9 Money Saving Apps You Can’t Afford To Miss Out On

9 money saving apps you can’t afford to miss out on

If you are always look at new ways to save money, you have probably already tried tracking your budget and changing your finances – but how long does this end up lasting? Most of us start with good intentions, but soon find ourselves getting sidetracked and our budget ends up suffering as a result. If you could track your budget and get your finances in order, it would be much easier and with these handy apps, you can do just that. These are just some of the money saving apps you don’t want to miss out on.


1. Spendee

Are you spending money but not sure where it’s going? Does it seem like money is going out quicker than it comes in? It’s probably time to take better control and you can do this with the free app, Spendee. This app helps you to keep track of your budget by entering spends as you go along, so you never forget to track a purchase. This app can help you to save a lot of cash if you stick to it.


2. Mint

This handy app offers everything you could hope for managing your finances and it is all under one roof. You can track your bills, pay off your debt, create budgets and many more. This is a great, handy way to keep your finances in order and get an idea of where you are spending your money and where you can make cutbacks. Mint is a free app, which is available on both Android and iOS.


3. Money Dashboard

You can link up your bank accounts with this app, so you can see exactly where your money is being spent and where you can make some changes to be much financially efficient. The app can also help you to save cash where you need to and pay off any debt you have. If you want to be more financially aware – this is a good app to do just that.


4. Moneyhub

This is another great app for helping you to see when money is coming in and how much you are spending. You can look at all your account together, including your savings and business accounts, look at your spending habits and where you can make changes to make your money go further. You can also connect to professionals who can help offer you support and advice on your spending.


5. Quidco

If you’re shopping anyway, this app can be a handy way to earn while you spend. You can take photos of the products which you want to redeem for cashback, upload them and the cash will be paid into your account. Shopping will be much more fun with this handy app!


6. TopCashBack

In the same way as Quidco, this is another cashback app which allows you to make money as you spend. The small amounts of cashback here and there can really add up, so it is definitely worthwhile giving this one a try.


7. My Supermarket

If you want to know where to get the best deal on all your shopping products, this is the app for you. This will compare the prices on your favourite products, so you know exactly where to go to get the best deal. This is updated daily and you can compare products from all the top supermarkets, including Tesco and Morrisons.


7. Big Oven

This app is a good way to save for those who waste a lot of food, as it gives you ingenious ideas for creating new recipes from old food. You can follow other food bloggers and get ideas from your friends. If you want to cut down your costs when shopping for food and making meals – this is the app for you.


8. Trainline

If you travel a lot, this is a handy app for saving you money. You can get the best deals by keeping track of when tickets go on sale and the easier you do this, the more money you will save. If you are always on the go – download this app to save you some cash.


9. Music Magpie

If you have CD’s and DVD’s lying around, you can stick them on this app and make some money in the process. You might even want to use this on the go as you visit car boot sales and charity stores.

How To Treat Yourself For Free (Or Low Cost)


How to treat yourself for free (or low cost)

Most people have busy lives these days and this is why it is vital to take time to refresh and pamper yourself. We all need time for ourselves, which doesn’t involve work or stress – just simply being alone and unwinding. If you don’t have much spare cash, you might think that you can’t afford to pamper yourself, but there are plenty of ways you can treat yourself for free or at a very low cost. These are some options you might want to try.


Read a book

No matter what is going on in your life, taking some time to relax and read a book is a great way to escape any of your stresses. It is proven that those who read frequently are less stressed, in general, than those who don’t do any reading. If you don’t have anything to read at home, pop into your local library and stock up or visit your local charity where you will pick books up at low cost. Get yourself a big bar of chocolate and you have an instant low cost way to treat yourself.


Spa treatment

Spa treatments can cost a fortune, but you can actually create these in your own home – without spending a dime. Make yourself a homemade face mask, run a bath filled with soapy bubbles, light some candles and you have your very own relaxing spa treatment. Finish off with some moisturiser and a heated dressing gown and you will feel like you have enjoyed a truly indulgent experience.



A great way to relieve stress; yoga is an exercise which you should aim to incorporate into your daily routine and best of all, it can be completely free. You don’t need to go to a class to enjoy all the benefits of yoga, you can watch videos for free on YouTube from the comfort of your own home.



There are lots of free meditation apps to download but ultimately, you don’t really need anything to practice meditation. Get yourself comfortable, breathe in, hold and relax and continue this for at least ten minutes. You will soon find that over the course of a few weeks that you will start to feel much more relaxed. This is the ultimate way to relieve stress after a busy day.


Movie night

Why not relax in the evening by getting cosy and watching a few movies. If you have a subscription already to Netflix or similar, you won’t need to spend anything for this kind of pampering or you may want to dig out some old DVD’s. A glass of wine or bar of chocolate might make this even more relaxing.


Go to the park

Take a break from the norm and organise a half day from your work to do – absolutely nothing! Yes, you can do this, it is allowed and it will feel even better, knowing that you could be sitting at your desk instead. Take a walk to your local park, sit on a bench and read or just watch the world go buy. The simple things can make us the happiest at times and seeing a bit of nature is a good way to do this.


Have a nap

Sometimes the most indulgent things are those which we don’t get to do very often and for most, this includes going for a guilt-free nap. Instead of worrying about that housework you should be doing or those dishes which are piling up, just nap – and enjoy. It costs nothing and can be highly enjoyable.


Window shopping

It may not be as fun as real shopping, but if you don’t have the cash to splurge, it can still be refreshing to take a look – and try on your favourite clothes. You can even compile a list of items you want to buy when you do have some spare cash, or get the assistant to put them away for you to pick up later. This can be just as satisfying and you can top off your day with a cupcake and a coffee.


Beauty day

Spend an entire day pampering yourself with beauty treatments and you will feel better than ever. Do your own nails, enjoy a face mask and give yourself a foot massage.

Tips For Eating Healthy On A Budget


Tips for eating healthy on a budget

There is a belief that eating healthily means you need to pay a fortune on your shopping and some feel that eating the right foods is just not affordable for their budget. However, in many ways, eating the wrong foods can be much more expensive. If you find that your food expense is much higher than you would like, these are some ways tips for eating healthily, while still sticking to your budget.


Write a list

A good way to stay on track with your healthy eating is to write a list of all the shopping items you need to prepare your meals. It is a good idea to get some recipes for healthy meals, so you know exactly what you need to buy and you don’t get sidetracked into buying unhealthy food. If you don’t plan ahead, it is easy to end up wasting a lot of money and buying foods with no nutritional value.


Buy in bulk

If you don’t tend to buy a weekly or monthly shop, you will probably find that you end up shopping a lot during the week – and this can quite quickly add up. It is much more cost effective to set yourself a budget for the week and do a big shop. Not only will you be more likely to shop for healthy foods, you’ll save yourself some cash in the process.


Cheaper stores

If you tend to go for the most expensive brand, this could be one of the reasons your shopping list is so high. Obviously some brands taste better than others, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the more expensive ones. You can significantly reduce your shopping bill if you just shop at cheaper stores or you look at less expensive brands.


Prepare your meals

You have probably heard how important prepping your meals is for staying healthy and this is also imperative for the purpose of saving cash. You should aim to plan your meals for the entire week on a Sunday, so you know exactly what you will be eating each day. Another good trick is to prepare your meals and freeze the leftovers for the next day. This will save you a lot of money and you will be far less likely to want to order a takeaway.


Homemade lunches

It may not seem like much, but if you spend £3 a day on your lunch, this adds up to over £700 the year! There is not only the cost to consider, but you don’t really know what you are eating most of the time and if you are consuming pre-made sandwiches for instance, they are probably laden with calories. It is far healthier and less costly to make up your lunch the previous night. It will probably be far more enjoyable too, as you won’t need to wonder how your meal has been prepared. Again, it is all about being prepared.


Skip the junk food

Junk food is not only unhealthy, but it is also extremely costly and as such, is best to avoid at all costs. This is why preparation is so important, as if you already have all the right foods at home, you won’t be reaching for that takeaway menu. A takeaway can easily cost between £10-20 and you can actually get a full week of shopping for not much more than this. If you want to get healthy and reduce your costs, it’s time to put those takeaway menus where they belong; in the bin!


Discount vouchers

There are lots of places to pick up discount vouchers, which you can use to get money off your shopping and it is well worth making use of these. If you take a look on money saving websites, such as Money Saving Expert, you’ll find discount codes and vouchers which you can use to get some money off your shopping. If you feel embarrassed using vouchers at the checkout, just do your shopping online instead.



Supermarkets tend to cut their prices down when products are about to go out of date, so if you choose wisely, you could get your shopping at cut prices and save yourself some money, while still maintaining a healthy diet.

30 Days To Get Your Finances In Order


30 days to get your finances in order

The bills keep arriving and you feel like you are drowning. You barely have enough money to see you through the month after pay day, but is there a way to get out of this mess – quickly? If you adopt the right strategies, you can get your finances in order within 30 days, as long as you are committed to achieving results. These are some ways to get your finances back in shape as quickly as possible.


Get your credit report

In order to start getting your finances back on track, you need to get a better understanding of what state they are currently in. The best way to do this is to access your credit report, which will show your debtors and how much you owe. It is also important to determine any errors on your credit file and contact the company directly. If you are not on the voting register, this is another aspect which can affect your credit rating. Analysing your credit report is not the most enjoyable task for those who owe a lot of money – but it is best to go into this with your eyes open. Whatever the results, there are plenty of ways to make improvements and get your finances back in order.


Increase your income

It may not be as easy as it sounds, but improving your finances naturally means earning and saving more, so this is what you need to set your mind to do. It may be that you can pick up some overtime in your work, do another job or earn in other ways, such as selling on eBay. It doesn’t matter if you increase your earnings by as little as £10 per month – every penny helps.


Track your budget

The best way to start sorting out your finances is to understand where you are spending your money – and you may just be surprised with the results. Work out exactly how much you are spending and what you are bringing in, categorise these to see where your money is going and you’ll be able to start cutting costs to save money. It is important to remember that although this seems like it will be a bit of a pain to do; you might feel that it’s ruining your fun in some ways – but bear in mind that by making these small changes, you’ll be able to benefit by having better and more rewarding things in the long term. If you get your finances in order, you will have the spare cash for better things, such as holidays etc., so take care of your finances now for the results in the future.


Compare suppliers

Take a look at your current suppliers and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. For instance, your gas and electricity, mobile phone and broadband. There are lots of price comparison websites out there, so there is no excuse not to get the best deal on the market. If you change your suppliers, make sure you do this via a cashback website, as you can pick up some ‘free’ money this way and make some extra cash.


Make savings

It is good if you can put some money away each month, but there are also other ways to make savings. Your bank account may be offering features which you didn’t realise and these could be saving you money on your everyday expenses. What about your Boots advantage card or store card, are you making use of these? These are all small savings, which can add up over the year, so check what your suppliers are offering, you’ll probably find that there are lots of benefits you were not aware of.


Find free activities

Just because you’re trying to save money, it doesn’t mean you need to lock yourself at home – there are plenty of activities out there to enjoy. A quick search for free activities in your local area will give you a good idea of what you can do, without spending much (or any!) money. You will probably find that there are lots of enjoyable activities out there which you would never have even thought of before and you might end up seeing more of your local area too.

5 Top Tips For Getting Onto The Property Ladder


5 top tips for getting onto the property ladder

Getting your foot onto the property ladder can be an achievement which feels out of reach for many people, however, it can often be a much more cost-effective than renting. It may seem that buying your home is unaffordable, but if you take these points into account, you may find that owning your own home can become a reality – even if you don’t have a massive deposit to spare. There is always a way if you have the desire to do something and this includes becoming a home owner.


The right location

It is important to consider the location, as you can dramatically reduce the cost if you choose to stay out of a busy city, for example. It may be that your dream home is situated in Central London and this would be a great location for getting to work etc., but it is one of the most expensive places to buy a home. You’ll find that prices will drop dramatically out with the city and it may make it more affordable to buy. Wherever you reside, it is worth looking at other areas nearby to see where you will get the best deal.


Government assistance

It may be that the government will be able to offer you some help with buying your own property. There are a lot of initiatives out there for first-time buyers, such as shared ownership, where you share the property with the government and pay more as you can. This is a good way to ease you into owning your own home. There is also the help to buy scheme, which is where you pay a lower deposit on your new property to make it more affordable. It is a good idea to ask around and find out what initiatives are running, as you never know what great deals you may be able to pick up.


Save your cash

It may seem impossible to get a deposit together, but if you try and put some money away each week, you could soon find yourself with exactly what you need to buy your home. If you save £20 each week, for example, you will have over £1,000 in a year. It is easy to spend £20 on things you don’t really need so make up your lunch for work, walk instead of driving and give up on your usual magazines for a while – and you will soon have the money you need to save for your deposit. Put your money into a regular savings account, ISA or even your own current account, as this will allow you to gain interest on all of your savings. You may need to be prepared to make some sacrifices for the things you really want and it will be worth it in the long run.


Joint mortgage

If you were intending on taking out a mortgage on your own and you really don’t have the cash to spare, it might be worth considering taking out a joint mortgage instead. You may have a partner who you can get a mortgage with, or perhaps one of your friends may be interested in this as an option if they are also struggling to get onto the ladder. It doesn’t need to be forever. When you get onto the property ladder, you may be able to look at other options in the future.


Borrow the cash

If you are certain that you will be able to pay it back and you want to buy your property sooner than later, borrowing the cash may be a good option. If friends or family can help you out, this is by far the most favourable option – as you (generally) won’t have the usual interest to pay back. However, if this is not a viable option, you may be able to take out a loan from your bank or local credit union. A payday loan could be another option if you can afford to pay it back when it is due. If you have a lot of other debt, it is advisable not to take out any more credit, but instead, try to save the required amount instead. The last thing you want is to start out your new life with a lot of debt hanging over your head.

Why Payday Lending Can Offer A Solution To Urgent Bills


Why payday lending can offer a solution to urgent bills

No matter how sensible we are with our cash, there are always occasions when money doesn’t stretch as far as you might like. Unexpected repairs, bills you forgot about and special occasions you didn’t prepare for, are all reasons why you might need to access credit quickly. If you don’t have any savings and your friends or family can’t help you out – you may need to try another avenue and this is where a payday loan can be useful. These are some reasons why payday lending can offer the perfect solution for urgent bills.


Cheaper than credit cards

It may be more cost effective to use a payday loan, than a credit card for your emergencies. If you manage to pay your loan back on time, you won’t have any further interest to pay and it can be more costly to use other means of funding. The good thing about payday loans is that the money is credited into your account, so you know where you are with it. This is different with credit cards, as it often doesn’t really feel like you are spending money!


Quick and easy

The application process for a payday loan is often a lot quicker and easier than for other types of credit. In general, you would receive your cash on the same day or at least within 24 hours, if there are no problems. If you need to make a payment quickly, or you have a special occasion and don’t want to worry about cash – this can be the perfect answer. An application for a payday loan should only take a few minutes to complete, which is a lot less hassle than for other means of credit. You usually don’t need to supply any other information, other than your income and bank details.


Higher acceptance rate

While other financial institutions will make you jump through hoops before you get credit, payday lending companies have a higher acceptance rate, with less focus on a perfect credit rating. If you have less than perfect credit and need access to urgent funds, this can be a better solution.


Lower criteria

With many other loans or credit cards, you are required to tick a lot of boxes before you will get credit, but this isn’t the case with payday loans. If you are aged 18, have a current back account and you are in employment, you can quality for a payday loan. This lower acceptance criteria can make payday loans a much more feasible option.



It doesn’t really matter to the payday lender what you plan to spend the money on, you can take it out for all purposes. This is often not the case with other lenders, who require specific details on your intentions for the loan. This greater flexibility can make payday loans a more attractive open than other types of credit.



Although this is not an option to take lightly, you do have the option to extend your repayment date, if you need to. This is an option which is not usually offered with bank loans or credit cards. You either pay it on time – or you suffer with extra fees if you don’t. This means that if the worse happens and you really can’t afford to pay the loan back on your next pay day, you don’t have to stress too much about it. You can usually just roll it over until the next month, however, it is best if you can pay it back when it is due.


Loan increases

If you pay your payday loan back on time, you may be given access to higher amounts in the future. You will generally start off with a small loan, but this can increase if you need to return to your payday lender in the future. This type of trust and loyalty is not something which is usually present with other means of credit.


Improve credit rating

If you have no credit rating or a poor score and need to make improvements, a payday loan can be a good way to do it. As long as you make repayments on time, every month – your credit rating will start to increase. It can be a good way to start on your financial journey – as long as you are sensible and don’t keep extending your loan.

Common Financial Mistakes And How To Avoid Them


Common financial mistakes and how to avoid them

Unless you are extremely savvy, you have probably made some financial mistakes throughout the course of your life – most of us have! Unfortunately, most of us are not really taught how to manage our finances effectively from a young age and this can cause problems in later life. Fear not though, no matter how bad your finances are – you can make steps to get them into order. These are some common financial mistakes and how to avoid making them, or at least reduce them if you’ve already made them!


Using credit cards

Many people completely rely on credit cards for daily purchases, but this is a sure-fire way to get into huge amounts of debt. When you use credit cards, you don’t feel like you are using real money. The money isn’t coming out your account, so it’s easy to just keep using it without any further thought, but this can easily spiral out of control. It is best to avoid the use of credit cards altogether, or at least keep them for emergencies and pay cash whenever possible.


One source of income

If you are solely relying on your pay at the end of the month, you may find that you will struggle financially, if not now – in the future. Even if you make good money in your full time job, it is a good idea to have different sources for your finances – as this will give you better control and earning potential. There are so many ways to make money out there and most of us don’t utilise any of these or very few of them. Some examples might include investing in property, selling items online or doing some additional work with another employer. The more sources of income you have, the better your peace of mind will be and less worry about finances in the future.


Living beyond your means

It is natural to want to keep up with everyone else, but you have to live within your own means and only buy the things you can afford. You may want to buy the latest BMW to drive up to your next business meeting, but if you can’t afford to keep up with the payments, you will only give yourself financial stress. Although it can be challenging, living within your means is important if you don’t want to create financial problems in the future.


Not saving for special occasions

There is nothing worse than a special occasion looming and realising you don’t really have the funds available to pay your way. Not only does this cause financial stress, it can also leave you reaching for your credit card. An easy financial mistake to make is not saving for special events and failing to forward plan for your future. It is a good idea to have different savings for separate occasions. For instance, your holidays, clothes, travelling, a new car, etc. It may take longer to get the cash you need, but saving is much better than using finance.


Not budgeting

If you just go around spending, without keeping any tabs on your accounts, you are likely to be spending much more on things that you don’t really need to be. It is a good idea to track your money, as this can stop you from wasting money unnecessarily and can help you to make savings. For example, you might be spending a lot of cash on shopping every day, when a monthly or weekly shop would be far more cost effective. You may be spending a lot of money on travelling to work, when you could quite easily just walk. These small savings can be used on much more enjoyable activities, such as travelling.


Lack of financial planning

Another common mistake is a lack of financial planning. Not working out what you need to survive, what you are actually bringing in and what your financial goals are for the things you want to do in the future, are all mistakes many people make. If you plan for your future, your finances will be a lot better and you will have a brighter life as a result. Everyone has different goals for their finances. Some people are happy to just survive, while others want to see the world and retire early. It is entirely your decision but just be aware of what you want.

How To Improve Your Earning Potential As A Freelancer

How to improve your earning potential as a freelancer

Working as a freelancer can be a great way to improve your freedom and get away from the daily grind, but it can also mean that your earnings are not as reliable as they would be when working for an employer. However, when you work as a freelancer, you don’t just pick up the same amount each month – you can have more opportunities to increase your earning potential, if you choose to put the work and effort in. If you want to improve your earning potential as a freelancer, these are some ways to do it.


Get a website

In order to increase your earnings, you need to get more business through the door (or laptop!), and this is where a website can be useful. Your website basically runs in the background, but through good SEO, it can drive business to you. It might take a bit of time to get your website looking good, but when it does, it basically runs itself.


Promote yourself

As a freelancer, you need to get out there and promote yourself, in order to gain more business and improve your earning potential. A strong presence on social media is important for getting new business and networking can also be useful. As a freelancer, you need to be prepared to get out there – you are your only representation and it is important to make this a priority.


Increase your services

A great way to improve your earnings is to keep learning and offering additional services to clients. Don’t listen to anyone who says you shouldn’t be offering more than one service; you are free to offer as many as you like and we are all capable of mastering a range of different skills. If you offer a web design service, for instance, you might consider branching out into social media marketing and copywriting. The more services you offer, the greater your earning potential will be.


Set daily goals

It can be really difficult to achieve great results from your freelance work, if you don’t set any goals. If you work towards goals, you will be far more likely to achieve great results. It is a good idea to consider how much you would like to earn each month and what you will need to achieve this. For example; how much will you need to earn each day? Will you need to work some weekends to achieve this? What will your daily hours look like? These are all points to consider for achieving your daily goals. Hubspot is a good website for managing your work flow and earnings to keep you on track.


Time tracker

Another way to stay on track and increase your productivity is to use a time tracker. Time trackers are a great tool for freelancers, as you are far more likely to focus on your work if you know your time is being logged. There are a range of different time trackers available, including Toggl and Rescue Time. Rescue Time shows you how much time you spend on entertainment (such as Facebook), so it shames freelancers into reducing wasted time on social media.


Get rid of distractions

On this train of thought, make sure you minimise any distractions which may put you off your work. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends you don’t have time to see them that day and stay away from social media while you work – unless you are doing social media work, of course! Distractions are a productivity killer, so the more you can avoid these – the better.


Work more!

It may seem like an obvious one, but if you want to earn more as a freelancer, you might need to start increasing your hours. It may be that you think you are working long hours each day, when actually you are being pretty unproductive for most of them. If you start using time management apps and setting yourself specific hours for each day – you will find that you will start earning much more than you could imagine.


Outsource your work

If you are getting huge bulk orders, which you can’t do on your own – it might be worth outsourcing some of your work. This can be a good way to earn more as you can outsource for less than what you are getting yourself and make a profit. It is advisable to only outsource to people you trust and you know are good. Otherwise, you might find that you are spending longer checking and chasing work – which may make it a waste of time.

How To Travel The World And Still Make Money


How to travel the world and still make money

Travelling the world is a dream for most people, but unfortunately, cash flow can get in the way of turning it into a reality. It may seem like an impossibility, but if you have a real passion for travelling the world, you can still do this by making money as you travel. There are plenty of ways to earn money while you explore the world, so whatever you do – don’t let this put you off! These are some ways to travel the world and still make money.


Work remotely

The internet has opened up lots of new potential opportunities in the world of work, which makes it easier to do work on the go. Whatever skill you have, you can either do your work from a laptop – such as website design and creative writing or if you are handy at crafts, you can sell your designs on the internet. Working remotely is more common than ever before, so look into it as an option for bringing in some additional funds as you travel.


Flexible work

As you travel, you can always pick up some flexible temporary work to do wherever you are. Bar work is usually a bit easier to find than other jobs, but there are all sorts of options which might be useful. If you are willing to work unsociable shifts – you will probably find there are more opportunities available to you. These may not pay very well, but every bit helps!


Rent out your room or space

If you have your own home – another good option is to rent out your home, room or even just your garage or parking space to bring in some extra cash while you travel. This can be quite a good little earner, especially if you manage to let it out for your entire trip. Airbnb is a good website for advertising your room or home for rent and you can choose to let it for as little or as long as you like.


You have probably heard about blogging, but might not be sure how you can earn money from it. If you are travelling, blogging can be a great way to earn some cash, as you can set up your blog to talk about all your adventures. When you start building up interest, which is sure to happen when other travel enthusiasts start reading it; you can then start doing some affiliate marketing, advertising etc. This is an option which will take a while to get off the ground, but it can be a useful way to earn some extra money, while also recording all your adventures at the same time.


Write an EBook

Writing an eBook about your travels could end up being a nice earner for you. There is a huge demand for eBooks which provide useful information and the demand for travel eBooks is particularly extensive, as a growing number of people are becoming interested in travelling the globe. EBooks don’t need to take long to write up, you could easily lock yourself away in a coffee shop for a day and have all your material ready to go online.


Sell photos

While you are travelling, you are likely to have some of the most amazing photos, which people will be willing to buy; so make sure you get these online and make some cash in the process. There is a growing demand for good images for websites, brochures, blogs etc. – so this is worthwhile trying for extra money as you travel the globe.


Online courses

If you have a skill you can teach, you can make money by setting it up as an online course. These are also in high demand and you will make some cash every time someone signs up. There are lots of online course websites out there and this can be a quick, easy way to make some extra travelling funds.


Virtual assistants

Most business owners have tasks that they don’t want to do or simply don’t have the time for, which is why virtual assistants are becoming increasingly useful. Whether its managing diaries, replying to emails or doing some research, these are all tasks you can do while you travel and an easy way to make some money.

FCA Plans To Help Customers With Credit Card Debt

FCA plans to help customers with credit card debt

Consumers with credit card debt could benefit from greater help with their debt, if plans by the Financial Conduct Authority go ahead as planned. The FCA have put a proposal in place to ensure credit card companies are offering more help for those who have paid more interest and charges than they have paid back on their outstanding balance, within 18 months. This may be welcome news for borrowers who feel that they are caught in a never-ending cycle with their credit card debts and constantly fire-fighting, without seeing any noticeable difference.


FCA proposals

As part of the proposal, there would be three steps put into place, which credit card companies would need to follow for customers who are suffering as a result of long-standing debt. The first step would be for the credit card company to request that the customer starts to make quicker repayments, if it shows that they have been in regular debt for 18 months. If the debt continues onto a further 18 months, a repayment plan would then be put in place, so that customers can pay their debt back in affordable amounts. If the customer fails to make these payments, they would not be able to use their cards and in some cases, interest and charges would be cancelled to help the customer make repayments.


Credit card debts

An astounding 3.3 million people are caught in persistent debt and 1.8 million are experiencing this problem at least twice over 18 months. This figure shows how huge this issue is and how many people are struggling to make ends meet. The problem is much greater than most people would realise and for credit card companies, it is more beneficial to have customers in debt, as in many cases, all they are really doing is paying interest. The plans would mean that customers would save money and the total amount saved could be as high as £13 billion by 2030.


Help for customers

In addition to this, the FCA are looking for credit card companies to offer better financial help to their customers, particularly when they notice they are having financial issues. The proposal would require credit card companies to keep track of payments by customers and to use the data to understand when customer repayments are not as regular as they had been previously. It is also suggested that credit card companies would let customers know that they have the right not to be told of any credit limit increases, as this is what can quite easily cause credit card debts to spiral out of control.


Why credit card debt is so high

Although income levels have stayed the same, credit card debts have continued to increase. There is an average credit card debt of £2,500 per household and this is at the highest level in 11 years. In most cases, consumers are not using their credit cards for luxuries, they are using them to make ends meet and this worrying trend looks set to continue. With the cost of food and other bills on the rise, it is no wonder that households are feeling the pressure and hitting the plastic. Initial free interest periods, followed by high rates are causing consumers to take out credit cards under, what could be viewed as, false pretences. The introduction of contactless cards also makes it much easier for consumers to spend money quickly.


Credit card alternatives

Credit cards are not the only option and in fact, should be a last resort. It can be good to have a credit card for emergencies, but this can also prove too tempting for some consumers to resist. Saving your money is by far the most preferable option, or taking out a payday loan might end up costing less, as long as you pay it back as soon as it is due. The fact is that with credit cards, you don’t really feel like you are actually spending money, so the bills can be a shock, especially when interest is added. It is not always easy to avoid debt, especially if your income tends to fluctuate, but it is important to take the most sensible option, based on your own circumstances.