According to a recent study, one in four Britons has less than £1,000 savings. Some have even no savings at all. The first unexpected bill can dramatically drain the household when there is no emergency fund to take the pressure off it.
We all know that we should at least save enough money to cover our payments and expenses for three to six months. But, knowing what you should do doesn’t mean that you are in any better position to oblige. Worryingly enough, 10% of the population regularly spend more than they can afford – which is probably why some struggle to create emergency savings. Another 28% have found themselves sometimes going over budget.
The financial future for the UK is even gloomier, thanks to Brexit. As a result, if you tend to splurge out money on things you can’t afford, or if you’re struggling to reduce your expenses, you might one day receive an invoice that you can’t ignore – and yet can’t afford. What’s the best way forward when you need cash, and you are terrible with money management?
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Are you due compensation payment?
The PPI deadline is looming on the horizon. You have until the end of August to make a claim, so it’s fair to say that if you’ve got any doubt about your Payment Protection Insurance, you need to see if there’s something for you there. Banks have been mis-selling PPI to millions of people. In other words, you may be due a refund. However, don’t get too excited; the process is lengthy, and the only way to speed it up is to have all your documents ready. If you need money tomorrow, you’re unlikely to get it as in average a PPI claim can take up to six months. However, getting your paperwork organised for the claim can help your bank go through the data smoothly. Typically, you can expect a refund around £1,500 and £2,000.
Can you let a broker pay?
Depending on the type of invoice and its amount, you should be able to find an alternative option to pay, such as considering a payday loan or credit card. A credit card approval can take some time to come through the post while payday loans are almost immediate, which is a better option for instant payment. However, paying with a credit card – assuming you already have one – doesn’t require you to have enough funds at the time of payment. You can repay gradually. But there’s a catch; if you can’t repay your credit card invoices, you’re going to accumulate debts rapidly through high-interest rise. On the other hand, same day loans tend to have tremendous interest rate – typically between 700% and 1600% APR. It’s a tough decision, but you need to consider repayment before asking for funds.
Can you ask a friend?
Asking a friend for financial help is a tricky and awkward situation. While there is no harm in asking, the way you handle their funds and organise a repayment schedule can damage your relationship – especially if you fail to repay. Therefore, it’s best to be sure about what you need and what you can afford before you ask for help. The easiest and more effective way is to be completely honest with your friend and explain your situation. If you’re the kind of person who constantly runs into money problems, they may be unlikely to support. However, if it is an exceptional situation, you might find them more keen to lend you money. Beware; not everyone is keen to lend money. After all, 28% of the population can go over budget at time! If your friends fit in this category, they will likely be careful about promising something they may not be able to afford.
Do you have everything you need but discipline?
The best way to approach money matter is to be methodically disciplined. Keeping a budget is a traumatic experience for many Britons who experience panic sensations when they check their bank account. But budgeting your ins and outs gives you the opportunity to design a spending plan. Your spending plan is the Jiminy Cricket of the finance world. It serves as your conscience, and it helps you to stay disciplined about your purchases. Self-discipline is hard to apply unless you create an achievable goal, such as repaying that unexpected bill you’ve received or buying a new car – to cut down on repair costs in the future. Each penny you save can go towards your goal.
A quarter of the British population have no savings, and as such, they can struggle with unexpected expenses. Making room for immediate cash is tricky, and unless you ask for it – by using a credit card or turning to a friend, for example – you’re unlikely to unlock cash on the spot. But if you’ve got more leverage in terms of time, you can implement positive habits that will pay back later, from claiming when you’re due compensation to exercising financial self-discipline.
*this is a collaborative post