Rent-to-own stores “rip people off” say MPs. We highlight the alternatives

posted by StepChange Debt Charity in Budgeting, Debt, Rent-to-own Leave a comment


Rent to own now, keep paying much, much later?

Have you ever bought a TV from BrightHouse or a sofa from PerfectHome? Then you might be interested by news that MPs have called for a crackdown on these kinds of stores. This comes after feedback you provided to us last year.

A cross-party group of MPs says the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), needs to take urgent action to stop people from being “ripped off”.

Firms like BrightHouse charge APRs of 94.7% and make customers fork out for expensive cover that can treble the price of household goods.

For example, a washing machine sold for £295 at Co-Op Electricals will cost a whopping £1,092 at BrightHouse once insurance and interest payments are added in.

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5 challenges that could change your spending habits for good

posted by Laura in Budgeting, Debt, Money maximising Leave a comment

Goals resolutions list

Could an MSE challenge help you reach your money goals?

Living on a budget isn’t easy at the best of times, and sticking to a strict budget can sometimes feel like a slog.

This is something we hear from clients, which is why we offer as much motivation and support as we can along the way. But sometimes all you really need is to speak to someone in the same boat.

The (MSE) forum is one of the biggest online communities of money-saving movers and shakers. As well as hundreds of forum threads discussing everything from freebies to consumer rights, there are loads of money-saving challenges to get involved in.

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February’s debt news

posted by Jenny in Debt, Rent-to-own, Welfare Benefits 1 Comment

Debt news

Debt news

January, aka the ‘Monday’ of the year, is over and February is well and truly here! While it may seem like a slow start to the year for many, lots has been happening in the world of debt and personal finance.

Bankruptcy thresholds are set to increase and it might be time to break up with that old phone contract you’ve been overpaying for.

There’s good news as well: people are looking out for each other with support for unemployed job seekers, and it could be the end of rail ticket rip offs (sort of).

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How to save money on your water bill with WaterSure

posted by Laura in benefits, Money saving Leave a comment

giant tap in sky illustration

Could you save money on your water bill?

I remember learning about the water cycle at school and drawing big fluffy clouds and rivers in my exercise book and writing long words next to them that meant very little to me at the time.

To be honest evaporation, condensation and precipitation still mean very little to me, but having clean water running out of my tap means quite a lot. But I must have missed the part of the lesson where they said we had to pay for that last bit.

A lot of people try to cut back on the amount of water they use either because they’re concerned about the environmental impact or want to save money. We’ve written about some of the ways you can save money by using less water before, but if you’re struggling to pay your water bill, what can water companies do to help?

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Preparing for interest rate rises [infographic]

posted by Rory in Budgeting, Debt, Economy, Money maximising, Money saving Leave a comment

With plenty of talk about interest rates going up in the near future, it’s important to know what steps you can take to prevent any increases in your mortgage payments tipping your finances over the edge.

We recently covered the basics of mortgage interest rate rises, telling you how this could affect you or your debt solution and tips on preparing for the changes.

And now research from the Money Advice Service (MAS) has found that almost half of households (47%) in the UK would struggle to cover their mortgage payments if there was a rise in interest rates.

To help explain things clearly and offer ways to save money, they’ve put together a helpful graphic to explain what could happen if the rates increased.

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10 ways to make extra money to pay off debt

posted by Jasmine Birtles in Money maximising 5 Comments

Jasmine Birtles of knows all about thrifty living and money saving.
In her second of three blogposts, she shares her top tips on making some extra cash.

hand holding small red purse

Money making tips!

The quickest ways to pay off debt is to cut your costs and increase your income. By doing that you’ve found a way to put much more into paying off debts each month.

We all know about cutting costs, but did you know there are loads of ways you can make some extra cash here and there?

Here are just a few of them – there are a lot more out there though!

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10 frugal fails you should be avoiding

posted by Jenny in Budgeting, Money saving Leave a comment

woman with empty wallet

Sometimes it costs to be frugal…

You know us; we’re always encouraging people to be frugal. It’s our ‘thing’, as it were. There are times though when your good intentions could cause a money-draining fiasco rather than save you pennies.

There’s an old saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’, meaning that sometimes going for the frugal option can often cost you more in the long run. There are also pitfalls like BOGOF supermarket deals (who hasn’t fallen prey to them from time to time?) and snags in the fine print of vouchers to be wary of.

The best way to avoid falling foul of a false economy is to not be thrifty where it counts to spend a little more. Sometimes being frugal isn’t worth the hassle it may cause in the future. Not that we can see in to the future, we’re just using the power of hindsight.

Find out when being thrifty does more harm than good with our list of frugal fails.

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