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How to save Money on Family Birthdays

There are a lot of times when we spend extra money and family birthdays are one of these. It can be really lovely to spend a lot of money on our family and buy them really lovely presents and lots of them. However, this can be really expensive and so it can be wise to find ways to cut down on the cost so that you do not spend more than you can afford.

Shop early

If you start shopping or at least looking around for ideas early, then it can help you to save money. If you leave it until the last minute you may end up shopping just in a few shops and spending more than you need to. You may even end up buying things that you are not that happy with as well. So start early and browse to find the sorts of things that you might like to get. You will be able to compare the prices as well and think about what you can get for the money that you can afford to spend. It will allow you to choose more easily and give some thought to what might be the best gift.

Look for sales

It can be wise to look out for sales and other reductions in order to make sure that you get the best possible prices. This needs to be done with caution though as you need to make sure that you are not buying things just because they are cheap. This may sound odd but you should be looking or the items that you have decided that you want to buy but at a reduced price. If you buy things just because they are cheap you may end up buying things that you are not happy with. It can be so easy to think that you are getting a bargain when you end up just getting things that you do not like once you get home, so be very careful. However, sales can be a great way to buy some really good things that you have been looking for, at a reduced price.

Consider second hand

It might be worth considering buying some second hand items. If you take a look in second hand shops you will find that there are many different things. They may even be some new things or some items which look new that you might prefer to buy. If you are buying for children they may not even notice if the items are new or not.

Buy one good thing rather than lots of small

Many people like to buy lots of smaller presents so that the recipients have lots to open. Although this can really help the excitement last longer, it may not be the best thing to do. Lots of small presents can actually end up being more expensive than one larger gift. There has also been research done to show that people remember what gifts that had more so if they only have one gift rather than a lot. One way to give lots of gifts to children, without spending extra is to give them things you would be buying them anyway such as toiletries, clothes and snack foods.

Save up beforehand

It can be really wise to start saving up for a birthday well in advance of the occasion. This will mean that you will have more money available to spend when it comes to it. It may mean that you just save up a little bit of money each month, you will have some savings to be able to make the birthday more affordable.

Reduce costs of wrapping and cards

When buying a gift we tend to not only pay out money on the gift but also on wrapping it up and on a card. By cutting these down or out, we could save money too. It can be good to keep wrapping paper that people put on gifts for you, so that you can reuse it on other gifts. If you carefully remove any tape and iron the paper it can be used again and the recipient is unlikely to notice. Children are especially bad at noticing wrapping paper, they just want to get it off to see the gift.

No present pact

If you have family members who are adults that you buy gifts for then you could come up with a no present pact. This means that you do not buy gifts for each other at all so that you ca save money. You could just get together and enjoy each other’s company, perhaps cook a meal or enjoy a drink together. As adults we usually do not need that much and tend to buy things for ourselves when we do need them and so buying gifts may mean that you end up buying things that they do not really need or want. Therefore it can be a waste of time and money and much better to just not bother at all.

What Does Wonga‘s Collapse tell us about Payday Loans?

Payday loans are something which are often in the news and you may have recently seen that one payday loan company; Wonga, have gone into administration. This may have sent shock waves through the payday loan sector and it could possibly have an effect on customers of payday loans as well.

What caused the problems?

This sort of problem in a company can be caused by many different factors and this is almost certainly the case here. However, one big issue that has been blamed on the problem is that the law has changed with regards to how much money payday loan companies can charge. They used to be able to charge anything they wanted and people could end paying back many more times than the sum that they originally borrowed. The change in law restricts how much they can charge and charges are capped so that the interest and fees can never be more than the amount the person borrowed. This protects customers against high charges.

Will this help customers?

This change in law does help customers because it protects them against being overcharged. Unfortunately it seems that Wonga’s business plan did not allow for this and they were not able to cover their costs once the new law came into effect. It could mean that other payday lenders may suffer the same fate which may not be good for anyone wanting a payday loan. It could mean that they may have trouble getting a loan at all or that they have less choice and competition and so prices might be higher.

Should I get a payday loan?

There is no reason to let the situation with Wonga put you off getting a payday loan if you think that you should get one. There is a risk that other companies could go out of business like Wonga, but there is always a risk of this whenever you borrow money, do any financial transactions or buy anything. If the company goes out of business, it is most likely that you will still be required to repay the loan using the agreed payment terms. The administrators will still have to act within the law, so you will not be able to be charged more money for no reason but will still have to repay what you owe.

Is it safe to get a payday loan?

You should have no reason to think that there are any more risks to taking a payday loan than there was before. It should still cost a similar amount and have similar rules. Of course, once the law changed, the charges on loans changed to be in the favour of borrowers so that is a positive that has come out of it and should give you more reason to feel that it is a safer option for you.

There are other risks associated with a payday loan, as there are with all loans. These are mainly that you will not be able to repay the loan when required and get charged extra money. It is therefore wise to work hard to protect against these risks by carefully considering what you can normally afford and whether you will be able to manage this loan repayment. You should be able to take a look at you bank account statements to find out.

Which lender should I use?

If you are concerned about a lender going out of business then you obviously want to choose the one that is least at risk of this. You may have felt the most popular or well-known was the best bet, but as the best known one has gone out of business, then this could change your mind. It is possible to find out how businesses are doing by looking at their accounts which are held by Companies House. These can be accessed for free online. However, you may find that too time consuming, so it might be better to just keep up with the news on the different lenders as if any others are in trouble it is possible that it will be reported in the media.

It is still wise to also look at what the different lenders are offering and which seems to be the best for you. Look at the costs of the loan overall but also at how much you have to repay and when. You can then think about which lender might be offering you the best price. You may also want to look into the reputation of the lender and check their terms carefully so that you know what to expect. Some people also like to contact customer services to see how helpful and polite they are and therefore how good they might be should you have a problem when you take the loan out.