s value and get back what you put in.

Programmable Thermostat

It’s estimated that it only takes half a year for a programmable thermostat to pay for itself. With one of these in your home you don’t have to worry about wasting money on heating. Programme it to turn your heating on and off at certain times of day so that you can have the benefit of a warm home without leaving your heating on all day while you’re at work. Rather than turning the heating on and off, these thermostats can also adjust the temperature to save money on your energy bills while also keeping your home at the perfect temperature. Find one that can connect to your smartphone to control your heating while you’re out and about.

Insulation

One thing that you will find most professionals recommending to you to save money on your home is proper insulation. Insulation is what is going to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, which can save you a lot of money that you might be wasting on heating and air conditioning and tack a little more onto the value of your home. So, get your home properly insulated and don’t forget about the attic. By plugging up the draughty holes and properly insulating your home, you will have the money you spent on insulation back in only three or four years.

Structural Repair and Maintenance

Leaving your damaged home as it is and not getting the little problems fixed more often than not lead to far worse situations and considerably more expensive repairs. If a small problem crops up, don’t just ignore it. You should tend to it as soon as possible to prevent it getting worse and costing you more in the future. If you don’t quite have the funds to make these emergency repairs then consider taking out a payday loan. A small loan from Wizzcash can help you afford the repairs when you need them and save you money by preventing the problem from getting more expensive to repair. Keeping your house in top shape and making regular repairs can also greatly improve its value when or if it comes to be the time to sell it.

Generic advice is not a service regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.