Families' budgets are squeezed by increased utility costs, soaring food prices and salary freezes.
Five million households currently face increases in their fuel bills of up to £100-a-year as SSE, the UK’s second biggest energy company after British Gas, said that from mid-October the price of an average annual dual fuel bill will rise from £1,172 to £1,274. Other companies are expected to follow suit.
As well as energy bills rising, mortgage payments are set to increase as other lenders follow Santander’s suit in upping its Standard Variable Rate (SVR).
Many individual salaries are being frozen and one in ten employees is being forced to
take a pay cut.
With the combination of increased utility costs, soaring food prices and a
compounding squeeze on salaries, Moneysupermarket.com has found that 80pc of
households are on a financial budget irrespective of income, demographic or family set up.
In order to ease the financial burden many Brits making extensive cut backs where
they can. Almost half of us have had to use credit in order to pay utility bills, while a 25pc of adults have said that they are forced to rely more on credit cards to ensure that the regular household outgoings are covered.
Clare Francis financial expert at Moneysupermarket.com comments: "The fact a rise in outgoings of £50 or less would tip a third of Brits to ‘financial breaking point’ speaks volumes about how difficult people are finding things at the moment."
Article published in the Telegraph follow the link to read the article - http://bit.ly/OXKL1M
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If you’re planning to transfer currency for an overseas investment, you’ll probably
talk to your high-street bank. Don’t! You’ll save money by going to a specialist
currency exchange dealer.
Send all your international transfers through currency dealers rather than banks. Why?
They give you a better exchange rate, lower costs and a speedier service. This is a constant source of annoyance to the banks but they can't compete with dealers.
An average high-street bank will probably offer spot rate (the real, interbank, rate of exchange), less 4 per cent. An average currency dealer will offer an ordinary customer spot rate, less 2 per cent. On a £100,000 transfer you save £2,000 on the exchange rate alone.
The dealers will be quicker too. In the days before currency dealers became popular, the money would be send by a UK bank to another country via another bank in the local country who would then eventually send it to the end bank. There were three banks involved but, more crucially, there would be a bank in the middle that didn't really care how long it took them to send the money!
Check the Charges
When it comes to comparing dealers, it is worth remembering that, in addition to
exchange rate differences, there are also differences in charges. Currency dealers typically charge less than high-street banks for transferring money abroad. In fact, many of them don't charge anything at all or, more accurately, they incorporate the fees into the exchange rate.
One example of this is - two transfers to Turkey done through a well-known high-street bank. The first for £100,000 and the second was for £200,000. The high street bank charged fees of £535 and £1035 respectively. This is a total of £1,570 just in bank charges.
A currency dealer would have charged either nothing or a nominal amount such as £20 (i.e. a saving of £1,550). And remember that this is in addition to the exchange rate differences (which probably amount to another couple of thousand pounds).
Link to our currency exchange partner page - LINK
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Here’s how it works. When you’re on the beach, you’ll be offered scratch cards. They’re a euro or two, that’s all. But you could win a big prize. And guess what, you’ve gone and won a big one! All you’ve got to do is go along to a free holiday presentation to collect it.
Holidaymakers do. Heck, why not? It’s only a morning and it’s a real big prize! The
presentation’s slick and impressive and you’re offered the chance to join an exclusive holiday club offering exciting, value-for-money holidays all over the world. Only the very best accommodation and at really low prices – after all, you’re in the club.
And people sign up! Problem is you could get the same holidays at the same prices
online and even at your local travel agency. Even worse, by the time you get home, that holiday club has disappeared.
The OFT’s Advice
The OFT warns consumers about what happens. They’re saying that 400,000 UK consumers fall victim to these clubs at a cost of over £1 billion each and every year.
400,000! That’s a city the size of Bristol. This is a big scam and lots of ordinary people are being conned. The con-artists say that the special discounted offer is only valid for that day, encouraging people to sign up or miss out.
These scam-artists just won’t let you go. You’re never left alone to discuss anything
with your partner. And you are given a very limited time to view the contract!
The Bottom Line
The OFT says that if you go along to a presentation you should ask three simple questions. Do you give cooling off rights? Is everything you promised in the presentation in the contract? Can I take away the contract to consider at my leisure?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, walk away. That’s sometimes easier
said than done. Some presentations last so long that some people sign up just to get away.
The best advice is simple – don’t even buy the scratch card in the first place! Have a great holiday. Get a tan. Have a nice swim. Go and see the sights. And don’t get conned by this scam.
For the best holiday money rates follow the link - CURRENCY
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