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Money Worries 'Grip' Britons

Tom Dawson

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Britons are becoming evermore worried about their finances, new figures indicate.

In a study released by Alliance & Leicester Current Accounts, some 3.4 million consumers claim that money is their biggest concern in life. Meanwhile, just under one out of five (18 per cent) respondents get anxious about their cash situation everyday, while 30 per cent develop such concerns several times during the course of a week.

Research from the financial services provider also revealed that money concerns are driven at certain times in the year. Half of those surveyed who claim to be worried about their finances state that this is usually triggered by the rising expenses of the Christmas and new year period. Meanwhile, 40 per cent begin to get worried about their monetary situation in the build-up to a holiday. However, for many people it is an inability to create a budget or anxieties about services bills and debts “that set minds racing”.

As a means of getting to grips with their spending, just under 62 per cent, or 21 million Britons, rein in unnecessary spending on areas such as going abroad or eating out. Some 13 million sell unwanted items, with just under 12 million choosing to get a second job or working overtime.

Andy Bayes, head of current accounts at Alliance & Leicester, said: “Money is obviously a topic at the forefront of most people’s minds. Regardless of whether money worries stem from managing day-to-day finances or finding the money in the run-up to special times of the year, it’s crucial people check that their bank account is working hard for them. Budgeting and making cut backs is one thing, but if people are earning low rates of interest on their hard-earned cash, it’s time to switch to a better deal. ”

However, millions of Britons were shown to be “burying their heads in the sand” when it comes to their finances as 37 per cent of those worrying about money claim to have ducked out of opening bank statements or checking to see how much money they have left in accounts. Research from the company showed that two million react to financial concerns by frittering away more money, although by doing this running up spending on credit cards and personal loans could well leave them with greater debt difficulties.

The Alliance & Leicester study additionally revealed that 45 per cent of bank account customers have never switched financial providers.

Mr Bayes added that despite the length of time spent worrying about their finances, it is “surprising” that a significant number of Britons will remain faithful to their bank or building society, even if it pays them very little interest. Mr Bayes reported that opting to switch to a more competitive bank account could be “one way to lessen the [financial] burden”.

However, for those who find themselves regularly worrying about their finances a debt consolidation loan could well be a shrewd choice in reining money owed to a number of creditors. With that in mind, prospective borrowers should take the time to seek out sufficient advice before taking on a consolidation loan. Last month, a study carried out by the Legal Services Commission revealed that consumers are four times more likely to discuss financial matters with their loved ones than seek professional guidance. As 18 per cent of respondents would look to a financial adviser for help - the same proportion would also initially turn to a taxi driver, hairdresser or pub landlord.

Tom Dawson is the Editor in Chief for Essentially Home Loans where visitors can apply for cheap loans online . We also specialise in debt consolidation loans , and secured loans


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