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The cost of living has been increasing for a while, thus managing your finances is often becoming more difficult. There is only so much you can do about a rise in expenses, when your income remains the same. You’ve probably already drawn up a budget, and economised in obvious places. You may have started going without more luxury items, or even cancelled your holiday plans
After taking such measures, what’s the next step? You might wish to speak to independent third parties, like the Citizens Advice Bureau, for help and support. They may be able to point you in the right direction of other services that can help, or let you know about any additional monetary support you’re entitled to.
Of course, not everyone wants to approach an organisation for advice – they’d rather resolve the issue on their own. If this sounds like you, we’ve looked at a few resources that can get you started below:
The internet allows us to access a whole range of information for free, from just about anywhere in the world. So online is a great place to start, if you’re looking for ways in which you can better manage your money!
You’ve probably heard of MoneySavingExpert (MSE), or its founder Martin Lewis. And if you’re looking to become financially healthier, get better deals, or save money, this website is the place to go. There are all sorts of tips on household budgeting, and if there are any financial topics in the news, you can be certain that they’ll be discussed on the MSE website.
The site also contains a range of guides on topics from mental health and debt, to free and cheap food. There are furthermore various tools available which can help you review your finances, an online forum, and a weekly newsletter you can subscribe to.
Want to learn more about a range of financial topics, from bad credit loans to breakdown cover? NerdWallet has you covered. This website not only offers lots of helpful tools for money management, such as smart calculators and side-by-side comparisons, it also provides tailored insights into topical financial issues.
The NerdWallet slogan is ‘make all the right money moves’, and the website certainly helps to deliver this concept. They explore topics like loans, mortgages and insurance, as well as things like car insurance and breakdown cover.
MoneyHelper was created in order to make both pension options and money management more straightforward. The site aims to explain what you need to do, and how you’re able to do it. The ‘Hot Topics’ section furthermore explores more current financial events.
The organisation is backed by government, but offers completely impartial guidance on your finances. They can provide information on things like consumer rights, retirement, divorce and separation, long-term care, and how to go about choosing a suitable financial adviser.
If you’re just looking for information, Investopedia is a great resource. If anything, it might be too comprehensive – you could find yourself getting lost in a chain of queries! Investopedia covers topics from how the stock market works, to what Litecoin is. There’s also a ‘Term of the Day’ you can subscribe to, which is sure to add phrases to your financial lexicon!
It is important to note that not all information found on Investopedia will be relevant to a British audience though, as the site is American. For instance, we don’t have things like 401(k) plans, and the federal discount rate won’t apply to loans you take out in the UK! So bear this in mind when researching financial topics.
Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular these days, as they are so convenient to listen to while you’re doing things like travelling or walking the dog! Here are three podcasts that can teach you about current financial matters, as well as how to manage your money:
Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Money Box relates the latest news in terms of finance, and also offers advice for people trying to make the most of their money. The advice offered is practical and simple to follow. Anyone who wants to make better money decisions could probably pick up some good tips from this podcast.
The main thing to be aware of with this podcast is that, if you don’t listen to it on BBC Sounds, the episodes can be very dated. With other platforms, the episodes aren’t usually uploaded for some time after the original broadcast, and listening weeks later often makes the content obsolete!
If what you hear on the news, in relation to finance, simply baffles you, this podcast could be the answer. Linked to the This is Money website, the podcast takes news items and breaks them down. The idea is to make trending topics more relatable, so you can apply them to your own life.
The tone of this podcast is very down to earth, and tries to avoid political leanings. The hosts aim to just provide facts, rather than opinions. Current affairs are always addressed, and listeners have found the podcast to be incredibly informative.
As with the two podcasts above, The UK Personal Finance Show aims to make financial topics easily accessible to all. The host, Phil Anderson, tries to explain money matters in an understandable and straightforward manner. He himself runs a financial advisory firm in Scotland, and has a wealth of knowledge that he is keen to share with others.
Each episode is a good length, packing a lot of information in, without dragging on. It’s a fairly easy listen too – the language isn’t overly complicated, and it can be very entertaining at times!