Saturday, September 29, 2012

Five Reasons A Quality Car Will Save Money

By Thomas Green When it comes to purchasing a car, there is a lot more to consider beyond the price tag. Most people forget that the price of the car is just one of many factors that will determine the total cost of the car over a lifetime. Picking a high quality car, even if it has a bit more expensive retail price, can end up saving a lot of money i the long run. I own a Honda ES and it's been saving me money in a number of ways that many people forget to consider when they purchase a car.


Getting a car that is reliable can't be overstated. There is nothing worse than having to take your car into the mechanic time and again and the costs associated with that. Not only are there the repair bills, but also the cost of finding alternative transportation while the car is being worked on. Finding a car with a high reliability will save you both money and time over the life of the car.

Fuel Efficiency

The amount of money that you will save depends a lot on how much you drive, but with gas prices seemingly rising every year, the better the gas mileage that your car gets, the more money you are going to save when driving. It's best to compare the gas mileage that cars that are in the same class to see which ones have the advantage in this area. While you don't necessarily need to purchase the car with the very best gas mileage, you do want one that is one of the ones that gets better gas mileage on average than most of the other cars in the class.

Resale Value

Another important factor is how well the car holds its value. Cars are considered depreciating assets which means that over time, they decrease in value. While they decrease in value, they don't all decrease in value at the same rate. Quality cars tend to hold their value better than less reliable ones and are easier to sell when it's time to get rid of them. Looking at the history of a car model's resale value will give you a good indication what it will be worth when it's time to upgrade to a newer car.


The safety of the car wouldn't appear on the surface to be something that would save you money, but it definitely does. Safer cars cost less to insure since there is less chance of bodily injury during an accident. If there is an accident, a safe car can keep you from spending countless hours in the hospital and all the costs associated with that.

Car Care

It is sort of a self fulfilling prophecy that when you have a reliable car, you end up taking better care of it. This in turn keeps the car being reliable over the life of the car. When you have a car that constantly breaks down, it's harder to put in the regular maintenance because you assume that it is going to break down even when you do this. Purchasing a reliable car almost always results in you taking better care of it which simply adds to the safety, resale value and reliability of it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Family?

Watching your kids grow from short trousers and grubby faces into successful adults is a priceless experience right? Well, not quite because it seems you can actually put a price on your child's upbringing and its one that might well shock many people.

Your children are most likely your pride and joy so how much they cost over the course of 21 years (or more these days) is likely to be something that you have given little consideration to. But according to a study conducted by Liverpool Victoria (LV=) earlier this year the cost of a child comes in at a staggering £218,000 and is rising further as things like clothes and education get ever more expensive. And LV= isn't thinking that everyone dressed their children in Vivian Westwood and sends them to boarding school when coming up with that figure either.

Oh no, it's based on simple factors such as the cost of babysitters, one annual holiday and three years at college or university. Looking at £218,000 in more detail it is easy to work out that this equates to 10,380 a year, £865 a month, £199.76 a week or £28.53 a day. Of course we're talking averages here so these figures won't tally for everyone and there are some major regional differences to be factored in.

Indeed, the cost of raising a family is highest in London at £234,263 per child. This is closely followed by the South East at £232,450. In contrast, the cheapest place is the North East where a child will cost an average of £202,383 over the course of 21 years.

If you're thinking of starting a family and wanting to work out how much things cost then you're probably left scratching your head at this stage but these figures shouldn't put anyone off. You may just need to do some nifty planning that's all. With tuition fees on the rise from September it will probably come as no surprise that education fees are the biggest expense parents encounter because of their offspring.

LV='s research found that the average family now spends a total of £71,780 in ensuring that their children get the best possible education and make the most out of their time at university. This figure has somewhat incredibly shot up by 125 per cent in the nine years that have passed since LV= conducted its first family cost survey back in the summer of 2003.

Childcare and babysitting costs is the second largest expense at £62,099, up by 2.7 per cent on last year and 57 per cent on 2003. Food is the third most expensive thing a parent provides to their children at £18,667, while £10,781 is spent on clothing.

But while those things could rightly be considered essentials, there are a number of other things which are bought that cost a lot of money over the period of 21 years such as toys (do 21-year-olds still play with toys?) at £9,248 and holidays at £15,532.

But don't forget all those other things your children will nag you for such as sticker books, football cards and regular pocket money. There are also haircuts, day trips and clubs to pay for.

And it would be easier to think that as children get older they get less expensive but in reality that is rarely the case. While Suzie might not cost you any money in My Little Ponies and Barbies when she gets into her teens, it won't be long until she leaves school and wants to take driving lessons and guess who probably end up paying for them?

Increasingly, children in the 20s and 30s are also relying on their parents to given them a hand out here and there, particularly when it comes to raising a deposit for their first home. Watching your kids grow from short trousers and grubby faces into successful adults is a priceless experience right? For more advice and tips on how to save money and manage your debt visit

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Piggy Banks For Children

One of the most important lessons that you can teach your kids is how to handle their personal finances. Unfortunately, this is one area where parents are failing their kids. Taking the time to make a plan to start teaching your children the basics about personal finance from an early age is a wonderful way to put them on financial solid ground when they become adults.

One of the best ways to begin teaching children about personal finance is through piggy bank. While most people think of the piggy bank as simply place to deposit coins and bills, it can also be an excellent teaching tool about some of the fundamentals of personal finance.

While the standard piggy bank will do, there are now a large variety of piggy banks that have been developed specifically to help teach kids about personal finances. Choosing one of these banks can go a long way to helping your child understand that there is more to personal finance than putting away money to spend later.

It's also important to remember that you'll have to do more than simply give your child piggy bank. You'll need to spend some time talking with your child about the best ways to use the money that they do receive. By talking to your kids about personal finance and helping them decide the best ways to use their money, you will begin to lay a solid foundation for money management.

Be sure that you also take the time to live what you preach. If you are going to explain to your child the importance of saving, spending, investing in donating, it's important for you to also do these things and to show your child when you do them. This will reinforce those basic personal finance concepts so that they will have them well ingrained when they are older and have to do all their personal finance on their own.