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ASK JASMINE JULY: I’m worried about my mortgage

MoneyMagpie team 4th Jul 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Welcome to Ask Jasmine, the column where I round up some of the questions I have received from readers. In this edition, I answer questions about making extra money, getting freelance work, mortgages and more.

I hope these answers can help you with any questions you may have. Don’t forget to leave any questions or money saving tips you have in the comments below or email me on [email protected].



Making money at home

For the past year, my main issue has been the grossly inflated cost of energy, and my own bill has increased by £180 per month. I have been searching the internet for genuine home-based money-making opportunities, but I am always cautious about so many scams on the net. Any suggestions? 

Jasmine says:

We have a great article containing work-from-home roles for everyone here. We also have some great ways to make quick cash here. Sadly, most side hustles won’t make hundreds, but can be a great top-up. We just published an article (here) about some of the most lucrative side hustles right now, with links to other articles of ours that we think are of use. 

I do hope this helps. 

Debit card or cash when spending abroad? 

I would be very grateful if you could help with my question? 

My daughter, husband and their two girls are going for a short break to Disneyland Paris soon. As they have a budget, please can you confirm which would be the most economical – paying for things using their debit cards or paying with euros? If euros, please can you recommend where may be the best place to buy them from, to obtain the best price? 

Jasmine says:

In your daughter’s case, it would be better to exchange currency so she can keep track of spending. The best rate will depend on where you are in the country and which currency exchange outlets are near you. Some may also apply fees. 

You can also buy euros at the Post Office counter if changing under £400, with no commission charges applied. But be warned: the Post Office exchange rates aren’t great. If your daughter does need to use her debit card for any reason, you’re often given the choice to pay in euros or pounds – always choose euros.  

When you pay in euros using you card, your bank will do the conversion into pounds. If you pay in pounds then the shop/outlet will do the conversion, usually at a higher rate. Also, make sure she gets a receipt so she can check the transaction has been paid in euros. 

How can I find freelance work?

I am a person with a learning difficulty. I only work one afternoon per week. I am 57 years of age and finding it very hard to get a least another afternoon’s work. I have been up-skilling all this time, I have studied Graphic Design on Udemy.com and I have obtained two certificates in Affinity Publisher beginners to advanced.  

I was wondering, is there any design work I could do on a freelance basis?

Jasmine says:

We have previously worked with Paralympian Liz Johnson, who is an advocate for finding employment for those with disabilities. She created The Ability People, and she launched platform Podium to people find work. 

We also have loads of articles about becoming a freelancer, including these articles: here and here.  

You may also find the government’s Access To Work scheme useful. It helps people find work and can provide reasonable adjustments to your workspace. 

At MoneyMagpie, we also love Upwork – freelancers can advertise their services at a set price. Fiverr is also a good site for this. Guardian Jobs is also good for finding a range of freelance and work from home roles.

I’m worried about my mortgage

I’m worried about by mortgage as I am not on a fixed rate anymore. With the interest rate going up all the time, the monthly mortgage payment just keeps going up and up. 

I would like to go on a fixed rate mortgage, but I don’t have a squeaky clean credit score. Would you be able to recommend a company that deals with this? I only have eight years left on my mortgage. The way things are going, I am at risk of eventually losing my home if the interest rate keeps going up. 

Jasmine says:

Firstly, we have a great article about how to cope with increasing interest rates impacting your mortgage. It may provide a little insight into the help available. 

Secondly, we have some great articles regarding credit scores, and how there are many quick and easy things you can do to improve it – here, here and here.

I do hope these help in that sense – sometimes we may not realise we can perk up our score with little effort! There are also things that could be lowering your score without you even knowing. 

Although I am unable to advise specific companies, Experian have some great advice, as do Online Mortgage Advisor.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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