Have you made some New Year Resolutions about savings, budgeting or debts for 2021? 2020 has been a strange year for many millions of people's finances. Half the country is better off, half is worse off. Some have gained from losing their commute costs and not being able to go on holiday or eat out as much. Others have seen their business destroyed or lost their job. And many are still in … [Read more...]
I write about a lot of Personal Finance that isn't directly about problem debts. Those articles are gathered here.
Spending - reducing or controlling it is usually essential if you want to reduce your debts. So Budgeting is another big topic.
Your grandparents used a pen and paper, but now we have Apps to make all this easier.
Mortgages - sometimes thought of as the only good sort of debt!
Credit ratings - important if you have too much debt or very little!
Want to lose weight or get fit? A depressing number of people found they were eating and drinking more in 2020 because of the lockdowns. So millions of people will have this as their main New Year's Resolution for 2021. In many areas gyms are closed. That may be good news as too many people who join a gym in a fit of enthusiasm in January go once or twice in February and then hardly at … [Read more...]
Want to be better with money in 2021? If you ate, drank and sat on the sofa far too much over Christmas, you may be thinking of detoxing your body and getting fit. A Money Detox is the same approach for your finances if your bank balance looks sick and your credit card bill looks bloated. Perhaps this isn't just a nice-to-do but you NEED to be better, because you have lost your job or … [Read more...]
A reader asks: Help! I have just been made redundant and I don't know how I am going manage, especially as we have debts. I'm only getting a few weeks redundancy pay. What should I do? A lot of firms are closing or making some staff redundant because of Coronavirus. If your firm has just closed suddenly, you may be worried about getting the pay for the weeks you have already worked, the pay … [Read more...]
Ms F asked: "I have been in debt management for five years after my marriage breakdown. After an inheritance, I want to pay off my DMP as it will carry on for years. I could pay in full but my house needs some urgent work and my car is on its last legs. I asked about my credit score if I offer a partial settlement and was told this would show as partially settled on credit score file. Will I … [Read more...]
UPDATE - September 2020 - now Credit Ladder are proposing to charge you £60 a year to report to both Experian and Equifax. I suggest you don't bother! As a means of paying to try to improve your credit score this seems unnecessary, reporting to two is very little better than reporting to one. Do yourself a favour and pay that £5 a month off a debt instead. Or add it to your savings account if … [Read more...]
At the beginning of 2020, this article started by saying "95% mortgages are back in fashion" and pointed out how many more 95% mortgage offers there were compared to a few years ago. That is no longer true. In mid 2020, it is now very hard to get a mortgage with a 10% deposit. The 5% deposit offers have all vanished. Mortgage lenders are concerned that house prices may fall for the next … [Read more...]
Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) are arrangements that allow friends to save together and withdraw lump sums from the scheme. ROSCAs are unregulated, relying on trust. The Money Advice Service says "those who use [ROSCAs] say they encourage savings and allow people without bank accounts access to credit." They have different names around the world, including tanda in South … [Read more...]
Having a cheap holiday at home may not sound a lot of fun. If you are trying to blitz down your debts (is that one of your New Year resolutions?) it can be a huge gain. If your credit card is maxed out you may not have an option - but you can make a deliberate decision about what you do instead. By "at home" here, I mean in your own home! Not what the newspapers have taking to calling a … [Read more...]
Should you have money left each month but it just seems to vanish? If you are paying off debts, you may still want to put a bit aside so it's easier to cope with unexpected problems. This article looks at Plum and Chip, two apps that take the hard work out of saving. They move small amounts that you won't miss from your bank account into a savings account several times a month. I like them … [Read more...]