About StepChange MoneyAware

At StepChange Debt Charity we want you to be free of debt and save money.

Find more about me on:

My most recent posts

Automated apps to make saving simple

posted by in Budgeting 2 Comments

This guest post comes from Sara from Debt Camel. Her site offers free, practical help on debt, budgeting, and information about debt solutions, and we think it’s ace. Sara’s been a volunteer advisor at Citizens Advice since 2001 and is also a member of the Institute of Money Advisers. 

If you’re paying off debt, it’s important to try and put a bit of money aside, so it’s easier to cope with unexpected problems and emergencies. There are a host of savings apps out on the market now, but do these work?

This article looks at Chip and Plum, two apps that take the hard work out of saving. They work by automatically moving small amounts from your bank account into a savings account several times a month.

Continue reading »

Tags

How does your mental health affect your money? Have your say.

posted by in Living with debt Leave a comment

Bronwen Dalley Smith, Communications and Events Assistant for the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, has written a guest post to tell us about the work they’re doing to support people dealing with debt and mental health problems.

Last year, nearly 600,000 people turned to StepChange Debt Charity for debt advice. That’s more than one person every minute of every day, throughout the whole of 2016. While this was StepChange’s highest yearly record to date, they were able to help.

At the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute we regularly talk to people who are getting their finances back on track with the help of StepChange Debt Charity. Yet, as a research charity exploring the link between financial difficulty and mental health, we couldn’t help but be concerned by this figure.

Half of British adults with a debt problem also have a mental health problem, so it can be assumed that nearly 300,000 of those who contacted StepChange last year were also struggling with poor mental health. The two are so closely entwined, that it is often impossible to identify which is the cause and which is the effect.

Whether mental health problems hinder your ability to manage your money or your financial situation worsens your mental health, once entered, the cycle can seem never-ending. Continue reading »

Tags

Reclaim PPI for free

posted by in Making money 67 Comments

Check your credit agreementYou’ve probably heard about the mis-selling of payment protection insurance, the “reclaim PPI” adverts, and the huge refunds some people have received. Because of the big payouts that some people are entitled to, claims management companies have sprung up, trying to earn commission by claiming refunds for you.

But reclaiming PPI isn’t as difficult as you might think, and we highly recommend that you reclaim any mis-sold PPI yourself. It’s free, and we can show you how.

Continue reading »

Tags

Top 5 debt news stories for January 2017

posted by in Debt news Leave a comment

It’s been busy start to the year, with news that HSBC is to redress around £4m to customers after the regulator found unfair charges were added to some of its customer’s debts. Latest figures released by the Bank of England also show soaring levels of consumer debt.

HMRC have released a list of the worst excuses for not paying the minimum wage, as part of a new campaign; and the BBC reported that thousands are missing out on a little-known benefit that could see grandparents £230 a year better off when they retire.

Continue reading »

Tags

Debt collection company refunds & writes off £414m

posted by in Debt news Leave a comment

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that Motormile Finance, a debt purchasing and collections company, has agreed to write-off £414m of debt for over 500,000 of its customers for past failures in its collections process.

The redress will consist of £154,000 in cash payments to customers and the writing-off of £414m of debt where the firm’s been unable to provide evidence that the balance of a debt is correct and properly due to be repaid.

Bradford-based Motormile Finance are also known as MMF, MMF Debt Purchase and MMF UK.

Continue reading »

Tags

9 free ways to boost your happiness

posted by in Budgeting Leave a comment

There are times when we feel like we could do with a boost but can be hard to know exactly what to do to make ourselves feel better. It’s even harder to know how to increase your happiness if you don’t have spare cash.

Don’t worry though, there are plenty of ways to feel happy without having to spend a pound. Continue reading »

Tags

MoneyAware’s £3.21 Secret Santa challenge!

posted by in Saving money Leave a comment

This month’s challenge is to buy a Secret Santa gift for a colleague for exactly £3.21. Why £3.21? Because we like to make life difficult for ourselves! Also, by setting a strict price limit it means you have to put that little bit more effort and thought into your gift buying.

‘Secret Santa’, if you’re not familiar with the concept, is where everyone picks a name out of a hat and has to buy a gift for the person they picked. It’s a good way to reduce present buying, as you only have to buy one gift, rather than getting something for everyone.

Feel free to use this article for inspiration if you’re doing a Secret Santa yourself this year. Just don’t hold us responsible if your gift choices make you unpopular!

Continue reading »

Tags