Tag Archives: budgeting

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

Peer pressure: the £6bn hidden cost of raising children?

Girls textingAs the school holidays come to a close, parents up and down the country are making sure they’ve bought enough stationery, school uniforms and so on ahead of another year of education for their children. 

But as well as the essentials, there’s often a hidden cost. New research* (from Sainsbury’s Bank) has found that almost half (48%) of parents feel they need to spend money on items for their children based on peer pressure, such as the latest smartphones, the trendiest clothes or the biggest parties.

This can add £865 to the average annual family household outgoings – making nearly £6 billion in total across the UK.

What are the main ‘peer pressure’ costs?
Not surprisingly, the desire to have the latest technology like phones or tablets tops the list (44%), with fashionable clothing (43%) and school trips/excursions (42%) next up.

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5 ways the cost of living has changed since 1966

UK Bobby Moore World Cup postage stampHas ‘fifty years of hurt’ come by already? Saturday 30 July marks the fiftieth anniversary of English football’s finest moment, when they thought it was all over (and it was) and England’s XI won the World Cup for the first and only time with a 4-2 win over West Germany at a sun-drenched Wembley Stadium.

We thought it would be interesting to look at five ways the cost of living may have changed since 1966 – in real terms – which brought up some surprises.

1.       Buying a house – In 1966 the average cost of a house was £3,620, which equates to about £60,848 in today’s money. In contrast, the average cost of a house in the UK broke the £200,000 barrier for the first time in April 2016, going up to £313,000 in the south of England.   Continue reading

Sarah Willingham: “Baking with the Bambinos”

Today we have a guest post from Sarah Willingham, BBC Dragon,  consumer champion and mum-of-four, about how she used Jangle to help teach her kids about money.

I am at my happiest in my kitchen, especially with my kids.  We LOVE to cook, bake and eat together. I don’t know a child who doesn’t love baking… even those who just want to lick the bowl at the end. So this weekend I set my little ones a challenge using Jangle, the free non-commercial iPad I’ve partnered with Experian and pfeg (Part of Young Enterprise) to develop.

The whole idea of Jangle is to get kids to do activities to earn money whilst working or learning. It’s full of pre loaded suggestions.  I did the ‘bake off’ and got the kids to hold a cake sale for the family.

Baking_Challenge_Pic Continue reading

Managing debt and future finances – live discussion

Managing debt and future-proofing your finances is a target for many of us.  We hosted a video on June 15th with consumer champion and BBC Dragon Sarah Willingham, Chief Executive of the Money Charity Michelle Highman, and Experian Experts’ own James Jones to provide expert tips on how to beat debt and prepare financially for the future.

The guests spoke about three main topics –
Managing debt – Watch them discuss how and why people get into debt, what the common mistakes are and how we can try to avoid them, and give tips to beating debt and getting back on to an even keel.

Future-proofing your finances – Experian research has shown that the over-55s are worried about their financial future. Our panel discussed how people who fall into that demographic can help ensure they’re prepared for retirement and the probable loss of income that it brings, and also talked about how younger generations can future-proof their finances.

Financial education – The panel also spoke about what parents can do to help ensure they give their children the best start when it comes to financial education.

What do the new pension freedoms mean?

retired-couple-in park-300April 2015 saw the introduction of ‘pension freedoms’, which essentially gave those aged 55 and over wider access to their pension funds.

In previous years, this meant being able to take a quarter of their ‘defined contribution’ pension (ie: one based on how much they paid into it) as a tax-free lump sum, but invariably using the rest of the money to buy an annuity designed to pay out an income each year for the rest of your life.

Video: How we manage money has changed over the generations

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What kind of financial future is in store for us?

What kind of financial future is in store for us when we’re older? With house prices higher than ever and the cost of living making putting away savings a real challenge for many, there is plenty that may make some feel the glass is half-empty rather than half-full.

Almost half (44%) the people asked in a new Experian survey of over-55s[1] say they are concerned about their financial future, with over half (56%) worrying about not having enough savings and (55%) not having disposable income.  In fact, 40% have concerns over high monthly bills.

Video: Money through the generations – the future of money

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Contactless payments: Older shoppers take the lead

contactless-payment-300Contactless card spending is on the up – and the grey pound is the engine behind it. Spending money with contactless payments topped £1.5bn in a month for the first time in March, with one in seven card transactions now contactless compared to one in 16 a year ago. 

The figures are also more than double those in August 2015 when we last featured contactless payments on this blog.

Experts put it down to older shoppers catching up with young people, with research from Barclaycard finding that the number of ‘tap and go’ payments made by those 60 or over has increased by 116% over the past year.

The 18-24 age group has seen a 49% rise, while among 26-45 year olds it has gone up 65% – however in the 46-60 year old age group, the number using contactless payments has increased by 97%.

The figures arguably that the older generation are increasingly turning to faster, easier (no need to tap in numbers) and arguably more secure contactless payments rather than cash.

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The pressure of running the Bank of Mum and Dad

poor family counting money to pay bills at homeThe Bank Of Mum and Dad is often thought of as a bottomless pit of financial assistance for children needing a leg up after they’ve ‘flown the coop’ – but a third (33%) of parents have been under financial pressure as a result of bailing their children out financially.

Over half the parents Experian surveyed[1] last month said their children (aged 18+) have ‘used’ the Bank of Mum & Dad an average of four times –  and to the value of £6,000 –  since becoming financially independent.

Some recent findings have also shown that parents will provide £5bn this year to help offspring on to the property ladder.

*Check out our tips for young people breaking away from the bank of mum and dad*

The slippery road to financial independence
Our research found that 41% of parents were called upon as their child had no savings to cover for an unforeseen expense, with almost a quarter (24%) admitting that their child is simply bad at managing money and ran out of money. 15% of children had to ask for help as they had got themselves into a debt they couldn’t afford to repay. Continue reading