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Saving Money by Andrew Hagger

ways to save money

1 - A ruthless review of your direct debits and standing orders Take a look at all the regular payments going out of your bank account and for each item ask yourself can I manage without it? In many cases you don’t have any choice but to pay items such as your council tax or water bill, but there are other entries that you could possibly do without. Cancelling payments to a gym/fitness club, a dental plan, magazine subscription, club memberships and other non-essential bills is a good way to kick-start your money saving plan and put extra pounds in the coffers. 2 - Ditch and switch those expensive card balances If you’re like a lot of people after Christmas dreading the monthly ­statements for your store cards and credit cards, January is an ideal time to save some serious money and clear your debts.


Saving Money ways to save money For example, if you’ve got £2,000 spread across your cards at an average interest rate of 19% APR, and you pay back 5% of the balance each month, it’ll take you almost nine years to clear the balance and cost you more than £835 in interest charges. Simply by switching the debt to a 0% balance transfer card and paying off £100 per month, you’d be debt free in just over a year and a half and all it would have cost you is the balance transfer fee of around £60.

3 - Move your ­mortgage to one of the ultra-low fixed-rate deals With mortgage rates at rock bottom levels, now’s a great time to fix your payments for the next few years. With the average standard variable rate at 4.86%, if you’ve got a £100,000 mortgage and 15% equity you could switch and take advantage of the five-year fixed rate from The Co-operative Bank at 3.79% with no product fee. Based on a 20-year mortgage term left to run you could cut your


monthly repayments from £652 to £595 – saving you £57 a month and a massive £684 over the course of the year or £3,420 over the fiveyear term. 4 - Wipe out that o­ verdraft If you’re always in the red, maybe it’s time to take decisive action to clear it once and for all. If you’re £500 overdrawn for at least three weeks of every month, you could end up paying £20 per month in charges with some banks. That’s a £240 hole in your budget you could do without.

If you take out a rate-for-life card from MBNA, you can transfer some of your credit limit into your bank account to repay an overdraft. With the interest rate just 5.9% APR for as long as it takes to clear the debt, by paying £20 per month to the card instead of to the bank, you’ll have wiped out your debt in two years and three months. The total cost to you will be £55 which is a one-off transfer fee of £20, with interest costs of £35.


Can Wealth Buy Health?

the effects of our income on our wellbeing.

by Jeff Rossman

A few weeks ago I wrote about how money can’t buy happiness, but being grateful for what you have can make you happier. In a similar vein, how wealthy you are may be less important for your health than how wealthy you perceive yourself to be. During this turbulent time, when people’s financial fortunes are changing dramatically, it is more important than ever to be aware of your own perceptions of your financial situation and of yourself. Many of us have suffered the effects of economic forces outside our control. But while you may not have been able to control whether you were laid off from your job or lost money in your retirement account, you definitely can control how you look at your financial position and yourself. And doing so may not only put your mind at ease, it might keep you from getting sick.


Can Wealth Buy Health? the effects of our income on our wellbeing. Many studies have found that people with higher incomes and higherstatus jobs tend to stay healthier than people at lower income and occupational levels. The most obvious interpretation is that people with more money can afford better food, living conditions, and medical care that support their health. And there’s undoubtedly some truth to that. However, a recent study published in the journal Health Psychology by Sheldon Cohen, PhD, and his associates at Carnegie Mellon University, suggests that a subtler psychological factor may be

influencing the disparity in health outcomes between those at the top and the bottom of the economic ladder. Data also showed that subjects in the study who perceived themselves as educationally and financially lower slept more poorly than those who perceived themselves higher. So, how can you keep yourself healthy in the face of current and future financial uncertainty?


• Keep things in perspective. If you evaluate how you are doing by comparing yourself only to wealthier people, you will probably succeed in stressing yourself out. If you realize that a lot of people are struggling right now, and that you are doing the best you can, you will probably feel better, and you may stay healthier. • Pay attention to the intangibles. Take time to appreciate the blessings you do have in your life that have nothing to do with money.

• Look beyond the bank statement. Try to resist basing your sense of self-worth on the size of your income or bank account. There are many more meaningful ways to feel good about who you are, like your willingness to work hard, care for your family, or be a good friend.



Currency Editorial - Gold (Deluxe Edition)