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...]
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!
Are you worrying about how to afford the heating this year after the price rises in 2020? Millions of people on benefits or a low income can get £140 off their electricity bill through the UK's Warm Home Discount scheme. All the large electricity suppliers and some of the small ones offer this. 5 tips for applying for a Warm Home Discount if you are on Pension Credit you don't need to … [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...]
You have the A level grades - well done! There are now just a few weeks to get organised for uni in September 2020. What should your top priorities be for managing your money? And what should you avoid? Living on a student loan is hard You will probably get more money in your bank account than you have ever had before. But most students find it harder to manage than they … [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...]
You need something that puts you in control of your spending. Your grandparents used to budget using a pencil and paper. But they didn't have contactless cards and mobile bills and overdrafts and credit cards and takeaways... Now many people find it harder to budget and feel they have lost control. For a budget to make your life easier, it has to be realistic and not time-consuming. This … [Read more...]
A reader asked: My partner and I have a combined income of £54,000, We have a deposit of £20,000 (inheritance) and are looking to become first time buyers in a new build property at a price of £210,000. We have defaulted debts that are being paid off, and previous history of payday loans from over 2 years ago from a time when our financial situation was much more difficult. The defaults are … [Read more...]
Have you heard that a guarantor loan is a good way to improve a bad credit score? That's bad advice. There are big problems with guarantor loans and there are much better ways to improve a bad credit rating! If you already have a guarantor loan, or you are the guarantor for someone else's loan, see the bottom of this article where I look at what your options are. Many people want to improve … [Read more...]
A reader asked: My credit score isn’t following the rules you described on How much will my credit score change if...? I cleared a default two months ago and my score hardly changed. And four days ago another default should have gone but I can see it's still there on ClearScore. What do I have to do? Should I complain to ClearScore? Trying to sort out a poor credit score can sometimes feel … [Read more...]