Want to lose weight or get fit? Millions of people will have this as their main New Year's Resolution for 2022. A depressing number found they were eating and drinking more in 2020 and 2021 because of the stop-go lockdowns. And a desire to be social and celebrate when you are allowed out often involved a lot of calories. But some new ways to exercise emerged during the pandemic. Many … [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!
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...]
Here is a simple way to think of your credit cards and catalogue accounts using the traffic light colours. It can give a warning signal where you may have problems in the future. First you need to compare the balance you owe at the moment to your credit limit. Your limit is shown on your credit card statement. Say you currently owe £1,000 and your limit is £4,000 - in this case you are using … [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...]
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...]
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 it's for Sally, as I don't want to keep writing "the deceased". Funeral Payments can help if you are benefits If you get Universal Credit or some other benefits … [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...]