Simon Read: The difference between debt misery and a solution
Saturday 05 June 2010
The recession may be over but money worries remain for almost three-quarters of the UK, according to poverty charity Elizabeth Finn Care. Its research published this week reveals that two out of five people think that they will be financially worse off in six months' time, with older people even more negative about their money situation – half of those aged over 55 believe they will have less money as the year end approaches.
Interestingly, only one in 20 blames themselves for their financial situation while a third thinks they will be worse off because of the new coalition government. Trying to put the blame on others is natural but those who refuse to accept their own part in their financial problems are likely to be the ones who refuse to seek help in finding solutions.
Previous research carried out by Elizabeth Finn Care showed that almost a third of people got to the stage of skipping meals because they couldn't afford to buy food before they considered contacting a debt charity for help. Meanwhile over half couldn't afford the transport costs involved in visiting family and friends, yet still didn't seek help or find out if there financial support was available to them.
I've often written about the problems of coping with a debt cycle and the fact that the shame of getting into debt leads many to keep quiet about their penury. As the shame increases many find it harder and harder to do anything about their problems. Matthew Sykes, chief executive of Elizabeth Finn Care echoes that. "We know from experience that it can take a long time before people begin to seek help with their financial predicaments, as often they are too ashamed or embarrassed to approach a charity for support," he says.
So I'm glad to publicise the charity's Turn2us website and recommend that anyone beginning to struggle with their finances and worried about getting deeper into debt should check it out. The website, which you'll find at www.turn2us.org.uk, allows you to check your benefit entitlement and search for grants from more than 3,500 charitable funds online. A visit to the site could yield the cash that could help make the difference between debt misery and a debt solution.
FUND MANAGER Jupiter Asset Management is set to float on the stock market later this month. The company runs a number of good funds and has a decent reputation. Potential investors have until 14 June to apply to buy shares with the share offer price to be announced on 16 June. But is investing in a fund manager a good idea?
That depends on your view on how stock markets are likely to perform over the next few months or years. In simple terms a rising market will allow the funds managed by Jupiter to benefit, which should make the company's shares look more attractive. If markets slump then the opposite will happen. There are, of course, lots of other issues to consider before buying shares, not least the timescale involved: are you looking for a quick gain, for instance, or are you prepared to wait for years for profits?
Sometimes the excitement generated by an initial public offering (IPO) can encourage investors to steam in without thinking through a proper strategy. For that reason I've always been inclined to avoid them. But then I've often had to subsequently sit back and see others enjoy a considerable quick profit. Investing in an IPO can be a gamble too far in my view.
Costs soar if your location is wrong
how much you get charged for your energy depends on where you live, according to uSwitch. The comparison site accuses energy companies of regional pricing, meaning a postcode lottery decides the price of your energy, and some people can end up paying £100 more simply because of their location.
ScottishPower, for instance, charges customers in one area up to £189 more than customers living elsewhere, according to uSwitch. "While suppliers choose to target their ultra-competitive online plans regionally we will continue to see a postcode lottery," says Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.
"Consumers cannot assume that their local supplier will automatically be cheaper – very often they are not," she says. "The key thing is for people to understand that energy companies price by region and to minimise the impact. They can do this by making sure they move to the most competitive plan with the most competitive supplier in their region."
Independent Partners: See how much you could save by switching credit cards. Compare now
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
- 1 Bonuses for goals and top four finish as Luiz Suarez joins Premier League's top three earners
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£Negotiable: Citifocus: High calibre individual with institutional client serv...
£120000 - £150000 per annum: Cornwallis Elt : Programme Manager, Strategy Lead...
£55000 - £120000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Financial Services Tran...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Client based in West London is looking ...
Day In a Page
A three-bedrrom flat with 2,733sq feet of living space, a beautiful private garden and 15 acres of communal grounds
A four-bedroom chalet bungalow with three bathrooms and a spacious garden, £525,000
A two-bedroom flat with an open plan kitchen and two balconies, close to Arsenal station
A six-bedroom farm house with separate, detached cottages and 371 acres of land
A two-bedroom cottage with parquet floors, chunky beams and an open fireplace
A Grade II-listed home with six bedrooms, secluded landscaped gardens and views across Hadley Green
A Grade II-listed mansion with two apartments and a cottage, near Gretna Green
A three-bedroom Grade II-listed mews house with vaulted ceilings and roof garden
A spacious Grade II-listed family home with annexe and equestrian facilities among four acres of land in Itchingfield
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.