Friday 29 January 2021

Costs To Consider When Selling Your Home*

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Selling a home can sometimes be an opportunity to make money. However, it’s important to also consider the various costs involved when selling up. Below are just some of the expenses involved when selling a home that you will need to budget for. 

Agency fees/commission

Most people use an estate agent to help sell their home. If you do choose to use an agent, you’ll have to pay a seller’s fee or commission. This is usually paid after the sale is made - some of the money you get from the buyer then goes towards the agent. Technically, it’s the buyer paying the agency fee/commission, however it comes out of the value of your home so you’ll end up earning less money from the sale. Most estate agents charge about 6% commission. 

Energy performance certificate

An energy performance certificate (EPC) may need to be acquired when selling your home. This is a document that assesses the energy usage of your home to ensure that it is energy-efficient enough. EPCs typically cost between £60 and £120. If you bought your home less than 10 years ago or have had a energy assessment within that time, you’ll already have a valid EPC and won’t need to apply for a new one. There are sites online that can offer more information on property certificates such as EPCs. Other certificates may be necessary when selling certain other types of property. 

Solicitor fees

To handle all the paperwork when selling up, it will usually be necessary to hire a solicitor. This solicitor will also be able to help with any paperwork involved when buying a new property. There are solicitors that specialise in this process (known as conveyancers) and there are more general solicitors that may handle property matters along with other areas of law. You should consider whether you want to hire a conveyancer or a general solicitor. Legal fees typically cost £850 to £1500, not including local search fees. 

Property taxes

In some cases, you may have to pay tax on your home. This could include capital gains tax if it is a second home or inheritance tax if it is a property you recently inherited. A financial advisor may be able to help you understand these taxes so that you can budget for them (the likes of inheritance tax could be a very large sum). 

Moving and buying costs

It’s likely that you’re not only selling a home but buying a new one. You should also consider the various costs involved in buying a new home - this could include cash on a new property/a down payment on another mortgage, stamp duty tax, a home survey and various other fees. You may also have to consider the cost of hiring a moving company to transport your belongings to your new home. The value of your home may be able to cover all of these costs, however you may have to pay certain fees before you sell your home. Bridging loans are sometimes an option for covering these expenses, but may not be ideal if you want to avoid debt

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Wednesday 20 January 2021

How To Take Your Driving Experience To The Next Level*

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As the new year fast gains momentum, you may want to make resolutions that will allow you to improve your life in many ways. Enhancing your experience behind the wheel is a good thing, especially if you are an avid road traveller. By mastering the following tips and tricks on car ownership and driving, you could be well on your way to living a much happier and safer life in 2021. 

  1. Improve your car's performance

Making modifications to your existing vehicle is one way to improve its performance and boost your driving comfort. For example, consider fitting performance wheels and tires on your car. These can give you a firm grip and traction on the road as you cruise around. Those who regularly drive through snowy and wet conditions may also want to look at the best winter tires. While many car conscious drivers can't do without alloy wheels, carbon fibre wheels are becoming popular as well. These are durable, light and offer a smoother ride. Also, if you think your old car cannot cater to your needs in the new year, be ready to invest in high-performance vehicles such as BMW models, at a local BMW Garage - if you’re truly after a supercar.

  1. Steer clear of your motoring back pain

Your driving experience in the new year will no longer be fun if you suffer from back pain. According to the British Chiropractic Association, more than 40% of all drivers experience motoring back pain. Two main factors account for the rising cases of drivers suffering back pain at the wheel — bad posture and extended periods of driving. Besides stress, chronic back pain is another health problem that frequently forces drivers to take time off the wheel. Therefore, maintain the right driving posture and steer clear of back pain.

  1. Switch up your car's transmission

Another extraordinary way to improve your driving experience is to shake things up in your vehicle. Tweak your car's main mechanical systems starting with the engine and transmission systems. Switching from manual to automatic transmission or vice versa, depending on your driving strengths and needs, can improve your driving experience. When you opt for an automatic transmission, that could allow you to enjoy your car's features to the fullest. Car owners on manual transmission can consider adding "short throw shifter options". The bottom line is that tweaking your car's mechanics and installing extra features can improve your car's handling and driving comfort. 

  1. Reduce your stress

There is no doubt that stress is an enemy to a fulfilling ride. And sadly, an astronomical number of drivers fall victims to road rage once a while. According to Brake, a road-safety organisation, almost three-quarters of drivers lose their focus when engaging in road rage with other road users. If you are stuck in heavy traffic, it pays to keep your cool. Engage all your senses and avoid reckless driving habits such as speeding and texting while driving. 

These are just a few secrets of boosting your driving skills in the new year.

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Wednesday 6 January 2021

My 2021 Savings Challenges!

It's a few days into 2021, but HAPPY NEW YEAR, to you all! At the start of 2020 I made the decision to start doing cash envelopes and budgeting, to try and rein in my spending and try and save up a good emergency fund, as well as savings for Florida, car maintenance, medication, and other categories. 


Last year was a year from hell for a lot of us, and I had to shield for 3 months on NHS recommendation due to my asthma, so I was locked up indoors from the end of March, to the middle of June. I could only buy necessities online as I couldn't go out. So food shopping , toiletries, 'fun' money all had to be put into a new bank account, and a new budgeting system emerged for me. I still have some things in cash only, but 80% of my budget is now all digital and done via my online banking app! 

I also dipped into my savings a lot during that 3 months, and then I reined it in a little - only to want a Cricut Joy and all it's accessories, which meant the savings dipped againBUT, I still saved just shy of £500 from my original goal, so not all was lost. But this year, 2021, I wanted to try something different and try and go nutso with my savings. 

So this year, I'm even budgeting my left over number after my main budget is done. Whatever is left is going to be allocated via some fun savings challenges, and other forms of income now have a designed category to fill when I receive them. If you want to check out my budgeting through the year, I have a video once a month on my YouTube channel, so you can join me and see how my savings is going!

So without further ado, here are my 2021 Savings Challenges!

Depop, Blogging, OnePoll

I sell unwanted items on my Depop shop, and last year I managed to sell just over 35 items, but I spent all that income. So this year, any money made from this shop of mine, will be added into my savings. If I make £10.49 from a sale, the £10 goes into my holiday fund, and the 0.49p goes into the extra savings account!
Slightly like above, the same thing is going to happen with my blog and OnePoll income. I usually get round numbers like £10, £15, £25 from both of these streams of extra income, so all of that will be going into my general savings. Sometimes, it can be £6.26, and just like above, any pennies from the amounts will get put into the extra account. 

Sunday Savings - Dice Roll

Each Sunday, I will be getting my sister to roll and dice and pick out a category out of a bag, ranging from some of my cash envelopes, savings, or a category of her choice, and the dice roll will be doubled and added into whatever category is selected. If she rolls a 4, that becomes £8 for whatever of the below categories she pulls out!
  • Holiday
  • General
  • Gifts
  • Dad's Christmas Present
  • Miscellaneous
  • Dinner Out
  • Outings
  • Car (insurance, tax, etc)
  • Christmas
  • Fun
  • Clothing
  • Sister's Florida Fund
There is even a slip in the bag that is listed as her choice, so she can either pull another category, or just choose one. Last week, she rolled a 6, it was her choice, and she chose holiday. So £12 was put into my Florida holiday fund.

I will be allocating £48 a month for this, as I get paid every 4 weeks, so 4x6 is 24, and the dice roll is doubled, so I'll need £48 to cover it if a 6 is rolled each week! Any money left over from the £48 is left as a buffer and then will be used for Save-opoly!


Now this a relatively new concept to me, but it looked hella fun, so I found a few ideas online, but none quite worked for me. So I found an image on Google, and used photoshop to edit it to how I would like it. It's basically a Monopoly board, that you tweak to fit your savings, and you can use it as often as you want. I'll be using this on the Thursday before each payday, to save away any leftover money from the dice roll, and anything left over in my buffer and fun amount that was not spent or allocated elsewhere.

If I have £23 left over at the end of the month, I'll keep rolling until I cannot add another spaces amount to any savings. This amount will be sent into either my general savings, holiday, or gifts, depending on which one I want to fill quicker. Say from that £23 I have 2.50 left that I cannot roll with on the board, that will get put into the extra savings account. 

£5 Notes | £2 Coins | 20p & 10p Coins | 2p & 1p Coins 

This is a pretty straight forward set of challenges here. Anytime I come across a £5 note, or have £5 left from my food or work food envelopes, that will be put in a little money safe that I cannot touch. Hopefully this will add up to a nice sum over the next 12 months.

Same thing for the coins idea. Anytime a £2 coin is given to me, that goes straight into a money can. These are quite rare to come across lately, but I can hope to find a few now and again. 

With the 20p and 10p coins, I'll be sorting these out each Sunday evening. If I have 5 20p coins, and 4 10p coins, the 20ps get put into my money jar that week. And if the amounts are changed around , the 10p coins will get put away. This way I still have some change on me if I need it, but little amounts will get saved. 2p and 1p coins will be put into a piggy bank on my desk each time they appear in my purse so I can save those up too.

Once the jar with the 20p and 10p, and the 2p and 1p coins are filled, they will be emptied out, and paid into my bank account for the extra savings!

The extra savings account is new this year, and is going to be a very small pot, and I doubt will make more than £100 this year from the ways I'll use it above - but any little savings helps! At the end of the year, that extra savings account will be transferred into a category of my choice to help kick of 2022!

I have hope for this year's savings, and I am going to have to really try and be wise with my spending each month - so will see what happens! But, by making wise decisions like reading content online at sites like Mikhail Solodovnikov instead of buying book after book, I’ll be able to save money.

Are you doing anything with your savings this year, or like any of the above ideas? Let me know! Hope you have a great day and keep safe :)

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