5 tips on how to stay on top of your finance & mortgage

Knowledge is power – People are living increasingly hectic lifestyles and this lack of spare time means many mortgage-holders put reviewing their finances and mortgage. Keeping on top of your money matters should be a priority and doesn’t necessarily have to be a laborious, time consuming task. And, the reality is that circumstances change – interest rates fluctuate, commodity prices fluctuates, our personal situations change, such as jobs and family affairs – so being equipped with knowledge about the health of your finances and planning ahead is a necessity to overcome most financial challenges in life.

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How to review your finance and mortgage

  1. Check your current statement(s) – to see what you’re paying, when any special deal or contract ends, what happens at the end of your deal or contract and the balance left to pay.
  2. Check if you’re still on a good deal – compare like for like current market deals or contracts.
  3. Check if and when you can switch – to get a better deal if available.  It makes sense to start shopping around a few months before any special deals ends. Switching can cut down your monthly payments but you’ll need to weigh up theses monthly savings or other benefits against the costs of making the switch.
  4. Make a list of all your incomes and expenses – prioritise your mandatory expenses and work on maximising your disposable income by reducing where necessary your lifestyle expenses.
  5. Make saving a habit – save as much as you can not just money but energy and the environment. Remember the saying ‘if you fail to plan, you have already plan to fail’.

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Building Project: The 5 Risk Assessment stages you must know

This Building Industry Risk Assessment contains about 43 task specific risk assessments covering a variety of activities undertaken on building sites. The risk assessments range from unloading the delivery lorries to bricklaying, plastering and painting.

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The use of  Risk Assessment (Task Specific Risk Assessment Forms) is an important exercise that not only helps you to make the workplace safer for yourself, your workers and eliminate accidents, but also assists you in complying with the relevant health and safety legislation, save money  and the internment. By using a systematic method of looking at your work activities and assessing what could go wrong you will go a long way to ensuring your safety and the safety of your employees on site. If you use a contractor they will be asked to provide risk assessments before starting work. Risk Assessment, when properly down, will show the relevant authority (HSE) that you are serious about managing health and safety on site.

If you are new to carrying out risk assessments you may find it useful to use the 5 Risk Assessment stages below and there are templates Task Specific Risk Assessment Forms available to buy and use.

5 stages of Risk Assessment

  1.  Identify the hazards
  2. Identify the people at risk
  3. Evaluate the risks and plan
  4. Record plan and train
  5. Periodically review

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TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

SMART Building project planning

Whether you are undertaking a property self build, refurbishment or renovation, it would be reasonable to expect that most on your priority will be the financial implications: how the project will be financed, how much finance is available and what the expected value of the project will be.

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In order to assist in the smooth running of the project and in particular the financial elements, your plans need to be SMART.

Specific

  • The more specific your details, the more likely it is that you will obtain the true cost for financial planning and therefore present your case for accurate borrowing requirements.

Measurable

  • Having specific details of how the cost of a particular item (labour or material) has been obtained will enable you to measure this (in monetary terms) against alternative suppliers.

Achievable

  • By carrying out this costing process (even with approximate figure), you will soon start to understand the true costs and whether they are achievable with your initial thoughts on budget costs.

Realistic

  • Above all your earning and cash flow needs to meet your planned financial spend to ensure that you can comfortably afford to complete the project.

Time-frame 

  • All elements of the project should have some sort of timescale, even if specific dates are not known.
  • You may find that due to the details involved in your specification obtaining, comparing and negotiating for the best products and deals to save and raise money before and during the project becomes easier.

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Home Improvement: Exploiting opportunities for energy efficiency

To identify opportunities that are likely to arise for energy efficiency upgrades, start by making a list of future home improvements you plan to carry out over a number of years. then try to match these to major energy efficiency projects, such as insulation, solar installation, window and boiler replacement. Below are some planned projects and recommended opportunities for energy efficiency improvements.

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Planned project and energy efficiency opportunity 

  • Internal decoration, Re-plastering walls, Refitting kitchens, Refitting bathrooms and cloakrooms etc.

Internal wall insulation.

  • Rendering external walls.

External wall insulation

  • Re-roofing.

Photovoltaics (PV) Solar panel roof installation, Roof or loft insulation. If external wall cladding is planned, prepare the way by extending the roof at eaves level.

  • Replacement windows.

Specify high-performance windows and combine wall insulation works.

  • Replacing old hot water cylinder.

Specify a twin-coil (or triple-coil) cylinder ready for the later installation of solar water heating.

  • Replacing worn-out boiler.

Specify ‘A’-rated high-efficiency replacement boiler.

  • Replacing floorboards

Floor insulation and underfloor heating (can be paired with renewable technology).

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10 practical ways to find time to plan

Time is the one resource that we can’t buy, but we often waste it or use it ineffectively. we’re all busy people one way or the other and finding time to plan for that dream project or investment can be a challenge. Remember that what you need to do mostly is to think and you can do that almost anywhere. Here are ten ways you can find the time to plan.

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  1. Daydream – Let your imagination go wide and your thoughts take you through the journey to places you want your project or investment to be.
  2. Family time – Parents, partners and even children have the knack of knowing us better than we think. Discussing your plans and seeking their opinion might be invaluable in making and perfecting your decision.
  3. Keep a diary – Planning takes time and keeping a diary is very important to keep track on your plans and thoughts for reference when making decision.
  4. Ask for help – In today’s digital world, information and knowledge is on our fingertips. All you need to do is ask for help and research it from places and persons with the right competency, experience and skills.
  5. Walk the dog – Fresh air is good for creative thinking and waking up in the morning to walk the dog or jog will test your commitment and willingness.
  6. Indulge your partner – Book that dream activity holiday and then while you’re sat at the bar reflecting, planning and thinking, your partner can be enjoying their time and warming to the idea
  7. Take a break – If possible take a break from work to have time to plan the project or investment.
  8. Relax bath – Instead of the hurried shower, soak in the bath and let your mind wander.
  9. Lose the phone – Try travelling or having a break with your switch off, and use the freedom from distraction to explore your project or investment ideas
  10. Paint the house – Minor domestic home improvement like painting or decoration will give you more time confined to one room , free of cerebral distraction to think and plan.

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TSB announce 82 branch closure location

TSB has announced the 82 branches it plans to close in 2020, with much of the country affected.

Earlier this week, the bank announced there would be closures as part of a plan by new chief executive Debbie Crosbie to make £100m of cost cuts by 2022.

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The bank said that 370 positions would be hit by the closures.

It said it would offer help to customers and staff affected by the move.

The bank is repositioning itself following its IT crisis last year, which affected 1.9 million customers.

Robin Bulloch, customer banking director at TSB, said: “We will fully support customers through this transition.

“We realise this is difficult news for our branch partners and will do everything to support those affected to offer voluntary redundancies and redeploy as many people as we can to other roles.”

At the end of 2020, TSB will have a network of 454 branches.

Source: BBC News

 

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Home Improvement: Do I need a planning permission?

Do you want to create more space in your home, make it more energy efficient or perhaps you are looking to self-build? Whether your project is large or small, certain rules will apply in the form of permitted development rights and planning permission. Permitted development rights allow you to make minor changes to your property without having to apply for planning permission.

To find out whether your home improvement or large scale commercial project needs planning permission or building regulations approval, the UK government Planning Portal is the best place to start from. The planning portal website has a common projects and interactive guides to find out about permitted development limits or explore in-depth guidance to understand about what you need to consider at each stage of your project. To make sure everything is alright, contact your local authority, especially if you’re living in a conservative area, an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, a World Heritage site, a National Park, or Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, where stricter planning restrictions will apply.

 

Thinking of buying a property?

Need help with property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk