From the category archives:

Managing Money


After a tumultuous 2014, Wonga is back with a new ‘responsible and transparent’ approach to lending. The UK’s leading short-term lender went back to the drawing board towards the latter part of last year to overhaul its offering. It has since undergone an extensive rebranding exercise and has revamped its loans in line with new rules imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The result is a new Wonga that’s ready to make waves in a new look lending sector.

Wonga’s mission to repair its damaged reputation began with the appointment of a new creative agency. Albion was the incumbent advertising agency on the account, but after four years working with Wonga and creating the now infamous ‘Wongies’ – the geriatric puppets that featured in many of Wonga’s advertising campaigns – it declined the chance to re-pitch for the advertising account.

Instead, the powers that be at Wonga turned to the agency Fold7, which was appointed after a creative pitch that also involved leading names such as Saatchi & Saatchi, The Corner, and VCCP.

‘Credit for the real world’

Wonga’s new advertising campaign, ‘credit for the real world’, will run on television, print, radio and online, and has been developed to appeal to ‘typical’ Wonga customers who are in need of a responsible source of short-term credit.

The ‘Wongies’ have been firmly banished to the annals of television advertising past, as a more down to earth campaign heralds a new approach for the lender. Wonga had previously come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after suggestions were made that the use of puppets could appeal to children.

Commenting on the changes at the lender, Tara Kneafsey, Wonga’s UK chief executive, said: “Our new product features and today’s marketing re-launch are further proof of the action we’ve taken, and continue to take, to ensure Wonga is lending responsibly and putting customer outcomes first.

“We’re re-presenting our short-term loans to the public in a way that accesses the right type of customer and reduces the risk of inadvertently attracting the very young or vulnerable.”

Serving hard working people

Wonga’s focus in the new era of tough regulations imposed by the FCA, has been placed firmly on serving hard working people who need access to short-term credit products to help them meet essential and unexpected costs.

Wonga is now committed to only lending amounts that borrowers can afford to repay. It also follows the Good Practice Customer Charter, and offers three days grace before applying a £15 fee for late payments payments.

Welcoming the overhaul, Tara Kneafsey said: “We’re determined to put customers at the heart of everything we do, which is demonstrated by the new features we’re implementing, a number of which go beyond regulatory requirements.”


There are many different loans available to those in need of some extra finances; such as an overdraft, credit card, personal loan or a secured loan. A secured loan, like those offered by  Nemo Personal Finance offer the opportunity to borrow larger amounts compared to a credit card or a personal loan. A secured loan is only available to property owners with a mortgage. A Nemo loan is secured against your home so you must ensure you can afford the repayments or your home may be repossessed.

A secured loan could be useful for a variety of reasons and could be put towards making big purchases such as installing a new kitchen or bathroom, converting your loft or adding a conservatory. They offer many advantages depending on your situation but you must think it through carefully and consider a few factors before committing.

Alternative Options

Depending on what you require money for, a secured loan may not be the best option for your circumstances. If you can afford to dip into your savings then this is usually a more advisable option than taking out any loan. For borrowing smaller amounts, using a credit card or a personal loan which offer less finances, may be a better option as you are not required to offer any form of security to the lender- your home in the case of a secured loan.

Personal Changes

Unless you’ve suddenly realised your home is falling down, it should be possible to budget for many expensive items or home improvements if you can afford to own and run a property. Work out your monthly costs and arrange a new detailed budget whereby you’ll save enough over time to pay for these outright.

Cut back on unnecessary spending no matter how small as it all adds up. There are thousands of ideas out there to save money and if you really want that new bathroom or kitchen you’ll be prepared to make the sacrifices.

Repayment Amounts

A secured loan allows you to borrow a much higher amount over a longer period of time compared to its unsecured equivalents, therefore it’s important that you’re in a financially sound position before taking one on. Spend plenty of time researching and thinking before taking out a secured loan.


If you’re an entrepreneur, then it’s very likely that cash flow problems are the bane of your existence. Although your sales performance might be outstanding, freeing up the money that you’re owed can be almost impossible. Without the necessary capital to oil the cogs of your enterprise, the whole machine can come grinding to a halt, forcing you to wait until your next unpredictable cash injection before it can start turning once more.

This is why many businesses turn to invoice financing; more specifically, invoice discounting. Invoice discounting works by advancing payments from your outstanding sales ledger, with the money released by entities found through Touch Financial. This means that rather than having to wait for your customers to settle their bills before you can invest your earnings, you have immediate access to the money you’re owed, significantly improving the flow of cash through your company.

Interested? Here are just three of the reasons why it might be the perfect borrowing solution for your business…

#1: You Won’t Require Security

Although it works in a very different way to more traditional borrowing options, at it’s heart, this is exactly what invoice financing is: a means of borrowing money to fund your company. Thankfully, however, it carries far less risk than other cash flow improving alternatives, mainly because it doesn’t require security. This gives it a huge advantage over loans, as it means that you won’t ever have to risk assets that are too important for you to lose.

#2: Invoice Discounting Grows with Your Business

Another important reason to consider invoice financing is its potential for growth. Unlike other borrowing options, which will only provide you with a finite amount of capital, the cash that you can access is reactive to your sales ledger. To put it simply, this means that as your business grows, so too does the money available to you, so that you’re never limited by the amount you can borrow.

#3: Invoice Discounting is Confidential

Invoice discounting is not the only type of invoice financing that’s available to businesses. Invoice factoring is another option, and it’s one that’s very popular. One of the key differences between the two is their confidentiality, and for those seeking to keep their borrowing habits from their customers, invoice discounting is by far the better option. The responsibility to collect payments remains entirely in your hands, meaning that your lender will never supersede your right to conduct your business as you see fit. Invoice factoring on the other hand, free up your time as the lender proceeds to collect all payments from your customers when they fall due.

If your business needs to borrow, why not consider invoice discountin


Automated Teller Machine fees really get my goat, but not necessarily

of what banks charge though, for the record, they charge way too much. Of all the fees we can avoid, it’s this one. We can do so by picking banks more judiciously. We can read the fine print of our ATM card agreements. (According to one recent survey, many of us aren’t even reading ATM signs correctly. Twenty percent of us think that we aren’t subject to ATM fees as long as the automated teller machine we use bears the same financial network logos such as “Star,” “Cirrus,” or “Plus” shown on our bank cards.) Or we can just drive a few extra blocks to get to our own banks, where chances are we won’t be hit with as many ATM fees.

The funny thing is, many of us routinely drive several miles out of our way to buy cheaper gas, but won’t do the same for cheaper money. While some critics of bank fees harp on the very existence of ATM charges, I don’t. Listen, if you withdraw money from an ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank, you’re getting a service. And you’re getting that service from a bank that you don’t do business with. Why shouldn’t you have to pay for it? My only complaint is how much they charge and whether they make it clear that they’re charging that much.

Think about the number of times you withdraw money from an ATM. It could be as often as once a week, which translates into four times a month or 52 times a year. Now think about what banks routinely charge today. Nine out of 10 banks charge noncustomers who use their ATMs, and the typical “surcharge” is about $1.50 per transaction. A growing number 13 percent in 2002 are charging $2.00 or more. That’s $2.00 for the right to access your money through another bank’s ATM. But there’s more. In addition to the surcharge that the other bank will hit you with, you’ll likely be slapped with a second fee, this time by your bank for two-timing it. This is sometimes referred to as a “foreign ATM fee,” which is simply a penalty for going outside your bank’s network of automated tellers.

If you need quick cash there are other easy ways, and you can avoid ATM fees to boot. Do you own a car? An easy way to turn your car title into fast cash EZ Title Loans can provide you with the money you need in a matter of hours. Apply online now!” this sentences they should place in paragraph

These days, 9 out of 10 banks levy such foreign ATM fees on customers who use other banks’ machines, and that fee typically amounts to another $1.50 to $2.00 per transaction. So, assuming you’re one of those folks who doesn’t comparison shop, you’re looking at $4.00 per transaction in a worst case scenario, which works out roughly to about $208 a year. If you were to invest that amount every year for 25 years, you could amass $16,500, assuming an 8 percent average annual rate of return.

Remember too that a minority of banks also charge their own customers a fee even if they use an in-network ATM. And still others about 9 percent charge customers an annual fee for the right to have an ATM card in the first place. It’s no wonder, then, that banks collect more than $2 billion a year in ATM fees each year. That’s up more than 40 percent from 1998.

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Lease Your Next Car

by Krantcents · 1 comment

After owning my current Ford Explorer for much longer than I expected, and it just being a tick under the eleven year national average age of cars currently on the road, I am definitely going to lease my next car.  By no means would I consider myself vain when it comes to cars, probably just self-conscious I know (my friend who has a similar year F-150 says my car is like a Rolls-Royce compared to his), but let’s put it this way, I would get embarrassed to pull up to the valet line now.  So basically when my wife and I drive we use her new Ford Edge.  I have been technically without a car payment for years now, but with the amount of repairs that needed to be made over the course of its many years on the road, I’m pretty sure it’s been a ten year lease…

Lower Monthly Payment

With a lease there are no depreciation concerns, so you only pay the residual value on the vehicle, which is the difference between the full price and what it is expected to be worth at the end of the lease.  Since you’re paying for a small percentage of the car’s price with a lease, compared to financing the entire price, your monthly payment would be substantially lower with similar terms.

No Down Payment

Since the reason to lease is to free up your cash flow, there is no reason to put down a down payment on a lease.  With most dealers now doing the “sign and drive” promotions now, you can roll in your security deposit/dealer fees into your monthly lease payment and pay nothing up front.

Avoid Repair Bills

Going above the normal maintenance of oil changes, shocks, a few brake changes, new tires, and entire exhaust system newly replaced, anything can go wrong, Belle Tire knows me by name now, the worst being having the entire engine rebuilt!  With most warranties and leases lasting three years, a car would be covered the duration of the lease.

I understand that leasing may not be for everyone.  Whether the need to own is for the wear and tear freedom as a business owner, or cannot stay within mileage limits, or just have the patience and goal to wait out a five year loan to not have a car payment, then financing may the way to go.  Typically the longer you own your car the more you save in buying, but there is no desire to keep a car for the better part of a decade and want a new car every two to three years with a low monthly payment, then I say lease, lease, lease.

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If you think you’re paying too much for cable, you are…but you knew that already.  Notice I said you need to negotiate your cable bill, not cancel.  This is not another article telling you to ditch your cable provider.  Cable is not yet entirely a thing of the past, so I’m not telling you to pick up an HD antenna, a streaming service, and call it a day.  No, the truth is, TV is important in my house, it is something my wife and I enjoy.  I couldn’t imagine life without a DVR, as bad as that sounds.  I’ve had friends that have cancelled cable because it’s too expensive, they now watch shows on their laptop, stream baseball games on their phone, and watch commercials on their HD antenna…to me, that sounds horrible.

There is something you can do about it, immediately I might add…which is, threaten to cancel.  I have the large cable provider with a reputation of having bad customer service (pretty tough to figure out, I know).  Their customer service department does usually hold up to their reputation, but the truth is, they really do have the best cable/internet service, but it is costly.  Once your promotion period is over, you could see your bill increase upwards of $100 each month, reaching almost $200…that’s where most cancel and go an alternate route.

Whether your promo period has just ended or you’ve been paying too much for a while, you need to put in a call to the billing department now.  Tell them that you really enjoy the service, but the bill is now just too high, and you want to lock into a new contract.  Mention you really don’t want to cancel, but will if it’s too high.  They will give you a quote of a new contract, and if it’s still too high, tell them you’ll think about it and hang up.  This is where you look up the CEO’s email address.  Write and give a summary of your conversation, mention again you do not want to cancel, but the bill is just too high to continue, and that customer service could not work with you to resolve.  Someone from the CEO’s office will quickly contact you.  Their job is to resolve the issue, so they will give you the best contract option available to give.

I had a family member recently complaining that she’s paying too much for cable and I asked if she threatened to cancel.  She said no, she didn’t feel like “dealing with all of that”, going through the prompts, verifying information, and then being on the phone a long time going back and forth.  Well if she wants to continue to spend $50-100 more a month than she needs to, that’s on her.  I’m locked in for the next two years with a low payment, and in two years when it goes back up, I’ll do the same thing.

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If you are looking at your bills and know that your bank account is running dry, you are going to be like many others trying to figure out how to make ends meet. There are loans available for major expenses, but emergencies often leave people only needing a few hundred dollars. When you have an emergency and need money, there are ways to get it.


It used to be that you had only your friends and family to talk to when you needed quick cash. However, crowdfunding now offers the ability to set up donation sites where people can donate money for a cause. These sites allow you to enter your information, how much money you need, and why you need it. Then you can share the donation page with your friends, family, and social networks to have people send the money to a secure site. It will take longer for you to get the money, but you are not penalized for not reaching your goal and you get to keep every donation you receive.

Sell Your Items

It is extremely likely that you have more belongings than you really need. Go through your clothes, toys, and other belongings that you have and list them on eBay or Craigslist. You can even use social media sites to sell your items, or hold an old-fashioned garage sale. There are also stores that will pay you to recycle cell phones or ink cartridges, so talk to local electronic or office supply stores.

Donate Plasma

When you donate plasma, you are often paid for it. You will need to make sure that you meet the requirements and have not donated blood or plasma recently. The Red Cross has set recommendations that are followed by most centers, so this is an option you have every month or two. Most places do not pay people to donate blood, but there are a few that will. You can often find donation clinics near you by contacting your local plasma center.

Work Freelance

The best part about freelance work is you are often paid a lot faster and more often than contract work. You can find many jobs that pay the same day of service, such as TaskRabbit or TaskEasy. You can also become a rideshare driver, that pays weekly. The benefit of freelance work is you will set your own hours, so you can do it in addition to other jobs.

Rent Your Stuff

If you do not mind strangers in your space, you can rent out rooms in your home. You can also rent out your garage, parking spots, or equipment you have in the house. Many people are looking to borrow lawn care equipment, such as trimmers, mowers, and carpet cleaning devices. If you have been asked by someone to borrow it, consider creating a contract and get money for it.

Payday Loans

If you are waiting for your first paycheck or have an emergency in between paydays, a payday loan is an option that is available. These loans are often small and have high interest rates. However, you rarely need to have anything more than a checking account, a job, and a permanent address. You can find payday loan places online as well, but they may take up to a day to deposit the money into your account.

Participate in Trials

Medical companies are always looking for focus groups for clinical trials. Research testing, whether for food, new drugs, or other products, is a way to make quick cash. The amount varies based on the trial, but can be thousands of dollars if a lot of time is involved. You will need to make sure that you are completely honest during the application process, and understand the requirements you are agreeing to.

Anytime you are in need of money, always turn to what you have to offer first. If you can take photographs, consider selling stock photographs to websites. Before you jump for a loan, get creative to see what you can be paid for first.

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There are financial perks to using your credit card such as rewards dollars/points, building your credit score, and just the mere convenience, but it takes lots of discipline to limit your spending in order to be able to pay the balance each month.  Rolling over your balance to the next month and paying high interest leads to financial downfall.  Memories of only making minimum payments and worrying about when the balance would ever be paid off still haunt me to this day, swearing to never go there again.


When you use your debit card you are only spending the amount that you have in your account for the month.  They payment is immediate and you cannot go into debt right off the bat.  It allows you to budget in your utilities, mortgage payment, car, payment, insurance, and your allotted spending on food, gas, entertainment.  With a credit card it’s a seemingly endless supply of money and it’s easy to charge items that you wouldn’t necessarily purchase if you used your debit card, thus carrying a balance and paying interest.

Accepted Everywhere

Just like a credit card, your Visa or MasterCard are accepted everywhere and eliminates the need to carry cash, just try and avoid using the ATM as often as possible, as those $3-4 per transaction fees do add up over the course of the month.  Budgeting for how much cash to carry for spending money each week, your own personal allowance if you will, will avoid an extra trip to the ATM.

A Few Places to Avoid

Although debit cards are great to keep your spending on track, there are instances when using your debit card could surprise you.  If you’ve ever tried to check in to a hotel room or book a rental car, there are significant holds that go on your account.  With a credit card they are removed within a day or two without noticing a difference, but with a debit card the hotel could take almost a week to remove, thus tying up the money in your checking account until the hold is released.

If you are just now starting to plan for your financial future or if you’re just more comfortable not charging to a credit card, then you definitely cannot go wrong using a debit card.  Although not as lucrative as credit card rewards, debit cards are also offering rewards points for every dollar spent on purchases, so you can look forward to receiving gift cards for gas, retail, and dining.

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Major League Baseball, MLB, offers entertainment for many people, but it is also a great way to make money. Sports fans love the challenge that comes with placing bets on MLB games, and much of that is due to the many types of bets available. Here are a few that are most commonly found at betting locations.


One of the most common terms found in baseball is over/under. This type of bet has the person placing the bet wagering on the total number of scores made by both teams combined. Bettors will be told a total number of scores that the bookmakers place, and then they have to decide if there will be more or fewer scores. These bets do require a game to be played to completion, and not be ended early due to weather.

Money Lines

The basic type of bet for an MLB game is a money line. When you place a money line bet, you are simply wagering on who will win the game. Some games are easy to wager on, based on favorites and underdogs. However, clear favorites may not make you as much money and betting on the underdog could score a big victory. Since this bet is on who wins the game, games do not have to run a full nine innings to be completed.

Run Line

Similar to a money line bet, run line bets are placed on a point spread. Run line betting allows bettors to have a better chance of winning some money by saying the underdogs must lose by more than one run. However, unlike money line betting, run line bets only work if the game has at least nine innings. If the game is cut short due to weather or other reasons, the better loses. In addition, run lines are only 1.5-point spreads. If you want it by more, you will need to use the point spread betting option. Point spreads work the same way as run line bets, but you can extend the odds by having a larger spread.


A harder bet to play is a parlay, but they can equal more money. In order to win a parlay, you must bet more than one baseball side and everyone must win. The more events you select, the more you will win. Many people will select this option if there are many games with favorited teams. Running a money line bet on a favorite team does not equal much of a payout, however if all of them win and you have a parlay, you will have a bigger payout.

While these are just the most common bets placed on MLB games, you can always find others depending on which bookkeeper you go with. There are often special bets that are run with games that are likely not to finish due to weather, or games that are played during the World Series. It is important that when you consider placing bets, you look at the options that you have and understand the rules for payouts so you can make money.

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Payday loans are the most expensive personal loans you can get, some companies charging as much as 400% APR (annual percentage rate) on their loans. Even in areas where payday loans are regulated, some micro-lenders get around these regulations by making subtle changes to their products – smoke and mirrors. Ensure you know the entire cost of any loan before you agree to their terms and consider some of the alternative funding below instead of payday loans.

Cost of a Payday Loan

The payday loan industry has no shortage of horror stories and negative publicity. While these loans may have a niche to serve in certain circumstances, its best to avoid them where possible. The costs of borrowing these types of funds just aren’t worth the hassle.

Depending on what your situation maybe for borrowing, there are generally cheaper alternatives than payday loans. However, when researching loan options be wary of some of the names payday loans have changed their product offering to.

Small loans

Micro loans

Debt consolidation loans

Bad credit loans

No credit loans

Unemployment loans

Quick loans

The above are just some of the names payday lenders use to advertise their products. Simply review terms and fees to identify if you may be looking at a toxic loan or not. One of the best things you can do is ask them what the APR on the loan is.

Below are some examples of other ways to get financial help or loans to assist with any financial situations.

Alternative Loans

Before considering an expensive payday type loan, review other responsible loan alternatives, there are many options available. This is especially important if you are a low income earner, pensioner, student or welfare beneficiary. Below are a few ideas on ways to smooth out your finances without taking on a high interest loan.

  • Work out a payment plan with your creditors, possibly extending payment terms, with an increase in interest if necessary but at a payment amount you can afford in a monthly payment amount.
  • Approach your employer for a personal loan or payday advance. Only borrow what you need and nothing more, as it will be deducted from your earnings on your next pay check putting you into the same potential situation.
  • Contact a consumer credit counseling service in your area. Most often they offer their services for free or at a nominal cost, but can often negotiate your debt payments on your behalf and securing one low monthly payment avoiding the need for further loans.
  • If you deal with a credit union or a bank see if they have overdraft protection, for those instances where you will need to borrow in between paydays without the high cost of a payday loan. A credit union may be more willing to loan its members a personal short term loan over a large financial institution.

Look for non-profit or governmental sources of loans that can help you out in certain circumstances such as bills, food, shelter, and energy crisis. These can all ensure you do not get into the situation of taking an exorbitant payday loan.

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