One in 10 Kept up at night worrying about their fi nances

New data released by MoneySuperMarket, the UK’s leading price comparison website, reveals that debt continues to be a major concern for Brits in 2019, with almost half of the population admitting to worrying more about their fi nances and paying their bills on time than their own health. The research, which explores the psychological eff ects caused by overhanging debt and the struggle to pay bills on time, reveals that only 40 per cent of people in the UK feel in control of their own fi nances The younger generation suff er more than the older demographic, with 18-24-year-olds being the least likely to feel in control of their own fi nances (20 per cent). Even amongst the over 55s, who are more positive than any other age group, only half feel fully in control. Younger generations also suff er from the most sleep loss over money worries, with 16 per cent of 25-34-year-olds saying their debt keeps them up at night, compared to just six per cent of those over 55. Despite the challenging economy, the data reveals that Brits took steps to improve their debt management in 2018, with almost half (48 per cent) managing to reduce their overall debt by the end of the year. Comparatively, just 17 per cent of Brits increased their total debt levels in 2018, by an average of £2,700. Tom Flack, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “With a rise in the cost of living, an increase in bad debt has become the norm as people continue to feel the fi nancial pinch. “For some of the population, it seems like the cycle of borrowing will never end. However our research found that only 17 percent of Brits increased their debt last year and that almost half managed to reduce their overall debt, which is a positive sign. There are a number of ways to take control of your fi nances and ensure you don’t have sleepless nights worrying about money in 2019.” Here are some top tips from MoneySuperMarket on ways to manage debt: • If you are always overdrawn, you may want to switch your current account to one that off ers a free overdraft facility. There are multiple banks that off er such a service. •

If you’ve got stubborn credit card debt,

transferring the balance to a card with an interest-free period can really help to ease the pressure and make sure you don’t continually accrue more debt. • If you are repaying a personal loan (slowly), you can make one-off extra payments on top of your monthly direct debit payments, but you will need to inform your lender fi rst. The Consumer Credit Act 1974 also states that if you have enough in savings and have more than 12 months left on the loan, you can clear it early and incur charges of no more than 58 days’ interest. • If you have debts on more than one credit line, it may be worth consolidating your debt into one loan. Not only will you pay less interest, but your monthly payments will be easier to keep track of.



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Cardiff & South Wales Advertiser - Friday 11th January 2019 - 9

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