A nation of
money worriers, but money's still a dirty word
A recent survey for money
saving website MyFamilyClub has revealed that nearly three quarters
of UK families currently worry or worry a lot about money (71%).
However, despite their concerns, only 11% discuss the family
finances more than once a month. 59% of those families
questioned said they never or rarely talk about the family finances
and 28% said they talk about money once a month. Out of those
parents surveyed, most gave lack of time as the reason for not
discussing finances more regularly.
Gemma Johnson, founder of the money saving website MyFamilyClub,
said:- "These figures suggest that money is still a topic
people would rather avoid even though it has a major impact on so
many aspects of our lives. Money worries are a huge personal burden,
which can play havoc with your physical and mental health, they are
also given as one of the major reasons in divorce cases."
She advised:- "I would urge families to block out some time
each week to look over the household accounts so they are aware of
what they have going out and what they have coming in. Spending a
small amount of time planning your budget and prioritising spending
for the weeks and months ahead will pay dividends to the bank
balance as well as reducing the amount of time parents will spend
worrying about it."
Johnson concluded:- "MyFamilyClub has some helpful resources
to support families around budgeting and saving which makes the job
quick and easy. Once you get started, you'll be amazed at how much
money you can actually save."
Suzi Rudd, mum to two girls and one boy from Cheshire, said:-
"I gave up work to have my children so we suddenly became a one
income family. Unfortunately we didn't sit down and plan our
finances based on our new situation and eventually we ended up out
of control with spending, which put a lot of pressure on us all. We
just don't have much spare time to talk about money and it seems
such a dull thing to do, but eventually we had to anyway. We got all
our bills out and sat down with myfamilyclub's budget planner and
spending calculator and looked at essential and non essential
spending. It was quite scary to see how much money we wasted on
silly things like posh coffees and wine but it made it clear for us
what we needed to do to balance the books."
The message is backed by Liz Dunscombe, Director of Project &
Partnership Development at Credit Action, a money education charity.
She said:- "Planning the family finances could be one of the
most valuable investments parents ever make. If the budget is
impossible to balance, then contact a source of free, independent
money advice such as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service.
Surviving by taking out ever increasing amounts of credit is a
recipe for trouble."
The poll was commissioned by family money saving website
MyFamilyClub and conducted by family research consultancy mumpanel.
6,000 parents were questioned about cutbacks to the family budget
and their concerns about money.
fraudster's web of lies
A Liverpool mum who lied
about her income, her partner and her childcare costs to
fraudulently claim almost £84,000 in tax credits has been jailed.
Mum of three Leeann Powe, 30, of Speke moved in with her partner in
2006 but continued to use her mother's address to claim as a single
parent. She also told HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that she was
working up to 30 hours and incurring childcare costs of £299 per
week. In reality Powe worked intermittently and often for fewer
hours than stated, and never paid a penny to the childcare providers
she claimed to use.
Mike O'Grady, Assistant Director for HM Revenue & Customs said:-
"Leeann Powe initially claimed tax credits in 2003 as a single
parent. But in 2006 she began living with a partner and failed to
notify HMRC knowing full well that this would result in her
receiving money she was not entitled to. From then on Powe's lies
snowballed to include work she never undertook and childcare she
didn't use or pay for. Only a small minority of tax credits
claimants deliberately commit fraud; the vast majority are
completely honest and claim only what is rightfully theirs. Those
who persist in making false claims for their own gain do so at the
risk of investigation and prosecution."
Leeann Powe contacted the tax credits helpline in 2007, saying that
she had started working 30 hours a week at a fast food restaurant.
In fact she was only contracted to work five or six hours a week and
left her job in May 2008 without telling HMRC. She also claimed to
be paying £299 a week in childcare costs, but investigations later
revealed that none of her three children had ever attended a
In August 2010, Powe contacted HMRC to say that she had changed her
job earlier that year and was now working 24 hours a week at an off
licence. But this was a short-lived post which she had already left
by the time of her call. Her payments continued and her fraud
totalled £83,876 at the time of her arrest in March 2011.
Powe was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 46 weeks custodial.
She had admitted fraudulently obtaining over £83,000 in tax credits.
Woodvale Rally 2012 Date &
Location Change Reminder
THIS is a quick reminder,
last week we reported the sad news that the Woodvale Rally would no
longer be held at RAF Woodvale for the foreseeable future and that
as a result the date and location had to be changed for this years
show. To find out why, click
here. If you want to go
this year, make a note that the new dates are Saturday, 28 July and
Sunday, 29 July 2012, at Victoria Park, Southport.
Tickets are back on sale on the Woodvale Rally
website and again they are
being activate on our Mersey Reporter
Shop. Plus you can puck
up tickets at the Southport TIC on Lord Street, Southport Town