How to Find the Best Bank?

Most of us have a bank account and therefore we may have a reason for being with that specific bank. We may have accounts with a selection of different banks but we should still be thinking about who is the best bank. This is because we might want to change who we bank with. We tend to stick with the same bank a lot, but this may not be wise as there may be banks that offer products that will suit our needs better or might have better interest rates. Therefore it is well worth thinking about what we should be looking for in a good bank so that we can check whether the bank that we are with fits those criteria and also if we ever want to open a new account, that we can check whether we like the banks we are considering.

Well-Known Name

Some people like to choose a bank because they have heard of it. They feel that if it has a well-known name it means that it can be trusted and will provide a good service. It is understandable that we think this and we also apply this to other brands as well. We may feel that brands that we know well will be better. However, it is wise to think about why we think a well-known name will be better. Think about the reasoning behind this and whether it makes sense. A well-known company does not have to work so hard to be good if people just use it because they assume it will be good. It is likely to be the less well-known ones that will have to provide a better service as they need the good reviews.

Good Reviews

Reading reviews of banks can be helpful to some extent. You will be able to find out what other people think of them. However, you do need to be careful. Many people will only write reviews if they have a particularly bad or good experience. This means that they might be very skewed in one direction or another. It is also possible that reviews will be biased. If a bank puts reviews on its website, then it will only publish the good ones and it could even write reviews of itself on other sites so there are good ones.

Recommended by People you Know

It can be useful to ask people you know about their experiences of different banks. They will be unlikely to be biased and they will also be more likely to have your best interest at heart and so will give you information that they think will be helpful to you.

Local Branches

You may want a bank that has local branches. This is getting rarer, with more banks going online and smaller branches closing. However, there are still people that like to deal with a bank directly and so they will need to make sure that there is a branch near to them.

Good Customer Services

For many people the customer service is really important to them. They want to make sure that they will get a quick response, that is helpful and polite. Some people find that some banks do this better than others and so it is a good idea to think about whether this is something which is important to you or not. If it is something that you care about, then contact the customer service department yourself and ask them a few questions. You will then be able to find out a lot more about then and how well deal with you and your questions. This should help you to be able to decide whether you think that they will work out well for you or not.

Should I Save Money Each Month?

There are some people that will save a bit of money regularly each month. This could be for different purposes. They might save money because they want to save up for a specific thing or so they can have some money to fall back on or just because they do not want to spend everything that they earn. You may or may not save money, but it is a good idea to look at the reasons in more detail to see if it might be a good idea to save some each month but also think about the negatives of doing this as well. Then you can decide whether to continue saving, start saving, stop saving or whatever.

Save up for Somethings Specific

Often we might be putting some money aside to save up for something. We might do this to save up for Christmas or for a holiday or something like that. By saving up, we spread the cost and make it much more affordable than it would be, if we tried to pay for it all at once. It also means that we will not need to take out a loan to pay for it, which will make it cheaper. Some people might be saving for something even longer term, perhaps for a car, when they need to replace theirs so they will not need to borrow when the time comes. They may even be saving up for retirement.

Have Money to Fall Back On

Some people like the idea that they have some money to fall back on. They like to think about the fact that if there is an emergency and they suddenly need money, there will be some there to help them. They also like to think about the fact that if something breaks down or they decide they want to treat themselves to something, there will be the money there to help them with that. It can give a feeling of security to know that there is some money there available to use if required.

Not Spend Everything

Some people are just not extravagant and do not want to spend all the money that they earn. If they are lucky enough to be able to afford it, they will buy everything they need, perhaps a few treats and then save the rest as they just do not feel the need to spend it all. We are all different and some people do enjoy spending and want to spend everything that they have, this can very much depend on how much we earn but also what type of person we are.

Reasons why Saving May not be Good

If you have debts then saving money, rather than paying off the debt may not be a good idea. You will make more money paying off the debt than saving, in most cases. This is because debt has high charges and using savings does not cost you very much money apart from the small amount of lost interest. This means that you might be much better using spare money that you have paying off your debt compared with saving it.

There is also some advantage to spending money that you have. If you spend it locally, then you help your local economy and that can help to boost the area that you live in. This can be really advantageous to you in the long run as it will make the area that you live a nicer one and will provide more employment for you, your family that love locally and any local friends and neighbours that you have.

How Can I Afford a New Computer?

If you need a new computer, perhaps because your is out of date or has stopped working or you do not have one and need one, then you may wonder how to pay for it. Computers are not cheap and it is worth considering how you are going to pay because it could make a big difference to the cost and how you will manage once you have paid it.

Borrow the Money

Many people will borrow money when they need to buy something new that is expensive. This is an option that most people are able to consider, although if you have a poor credit rating you may not be able to borrow any money or perhaps only a little bit.

If you do decide to borrow then you should think about which loan will be the best sort for you. Consider how much the computer will be as this will have an influence on which small loans will be the best. Then you need to compare the loans and find out which will be the cheapest. Obviously, it is in your advantage to go for a cheap one, but you should also consider whether you can afford the repayments. You will need to normally make a repayment each month and you need to think about whether you are confident that you will be able to afford the size of the repayment that each loan will require you to make. Even if it is more expensive, it might be advisable to go for a loan that has smaller repayments but more of them as this will be easier to manage. If you miss a repayment, because they are too big to manage, then you will charged more money so it could be more expensive in the long run anyway.

Loan charges can soon add up.

Use Savings

If you have savings, then it will be cheaper to use these to pay for a computer than to borrow money. Although you will be losing out on any interest that you would otherwise get on a savings account, this will normally not be very much compared to the amount that you will need to pay for a loan anyway. It is wise to check though as you need to make sure that you are not getting a high interest rate. Also, if your savings are tied up in a bond or notice account then you may lose quite a lot if you decide to cash them in and use the money to buy something.

Many people are not keen up using their savings this way though. They feel concerned because they like to have that peace of mind that they have some money in case of emergency. This is perfectly understandable but it is worth remembering that you might be able to pay some money back into this account quite quickly and replace the money that you have saved.

You may also be reluctant to spend the money if you have been saving up for something specific. Again, you should be able to repay the money that you use and so it could be well worth it.

Save Up

If you have no savings, then you might need to think about whether you should save up. This may not be possible if you need the computer immediately but it will depend how urgent the purchase is. It will be cheaper than borrowing and so this could be a big advantage, but of course, it will take time to get the money. You will not be able to buy the computer immediately. Whether you can wait to buy it or not could determine whether this will be a good option for you or not. 

How do I Reduce my Phone Bills?

Most of us have a phone. This could be a land line or a mobile or both and we will have to pay for any phone that we use. The way the charges are made can vary and it is important to make sure that we understand how we are charged and then we can decide whether there might be ways to reduce those costs.

Line Rental

With a land line, you will have to pay a line rental charge. This is a fixed amount and is not determined by how much you use the phone. Some people choose not to have a land line phone because of this charge and the fact that they have a mobile phone that they use a lot more. However, some people feel that it is well worth paying because they use their land line a lot and are grateful for the service. Getting rid of your land line could save some money, but only if you rarely use it. If you replace all of the calls you normally make on it with mobile calls then this could cost you a lot more money. You would need to do the calculations to check for sure.

Cost of Calls

The cost of phone calls can be a significant amount. The phone providers tend to have different ways of charging for calls though. For example, on a land line you may find that calls are cheaper in the evening. You may be able to pay a monthly fee so that you can get free calls after a certain time in the evening, at weekends or even all of the time but you are often limited to an hour for each call. If you use a mobile phone then the cost of calls an vary depending on what provider you are with as well as the terms that you have with them. If you ‘pay as you go’ then you will pay per minute and you will normally pay the same whenever the call is made. If you have a contract then things are different.

Contracts

With a contract you will be able to choose what sort of deal you want. Often you will get some free call as well as free texts and minutes of data. This means that you will be able to choose a package that suits how you use your phone. You will be able to make sure that you get the phone minutes that you need. However, if you tend not to phone much but use lots of data and texts, then you could find you are paying for calls you do not use. Or, if you do not use much data or send texts but call a lot you may decide to have a cheaper contract that only allows minimal amounts of these but then pay extra for the calls. It can be quite confusing at times to work out which one will be the cheapest as it is likely that you will not find one that matches your usage really well so you may have to pay for things that you do not need.

Reducing the Bill

This means that you will need to think about how much you use the phone to figure out how to reduce the bill. You could get rid of the land line if you do not really use it and then you will save on line rental. You could use the phone less and then if you are charged per call, you will pay out less money. You could consider changing to a different contract to one that will better match the way that you use the phone.

Should I Get Another Credit Card?

If you have a credit card, then you might sometimes wonder whether to get another one. It is a decision that is worth some thought as you may find that it could have quite an impact on you both in a positive and negative way. It is therefore worth thinking about the different consequences of it.

Costs

If you spend on a credit card but do not repay your balance in full you will be charged interest. This cost will be charged every month until you repay all the money that you owe. If you have two credit cards and do not repay the full balance on both of them, then these costs will be higher. This means that you will be paying more. This could have an impact on what else you can afford and it could even mean that you will need to cut back on other things to be able to afford it. This may be okay for you, but it depends what you have to cut back on. You may buy a lot of luxury items and easily be able to cut back, but if you are already struggling to pay for all of your necessities then having this extra cost to pay could be a problem. It is also worth thinking about whether you want to pay this extra cost. Consider whether you think that it is worth it.

Extra Spending

When you have a second card then it will give you an opportunity to spend more money. This means that you will have access to more funds. This can be okay if you need the money to buy something urgent but it can become more of a problem if you use it to buy all sorts of general luxuries. These are items that it is not necessary for us to have and by using a credit card we could potentially buy a lot more of these items. If we cannot afford to repay the card, then we will be charged interest and that extra spending will mean that we will have to pay more in costs for the spending. If we repay it all, then this may not be such a big problem.

However, being encouraged to spend more money could be a problem. Some people like spending money but then get themselves into trouble because they have spent more money than they can reasonably afford to repay. However, they feel that the credit on a credit card is theirs to spend and that they deserve to have some treats. However, they will often not think about the consequences of having to repay the money.

Credit Record

If you have two credit cards then this might not look great on your credit report. It might look like you are desperate for money or that you spend a lot. It will also show if you are not repaying the full balance each month and this may not look good for you either. You may not worry about this, but if you want to rent a home, get a mortgage or something like this, then your credit report will be checked and you may be turned down if it is felt that you are a high risk and having two cards could be considered to be high risk. It is worth bearing this in mind as it could be important in the future.

It is a big decision and it is worth thinking hard about the impact that having a second credit card could have. It could be better to see whether your current card issuer will increase the amount of credit that they will give you. This means that you will be able to borrow more on this card and should eliminate the need for you to get a second one. This will not look so bad on your credit report but it might still encourage you to spend more than you need to and give you bigger interest charges so you still need to be careful.