Debt: How Much Is Too Much?
20th March 2020
Do you ever find yourself worrying about the debts you're racking up behind the scenes of your spending? Does it seem like you're the only one who stresses out, while everyone else around you is spending like it's the end of the world? The truth is, you're probably just paying more attention than most. The majority of Brits really aren't worried enough about their finances – and by the time they start to get anxious, they've already left it way too late.
Surveys are showing some alarming facts about UK spenders and their attitudes to splashing out cash they don't have. On average, we're not even concerned about our debts until they top a troubling £6,000. One study from Salary Finance showed that a bug chunk of us don't even realise we're in debt until we've piled up £3,882 in credit cards, loans and other liabilities.
About 40% us are stressed about the debt we're in, but the fact of the matter is that debt has become so “normal” to us that we can't even imagine being in the black. We spend money we don't have simply because it's become so easy to do. The credit card or loan statement is just another envelope in the stack of monthly bills. We can't even picture people living without a credit card in their wallets. After all, you take out a mortgage to buy a house, so why wouldn't you take a loan to buy a car? You're paying off a student loan and you barely even notice it, so why not take advantage of that too-good-to-be-true offer in the payday loan company window, right?
Not All Debts Are Equal
The truth is, not all debts are equal – and some of them could end up costing you a lot more than you expected. This is particularly obvious with short-term loans from payday outfits, where the interest percentages can be frankly insane. Even slow-drip debts can leave you gasping for air if you stack up enough of them, though. When you're deep in the red, things can get bad in a hurry over even one unexpected, essential expense. With many of us already dipping into our overdrafts month after month, it's easy for a bad day or week to send us scurrying into high-interest borrowing to cover the shortfall.
How Much Debt Do We Have?
On average, we're each walking around with close to a £7,000 hole in our wallets. That typically includes 2 credit cards with over £900 riding on each, plus a £300 monthly splash into the red in our bank accounts. What's more, 1 in 6 of us wouldn't even get stressed enough to try and do something about it until we were at least £10,000 deep in the hole.
When we do get worried, though, we do it for real. Debt problems are among the top concerns for people suffering from mental health issues, and it's easy to see why when things can spiral out of control so fast. The coronavirus epidemic we're seeing right now is putting a lot of stress on people's lives and wallets, and the cracks in their finances are starting to show.
Debt and Covid-19
The government's doing its best to help people and their businesses to get through the COVID-19 crisis, but there's only so much they can do without information from you. If you know anything about tax refunds, then you already understand the importance of claiming back the tax you're owed for your work travel and business expenses. We're talking about hundreds or even thousands of pounds being left in the taxman's pocket each year for every person who doesn't claim theirs back. The more you ignore that hole in your wallet, the bigger it's going to get, but we need to keep getting the message out.
Talk to RIFT about claiming your yearly tax refunds – going back up to 4 years if you haven't claimed before. If you've got mates who are struggling and aren't claiming back everything they're owed, our Refer a Friend scheme can get them back on track and put some extra cash in your pocket at the same time.
Get a new lease of life for your wallet with a RIFT refund claim. We're the UK's leading experts in tax rebates - so when we tell you you're owed money back from HMRC, you can take it to the bank.