Saving Money by Pre-Planning a Funeral

Sep 11

Saving Money by Pre-Planning a Funeral

It may seem like an odd way to save money but pre-planning a funeral, whether it is for yourself or a parent could save you and your family thousands of pounds. At the end of the day it will happen to all of us so why not put plans in place that will relieve your family from the additional distress of having to worry about funeral arrangements and costs when the time comes.

The cost of funeral planning

Funeral costs have risen by around 7% over the last decade and now average more than £3,400. If this trend continues, a funeral could cost more than £6,000 in just 10 years time; not a small amount for anyone to find.

One funeral planning option available to you is a prepaid funeral plan which gives you the opportunity to put plans in place at today’s prices, therefore avoiding the impact of inflation; so no matter how much costs increase over coming years, it just won’t affect you.

Funeral Planning for the family

With most funeral plans there are no health or age restrictions, so you can put plans in place at an earlier age and then just forget about it. You can also buy a funeral plan for someone else, which often helps families make arrangements for their parents either because they have asked for help in choosing the right one; you manage their finances on their behalf or they are moving into residential care.

The last point is a real consideration as the money used to buy the prepaid funeral plan is not included in the means test which assesses whether a contribution to care fess will be made; which is why social services often suggest buying one.

Options available

Most plan providers offer a range of three types of plan; simple, standard and superior typically costing between £3,000 to £4,000.

If that feels like a bit too much of a stretch, you can spread the cost by paying in instalments or with a fixed monthly payment option some of plan providers now offer.

With instalments, you can usually choose to pay over 1, 3 and 5 years although anything beyond 1 year will incur additional administration fees. Costs range from £50 to over £300 a month depending on the level of service and instalment period and you will be covered for your services once the final payment has been made.

With the fixed monthly payment option you pay a lower premium, between £23 and £80 based on your age and the level of service you require, which is payable for life or until you are 90. You need to be between the ages of 50 and 80 for this payment option and are covered for your services after an initial period of between 6 months and 2 years, depending on the plan provider.

The Over 50 plan – an alternative solution to funeral planning

If you prefer to leave money to your family rather than put plans in place yourself, then an Over 50 Plan may be another option available to you. These over 50 life insurance plans offer guaranteed acceptance to anyone who lives in the UK and is between the ages of 50 and 80, with full cover after an initial period of between one and two years. There are no health questionnaires to answer or medicals as the state of your health is not taken into account.

An Over 50 Plan quite simply is an affordable and straightforward way of leaving a cash sum for your family which can be used to help pay for funeral costs. You will need to take into account though that as the cash sum is fixed, inflation will reduce its value and depending on how long you live, there is a chance that you could pay in more than the cash sum paid out.

This article was written for Money Saving Blog by Ashley Shepherd; Managing Director of Over50choices, a personal finance and comparison website for the Over 50s, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.



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How To Try To Forecast Mortgage Rates

Aug 26

How To Try To Forecast Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates significantly affect the amount that a property buyer will pay over the life of the mortgage. These rates also influence monthly payments, so it is important for buyers to be knowledgeable about current and future rates when they are determining when to make a purchase.

Methods of Forecasting Mortgage Rates

Buyers can use the methods outlined below to predict how mortgage rates will change.

• Evaluating Historical Data

This is the most common method of determining how mortgage rates will change in the near future. Trends in interest rates give borrowers an accurate picture of where these rates are headed. However, it is important to realise that any major events that impact the economy could cause substantial changes in rates that cannot be predicted through the evaluation of historical rate data.

• Evaluating Major Economic Factors

Economists use historical data to determine how interest rates are likely to change, but there are other factors that go into evaluating likely changes. The health of the housing market has a major impact on mortgage rates. Professionals who have an inside look at economic factors are better able to determine whether an outside force will cause rates to change.

• Personal Rate Changes

There are personal factors that influence the rate that will actually be offered to an individual buyer. For example, credit history plays a big role in financing rates. People who have poor credit history can expect to pay a significantly higher rate on their mortgage, and this higher rate will raise the amount that is paid each month. Other factors that influence mortgage rates include the type of property that is being purchased and the region in which the property is located.

Limitations of Forecasting Methods

While there are ways that property buyers can try to determine how mortgage rates will differ in the future, these methods are not foolproof. The market is volatile, and it is always possible for unexpected events that impact the economy to occur. Economists are able to accurately predict changes in rates under optimal circumstances, but these conditions do not always apply.

Anyone who is thinking about making a property purchase should start preparing by evaluating trends in the real estate market. Determining how mortgage rates are likely to change is an effective way to get started, but it is important for buyers to understand that these predictions may not be completely accurate.


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Nordstrom – Making life easier

Aug 19

Nordstrom – Making life easier

No one goes shopping without the thought of saving even a single dollar. Shoppers are always on the lookout for avenues that can help them save even one cent. The idea of saving money is not new particularly because consumer products and services have become very expensive. Some people have had to do without important items in their lives because they can no longer afford to shop as they used to. However, you do not have to survive without your designer handbags, clothes and so on just because these products have become expensive. There are ways of possessing these items without having to spend excessively or more than you are comfortable doing.


If you are an online shopper, Nordstrom coupon codes will work for you. The best part about online shopping is that you can take advantage of coupon codes and promo codes especially if you are shopping at Nordstrom online store. Unlike in the past where one had to buy newspapers or magazine in order to take advantage of coupons, the Internet allows you to apply Nordstrom promo codes online and use them as soon as you have finished putting items on your online shopping cart. At Nordstrom online store, you get access to a wide variety of items ranging from men wear to women wear and children clothing’s. If you are looking for beautiful accessories, designer handbags and clothing, belts, shoes and so on, this is the perfect place to shop. What is more, you won’t have to pay for shipping as this will be offered for free. Online shoppers are always looking for sellers who are willing to ship the items they have purchased for free. Free shipping goes a long way in reducing the total cost of a product bought online.


Imagine buying one item and getting a similar one for free. This is what you get for using Nordstrom promo codes. You just have to browse through the website of your favorite online store to see if the item you wish to purchase has this offer. Additionally, you might also benefit from an opportunity of buying one item and getting a related one for free. For instance, purchasing a pair of shoe may mean getting a new handbag for free. This means owning a new handbag and perhaps designer handbag for that matter without spending a single cent. This is definitely a huge opportunity that anyone would hate to miss. In this regard, it is highly advisable for online shoppers to constantly stay on the lookout for such enticing opportunities.


Apart from getting some items for free, you can also save money by finding products at highly discounted prices. When shopping at Nordstrom, you can take advantage of products that are highly discounted by up to 70 percent. This means that you can buy items online at very low prices and consequently save huge chunks of money. No discount is insignificant regardless of how small it may appear. The important thing is that you will manage to spend less than you would otherwise have spent. To get the most out of Nordstrom promo codes or Nordstrom coupon codes, ensure to visit the website regularly. In any case, you really do not want to miss amazing opportunities as far as cheap online shopping is concerned.

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Have the pick of summer without the pinch of the purse

Aug 09

Have the pick of summer without the pinch of the purse

Sometimes the first week of the summer holidays can feel like the scariest in any parent’s diary.  To help parents keep the kids entertained this summer and save them money in the process, Nectar has launched the Nectar Summer Picks website, a brand new resource designed to help families make the very most of the holidays. Aiming to get families away from screens and gadgets and into the great British summer, it’s packed with creative activity ideas and days out that won’t cost the earth.  Nectar Summer Picks has the summer sorted – whatever the weather – at

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Aug 09



There are few things as transformative in one’s life as having a baby.  Bringing a new life into this world is one of the most intrinsically-good things that you can do.  There’s so much uncertainty in the world today, and about what’s good, and what’s not.  Shakespeare, more than four hundred years ago, had his character of Portia lament that “If to do were as easy were to know what were good to do”—well, frankly, we’d all “do” quite a bit better.  There’s a lot of moral ambiguity in the world, a fact not lost on Mr. Shakespeare, or any number of poets and politicians.

Whether you’re a playwright in 1600s England or a mother and father in 3014 America, a newborn baby is always a triumph of the human spirit, and always a little bundle of goodness brought into the world.

But none of that means that raising a baby is cheap, of course.  Baby products are exceedingly expensive in today’s day and age, not least because they’re a necessity.  Bibs, bottles, and baby clothes are all essential—and the companies that sell them know that, and therefore afford to raise the price on those items.  So, how can you afford all these items without breaking the bank?

Through the use of a quality coupon promo code, of course!


Your baby deserves the absolute best, and coupon promo codes are a great way of ensuring that you can afford the best for your baby.  As stated, the cost of raising that new bundle of joy of yours isn’t cheap, and the essentials are going to be some of the most costly items.  Thankfully, both buying in bulk and buying items via coupons is a great way to cut down on your overall costs.

What’s more, this is a great way to purchase not just any old items, but brand-name items as well.  Large corporations know as well as you do that these products can be costly for parents—after all, they’re the ones that set the prices.  As such, they know that one of the best ways to make their products both more appealing and more affordable for first-timers and veteran parents alike is to make specialty promo coupon codes available.  (What’s more, this is a great way for these massive corporations to “humanize themselves,” and score a PR coup.)

So, be on the lookout for coupons from major corporations from


It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and true or not, you can rest assured that your friends aren’t just going to play a role in influencing and raising their children—they’re going to want to play a role.  True friends are those that wish to enrich your life.  There are

It’s not just something that will transform your life.  It’ll transform your friends’ lives, too.

Friends don’t let friends buy baby food, bibs, toys and other essential items at full-price.

Score some coupons for your friends or, better yet, use those coupons and show your friend and her baby with gifts!


What’s more, coupons also make a great gift on their own.  In today’s economy, one of the most important things to do is to find a way of lightening the load in an economic sense.  As such, whether you’re looking to give a gift to an expecting friend, or maybe just give a gift to yourself if you’re a new parent, online coupons represent a great way of keeping costs low, morale high, and babies happy!


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What’s the Cost of Loans in Different Parts of Europe?

Jul 27

What’s the Cost of Loans in Different Parts of Europe?

When the European Union was founded in 1993, the continent took a massive step forwards toward unifying its political and financial systems. Today, there are only a few key differences in the economies of the European Union member states – and the common currency has tied Europe together like nothing else could. Even so, differences in the local economies of EU members leads to varying loan rates in each nation.

Which European nation has the most favorable terms for borrowers? What about countries outside of the European Union? Can Norway compare favorably to the EU countries of England, France, Germany, and Denmark?


England is one of the only countries in the European Union that didn’t buy into the common currency due to fears that the strong English currency (the Pound) would be devalued by the entrance into the European common economy. This has been a highly successful strategy by the English government, and England currently has one of the most stable lending rates. In 2013, the average interest rate on a mortgage in England fell to around 3.5 percent – a new low, and made possible only by the English financial stability and the lack of exposure to currency problems caused by the European bailouts.


Interest rates in France are at a historic low – partly because of the global financial crisis and partly because the French economy is having some trouble distinguishing itself as a competitive force in the face of growing competition from Eastern Europe and other countries with less extreme worker protection laws and trade regulations. The mortgage interest rate in France is around 2.25%, and other loans are relatively cheap… if you can qualify for them. French banks are tightening up on restrictions that limit the flexibility of the credit pool.


Germany is considered the stalwart “fiscal conservative” state in the European Union, and its strong economy is relied upon to prop up some of its neighbors. According to the Economist, the lending rate in Germany increased from 2.95% in April 2004 to 3.06% this month, with high hopes for continued growth back to the levels of the pre-crisis economy.


Denmark is comparable to most other countries in Northern Europe, with a 3.5% interest rate on most loans. Unfortunately, Denmark has extremely expensive real estate, and it has become popular for Denmark property buyers to sign up for an “interest only” payment plan where they pay 2% of the value of their property every year but never build up any equity in their property.


The interest rate in Norway surged throughout the 1990s, and Norway was one of the most expensive countries to get a loan in with 11.00 interest in 1992. However, the current interest rate is shockingly low, at 1.50 percent, thanks to government attempts to spur the economy in the wake of the 2008 global financial meltdown. While loans are cheap across the board, a Norwegian loan comparison service is usually necessary to find the best possible deals with the minimum of government-mandated fees.

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Be a smart shopper

Jul 21

Be a smart shopper

It’s a widely known and accepted fact that the economy has been on a roller-coaster ride over the past few years. The inflation rates are huge with the prices for everything going up by the day. That holds true for stuff that we use daily like our groceries, toiletries, kids products etc. Even when it comes to travelling or maybe taking loans, things have becomes a little too pricy for the average earner. In such a scenario, how do we help ourselves and our pockets? Do we stop buying the stuff that we need, or do we stop stepping out of the house for an occasional vacation? Of course we can cut down on luxury trips and some items but not everything. It would be like stopping to live life altogether.

A better way to approach the problem is through smart shopping. It’s a technique through which you can purchase everything you need and maybe more and still stay within your budget limit. It might sound dreamy, but there are actually a few simple steps to ensure that you’re not paying too much for the things which you can have for less. Just keep the following things in mind:

Switch to alternatives

Whenever you shop for groceries or items of everyday use, instead of sticking to your selected brands, try to open up to new ones. In recent times, many small businesses have cropped up which offer great quality products at lesser prices. Such products fulfill your needs and are not too heavy on your pocket.

Be on the lookout for sales and special offers, sign up for emails

Keep yourself updated with discount sales and exchange offers hosted on brands and supermarkets. If possible, sign up to be informed about exciting deals on products so that you don’t miss a chance to save on your purchase. If you need to buy an electrical appliance for example, first inquire around if any dealer or store is going to open an exchange offer. That way, you can get rid of the old equipment for new one and also save on the deal.

Plan in advance and go for bulk purchase

Instead of going out to buy kitchen and daily use products every week or on need basis, plan ahead and make bulk purchase at the beginning or end of every month. Apart from vegetables, meat and dairy which rots soon, things like bathroom items, packaged eatables, laundry products and even clothes can be purchased months in advance and stored. At the start or end of each month, make a list of the supplies that need to be replenished and then step out to shop. That way, you don’t need to shop too often and you might end up purchasing some items before they’re prices go up.

Shop online more often

It might appear to be the same as buying from a physical store, but online shopping has its advantages. In situations where stocks for a particular item have expired at the physical store, you can always count on the online counterpart to provide them. Also, you are more likely to find out about deals and offers going on purchases online sooner and more often than on physical stores. Plus, you don’t have to step out of the comfort of your home to shop for small things, and who wouldn’t love that!

Subscribe to voucher websites

Over the past few years many websites hosting deals and discounts on a number of products and vendors have come up. Such websites have a list of big brands and stores registered with them and they keep hosting sales all around the year through which you can take the maximum benefit of your online purchases. They do so through voucher codes which you can supply to the brand website at the time you pay and save on your deal – as simple as that! That way, you don’t have to wait for stock clearance or yearend sales; you can save on every purchase you make. Checkout VoucherBin – one out of the list of many reliable websites. You can browse through the categories to fish for the products you need and then select the brand you need to buy that product from. It’s simple and effective.

If we start taking such baby steps towards shopping more effectively, over a period of time they will become a habit and before we know it, we’ll stop minding the small rises in prices every now and then. So remember to be smart when you shop!

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