Debt, Finance and Benefits

Over the last year or two the United Kingdom has been struggling with a credit crunch and recession. The effects of these has meant that there is less money for the government to spend money on public services e.g.  libraries, hospitals etc. and that people who have been employed in such services are being paid less or have lost their job.  When people are paid less or lose jobs they don’t have as much money to spend in shops which means shopkeepers and businessess have put prices up to cover losses, cut staff pay, or make staff redundent. In addition to this, banks have also been affected by the recession which means they have less money to lend customers through loans. During difficult times like these some adults fall into debt, which can be made worse if money is then borrowed from dishonest loan companies to pay off the original sum.

It is no suprise that because of the credit crunch and recession lots of adults and many parents / carers feel under pressure about jobs and money.  We know that pressure and anxiety can make people feel sad, grumpy, argumentative and it may be that this is happening in your home.  If so there are things that can be done to make the situation better. Firstly, don’t ask your parents/carers for things that you want but don’t really need, like the latest phone when your old one works fine. If there is something you really want try earning the money to buy it yourself, do chores around the house or if you are over 16 and your parents agree, try finding a part time job. Secondly, be careful about what you throw away, maybe some things can be repaired or swaped with a friend. Better still recycle them at a local charity shop, someone may be really happy with your old teddy and the charity shop will be grateful for the money raised.

There are other ways to recieve help with money worries, such as advice with budgeting and paying off debts. Such help is usually targeted at adults but it is important that you know about them too.  Then if you know an adult struggling with money worries you may be able to tell them about some of the specialised charities and agencies listed below.

www.adviceguide.org.uk – follow links to ‘Debt and Money’, then ‘Young People’ – money and consumer rights

www.barclaysmoneyskills.com – informative website covering all issues to do with saving and finance

www.direct.gov.uk/en/youngpeople/money/index.htm – informative website covering all issues to do with money, debt, benefits

www.firstdorsetcreditunion.co.uk – local financial charity based at Treads office, provids advice on saving, debt, and loans

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk – helping people manage their money at any stage in their lives, they also offer unbiased advice

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