What needs to happen to improve people’s personal finance skills

When it comes to personal finances, many of us assume that we’re just naturally quite good at it. Until, that is, you get to a point in life when something happens to demonstrate that you’re not. For example, when the budgeting goes awry or you realise that you’ve totally forgotten to add Stamp Duty on to the price of a property purchase. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you feel like a bit of a financial dunce then you’re certainly not alone. A survey by pollsters Ipsos Mori shows that many Brits are way off the mark when it comes to having a realistic perspective on personal finances, from the cost of raising kids to how much you’re likely to need for retirement. And the survey says… The survey by Ipsos Mori, conducted in 2015, highlights some fairly serious knowledge gaps within the UK population. For example, those surveyed thought that the total cost of raising a child was around £50,000. Most recent studies peg this closer to £229,000 per child
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Gambling – What’s the Problem?

Problem gambling is, more often than not, something we associate with other people. It might happen only to the desperate; perhaps it’s just an issue for someone who already has an addictive personality. Most of us feel that we’re unlikely to have a problem with gambling. However, the reality is that it’s a growing phenomenon that is becoming increasingly costly – last year punters lost £13 billion via gambling habits. Gambling addicts come from every walk of life It’s not just those who are desperate for cash who might risk it all on a gamble. Premier League footballer John Hartson is perhaps one of the most high profile people who has admitted to having a gambling habit. Despite the huge income that being a Premier League footballer generates, he still turned to gambling and his finances suffered enormously as a result. Hartson is now clean and free of the habit that cost him so much but is just one example of the many people in the UK who become trapped by this habit. Ho
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What’s going to happen to the UK jobs market in 2017?

How will employment fare in 2017? Which sectors will grow and which will decline? What will the impact of Brexit be on all of those in and seeking work? The answer depends on which economist or forecasting unit you believe. Some are predicting robust growth throughout the rest of this year while others are predicting subdued growth or even rising unemployment. What are the forecasts about UK jobs? In its annual survey of economists published by the Financial Times in January, a majority of economists said that they expected that growth in the UK economy will slow markedly this year with household incomes suffering because of rising inflation and a majority of businesses postponing or shelving decisions on investment because of Brexit uncertainties. That, say the economists, will have a knock-on effect on the jobs market. Unemployment will start to rise this year as businesses try to cut costs in anticipation of Britain’s exit from the EU. Pressure on household incomes caused by ris
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What will happen to interest rates in 2017

Interest rates have been stuck at record lows for the best part of seven years and there is little prospect that this situation is going to change any time soon. The Bank of England’s bank rate is currently at 0.25 per cent the lowest it has been at in modern times. It cut the rate from 0.5 per cent in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in June when it was widely anticipated that the British economy would fall into recession. But that didn’t happen with growth particularly in the service sector – holding up. The Bank’s governor, Mark Carney, indicated in July that rates were likely to be cut further but that is now looking less likely with rising import costs putting pressure on inflation. Interest rates to rise? Yet despite the fall in the value of sterling since the referendum, Mr Carney has said that it is unlikely that it will be raising rates. He said in October: We re willing to tolerate a bit of an overshoot in inflation over the course of the next few years in order…
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