After the financial crash, trust in the banks hit an all-time low. It felt like we’d be better off stuffing hard earned cash into our mattresses for safe keeping.
Things may be more stable now but people are now missing out by assuming savings accounts, credit cards and even bank accounts are for other, less wary people.
In recent Quids in! research, two in five of our readers (40%) said they did not use a bank account and just one in five (22%) had a savings account. It feels like it’s only the wealthy are going to benefit from banking services. The truth is, we should all be looking to make use of the best financial services, even more so if we’re on a low income.
With the rollout of Universal Credit (UC), almost everyone who is working age and claims benefit will need an account. The government say the roll out will be complete by 2022 but in many areas it’s already in place. An account (even a Basic Bank Account) also means we can pay bills and rent by direct debit. This will save us time, hassle and the threat of legal action.
Keeping on top of our finances has been shown to improve our wellbeing and quality of life. Shockingly half of Quids in! readers (47%) told us money worries were having a negative effect on their mental health. At Quids In!, we believe it’s time we demanded equal access to good deals on finance and the services we need to keep our money safe. That’s why we’ve got loads of tips on the best deals and ways make the most of your money.
People without a bank account are three times more likely to suffer anxiety about money than someone who has an account. A whopping 73% of young people felt less anxious about their money when they could access it 24/7. So, it’s proven that having a bank account with access to online banking makes us happier and healthier. In our banking section, we lay out all the pros of having a bank account. From saving money by using direct debits, to grabbing bargains shopping online, we all benefit from a bank account.
Affordable Credit… AKA Debt
No matter how good we are at managing money, we all need to borrow a bit from time to time. Trust in the banks dropped off but legal loan sharks and pay day lenders stepped in to offer us ready cash… at rip-off rates. They charge massive interest on small amounts, and often lock us into dangerous cycles of debt. Even still, five per cent of the population thinks a pay-day loan is the best way out of a financial fix. We think it’s wrong that those who need it most should pay more than everyone else to borrow money. That’s why we have a whole section on borrowing, which has info on everything from credit unions to social funds.
Another myth about people on low incomes is that savings accounts are not for us. We don’t need a savings account, because we don’t have enough cash to be able to put any aside. The truth is, saving just a tiny amount each week or month is even more important for those on a low income. It’s the savings habit that matters.
Over 8 million people in the UK have no savings to fall back on if their income were to suddenly stop. Setting a bit aside could help us through a shortfall when being moved onto UC, (which takes at least five weeks to come through). Or it could help pay an unexpected bill. Savings should also net us a bit of interest on the cash we stash. Our Savings section is full of advice on saving and getting the most from your money.
Quids in! Recognised
Quids in! has been recognised for helping people on low incomes find their way around the internet and access the right financial services. Our money emails, from the Quids In Readers Club, provide details of the latest offers, news on benefits, tips and advice. Sign up here for free, if you haven’t already, and tell your friends and family.