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The Financial Times Guide to Managing Your Money

The Financial Times Guide to Managing Your Money

How to be better off by making better financial decisions

Cliff D'Arcy

Dec 2008, Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN13: 9780273717034
ISBN10: 0273717030
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16.99

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If you want to be better at money management, feel more secure about your financial future and be on top of your personal finances than this is the book for you.

By adopting simple, everyday techniques in eight key areas, you can develop your own personal and practical approach to money management. This will help you make better decisions about both your monthly budgeting and long-term financial planning.

Because finances don’t have to be boring, in an informative and entertaining style, this book will:
• Give you lively advice and practical examples about every aspect of money including budgeting, spending, borrowing, saving, investing and scams.
• Ensure you have the basics covered in a way that is most financially beneficial for you.
• Ensure you feel more confident about tackling many of life’s biggest financial challenges such as buying a home, buying and running a car, holidays, marriage, the expense of raising children, sickness, unemployment and other hiccups.

Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Mastering Money

In this short introduction, you will begin to understand how better money management will fatten your wallet or purse, plus make you feel better mentally, physically and spiritually.

2. The Benefits of Better Budgeting

How to:

Boost your earnings

Claim state benefits

Get a pay rise

Get help with childcare costs

Keep a spending diary

Keep up with the Joneses

Manage your money like a business

Measure and manage your progress

Spend less than you earn

3. The Secrets of Spending Less

How to find gains without pain, including:

Bash your bills/trim everyday expenses

Beware of your latté factor

Claiming cashback

Getting discounts

Giving to charity/Gift Aid

Haggling

The paradox of ‘affluenza’

4. Become a Better Borrower

Everything you need to know to get to grips with:

Credit cards

Current accounts and overdrafts

Getting out of debt

Home loans/mortgages/secured loans and second mortgages

Store cards

Understanding your credit report

Unsecured personal loans

5. Be a Smarter Saver

Discovering the joys of saving, including the ins and outs of:

Accounts for the over-fifties

Cash Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)

Child Trust Funds (CTFs)

Children’s savings accounts

Everyday savings accounts

Guaranteed income bonds (GIBs)

National Savings & Investments (NS&I)

Regular-savings accounts

6. Protect Yourself and Your Assets

Learn how to protect yourself, your income, your family and your prized possessions through insurance. Covers:

Breakdown insurance

Car/motor insurance

Critical illness cover

Dental insurance

Extended warranties

Home insurance

Hospital cash plans

Income protection

Life insurance and mortgage protection

Making a Will

Payment protection insurance

Pet insurance

Private medical insurance

Travel insurance

7. Turn into an Intelligent Investor

How you can harness the power of long-term investing to make you rich. Topics covered include:

Alternative investments

Buying into businesses is not like buying a lottery ticket

Buy-to-let/property investing

Choosing a stockbroker

Employee share schemes (Sharesave/SAYE and Share Incentive Plans)

Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)

Fund supermarkets and discount brokers

Guaranteed equity bonds

Index trackers

Individual savings accounts (ISAs) and Personal Equity Plans (PEPs)

Investment styles: high-yield, index-tracking, value, etc.

Monthly saving and investing lump sums

Picking individual shares

The power of compound interest

Unit trusts and open-ended investment companies (OEICs)

8. Pump up Your Pension

Planning ahead for a luxury retirement; advice covering:

Additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)

Defined-contribution/money-purchase schemes

Final-salary/defined-benefit schemes

Occupational pensions

Personal pensions

Self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs)

Stakeholder pensions

State pensions

The tax benefits of pensions

9. Steer Clear of Scams

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to recognise and avoid a whole host of swindles, including:

Advance-fee frauds

Bogus property investments

Boiler rooms

Criminal cashback

Dodgy share-trading software

Fake invoices and data-protection services

Fake lotteries

Gambling syndicates

Home-working scams

Land-banking scams

Lotteries

Make a Million seminars

Phishing emails and calls

Ponzi, pyramid and matrix schemes

Premium-rate telephone lines

Scratchcards

Sham charities

Share-buyback frauds

10. Summary and useful contacts

Addresses, telephone numbers and websites

Thanks to two decades in financial services, Cliff has inside, expert knowledge on what makes financial firms tick and how they go about making money from consumers. Naturally he uses this information to

show his readers how to become richer by ditching the dirty deals!

As a freelance writer and broadcaster, he covers all aspects of personal finance from budgeting, spending, saving to insurance and stock-market investing.

The FT Guide to Managing your Money draws on lessons from his own experience of learning to get to grips with his personal finances. He turned his life around from being in debt in the late nineties to now being in the top 2% of the country for income and personal wealth.