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How to save money in Spain

How to save money in Spain, and how to find ways to save money online. Saving money is something that we are all a bit interested in. Find out how you can stop losing money on foreign exchage and currency rates and save money on foreign exchange rates instead. Find out how you can save money by an expat financial review. Learn more about expat health insurance and how you can save money on every day living expenses in Spain. You may even be able to save money on tax, and make the most out of your UK pension

Car Leasing in Spain Made Simple
30 September 2018

Most ex-pats know that buying a  car in Spain can be both expensive and hard work. Second-hand cars in Spain are expensive compared to the same models and year of manufacturer back in the UK. What about new cars? Some may be better value for money but don't expect to get the same discounts that you can get in other countries.
 
As a car buyer in Spain, you are also expected to pay for the transfer fees, and checking if the car has any finance outstanding. Simply put, buying a car in Spain can mean a lot of hassle.
 
Long Term Car Lease in Spain
 
Should you lease your car in Spain? Car leasing, or auto renting,  as it is called in Spain, is popular with the Spanish. The vast majority of my Spanish friends lease their cars. Does it offer good value for money? The simple answer to that is yes.
 
How Do I Lease a Car in Spain?
 
If you would like to lease a car in Spain, it is best to turn to your bank.  Manufacturers also operate leasing schemes, but so far I have not found a manufacturer's plan which offers good value for money. 
 
It is a much better idea to turn to your local bank and ask them what they have available. Offers and cars will change all of the time, and you can even lease, or rent, vans for business purposes. When you lease or rent a vehicle for business purposes, you will be allowed to reclaim monthly IVA and offset the monthly cost of the vehicle.
 
As usual, certain terms and conditions do apply, and you need to make sure you understand them. But, you can certainly save money when you lease your vehicle in Spain.


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What You Need to Know About Your Credit Report: Free Credit Reports Know-How
24 August 2018

Have you ever wondered who pulls your credit report and why? If you have, here is some food for thought for you, and you may just want to check your credit report. 

Most people associate their credit report with the chance of obtaining new credit, and give no thought to the other reasons of how it may impact on their daily lives. The negative aspect of bad credit is more often considered with a poor report being detrimental. The other way to see it is that a good credit report is helpful in many areas, opening doors and saving money.

It is up to each individual to build and maintain a good credit score to work in ones favour. A bad credit report can be rectified through various means and once a favourable report is achieved it should be maintained, and checked regularly.

So who pulls your credit report and why? It is available upon request for a number of reasons. Banks and creditors have the right to the information held, as do insurance companies, mortgage lenders, landlords and employers. It is in your own interest to maintain a good credit score and not have detrimental information on your record, as you can’t hide it.

It is clear why landlords want to assess the information held. A landlord does not want to rent his property to an irresponsible tenant who may have a habit of paying bills late. A landlord does not know the person and a credit check is a good method of assessing a stranger’s risk of paying the rent on time.

 

An employer, on the other hand, will be looking to establish an actual relationship with an employee and there are many more determining factors in a person's suitability than a credit report. Obviously, it is of prime importance for anyone looking for a job within the finance industry to have a top-notch credit rating, but less necessary for other employers to see.

On the one hand, a good credit report indicates responsibility, whilst a bad credit report can mean that a person just hasn’t built up a credit history, or a long history of good credit has been tarnished by one temporary blip. Nevertheless, some employers do take a credit report into consideration before extending an offer of employment. Employers may turn down an applicant due to bad credit on the presumption they are irresponsible and less trustworthy.

Ninety percent of Insurance companies pull your credit report too, again looking for signs of responsible handling of finances Statistical analysis has shown that a person with a good credit report is less likely to be an insurance risk and make fewer claims.

Responsibility with credit is generally interpreted as responsibility in other areas of life, such as home security and maintenance, good car maintenance and safer driving habits. Thus insurance payments are influenced by credit scores and a good credit report can result in lower property and auto insurance premiums.

Potential creditors, be it mortgage companies, banks, loan companies or credit card issuers all have the right to pull your credit report as their first move to assess your suitability. They want to safeguard the money they advance you and what better way than to evaluate your credit report to get a full picture of your credit history.

They may turn you down flat, or they may offer you what you want subject to higher interest rates. Then again they may see a report with an excellent credit history and advance the mortgage or credit and consider you a valuable customer worth doing business with. A good report can work in your favour and lead to preferential rates and better deals. It could literally save you thousands of dollars in mortgage interest.

This information shows the merits of maintaining a good credit report and the downfalls of failing to do so. Always check your reports, which are free annually, and ensure any errors are rectified before someone pulls your report. As you are aware that it will be checked, make your credit report work to your advantage.

You can obtain a free credit report from the following companies

Experian

Annual Credit Report

Equifax

 



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Supermarket Club Card Savings vs Budget Supermarkets
04 August 2018

How to Save Money on Food Shopping; Consum vs Lidl

 

We all handle our economy in different ways. Some of us believe that the best way to save money is to cut our food bill as much as possible. As long as you are still eating healthy foods, there is no harm in that at all. But it is easy to slip up and start to eat less healthy food just because it is cheap. 

I decided that I would do an experiment and see how much money I could save by shopping in my local budget supermarket for one month, and how much money I could in money off vouchers in my regular supermarket. 

My grandma always used to tell me that if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves. Is that still true? Shopping today is far more complicated than it used to be. We have many more supermarkets. They offer different deals and new shopping experiences. Multibuys or 50% off the second product is rather a new thing, and I am sure that our grandparents would be very confused about the concept. Do I believe in multi buys? The jury is still out on that one. 

How would our grandparents feel about club cards? I am sure that they would find them hard work. After all, all of the supermarkets are different. You can pick up extra savings and choose how you spend them. You can even spend your club card specials on non-grocery items. The modern shopping experience would certainly have many of our grandparents confused.

At first, I was confused as well. As I wanted to get it right, I wrote down the weight of the items that I normally bought. So, if I normally bought a multi-pack of tuna ( 3 tins at 80 grams each) I wanted to make sure that I could buy the same quantity in the other store. Walking around the store, I soon realized the budget supermarket would not be cheaper on all of the items I would normally purchase during my weekly shop. I also decided that I would only buy supermarket own brands and leave top brands out of my price comparison. 

It was rather a big project to take on, but at the end of the two months, I finally sat back and look at the results. Yes, the club card savings soon added up, but when I checked my statement online for the month, I found that I had not accumulated as much money as I thought I would. My friend is an addict to this supermarket, but even with her club card savings, I am pretty sure that she is not getting such a good deal. 

My weekly shop in the budget supermarket saved me a lot of money every week. Savings soon add up when you are saving 20 centimos on every packet of dog food you are buying, and 2 Euros to on cheese. It helped that the budget supermarket had special offers on every Thursday, Saturday, and Monday. They also had other deals I liked such as a box of three pizzas which I could just add extra toppings too. On average I saved about Euros 10 per week by shopping in the budget supermarket, and sometimes more. 

I am almost a convert to budget supermarket shopping, but any items which are cheaper, or the same price, I still buy in my regular supermarket. Even though I buy less in my regular supermarket, I still get a monthly money off cheque as I take advantage of special offers which offer good value for money. And grandma was right, the pounds do look after themselves when you look after the pennies or centimos in my case.



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10 Best Ways to Save Money on Food
01 June 2018

Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Food

Food prices seem to be going up like crazy. Whenever I go to the supermarket, foods seem to have gone up. Finding new ways to save money on food, and other household products have now become a real challenge.

Use Your Coupons Wisely

Never waste discount coupons or loyalty card vouchers. I still see a lot of people asking the checkout assistant just to take the value of loyalty card vouchers of a week's grocery shopping. Is that really the best way to save money? Think twice before you spend that loyalty club voucher. Have a walk around the store, and find out how you can really make the most out of that your loyalty club voucher. Loyalty club vouchers tend to turn up every 3 months or so... can you get 3 months of laundry detergent and fabric softener for your loyalty club voucher? That could be a much smart way to save money on your overall shopping.

Get to Know Your Small Local Stores

Never assume that stores like Costco have got all of the best savings. Sure, you can't beat Costco rotisserie chickens, but small local stores may have a lot going for them as well. Co-op stores are becoming more popular, and are great places for picking up locally produced foods such as fruits and vegetables. Starting your own co-operative may be something else you want to check out.

Time to Go Foraging

With summer just around the corner, it could be a great time to go foraging. Foods like berries can cost a small fortune in stores unless you buy them frozen. But hey, why not find out where the best local foraging spots are located. Make a note of when berries and other local edibles come into season, and spend the afternoon with the family gathering fruits and berries. You can freeze them yourself, and save a lot of money in the process.

Stop Buying Expensive Pizzas in Store

Go for things like vegan pizzas instead, and you even find pizzas with just tomato and spice tomatoes. Pizzas are one of the most versatile foods you can eat, and you can be creative and add your own toppings. If you are on a plant based diet, adding vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini and aubergine can save you lots of money. Roast them beforehand if you like, freeze them and you will have a delicious meal in minutes when you come home from work.

Grow Salad Vegetables in Pots

Growing salad vegetables in pots is another great way to save money on food. If you live in a warmer climate, or have a well-lit kitchen, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers are easy to grow. Grow them in batches to make sure that you have fresh vegetables available all year around. You may even want to try growing sprouts. A little goes a long way when it comes to sprouting, and there is no waste at all.

Stop Buying Salad Dressings

Do you really need to buy salad dressing? Most of the time we buy salad dressing because we think that they are complicated to make. Nothing could be easier than making your own salad dressing. You can use oils, make your own mayo based dressing, and vinegars. Grow your own herbs to add to the dressings, and use your favorite spices from your spice cupboard.

No More Store Bought Cakes

Sure, that store-bought cake may look very tempting, but is that good for you and could you make one cheaper yourself. The truth is that you could probably bake a healthier cake yourself by using ingredients like Stevia instead of sugar. Add some of those berries you picked, and instead of baking only one cake, try baling several cakes at once and freeze them. Quality bakeware can be expensive. You should take advantage of special offers, and don't forget about secondhand stores. You can pick up some great bargains in second stores.

Stop Buying Junk Food

Junk food does not save you any money at all. Most of the ingredients used in junk food are low grade, and will only fill you up for the moment. If you would like to enjoy fries with your dinner, make your own homemade fries. We seem to have lost our relationships to many foods by trying to tell ourselves they are bad for us. Potatoes are not bad for us and there are some great potato recipes out there.

Eggs, eggs and even more eggs

This is one super food we have lost touch with and seldom include in our diet. It is not bad for us, and the rumor that it raises our cholesterol is just fake news. Add eggs to your diet instead in all of their glory. They are perhaps one of the most versatile foods you can add to your diet. Eggs are equally at home on the breakfast table as they are in a pancake or baked into a quiche.

Stop Throwing Food Away

Throwing food away is a bad habit, but yet many food waste is one of the biggest reasons why food is so expensive. First of all, buy only what you need and what you are going to use. If you are still left with food, make sure that you know what to do with those leftovers. The last yogurt can be used as the flavoring for a cake, and leftover vegetables can easily be added to a stew, fed to your dog, or you can make a soup.

We have forgotten our food skills, and there is no excuse. Money is a precious commodity, but so is food. If we started to look at our food as dollar bills, perhaps we would save at least a little bit more money on food.

 



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How to Invest Your Money After You Have Sold Your Holiday Home in Spain: How to Make the Most Out of Your Investments
20 April 2018

How to Invest Your Money After You Have Sold Your Holiday Home in Spain: How to Make the Most Out of Your Investments

Once you have sold you Spanish holiday home and paid your taxes, you should hopefully have ended up with a nice pot of cash. If you still have another home in Spain, you may not be thinking about leaving Spain. But, just in case you are planning to move on, you should keep an eye on exchange rates.

How to Transfer Your Money Out of Spain

Transferring your money out of Spain using traditional means such as a bank transfer is not any longer cost-effective. It is better to use one of the many currency companies which operate legally in Spain. If you are considering investing your money in currency, the best thing you can do is to turn to a professional currency trader. And remember, Paypal is not a currency broker.

How to Invest The Proceeds from the Sale of Your Spanish Holiday Home

Unless you are planning on buying a property in the UK or in another part of the world, it could be a good idea to consider your investment options. Of course, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself.

Do you need to create a passive monthly income? A passive monthly income can be created by letting someone else manage your investments. You just sit back and hopefully watch the money build up. Before you go ahead with a passive investment strategy figure out what kind of return on your investment you like to receive every month.

It is a good idea to have a clear picture of how much you think your investments should be making every month. Do you know how much money you need to live on? Consider how you would like to spend your income you make on your investments.

How to Create a Passive Income and the Importance of a 12-month Emergency Fund

You can create a passive income in a variety of ways. But, you should never just put all of your money in one pot. That simply does not make sense and could cost you a pretty penny one day. Knowing how to divide, or split your money up, is just as important as investing your money wisely. As a matter of fact, one of the first things you may want to do is to create a 12-month emergency fund before you even set up your investment portfolio.

Top 10 Ways to Invest the Proceeds from Your Property Sale

In today's modern world, we have more ways to invest our money than ever before. You do not any longer need to deal with the investment company in your local town. Instead, you can just sit down in front of a computer and find the best investment advisor for you. Who knows? He or she may not even live your country. As long as your funds are secure, where your investment adviser lives, does not matter so much.

The investment market may seem daunting at first, and to a new investor, it may even seem scary. However, there are traditional and new ways to invest your money. And you can take control of your investments if you like thanks to the internet.

1) Invest in bonds – bonds are rather traditional ways to invest your money. You can choose to invest in government bonds, managed bonds or company bonds. If this is something you are hoping to do privately, it is a good idea to spend some time learning about the bond market, and how the bond market works.

2) Get back into UK ISA's. You are not going to be able to invest your entire investment pot into ISA's. But you may be able to drip feed your investment pot into ISA's over a couple of years. This could be a good way to invest any surplus income from an emergency fund. Please note you need to be a UK resident to invest in ISA's.

3) Invest in property – once you have come out of a property investment, you may not want to go back in and tie up all of your cash again. However, that does not mean that some of your cash can't be invested in property. Start looking around for property bargains, and remember that jurisdictions such as the UK often have clearer laws when it comes to investing for income.

4) Equity funds in company shares – if you don't have personal experience, you may want to turn to an investment advisor. Remember to check out fees before you enter into any agreements.

5) Share deals – it is easy to control your own investments when it comes to share deals, and there are a number of companies out there which offer starter packages.

6) Savings accounts – hopefully, you have placed your emergency fund in an account which gives you both instant access and interest. Go back to the bank and check out what other accounts they have available. Offshore banks often have the best offers, but don't presume your local bank will not be able to help.

7) Currency exchange rates – yes, you can make a lot of money doing currency deal but you must be prepared to appreciate that there is a learning curve. If you don't want to do venture into the world of currency trading yourself, find yourself an expert with a proven track record.

8) Micro-investments are popular and there are some great sites on the internet that will help you on your way.

9) Microloans are another way to get involved with investments on a personal basis. Many female personal investors have done well with microloans. It is not about the big bucks, instead, it is about consistency.

10) “Green investments” or environmentally friendly investments are becoming popular around the world. Do they actually offer you a return? Many of them offer an excellent return and come with some great incentives. Worth checking out if you would like to do something constructive with your money at the same time.

Remember investments can go up as well as down and that it is best to invest for the long and the short term. Spread your investments to limit risk – this is particularly important if you are coming up to your retirement.

 



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What is the Gig Economy?How to Save For a Pension When You are Gig Worker
16 February 2018

What is the Gig Economy? How to Save For a Pension in the Gig Economy
 
The so-called gig economy is growing faster than the rest of the economy on a year to year basis. You will be excused if you have not heard about the gig economy. It is one of those terms that sprang up from the 2008 financial crisis. Many workers were simply forced out of their jobs as companies could not afford to pay for their salaries. It was not only the financial service sector which was affected. Many other business sectors such as the building and car manufacturing were also affected by the slow down in the economy. Workers were forced to take whatever job the could find, often making the most out of their wits instead of their skills.
 
What is a Gig Worker?
 
A gig worker can be a person who drives for Uber, and it can also be someone who works as a writer online. The list of tasks for gig worker is as long as your arm. When you stop and think about it, being a gig worker means that you have effectively have given yourself a zero hours employment contract. In other words, you are only as good as your last paycheck.
 
Are Gig Workers Self Employed?
 
Most gig workers are likely to work for themselves, and the vast majority work from home. They pick up their jobs online, or via certain Apps such Uber or delivery company Deliveroo. Gig working is very competitive business, and gig workers often struggle to keep up with day to day bills. Other life essentials such a pensions or savings plans may have to fall by the wayside.
 
The Gig Worker's Pension Scheme
 
The average gig worker may think that he or she will manage to stay in control of their life and keep working until their well on their way to old age. That is not true. Life is bound to get in the way, and saving for a rainy day, or a pension plan, is just as important to gig workers. However, so far no banks have come up with suitable saving plans or pensions for gig workers.
 
Best Financial Advice for Gig Workers
 
Looking into an employment insurance is one of the first things a gig worker should do. There are no specific products tailored towards the gig economy, but there are still insurances out there which could perhaps be put to good use. The US predicts that at least 40% of its workforce will be made up by gig worker, or independent contractors, by the year 2020. Finding an insurance which pays out when you are sick, or lose all of your gigs, should be on top of your agenda.
 
The Importance of Health Care Insurance
 
Health care insurance is another type of insurance that you should be looking into when you are part of the gig economy. Most healthcare insurance companies have some sort of plan for independent contractors, and will even help to set up a payment plan which will suit your pocket.
 
Pension Plans for Gig Workers
 
Then we come to the dreaded pension plan – what are we going to do about that? No dedicated schemes are available as yet, but you should aim to save on a regular basis. If you live in the UK, you may want to invest your money in an ISA. There are plenty of ISA schemes out there which will let you save on a monthly basis and some even have instant access options. If you live a foreign country, it could be well worth considering an ex-pats pension's review. 
 
Savvy Investment Options for Gig Workers
 
In other countries, it could be a good idea to look at regular savings plans or making smaller investments into options such as gold or jewelry. One savvy gig worker that I know invests in antique gold charms and even buys jewelry when she goes on cruises with her husband. She has immediately gained by buying jewelry on board as she has not paid VAT or Sales Tax. Just one of the many creative pensions options which could be worth looking into when you are a gig worker in need of a pension. 


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How to Save Even More Money with Budget Supermarkets
12 February 2018

Budget supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl seem to be the best places for most of us to do our shopping these days. Sure, they are good and in general, we don't seem to mind that they look a little bit different, and may not be as fancy as other supermarkets like Waitrose.

Make Up Your Own Bulk Buying Deals

But did you know that knowing how to make the most out of your local budget supermarket can save you even more money? Of course, it is important to check out their offers online, and that is part of the beauty of budget supermarkets. They love to promote their deals, and learning how to take advantage of those deals can save you even more money. Shopping in my local budget supermarket the other day, I noticed that many shoppers were still planning just one week ahead. Planning long term is yet another good way to take advantage of deals. If fresh peppers are cheap, why not make the most of the offer, a and stock up on them. It is easy to freeze peppers, and buying a couple of kilos to freeze, will save you a lot of money.

Sneak in Late to Your Local Budget Supermarket

I don't normally have the time to go shopping in the late afternoon, but the other day I happened to stop at Lidl as they had a special offer available. To my surprise, many fresh products were reduced by 30% and I managed to get at least one week's supply of fresh meat and fish which saved me a small fortune. Yes, we all know that many mainstream supermarkets reduce their fresh produce in the afternoon, but most of us presume budget retailers don't do so.

 

Planning ahead, and meal planning is perfect for you if you are a dedicated budget supermarket shopper. I think that you can save much more money if you only make the most of budget supermarkets. But feeding a family of four for £2 per day is something that I do not believe in.

 

 

 

 



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The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money in Life: Save Money in Spain and All Around the World
28 October 2017

When I am not too busy, I like to participate in this online money saving forum. I have been a member for a couple of years now, and it is a lot of fun to swap money savings tips with other savers, and people who like to watch their budget. The other day, I was asked by a girl, what my ultimate guide to saving money in life would be. Do you know, I had to take a step back and think about what my ultimate tips for saving money would be.

Top Ten Tips for Saving Money

When it comes to saving money, there are at least ten things you can do save money to do get the chance to do the things you would like to do in life. Personally, I love to travel, and if you are into saving money, I think it is a good idea to have a reason for doing so. Mine is to travel, and over the years, I have even become good at saving money when it comes to traveling. But of course, you need to have enough money to travel in the first place.

Set a Budget

Setting a budget used to be in, but these days, it is something most people don't do. However, setting a budget is just as important as it was about 40 years ago, and I always set a budget. Since I have learned how important it is to budget for what you need, I have budgets for everything. The most important budget that I think that we should all focus on, is our grocery budget. Supermarket shopping never seems to be getting any cheaper, and there are many tricks you can apply to your grocery budget to make it stretch further.

Be Honest About Expenses

Just accept there are certain things in life which are going to cost money. That is mainly your home, car and day to day living expenses. If you like to go out for coffee with your friends in Spain every day, you know that it is going to cost you at least Euros 1,50 per day. When you acknowledge that, you know that you will be prepared for that expense. However, if you only went out for coffee three times per week, you could potentially save 6 euros per week, and that in turns adds up to 312 euros per year.

Clothes – Are They Really Value for Money

We all need clothes to wear, but are they really value for money? The other week, I had built up enough money in my clothes budget, to go shopping for a new autumn and winter wardrobe. Surprisingly as I hit the shops with my friend, I realised that clothes these days, are not so well made. Some of my friends get some excellent deals in charity shops or second hand shops. I decided to do the same, and ended up with some great clothes, and some were even designer brands.

Saving on Your Car

One thing that I have learned from mistakes that my friends have made, is that it pays to look after your car. Have it serviced as per maintenance schedule, and make sure you ask the mechanic to change any belts which need changing. A damaged engine will cost a small fortune, so scrimping on vehicle service costs, is false economy. Instead try to save on fuel, but still buy a quality fuel to keep your engine happy. Make sure you sign up for points and money saving schemes at service stations. This is, along with getting a good deal on car insurance, is a great way to save money.

How to Save on Health Insurance

Not everybody can access free health care, and have to pay for private or expat health insurance. In general, you fill find that health insurance becomes cheaper the younger you are when you join a scheme. Before you sign up for health insurance, check the deal you are getting carefully – there are often small details which are easy to overlook.

Saving Money on Food

Of course, there are plenty of deals on food, but one thing that helps more than anything when it comes to saving money on food, is to make a shopping list and stick to it. When you start to stray outside your shopping list, you will find your food costs can rise quickly, and you may even end up spending way too much money on food.

Waste Not Want Not

What do you do with that last banana which is beginning to go a little bit brown, or that last potato which may be a bit soft? Or that last yogurt pot which you don't fancy anymore... Food waste is one of our biggest expenses, and we throw away billions of dollars of food around the world every year. Stop doing so and find out what you can do with the food which is left in your fridge by the end of the week. Have you ever tried banana cake made with yogurt? If you haven't, you should try it. That last potato would be great as part of a warming root vegetable soup by the way.

Cancel the Gym Membership

No, you don't need to be a member of a gym to keep fit. Did you know that most people who are not gym members, but exercise anyway, are a lot fitter than people who go to the gym? Do you know who the fittest people are? Here is a real kicker for you – dog walkers are super fit. If you don't have your own dog, why not start a dog sitting or dog walking service? A great way to keep fit and make some extra money at the same time.

Check Your Kitchen Appliances

Do you need to use your oven all of the time? Using the oven in your kitchen is not exactly economical. Try to check out different ways to cook food. Slow cookers and steamers can save you a small fortune of your electricity bill, and at the same time, both steam and slow cooking, are two healthy ways to cook. Buy appliances which meet modern energy standards, and check that you are making the most out of electricity companies money saving schemes.

Water and More Water

Water is quickly becoming an expensive commodity and you should use it carefully. Do you really need a dishwasher, or can you do the dishes by hand? Make sure that you change your taps which use less water. They can be found in DIY shops, and can quickly shave a lot of money oFF your water bill. At the same time, do a full load when you do the laundry. A couple of items can cost you a lot of money to wash, and when you do it all of the time, it is like throwing good money out of the window.

Finally, don't forget to check that you are making the most money out of your investments and saving money on things like currency exchange rates. Don't stay with a guy just because you like him. Get a financial adviser who is going to make you some money. Check out that your financial adviser is genuine, and that your investment is protected. Our world is rather topsy turvy at the moment, and saving money is becoming a priority for many people. Why not make it yours, and at the same time, try to find something that you can save up for. Perhaps a cruise or special sunshine holiday with your dearly beloved. 



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Should I Invest in Bitcoin as Part of my Financial Plan?: Complete an Expat Pension and Financial Review in Time for Brexit
24 October 2017

More and more people are becoming concerned about the future of currency and currency investments. Foreign exchange rates are always on the move, and you never know what the future is for any currency these days. One minute the US Dollar is shaky, and the next minute, Sterling is on its way down again. So many factors influence the value of foreign currency, and the Brexit process taking place in the UK, is having a huge impact on Sterling.

Brexit and Value of Sterling

The outcome of Brexit, could have an effect on both long term and short term investments. If you are holding your investments in foreign currency options, you will almost certainly see some sort of effect on the value of your investments. Predicting the future for currency investments, is becoming more challenging by the day, and even some so called financial masterminds do not seem to be too sure what effect a no deal will have on Sterling. The likelihood is that foreign exchange value of Sterling, will fall even further if there is no deal with Brussels. If you are a British expat living abroad, that could have a serious impact on your pension and any regular currency transfers to the country you are living in.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

Now could be a good time to review your investment options, and maybe even switch away from some of those traditional ways of investing. Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrrency out there, but it is the one which most investors seem to be talking about. At the moment, even UK banking regulators are taking a look at Bitcoin, and some of the other cryptocurrency out there. It looks like it will not be long before cryptocurrencies go mainstream, and by then, they may even end up being out of many investors reach. After all, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are increasing in value on a daily basis.

Bitcoin – World Currency of the Future

However, you should be careful before you make any investments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is possible some investors like Tim Draper will make a killing out of their Bitcoin investments, but you need to ask yourself if Bitcoin, is the right investment vehicle for you. At the end of the day, there is very little regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and even though many claim, it is going to become a world currency in the future, that day is still a long way of on the financial horizon.

Thinking Out Of the Box, and Making Up Your Own Investment Portfolio

If you would like to invest in something a little bit out of the box, perhaps you should start to consider investing in precious metals and stones instead. So far, you can truly say that the value of gold and precious stones has never really fallen. Of course, you need to know where to buy gold, and investing in gold online, may not be the best option. Buying gold can be a much better option.

Tips for Investing in Gold

Frequent cruisers are only too aware of benefits of investing in gold. There is a good reason why you see yards and yards of gold chain sold on cruise ships. First of all, you avoid paying VAT and duty, and number two, the more you buy, the better rate you will get from the vendor. Stick a clasp on, and it is likely you will bring that gold back home, without having paid any taxes on it all. In that case, your investment has already gone up at least 20%.

Holding your investment in actual physical gold, is a valid investment option for many. Of course, you will get charged in US dollars when you shop for gold onboard a cruise ship, so watching your exchange rate is vital. It is a good idea to have a prepaid debit card to hand to pay for your cruise ship investment at the end of the cruise. If you have a prepaid debit card, you will already have locked in an agreed exchange rate.

The truth is that you can do very well if you are brave enough to be your own investment advicer. Expat investment advice can be pretty fluid, and even risky at times. Learn from some of the top investors in the world, and start trusting you gut instinct.  



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How Save Money on Travel Money: Make the Most out of Your Travel Cash
13 October 2017

There always seems to be a holiday around the corner, and most of the time when you travel abroad, you are subject to changing your money into another currency. Some of us still change our money at the airport, but the truth is that you always get a bad deal at airport currency exchange offices. It is a good thing to plan ahead if you have a holiday coming up, and check out how you can get the best foreign currency exchange rates.

Ordering Ahead for the Best Deals on Foreign Currency

One of the best things to do if you want to take your travel money with you in cash, is to order ahead. Most UK banks offer a special service and will always give you a better exchange rate than if you walk in and ask for the cash. If you work in a town center, or close to your own bank, this is one of the best way to get a good deal on travel money. Some banks have special rates if you order a higher amount of travel money. In the long run, it may just pay you to exchange more money to get a better foreign currency deal.

The Post Office in the UK

If you often travel abroad and need travel money often, you may be surprised that the UK Post Office offer travel money as well as banking services. Look a little bit closer, and you will find the Post Office will surprise you with both their financial services and foreign currency exchange service. Many of them have extended opening hours, so making the most of this service is easy.

A Foreign Currency Prepaid Debit Card

Foreign currency prepaid debit cards have been around for a while now. There are some which charge next to nothing for the service of using the card. All cards are different, so you need to make sure that you pick up the right prepaid debit card for you, and ensure it operates in the currency that you would you will be needing. Some foreign currency prepaid debut cards are now so flexible, and you can even change the currency in which they operate. That is really handy if you travel to different destinations around the world. The most common foreign currencies this applies to, are US dollars and the Euro, but you can find other currencies as well. Make sure that you don't pay too much for the service, but having one prepaid foreign currency credit card, could save you the trouble of having several cards and paying out extra fees.

As always, do check the foreign currency rate before you travel, and invest in your travel money. If you are a frequent traveler, it may even pay you to set up a bank account in a specific currency with your bank , or one of their offshore partners.

 



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