About Matthew

Matthew worked as an IVA drafter prior to working in social media. In a former life he wrote scripts for Eastenders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks. He has 3 chickens, 2 dogs and a rabbit.

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My most recent posts

6 truths about debt I’ve found from working at StepChange Debt Charity

posted by in Living with debt 1 Comment

Peer, Pav and Mat back in the early days of the MoneyAware team

Peer, Pav and Mat back in the early days of the MoneyAware team

As this is my last blogpost for MoneyAware and my last day as an employee of StepChange Debt Charity I wanted to sum up what I’ve learned in my six years working here.

I started at the height of the credit crunch, and debt was a subject on everyone’s lips. In my time here the economy has been in turmoil and there’s been a squeeze on wages that has affected most people.

My first job in the charity was as an IVA drafter in our sister company StepChange Voluntary Arrangements (this was in the days when the charity was known as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service).

So in those 5+ years, what have I learnt?
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9 life-changing reasons why you should have a budget

posted by in Budgeting Leave a comment

Budgets are life-changing

Budgets are life-changing

Budgeting! You either love it or hate it (but you should never ignore it).

Here are 9 reasons why you should always be interested in your budget…

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Is your spending super-sized or super-skinny?

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Is your budget super-sized or super-skinny?

Is your budget super-sized or super-skinny?

When it comes to spending, some people fall into one of two camps.

A super-size spender will spend too much too fast and often shell out cash like a three-armed man on payday.

Super-skinny spenders make sure all bills are paid on time, but they’re too frugal in other areas and often have zero social life or entertainment budgets (even the official receiver in bankruptcy allows some money in monthly budget for entertainment!). Continue reading »

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Not paying your priority household bills (debt danger sign #4)

posted by in Living with debt Leave a comment

Mini Graphic 4Much like an illness, you can tell if you have a debt problem based on the symptoms that can arise. We call these symptoms ‘debt danger signs’.

As part of our first national Debt Awareness Week we’re discussing the five danger signs to help you avoid them, or if you’ve tried to deal with your finances in this way, how to get help sooner.

One thing we come across time and time again is people with credit problems who prioritise the wrong type of bill.

The main bills you need to pay each month are household bills that keep a roof over your head, keep you warm, feed you and allow you to get to work. These are your priority debts – your rent, your mortgage, your utility bills such as your gas and electric. Continue reading »

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How to avoid over-spending on Christmas ‘grudge’ purchases

posted by in Budgeting 5 Comments

Christmas grudge spends

They’re not happy about the cost of the wrapping paper

Christmas, bah humbug. Well, it seems that the season of goodwill does bring out the Scrooge in a lot of us.

A recent study found out that we have a number of ‘grudge’ purchases we feel forced to make, and a number of Christmas ‘gripes’ that really get on our nerves. And all of these gripes, groans and grudges involve money. So how do you avoid wasting money on stuff you don’t need?

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Benefits, credit files & collection tactics – Our most read articles in 2013

posted by in Debt news Leave a comment

Our 2013 most read articles

Our 2013 most read articles

It’s that time of year where we look back and see what you were reading on MoneyAware during 2013.

It’s fair to say that this has been the busiest year for our blog ever – thank you for your participation. We’ve had more comments, questions and visitors than ever before. So in reverse order, here’s what you have been looking at… Continue reading »

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A traditional Christmas dinner for a fiver

posted by in Saving money 4 Comments

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner, nom, nom, nom

Although Christmas is a magical time of year there’s a lot of pressure on everyone at Christmas to spend beyond their means. Retailers and their marketers and  advertisers go into overdrive in a desperate attempt to part as many people from their cash as possible.

The Christmas meal is a big thing for everyone, whether you’re on your own or feeding the whole family. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be an expensive affair. You easily do a Christmas meal for a family of four for around £20 in total. That’s around £5 per person! Continue reading »

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