Getting a handle on your personal finances is a challenging task. And it’s even harder to stay on track over the long haul. Your own bad spending habits can drag you down, but as if that isn’t bad enough, economic forces beyond your control can also harm your finances.
If you are skeptical about the economy and wondering why you can’t seem to get ahead, you are not alone. Survey respondents recently confirmed widespread uncertainty about UK economics.
A recent financial study conducted for Lloyd’s Bank showed a stark contrast between the way people think about their own affairs and their perception of matters relating to the broader economy. The study polled 2000 people, asking questions about money and employment. In all, 64 per cent reported having a positive or optimistic outlook toward their own finances. The number is similar to last year’s 66 per cent claiming an optimistic attitude about finances at home.
Among those polled for this year’s survey, a paltry 33 per cent had positive feelings toward national economic health. The share dropped from 45 to 33 per cent since last year. The drastic difference between the way people feel about their personal finances and the wider economy sheds light on the uneasy sentiment shared by many Britons. Despite feeling like their futures are bright, many cannot let go of fears about national economic health. And there is good reason, both in the not-so-distant past and in some of the signs pointing to an uncertain future.
In addition to general questions about financial health, the survey also weighed-in on employment issues. According to the study, 80 per cent of respondents were optimistic about their own job security in coming months. Yet the same group reported being only 53 per cent positive toward national job prospects. Mirroring the results about personal finances, the wide gap between personal and national employment perceptions is another sign workers mistrust the economy.
The reduced buying power caused by a drop in sterling has not yet reached every UK household. Briton’s are beginning to take note as prices of some key consumer items spike, but widespread inflation hasn’t set-in everywhere. Indications are sweeping price hikes are not far off. But in the meantime, spending power is slowly dwindling – without wage increases to keep up with growing inflationary pressure.
When you need to fill shortfalls between wages and actually household spending, getting outside help is sometimes the best option. Fortunately, UK borrowers have access to widespread funding options, including fast cash for bad credit applicants. Use these loans to bridge the gap when spending power dips. As long as you repay the loans on time, the short-term solutions can help stabilize irregular cash flow. On the other hand, if you fall short month after month, a more permanent solution such as strict budgeting or increased earnings is required.
Grocery sales among the UK’s largest sellers have been up, representing another sign of inflation. Showing growth of 5 per cent, compared to last year’s losses during the same period, the rise in grocery spending can largely be attributed to like for like price increases on store shelves. The trend currently adds-up to a projected annual grocery spending increase of more than 130 pounds for each household. As inflation ticks upward, however, the shared burden is likely to grow for UK families.
With spending power down and UK wages stagnant, adjustments are on the horizon. Inflation is starting to squeeze consumers, who remain surprisingly upbeat about their financial and employment prospects. At the same time, UK residents responding to a recent survey indicated a demonstrable lack of confidence in the national economy. The two are actually one and the same, so with or without the economy on their side, UK workers face coming challenges.