Should you have money left each month but it just seems to vanish? If you are paying off debts, it is still useful to have a bit put aside so it's easier to cope with unexpected problems. This article looks at Plum Basic, an app that takes the hard work out of saving. It moves small amounts that you won't miss from your bank account into a savings account several times a month. (Originally … [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!
People often think that a mortgage lender will look at how good your credit score is. That isn't right - sometimes you can get a mortgage with a not good credit score or you may be rejected with a great credit score. Three key factors in getting a mortgage are: your deposit the affordability calculation - this is affected by current debts that you are repaying; your credit history - … [Read more...]
Do you find it hard or impossible to save? many people feel they ought to be able save but always fail when they try. others are saving for a big goal but not as fast as they want. if you are struggling with money, you may desperately want a small emergency savings pot to make life a bit less stressful. There isn't a simple answer - no way is easy for everyone. What works for one … [Read more...]
Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) helps some people with the cost of their mortgage if they aren't working. Since 2018 this help has been paid as a loan secured on your house, not a benefit, see the gov.uk page on SMI. But this loan is cheap, you don't have to make any repayments to it until the house is sold and it does not show on your credit record, so this is not as bad as it … [Read more...]
Want to lose weight or get fit? Millions of people have this as their main aim for the year. Signing up to an expensive gym isn't always the best way. Not only because of the cost but because you may simply not use it that much. Some new ways to exercise emerged during the pandemic. Many previous gym-regulars decided they weren't going back when gyms re-opened! One thing most people agree on … [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 going under in 2023. Your employment rights If your firm has just closed suddenly, you may be worried about: getting paid for the weeks you have already worked; paid for … [Read more...]
A reader asked: I've got a parking ticket in a car park which isn't right because you couldn't see the signs the way I went in. I've been sent a letter saying if I don't pay they will go to court and this will then show on my credit record. My partner says she got a speeding fine and that wasn't on her credit record. Are they lying to me? This article looks at what will happen if you don't pay a … [Read more...]
Piggy banks are not just cute money jars for kids. Piggy banking is also a system of dividing your money into different ‘pots’, or accounts. Each pot represents a different aspect of your future spending. This approach is also known as "sinking funds", "jam jar accounting" or "the envelope method". All of these names are basically the same thing. Benefits of piggy banking You may have seen … [Read more...]
If your fixed mortgage has ended, or will soon, you could face a large increase in your mortgage payments. Most mortgages revert to their lender's Standard Variable Rate (SVR) when a fix ends. Some lenders use a different term, such as "Follow On Rate", but SVR is the most common. In 2023, the average SVR is 7.3% - many are much more. Millions of people are paying the SVR and most of them … [Read more...]
95% mortgages, where you only have to have a 5% deposit, are again becoming very hard to get. In September 2022 there were 274 deals for 5% deposit mortgages on offer - in mid December this had fallen to 130. Now in 2023 there are still very few 5% deposit offers. The Help To Buy scheme that helped buyers with only a 5% deposit closed to new applicants in October 2022. The … [Read more...]