So the annual ëwill he, wonít heí saga has drawn to a close with Cristiano Ronaldo set to pack his bags for sunny Spain, and the lush turf of the Bernabau.

The United ace has signed with Real Madrid for a whopping ? million, making this the most expensive transfer in history. Having paid a more than hefty ? million for Kaka earlier in the week, you can bet that Real President Florentino Perez has had to come up with some pretty inventive financing.

Most of us wonít be party to such dramatic deals but finding the cash for a big lump sum payment can be a problem. Insurance premiums in particular are a heavy burden and spreading the cost can be a wise move.

MoneyExpert.com gives some tips on breaking down those big expenses.


Direct Debit

Most insurance providers (across most products) offer a direct debit payment scheme whereby you can spread the cost of the premium and pay on a monthly basis. This has obvious benefits for you as youíre able to hold onto your cash for longer, and reduce the impact of a one off payment.

From an insurance providerís perspective itís not such a great deal. They may find themselves paying out to a customer whoís only paid a tiny percentage of their premium, leaving them, the insurance provider, out of pocket. Because of this theyíre likely to charge you more. Effectively theyíre charging an APR on what works out to be a loan for youíre upfront payment.

Not all providers will charge extra for direct debit. Virgin Money and Age Concern are two that donít.


Covering The Cost

If you really canít face the prospect of a lump payment for your insurance premium you could consider making use of a credit card.

A number of cards now offer 0% for new purchases for periods as long as nine months. The Halifax All in One card does just that and using it to pay for you premium could save you serious cash. After nine months you would need to either clear the balance altogether or switch to a card offering 0% on balance transfers.


Not all bad

Just because insurance providers tend to charge more if you opt to pay by direct debit donít be put off altogether. Most other service providers will offer a discount for this type of payment.

Utilities providers are particularly keen for you to pay this way and may offer an incentive to encourage it. The downside is that you may find yourself overpaying if your gas bill, for example, is set at a fixed rate and you use less than normal. As with anything finance related youíll need to stay on top of the bills and keep an eye on how much youíre being charged.


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