Jane Hardy – For People in Debt

23 02 2011

Times are hard – but stop reminding me!

When times are tough and with so many people in debt, the last thing we want to hear is more bad news, isn’t it?  Government statistics can be quite depressing. For example, they say now that 40% of people struggle to make it to pay-day.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that many people go into denial and cannot relate to being a statistic.  Many of my clients say, ‘Well, I never thought I’d be one of those people!’

However there isn’t an eternal pot of money. Our income has limits. So at what point do people start to realise their outgoings exceed their incomings?

Let’s just put some perspective into this before we attempt any solutions. I think that many were lured into debt around two years ago -it was almost fashionable. ‘Sometime, somewhere in Never Never Land, I may have to pay it off, but hey, look on the bright side, not YET!’

Then what happened?  The banks overspent, too! Wow, how can they get it so badly wrong? The bedrock of society, the cash cow for the world’s industry and population… and it’s not just in the UK, it’s now most of Europe, and beyond.

In the UK, not only did they have to turn to the government for support, the taxpayer had to take  ownership of this exclusive Banking Club. So the senior bankers were gambling with some fairly hack decisions, by all accounts, and with public money. In a less stable economy, our personal bank balances would have been wiped clean.  And these are the guys we trusted?

Whether you love statistics or hate them, or even just question their reliability, one of my sources of information states that seven million people won’t be able to pay their bills after last Christmas.  January can be one of those heart-stopping months where people take a sharp intake of breath and figure out if they can afford to pay of their credit card bills in one payment or have to stretch it out for 2-3 months; agreeing nervously to pay the inevitable interest too.

Perhaps it’s ironic that we buy discounted goods in the sales. There is a certainly a feel-good factor in getting new clothes for half the ticket price, but really, what’s the true cost after we’ve delayed and paid our credit card bills?

When running into a home accounts deficit, the word debt crops up, of course. That can be a hammer blow that throws up all kinds of emotions. First is disbelief, then usually an expletive. Next a sinking feeling, maybe a cold sweat. And that is where all constructive, measured thought can stop.

When we see this kind of bad news, we often first think there has been some kind of mistake. ‘This cannot be my fault, my partner has paid for something unexpectedly or the bank must have got it wrong.  How can I possibly not have my finances under control?’

As a knee-jerk reaction, we can rush to our savings account, re-checking the balances for quick re-assurance. Our ‘Rainy Day’ Savings have taken an age to accumulate and we don’t want to call on them. ‘Damn it, we were saving for holiday, a new car, a new kitchen… now we’re going to need them just to stand still.’

Another statistic states that a third of people do not discuss their family money worries with their partner. This just compounds the problem when we think that ‘things will sort themselves out’, the problem will go away if I don’t think about it’. None of us likes to think that our standard of living needs to make a step change. I’ll be looking at change in further blogs.

Let no one kid you, there are no easy ‘outs’ to this kind of problem. That would be a bit like saying to someone who is suffering from depression, ‘Oh come on now, cheer up!’  –  Are there ever any easy solutions to a financial situation? They are always contingent on several factors.

However, expertise in this area is at hand. It is all familiar territory to One Stop Financial Security yet each client’s circumstances is different and that’s our starting point. Our business has been born not from opportunism or capitalising on the worries of others. My particular expertise comes from fifteen years in the world of finance and understanding how to explain the world of money; then to finding long term solutions.

You may be thinking that this service is expensive. It’s not; we work with you with a measured short and long term programme of support and give you a tactical recovery plan.

We’re here to help you get through this temporary glitch, not to judge you. With effort on all sides we can make things change for you. It’s what we do and we’re good at it. Call me, as soon as you can, Jane Hardy, on Freephone 0800 860 0312.  Email – jane@osfs.co.ukhttp://www.osfs.co.uk.

Author: Jane Hardy
Category: Business Resc

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