빅토리아 비쇼프: Give your finances a very merry Christmas and say bah humbug to debt
Almost everyone I know has put up their Christmas decorations earlier than usual this year.
아무튼, if there’s one thing guaranteed to cheer us up amid the doom and gloom, it’s twinkly lights.
In my house, we watched The Muppet Christmas Carol in November and have become avid listeners of Magic Radio, which plays non-stop festive songs in the run up to the big day.
파티 타임: But there is no escaping the hard reality that people are starting to feel very worried about their finances this Christmas
But there is one tradition I just cannot muster any enthusiasm for — and that’s shopping.
일반적으로, I revel in spoiling loved ones with thoughtful treats — and, as my husband will attest, thoroughly enjoy tearing open a present or two myself as well.
But something just doesn’t feel right about splashing out on frivolous stocking fillers this year.
And I know I’m not alone. Friends and family are all telling me they have little interest in gifts. 사실로, many have asked to skip presents altogether, or make a donation to charity instead. After a bitterly disappointing December 2020, most of us are just eager to be able to spend time together.
And there is no escaping the hard reality that people are starting to feel worried about their finances.
Shock energy bill hikes are so prevalent they have become a topic of dinner party conversation, with everyone comparing increases.
And I’m hearing tales of families huddling together in one room or sitting in the dark to cut costs.
그 동안에, soaring petrol prices mean people are thinking twice before getting in the car. Others are switching to budget supermarkets for the first time. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the idea of buying things we don’t need feels a little wrong this year.
아직, despite this, many families will still feel pressured to spend more than they can afford.
과, as we 창틀, there is a very real possibility they could end up in troubling amounts of debt as a result.
그녀가 당신에게 상처를 준 것처럼 당신도 그녀를 상처 입히는 것은 불가능하다는 것을 분명히 말해야합니다., soaring inflation — now tipped to ‘comfortably exceed’ 5 pc next year — means most people are feeling poorer these days. And there is absolutely no shame in admitting it. If you’ve cut back this Christmas, or have thrifty tips to share, we’d love to hear from you. Write to the email address at the end of this column.
Time to play fair
The City watchdog is seeking to bring in new rules that will force financial firms to provide customers with information they can understand, offer products that are fit for purpose and provide a helpful service, it announced yesterday.
While welcome news, it’s frankly appalling that businesses still need this spelling out for them.
And given that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) estimates its proposals will save insurance customers up to £11 billion over the next ten years, you have to wonder why it has taken so long for the regulator to intervene.
Let’s just hope that going forward it is quick to bear its teeth if companies refuse to play fair. Although if all goes to plan, I could find myself out of a job.
I was amused to see our friends at the FCA have also found time to team up with a music production company to create the UK’s first ‘anti-fraud jingle’.
It is aimed at raising awareness of loan fee fraud, where crooks demand an upfront fee for the loan, and then never pay the money.
According to the behavioural scientists who worked with the FCA, studies show people are more likely to remember — and believe — messages conveyed through the medium of song.
While I scoffed at first, I now can’t get the blasted tune out of my head.
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