The Rising Cost Of Living And How To Wean Yourself Off Plastic

With the rising cost of living, spiralling unemployment and the seemingly never-ending economic crisis in the UK, more and more of us are struggling to make ends meet each month.  Living from pay cheque to pay cheque is never a good way to survive and your Grandmother would always have recommended that you have at least 2 month’s pay stashed away in savings for a rainy day.  However, those days are long gone with many people in the UK living barely above the poverty line, struggling to pay their basic living expenses such as rent, food and fuel every month.

Plastic Fantastic

Many of us turn to credit cards when faced with financial hardship. Let’s face it; sometimes it doesn’t even have to be financial hardship that sends us spiralling into debt created by the evil plastic cards that have such a hold on us.  After a long, hard week at work and another rainy, boring weekend stuck at home, it can seem like a good idea to go on a shopping spree and reward yourself for all that hard work with some nice new shoes, a handbag, maybe a dress or two and a new haircut.  Sound familiar?  You’re not alone.  More young women than ever before are under pressure to spend money in the pursuit of looking good.  In fact, a recent survey carried out by the Co-operative showed that the average woman in her early 30’s spends £253 every month on her looks; including buying skin creams, products for her hair and nails, cosmetics, fragrances, gym memberships and haircuts…the list goes on and on.

The State of Things to Come

When you consider that the average UK salary in 2012 was £26,500 (roughly £1,750 after tax and other deductions) and that private rent is unaffordable in over 55 percent of England’s local authorities, it’s easy to see why many women (and men) turn to plastic to support their lifestyles.  With interest rates on many store cards rising as high as 30 percent, many are struggling to pay back what they owe whilst maintaining a decent standard of living.  The problem is worst in London, where property prices have been unaffected by the economic crisis.plastic credit

Go Cold Turkey

Weaning yourself off the plastic doesn’t have to be difficult. Why not consider taking out a Debt consolidation loan from one of the many reputable loan companies available online.  Most debt management companies will be able to offer you free advice as to whether this is the right option for you, but it could see your monthly payments to various credit and store cards consolidated into one monthly sum, cutting your payment by up to half.

Debt consolidation loans are ideal for those on limited income, as a reputable loan provider will not only carry out a credit check, but also look at your income, expenditure (such as mortgage or rent, living and travel costs) and the amount of your debts before making a decision as to how much you can afford to borrow.  Make sure that you cut up your store and credit cards after consolidating your debts, to resist the urge to use them.

Save in Other Areas

Once you have started making payments towards your Debt consolidation loan, you can look at the rest of your finances to see where else you could be saving money. Why not consider switching energy supplier using a comparison website to find the best deal in your area.  Or you could look at ways to save money on your telephone and broadband package, with many suppliers offering fantastic, money saving deals to new customers.  Other areas to consider when saving money are your mobile phone provider and package, your car and home insurance and your travel costs; perhaps it’s cheaper for you to get the train to work rather than driving?

Consolidation loans are just one way to manage your debt, but for many of us they offer a realistic solution to our credit card addiction during these difficult times.

Katie Latchford is a Freelance Writer who follows the constant rise in living and property prices as everyone becomes plastic addicts. She recommends that to kick the addiction, a Debt consolidation loan can help you to pay off your debt and stay afloat when times get though.

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