A survey by R2, an organisation working with those facing insolvency, has been conducted in the West Midlands that sheds light on levels of personal debt and opinions on this. With the economy being what it is and living on credit becoming the norm for a lot of people the survey has revealed interesting viewpoints. The main findings are summarised below.
1. At least 50% of those interviewed are concerned about their levels of debt. The types of debt include mortgages, credit cards, loans and overdrafts. It is important to note that among this figure a lot of them will be adults with a low amount of debt but a high fear factor. Conversely there may be a lot of adults also interviewed that have a high level of personal debt but not much concern over it.
2. At least 25% of the adults interviewed forecast a worsening situation over the next 6 months (from the date they were interviewed) for their personal finances - a worrying situation. Clearly there are many that not only see no clear way to alleviating their debt but they also believe they will be adding to it.
3. Almost 50% of the adults interviewed have trouble surviving on the money they earn and making their salary stretch to the next payday. In tight situations the usual advice of simply taking extra care over the monthly budget is not enough for a lot of people, no matter how efficiently they plan.
4. Over 50% of those fighting an on-going battle to cover their bills from month to month believe that their struggle is due to rising food and energy costs. It would have been conceivable that the number one cause of such struggles would be one-off, unexpected expenditures such as car repairs.
5. Possibly due to falling inflation it is professionals and the younger in society who are more positive. Unskilled, older members of society are less hopeful that they have time in which to learn new skills to get through the competitive job market and stay afloat in these difficult times.
Budgeting and planning are still valid and important pieces of advice. The better one can plan and budget the more able one will be to absorb any unexpected costs and adhere to strict budgets.
With sites such as Moneysavingexpert.com you can use the experiences of others and access help. Alternatively make use of local debt advisors to help sort through this confusing field. Whatever you do make sure you do not just go to your current bank, loan or mortgage advisor because they are familiar with them. Make sure you get some independent advice from people who are not looking to simply earn commission. Instead make use of all your options and get a better overview of what is available to you.