Credit cards – an ‘easy option’ perhaps, but what are the consequences?

Financial capability charity Credit Action has warned consumers not to get caught in the ‘credit card trap’ over the festive season and going into the new year.

With 27.7 million plastic card purchase transactions made daily in the UK, at a total monetary value of £1.362 billion*, Credit Action is urging shoppers to be mindful of how they use their cards and keep track of what they spend.

Michelle Highman, CEO of Credit Action says: “It’s a lot easier to lose track of spending when it’s done on any sort of card. But credit cards in particular can encourage us to think that we’re not spending real money. Even the most money conscious of us splash out during the Christmas season and it’s easy to say ‘I’ll worry about it later’, but this approach has consequences, especially when using credit to finance Christmas. Credit isn’t free money and you will need to pay it back later. Worse still, if it isn’t possible to pay off your credit card when you get the bill, the true cost of Christmas will continue to go up and up each month that you’re paying it down.”

If you are struggling with credit card debt (or any other debt), contact our friendly Turn Debt Around team for an impartial, no strings chat, to see if we can help you get on top of your finances.

Call us now on 0131 777 3039, or visit our website: www.turndebtaround.com

*Article and statistics source: creditaction.org.uk

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Are you missing out on cheaper deals?

According to a study by The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), many of us are missing out on the best deals available to us on a range of products and services, due to mistrust of comparison websites.

Collectively, consumers could save up to £240m per year, simply by using price comparison websites effectively, but our lack of trust in some of these online tools means we may well pay more than we have to a lot of the time.

The OFT has now written to 100 leading operators, asking them to make the information on their websites clearer to encourage more shoppers to take advantage of the savings on offer.

Read the full story at: BBC.co.uk

 

Save over £1000 per year by going green!

So, it turns out that being environmentally aware, and acting accordingly, does not have to cost you a fortune.

In fact, you could save a handsome sum and spare mother nature at the same time, just by re-thinking some of your everyday processes.

Sound good? Check out these money-saving, green tips from USwitch.com.

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12 tips that could save you money on Christmas travel

The festive season is well and truly here, and many of us are starting to fret over travel plans to visit loved ones across the UK and abroad.

We found these handy tips on The Telegraph’s website, outlining how you could save cash on your Christmas travel, and we thought they would be worth sharing!

Have a look and see if these could help you spend less on your festive travel plans!

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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Fancy paying less tax? Here are some tips that could help you do just that!

If you’re feeling a tad depressed after Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement yesterday, this might just lift your spirits:

MoneyMagpie.com has pulled together a list of five helpful ways in which you might be able to cut down on the amount of tax you have to pay. Sounds mighty good to us!

Click here to find out more.

Pay gap between men and women falls

The pay gap between men and women in full-time employment is at less than 10%, for the first time since records began.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the difference between men’s and women’s median hourly full-time pay fell from 10.5% in 2011 to 9.6% in 2012.

A slower rise in male full-time earnings, compared to that of women in full-time jobs, as well as more progressive attitudes among employers and higher aspirations among women, are offered as possible explanation.

However, while the narrowing of the gap is good news, it’s worth noting that the overall pay gap – taking into account both part-time and full-time earnings – is still at a whopping 19.7%.

Read the full story at: Guardian.co.uk

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Could you save money with a fee-charging bank account?

Most banks will offer customers the option of a paid-for bank account, whereby for a monthly fee, you can get a number of inclusive benefits, such as mobile phone and car cover.

But are these extra services worth it, or will you just end up wasting your money? Well, that obviously depends on the offering in question, and the extent to which you use the ‘perks’ that come with the fee-charging account.

For example, HSBC’s ‘Advance Current Account’, which costs £12.95 per month, gives the account holder world-wide travel insurance and the ability to withdraw money at cash points free of charge while abroad. It comes with a host of other services as well, but if you are someone who goes overseas a few times per year, the travel cover alone could save you money.

So how do you decide if a fee-charging account is for you, and which bank to go with?

MoneySavingExpert.com has pulled together a convenient tool to help you decide, so if you’re thinking about it, why not start by checking out its ‘Top Packaged Account Analyser’?

Source: MoneySavingExpert.com