What Can I give up in Order to Afford my Loan Repayments?

If you are struggling to meet your loan repayments then you may wonder what you can do. Obviously, finding a better lender with more competitive rates such as Cobra is one option. Alternatively, you could look at ways to save money. You will be aware that you will have to reduce your spending so that you have enough money left to be able to cover those loan repayments. It can be difficult though knowing what to do and where to start.

Switch suppliers and providers

It is good to start by seeing whether you can switch your suppliers or providers. This means those companies that take regular payments form you. It could be a bank where you pay for loans or insurance or an electricity supplier, broadband or phone supplier or a company you pay for a television or streaming service from. All of these regular payments have to be paid, but it may be that you can get them cheaper. It is therefore worth looking at other companies to see whether you can switch and save money. You may be tied into contracts with some, but once those end you can look around for cheaper options. You will hopefully not really notice a change in the service you are getting but you will pay less for it. You could use comparison websites to check if you are paying more than necessary. There will be companies that are not on comparison websites though so they might be cheaper still, so make sure that you check all of the options that you can.

Compare prices

When you are shopping it is wise to compare prices. Both within the shop you are in as well as between shops. It is very easy to just buy all of the things we normally do without thinking about looking to see whether there are any alternatives. We may even not bother to look at the prices. Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure that you start looking at the prices and thinking about whether you should switch to cheaper items. You may also be wise to compare retailers as there will be some that are cheaper than others and you will need to find the ones that offer the best value for money. You may not want to go with the cheapest one each time, but it may be wise to try cheaper items and see if you like them. Also checking prices and just being aware of how much things cost is worthwhile and could lead to savings.  You might find that while looking for cheaper items you find things that you prefer to what you regularly buy.

Cut down on luxuries

The first two suggestions will not really make a big difference as you will get the same things but at a lower price. However, this might not make enough difference financially and so may need to cut down the amount of things that you buy as well. A good place to start is to think about whether you really need the items that you are buying. If you ask yourself every time that you buy an item, whether you really need it then that could reduce what you buy. It is worth bearing in mind that you will be able to afford more once your loan is paid off so you may also ask yourself whether you can wait for the item until the loan is repaid. It will not be easy but as you get used to it, you might find that you enjoy the items that you are buying more because they are occasional treats compared with before when you were buying more things and spending more money.

Sell things you do not need

If you have things that you do not need then you could consider selling them. This could raise some lump sums of money which could help you out. Although these will be one off payments, you will then be able to use them to help you manage in the month or you could pay off a chunk of debt so that the loan is repaid more quickly.

It can be difficult to give up on things that we like, whether that is buying new things or getting rid of things we already own. However, it can make a big difference financially and can help us to get out of debt. If you try to reduce the cost of things without giving them up, by paying less for them, this can really help and then if you sell things you do not need then this will help as well. Then you may not have to give up as much. If you do need to give up things then make sure that they are luxury items that you do not need to have. You can save up for those items, buy them once the loan is repaid or just go without them. You need to ask yourself whether you really need them and want them, if you would be happy waiting to get them or if you can go without them.

Is the Financial Education Taught in School Enough or Should Parents do more?

There have been ongoing changes to the financial education taught in schools. The maths curriculum has taught ‘money maths’ for a very long time so children understand about coinage and notes and can work out how much change they might get when they purchase things and if there is a discount, how much money they will save. However, there have recently been calls for more financial education to be put on the national curriculum in secondary schools, with particular reference to debts and budgeting. While this has been incorporated and some schools have even received free financial textbooks to teach from, would this be considered to be enough or should parents be complimenting the teaching with teaching themselves?

Views For

For some children,  could be the only financial education that they get as at home their parents do not think to tech them or are not good at handling money themselves. Knowing more about finances is certainly better than not knowing at all. Having an understanding of maths and purchase decisions will help when buying things. Also being taught about debt can help with future decisions.

The school curriculum is currently packed and so finding room in for anything else can be very difficult and put strain on teachers and possibly students too. Therefore, it could be argued that what is done in schools is comprehensive and useful and considering what else is taught is enough for children to handle.

Views Against

Others could argue that what is covered in school is not enough and therefore parents should teach them as well. Some parents would feel that it is the responsibility of the school to teach their children, but parents need to take some responsibility too. School do not teach them to walk or talk and parents do that so there is plenty of scope for them to teach children other things as well. All parents have to handle money and whether they do it well or badly they will still have valuable things to teach their children, even if it is to tell them what not to do.

Parents can be forgiven for thinking that they do not have the knowledge to teach their children this. However, all parents have experience of using money. They buy things, pay bills and things like that and so have some ideas of how to handle money and so will all have some knowledge to pass on. Their knowledge will be more personal and could affect the children more directly and so they may learn more form it because it will be more relevant to them. For example, if a parent cannot afford for the children to go on a school trip, they can explain to them where there money has gone with regards to what bills they had to pay for and the food they bought etc so the child can understand.

It could be argued that it is always good for parents to cement things that children are learning in school anyway. When it comes to life lessons like this, as opposed to gaining knowledge, then this could apply even more. Parents may be tempted to feel that schools are not teaching their children enough but it is just up to the school to do so. However, issues like this have never traditionally been taught in schools. Although it is great that schools are taking responsibility for teaching on issues like this, as it is very important that everyone has a good understanding of finance, it is also up to parents to make sure that children not only understand what was taught but also the importance of it. They will also be able to back it up by relaying their own experiences.

It is important to realise that teenagers may be less inclined to listen to their parents than younger children. However, much of the information is given to teenagers and so it could be wise for parents to start the conversation with their children when they are much younger and hopefully when they are teenagers, they might be prepared to discuss it some more. It is also wise for parents to do their best to lead by example. This is not always that easy but if parents are being unwise then it is worth them having a conversation with their children about the mistakes that they think they are making and how they would have done things differently if they could have. It can all be a learning experience and such an important one. It can be felt to be embarrassing by some parents if they feel they are making mistakes or not setting a good example, but if they can have an honest conversation about it then it could prevent their children making the same mistakes and they can learn from it.