Budgeting

Autumn Statement 2016: a summary

The Chancellor announced his first (and last) Autumn Statement on 23 November, and some of the main focuses were in housing, allowances and infrastructure.

We went into the streets to ask what people would do if they were chancellor. Watch the video to find out!

The main headlines – a brief summary

Housing

A £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund is to unlock land for housing, which in doing so is set to create 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand.  There’s also a further £1.4bn to build 40,000 affordable home, as well as a new venture that aims to give the Right to Buy for housing association tenants.

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Black Friday? What’s that all about?

Black Friday and Cyber MondayChristmas shopping season is about to really get into gear.  Black Friday (November 25th) and Cyber Monday (28th) book-end a long weekend of huge online discounts aimed at tempting Christmas shoppers. 

These two imports from the USA – the Friday after Thanksgiving and the Monday that follows – combine heavily discounted ‘physical’ shopping ins-store with widespread online deals.

And now Amazon.co.uk are beginning their Black Friday over a week earlier than the ‘official’ day, by featuring special offers online on large-ticket and luxury products every day now until 25 November.

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7 ways to handle the Cost Of Christmas

friends-shopping-xmas-300“Christmas is a-coming, the geese are getting fat…” goes the old festive rhyme. The one thing that probably isn’t getting fat when it comes to Christmas, however, is your wallet. 

Last year it was expected that households would spend, on average £796 on Christmas – with £596 going on gifts, £159 on food and drink and £41 on cards, trees and decorations.

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: Black Friday – what’s all that about?

Depending on the size of your family and friends, and on how generous you are, it’s quite possible that you spend more than this every Christmas. And this doesn’t even take into account the cost of going out, and the endless round of parties. Continue reading

Plan your shopping budget for winter

Sometimes just making small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down the cost of our weekly food shop.

Small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down costs

Small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down costs

With winter on the way, reducing what we have going out can help us make the best of what we have coming in. Especially when January can sometimes be a challenge, if like many people, you were paid earlier than usual in December and have a much longer run until the next payday.

Here are five simple tips for a food shopping budget in winter:

  1. Plan ahead and budget – It could be something as simple as making a shopping list, so as not to overbuy at the supermarket, or it could be comparing prices in shops, across websites and with available discounts before you make a large purchase or sign up to a utility. And keeping up to date with when your credit bills are due can help you avoid the risk of missing payments. Continue reading

Spreading the cost of Christmas shopping

friends-shopping-xmas-300Most of us spend more in the immediate approach to and during the festive period than we normally would, so it’s probably a good idea to budget in advance and put some money aside – so that come mid-December, you don’t have to dig too much into money you either don’t have, or money you’re going to need in January.

Here are five things that might be worth thinking about:

  1. Christmas is a prime time for buying things that are either unwanted, don’t work properly or don’t fit. But… buying on credit can give you protection. If you buy goods or services on your credit card, you have extra protection if things go wrong, compared with paying by cash or even debit card, under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Continue reading

Making a will can help raise money for charity

Last will and testament documentHave you made a will? Did you know that half of Britons have not made a will, meaning they have no say in who their assets will be passed on to when they die – according to new figures from the charitable initiative Will Aid.

While young people are the least likely to have made a will, almost 1 in 5 (19%) of people aged 55 and over haven’t made a will either. Continue reading

5 half term money saving tips

Mother and kids hiking in sunny forestSummer’s gone – and so this October half-term is possibly the last opportunity for some sunshine for a few months.

But all is not lost – with some simple planning, you can entertain the kids and have a great time yourself, without splashing the cash.

  1. For short breaks and days out, you could check voucher websites for useful ‘percentage off’ code campaigns or cashback deals – there are often short-term promotional offers for specific places, dates and times. There are plenty of railcards that could save you money if you use the train a few times, like Family & Friends (up to 4 adults and 4 children) and Two Together (over 16s), or if you get advance ‘exact train’ tickets (just as you would with a plane). Continue reading

Planning a wedding for 2017

Couple Walking While Guests Throwing Confetti On ThemPlanning to get married in 2017? Now is as good a time as any to start saving, as the costs can creep up on you without you realising.

Estimates vary as to the average cost of a wedding in the UK.  Some experts say £17,000, some say £20,500, some, after itemising various parts, say as much as £30,111.

Experian research* in 2014, of people recently or soon to be married, found that almost seven in ten (69%) pay for their wedding from savings, while around one in five are using some form of credit, whether that be a card, a loan, or paying in instalments.

In fact, 43% of cohabiting couples had postponed their wedding by an average of a year and two months – due to running into difficulties with their pre-wedding financial planning.

8 quick tips for budgeting for a 2017 wedding

  1. One year to go is a great time to set achievable targets with clear landmarks ahead – and there’s no better target than the big day itself. Continue reading