How to Support your Local High Street on a Budget

We will all have noticed that shops on our local high streets are finding it hard to cope and many are closing down. However, if we want to make sure that they stay, then we will need to support them. Many people do feel that they want the high streets back and to survive but this can be difficult when it is often cheaper and more convenient to shop online or out of town. Getting a balance can be tricky but there are things that you can do which might help to keep your high street alive and be within your budget.

Buy a few things a month from the high street

Even if you just buy a few things from your high street it can make a difference. This is particularly true for independent shops and small local chains where they do not have online ordering and big flagship stores to bail them out and make up for local losses. However, even big chains will close unprofitable local shops. Remember that if you support the big chains on your high street and they stay open, then more people will continue to shop on the high street and that will help the smaller shops as well as they may shop in those as well. With no big traders on the high street the smaller independent shops will get no passing trade and people may just not bother to visit the high street at all. So even if you cannot afford to shop in the independent shops, you can still help them to remin open by shopping in the other high street shops.

 It might be that you will need to prioritise your spending and support those specific shops that you feel you will miss the most if they go. Just buying a greetings card, a cup of coffee, a hairband or something like that can make a difference. If you need to buy a gift and have a fixed budget then try these shops first. You could find that they will have some lovely things and if you are shopping in independent shops then the recipient will be less likely to know how much the items have cost. If the shops do not have what you are looking for then see if they can order things in. Some will be more able to do this than others but it is often worth asking. Many small independents will be willing to try things like this for you so that they are able to provide good customer service and make some money.

Encourage others to use the high street

If you cannot use the high street enough then try to encourage other people to do so as well. There are some social media campaigns that you can share or you could like the shops on social media and share their posts. This will be particularly effective if you are friends with people that live locally and are likely to use the local shops. Another method could be to meet friends and family on the high street and then wander around and they may spend money there. If you regularly meet people for coffee then choose a shop on the high street so that you can support them. If you do not have a favourite then try different ones. If people ask you what you would like as a gift; perhaps if you have a birthday coming up, then ask

Just go into shops for a chat

Independent shop owners or people who work in independent shops can get quite lonely if they do not have many customers during a day. Even if you cannot afford to shop with them, go in for a chat and be friendly. They will appreciate the friendly gesture and if people passing see you in the shop they might pop in as well and they might buy things. It can be a nice supportive thing to do and shop owners and workers will appreciate it and will understand that not every person that goes in the shop is able to afford to buy things.

Browse in the shops

Browsing in the shops does not cost anything and it will allow you to what sorts of things they have and how much they are. You may even find that there are things in the shop that you can afford when you thought that you would not be able to. Knowing what sorts of things, they sell will help you to be able to make choices when you are in need of buying things and you will know which shops will have the things that you need. You will need to be careful to not be tempted to spend money that you cannot afford while you are browsing though, but if you take no money with you then you will not be able to do this anyway.

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Best Options for Financing a New Bathroom

If we own our own home, then there will be work that needs doing in it from time to time. This means that you will need to think hard about how you will finance this work. Some work will not be that expensive, but if you need something large doing, such as having your bathroom refitted, then you will need to think about how to raise a great deal of money. There are several different options that might be available to you and they have advantages and disadvantages. You will need to consider all of them and decide which of the options will be the best for you.

Use money you have

It could be the case that you have money that you can use to fund the project. If you have savings then these may be enough to be able to cover the costs. You may feel reluctant to use them though as perhaps you are planning on using them for something else or you are relying on the interest that they generate to give you an income. It is worth doing some calculations though to see how much it will cost you to use your savings for this purpose. It might eb that you will be able to build them up again afterwards or that it will be cheaper to use them rather than borrowing the money. However, you might be worried that you will need that money to fall back on should you have any financial problems in the near future or that you are worried that you might not be self-disciplined enough to pay the money back into the savings account if you spend it. If you do spend the money and need more then you could always borrow some, but if you borrow some and leave the money in your savings account you will be paying out a lot in interest, so it could be better to take the risk. If you fear you will not pay it back then you can make it easier by setting up a direct debit to pay the money in automatically, in instalments just after you get paid.

Borrow the money

Getting a loan is not necessarily an option for everyone as you will need to be able to afford to repay it. It is worth noting that lenders will not always check this and may let you have a loan that you cannot afford and so it will be up to you to do the work and find out whether you can afford those repayments. Loans will vary a lot and you will find that the amount that you are expected to repay will also vary. This will be because lenders charge different amounts and so the costs will be different therefore changing the amount that has to be repaid and they will be repaid over different time periods and those that are repaid over a longer time period will have smaller repayments but more of them. It is really important to calculate how much you will be able to afford and then you will be able to look at whether there are any loans that you will be able to repay with ease.

You may also have difficulty getting a loan if you do not have a good credit record. You might want to check this before you apply as if you apply for a loan and get turned down this can make your credit record even worse. It is wise to check it anyway to make sure that it is correct because mistakes could cause you to not get money that you were hoping for and this will impact whether you will get accepted for the loan as well as what interest rate you will be charged as if you are considered a higher lending risk you could be charged a higher interest rate.

Save up the money

Another option would be to save up the money that you need. You would therefore need to get a quote (or several) for the work that needs doing and then you will know how much you need in order to get it done. You might find that you will need to save up for a long time if you cannot afford to put much aside. However, it might be wise to think of some ways to raise extra money, perhaps by spending less elsewhere or earning more, so that you are more easily able to save more. If the work is essential then saving up may just take too long. For example, if it is your only bathroom and you cannot use it, then you will need the work done quickly. If there is a leak and it is causing damage then this could get worse and worse and the work could be more expensive if you delay it. You will have to decide, depending on what needs doing, as to whether you feel that you need to get things done really quickly.

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