Managing my money
Managing my money

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Managing my money

1.1 The economic backdrop

Everyone – directly or indirectly – is affected by the good and bad events in the economy. One way or another, those of us in wealthy societies are all shoppers in the financial supermarkets. The video highlights some of the many issues that have had an impact on households and personal finances in recent years.

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Martin Upton:
When managing your money, it's important to understand the features of the current economic backdrop that have a direct affect on your finances. So let's set the scene:
After the recession, our economy is growing again, though it's still quite fragile.
Interest rates have been at an historic low.
House prices in the UK are on the up again, getting closer and closer to their peak in the late 2000s. London property is especially booming.
Shares are enjoying a strong recovery.
Flooding is threatening to push up insurance premiums.
No gender price discrimination on insurance is now permitted in Europe.
Unemployment is falling, though it's still high, particularly for 18 to 25 year olds.
Meanwhile, university fees are at an all time high - at widely 9000 pounds per annum. Students are now graduating with debts of tens of thousands of pounds.
There is a planned pensions revolution - slated to kick in in April 2015 - where many people moving into retirement will have access to their pension pots to spend or invest their funds in the way they want.
From July 2014 a major change to the savings market will unfold with the annual limit on investments in tax-free ISA accounts ballooning to 15,000 pounds.
All in all, things are cautiously on the up after the 2007-2009 financial crisis and the double dip recession that followed it.
But in reality, real incomes - that is, the value of our earnings once inflation has eaten into them - have been falling for many if not most of us.
The price of food, fuel, and energy has been rising fast in recent years. This is quite a change from the long uptrend in living standards we saw in recent decades.
All things to keep in mind when managing your money, today and for the future!
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