Comparison clinic: cottages and cruising

Image of Dr Moore Money
The surgery is in session
"If you’re looking to really go the distance with your purchases and feel that you’re running out of steam in the final throes, then consider shifting to a balance transfer card"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Our financial agony uncle, Dr Moore-Money, is back, and he’s ready to answer your pressing questions.

So, without further ado, let’s get stuck in.

Dear Dr Moore-Money,

Image of a country cottage

I’m writing to you with concern about my husband. He’s been absolutely obsessed with cottages lately.

I had a look at his internet search history the other day, and it was chock-a-block with enquiries about cottaging holidays in the local area.

In fact, he’s been furtively sneaking out late at night, and I suspect it might have something to do with indulging his latest fad.

I’ve been giving it some consideration, and maybe it’s something I need to confront him about.

But then again, I’ve begun to tire of our modest suburban semi myself, and often find myself fantasising about something grander in the countryside.

Any tips on how to manage the situation?

Sue, Milton Keynes

Dr Moore-Money says,

At your stage in life it’s perfectly reasonable to start looking about at what's available.

If you’re considering moving to a cottage, or even investing in one as a second home, then it makes sense to thoroughly weigh up your options.

The good news is that’s new and improved mortgage service means that you can make sure you get more bang for your buck.

However, sit down with your husband before making any rash decisions and talk things over – you might eventually find out that a thatched haven in in the countryside is the last thing on his mind.

Dear Dr Moore Money,

Image of couple having a problem

I’m a man in my 30s who’s been having problem with purchases.

Achieving an impressive rate has never been a problem – I just have an issue keeping up with it.

It seems that as soon as the time comes for me to splash out on my girlfriend – for her birthday, for instance – my 0% purchase term comes to a disappointing halt. It’s all rather embarrassing, if truth be told.

Do you have any advice for making the rates go further?

Ken, Wolverhampton

Dr Moore-Money says,

Staying on top of a juicy 0% rate is something lots of people struggle with from time to time.

For a lot of people the problem is purely psychological, and can usually be solved by taking some time to gently peruse your options before going the whole hog.

Interest-free purchase rates are plentiful at the moment - if you qualify - and it doesn’t take long to find one with’s spanking new credit card service.

If you’re looking to really go the distance with your purchases and feel that you’re running out of steam in the final throes, then consider shifting to a balance transfer card.

It might be a bit of a passion-killer, but remember to whip out your calculator and do your sums to check whether the numbers add up and you don't splurge more than you need to.

There’s nearly always a fee attached when it comes to balance transfers, and you should make sure it doesn't outweigh interest payments on your existing debt.

Dear Dr Moore-Money,

Image of a dishy sailor

My husband and I have enjoyed a very happy 30-year marriage. Both of our kids are now grown up and have left the nest, and we think it’s time that we started enjoying ourselves!

One prospect we’ve been exploring is going cruising together. It seems like the perfect way to broaden our horizons and meet other couples for fun and giggles!

Have you got any wisdom to impart before we set sail?

Sheila, Warrington 

Dr Moore-Money says,

Many couples find that when they enter ‘the golden years’ they like to indulge themselves with some lusty thrills on the high seas, so you’re in good company.

Paying for it can be an expensive enterprise, so you might want to investigate a loan if it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip you've promised yourself.

Luckily allows you to quickly and easily compare them to your heart’s content with its fab new loans service, so you can help finance your nautical escapades.

However, when taking out a loan you should always very carefully consider what you're borrowing and your ability to repay it. Failure to do so could end  up with you sailing into some seriously choppy financial waters in the future.

If you've got them, it might be a better idea to dip into your savings instead.

Oh, and don’t forget to investigate cruise insurance before you go. It can help with the specific issues that can crop up, from misadventures at sea to missed port departures and cabin confinement.

And remember, the hardest part of cruising is choosing, so take a look at this handy guide and get yourself informed.

With loans, credit agreements or mortgages, failure to keep up with payments could seriously jeopardise your finances, damage your credit rating or, in the case of mortgages, even mean that your home is repossessed.

Carefully consider your options and what you can afford to borrow.

Dr Moore-Money’s clinic will be open again this time next month. In the meantime, send us your problems and we’ll do our best to get them answered by the doc.