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Finance Friday | luck of the draw

Money - Seeing the future

Next Friday there is a Euro-millions draw and although the odds of winning the jackpot are over 100 million to one; we have a better chance in the UK Millionaire raffle. That will be creating 100 new millionaires next week and the odds are better. I think I will buy a ticket for that! I might be lucky!

There is a lot going on in the world of economics and finance. We have more quantitative easing in the UK and the Bank of England is printing more money. Petrol prices did drop, but they seem to be creeping up again. Food prices are still rising faster than the rate of inflation. Inflation is said to have dropped, mainly because the government hasn’t put any taxes up; they did a U-turn on the pasty tax.

Over in America, farmers are having problems because of drought and world foods prices are rising as a result. Over this side of the pond we have too much rain affecting vegetable harvesting and prices. It seems there is a global shortage of organic milk too. I never have dairy and so won’t worry too much, but as people switch from organic to ordinary it could trigger higher overall milk prices.

I had an invitation from Vanquis Bank to apply for one of their credit cards. The lowest interest rate (for purchases) was 19.94%, the highest for cash was 91.08%. These numbers were in the small print of course. At first I felt insulted that they would think I was so desperate as to accept these rates. I have a couple of credit cards with lower rates than their minimum rate and less than half their typical rate of 39.9%. I now realise that it is them that is stupid for thinking I wouldn’t read the small print and find these rates obscene.

It seems the IMF now think the government has cut down too much. It isn’t just cutting down, it’s where the cuts have been, that is the problem. Throwing more money at the economy won’t help, it has to be targeted to need. We still need tax avoidance schemes looked into and also executive pay and bonuses. The government could put money into social housing, because there is a real need to solve that problem. Affordable housing for young people to rent and for retired people who need something smaller and maintenance free would help.

All we can do in the meantime, is shop around for bargains and buy what we need. We should also resist the temptation to buy what we want, but don’t need, unless we can easily afford to do so without borrowing or credit. We can also recycle things like packaging. Turn those plastic meat trays into seed trays. Empty jars can be recycled into sweet jars; just spray paint the lids with gold paint. Even old towels can be made into face clothes. Old clothes can be recycled by altering them. Old furniture can be restored and made perfect again. Whether we survive this recession is the luck of the draw, but we can at least try not to waste money paying interest on  unnecessary loans and credit. 

You can also look at alternatives to saving, I chose Zopa. I get over 5% with Zopa even though I only lend to borrowers with good credit ratings. There is a link to Zopa in the side bar. They also do loans with reasonable fees and interest rates.

There are more amazing blogs on the home page. I need more readers and so please click share and share with your Facebook friends.  There are more blogs on a Zillion Ideas too.


6 responses

  1. I’m very lucky, Mike, the IMF send me emails on a regular basis – offering me loans of all sorts. I’ve never actually read one, but their subject line tells me so. With luck like that I somehow don’t think it will be worth me buying a ticket, but maybe you will send me an email if you win.. ? 😉

    20, July 2012 at 2:55 pm

    • Hi Myfanwy,

      I intend to keep up the begging letters and email if I win; I’ll keep on sending them! 😉

      I have those emails from the IMF, Nigerian government, FBI and President Goodluck too. 🙂

      20, July 2012 at 3:58 pm

  2. kathy

    Mike I am astounded by the interest rate in Great Britian. In the US it is an average of about 17%. I agree that frugal times are needed and I have stopped buying unless it is something we need. I actually for the first time have a garden plot in the community garden and have been teaching my daughter how to plant and maintain a garden. I grew up on a farm and we lived off of the garden during the summer.

    20, July 2012 at 6:56 pm

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for the comment. I think the interest rate on my card is about 17% but I never pay interest! They keep promoting these ‘rebuild your credit rating’ cards with high interest and together with pay-day loans they just exploit desperate and vulnerable people. I try to give people a few ideas to help them live better and cheaper. So much of people’s money now goes in taxes to the government and interest to the banks they have little left to live on!

      21, July 2012 at 10:20 am

  3. Pingback: This week–the sun came out « Mike10613's Blog

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