5 Tips For Finding an Affordable Divorce Lawyer

There is so much to consider when getting divorced, from dividing marital assets, to spousal support, to child custody and support.

Divorce can also be an incredibly expensive process.This is especially true when it comes to hiring legal representation. In fact, divorce lawyers can take up the majority of the budget that you have set aside for divorce proceedings.

It is therefore not only important to find an attorney that is suitable and experienced for your particular case, but also to find legal representation that fits within your budget. This is why we have created a list of helpful tips for finding a cheap divorce lawyer.

Shop Around

It is important not to be impulsive when choosing a divorce lawyer, so don’t just go for the first attorney that you meet. Remember that you are not obligated to retain an attorney when you meet with them, or do you have to pay them anything unless you have agreed to do so. When meeting with an attorney, be sure to ask them about their fees and billing structure. A reputable attorney will be able to provide you with their fee schedule or hourly rate before you hire them. 

Some attorneys will offer flat-rate packages, particularly for “uncontested” divorces. With flat-rate packages, attorneys have an incentive to work more quickly and efficiently. However, this may not be the right move for everyone, particularly if your case could be dealt with at a lower cost on a per-hour basis.

With flat-rate packages, it is pretty straightforward to compare rates. Otherwise, it can be tricky to calculate the exact fee an attorney will charge (given that they are working on a per-hour basis). 

Therefore, it is important to check online reviews and consider word-of-mouth to ascertain the general cost of a particular attorney. After doing so, you should arrange initial consultations with the attorney to determine both their suitability for your case, as well as their hour rate and retainer fee (this is an upfront sum).

Explore Legal Aid and Family Law Clinics

For matters such as divorce and child custody, some cities and states offer legal aid services for lower-income residents. Others work with non-profit programs to offer low-cost, or free, family law clinics.

If you do not qualify for these programs, city and state websites often offer lists of reputable and cheap divorce lawyers. Make sure to look at your city’s website, or the website of the court where you will file, to find resources like these.

Explore Law Schools and Paralegal Programs

If you are unable to find any public legal clinics, the next step is to contact a law school or paralegal program. Many of these will offer clinics to help students gain experience working on everyday legal issues. 

These clinics are supervised by a licensed attorney who will review any legal documents that the students and paralegals prepare. Although these types of clinics will likely not be able to help you if your legal matters are highly complex, they can be a great alternative if you cannot find a divorce attorney that fits your budget.

Think About A DIY Divorce

Some people may be tempted to avoid looking for legal representation and handling the divorce themselves. However before thinking about this route, it’s worth considering the time that this will take, as well as how complicated your particular situation is.

If both parties agree on the most substantial issues involved in the case, then a DIY divorce from someone like 3Step, Divorce.com or Divorce Bob could be an affordable and relatively easy option. Some courts even offer simplified processes such as a “joint simplified” divorce. These can be quite quick and easy to accomplish, and will save both parties the cost of hiring an attorney. 

If you are unable to use a simplified divorce process, then another option is using an online divorce service

These services reduce the time spent figuring out which forms to file, how to file them, and in what order everything needs to be done. They guide you through the entire filing process and can save a lot of time. Many will also connect you with legal professionals who are able to answer your questions and review your forms for a reasonable per-hour or flat consultation fee. 

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How to Avoid Loan Sharks and Predatory Lenders


In recent years, loan sharks and predatory lenders have been reinventing themselves by moving off the streets and onto social media. They’re using online platforms to both lure potential victims and intimidate those who miss a payment.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, loan sharks are often looking to take advantage of those who are most vulnerable at this time and who feel that they have nowhere else to turn for help. They are often based in the local community and, if you are in a financial crisis, they may seem friendly and accommodating at the start. However, they can cause people immense misery in the long term.

If you are in a desperate situation, it may seem tempting to borrow money from a loan shark as a quick fix; however, you will always end up paying back much more than you originally borrowed.

Key Figures

  • A loan shark is someone who lends money without authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • The UK’s Illegal Money Lending Team, which investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders while supporting victims, is warning people to watch out for loan sharks online where they’ve become increasingly active. 
  • Around 300,000 households across the UK have been the victim of a loan shark since the records began in 2014.
  • One in ten of those met their lender on social media platforms like Facebook or Snapchat and even dating websites.

What are some signs that you may be borrowing from a Loan Shark?

If you have any doubt about who you are borrowing money from, the first thing to do is to check the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s database in the US, or the FCA website in the UK.

“Even though there are many legitimate online lenders in the US and UK, there are always going to be people out there looking to take advantage of you,” commented Michael Needham, co-founder of US loans connection service, Doddler. “Especially since the coronavirus pandemic, online loan scams have become extremely common,” he added.

Some telling signs that you may be borrowing from an illegitimate lender are:

Lack of paperwork and documentation.

Paperwork, contracts and documents always make things seem more legitimate, which is something that loan sharks avoid at all costs.

Refusing to provide you with information about the loan.

Most loan sharks will avoid giving you clear details about your loan, such as the interest rate, details of previous repayments and the total amount you owe.

Taking possessions for security.

Although this is sometimes a form of secured loan, some loan sharks will illegally use your personal possessions, such as a passport or bank cards, to act as collateral.

If your repayment amount keeps on growing.

Loan sharks might increase the debt or add extra charges at any time, even if you’re making regular payments. It’s important you get help because the debt can spiral out of control very quickly.

Threats of violence.

Loan sharks can sometimes use intimidation and threats to frighten people into paying back their loan. Some even become violent towards their victims if they fail to make their repayments on-time.

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Top Ten Tips to Help Your Food Shop Last Longer

With the cost of living crisis worsening, and food prices rising at incredibly fast rates, it comes as no surprise that many households are cutting back on their food shops, trying to save money on their groceries or seeking ways to make sure their shop lasts longer.

Cutting down on food waste is a major aim for households – especially concerning fresh produce which can rot or go off quickly, even sometimes before its use-by date.

This article will outline ten tips that can help to make your regular food shop go further and prolong the shelf life of your fresh food.

1. Freeze Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds typically have a shelf life of three to six months. They should be stored as mentioned on their packets – in cool, dark spaces.

While dark cupboards are appropriate for storing nuts and seeds if they are to be consumed within their use-by period, storing them in the fridge can actually help them to stay fresher for longer.

If six months isn’t enough time to consume them, then they can be frozen. This can help to extend the shelf life of nuts and seeds to a year.

Most nuts and seeds have a shelf life of three to six months. In order to extend their lifespan they are best stored in cool, dark spaces; although the back of the cupboard is suitable, storing them in the fridge can help them to stay fresher for longer. If you find that six months is not enough time to nibble your way through your nuts, then you’ll be pleased to hear that they can be frozen – which extends their shelf life to one year. 

2. Freeze Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs usually contain more flavour than dried herbs, but it can be difficult to consume them by their use-by date. It is thus important to remember that you can in fact freeze fresh herbs.

This involves mixing them together in olive oil into ice cube trays and then freezing them. You can then use the ice cube sized portions as and when you require them. Water can be used alternatively instead of olive oil too for fresh garlic and ginger.

3. Ice Your Bread

Bread can get stale quickly, especially when it is not stored correctly in an airtight bag or container. If bread has become stale, you can use and ice cube and run it over the loaf of bed. You must then put the bread into the oven for around 10 minutes.

Doing so will bring moisture back into bread and it can then be consumed within that day.

4. Add Salt to Opened Milk

Cows milk can typically be consumed from anywhere between four to 10 days if stored correctly in the fridge. This time frame however can be stretched by adding a pinch of salt to the milk immediately after opening it.

This works as salt is a preservative and can deter bacteria from growing. Make sure to give the milk a shake straight after and place it back into the fridge.

5. Store Milk in the Coolest Part of the Fridge

Contrary to popular belief, and the ease of doing so, milk should not actually be stored in the fridge door. This is because the fridge door is the warmest part of the fridge as it is the furthest area away from the cooling system.

Instead, store milk towards the back of the fridge on the top or middle shelves for the maximum coolness to lengthen its shelf life.

6. Look After Fresh Herbs As You Would With Flowers

It is important to look after fresh herbs carefully so that their shelf life can be maximised. For instance, a good tip is to add water to a jar and place the fresh herbs inside with a plastic bag over the top. This process works as the water can help to keep the fresh herbs fresh with the bag acting as a barrier against any excess moisture.

Another way of doing so could be to store fresh herbs in an airtight glass container with a damp paper towel inside. Both methods can help to make your fresh herbs last up to three weeks.

7. Store Hard Cheese in Parchment Paper

Instead of using plastic packaging such as clingfilm, you should wrap hard cheese in parchment or baking paper. This is because these materials will allow for the cheese to avoid drying out, as well as prevent any additional moisture and mould.

8. Wash Fruit and Vegetables in Vinegar

A vinegar solution of a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to water can be used to disinfect fruit and vegetables. They should be placed into the vinegar solution and sit there for 15 minutes. The fresh produce should then be rinsed and thoroughly dried before being stored away.

The vinegar solution is effective as it removes any bacteria from the fresh produce that may break down the food quicker and it can thus help the produce to last for up to two weeks.

9. Store Bananas Separately From Other Fruit

Bananas produce a high concentration of a gas known as ethylene when they are ready to ripen. Other fruits that produce a high concentration include melons, pears, apples and pears.

These fruits, especially bananas, should be stored away from other fruits so that the other fruits can ripen naturally and thus last longer.

10. Store Berries Away With a Paper Towel

Once dried, berries should be stored in an airtight glass container with a dry paper towel inside. This is because the dry paper towel absorbs excess moisture to prevent mould from growing.

The dry paper towel should be changed every other day to allow for maximum freshness and this can help to extend the shelf life of the berries further.

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Break These 5 Bad Money Habits in 2023

Avoiding bad money habits is as important as building good ones. Many people don’t realize some simple money mistakes and lose substantial money in the long run.

Here are 5 bad money habits that you should break in 2023.

1. Not Creating a Budget

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not creating a budget at all. Many people start a budget and then don’t stick to it.

The root cause of Inaccurate planning, overspending, late payments, debt accumulation, etc. is not to have a personal budget.

If you don’t create or follow budgets, you’re shooting in the dark.

How to Break the Habit

Start with a simple budget plan like a 50-30-20 budget or envelope budgeting. Aim to divide your total income into necessary costs, debt repayment, and savings.

Then, analyze each segment and adjust. Keep reviewing your monthly budgets until you find the right mix.

You don’t need to get it done on the first attempt. Start slow and keep building.

2. Having No Emergency Fund

If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it is to create an emergency fund.

Despite facing regular hardships, many people fail to set aside money for emergencies. It can be an unexpected medical bill, a house repair, an uncovered vehicle expense, or a loss of income.

Without an emergency fund, you’ll always revert to expensive borrowings. That’s one reason people turn to high-APR credit cards or payday loans.

How to Break the Habit

Calculate your monthly mandatory expenses first. Then, open a separate savings account to accumulate funds.

Start building the fund by contributing as much as possible. Aim to accumulate for three to six months of your non-discretionary expenses.

You can’t build an emergency fund overnight. The key is to remain consistent. Start with smaller contributions, say $50 per week, that would be $200 per month.

Once you build the habit, you can contribute more and build quickly.

3. Always Carrying Credit Card Debt

No emergency fund is a major reason for carrying credit card debt all the time. Several other factors to this dilemma too.

People swipe a credit card for convenience without paying with cash. Then, switch to paying only the minimum payable even when they could afford to repay the full outstanding amount.

This habit quickly piles up interest costs and your credit card bill shoots up quickly. Then, you’ll keep repaying interest costs with no sight to wipe out the credit card debt.

How to Break the Habit

Think of a credit card as an emergency tool only, not for convenience. Always keep an eye on your credit card APR, interest-free period, and existing balance.

Even when you pay by credit card, repay the full amount to save on interest costs. Plan before using the card and calculate the total interest charges if you need a large transaction.

Once you build the habit of calculating the total cost of using a credit card for each transaction, you’ll shift to other sources successfully.

4. No Plans for Savings

Another major mistake observed in personal finance is not having any plans for savings. People forget a simple rule that you need to save now for your retirement life later.

Saving money for your future includes several other financial goals like a downpayment for a mortgage, a major house repair project, relocation, educational expenses, sponsoring your travel tour, and so on.

If you don’t save enough, you’ll always remain in debt. Moreover, you’ll never be able to invest or save for your retirement.

How to Break the Habit

If your budget doesn’t allow it, look for extra income through a side hustle or passive income. Alternatively, find ways to cut discretionary expenses.

Start a retirement plan as soon as possible. If your employer offers a 401(k), make sure to maximize the contributions. Else, start your own IRA and stay consistent with your contributions.

5. Spending More Than Earnings

It’s a common pitfall and we all are guilty of it at some stage. In one way or another, people keep spending money without realizing they’re exhausting their limited resources.

Spending on nonessentials or discretionary expenses is the biggest driver to overspending for most people.

These nonessential expenses include dining out excessively, unplanned trips, impulsive shopping, overspending on decoratives, always buying new over used, and so on.

Overspending never lets you save money. It accumulates debt and never lets you accomplish financial goals even if you don’t realize it.

How to Break the Habit

If you want to break the habit of overspending, prefer cash over a credit card.

Always make a shopping list, cut discretionary items, and stick to your preferred list. Avoid impulsive shopping by ignoring discounts/promo offers for nonessentials.

Then, stick to your budget and always automate your savings. It will take time to control your overspending habit but you’ll eventually get there.

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How Refinancing Your Home Loan Can Help You Save Money

It’s everyone’s dream to own a home one day to avoid expensive monthly rent payments and troublesome property owners. However, since buying a home is a huge investment, many cannot afford a one-time full-cash payment for a property. As such, most people rely on mortgage loans to purchase their first homes. 

Mortgage loans offer borrowers flexibility and a long repayment term, which is normally between 10 years to 30 years. You need to meet certain criteria to get the loan as lenders try to avoid defaulters and minimize risk. You can read about how to maximize your chances of getting a mortgage to access your chances. 

As time goes by you may want to trade your old mortgage for a new one with better conditions. This is termed mortgage/home refinancing. What is mortgage refinancing and how can it help you save money? Read on for answers.

What is mortgage refinancing?

Mortgage refinancing is the process of replacing a current mortgage loan with a new one. This doesn’t necessarily have to be with your current lender as a new lender can refinance the home. You can rely on trusted local mortgage brokers with knowledge and experience in the field for a competitive rate. 

The refinancing process takes the same form as applying for a new mortgage. The lender will assess your finances, ability to repay, and risk, to determine your eligibility and favorable interest rate. 

That notwithstanding, the new loan may come with different terms. You will have new repayment years and a fixed rate instead of an adjustable rate. Most important, you may have a lower rate, which is one of the main reasons for refinancing.

Mortgage refinancing attracts a prepayment or closing cost. Your old lender will charge a prepayment fee for deciding to pay the loan early. As such, consider such fees and other terms before taking the decision. Also, consider how long you wish to live in your home, and your ability to adhere to new payment terms, before taking a refinancing loan.

When to refinance your home loan 

As a homeowner, you should only refinance your home loan when it is beneficial to you. Only take this decision if it can help you save money by replacing a high-interest loan with a lower one. Or, change the current loan terms for a more favorable one. Refinance your loan when

  • Mortgage interest drops significantly 
  • When you obtain a better credit score
  • Change the mortgage terms and conditions 
  • You want to Change from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate
  • You decide to shorten or increase your loan repayment period
  • To obtain a lower monthly payment rate

When refinancing can save you money

When it replaces an expensive loan

Replacing an expensive loan with a cheaper one is the main reason most homeowners opt for a home refinancing loan. When mortgage market value declines, loan rates fall; hence, new mortgages will have lower rates. For example, if the APR on your current 30-year mortgage is 6.7 percent, and rates begin to decline, you can trade the old loan for a better rate. So, you can refinance your old 6.7 percent rate mortgage with a new 5.7 percent rate, to save one percent.

Also, if your credit ratings improve significantly after securing your first loan, subsequent loans will attract lower interest rates. Meaning, you can have a better deal with your improved credit rate if you decide to refinance your loan.

Currently, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on a 30-year mortgage is 6.7 percent, while that of a 15-year mortgage is around 5.9 percent. With this rate, most homeowners wouldn’t find it ideal to refinance their homes. However, on any good day with better rates, it’s a smart move to replace your old loan. Note: a high old rate is not the only reason borrowers refinance their loans. Here is how mortgage refinancing can help you to save money. 

When it changes your loan terms

Depending on your current financial status or loan goals, mortgage refinancing can help to increase or reduce your repayment terms. So, if you are 5 years into your 20-year mortgage, you have 15 years left to offset the loan. You can instead take a new 20-year to refinance the old mortgage. This will reset the repayment terms back to 20 years instead of 15 years. 

Contrary, you can settle for a 10-year refinancing loan to pay off the 15 years left on the current one. This will help you repay the loan 5 years earlier. Instead of 15 years, you will have a ten years payment term, with higher monthly payments. 

Converts an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) or Fixed-Rate Mortgage 

Adjustable mortgage rates (ARM) initially offer lower ratings compared to fixed rates. With time, the periodic adjustments of the ARM will increase your rates to surpass that of fixed rates. With this, you may want to convert your adjustable rate to a fixed mortgage rate for a lower interest rate. It also reduces concerns about having future hikes.

On the other hand, you can also change from a fixed rate to an adjustable rate as a financial strategy. When mortgage rates begin to fall, homeowners with fixed mortgage rates may not benefit from it. Therefore, you can convert your fixed rate to an adjustable-rate mortgage through home refinancing. This helps you to benefit financially from falling rates and save money.

Home refinancing can be a great financial tool to help reduce your mortgage rate or improve the loan terms. It is a great way to build or increase your home equity if properly utilized. Several considerations should be made before opting to refinance your home. You can seek professional advice from any trusted local mortgage broker before making a decision.

The bottom line

Home refinancing can be a great financial tool if properly utilized and strategically used. It can help you restructure your loans, and help you to build your home equity. However, you need to be careful when making such a decision. Several considerations must be made to avoid future regrets. You can rely on your trusted local mortgage brokers for professional advice.

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Three Reasons You Should Give Up Booze In 2023

How many mornings have you had where you’ve woken up and promised yourself you’re never going to drink again? Let’s face it, we’ve all had them. But how many of you have actually committed to it?

We all know how bad alcohol is for us and many of us towards the end of the year partake in dry January, but why not go the whole hog and give up booze completely in 2023?

There are many benefits of giving up alcohol, and it genuinely could be a lifechanging decision, particularly if you do have a problematic relationship with the substance. In which case, it won’t be easy, with alcohol detox often much more effective when done with professional support.

Come out of that though and you’ll certainly feel the benefit…

Physical Benefits

First and foremost, you’ll feel some real physical benefits. Beginning with the lack of a hangover. Imagine a Saturday or Sunday morning feeling as fresh as a daisy to hit the ground running and make the most of your day?

Stopping drinking will lead to a better night’s sleep, more energy and ultimately more time to do the things you love.

Alongside this, alcohol can have a significant impact on your skin and hair, leaving it dull and lifeless as well as leading to problems such as dry and irritable skin. 

The health of your liver will also improve and allow your body to concentrate on other parts of the body, leaving you feeling much healthier and fresh.

Mental Benefits

The benefits on mental health are also huge. Ever had the beer fear? Well that won’t happen anymore. You also can’t potentially embarrass yourself while under the influence of alcohol. 

Alcohol can significantly increase anxiety levels and be a real catalyst for depression too. 

Giving up alcohol can have the opposite reaction to your mental health. Successfully giving up can increase confidence as you know you have the will-power to do it, which will have a knock on effect on your everyday life too.

Financial Benefits

And all the while your overall health improves, the health of your bank balance will also improve. Alcohol doesn’t come cheap, and it can have a real impact on your finances, with many alcoholics suffering real difficulty, skipping bills to fund their addiction. 

Think about how much you spend on alcohol each week and what that equates to over a year. Now, think about what you could spend that money on – a holiday, a new car, pair of shoes, or even just a healthy increase in your savings. That alone could make giving up booze in 2023 all the more worthwhile.

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Tips for Off-Roading on Your Road Trip Travels

There’s a certain appeal to off-roading. For one thing, it’s one of the best ways to explore the wilderness and see parts of a region that you wouldn’t be able to see from the road. Plus you get to test your driving skills in a new and challenging environment.

However, off-roading can also be dangerous, and it’s important to be prepared before you head out. Here are some tips for off-roading on your road trip.

Make Sure Your Car Can Handle It

You may think your car is the best in the world, but even if it’s served you well, that doesn’t mean it can handle off-roading. In fact, most cars aren’t made for off-roading and can sustain serious damage if you take them out on the trails.

So, it’s wise to do some research on whether or not whatever car you choose to drive on the trip can handle the terrain. 

First, check the owner’s manual. Odds are, it will give you some insight into whether or not your car can go off-road. Look for features like all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, which are typically indicative of a car that can handle more challenging terrain. Newer models of the Ford Bronco, for instance, come with great off-roading capabilities.

If you’re still unsure, there are several websites and forums dedicated to off-roading where you can ask people for advice. 

Walk the Route First

A surprising number of people try to off-road without scouting the route first. 

This is a bad call for different reasons. First, you could end up getting lost. Second, you may not realize how challenging the terrain is until it’s too late. And third, if there are any obstacles in your way, you won’t know how to get around them.

The last thing you want is to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way out. 

So, before you even think about taking your car off-road, take a walk or hike the route first. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into and can plan accordingly. For example, you may discover that there’s a huge rock in your way that you’ll need to find a way around.

Don’t Do it Alone

Solo travel can be very liberating but trying to off-road by yourself is a recipe for disaster. If something goes wrong, you won’t have anyone there to help you. 

At the very least, you should have someone else with you in the car. But ideally, you should have a group of people with you so that everyone can pitch in if things go sideways.

It’s also a good idea to let someone back home know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. That way, if something does happen and you don’t return when you said you would, someone will know to come looking for you.

Off-roading can be a great way to see the country better. However, it’s important to be prepared before you head out. Make sure your car can handle it, walk the route first, don’t do it alone, and be prepared for the worst. By following these tips, you can ensure that your off-roading adventure is a safe and enjoyable one.

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A guide to becoming a better novice trader in the United Kingdom

As a novice trader in the United Kingdom, it is crucial to become familiar with different types of options trading to make informed decisions when participating in the market. This guide will provide an overview of the UK’s main types of trading: share dealing, contract for difference (CFD), spread betting, and foreign exchange (forex).

Share dealing is the most common type of trading in the UK and involves buying and selling shares of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. CFDs are similar to share dealing but allow traders to speculate on the price movement of a security without actually owning the underlying asset. Spread betting allows traders to bet in the direction of a security’s price movement, and forex trading is the act of buying and selling foreign currencies.

When choosing a broker, it is important to compare fees, account minimums, and the types of securities that each firm offers. It is also essential to read reviews and assess customer service offerings before selecting a provider.

Once you have chosen a broker, opened an account, and funded it, you will be ready to start trading. Before placing your first trade, however, it is crucial to develop a trading strategy. This strategy will help you make informed decisions about which trades to place and how to manage your risk.

A fundamental trading strategy

A fundamental trading strategy should consider the following:

  • Your financial goals. What are you looking to achieve by trading? 
  • Your risk tolerance. How much financial risk can you take on? 
  • Your time horizon. How long do you plan on holding your position? 
  • Your exit strategy. How will you know when to sell?

A money management plan

In addition to a solid trading strategy, it is also essential to have a sound money management plan. This plan should consider how much capital you are willing to risk on each trade and how you will manage your overall portfolio risk.

Some key money management considerations include:

  • Position sizing. How many shares or contracts should you buy? 
  • Stop-loss orders. At what point will you exit a losing position? 
  • Take-profit orders. At what point will you exit a winning position? 
  • Risk-to-reward ratio. What is your target profit versus your stop-loss? 
  • Diversification. How can you reduce your overall portfolio risk?

What are the risks of day trading in the UK?

There are a few risks to be aware of when day trading in the UK:

  • Market risk. The market can move against you, and you can lose money. 
  • Liquidity risk. There may not always be someone to buy or sell your security at your desired price. 
  • Margin call risk. If the value of your account falls below the required margin, your broker may force you to deposit more money or close out your positions. 
  • High-frequency trading risk. Algorithmic traders can place orders faster than humans, impacting the prices you pay or receive.

How can I overcome these risks?

The best way to overcome these risks is to have a solid trading strategy and money management plan which takes into consideration your financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Diversifying your portfolio and only trading with money you can afford to lose is also essential.

When day trading in the UK, choosing a reputable broker with low fees, good customer service, and a robust platform is crucial.

What can you trade in the UK?

The UK’s main markets are the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). The LSE offers a wide range of securities, including shares, bonds, and derivatives. Futures contracts and listed options are also traded on the LSE. The trading hours for these products vary depending on the security.

The AIM is focused on smaller companies and is considered to be riskier. Other popular markets in the UK include the FTSE 100 index, the GBP/USD currency pair, and gold.


Day trading in the UK can be a profitable way to invest your money. However, choosing a reputable broker, developing a solid trading strategy, and having a sound money management plan is essential. Remember to diversify your portfolio and only trade with money you can afford to lose.

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Five Home Renovations That Could Give You a Return on Investment

Renovating an entire home can cost hundreds of thousands. Instead of doing so, many households are turning to only renovating certain parts of their home.

Whether they might be renovating to sell, or looking to grow their property’s long-term value, there are certain areas of the home where attention should be drawn to. This is because renovating these areas could help to provide a much greater return on investment.

Firstly, it is important to address any underlying issues that the property may already have, such as mould. These issues should be prioritised before any cosmetic changes are to be made. This is because sorting these out can help to prevent the property from losing any value.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Renovating both kitchens and bathrooms could help to make a noticeable impact upon potential buyers and valuers.

While entirely updating either can be costly, there are ways to update them without spending too much. For instance, updating the cabinets with a new paint or finish, and handles and knobs can freshen up the kitchen without the need to remove and replace existing tiles for instance.

If the budget can extend, it may be worth considering knocking down any walls surrounding the kitchen to allow for a more open plan layout.

When it comes to bathrooms, little changes can be made which can make a big difference. This could include replacing only chipped or damaged tiles and changing the taps and showerhead. These can help to create a new feel, without making any drastic changes such as plumbing.

Many people consider their bathroom as a kind of personal “retreat” from the world, so little changes you can make to encourage this could make a big difference. Replacing chipped tiles, replacing outdated vanities, and changing the taps and showerhead can all contribute to creating a new look and feel, without needing to make big changes to plumbing and the like.

The Garden

The front garden, or porch, is the first thing that prospective buyers will see when viewing your property. As such, it is important to utilise this area to make a good impression. Updates could include clearing up the path, replacing the driveway paving or the front door. Further and less costly updates could include hanging flower baskets outside the front door and planting colourful flowers, as well as freshening up the exterior paint.

Often, low maintenance gardens are appealing to prospective homeowners who may have limited gardening knowledge or experience so this is also something to consider.

Increasing Natural Light in the Home

Lighting is key in changing how someone might view a property.

Depending on factors such as structure and layout, adding or expanding windows or skylights to introduce more natural light could contribute towards increasing the value of a property.

A cheaper option could also be to strategically place mirrors to make the space feel bigger and brighter.

Increasing Storage Space

Providing prospective homeowners or new tenants with additional space to store their belongings can really help to increase the appeal, and thus value, of a property.

Ways of doing so could include adding in built-in wardrobes, or a walk-in storage room. Additionally, improving a garage’s capacity for storage space can also make a big difference too.

New Paint

A fresh coat of paint can freshen up any space and increase its appeal. This is also a relatively low-cost renovation option and can even be done without seeking a professional painter.

It is thus certainly worth researching which paint colours are the most popular at the moment, as this will help to make the property appear more modern.

How Can a New Renovation be Financed?

Often, many may dip into their savings to fund any renovations to their property. Alternatively, there are a number of finance routes that can be pursued. These include the following:

  • Refinancing a mortgage
  • Applying for a construction loan
  • Withdrawing money from a mortgage offset account
  • Taking out a personal loan
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How To Save Money on Your Utility Bills Amidst Rising Energy Costs

Utility bills can be expensive. The average gas and electric bill in the UK in 2021 was £111.6 per month (or £1,339 per year), according to the Office for National Statistics.

The energy price cap has risen, and it means a significant jump in household bills for millions around the UK.

The increase is expected to add an extra £700 to the average household’s annual gas and electricity bills.

First and foremost, you should be sure to check whether you’re eligible for grants to help pay such bills. There are certain criteria for these grants, which include;

  • If you have reached state pension age;
  • If you have a disability;
  • If you have no or low income;
  • Or, in some cases, if you have missed payments to your energy supplier.

Check if you could be using less electricity and gas around the house

There are some extremely easy ways to reduce how much electricity and gas you use which will, in turn, lower your utilities bill.

  1. Use your tumble dryer less, if you have one – try to dry your clothes outside or by an open window instead.
  2. Run your washing machine at 30 degrees instead of at 60 degrees, and make sure you wash a full load when you can rather than doing multiple smaller loads.
  3. Use LED or other energy-efficient light bulbs.
  4. Turn off any plug sockets at the wall if you’re not using them.
  5. Make sure your fridge is set between 3 and 5 degrees and regularly defrost your freezer.

Should you be shopping around for a different energy provider right now?

Due to extremely high energy costs of late, energy regulator Ofgem announced that the price cap on costs would be rising by a whopping 54%, as of April 1st.

Saving money is vital and many will be wondering if they should be switching energy suppliers to try and avoid the huge uplift in some way, even if the government has announced plans to help with the costs.

As a result, switching energy suppliers in the pursuit of cheaper rates is unfortunately not really an option for most people in the UK at the moment.

Why are energy prices going up in the UK?

The energy price cap is the maximum amount a utility company can charge an average customer in the UK per year for the amount of electricity and gas they use.

The price cap has risen from £1,277 to £1,971 per year, an increase of £693 or 54%. This represents a far sharper hike than the previous increase of 12%, announced by Ofcom in October 2021.

Why is the energy price cap rising?

A combination of global factors led to the rise of wholesale gas prices.

The decision to raise the price cap was largely attributed to the surge in natural gas prices, which climbed to around four times its previous cost ahead of the Ofcom announcement.

Increased demand for gas from China and Asia and a cold winter in Europe in 2020-2021 – which meant stored gas supplies were used – pushed prices up.

Supply-chain issues have also created problems, limiting the amount of gas available to Britons in the last year.

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