The Best Ways to Pay for Your Retirement

Many of us do not really think that much about our retirement. We probably want to just hope that we will be fine financially but it is important to give it some thought. We might already have a few plans but we need to be sure that we will have enough money.

Government pension

If we pay in enough national insurance payments then we will be able to get a government pension. It is easy to assume that we will all get one, but this is not the case. We will need to pay in enough money to be able to get one. Therefore, it is worth checking this out. You can go onto the government website to work out how much money you are entitled to get. It will also let you know how much more you will need to pay in to get a full pension which can be useful. If you are self-employed and not earning enough to make national insurance payments you can make voluntary ones in order to make sure you pay in enough so this is worth looking into to.

Work pension

A work pension can often be a good thing to get. They will often be a scheme where you pay in some money and you employer also pays some in. This means that you will gain from their contributions. You will also not be taxed on the money that you pay in so that can be advantageous as well. It is well worth looking into. However, work pensions do differ a lot so you will need to check and see whether it will be worth you getting it.

Private pension

With a private pension you will not get any extra contributions but your own. However, it can be a good way to save money regularly towards your retirement. It will then pay you some money each month which will be like getting a salary payment and will add some extra money to any other pensions that you have.


The main problem with pensions is that when you die there is nothing left. Therefore, you may have accumulated a large pension pot but if you do not live that long through your retirement, that will just go back to the pension provider or government. Some pensions will be passed to a spouse but they will not get the full amount. This means that some people prefer to make alternative investments which can then be passed onto their children or whoever inherits from them. The amount that they get paid each month form the investment may not be so much as they will get form a pension though. It can be a tricky decision to make. It can be well worth talking to a financial advisor and get some help on this. The type of investment or whether a pension is better will depend on your personal circumstances and how much money you can afford to pay in. Therefore, it is very hard to generalise and say that one thing will be better than another.

Whatever decision you make, the best start you can make is to acknowledge that you need a retirement income and to calculate roughly how much you think that you will need. Some people will manage on a state pension but there are many people that are used to a good standard of living and would like a lot more money than this. If this is the case then they will have to work out what to do to make sure that they will be able to get the money that they need. Also remember to start planning early as the longer you have to pay money in, the more you are likely to be able to get out.

How to Afford Your Child’s Education

Even if our children are not at private school, there will still be expenses related to their education. From uniform and PE kit to books, trips and university fees, there are always expenses that have to be covered. These are normally things that you have to pay for as well, not something that you have a choice about paying for. There are things that you can do though, which could help.

Save up

It can be a good idea to save up as soon as you can. There will be some larger expenses, such as uniform when they first start a school and university fees which will require a big chunk of money. If you can save up money for this, then it will be much easier for you to manage. It can be wise to try to start doing this as soon as they are born. Think about what they might need and how much it might cost to help you to save enough money. Of course, you will also need to make sure that you save according to what you can afford as well.

You may just decide to wait and see what might happen. You will not know when your child is born, whether they will want to go to university or not so you may think that it is a waste of time saving up. However, if you do save, you have nothing to lose If they do not go, you will still have that chunk of money. You could use it to help them out with buying a car, a deposit on a house or something like that. You could even use it for yourself to buy something nice.

Buy second hand

It can be a good idea to think about whether you can buy some things second hand. It might be possible to buy some pieces of uniform second hand. Sometimes the school may have a PTA which sells uniform cheaply from a rail, that has been donated by parents when their children have grown out of it and this can be at a discounted price. You may also be able to buy some books second hand as well.

Some people find it hard to buy second hand items. They feel that it is not a good thing to do, that perhaps people will be able to tell or that it is not very nice using things other people have. However, with clothes you can easily wash them and with books you can wipe the covers. It can save you a significant amount of money and so it is well worth doing. Children grow out of clothing very quickly too and you can always donate it back for someone else to buy once they have grown out of it.

Look for grants and busaries

It might be possible to get some financial help. If you have a low income then you can get help with the cost of school uniform. You may also be able to get a grant for university. You may be able to qualify for bursaries too. These can sometimes be available for private schools or universities and it is good to look out for them. They tend to be available to help the brightest students, but there may be some available for disadvantaged ones as well. It is well worth looking into all that are available so that you can see if you can benefit from them. Schools and careers advisors might be able to help with this as well as they may be aware of what might be available to different students.

How to Keep the Costs of Running a Car Down

If you own a car then you will be aware of how expensive it can be to run it. It might even seem that it is just too expensive to have one. However, there are things that you can look into that might help you to reduce the cost of owning one. It is worth looking at the different things that you might pay for and how to get the costs of these down.


Insurance is an area where it is easiest to reduce the amount that you have to pay. There are some factors, such as age which have an impact on the cost of your insurance which you cannot do anything about. However, you will find that there are things that you can change. If you look at different insurers, you will find that they differ in how much they will charge you and therefore you will find that you can switch to a different insurer and pay less. Do make sure that you are getting the cover that you need and you might want to check out the insurer to see what their customer service is like. However, most of us will be able to switch to an alternative insurer and will be able to save some money. Another way to keep insurance down is to only claim if you really have to as additional claims will increase your premium. You should also make sure that you try to keep your excess up. This is the amount of money you have to pay before the insurer will pay out anything – so if you make a claim for £200 and the excess is £50 you will only get £150. If you try to keep your claims rare, to keep your premium down, you will probably only be claiming if you need loads of money so increasing the excess can be beneficial.

Break down cover

Many of us have break down cover. It means that we can get help if we break down to be towed to a garage or help with repairs on the roadside or our drive. It is a form of insurance that can be really handy. However, it can be expensive and there are different companies that offer it and so it is worth comparing them to see whether you can get a better deal by using an alternative one.


Getting repairs done on the car is something that we often have to do regularly. This could mean things like getting tyres changed, oil changed or even repairing things that are broken. This is something that all cars will need doing. Try to find a small local garage that will be able to do it for your cheaply. If you go to a dealer then you will get charged a lot more money. Even if you have a specialist car, you could find that a small garage will still be able to do the repairs for you.


Everyone has to have an MOT each year. This can cost more at some places than others, but the things that can make a difference is if you fail the MOT and need some sort of repair or something replaced. If this happens then you are likely to ask the garage that you are having the MOT done at to do this work. If you go to an expensive place then you will end up paying a lot of money compared to going to somewhere cheaper.


Cars do not always run on the same sort of fuel but they will all need something. Whether they use petrol, diesel or electric they will all cost money. It can be a good idea to check for different garages to see whether you can buy it more cheaply. If you use electric, then you may plug the car in at home to charge. If this is the case then make sure that you are with a cheap energy supplier.

What to Look out for in a Good Bank

We all use a bank, whether for our current account, savings or borrowing money. There are very few of us that do not have a bank account. However, there are a lot of banks to choose from and we should be careful to choose one that is good. The word good is obviously very vague and what is meant by this is that we need to make sure that it is suiting our needs. There are different things that might be important to us and there might be certain characteristics that are really important to us.


Something that will be important to most of us are the bank charges and interest. If we have a current account there will be certain charges, including those for an overdraft and if we have a loan there will be interest to pay and possibly charges as well. Just as you would get if you took out a payday loan without a credit check. If we have savings, we will be paid interest and this will give us a return. These amounts will differ depending on the bank and so you should take a look and compare a few to see whether you will be better off moving. Often, we have been with a bank since we were children. Banks know this and that is why their children’s accounts have such good interest rates as they want to get their brand loyalty started off from a young age. However, we will probably find that there are cheaper banks available or ones that will pay a better return on savings and so it is worth investigating this.


We tend to vary in the way that we like to bank. Some of us like to deal with a local branch. We want to be able to go in and speak to someone and deal with our banking in person. However, there is a growing trend in online banking, where we will be able to check our balance, make transactions and all sorts of other things purely online. This can be convenient as it can be done at any time. There are some accounts which are dealt with through the post or even by telephone. These can be better for some people who do not like online banking due to fears about security and perhaps do not have any branches in there local high street or do not like going there.

It’s important that you compare all aspects of the current accounts being offered.


A lot of people will consider the reputation of the bank. They might want to use a bank that they have heard of or one that has been recommended to them. It is often the case that we will not want to swap to a different bank because we are worried about what an alternative one might be like. It is not an unjustified concern but it can be a good idea to check out alternatives and perhaps talk to other people about who they use so that you can think about whether there might be alternative banks that you might be happy to swap to. You should also be able to find reviews and information about them online. Obviously, you will also want to check out what their charges and interest rates are to see whether they will be better than who you are with already.

Provide right type of accounts

Obviously, you will also need to think about what types of accounts you need as well. Most banks will offer a current account with an overdraft facility, a savings account or a selection of them and loans. However, if you are looking for very specific types of accounts, then you will need to make sure that they have what you are looking for.

The Best Ways to Pay for a Holiday

Many of us really like to book up holidays. We enjoy being able to take off work, get away form home and do something fun and relaxing. Many of us have different ideas on what makes a good holiday but all holidays cost money. This means that we need to make sure that we have some money to be able to pay for it.

Use Savings

If you have some savings then it can be a good idea to use these to pay for your holiday. This can be the cheapest and most immediate way. Of course, you might not want to use your savings for a variety of reasons. You may like to have savings to fall back on for emergencies or you might be saving up for something specific such as a new car. You may also like the fact that you get interest on your savings. It is worth considering though, that if you borrow money, that you will pay more in interest on the loan than you will gain in interest on your savings. Therefore, financially it is better to use the savings. Also, you will be able to save up again, if you want to and are motivated to, so you can build them up again.

Save up

If you do not have any savings, then you could save up for a holiday. It will delay you going as you will need to wait until you have built up enough money to have enough to go. However, it will be cheaper than borrowing. If you are motivated to save it will be easier as you will be happier t go without things so that you will be able to put more money towards the holiday. It is a good idea to save a bit of money each month, perhaps transfer some just after you are paid so that you are not tempted to spend it on other things. It can feel more satisfying if we save up for something anyway. We know that we have worked hard to get it and you can feel a sense of achievement and you will enjoy it more as a result.

Get a Loan

If you take out a loan then you will be able to get the money to pay for the holiday right away. This means that you will be able to go on holiday with no delay and get away and have fun. However, you will need to repay the loan. This means that you will need to think about how much the repayments are going to be and whether you will be able to afford these. Make sure that you check carefully to make sure that you will be able to do this and do not just assume it will be fine. Also thin about whether you will still afford it if the interest rates go up and therefore the loan costs rise or if your income falls or other prices go up. Think about whether there are any changes that you might be able to make that will allow you to free up some money so that you can afford it still.

It can always be tempting to go with the option that means that we can go on holiday sooner. However, it is wise to think about the consequences of that decision. It is also worth thinking hard about what we can afford with regards to the cost of the holiday. There are so many different types of holiday and they cost different amounts. A local camping weekend will be a lot cheaper than a three month cruise around the world and so you will need to think about what sort of holiday will fit in best with your budget.