Money To The Masses http://moneytothemasses.com Putting you in control Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:32:40 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 The parable of 1,000 marbles and how to get your priorities righthttp://moneytothemasses.com/news/parable-1000-marbles-get-priorities-right?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=parable-1000-marbles-get-priorities-right http://moneytothemasses.com/news/parable-1000-marbles-get-priorities-right#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:13:34 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=17228 The parable of 1,000 marbles and how to get your priorities right

bowl of marblesOne of the things we all experience from time to time is the speed at which life seems to pass by. The demands of work and family fill every day, with very little time left to contemplate life and make sure we are enjoying the moment. We get wrapped in the stuff of living and sometimes our priorities get a bit skewed.

I recently stumbled across a story that I think may help you to get your priorities right, understand the passing of time and get the best out of life.

The story starts on a Saturday morning and a 55 year old man is enjoying an early morning coffee, in that moment of quiet and solitude before his family wakes. As he drinks his coffee he realises how much he enjoys Saturdays. Spending time with the family, enjoying hobbies and just relaxing.

This 55 year old then starts to contemplate on his life and, putting down his coffee cup, decides to calculate how many more Saturdays he is likely to enjoy before he dies. He then calculated that if he lives until the age of 75 he will have 20 years of Saturdays left. Multiplying 20 years by 52 weeks he worked out that he had around 1,000 Saturdays left to enjoy before his likely demise.

This calculation made him realise how precious every Saturday was and that every Saturday that passes is one less left to enjoy. As he sat there sipping his coffee he wondered how he could ensure that he treasured every future Saturday.

He then had an idea!

Later in the day he took the three mile trip into the nearest town and visited as many shops as he could to purchase something special to help him treasure his future Saturdays.

What was he looking for?

He was looking for marbles!

In his shopping trip this 55 year old man went from shop to shop and purchased 1,000 marbles, one for each precious Saturday left in his life. He returned home and put the 1,000 marbles he bought in a large clear container and put this container on a shelf in his study where he could see it every day.

Every Saturday from that day on he removed one marble from his jar on the shelf and threw it away. Over time he watched the number of marbles in the jar reduce and he made sure that every Saturday was special to him. He never wanted to waste a marble.

On the man’s 75th birthday he threw away the last marble and realised that he was not only lucky to have reached the age of 75 but he was now living on borrowed time.

Every Saturday now meant even more to him and he made sure he spent every one in the right way and making the most of his family, hobbies and just relaxing.

Final thought

So what’s all this got to do with money? Whether it be your work, your family and even your finances one of the key things in life is to get your priorities right. Money certainly oils the wheels of life but it doesn’t make them turn. So take control of your finances but don’t obsess over them. Once they are under control you can focus on your other priorities in life. To help you get started have a read of our article ‘How to keep on top of your finances in just 5 minutes a day‘.

(image by Maggie Smith, freedigitalphotos.net)

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/news/parable-1000-marbles-get-priorities-right/feed 0
10 alternative websites to slash your Christmas shopping billhttp://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/tips/10-alternative-websites-to-slash-your-christmas-shopping-bill?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=10-alternative-websites-to-slash-your-christmas-shopping-bill http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/tips/10-alternative-websites-to-slash-your-christmas-shopping-bill#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:20:10 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=12184

1. camelcamelcamel.com can plot a graph of the 90 day price history for any product that Amazon sells. You can see if the price has recently gone up or if it is on its way down, which might indicate that an even better price is imminent. In addition, you can sign up to receive email alerts for when the price drops on your desired item.

2. GiftCardGranny.co.uk allows you to buy high street gift vouchers at a discount.  This site is very popular in the US and has now come to the UK. Essentially the site alerts you to people selling their unwanted gift cards at a discount through the likes of ebay. The seller of a discounted gift card gets cash to spend where they please while the buyer gets the vouchers at a discount to its face value. For example, as I write this you can buy £40 M&S voucher for £30. A saving of £10.

3. Find-Book.co.uk – can find you the lowest price on books from the major retailers, including Amazon, WHSmith, Blackwell’s, The Book Depository and many more).

4. Flubit.com is a shopping website that is not just a comparison site but one where they will go to suppliers, on your behalf, with details of your desired product and ask them to ‘give you their best deal’. The site is very simple to use, you just post a link to your desired product and Flubit.com promise to email you back with the best offer within 48 hours. You are not obliged to purchase anything, but if you want to make a transaction it is all done through Flubit.com, with no cost to the customer, and purchases must be done within a specified period (typically 24hrs).

5. Cheap Perfume Expert – quite simply finds you the cheapest place to buy aftershave and perfume. This website compares the perfume prices across lots of stores so you can make sure you are getting the best deal. It also has great voucher codes that you can use to get money off perfume at Boots, Scentsational and many other online stores.

6. Magazinesubscription.co.uk – allows you to compare magazine subscription prices from online retailers.

7. Quaffersoffers.co.uk – the site allows you to find the best wine deals on offer at supermarkets for wine deals, this site allows you to search the current offers at the supermarkets as well as specialist wine merchants.

8. Offeroftheday.co.uk – brings you constantly updated information on the latest and best offers from Britain’s leading retailers including the likes of B&Q, Marks and Spencer, Argos as well as the supermarket chains. Be it garden, computers, baby stuff, toys to DIY it is all here. And you can even search by the level of price reduction. Genius.

9. Foundem.co.uk – Foundem is a price comparison website which is more of a specialist than the likes of Kelkoo. It’s great for those looking for the best price on specific electrical goods.

10. Find-DVD.co.uk – not only with the site allow to read reviews and watch trailers but it will also allow you to compare prices of DVDs and Blue-ray from all major retailers.

Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/tips/10-alternative-websites-to-slash-your-christmas-shopping-bill/feed 0
How can I reduce my life insurance premiums?http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/life-insurance/how-can-i-reduce-my-life-insurance-premiums?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-can-i-reduce-my-life-insurance-premiums http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/life-insurance/how-can-i-reduce-my-life-insurance-premiums#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:11:51 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=17206 How can I reduce the premiums on my life insurance?

How can I reduce the premiums on my life insurance?

The premiums on a life insurance policy are set using a number of factors such as age, health and lifestyle. These factors may result in your life insurance premiums being expensive and outside your budget.

But rather than just giving up there are certain things you can do to reduce life insurance premiums, but do remember that the cheapest life insurance isn’t always the best.

Compare life insurance quotes from different insurance companies

Each insurance company will have their own method of assessing the risk on a life insurance policy. This can result in different premiums for the same cover so it pays to shop around. If you are arranging a mortgage, for instance, you do not have to take life insurance out with the same company that your mortgage is with. Either use an independent mortgage adviser or use this life insurance comparison site* to find the cheapest life insurance policy.

Select the right amount of life cover

If you can accurately calculate the amount of life cover you require then this can help to keep the cost to a minimum. Do you want to cover your outstanding mortgage, replace a lost income, cover a possible inheritance tax bill or just to cover funeral costs? Here is a handy life insurance calculator to calculate how much your family would need if you died. Also have a read of our article ‘How much life insurance do I need‘.

Reduce the term of the life insurance policy

The longer the term of the policy the more expensive the premium will be. Maybe just insure for the remainder of your mortgage term or while the children are young, as any reduction in term will keep your premiums down.

Consider taking out a policy where the sum assured reduces during the term of the policy. This type of policy is typically used to cover a repayment mortgage where the life cover reduces in line with the outstanding mortgage.

Consider single policies rather than a joint policy

If you are looking to get life insurance for both you and your partner often a joint life insurance policy is used, however, this might not always be the best option. A joint life insurance policy pays out on the first death if this occurs within the term of the policy. This means that both partners are insured for the same amount which may not always be the best option. If, for instance, one partner has a lower income than the other it might make sense, from a cost viewpoint, to cover that partner for a lower amount. With two single life insurance policies you will also have two separate policies that will both pay out in the event of both partners dying within the term of the policy, not just when the first person dies as with a joint life insurance policy.

When you obtain quotes for life insurance it always make sense to get quotes for both single and joint life insurance policies and compare the cost. Don’t forget there is nothing stopping you and your partner having life insurance policies with different insurance companies as don’t assume one insurer will offer the best value for both of you.

Improve your health

When you apply for life insurance you will be asked to complete a health and lifestyle questionnaire. If you smoke or are overweight your life insurance premiums are likely to be increased due to these factors. It follows therefore that if you quit smoking and lose weight your life insurance company may consider reducing your premiums.

These changes do not happen overnight as companies will require you to be a non-smoker for a period of time (usually a minimum of 12 months). But if you can make these lifestyle changes you could then approach your current insurer or get a quote from others to see if you can reduce your life insurance premiums.

(image by dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/life-insurance/how-can-i-reduce-my-life-insurance-premiums/feed 0
Why your buy-to-let investment could cost you thousands and how to prevent ithttp://moneytothemasses.com/saving-for-your-future/buy-to-lets/why-your-buy-to-let-investment-could-cost-you-thousands-and-how-to-prevent-it?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-your-buy-to-let-investment-could-cost-you-thousands-and-how-to-prevent-it http://moneytothemasses.com/saving-for-your-future/buy-to-lets/why-your-buy-to-let-investment-could-cost-you-thousands-and-how-to-prevent-it#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 05:43:00 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=17194 Why your buy-to-let investment could cost you thousands and how to prevent it

Why your buy-to-let investment could cost you thousands and how to prevent itIf you own a property it is a top priority to make sure it is fully insured for both the building and the contents. Unfortunately, there are many property owners letting out their properties to tenants without adequate cover which could leave them thousands of pounds out of pocket.

What are the issues regarding buy-to-let property insurance?

When insuring a property that you intend to let the risks associated are different to those covered under a normal buildings and contents policy. Therefore, a standard buildings and contents policy will not provide adequate cover and the insurance company could refuse to pay out any claim you make.

What are the different risks involved when insuring a buy-to-let property?

  • most standard home insurance policies have a standard 30 day ‘unoccupied period’ limitation, so periods in excess of this will not be covered. Often void periods on a rental property, or holiday periods with student lets, can extend for months leaving the owner without cover during this time.
  • many insurers will not provide cover for ‘high risk tenants’, these could include students, multiple sharers or people on benefits.
  • most standard home insurance policies will not cover malicious damage or theft unless there has been a forced entry. This could leave the owner vulnerable to a tenant wrecking the property and the insurance company refusing to pay out.
  • whilst most properties are let unfurnished you may still want to insure soft furnishings such as curtains against damage.

Who is most vulnerable to underinsuring their buy-to-let property?

  • people who are working away and decide to let out their existing home for a period of time. Often it will not cross their mind to contact their insurer to inform them of the change in circumstances.
  • those homeowners who are unable to sell their current home and decide to let it out to enable them to buy their new home but again fail to inform their insurers.

How can I resolve this problem?

  • if you are ever going to leave your property unoccupied for over 30 days, or decide to let it out, inform your insurance company immediately.
  • always explain clearly about who you are letting your property to and for how long.
  • make sure are you covered for contents such as soft furnishings or any items of furniture.
  • if your insurance company refuses cover search for another company who are prepared to offer cover but do not leave yourself uninsured.

Final word

Please take this issue seriously and make sure you are fully insured when letting out a property. The stories regarding cannabis farms, wrecked homes and criminal damage are bad enough but with repair bills often over £50,000 you cannot be too careful.

Check out this disaster story you want avoid – £56,000 of damage and my insurer won’t pay

 

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/saving-for-your-future/buy-to-lets/why-your-buy-to-let-investment-could-cost-you-thousands-and-how-to-prevent-it/feed 0
Top 10 things we waste our money on & what to do about ithttp://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/tips/the-top-10-things-we-waste-our-money-on-and-what-you-can-do-about-it?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-top-10-things-we-waste-our-money-on-and-what-you-can-do-about-it http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/tips/the-top-10-things-we-waste-our-money-on-and-what-you-can-do-about-it#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:14:39 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=17173 The top 10 things we waste our money on and what to do about it

1. Overdraft fees

Money falling down a drainI know it is an obvious one but UK banks are making billions of pounds every year from our inability to budget our finances. Recent changes have forced UK banks to treat customers more fairly if they go overdrawn but this has not stopped many customers still going into the red on a regular basis. You might as well set fire to your money than pay it out to your bank for no return.

Get to grip with your finances now by reading this article – Start ‘big picture’ budgeting

2. Credit card interest

One of the biggest drains on our finances is the interest many of us pay on a monthly basis to credit card companies. Now, I know that our financial lives rarely run smoothly and we may need to resort to credit on occasions but this should be a last resort. If you do use a credit card make sure you pay off the balance on a monthly basis so that you never get charged interest.

Start on the road to becoming debt free by reading this article – The 5 simple steps to clear your credit card debt

3. Premium cable packages

Now we all love to watch a good film or a live football match but these luxuries do not come cheap, especially if you do not use them as often as you thought. If you are paying for the full available package you will have more channels than you can realistically watch. With the freeview options now available you can watch a whole range of programmes without paying out for an expensive subscription.

4. Not getting the best energy deal

With the cost of our energy going ever upward it doesn’t make sense to not be on the best energy deal possible. Changing your energy supplier is really simple and can be done in just a few minutes.

To start saving on energy costs now read this article – How to find the best energy deal, switch & cashback in 17mins 39secs – a walkthrough

5. Next day delivery charges

When shopping online it can be very tempting to just click the next day delivery option to get your hands on your new purchase quickly. Often we do this without appreciating the cost of quick delivery can mount up, especially if you are an avid online shopper. Why not go for the free delivery option offered by most suppliers, wait a few days and save yourself money.

6. Unused gym membership

Want to get fit? Then just open your front door and run! You do not need an expensive gym if you are never going to go beyond the first couple of weeks. Go to any gym in early January and you will struggle to use the machines as the New Year resolutions start in earnest. Go back three months later and the place will be virtually empty with members paying every month but never going. If you do want to join a gym make sure you can cancel the payments if you lose motivation. Never sign up for an annual membership before you know whether you will use it fully for twelve months. If you do decide to join a gym then read my article ‘One way to cut the cost of going to the gym’.

7. Extended warranties

Extended warranties are big money spinners for suppliers and I would avoid them at all costs. Most higher priced items you buy these days come with a 12 month guarantee anyway. Beyond that period you could be entitled to a refund, or free repair, if the goods do not last for a reasonable period of time. So don’t be swayed by any slick sales patter, just say NO!

For more information read this article – Don’t buy extended warranties

8. Deal  websites (health warning!)

We all love a good bargain and deal websites can provide some great money off deals on a daily basis. The reason for my health warning is that these offers can be very addictive and we get sucked into buying stuff we don’t need. It’s a bit like going to the sales every day of the week, and how many sale items have you got that are still sitting in your wardrobe unworn? If you can resist the temptation to buy every time you visit a deal website then well done you, but many of us can’t.

9. Latest mobile phones

If you are one of those that must have the latest mobile phone just to be cool, then stop now. This silly habit is costing you serious money when the phone you have discarded can do what you need perfectly well. I am not talking about people who upgrade when the contract is up for renewal. I am talking about the people who must have the latest phone the minute it hits the streets, save your money you may need it one day. If you still want to get the latest handset then at least shop around using a site such as uswitch.

10. Unwanted gifts (especially at Christmas)

The will be millions of gifts bought this Christmas that will hit the back of the cupboard and never see the light of day. Why not agree with your family to reduce the amount of presents you all buy this Christmas to save money at this already expensive time of the year. Don’t worry they will still love you, even without a present.

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/tips/the-top-10-things-we-waste-our-money-on-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/feed 0
Best of the Sunday papers’ PROPERTY sectionshttp://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-of-the-sunday-papers-property-sections?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-of-the-sunday-papers-property-sections http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-of-the-sunday-papers-property-sections#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 07:40:36 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=16656 26th October 2014

The Independent

House building at seven year peak, says report

First time buyers deposits down

Average house has risen £15,300 in last year

The Telegraph

Kate Bush’s London house is for sale

Haunted houses from the movies for Halloween

Britain’s smallest home sells for £275,000

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-of-the-sunday-papers-property-sections/feed 0
Best of the Sunday papers’ MONEY sectionshttp://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-money-sections?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-sunday-papers-money-sections http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-money-sections#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 07:15:48 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=16650 26th October 2014

The Independent

How shops make you spend

Shareholders can hold a company to account

Consumers still feel as used as their second hand cars

The Telegraph

Cheap stock market? The reliable chart that says buy

‘Letter box scam almost cost me £20,000′

Clocks going back ‘adds £24 to winter energy bills

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-money-sections/feed 0
The latest MTTM Podcast – How to make it, How to save it, How to spend ithttp://moneytothemasses.com/news/podcast/latest-mttm-podcast-make-save-spend?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-mttm-podcast-make-save-spend http://moneytothemasses.com/news/podcast/latest-mttm-podcast-make-save-spend#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:00:00 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=15948 Money to the Masses podcastWelcome to the FREE MoneytotheMasses.com podcast.

MTTM Podcast episodes

You can listen to the latest episode of the podcast by clicking on the play button in the player below. To hear past episodes simply click on ‘More Episodes’ in the player’s top menu. Here is the full list of episodes:

  • Episode 21 – Best ways to save for kids, cheap MOT trick, new tax disc laws & remortgaging
  • Episode 20 – How comparison sites work & car insurance quirks
  • Episode 19 – Changes to pensions & radio mentions
  • Episode 18 – Interest rate hikes & cashback sites
  • Episode 17 - Property Auction Tips And Money Regrets
  • Episode 16 – Christmas steals & train ticket deals
  • Episode 15 – Income protection, Private Jets and Investment Mantras
  • Episode 14 - Damien’s little nuggets (and the rules of money)
  • Episode 13 – Claiming Your Fuel Payment And Becoming A Field Agent
  • Episode 12 - Inside Estate Agents’ Minds And Back To School Finds
  • Episode 11 - Get a pay rise, credit myths & business start-up gems
  • Episode 10 – Lets talk about tax baby
  • Episode 9 - Buying, Selling And Letting Advice – The Property Special
  • Episode 8 - Huge Amounts on Current Accounts and You Can’t Go Wrong With Honest John
  • Episode 7 - Reader and Listener Question Special – Pensions, Trusts and IFA’s
  • Episode 6 – Big Picture Budgeting and The Fiver Challenge
  • Episode 5 – Organic Pear and Best Airfares
  • Episode 4 – Writing a Bestseller & Magnificent Melons
  • Episode 3 – House Buying Tricks and Life Insurance Tips
  • Episode 2 – Insider Secrets and DIY Investing
  • Episode 1 – Interesting Apps and Interest Rates

For those who don’t know, the show is jointly hosted by myself and Andy Leeks (author of the brilliant As They Slept – The comical tales of a London commuter) and aims to be informative as well as enjoyable. Every show is split into 4 sections:

  1. How to make money – covering ways to make money whether it be apps, websites, investing, business ideas or any way we can make you richer
  2. How to save money – this section teaches you how to not loose it. Be it saving, cutting bills, secret tricks or insurance
  3. How to spend money – this section covers how to spend it and how others do including celebrities.
  4. Reader / listener questions – I answer questions sent in by you guys!

Please have a listen below and if you do enjoy it then please thank us by downloading the podcast from itunes and leaving a 5 star review. I realise that you might listen to the podcast in the window below so be thinking ‘why the hell would I want to download it as I’ve already heard it once?’ Well by downloading it you will help push the show up the itunes charts and help us spread the word. Think of it as a thank you from you to us.

Download from iTunes

Alternatively here’s the show’s RSS feed – http://moneytothemasses.libsyn.com/rss.

Get in touch

If you want to get in touch, whether it’s a reader question or just to give feedback on the show then you can contact the show here.

Once again, please leave a review of the podcast on itunes here.

 

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/news/podcast/latest-mttm-podcast-make-save-spend/feed 0
Latest interest rate predictions – when will rates rise?http://moneytothemasses.com/owning-a-home/interest-rate-forecasts/latest-interest-rate-predictions-when-will-rates-rise?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-interest-rate-predictions-when-will-rates-rise http://moneytothemasses.com/owning-a-home/interest-rate-forecasts/latest-interest-rate-predictions-when-will-rates-rise#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:00:39 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=12789 bank of england This article is continually updated to bring you the latest analysis on when interest rates are likely to rise. You can now enter your email address here to receive updates to your inbox. Plus make sure you download our FREE remortgage guide full of industry expert tips on how to get the best mortgage deal.

If you wondering whether you should fix your mortgage rate, but don’t know a mortgage adviser whose opinion you trust, then an award winning mortgage adviser and contributor to MoneytotheMasses, is happy to help. You can ask his opinion for FREE with no obligation on your part, just click here).

When will interest rates go up?

In summary: until recently the market consensus was that the Bank of England would increase interest rates in the first few months of 2015. This has shifted due to recent poor economic data and interest rates are now not expected to rise until mid 2015, after the general election. See bullet points below for more detail.

The forecasting of the Bank of England base rate has been transformed in recent months. First of all Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England (BOE), issued new ‘forward guidance’ on when the Bank of England will raise interest rates.

This is a policy which he employed during his previous role in Canada’s central bank to try and control the market’s expectations of when interest rates will rise. The reason for doing this is that an expectation of a rate rise is as important as the actual rate rise itself. If a market thinks that the BOE will increase rates then the cost of borrowing throughout the economy will rise. This can prove damaging for a stuttering economic recovery, meanwhile artificially low interest rates also make cash deposits unattractive, which in turn boosts consumer and corporate spending.

Mark Carney originally created a notional link between the UK unemployment rate and BOE base rate. In a pledge to keep rates lower for longer Mark Carney said that rates would not rise until UK unemployment fell below 7%. But this threshold has now been hit, somewhat unexpectedly, so Mark Carney had to ditch the unemployment trigger when it looked like a breach was imminent, instead replacing it with 18 economic indicators.

So now Mr Carney has moved the goal posts on when interest rates will likely go up:

  • the BOE has now decided it won’t tie interest rate rises to any particular economic indicator but a range of 18 of them
  • the market had previously thought that the the BOE’s first interest rate rise was unlikely to occur before the General Election in May 2015
  • But at the annual Mansion House Speech on June 12th Mark Carney dealt a shock by saying that rates could rise before markets think they will. And recently stated Mark Carney stated that the first rate rise is getting closer. The market took this to mean that interest rates would go up at the beginning of 2015.
  • And the latest minutes from the BOE rate setting meeting show two committee members once again voted for a rate rise.
  • But the latest economic data has shown that economic growth prospects have faltered plus recently volatile stock markets mean have meant expectations of when interest rates will rise have jumped back to the middle of 2015.
  • Mark Carney keeps reiterating that when rates do rise it will be gradual and, in the medium term, materially below the 5% level set on average by the BOE historically. It is expected that the first interest rate rise will occur in the summer of 2015 to 0.75% followed by further 0.25% increases every few months

So the current forecast of when interest rates will go up is: Markets are now pricing in the first rate rise (to 0.75%) as early as mid 2015 with interest rates increasing again to 1% by the end 2015.

Whilst the BOE is now claiming that not just one economic indicator will be used in any ‘forward guidance’ of when rates will rise, a range of them will still determine when they actually do put them up. So economic indicators are still important in judging when interest and mortgage rates are likely to rise. Below is a roundup of the most important indicators which will influence when interest rates go up:

So what might influence when rates rise, despite the change in the BOEs ‘forward guidance’  

  • Inflation has unexpectedly fallen – in September the official measure of UK inflation fell again, this time from 1.5% to just 1.2%. The lowest in 5 years! Don’t forget that the Bank of England’s target inflation rate is 2% (with anything above 3% getting them a slapped wrist from the Chancellor). To combat inflation interest rates would be increased. Recent sharp falls in inflation have fuelled speculation that the first interest rate rise will now not occur until early 2015.
  • Increasing official support for a rate rise?  – in August the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), who are the guys who decide the UK base rate, once again voted to keep the base rate at 0.5%. But what ruffled a few feathers was that the vote was not unanimous for the first time in 3 years. 2 out of the 9 committee members voted for a rate rise. Also minutes from a previous meeting suggested the BOE was ”surprised by the low probability attached to 2014 rate rise”. In September and October the 7-2 split remained suggesting that while an interest rate rise is on the way it’s perhaps more likely to be in 2015.
  • The UK economy is growing again –  the Office of National Statistics has confirmed that the UK economy grew by 0.7% in the third quarter of 2014. Although this is below the 0.9% recorded for the second quarter, it still makes the UK the fastest growing industrialised economy in the world!  Economic growth is already back at its pre-crisis level. However, a growing economy increases the prospect of a rate rise.
  • There’s optimism about future economic growth - be it the UK services, manufacturing or construction sectors data has pointed to improved signs of economic recovery. Importantly the services sector, which accounts for about 75% of the economy, has been growing at its fastest rate in years. Also, there are signs of continued optimism with a recent survey of British business confidence coming it at its highest rate in 20 years! With the economic recovery becoming increasingly entrenched it has led to some analysts expecting (and in some cases demanding) a normalisation of interest rates sooner than suggested by the official guidance.
  • Unemployment is falling – The number of people out of work fell by 154,000 to 1.97 million (a six-year low) in the three months to August. The UK unemployment rate now sits at 6%, below the BOE’s old ‘forward guidance’ threshold, a threshold the BOE hadn’t expected to be breached until 2016. But interestingly wage growth finally ticked up from previous historic lows. A lack of wage growth is a sign of slack in the economy which would make an early rate rise less likely. But if wage growth continues to improve then calls for an interest rate rise will increase.
  • UK economic growth forecasts are being upgraded – such is the optimism for UK economic growth that the British Chambers of Commerce, the BOE as well the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have upgraded forecasts for economic growth in 2014. The IMF in particular now expects the UK economy to grow faster than any other major European economy in 2014, while the BOE now expects a growth rate of 3.5%.
  • Governor Carney is on a mission – Mark Carney took up the post of Governor of the Bank of England over a year ago and he is  making it clear that interest rates will not be rising until there is clear evidence that the economy is growing but more importantly that unemployment is falling. Both are now occurring so watch this space.

So should you rush to fix your mortgage now while rates are low?

Fortunately I’ve answered this question in my  post ‘Should you fix your mortgage rate now?‘ But if you want more help or advice then you can contact an award winning mortgage adviser here.

 

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/owning-a-home/interest-rate-forecasts/latest-interest-rate-predictions-when-will-rates-rise/feed 0
Can you have joint income protection insurance?http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/income-protection-insurance-insurance-2/can-you-have-joint-income-protection-insurance?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-you-have-joint-income-protection-insurance http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/income-protection-insurance-insurance-2/can-you-have-joint-income-protection-insurance#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:00:02 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=15821 Reader Question: Can you have joint income protection insurance?

Can you have joint income protection insurance?My wife and I have joint life insurance cover already but I’ve been looking to take out a joint income protection insurance policy but am having no luck finding one. Can you have joint income protection insurance?

Answer

Income protection insurance cover provides a regular income when the policyholder is unable to work due to illness or injury. With life insurance policies the cost can be reduced by having a joint life policy, it is, therefore, a sensible question to ask if the same arrangement can be made with a joint income protection insurance policy.

Unfortunately, at present, income protection insurance is an individual insurance and can only be taken out by an individual not on a joint basis. The reason for this is because each policy is underwritten on an individual basis taking into account each individual’s circumstances when calculating the premium

If both my spouse  and I require income protection insurance, how should this be arranged?

  • when arranging income protection insurance it would be wise to arrange it on the basis of each individual’s contribution to the household budget
  • each partner can then cover up to 60-65% of their individual income
  • also bear in mind that the cost of each partner’s premiums may be different as they are assessed on age, occupation, health and level of cover
  • individual policies can also be increased, decreased or cancelled without affecting the income protection insurance cover on the other partner
  • if you are looking to protect loan payments, such as a mortgage, joint payment protection policies are available but these only pay benefits for a short period of time, typically 12 to 24 months

How to compare the best income protection insurance policies

The best way to compare income protection insurance quotes is with this particualr online income protection tool*. It is one of the best comparison tools I’ve used and covers a wide range of insurers. On top of that we vetted the service provided by the company, which we would recommend.

Further reading

]]>
http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/income-protection-insurance-insurance-2/can-you-have-joint-income-protection-insurance/feed 0