29 July 2011

Nervous About the Impending US Debt Doom? Better Get Saving

As we await the US government's new legislation to be passed and the debt ceiling to be raised, hopefully saving all of our skins, the international financial markets have all but clammed up as investor confidence takes a beating. With the price of energy increasing, with promises from British Gas of further price hikes before the year is out, and the cost of petrol literally is driving away with our disposable income, it may be time to adjust the standard of living we have become so accustomed to and tighten our proverbial belts.

There are various ways you can save money on a daily basis, but also other ways you can save cash in the long run. Whether it’s insulating your home properly to avoid wasting money on heating, or properly planning the meals of the week to keep the cost of food down, making small changes to the way you live could really make a difference.

At Which Way to Pay, we don’t only strive to give you the best, impartial advice and reviews of financial products, but also to keep you up to date of financial news and give you general financial advice on a daily basis. On our website you will find hundreds of tips and pointers to help you make the most of your money, and to help you feel a bit more in control of your situation in this time of turbulence in the economy.

Click here to read some advice articles.

20 July 2011

Famine In Somalia

UN Declares Famine in Somalia

Somalia has been fraught with civil unrest for many years, most notably now much of the south and centre of the country are controlled by Al-Shabab, a group closely affiliated with al-Qaeda. In 2009 the group banned foreign aid agencies access to its territory, only recently allowing aid into limited areas. The worst drought seen in the country for 50 years has not been dealt with as well as it could have been, the recent violence and civil leaving the country ill-equipped. Now Somalia is suffering badly from famine, especially in southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle where the gravity of the situation has escalated rapidly.

The UN have not declared a famine in the country since 1992. The majority of aid agencies such as the FAO, Save the Children UK and Oxfam, only label a crisis as a famine when the area in question reaches level 5 on the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) system. This level means that a minimum of 20% of the entire population have access to fewer than 2100 kilocalories worth of food per day, acute malnutrition is seen in over 30% of minors, and 2 people die in every 10,000 or there are 4 child deaths in every 10,000 children each day. This is the case in Somalia at the moment, and may spread to Ethiopia and Kenya who also saw little rainfall, and therefore depleted crops, since the beginning of the year.

The UN have said that getting aid to the worst affected regions have been limited by the need for further safety guarantees from the armed Al-Shabab across the country to ensure the safety of aid workers. So far over 10 million people have been affected by the famine, and over 25% of the country’s population have been displaced from their homes. The UN and the Disasters Emergency Committee are calling for much needed donations to the cause, as Mark Bowden, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Somalia, has said that $300 million is needed to tackle the famine over the next two months.

07 July 2011

Students Are Building Up Enormous Debts

Student debt will reach an eye-watering £70 billion over the next four years. It appears that ministers vastly underestimated the number of universities that would charge maximum tuition fees.

Students will be building up personal debts of up to £50,000 which could affect their credit ratings detrimentally. A poor credit rating could prevent a former student being granted a mortgage.

Students will be building up huge debts, and some will default on their loans. This could be the start of a worrying pattern of loans being reneged upon by those who originally took them out.

The potential debt burden that young people take on if they go to university will lead to some of them giving the decision some serious consideration.

Some students who are still at school may feel that their time would be better spent getting into work, establishing financial independence as opposed to falling into crippleing debt.