The current scenes of the UK personal finance world look grim. Yes, the experts tell us that the recession is technically over, and countries around the world are recovering just fine. But for the “small time” consumer, this doesn’t really feel like the case. There are still hiring freezes, making it difficult for people to seek work. Even though there is money set aside for redundancy and other issues, there are still plenty of Britons without work, and the ones that have work are underpaid and expected to cover the gaps that should be filled by more workers…not less.
Worried about your pension? You’re not alone. Many would-be retirees are having to think about working longer or skipping retirement completely because their pension size is just not enough. Now, if you’re looking at that issue there are some options that can pursue. Changing your pension around isn’t easy, but it is something that you might be able to do depending on your age. However, if your savings are that shattered an equity release scheme could be your option of last resort.
What about the younger set, where retirement is farther away? This is a time to try to save as much as possible. You may have to slash your entertainment budget completely for a while and just focus on free activities or ones that have more than one option. Staying at home and using the Internet more isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it can save money that would have otherwise been used for concerts and other activities that tend to cost quite a bit of money.
The more that you can focus on saving and growing money, the better off you will be in a difficult time. It might take moments of extreme frugality, where you have to look at absolutely every expense under a microscope. It’s not the way that anyone wants to live, but sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands.
Of course, the media wants to paint a different picture. That’s not quite the case here at all — it’s not all doom and gloom, but consumers have to arm themselves with the right amount of knowledge. They can’t just assume that everyone is going to be in the same boat at all. You might find that your personal situation is much better than what the media is telling you that it is. Just make sure that you focus on what really matters — your life above everyone else’s.
Now is the time to really go back and look at your financial blueprint. What’s the real story going on? Are you making your budget? Are you trying to handle your finances? Are you thinking about the future? Do you want to buy a house or a car someday? Your financial blueprint is a roadmap of where you want to go, but it’s all about you. There’s nothing wrong with saying that you want to take a vacation, or learn a new hobby — even an expensive hobby that might take you a while to save up for. As far as we’re concerned, it’s about living your life on your terms regardless of what the media thinks.