Many homeowners are attempting a summer makeover this year, to complete much needed works to their property. Whether these are essential works (such as replacing that old dodgy window with a double glazed one) or not-needed-but-really-wanted improvements (such as decking some of your patio), stumping up the money can be tough. So do you give up on the idea altogether?
The problem with saving money
Saving your money is proving more difficult, so people are looking to alternatives. Let’s look at the figures, according to AOL Money. They claim that $29.02 is the average cost per day of raising a child from birth to the age of 21, $69.95 is how much it cost to fill a 50 litre tank with unleaded petrol in March 2014, and 1,454 is the number of people made redundant every day. Let’s face it – money is tight. Even those who have higher salaries are feeling the squeeze.
When we look at how much we are actually able to save after the day to day expenses we need to spend out on, we can see the average UK resident has $1,574 in accessible cash savings. However some studies by the ING Direct Consumer Savings Monitor reported that 27% of Britons have no savings whatsoever.
So do you ditch the idea of improving your home?
Improving and maintaining your home is important. As a homeowner, your home is an investment. You may want to sell it in the future, so you need to look after it. It is the single most important and expensive thing you own, so maintaining it is vital. Of course, some home improvements can be overlooked until you do have the money, but others (such as damp proofing courses) are an important aspect of looking after your home (and your family!)
Alternatives to saving money
We’re not telling everyone to go out and apply for loans. Of course, it depends on your individual requirements and circumstances. BUT there are methods of getting access to money when you really need it, and with careful financial planning and a solid repayment schedule, you may well benefit from it.
What about all the bad press?
Loan companies have received a lot of bad press as of late. If you want to get a loan, find a reputable company (not a loan shark). Ask friends and family about their experiences. If you need a new boiler and need to borrow £1000, look at the company’s interest rates and choose a loan company that can offer that sum. APRs are not always a good indicator – look at the individual figures. A company website should make this clear to you. For example – a look at probably the most well known online loan provider’s home page states you can borrow, as an example, $150 for 18 days with Interest of $27.99. Shop around and read the terms and conditions. Make sure you opt with someone who is not only offering you competitive rates but is also well known and publicised and adheres to the FCA guidelines. If you find a lesser known loan provider that is offering loans that are too good to be true – they probably are.
How are you going to repay?
Don’t overlook repayments. Think about how you are going to repay the loan in the time frame. Will you be getting a bigger pay packet next month? Is it that you had an unexpected bill, but things should settle down to relieve extra money in the next few weeks? Perhaps a partner is getting a bonus – whatever it is, make a plan for repaying.
Don’t think too big
So – you qualify for a loan of $20,000. Hurray! But that doesn’t mean you apply for it. You don’t need $20,000, so don’t over think things and aim too high. Remember, anything you borrow you must pay back. It isn’t free money, although it does feel like that when you first apply. Do you really need to knock that wall down and have a big/kitchen diner? Don’t be over ambitious!
Making the difference
Many financial experts would agree that applying for a well-placed and well-structured loan from a reputable company can help you, and can really make the difference in your finances.
With a loan, you can invest your money into your home. This is especially useful if you want to sell your property and need to get it up to estate agent standards!
If you rent your home, it may still be worth investing in it. If you plan to live there for some time, paying for it to be decorated might help it become more homely for you. However, remember that essential works are for the duty of your landlord. Dodgy boilers, cracked windows or damp proofing courses are all their responsibility, so don’t fork out for something which isn’t your place to.
In summary, a loan can really help you to make ends meet in regards to your home. If you are financially savvy, and read up on your stuff, you are well placed to take out a loan. Don’t do so if you’re not sure about repayments though, or if you are desperate and haven’t thought things through. The money advice service online will help you with money issues of all varieties, and of course, nothing replaces the advice of a reputable financial advisor.