About James

James Winterbottom has been a debt advisor for six years. Away from work he is an amateur app developer and writes fiction. James is a lifelong supporter of Huddersfield Town football club, which suggests he is either very loyal or very daft. He also likes to talk about himself in the third person in bio pages.

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My most recent posts

Which organisations are treating our clients unfairly?

posted by in Living with debt 7 Comments

People feel that they’re not being treated fairly by some of the companies they owe money to and borrow money from. That’s the message we received from our clients in our recent research into creditor and debt collector conduct.

Our research reveals the kinds of organisations that are most likely to make people feel unfairly treated, and the kind of unfair treatment they’re receiving. We’re campaigning for changes to be made in those organisations to help those in debt and to reduce unfair treatment.

Have you experienced similar issues to what we’ve found? Add a comment at the end of the article. Continue reading »


How Brexit could affect your finances if you’re in debt

posted by in Living with debt Leave a comment

The people of the UK have spoken and have decided that we should leave the EU. There are endless articles online about the political ins and outs, arguing one side against the other. We’re going to sidestep the debate and instead investigate the practical implications of Brexit on your finances.

The short answer to how Brexit will affect the majority of people is this: things will probably carry on as normal, in the short term at least.

The long answer is a bit more complex…

The key thing to note is that very little has changed since the vote to leave the EU and it’s still too early to see what the long term impact of Brexit will be.

We do have a slightly better idea about where the potential changes to your finances could occur, based on short term predictions of the economy. So let’s take a look at the different areas that Brexit could affect you, and how soon these changes could happen. Continue reading »


The simple trick that can slash your food bill

posted by in Saving money 2 Comments

There’s something you can do right now that will cut down food waste, save you money and make shopping easier. And it only takes about five to ten minutes a week to do.

It’s not a big secret; you don’t need anything more than a pen and paper, and you can get started right now.

This simple trick is this: making a weekly food plan.

It’s the kind of thing that many people recommend but few people actually stick to it. You plan out what meals you’re going to eat for the week ahead and use that as the basis for your shopping.

I’ve recommended following a food plan to hundreds of people over the years when giving debt advice but have only started doing it myself in the last few weeks. I’ve been really surprised by how this small change has made a big difference to my life and to my finances. Continue reading »


Debt and money news – November 2015

posted by in Archive Leave a comment

Welcome to November’s debt and money news, your one-stop-shop for all the latest goings-on in the world of finances. This month’s installment covers wages going up, payday loan refunds, George Osborne’s autumn statement, our new service in Ireland, Black Friday scuffles and this year’s most wanted toys.

As a special bonus, if you make it to the end there’s a link to a video that will show you how to make your own Tracy Island! Continue reading »


Black Friday – Waste of time or useful way to save cash?

posted by in Saving money Leave a comment

Black Friday has a bad reputation for scuffles and unpleasantness, but it’s meant to be an annual shopping event to help people “save money”. It’s something UK retailers have imported from America, falling on the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. But what we want to know is this: Is it worthwhile?

Like other American exports, such as David Hasselhoff, Halloween and going to see “movies” instead of “films”, Black Friday has had a mixed reaction as it’s crept into our national consciousness.

We’re divided in the MoneyAware team – Rory argues against it and James makes the case in favour.

But do you think it’s a waste of time or a good way to save money? Add your thoughts to the comments section once you’ve read the article…

Continue reading »


I’m on a DMP and work for StepChange Debt Charity

posted by in Living with debt 2 Comments

Jonathon works in our Helpline but before he became an advisor he was on the other end of the phone. He’s currently on a debt management plan (DMP) with StepChange Debt Charity, and wanted to share his story in his own words – how he got into debt, the impact it had on him, how he got help and how he’s now helping other people that are struggling with debt.

It’s a great story and shows how debt can affect anyone. If you find that you’re situation is similar to Jonathon’s you should get in touch with StepChange Debt Charity for free debt advice Continue reading »


How much fun can you have for a fiver?

posted by in Budgeting Leave a comment

Living on a budget can mean having to avoid expensive forms of entertainment but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. As part of our series of challenges to the MoneyAware team, this month we’ve investigated how much fun you can have for a fiver.

Our first ideas of how to spend five pounds involved either cheap alcohol or were a bit dodgy but once we set our minds to it we came up with some good ideas. You’d be surprised how far you can stretch five quid while trying to have a good time.

Continue reading »