Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Is It All Doom and Gloom for the UK Economy?

There's been much talk this week, and more depressing news that another recession is potentially looming in Europe and the US, and with borrowing figures the highest that they've ever been, and with Nick Clegg delivering in his speech today at the Liberal Democrats conference that is a "long hard road ahead". The picture hasn't been helped with the International Monetary Fund warning that Europe and the US could slip back into recession unless economic problems aren't combated, with the IMF slashing its growth forecasts for Great Britain, people are left wondering if there's any hope. Interest Rates are at a record low of 0.5%, the only saviour will come next month if the Bank of England decides to pump more money into the UK economy. Unfortunately, for those of us that thought things were looking up for the UK, it looks like the worst could still be yet to come.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Latest Scandal - Taxpayer Gold Card Spree

Still in the wake of the big MPs expense scandals that broke a few years ago, this article today from the Daily Mail couldn't escape my attention:

For me this comes as no surprise, but it seems the MPs scandal has opened the floodgates to scrutinies other civil servant bodies and organisations. When will it stop? Whilst, I agree using the taxpayers money and spending in such a frivolous manner, will further ostracise government bodies and increase the growing sentiment of 'them' and 'us', but it seems to me in this day and age every single action is under public scrutiny and the media become the judge, jury and executioner.

Negotiate and Settle Your Debts: A Debt Settlement StrategyFor the Love of Money: The Nine Steps I Took to Beat Credit Card Debt

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Ways of Saving This Summer

With the Summer Holidays for many of us fast approaching, and many of us leaving it until the last minute to book a holiday there are still some great deals available even in the peak summer times. I was very surprised to learn that actually the average cost of a cruising holiday in Summer 2011 has actually fallen compared to the average cost in Summer 2010. Pretty amazing eh. However, I don't think the same could be said if you plan on booking a flight and hotel in mainland Europe. Having checked quite a few prices myself, for most dates in August the prices are pretty high.

However, there are ways to save still this summer. Consider not going abroad and taking a holiday at home, many people shall still be thinking about the year ahead and with the UK not in the best of condition as far economy goes it could be a good idea. You'd certainly save a bucket and get to visit places you may have never heard even existed before. A popular choice is for holidaymakers choosing a UK holiday is of course the West Coast of England, with Devon and Cornwall attracting thousands of holidaymakers each summer. But why not consider other areas such as Scotland and Ireland, both offering great scenery and fantastic outdoor activities to keep the kids happier.

But by far the best savings for this Summer are cruises! Get searching now for the best deals!

Friday, 17 June 2011

HSBC new security card

Whilst other countries have been offering this secure key forbe/card for sometime now for Internet Banking it seems the UK is somewhat lagging in offering this extra level of security. It is 2011 after all, and if other "less developed" countries can offer this service, I don't see why the UK is lagging. In many asian countries, you go and open a HSBC advance account and the same day they hand over the security forbe and get you set up on it. Now, UK HSBC customers have to wait another 2-3 months to start using the UK version: 'Secure Key' far bigger and ugglier than the one I was given in Taiwan.
The information on the website is very vague as well:

Here's the one I got from Taiwan HSBC:
small like the taiwanese

And the one they plan on offering in the UK:

By and large im pretty indifferent to HSBC, they're no better or worse than most high street banks these days, but I can't say Ive been too impressed with HSBCs UK operations since being back in the UK, and their delay in providing this vital security service to UK customers. Rant over, but if you too have some vented frustrations against this here seems a suitable outlet:

Thursday, 17 March 2011

News about the UK's growth forecast

I have to say the news I hear on the UK economy has seemed quite bleak in recent months, but when the forecast for this year was indicating that the overall picture for the UK as looking up with a tiny percentage of growth I did have some hope. However, now the OECD has reduced the growth forecast by 0.2 and expects the UK economy to grow by 1.5% in 2011. Still better than nothing eh?

For the full article read here: UK growth forecast reduced

Monday, 22 November 2010

4 advantages and disadvantages of debt management

Written by Guest Blogger: James Vohwinkle

If you are one of those persons who are overwhelmed with debt but don't know how to get out of it, then debt management plan can help you to get rid of debt. It is a method which helps you to pay back the unsecured debts( credit cards, personal loans, store cards, etc). Normally, a third party organization evaluates the debtor's outstanding balances, income, expenses, and then negotiates with the creditors to reduce the interest rates and payments.

Advantages of debt management:
Reduced payments: You have to pay only what you can afford to pay after paying for your necessary expenses (food, bills, rents, etc). The debt advisers can negotiate with the creditors to reduce the total amount of debt. This happens only when you can't pay back the full amount over a fixed period of time.
No need to deal with the creditors: You no longer have to deal with the creditors. The debt counselors will deal with the creditors on your behalf.
One monthly payment: You have to make only one monthly payment. It is easier to keep track of one monthly payment instead of several payments that you have to make to different creditors.
Flexibility: If your income is reduced then the debt advisers can re-negotiate with the creditors so as to lower your payments. On other circumstances, you could be pressurized into bankruptcy if the creditors didn't agree to the reduced payments.

Disadvantages of debt management:
Increases term of payment: You have to make payments over a longer period of time as your monthly payments are reduced. This means that your total payment is more.
Informal arrangement: The debt management plan is an informal arrangement so the creditors can change their mind at any point of time.
Creditors may still contact: The creditors may still contact you directly on few occasions.
Difficult to obtain further credit: You might not get further credit in the near future.

The debt management plan can help the debtor to manage his debts only when he controls his overspending habit.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Should I cut up my credit cards?

The temptation is immediate, as soon as we find ourselves in a difficult predicament, we want to remove ourselves from the situation as quick as possible - we want to find a quick remedy. When it comes to credit card debt, many people may be experiencing this for the first time and might not think through their actions before doing them. A classic example would be for someone upon finding themselves in a financial predicament, to cut up all credit cards so that they cannot use them anymore. Whilst this might be an okay short-term solution, it can sometimes have the wrong desired psychological effect. You may have removed the credit cards from your wallet and cut them up, but this does not mean that the dependency on borrowing money that you don't have has been removed with the shredding of said credit cards.

To me cutting up credit cards, is a knee-jerk reaction, whilst it may remove your short-term dependency on the pieces of plastic it does not mean your spending patterns and attitude towards money has changed. So the next time, you take immediate action and make a quick response to predicament you find yourself in, be it financial or otherwise, make sure you've carefully considered if you've eradicated the problem or just buried it slightly only for it to resurface later.