Don’t withdraw cash with your credit card!

It has always been the case that withdrawing money from an ATM with a credit card has been ridiculously expensive, now it is even more so., a price comparison website, says that the average interest rate charged on any money that you take out of an ATM with a credit card has risen from 19% two years ago to its present level at 24%.

You are charged interest on a daily basis from the first day you withdraw money. Furthermore, there is also an upfront fee of about 2.5% of the transaction amount or a minimum charge (usually £2-£3).

Find out more about Credit Cards here.

Please read on for a summary of the top personal finance news stories for the week beginning 30th June 2008.

Monday 30th June

One in five Brits are cutting food expenditure –As well as the 20% of Brits that are cutting food spending, 25% of Britons are reducing the amount that they spend out at restaurants and cinema trips.

Cutting unnecessary spending, such as cinema trips or buying the latest big-name branded clothing, is really important with fuel and food bills rising because we are all having to deal with increased costs of living. However, make sure that you continue to eat healthily. You may want to stop buying ready-made meals (they usually are more expensive) and look to buy supermarket own-branded products. Continue to exercise and keep fit, although this doesn’t have to involve gym membership (this is a luxury that many of us can do without in the present climate).

Have a look at our Tips To Reduce Spending for more help in reducing your outgoings.

Credit Union movement expanded – Kitty Ussher MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, outlined proposed changes to the Credit Union system that, when they come into effect in 2009, will make it easier for more people to access Credit Union finance. While there are 600 Credit Unions across the UK, only 500,000 people currently save with Credit Unions. The liberalisation of the rules governing Credit Unions should help many who ordinarily would be financially excluded to get access to affordable credit.

Are you interested in finding out more about Credit Unions? Have a look at the FSA’s Money Made Clear website and Credit Action’s guide to Starting a Credit Union.

Tuesday 1st July

Rise in mortgage applications rejected –The latest figures from the Bank of England show that the number of mortgage applications accepted fell 28% from April 2008, and down 64% on May 2007, to 42,000 in May.

Wednesday 2nd July

House prices fall by 0.9% in June –Nationwide released their latest data for the average price of housing, showing a fall of almost 1% to £172,000. Although the housing market remains volatile, this doesn’t fully discount the fact that this fall represents an improvement from the 2.5% fall in house prices that occurred in May.

Remain prudent but there is no reason to panic.

£13,400 a year to live in the UK – A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that a single person in Britain needs to earn £13,400 a year (before tax) to maintain a basic standard of living. This is the total amount a single person needs to survive with a couple of occasional non-essential activities/products purchased.

The study also found that a married couple with two children needs £26,000 (before tax) to maintain a basic standard of living.

Whatever life-stage or situation you are in, Moneybasics has a Life Events section that can help you manage your finances more effectively.

Thursday 3rd July

Save £413,000 for retirement –The Centre for Economics and Business Research has found that it now costs a typical couple £413,000 on average, if the couple live for 20 years. Starting thinking about your Retirement finances now.

Prepared for Moneybasics by Jason Taylor, Advocacy Officer (Credit Action).