Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Responsible Gambling Steps

There has been a great deal of talk in recent times about responsible gambling, which is perhaps largely due to the huge increase in popularity that it has enjoyed in the digital era – thanks to online casino sites and other internet gambling options. Indeed so seriously is this taken, that most online casino sites will now feature information about how to gamble responsibly, as the industry seeks to ensure that it remains an enjoyable way of spending leisure time, rather than a problematic addiction. At the heart of responsible gambling is the management of two things: finances and time.

The first of these is probably the most important, although they are arguably interlinked, as not being clear on how much you can afford to spend gambling each month will lead to financial catastrophe. If you intend to play at casino sites whether it is on the PC or through mobile sites like MobileCasino.co.nz – or any other type of online gambling – on a regular basis, then you must work out a budget based on your monthly income. Once you know exactly what you can afford to spend, there is a lot of sense in putting that money into a separate account, as this keeps the cash used for the likes of food and bills out of temptation’s way.

Unless you have a significant disposable income, your monthly gambling budget is likely to be tightly restricted, but the key to making it last through the month is to impose limits on the amount of time you can spend gambling each week. Aside from this, such time management is also crucial to ensure that gambling remains just one part of your life – rather than becoming an all-consuming obsession. Limiting both time and money available will also help you to avoid common mistakes like continuing to bet in the hopes of making up losses, which generally just leads to even greater losses. Furthermore, remaining sober while you gamble will also help you to retain the self-control to know when to walk away.

Photo by Triin Q

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is Lending Club Getting Sketchy?

Two of the key search items that I have looked at when investing in Lending Club have been the "Verified Income" field and the "Review Status" field. Verified Income is particularly important to me because when gauging the likelihood of repayment, knowing how much a person makes is obviously very valuable information. While not as important, knowing whether a loan is approved already is very helpful--when you decide that you want to buy a note on a particular loan, you want that money to be invested as quickly as possible and not have to wait  for Lending Club to finish its approval process.

Unfortunately, over the last few months, when I have been browsing notes on Lending Club, and I have limited my search by either of those fields, absolutely no notes return.

I might be able to explain away the fact that no notes have been approved by considering that perhaps Lending Club has been inundated with new notes and has therefore pushed back the approval process until after loans secure full funding, but I can't think of a single good reason why loans would not have verified income. While not all applicants had verified income previously, there were still a good number that did, and (to me, at least) it seemed very prudent to give those notes priority attention.

I did some tentative searching but was unable to come up with a reason for these searches coming up blank. One article from April of this year even suggested that we should start seeing more notes with verified incomes.

Fellow Lending Club users: did I miss an announcement of some kind? Why have already approved notes from loans with applicants with verified income disappeared from the Lending Club platform?

Photo by photosteve101

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Five Great Ways to Save

If you’re struggling to free yourself from debt, there are a lot of ways you can do so that may not readily spring to mind. But in the UK debt management has become big business as the whole country seems intent on freeing itself from the burden of debt that was taken for granted just a few short years ago.

In making savings to help reduce debt, it’s important to remember that saving what might seem relatively small amounts of cash each month can make a huge difference over time.

So here are five top tips to achieve your goals:

1. Shop around for the best possible mortgage. The current lowest-ever interest rates mean there are some great deals around – so seek expert advice to make sure you have the best deal possible.

2. Clear your credit card debts if you possibly can. The interest rates on credit cards are generally very high.

3. Try to cut the cost of your household bills. Make sure you’re getting the best possible deal for your gas, electricity and telephone bills (including your mobile(s). The market is constantly changing as companies introduce new schemes to lure in new customers. The switched-on householder who’s prepared to make the extra effort can benefit hugely from these deals.

4. Save on food shopping. The discount supermarkets offer excellent value – and even shopping online can be cheaper despite the delivery costs. This is because you aren’t as readily tempted to buy the things that would tempt you from the shelves.

5. Sell the things you no longer use. Is your home full of clutter you really don’t use or appreciate any more? If so, consider selling it at a car boot sale or in the local paper – or on E-bay, the online auction house. There’s always someone looking for something and you may surprise yourself by how much money you’ll receive. This also helps psychologically as you realize how little the things that may tempt you now will be worth in a year or two’s time.

These are just a few of the way you can grow your savings which will gradually free you from the nightmare of personal debt.

Photo by _J_D_R_.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Find Cheaper Premiums for your Home Insurance

Part of living frugally is making sure that you’re not overspending on necessities in life. There are lots of areas where you can easily save money – if you’re prepared to do your research. One classic example is home insurance. Nobody wants to pay out for home insurance, but it’s not something you want to be caught without in case of a fire, flood or burglary in your home.

To reduce the cost of home insurance, you first need to make the effort to get a number of different quotes. You’ll then be prepared to go back to your current insurer at renewal time and ask whether they’re willing to match the lowest quote you’ve found to keep your business.

There are many different optional features on a home contents insurance quote and not having these is another way you can make savings on your annual costs. Each optional feature brings potential benefits, but it really depends on how much you think you will have need of the features whether you decide to add it to your annual costs for insurance or not.

Home emergency coverage is an extra feature that many people choose to pay more for. If you have a home emergency, like the boiler breaking down or the washing machine flooding, then home emergency coverage will mean that a tradesman comes to your home to deal with the problem within a short time frame and that the cost of the repairs and parts will be covered up to a ceiling amount.

Another extra feature on home insurance is accidental damage coverage. This is particularly popular with households that include young children and will cover you in the case of jam sandwiches being shoved into the home entertainment system or blackberry juice being spilled on a white carpet, for example!

Not everyone realizes that their contents coverage only covers their possessions when in the home, so if you lose your tablet or phone while out and about, your insurance doesn’t cover it. The only way around this is to include personal possessions coverage on your contents insurance, which means that items with you when away from the home will be insured. Again, this is down to personal judgement whether the extra premium costs will be worthwhile.

Look carefully at what you current home insurance covers and decide whether this is the right coverage for you. Then get some comparative quotes to check whether you're getting the coverage you want at the best possible price.