Is consumer spending and debt getting out of control?

Debt is something that many of us have learned to live with. And, on the whole, it provides a useful way to make important life changes, from paying for study to buying a home. But, in autumn of this year, figures were released that revealed that British consumers now have unsecured debts that total more than £200 billion (i.e. exc. mortgages and other secured loans). That’s an increase in personal debt that brings it to levels not seen since the financial crisis. Debt levels are rising In 2014, consumer credit grew at an annual rate of 4%.  However, in 2016 this figure hit 12% as it was revealed that British consumers now had credit commitments to the tune of £204 billion. As 2017 draws to a close the figure remains lower than last but this has predominantly been put down to a drop in car loan figures, as opposed to a drop in the appetite for consumer debt overall. This increasing desire for consumer borrowing has worried many experts, particularly in the light of the recent int


6 great money apps to help you seize control of your finances

Modern money is hard to keep track of – bank accounts, credit cards, loans, savings… a lot of us have more than one of each. With the phenomenal growth of online finance, the days of paper statements are drawing to a close with the majority of people now opting to do all their financials over the web. Fortunately, the growth of online banking has been mirrored by the rise of the finance and money apps. There are now a large number of money assistants available to help make your life easier by offering a number of financial tools through one interface. But which are the best and easiest if you regularly use your smartphone? Here we take a look at our top six: Top 6 Money Apps PiggyPot This neat little saving app goes a long way to automating your savings and investments. The money app allows you to choose how much you want to save, set a date for it, decide whether to save monthly or weekly and then takes care of all of it. There are a huge number of different preset pots that you

7 retail tricks we all keep falling for

Are you in full control of your senses when you go shopping, making rational and intelligent purchasing decisions as you go? Of course, we all think that’s what we do, which is exactly what retail companies would like us to think. It’s not so much Big Brother, more like clever marketing, subliminal messaging and neuroscience. In a continuous attempt to increase profits, retail companies are devising ever smarter ways to stay one step ahead of consumer behaviour. In this way, even the savviest shopper can be routinely ‘led astray’ into spending more money than he’d originally planned. None of us is immune to it, and here is how it works: Sales and discount offers If there’s a sale on, there’s bound to be bargains to be had, right? Wrong. There may well be some in-store reductions, but big bold SALE posters are a tried and tested method to entice more customers into the store, where more often than not they will buy non-sale items. If you are tempted by an ‘unbeatable b

How to keep control of debt and make it work for you

By: Alex Hartley Nov 04, 2015 How to keep control of debt and make it work for you Debt is something that a large proportion of people in the UK live with. The Money Charity has predicted that by 2020 adults will each owe an average of £47,000 and with factors such as rising house prices pushing up the size of mortgages it’s unlikely that we will be a debt free nation any time soon. Debt is often viewed as a negative but if you have borrowed for a constructive reason then in that sense debt can be a stepping stone to better things. With that outcome in mind how should you manage your debt to make sure that it works for you? Keep track Knowledge is power and that’s particularly the case when it comes to what you owe. You need to keep a record of outstanding amounts, interest rates and payment dates so that you are not making decisions in the rest of your life based on a lack of information or on the wrong information. Create a spreadsheet, make notes or use an app – just be awar