Financial forecast at the end of 2013: have debt-ridden consumers really survived the recession?

The news headlines have announced that the worst of the recession is over, but how has the average debt ridden consumer fared? Is recession still a reality for these individuals, or is life still pretty much life what is was in the depths of the recent recession? Read on for a snapshot of what life as a credit consumer is like as the end of 2013 approaches.

Research report after research report on how the average credit consumer in the UK is coping with debt suggests a very worrying picture of life as a modern consumer of credit products. Research conducted by The Money Advice Service suggests that over 50% of a survey of over 5000 people admitted they were struggling financially, compared to just 35% who made the same admission in the same survey carried out by a government backed body, in 2006.

The picture of life as a credit consumer in Northern Ireland was shown to be particularly dire in the Money Advice Services’ survey, with more than 65% of those surveyed admitting they were struggling financially.

The survey also suggested that poor financial planning is rife and that people are generally struggling to plan and understand how to budget. Over 15% of those surveyed stated they did not understand how to read a bank balance from a bank statement.

The survey highlighted that more and more people are failing to plan for contingencies and for their financial future. This is perhaps to most worrying result of all, as it is the firmest evidence that there are worse times ahead for the people who are currently struggling financially. Moreover it suggests that people might have to ignore emergencies due to cash shortages which can make a financial emergency worse. What people forget is that in an emergency, you can always turn to reputable lenders like for loans online, or quick credit and as long as you have a realistic plan to repay, debt does not have to mount up.

The UK government’s intervention in the UK’s looming consumer debt crisis has taken the form of increasing the personal tax allowance, and freezing duty of fuel. Government intervention has not really focused on or done anything to reduce rising living costs and this is something that many regard as one of the biggest problems.

The survey conducted by The Money Advice Service gives a real and worrying picture of how these policies have impacted on the average debtridden UK consumer of credit. What emerges is a warning for the future. Many are starting to talk about a ‘cost of living’ crisis, with no relent in the rising costs of living that people up and down the country are facing.

What are your views on what life is like as a consumer of credit in today’s society? Do you think the government should do more to mitigate the rise in the cost of living, or do you think that people just need to take more responsibility for their own personal finances?

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