Being told that every man, woman and child owes £16,000 is not helpful. It’s being used either to frighten us or to say, ‘Don’t worry, we’re all in this unholy mess together!’ But what impact does it have on us?
Why does the State and the media in particular seemingly thrive on painting the picture in money metaphors and snappy statistics? (In the case of the media, to sell viewing figures and newspapers, of course.)
But for those of us trying to make a living, just how far do we need to be dragged down before we just close our ears, switch off the TV news and stop buying newspapers?
As children with our pocket money, we were usually told that ‘once you’ve spend it, that’s it!’ Now as adults, we clearly think that we are beyond simple budgeting and we’re now blessed with an easy-come, easy-go money culture. Have we really only just developed into a society that is now realising that we, the State and we as individuals are in big trouble?
The ‘save for later’ society gave way to a creeping ‘paying on the never-never’ and worrying about it later. Around January 09, when I told people what I do for a living, they often said to me, ‘We’re borrowing money for a 6x salary mortgage, a new kitchen, a winter and summer holiday, new family people carrier, plasma TV’s, and why not? Aren’t you? Everyone else has these things.’
Since that time, much like the National Debt, the hardest possible outcome has struck home. Someone has to pay for it.
Sadly many of my clients have been resorting to drawing cash on their credit cards and bumping the problem to next month. With interest.
I am told almost daily – ‘I hadn’t realised things (my finances) had got so bad’. The problem will not just go away by ignoring it and while I never judge my clients, it does surprise me that life carries on oblivious to the mounting bills and pressures.
Bankruptcy is a tough option, not an easy way out. Your card is marked for 5 years. In fact you may not be able to get any cards at all.
There are ways to deal with the visible and the unforeseen and to bring a state of control back into our household management.
Debt changes your life’s dimension; it rattles your security and can shatter confidence. But it is manageable and needs to be handled by a professional. Leaflets and stock answers from generalists aren’t very helpful; each of my clients is treated as an individual. This is personal!
I’ll be running a set of blogs on the subject over the next few months. Please forward the link to anyone you think may be interested.
Jane Hardy - One Stop Financial Security
07768 197507 / 0800 860 0312
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