Is Online Banking Worth the Risk?

There are some people that are worried about the risk of online banking. There are quite a few possible risks such as someone intercepting the data and stealing your bank details or accidently giving your details to a phishing site and either way you could have money stolen. They are ways to protect against this and banks will also do everything that they can to help out and recover the money. There are a lot of advantages of online banking too which is why many people think that it is worth the risk.

Can Bank at Any Time

The fact that it is possible to bank any time can be extremely useful. It means that you will be able to check you balance, move money around etc whenever you wish to. This can be very handy and if you work during normal banking hours it can be even better. It also means that you do not have to make the journey to a branch to do the things that you need which could be especially helpful if you have mobility issues or if there is not a branch local to where you live. With banks shutting more and more branches it could be even trickier to be able to find one that will be able to help you out.

Easier to Budget

If you are able to keep checking how much your balance is then it will be easier for you to budget. You will be able to keep track of your spending and will be able to make sure that you are not spending more than you can afford to. It will help you to easily look back at previous months too so you can work out what payments you are likely to need to make and how much money you will need for them. You could keep things written down, but sometimes payments go through the bank without you getting paperwork and so it can be a lot easier if you can check for yourself.

Feel More in Control

It can feel like you are more in control if you have access to your account like this. You will be able to move money around, pay bills etc in a way that you would not be able to do otherwise. This can feel really good and it means that you will be able to more confident that you will be able to get the transactions done that you need to, without having to rely on a branch being open and getting someone else to do it for you.

If you are not used to being able to do things like this, then you may find it hard to see the advantage in it. However, once you get used to doing it, you will find it very hard to go without it. Consider whether it will make your life easier to bank online and whether you have missed opportunities or had problems which could have been resolved had you been able to bank online. It is a case of balancing the positives against the negatives. It is worth thinking about whether you know many people that have had problems with their details being taken and if so, how it was resolved. It could also be worth speaking to the bank themselves about it all and they would let you know about the measures they take to protect people using online banking and what they might do if there was a problem. You will then be able to use that information to decide whether the online banking is likely to be useful for you.

Is Saving up Better Than Buying Right Away?

When we want to buy certain items, we may find that we do not have the money. For example, we might find that if we want to buy a new car, we do not have the money available to be able to afford it. This means that we will have to find the money from somewhere else. It could be that we could wait and save up for it or that we could borrow the money. There are pros and cons to each and it is worth thinking about them so that you can decide which will be the best for you.

Cost of Loan

It is a good idea to start by thinking about the cost of borrowing. If you take out a loan, there will be interest to pay and there might be other fees as well. This means that you will have to pay more than if you did not borrow money. The key thing is to think about whether you think that the loan will give you good value for money compared with the option of using savings. It is not always easy to calculate the cost of a loan but you should be able to get a good idea from the lender but also bear in mind that  if you miss a repayment then you will get charged extra so bear this in mind when calculating the cost.

Lost Savings Interest

If you have money already saved up, then you may be reluctant to spend it because you are worried about the loss of interest. Savings accounts do pay a little bit of interest and that can feel good, that you are getting some money. However, borrowing is usually significantly dearer and so by using savings, even considering the lost interest, it will generally be cheaper. You can work this out though and then you will be able to decide which will be the most cost effective solution for you.

Item Price Goes up

If you decide to wait and save up for the item, there is always a risk that the price might go up. This si because of inflation and prices do generally increase over time. However, it is likely that the price will not go up more than you would have to pay out if you took out a loan. However, you could calculate this and estimate how much the price would have to go up to make it worthwhile borrowing the money and buying right away compared to waiting and saving up. You could be surprised at how little extra you will have to pay if prices rise, compared to if you get a loan.

Item no Longer for Sale

It is always a risk that if you delay buying something, that it could sell out or no longer be made. Then you will not be able to get it at all. However, the risk will depend on the specific item. Some items are updated every so often and so it may be replaced with something better, which may not be a bad thing. You may also find that items might be available second hand if they stop being sold new and so this could be helpful as well. However, some things might become collectible and then the price will really go up and that could be tricky to cope with. Consider the item and which scenario is more likely. Also consider whether there are other similar items that you could buy which might provide the same function even if they are not the exact brand that you were looking for.

How Much Money Should I Have Saved Up?

If you have made the decision that it would be good to save up some money or if you do already have some savings, you may wonder how much money you should actually aim to have saved up. It is not an easy decision really as people will have different opinions on this. There are different approaches as well and it can be worth thinking about a few of these so that you will be able to make a decision more easily.

How Much do I Need?

The first thing that many people will focus on is how much money they need to save up. This is because they will want to think about whether they will have enough. You will need to think about what the purpose of saving is for you. If it is to have some money for emergencies then it might need to be enough to cover a month’s rent, to replace a broken washing machine or to have a car repair. Consider costs of emergencies like this and how much you will therefore need. It can be wise to think about the fact that you may need to replace several things at once or you may not have time to replenish the savings very quickly after paying out so it could be good to have a bit extra.

Some people want to have a lot more money. Some will be saving for retirement, for a deposit on house purchase or in case they lose their job. These amounts will be bigger but it is still possible to come up with some figures. For example, you can work out how much you need for retirement by calculating what you pay out at the moment and thinking about whether that will change. You should be able to find out how much pension you will be entitled to from the government website and your pension provider. This will help you to calculate how much more money you might need. Saving for a deposit takes a little guesswork because you will not be exactly sure how much the house you are buying will cost, but it is a good idea to make sure that you have more than enough by looking at house prices on homes you are interested in and finding out how much lenders will expect you to provide by way of a percentage. For losing a job, it could be worth putting by a good few months worth of money. You may be able to get benefits, but it can take time to get those organised and they will not be very much. Therefore, it can be a good idea to have some money available to use just in case.

How Much Can I Afford to Save?

You will also need to contemplate how much you can afford to save. This will obviously be determined by how much you earn and how much you spend. If you always have some money left at the end of the month then this can easily be saved. If you do not, then you might have to think about whether you will be able to find a way to get some extra money. It could be that you will have to cut back on spending, try to pay less for what you buy or earn more money. It is wise to think about some ways that you can find some extra money so that you can pop some into your savings account. It can be a good idea to look back at some bank statements to help you with this.

Is it Worth Using Overdrafts?

There are many people that use overdrafts and whether you use one or not, you may wonder whether they are worthwhile. As with most things, they have advantages and disadvantages and it is a good idea to think about both when you are comparing them so that you can be sure to make sure that you are making the right decision.


One of the main disadvantages is the cost. An overdraft can be very expensive and these days you are likely to be charged between 35% and 40% for taking one out. This is a high percentage interest rate compared to some other form of borrowing. You will be charged as soon as you take out the overdraft and you will keep being charged until it is all paid off and so it can be pricey. It is good to calculate how much it will cost you per day and then you will have an idea of the actual cost and it will help you to decide whether you think that it is a good idea to take one out or not. If you can avoid paying out, it can be better to avoid it and if you can keep the cost as low as possible, that can also be good. This means that no borrowing is the best option and then if you do decide to borrow, it can be best to compare the different options so that you can choose the one that gives you the best value for money.

Money to Fall Back on

Having an overdraft available to you can be great for giving your peace of mind. You can feel easy knowing that if you need money in an emergency that it will be available there for you. The only thing is that you will only be able to get the money if it is there for you to use. This means that if you have used the overdraft for other things, it will not then be there for an emergency. You therefore have to be careful and think carefully about using it and making sure that you are keeping it for emergency purposes.


Having an overdraft available to you can be a temptation. It can feel like it is money that is available for you to spend or that you have something to treat yourself with. It is tempting for some people to use it because they would like to buy some things. However, it is so easy to forget about the fact that not only, will it cost money to do this but that it will need to be paid back. People might see it as ‘their’ money and forget that it actually belongs to the bank and they will need to repay it.

So, it is important to weigh these up. If you do not like the idea of paying a lot of money for a loan then it may not be a good idea for you to use an overdraft. Having it there just in case can be great though. But you will need to make sure that you are not tempted to spend it. It can be really tempting to think of it as your money and spend it and so if you feel that you will think this way then it is a good idea to avoid having an overdraft. However, there are some people that will not be tempted to spend it but just keep it for emergencies and for this purpose, it can be really handy. So it is a really important decision to make and it is individual depending on how you are likely to act with the money. 

Can I Use Payday Loans to buy Gifts?

There are some loans which can only be used to buy certain things. However, with other loans you can buy anything you wish. This is actually the case with a payday loan, where the lender will not ask about where you are going to spend the money and so you could be able to spend it on gifts. However, it is worth thinking about some of the features of the loan and whether this would make it suitable to spend on gifts or not.

Only Lend Small Amounts

With a payday loan like those offered by Boutell Loans, you will only normally be able to borrow up to £1,000. This may be enough money to buy the gifts that you want but it may not be. Even if it is enough, you may find that if you are a first time borrower you will not get access to that much money. This is because you will find that some lenders will only lend smaller amounts to first time borrowers and so you may only be able to get a few hundred pounds. Again, this could be enough money for you anyway, but if you need more then you may need to find an alternative solution.

Need to be Repaid Quickly

It is very important to realise that a payday loan needs to be repaid really quickly. This means that you will need to make sure that you know when this is and that you will be able to afford to do it. You will usually find that it will need to be repaid on the next day that you get paid, which is likely to be in a few weeks time. You will also find that you have to pay everything that you have borrowed as well as the interest and fees all in one lump sum. So, you will have to find a chunk of money. It is helpful that it comes out on the say that you are paid as you are likely to have the money available to be able to afford it. However, you may also find that you will have other things to pay on that day as well, perhaps you may have direct debits set up to pay other bills. Therefore, you will need to carefully calculate how much will come in and how much you will need to pay out and you will then be able to work out whether you think that you will have enough money to repay it and cover everything else. Remember that you will have other things to buy through the month as well as those items that you buy at the beginning. It can work out, but you need to be careful to check first, then you will know whether it is something that you will be able to afford.


It is a good idea to think hard about the cost of the loan as well. All borrowing costs money and you should be able to find out how much it will cost before you take out the loan. Then you can decide whether you think that it is worth it. Think about the fact that you will need to buy the items and as well as paying the cost of them, you will also need to pay for the cost of the loan. It is good to have a think about whether you will be happy paying the amount that the gifts cost plus the cost of the loan or whether you feel that it makes the gifts too expensive.

As with everything we plan it is also wise to think about alternatives. It could be that you could not send gifts, you make things instead or you could buy cheaper items. If you do decide to borrow, compare the different borrowing options and make sure that you are using the one that will suit your needs the most and compare the costs of course to see which will give you the best value for money.