VSCG Finance
UK personal finance and money borrowing advice.

How do I Earn More Money?

There are lots of us that would like the opportunity to be able to earn more money. We may not have a job or we may feel that the one we have does not pay enough. Of course, we could try to get a job, try to get a pay rise, change to a better paid job or even take on a second job. However, these are the obvious options that most people will have already tried out. There are other things that we can try which will help us to make some extra money which are different to these.

Sell things you no longer need

We all have lots of possessions and we may find that we have a lot of things that we do not really need. This could include all sorts of items such as homewares, kitchen things, clothes, books, toys, electronics etc. If there are things we no longer want, it could be the case that we will be able to sell them to someone who does want them. There are plenty of places to sell but most people will try social media pages or eBay, but there are car boot sale aps as well as actual car boot sales which you also might like to try. Doing this will raise a lump sum of money, rather than provide you with an income but it can still be useful to add to a pot of money you can use if you need to.

Monetise your hobby

If you have a hobby that you know well, then you might be able to make some money form it. If you make something, perhaps if you paint pictures, knit things or whatever, then you might be able to make things that you could sell on a website such as Etsy. Alternatively, you could put together an ebook with tips on doing it or make a video and post on youtube. There are different ways of making money and it can be good to find one that you find to be lots of fun. 

Rent out your home

If you own your house, you will be able to perhaps rent out a room, attic, garage, driveway or something like this. It might be that you know someone who could do with some storage space or parking space and you could rent it out to them. Or you could advertise it and rent it out to people you do not know. There are various websites where you can advertise this sort of thing and you will be able to find them by searching and choose which one might work out to be the best for you.

Set up a small business

Some people decide to set up their own business to do different things. There is a lot of choice as you can do whatever you wish. It can be a way that you can earn some extra money but you have to be sure that you are not paying out too much when you start as this could mean that you will not make much of a profit. However, you could do freelance work or other self-employed work that could bring in money without you having to pay out anything extra.

It is a good idea to have a think about whether there are any things that might suit you with regards to opportunities to earn more money. It can actually be a lot of fun to try out something new and you will be able to have a new hobby at the same time. You may need to learn some new skills such as marketing and accounting but it can all be great fun.

Should I Give my Grown-up Children Money?

As parents we will always care about our children and want to help them out as much as we can. However, some of them will be more demanding than others. Some may even ask for money or we may want to help them out financially and give them money. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of doing this and it is a good idea to make sure that you have a think about these before you give them any money.

They may not learn to be independent

By always helping out someone financially it can mean that they will not learn to be independent. They will know that they will not have to budget or be careful with what they are spending because they will be able to ask for money if they need it. This can okay as long as you are able to give them what they need, but you will not always be around to help them and then they could struggle massively to cope.

There may be jealousy

If you only give money to one child but have more than one, there could be jealousy in the family. They may see it as unfair and it could mean that the person who is not getting the help may feel annoyed at you as a parent or at their sibling for wanting the money. This can cause big ruptures in the family relationship as jealously can often run through a family anyway as this can make things a lot worse.

You may run out of money

There is a possibility that you may run out of money as a result of giving it away. This could mean that you will struggle yourself and if you need something then there may not be the money to buy it. You may not feel that you will need it but you never know what you might want in the future, such as paying for a carer or care home, moving into an expensive bungalow or even going on a nice holiday.

You will get to see them enjoy their inheritance

It can be nice to watch your children enjoy the money that they will otherwise inherit. If you give it to them early then you can see what they spend it on and it can be lovely seeing them enjoy it. You might also feel like you want some control over how they spend it and perhaps offer it as a down payment on a house or something like this.

You can have the pleasure of helping them

It can feel really nice to help your children. To be able to give them a hand financially can feel great, especially if they are in real need. If they have to wait to inherit, then you will not get to help them right now and they may need it now more than they will in the future.

You can prevent them from borrowing or struggling

If they have to borrow the money then they will have to pay for the loan or they may decide not to borrow and struggle without the money. It can be hard to watch them struggling like this and it can feel much better to help them out.

There is a lot to think about and it should not be a decision that you take on lightly. You need to be confident that you are making a decision that is both right for you and for them. It might be better to lend them the money rather than give it to them and this will mean that you will not risk running out of money, they will have to give more thought to it as they will not just be able to keep it and will have to learn about repaying money.

Is it Worth Borrowing to do Home Repairs?

If you house needs some repairs then you will have to think about how you are going to pay for them. You will have a selection of possible options. You may have savings you could use, you may be able to wait and save up or you may want to borrow the money. The choice will depend on your circumstances and it is worth thinking about each option to see whether it will be the best one for you.

Insurance

Some insurance policies might pay out for things that need repairing. It will depend on what type of damage it is, what caused the damage and whether the insurance covers for that. There are prs and cons to claiming on insurance. Obviously, you have insurance so that you can get money for this sort of thing when you need it. However, when you make a claim, your premium will go up so will pay for it in increased payments. So, you have to decide whether it is worth making a claim or not. This will probably depend on how much the repair will cost and how easily you will be able to afford to pay for it.

Use savings

If you have some savings then it could be good to use these. It can be tricky to part with savings though for a number of possible reasons. We may want the money there to fall back on in emergencies or we might want to use it to pay for something specific in the future like a holiday. It is hard work to save up money and it can be hard to part with those savings. However, it is a good idea to think hard about the benefits of using the savings. You will be able to pay for the repair right away and you will not have the additional costs that you would have to pay if you borrowed the money.

Save up

You could wait and save up the money. This could help you to be able to save the money that you would otherwise have spent on the loan. You will also then not need to use any savings that you already have as well. However, it will mean that you will have to wait to have the repair done. This could be okay, but it will depend on what the type of repair is needed. If your roof is leaking, you will not want to be wait to repair it though, as any wet coming in will cause rot in the house and cause further damage. Therefore, you will only be able to delay the process if delaying the repair will not cause further damage.

Borrow

Borrowing the money will mean that you can get the repair done quickly. This will enable you to ensure that there is no further damage caused by delaying the process. However, you will need to be aware that this will cost money and you will need to make sure that you are happy with paying that extra money. You also need to think about the fact that you will need to make repayments on the loan. Often these will be regular monthly payments and in this case, you will need to make sure that you are confident that you will have the money available to pay for these. They can be quite a lot, so make sure you find out how much they are going to charge so that you can look at your household finances and check that you will be able to afford them along with the other things that you need to buy.

How to Reduce Spending on Necessities

There are many things that we have to buy. This might be items that are necessary to live, such as food, rent or mortgage, loans repayments, contracts and utilities. There are items we need, we have agreed to pay for and that we use, that if we do not we will either be charged extra money or could end up in prison for not paying. However, just because we have to pay for these things, it does not mean that we have to pay the prices we are currently paying for them. There are ways that we can get the costs down.

Compare providers

You will be using different providers for things like any guaranteed payday loans you have, for your electricity, phone, broadband and insurance. You might feel that you are stuck with those providers but it could be possible for you to switch to different ones that are cheaper. It is worth having a good look at the alternatives that are available and you will be able to see whether you may be able to switch and pay less. Sometimes you will be tied into to a years contract or maybe a longer contract. It is worth checking if there is any way out of that contract and if so, how much it will cost. Sometimes the cost will be just too huge, but it might be worth seeing if it will be worth paying that money so that you can then pay less each month. Compare prices and what you are paying to that and even if you cannot switch now, you will have an idea of whether it might be a good idea to switch in the future. It might just seem like a small difference, but if you can save money on everything, even if just a small amount it will all add up and this will reduce how much you are spending more significantly.

Compare brands

When you are buying goods, such as food and toiletries then it is worth comparing the brands that you are buying to see whether you can get the items cheaper. Firstly, consider whether you are happy to swap to cheaper brands, perhaps supermarket own brands, for example. Then also look at different retailers or shops and see whether some are cheaper than others. Then you will be able to pick the cheapest and save money. Of course, you do want to be sure that you are getting good value for money and therefore you want to think about the quality as well. If it is a food that you will eat anyway, perhaps some carrots, then you may not mind, but if it is hair conditioner, then you may find that the cheaper brands do not work so well, so you have to use more and therefore it will not work out cheaper. You may have to experiment with different items to find out.

Buy/use less

It could also be the case that you will be able to use less of the items in question. There will be some things you cannot use less of, such as tax but many things you may be able to. For example, you could reduce your rent or mortgage by downsizing or seeing if you can change your mortgage company to a cheaper one. You may also be able to change any lenders so that you are paying less too. It is worth being very careful though to make sure that there are no charges associated with this, both charges from your lender and from the new one. Just ask them and you will be able to decide if you still think it is worth it.

Reducing electricity use can also help. If you make sure that you switch things off when you are not using them and things like this, Small changes can again, add up.

Even with food it might be possible to cut down. If you can cut down on snacks and treats this will help. We all tend to have sweets and chocolate, biscuits, cake and puddings which we do not need and cutting those out will not only be healthier but will save money. We could also reduce our portion sizes if we have large ones and perhaps reduce more expensive ingredients such as meat and fish and replace them with cheaper foods such as beans, lentils and vegetables.

Will Wealth Make me Happy?

There are lots of people that feel that wealth will make them happy and therefore strive to make a lot more money or save a lot of money so that they will be able to be happier. However, it is worth thinking about whether wealth will really make you happy and whether you are actually striving for the right thing.

Does wealth make people happy?

It is worth thinking about whether having lots of money really does make people happy. It is easy to assume that it will. However, there are lots of people that have a lot of money that are not happy. This can be due to things happening in their personal life, their health or other things completely unrelated to money. However, it can also be because the money has actually caused them stress. If you use your wealth to buy a big home, for example, you then have to pay to keep it in good repair. You also have to keep it clean and tidy, decorated and do the garden etc. It can actually be a lot of work and many people do not realise how hard it will be. There also could be the stress of thinking about whether we should use our money to help others. Should we be using our money to help those less fortunate and what if people ask us for money, should we help them. Making decisions like this can be really stressful. It is also possible to have a lot of money but also a lot of debt. If you get your money form borrowing you will have to repay it as it is not really your money.

Does having financial freedom make people happy?

Financial freedom is different to being wealthy. What this tends to mean is that you have enough money invested so that you get an income that you can live off without having to work. This can be good because although you do not have to give up work, you can choose what you do and perhaps even do voluntary work or some courses. It is something which will allow you to have a lot more choice in your life and is what people have achieved when they retire. It does not mean that you necessarily have a huge amount of money but just a large enough income so that you feel happy and comfortable.

How Can I be Happy?

So you need to think about whether have a regular income would make you feel happy or whether having a big lump sum of money or whether, in fact, neither will really make you happy. It is very possible to find happiness in lots of ways and not measure it by how much wealth we each have. Of course, not having enough money to cover our needs, struggling to repay debt and feeling generally that we cannot make ends meet is stressful. So therefore, it could be the case that you will need to take a look at your finances and think about what you can do in order to make sure that things are working for you. Perhaps re-evaluate what you are spending money on, compare prices more to try to pay less for things, perhaps increase the amount of money you have saved or prepare better for your retirement. There are lots of things that we can potentially do and it is a matter of thinking about our own situation and whether we can make changes which will make us happier. It may take some work and some time, not only to think it through but also to achieve what we want, but it will be worth it.