Nervous about your 2015 finances? You’re not alone.
The New Year often starts on an optimistic note, but 2015 is starting nervously for many families. Twenty per cent of adults think they will find it harder to cope financially in 2015, while only 10 per cent expect things to get easier.
The main reason, according to research from the Money Advice Service, is fear over the impact of inflation. This is in spite of relatively benign inflationary conditions in 2014, and a lower oil price to start the year. Surprisingly, interest rate rises – which are expected to happen in the second half of the year – are not cited as a reason for financial concerns.
Stagnant wages continue to be a concern for many UK adults, with 36 per cent expecting no pay rises in 2015 and 17 per cent expecting a pay cut. Of the 10 per cent expecting an easier time financially in 2015, 48 per cent are expecting a pay rise and another 20 per cent have paid off loans.
A significant proportion of UK adults are taking proactive steps to take control of their money, the Money Advice Service finds. Almost half (47%) of those who plan to reduce their spending are planning to buy cheaper alternatives to their usual products. Forty one per cent also plan to spend less on socialising, while over a third (35%) say they will spend less on clothes.
Twenty two per cent plan to make changes to the way they manage their daily finances in 2015 – 56% in this group say they will stick to a monthly budget. Nearly half (45%) say they will put aside some money each month, and 36% will simply make more of an effort to live within their means.
Jane Symonds, from the Money Advice Service says: “Although many people are expecting to find it a bit harder to make ends meet in 2015, it is great to see so many plan to take proactive steps to deal with this rather than just bury their heads in the sand. Managing finances better and thinking about ways to reduce spending are great New Year’s resolutions – whether you are making them out of necessity, or to free up a little extra cash to spend on the things you enjoy. “