Top money stories - 4th - 8th June 2007

Top Tip:

Moneybasics has launched a new Credit Card calculator. With the weather turning warmer and thoughts turning to barbeques and sun-bathing, why not check your card repayments to make sure it’s only the burgers - not your wallet - getting burnt.

Wednesday 6th June:

Slaves to the wage?

Two separate pieces of research today come together to show that here in the UK we are working harder than ever before for our money. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) workers in Britain work longer hours than any other developed nation. One in four of us work over 48 hours a week.

Other research shows that over a third of those aged over 55 said they intended to stay on at work after 65, when they become eligible for their pension. A quarter of those looking to keep working said that poor finances meant they had no choice.

If you’d like to work fewer hours and take retirement at a time of your choosing it is vital you think about managing your money to allow you to do it. Read our Savings section for information that could help you. And in the mean time, make sure you leave at 5 o’clock this Friday!

Thursday 7th June:

Interest rates held

As expected, the Bank of England has held interest rates at 5.5% this month. However it is widely predicted that rates have still not peaked so expect another rise in the coming months, possibly as soon as July. You should make sure you bear this in mind when thinking through your borrowing and saving decisions.

If you took out a fixed rate mortgage in 2005 then it is likely you will need to think about getting a new deal this year. The rises in the last year will make this more expensive so make sure you have budgeted carefully for this added expense. Our Budget Calculator can help make budgeting quicker and easier.

More bad news for first-time buyers

The National Housing Planning and Advice Unit has calculated that by 2026 the average house will cost 10 times salary unless action is taken now. Currently the average house is around 7 times salary, which is making it very difficult for many first-time buyers to get a foot on the ladder. If you are one of these first-time buyers struggling then don’t be panicked into borrowing beyond your means, which you could live to regret. Remember that it’s not the end of the world to rent – better to be a tenant than homeless and bankrupt!