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Valentine’s Day is almost upon us again and every year I struggle to embrace the ‘holiday’. On a material level, I reject the idea because you shouldn’t need a particular day of the year to express your feelings. That said many still use it as an opportunity to ‘give’ something to their partner or loved one. In recent years it’s become equated with buying something. If you have a fair amount of money to spend then buying chocolates, flowers and d [...]

At LLB, we’ve looked at peer-to-peer lending to find an alternative income stream whilst bank rates have remained historically low in the UK. We felt that we wanted to take that extra bit of risk to invest in something that will provide us with returns well above inflation. Peer-to-peer lending is still a relatively new concept and its longevity is arguable (it’s been around less than a decade at the time of writing). MM and CS have both invested [...]

Having reached the end of the first month in the 15th year of the millenium (yes, it’s true), we summarize what’s happened in the last four weeks with money and the economy in the UK and US. *UK *Inflation has steadily been decreasing since the height of the financial crisis in 2008. Inflation in the UK has benefited in December especially, from cheaper fuel and falling energy prices, and was recorded as just 1%. As a result, wages are starting [...]

The stock market is going through a rough time. In the UK, we’ve seen unemployment fall to just 1.9 million (out of a population of 64.1m), its lowest level for more than six years and means our current unemployment rate is just 5.8%. Wage rises are starting to outpace inflation. The US is experiencing similar growth and in 2014 foreclosure filings hit the lowest level since 2006. It’s easy to think that we’re out of the recession and heading for [...]

I recently caught up with a friend who invited me out for dinner as her treat. Being my frugal self, I agreed. We chatted on the phone beforehand and she mentioned that she was a mystery diner. From my days in retail, I knew what a mystery shopper was but I had never met a mystery diner. I was intrigued. “We have to order a drink and main course as a minimum. We’re not allowed to order the same thing and you can have up to two alcoholic drinks. I [...]

Crowdcube is a crowdfunding site that allows you to invest your money in start-ups and expanding businesses in exchange for equity. It’s the first online platform of its kind in the world and is currently open to investors over the age of 18 based in the United Kingdom who want to invest in British businesses only. What’s the fuss? Similar to Funding Circle, Crowdcube doesn’t just allow you to lend money as a bond to businesses, but allows you to [...]

We’ve all heard of inflation and if we’re savers, we’ll know that watching the rate of inflation (which indicates how much prices have risen and the fall in purchasing value of money) is important as savers: to make sure our savings interest rate beats inflation and to spenders: to understand how much more we’re paying for things. Lifestyle inflation is increasing spending in line with an increase in income. If you drive a three-door Peugeot on a [...]

Credit has a bad name. Mention it and we think of the credit crisis of 2007. Ask your parents or friends about taking out a credit card and they’re likely to gasp and question you. After all, taking out credit is irresponsible. Credit has become associated with living beyond your means, racking up huge debts that you can never repay and the first step towards bankruptcy. It’s true that taking out any form of credit may lead to the above, but the [...]

Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of articles with advice that people would give to their former or younger selves. Most of these lists make sense and have the usual, “save money” and “stop caring about what others think” and often indicate some regret in their chosen paths. Being in my mid-twenties and already following a lot of advice from the old and wise, I started thinking about whether there is any advice I’d give to my future self. What ha [...]

It’s just over six months since 2014 started and less than six months before we hit 2015. A shockingly low 8% successfully fulfil their New Year’s resolution. According to Scranton University, losing weight and staying fit and healthy feature in the top 10 New Year’s resolutions of 2014. Like these people, I am keen to maintain my fitness and push my body physically by exercising four or five times a week. The problem is, getting fit can often m [...]