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...]
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!
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...]
Funerals are expensive. The average funeral now costs £4,000 - that is an 80% increase in the last ten years. This article looks at ways of covering all or some of the funeral costs if you have to organise a funeral, let's say for Sally as I don't want to keep writing "the deceased". Funeral Payments can help if you are benefits If you get certain means-tested benefits including Universal … [Read more...]
If you have too much debt, you may not want to do anything that will harm your credit score. But do you have any better alternatives? That depends on three factors: what is your credit record like at the moment? If it isn't good, then it isn't worth trying to protect! Check your credit score now, so you have accurate information. can you make the monthly payments to your debts? The … [Read more...]
Giving to charity is a great thing to be able to do, but if you have a lot of problem debt or you are trying hard to save up a house deposit, you may think you just can't spare any money. It's fine to put your own family first - but that doesn't mean you stop caring about and wanting to help other people. And many parents want their children to grow up thinking giving to charity and … [Read more...]
Food shopping is a large part of most people's budgets and it's also one that you have a lot of control over. So if you want to cut your expenses, food should be high up on your list. It's not easy or quick to cut what you spend on rent, council tax or transport costs, but adopting a few new food habits can help you reduce your grocery bill and still eat well. Plan, plan, plan Planning is the … [Read more...]
A lot of personal finance advice starts out with “Everyone needs an emergency fund”. A survey showed that a third of middle-class families couldn’t pay an unexpected bill of £500 without borrowing, so the lack of savings is a very widespread problem. But what if you already have debts that you are paying off? Accumulating an emergency fund will delay clearing the debts … but having a rainy day … [Read more...]
Piggy banks are not just the cute pig-shaped money jars for kids. Piggy banking is also a system of dividing your money into different ‘pots’, or accounts. It is also known as "jam jar accounting" or "the envelope method". Each pot represents a different aspect of your life you need money for. So, for example, you might have one account for your most important bills such as the mortgage or … [Read more...]
If your fixed mortgage has ended, or will soon, you could face a large increase in your mortgage payments. Most mortgage revert to their lender's Standard Variable Rate (SVR) when a fix ends. In summer 2019, the average SVR is 4.9%. You can get much cheaper fixes than that! This affects a lot of people. In October 2019, fixed rate mortgages worth £26billion are coming to an end. More than … [Read more...]