Tips on Paying off your Store Card

Many of us have store cards. These are rather like credit cards but you are limited to spending them in certain stores. They will mainly be just for one shop, although if some shops have other stores in the same group then you may be able to use the card with them as well. The cards act like credit cards where you can wait to pay for the items that you have bought until you get your statement and you will then get the option of repaying it in full or just paying off a small amount which will usually just cover the interest and perhaps a little more. Using the cards is easy but for some people, repaying it is difficult. There are some tips below to help with this.

Set up a direct debit

When you first set up a store card it is wise to also set up a direct debit to pay off the full balance owed each month, just like you would do with other types of credit. This will mean that there is no chance that you will forget to pay for the card. You might prefer to just set one up to pay off the minimum amount. However, if you do this, you will be charged interest on the remaining balance. If you repay the full balance you will not pay any interest or fees at all. It is therefore best to set up a direct debit to repay the card in full each month. It is easy to set up a direct debit and you should find that your card issuer will have an easy form that you can use to be able to do this. There is therefore no excuse for not doing it!

Monitor spending

If you do intent to repay each month in full, then you will need to make sure that you will be able to afford to do this. You will need to make sure that you do not spend so much that you will not have enough money to repay it. You might be able to keep track of your spending online using an online statement. If you cannot do this then you might be able to track it using your receipts or just by making a note of how much you are spending. You will need to be aware of how much you can afford to spend so that you know how much to spend. You will have to work this figure out. To do this you may find it easiest to look back over previous bank statements to see how much money you have left over each month and therefore how much you can afford to spend on your store card. Then you will need to make sure that you stick to your budget.

Pay off in Instalments

If you already have outstanding store card debt then it is wise to try to repay it as quickly as you can. If you have the money available then it is worth just doing it because you will save so much money on interest charges which you will be paying each month. This may not be something that you can afford though. If this is the case it could be wise to stop spending on the card until you have repaid everything. It is easiest to spread the repayments and therefore pay a bit off each month. Repay more than the minimum required repayment or else it will take a really long time to repay the whole card. You could set up a direct debit to pay an amount which you know will be larger than the minimum payment but that you can still afford. You may have to look back at your previous spending to see how much you will be able to afford.

Although store cards can have a lot of benefits, it is worth thinking really hard as to whether it is worth having them. If you take advantage of the offers and only spend what you would have spent anyway and repay the balance all in one go then they can be a fantastic choice. However, if you are tempted to buy more than you need because you can use your store card and delay repaying it, you do not pay the full balance off each month and you find it a struggle when considering repaying what you owe, then a store card will work out to be very expensive for you. If you have been in this situation then it could be wise to consider getting rid of the store card or not getting one, if you have not already got one. You have to be really self-disciplined with money to take advantage of a store card and you should know whether it will be a good idea for you to have one based on how good you normally are with money.


How to Find the Cheapest Health Insurance

Some of us like to have some health insurance cover. This might be because we have had it through a job and have enjoyed the advantages that it brings or because we want to be able to be treated quickly when needed. If you do decide to get health insurance though, you will find that it is expensive. You may wonder how you will be able to afford it without going into debt. There are different options that you can take and searching for the cheapest can be a good start.

Go without insurance

It is worth starting by thinking about whether you feel that health insurance is really necessary. There are many reasons why it could be a good idea, but there is still the national health service to fall back on. They do provide all of the services that anyone can want with regards to health care. However, waiting times can sometimes be long and treatment may not be as long or even offered at all. This is why some people turn to private health care. It is important to think about whether you are likely to need healthcare in the future and whether you feel that having private care will be worthwhile for you.

Keep health in check

If you want to keep the price of your health insurance down then it is good to look after your own health. There are things that we can do that will make the premiums more expensive and so if we can make sure that we have a healthy lifestyle then this can help. For example, it can be wise to keep at a healthy weight for your height, not to smoke, not to drink to excess and to try to exercise regularly. These things will help our health anyway so are worth doing but they will also help to lower the premiums on health insurance. There are some things which will make insurance dearer such as getting older and previous health issues which you will not be able to change.

Compare costs

It is well worth comparing different insurers to see how much they are and what they are offering. You need to think about what you are hoping to get out of health cover and make sure that what you are looking at will provide that for you. It is important to also make sure that you can claim for everything that you might need and that you will get the service that you are expecting. Therefore, make sure that you are getting value for money. You may find that you have different levels of cover and that you will need to decide how much to pay for your premiums and that will determine the level of cover that you will get in return.

Use a broker or comparison website

If you find it difficult to find the different insurers or to compare them then you could get some help. An insurance broker or comparison website might be able to provide you with the information that you need. It is worth noting that they may not be independent and unbiased though as they will receive commission on leads and therefore may be more likely to recommend those insurers that will pay them the most commission. You may be able to find some independent financial advisors or web pages that might be able to provide the information that you need without bias though. It is not always that easy to tell though.

Ask others for recommendations

If you ask people you know then they are less likely to be biased. However, it might be the case that they do not use private health insurance. It is worth seeing if anyone that you know does use though as they might be able to tell you more about it and their experiences. Some people do not have insurance for private health but they may go privately for certain procedures to speed up their treatment. This will give them an experience of what it is like being treated in a private hospital which could help you to decide whether you feel that is for you as well.

There is a lot to consider. Obviously, health insurance is expensive and even if you compare policies and find the one that offers the best value for money and look after your health, you will still find that you will have to pay out more than you would if you use the NHS. So, you will need to think about whether you think that it is worth it. It might depend on your local services as some seem to be better than others or whether you have a specific health condition that you feel would be treated better under private care or some other reason.