Should we use a joint account for everything? Or get a joint account only for the bills? How will a joint account affect our credit scores? Is it best to both use the same bank? I've seen a few questions about how couples share finances recently, so I've brought them together into one article. Should we use a joint account for everything? Don't rush into this! Not only are you linking … [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!
Finding something negative on your credit record is bad enough - but it feels a lot worse if you think it is wrong or unreasonable. You have the legal right (in the Consumer Credit Act (1974) ) to add a "Notice of Correction" to your credit report if you feel something is misleading or you want to provide an explanation. What is a Notice of Correction? A Notice of Correction is a … [Read more...]
A few taps on your mobile and that handbag, those kids' clothes or this kitchen gadget is on its way to you. This can be very convenient with busy lives and little time to go to the shops. But when money is tight or you want to save for something important, is it just too easy to overspend? If it's difficult to resist temptation and you want to cut back a bit - or a lot - to stop wasting … [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...]
95% mortgages are back in fashion. After the 2008 crash, they almost completely vanished, with only a handful being available. But in May 2019 there were 147 deals on offer - twice as many as in 2014. That's good news if you are a first-time buyer, or if you need to trade up to a larger house. Here are some points you need to watch out for. 95% of the value, not the price Say you have an … [Read more...]
A reader asked: I want to terminate my PCP car finance. The car's fine, good condition, but we now need a bigger car. According to my contract I can hand it back. But I am going to need to get another car, so I am worried this will harm my good credit record. Would part exchange be better? Your right to end a PCP contract early Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) is the most common way to buy … [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 Chip and Plum, 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...]
If you have decided to take control of your expenditure, you may get depressed when it doesn't all go to plan. Improving your finances is a journey – one that takes time and planning. And as with all journeys, there can be stops and starts along the way. Don't let these derail your plan! I'm talking in this article about a plan to clear your problem debts. This could be forced on you if you … [Read more...]
Cash is often the most cost-effective way to buy a car. But this isn’t always possible, especially if you have money problems. In 2018 more than 80% of new cars in Britain were bought on finance - but that doesn't mean it's going to be right for you! The four ways to finance your car a personal loan - a loan from your bank or building society to spread the cost over 1 to 7 years. Here … [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. If you are in difficulty with bills or debts now, it's too late for this early warning to help... have a look at your possible options and get some debt help now! Red - Amber - Green First you need to compare the … [Read more...]