Get to grips with your finances

Britain is a nation steeped in debt and, to honour World Maths Day, consumers could do worse than having a thorough review of their financial situation. A study by Barclaycard, CARE International UK and Plan UK revealed that although women in Ghana live on less than $2 a day, they still manage to save more then their UK counterparts.

If this isn’t shocking enough, research by Credit Action found that average consumer borrowing hit a hefty £4,221 in January this year.

Taking control of your income and expenditure can be painless, particularly if you take heed of the following tips outlined in Standard Life’s ‘Financial Efficiency’ report.

It seems that 91% of Brits are actually taking charge of their finances to some extent, but only 57% actually confess to sticking to their household budgets. Below are some of the best money-saving tips gleaned from the study.

Get a bargain price

Consumers should never settle for the first price offered and always scour the internet and price comparison sites for the best deals online. 50% of respondents shopped around regularly (11% more than in 2009), while 49% regularly search out the best deals online (12% more people than three years ago). 27% also said they would consider reviewing their gas and electricity providers for a better deal, up from 25% in 2009.

Set a budget

30% of consumers argued that setting a budget was their best tactic for keeping a tight rein on their finances. This is up from 22% in 2009.

Use a spreadsheet or financial tools you can find on the internet to keep track of your spending. Ensure that you designate amounts for fixed payments, food/leisure costs and discretionary spending.

Put your savings away

26% of Brits believe that putting their savings in an ISA is the best way to ensure greater returns for their investments. ISAs allow savers to put away an annual, tax-free amount of £10,680, up to £5,340 of which can be in the form of cash.

Most ISAs also give you instant access so you can withdraw funds from your account at anytime.

John Lewis

John has worked within the Debt Management side of the company since January 2009 having previously worked for the court service in the Probate and Magistrates service.

Originally employed as a Customer Liaison Officer, John was promoted to manager of the group’s acquired brands within Debt Management in 2010.

John is responsible for the running of our aquired brands customer service team and also the court work team, whose function is to assist and support Debt Management clients through the often complex and confusing CCJ process.

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Get to grips with your finances

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