Showing posts with label help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label help. Show all posts

6 December 2017

Managing Your Finances at Christmas

One of the things that used to be an issue for me was sticking my head in the sand when it came to finances.  Particularly at Christmas.  I used to be in debt but at Christmas, at time where I love to splurge on my loved ones, that debt went to the back of my head and I spent what I wanted..

I know that this is something that many of us do, especially in the holiday season.  When January rolls round, our head comes out of the sand and we realise yet again that we have overspent and gotten further into debt.

This happened to me.  It happens to many people.  It took me seven years to sort out my finance problems and along the way I have learned many lessons, a couple of which I will share with you.

Please note that I am not a financial expert, nor am I qualified to give financial advice.  I am writing this blog today because people do not talk about being in debt.  We gloss over the subject, we hide the problems in shame.  I was that person. In debt more than I could handle, through my own fault.

The first tip.  Do not panic.

When I (finally) took my head out of the sand I had no clue what to do, and went for the first option available which is hindsight, was the wrong thing to do. I panicked and ended up paying out far more as a result.

Once you have realised the extent of your money problems, you need to look at the different options available to you in order to resolve them.  

One of the most stupid things I did over one Christmas period was to hit the payday loans.  What I didn't think about was the huge interest rates involved and how far it can escalate.  If you get into this kind of mess what you can do is look at a payday loan consolidation company.  They look at your budget, sort out with you what you can afford and deal directly with your creditors.  Sometimes, as I found, it can all be too much so someone dealing directly with your creditors can be a huge weight off your shoulders.

Another option is a debt management plan.  

My error was that I did not research debt management plan providers and just went with the first one I found.  This ended up costing me over two thousand pounds by the end in admin charges.  

What I know now is that there are free debt management plan provides which do exactly the same job.  They work out what you can afford, negotiate with your creditors and work out a plan for you to pay off your debts, often with the interest frozen.

I would suggest contacting the Citizen's Advice Bureau who have loads of advice on the subject and the link I have put in goes directly to the free providers of debt management plans. 

If you owe more than ten thousand pounds, you could go into an IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement).  You can get free advice on this from the Money Advice Service.  This enables you to get around 70-80% of your debts written off, and the remainder is handled by an insolvency practitioner (you will pay for this service).

I hope this helps a little for anyone reading through who has only just pulled their head out of the sand and is, as I was seven years ago, in a blind panic.  Don't panic.  Research.  Make use of the free resources available.  

You will get through this.  I did and so can you.

*Collaborative Piece

9 April 2013

Send a Pigeon!!

In 2013 you never think about the days when having a mobile phone was a rarity, and having the internet on your home computer was only a twinkle in the eye.  We all have our smart phones and laptops, Ipads and home computers and everything we want is within a click.
The internet on my laptop died this weekend and when the Orange technician finally deduced that my sim card had died, his announcement that another would come in 4-5 working days was taken well, initially.
Day three of the wait though and I'm practically breaking out in cold sweats.  I have the internet on my phone of course but I already use all of my allowance so using that is a no go.  My work internet blocks most of the sites I want to use.
I get home and I'm staring at my laptop in longing.  Blogs posts are flowing through my head that I can't upload, sales are putting up everywhere online; there seem to be million different online articles I want to read and worst of the worst, I can only check Twitter through my phone.
It is KILLING me.
So Orange, you know I said that I was fine with 4-5 working days?  I'm not.  Send a carrier pigeon, stat.
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28 March 2012

I Need a Favour

I am, I know, pretty opinionated on a lot of subjects.  But this subject, it's a passion, it's something I feel truly strong about.

So I'm asking a favour.  I realise that some reading this will dismiss what I say and do what they want, which they are entitled to do.  We all have free choice.

This is the favour I ask.  Please, please, please do not bet on the Grand National.  Ideally of course, I would be asking you not to bet on all horse races, but the Grand National is the pinnacle of horse racing in the UK so it's a good place to start.

This post should be read in conjunction with previous post Horses are not for Courses but here is the summary.

In the past five years, in excess of 150 horses per year have died as a result of horse racing in Great Britain.  At the time of writing my previous post on the 15th March, the total since the tally began 5 years ago was 804. It is now up to 809.  That's 5 horses in a week and a half.

I think that that figure would qualify horse racing as the most dangerous sport in the world.  For humans, no, but for horses, yet.

I imagine many people will watch the Grand National this year.  I'm sure many people saw the race last year, with the course diverted around the dead/dying horses which the BBC so coldly called "obstacles".

They aren't mechanical these horses.  They have feelings, they feel pain and they deserve to live.  Not to die as a result of a broken leg, a broken neck, at which point they become "commercially non-viable" and are destroyed. The results shown by Animal Aid are clear.  These races are clearly excessively dangerous.

Horses love to run.  They don't love to die.

So that's my favour.  Please don't make a bet.  In an ideal world I'd like to get #dontbet trending on Twitter.  That is far out of my reach.  But if you don't try to make a difference, nothing ever happens.  Please don't bet, please pass this post on.

Not betting on the Grand National won't save a horse's life on the day.  But like any big business, which horse racing is, if the money isn't coming in, things change.  Here is a link to a form letter drawn up by Animal Aid to use if you wish, asking that the Grand National be banned - Letter to MP

29 January 2012

The Big Match

IPhone v Blackberry.  Put a IPhone user or a Blackberry user in the same room and they could argue to the death.  People get as opinionated and as passionate about one or the another as they do about politics, animal rights…. You know, the actually important things.

The thing is, I have now entered that debate.  Before my last upgrade I had a Samsung I think.  Can’t remember which model but it had a keypad with very minimal touchscreen functionality.

I was, understandably, completely excited therefore to get an IPhone.  I absolutely loved it, still do.  For me, it is undeniably the best touch screen out there.  I’m not interested in an Android.  No particular reason, just personal choice.

I have however, hugely missed having a keypad.  Call me a geek, but I used to love the clickety click of tapping anyway.  Which brings me to my dilemma, and I’m asking, unashamedly, for help.

So here’s what I use on a day to day basis.  Email, Twitter, Facebook and, obviously calls/text.  Am not a big App person.  Games don’t really interest me and the few Apps I do use, are already on Blackberry.

This all therefore would lead me to moving to Blackberry.  I get the keypad I miss, and still the Apps I use.  If I move, it will be the 9900.  The battery charging reviews I have seen don’t bother me, as I am currently having to charge my IPhone twice a day.

Problem is, I, like everyone else know about the downturn on profits with RIM, with people saying that bankruptcy is a possibility, the question I have really is this. 

I will probably sound stupid for asking, but then, if you don’t know, ask!  If the worst happens, they go bankrupt and I have committed to Blackberry, what happens with the phones currently under contract?  Would I then be screwed?

Help, for the uninformed and ditzy, please!