It is probably fair to say that, in recent years, most of us have had to tighten our belts when it comes to our personal finances. The financial crisis of 2007-8 which plunged most of the world into a deep depression is still having its financial implications felt by most families in the UK, from the cuts in household and neighbourhood services through our councils, the continuing loss of household names on the High Street, and the jobs that have gone with them, and the pressures felt by housing, the NHS and our police forces. 10 years on, many of us are still feeling the pinch.
Savvy With Our Shopping
For families personally, trying to balance the budget when it comes to paying bills, putting food on the table and general dealing with the cost of living in 2018 is a tough ask but we have definitely become savvier when it comes to our spending and our saving. The rise of the budget supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi show that we now want far more for our money, and the continued growth of stores like Poundland and Home Bargains confirms this. Groupon is another popular site where people find great deals on the things they require – anything from holidays to household items that can be bought in bulk. In addition, sites like Quidco offer money back on purchases, and voucher code sites allow us to look for free delivery and money off vouchers. I can admit myself that I am one of those people who doesn’t buy anything online without first searching for a voucher.
When Problems Occur
Despite the fact that we are definitely more financially savvy and make our money go much further, there can still be times when the unexpected occurs and we need extra cash – problems with our car, an expensive school trip that needs to be paid straight away, a home flood where everything needs to be replaced, an unexpected bill – all these can make those carefully handled finances suddenly come up intense pressure. In these situations, a short term loan may be the answer. If your issue is linked to a new mortgage, a bridging loan can be used if you need to complete on your new home, but have yet to complete on your own home.
Automated Savings Apps
So what about savings? It seems funny to be talking about savings when finances are stretched, but there is still a tendency to splurge rather than save. But a new range of finance apps are taking the option away from you and saving for you, and you may not even miss the money.
Automated savings apps work out what you can afford to save comfortably and then move it into a separate bank account. It doesn’t just do this without first examining your spending habits so it knows what you can afford to save, and this could leave you a nice little nest egg that could be crucial for affording treats and holidays.
Consolidating Those Credit Cards
If you have more than one credit card, then it may help you to consolidate all your current card debts by taking out a card with interest free balance transfers. This will stop the interest from growing for a set period, allowing you to actually pay off some of the balance, rather than just paying and accumulating interest.