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  • Financial advice – worth paying for?

    We all seem to suffer constantly with bad connections, whether it’s our debit or credit cards not working, our phones, computer networks or even televisions.
    Faced with those technical diversities what would you do though?
    Would you go on the roof to try and fix the connection? Rod Hull, Emu’s right hand man, tried that and it didn’t get him many laughs.
    Much the same can be said for trying to sort out your own finances when things go wrong.
    Yet research from reveals that while the majority of us are more than happy to seek outside advice when it comes to, say, getting our hair cut or having the electrics in our house rewired, we’re not too keen on having someone tell us how to sort out our finances.
    That all seems a bit crazy to me. Let’s look at some facts…

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    Could you work in your garage?

    Were you under the impression that a house with a garage is worth more money? I know I was.
    We’re only half right, it turns out. For it seems a house with a converted garage is the real way to boost your property value.
    New research from Santander Mortgages suggests that British homeowners are cottoning on:
    - 650,000 garages have already been converted for other uses.
    - another 470,000 are earmarked by their owners for conversion.
    - that makes 1.1 million garages (i.e. more than one in ten of ‘em) whose car-sheltering days are consigned to history!
    So why the clamour to convert?

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    Welcome to the Age of Austerity

    Since the new coalition Government started work two weeks ago, we’ve been warned of the coming of the new Age of Austerity. But today we have the first real details of what cutbacks in Government spending will mean for us.
    Monday’s announcement sees £6.2bn of Government spending reductions put into place for this year. That’s ahead of the new Budget, to be announced on June 22nd that will introduce more reductions in spending for the years to come.
    So what will the cuts mean for you? We take a look at the detail as it affects our personal finances…

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    Three crucial dilemmas for holidaymakers

    I’ll bet this weekend’s almost-Mediterranean UK weather has whetted your appetite for a summer holiday… if you haven’t organised it already?
    If you haven’t, you’re not alone. With the uncertainty over jobs, currency values, airline cabin crew strikes and ash clouds, there are a lot of issues to get right.
    Here are three crucial factors to consider if you’re about to book a summer trip abroad…

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    My energy confession

    I’ve got a confession to make. I have no idea which energy provider I am with.
    Now, I know it is London-ish based, – or is it? – but other than that? It might as well be in the Arctic. Is it n-power maybe – I’m not too sure really.
    That in itself is shocking. But it really hit home when I was asked to write this piece, finding out whether with three “fixed tariffs from the ‘Big Six’ energy providers coming to an end soon” I could save a bit of cash…

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    95% mortgage signals new life in the housing market

    The housing market is getting very interesting. House prices are climbing higher, inflation is getting higher and now HIPs have been abolished too.
    There’s a lot going on. But what does all this mean for people looking to move or buy heir first home?
    Well, slowly but surely, it’s getting easier to get a mortgage and some lenders, such as Skipton, will now lend you up to 95% of the property value…

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