Did you know inflation in the UK reached a two-year high in December 2016? We look at how this could affect all of us.
With the weaker pound pushing up air fares and food prices, the cost of weekly shopping and jaunts abroad is on the up, not matter what your budget.
The Office For National Statistics estimates that a basket of goods and services that cost £100 in December 2015 would have cost £101.60 in December 2016. They put the rise down to “Price movements for the majority of the broad groups of goods and services.”
*Did you know: the most recent figures show that in 2014 the average food shop was £58.80, which would have meant an extra 50p a week in 2016 with these rises.* Continue reading
We now know where the 14 new ‘Garden Villages’ - new towns to help solve the housing crisis – will be. Their locations range from Cumbria to Cornwall.
Government ministers have backed plans for a brand new wave of ‘garden villages’ with between 1,500 and 10,000 new homes, in an effort to confront the growing lack of good housing stock.
Here’s where they are:
Long Marston (Stratford-on-Avon)
Oxfordshire Cotswold (west Oxfordshire)
Deenethorpe (east Northamptonshire)
West Carclaze (Cornwall)
Dunton Hills (Essex)
Spitalgate Heath (Lincolnshire)
Longcross (Runnymede and Surrey Heath)
Infinity Garden Village (south Derbyshire)
St Cuthberts (near Carlisle)
North Cheshire (Cheshire)
Each village will include green spaces, good links to public transport and a wide mix of house prices, including affordable homes. Continue reading
It’s no surprise that gym memberships rocket in January. Resolutions to shed the pounds in the new year are not uncommon, and gyms and fitness centres know full well that a high number of new members will find it hard to keep up their commitment beyond the end of the month, let alone the full year.
Even with introductory offers, gym membership can still be costly if you’re committed for a year upfront and are loathe to cancel.
Spending some time balancing out your income against your outgoings can be beneficial in the long run, and can also make you feel like you’re in control of your finances. And the start of the year is often a good time to think about if there are any costs you can do without – outgoings you may no longer need or use.
Besides gym membership, it might be satellite TV channels you never watch. An extended warranty you didn’t really need to buy. It can all add up! A budget calculator may help you work out if you could live without it.
Would a missed gym membership payment affect my credit report?
Neil Stone from our Social support team says: We’ve recently been contacted by a worried customer who was being chased by a debt collection agency over a missed gym membership payment and were concerned that it would impact their credit report. Continue reading
Commuters faced by increased train fares
Travelling by train to work hasn’t been a lot of fun for many of us so far this year, with industrial action, service problems and fare increases in many places all over the country.
The fare rises in the first week of January 2017 saw a nationwide average increase of 2.3%, with increases of 4.9% on some routes, such as the East Coast main line. In Britain as a whole, it is the highest fare rise since January 2014, when rail fares increased by 2.8 per cent.
Are season tickets value for money?
Looking at some of the most popular commuter routes, among the highest is an annual season ticket from Stevenage (home town of Lewis Hamilton, in Hertfordshire) to London is £3,612 which works out at 27p per minute. Continue reading
Ever wondered what some of the key credit card terms really mean? Here are our top ten.
- APR - The annual percentage rate is the price you pay each year for money you’ve borrowed, including interest and fees. The representative APR is an advertised rate that a minimum percentage of customers will pay, usually 51% of those accepted. If you’re not given the advertised rate, you’ll get a personal APR.
- Balance Transfer – This is when you choose to move credit card debt you already have to a lower or 0% interest credit card balance, usually for a transfer fee. With a 0% balance transfer deal you can potentially give yourself longer to pay off an existing credit card debt, without having to pay interest. This is as long as you make the minimum monthly payment and stick to any other Ts and Cs. More about balance transfer cards here
- Continue reading
To get 2017 off to a bright new start and set yourself some achievable financial goals, we asked some of our favourite finance and budgeting bloggers to tell us their best tips for how to budget for the year ahead.
Francesca from the super From Pennies To Pounds blog said: “Make sure you allow yourself some wriggle room in your budget for some fun things as this will make you much more likely to stick to your budget.”