Archive for May, 2012

In the summer of 2012, London will be the focus of the world’s attention, due to the 2012 Olympoiad being held in the Uk’s capital. With more than 300 events in 26 different sports, there is likely to be something for everyone to enjoy, even those who may not usually consider themselves to be fans. The search for Olympic tickets has been a difficult one for many, thanks to the millions of applications that have been received, and it’s a sad fact that a vast number of people will end up disappointed. As the old saying goes, you can’t fit a quart into a pint pot, so their failure to obtain tickets is perhaps not a great surprise.

In the midst of a difficult recession, many of those who have managed to purchase tickets have been questioning whether they can justify the expense. Anyone who has been struggling to make ends meet will understandably debate whether buying them should even be an option in the current economic climate. For some who tried to “game” the allocation system and apply for hundreds of tickets, at least one has had a nasty shock with the cost exceeding the credit limit on his credit card.

Making savings or making memories?

While this is perfectly understandable, it should be pointed out that the Olympic Games only comes around every four years. Therefore, the cost of the tickets may be seen as something of a one-off expense. London last hosted the event in 1948, so this could almost be described as a once in a lifetime experience. As always, the bottom line is that the word ‘affordable’ is in the eye of the beholder. While some people are struggling to get by, there are plenty of others who can justify the expense with ease. If you are fortunate enough to obtain Olympic tickets, whether they’re for the athletics final or a preliminary round of the volleyball, you have to make the decision on whether you’re prepared to pay for them.

In many of the events, there is a sliding scale of ticket prices, so no-one has to pay the highest costs if they don’t want to. The lower end prices are actually extremely affordable for most people, even those on a tight budget, so as a one-off spectacular, the expense could surely be worthwhile. Whether seating or views are up to the “budget” prices remains to be seen however. The Games were under heavy pressure to make a certain number of seats “affordable” although not every event featured tickest at the lowest price bracket.

With the rather ludicrous restriction on brand usage though (I probably even shouldn’t be mentioning the word “London Olympics” and am certainly not allowed to upload any photographs I happen to take of the ne event I’ve got tickets to, being able to witness the games in person is possibly one of the only ways to keep a lasting memory of the whole event.

Advertisements

Tube station platform Getting to and from work can be surprisingly expensive, especially if you’re attempting to stretch the pounds. If   you’re having a particularly tight month, you may want to temporarily rethink your transport arrangements, or  perhaps even make more permanent changes in order to save money in the long term. With less money availble from wage increases and ever-increasing transport costs, more people than ever are seeing their monhtly wages eroded by the simple act of getting in to work to earn a living! Even well-off households can pay over four thousands punds a year on an Annual Season Ticket from a commuter-belt area to get into London, as for people with bad credit issues, it’s even more difficult. So what sort of things can you do to try and make sure your saving money on your daily commute to and from work?

  • Car Pool

The cost of owning, insuring and running a car can get pretty high, especially with today’s fuel prices being what they are. In order to attempt to bypass this problem, many people share cars to and from work, pitching in with fuel costs and thus saving money overall. However, care should be taken to use different drivers and cars so that one person doesn’t get stuck as the designated driver all the time.

  • Get a Travel Pass

A bus or rail pass can really help you save money if you use one of these methods of transport to get to work every day. Offering great savings, you can also often get additional discounts if you fall into one of a number of specific categories. Remember to always fill in a query/cliam form if there are delays – a recent survey fund that rail companies were making huge savings by not having to compensate travellers for delayed journeys!

  • Walk

Provided where you work isn’t too far out of the way, you could try walking. Walking is great exercise (although admittedly less fun in bad weather), and is probably one of the cheapest methods of transport available since it’s absolutely free. Additionally, if you can’t bear walking both ways then you can always just try walking one way.

Cycling to work

  • Cycle

While cycling does require you to make an initial investment in the form of a bike, they aren’t that expensive (and certainly not compared to cars or a lifetime of train tickets). Much like walking, bikes are great exercise, and can get you further than you might get on foot without getting worn out. Bikes do require the occasional bit of maintenance, but again this pales in comparison to that of other road-faring vehicles.

  • Sleepover!

Why not sleep over in your office? You may laugh, but a surprising number of workplaces have taken to offering quiet, comfortable areas and even proper beds for their employees to sleep in should they decide to have a particularly late one. Whether it’s a power nap half way through the day or a full night’s kip, napping at work has actually been shown to be rather beneficial (and, of course, by not having to travel anywhere at all you save money).

Pet cat

Image source: petforums.co.uk

Earlier this month, the UK headlines revealed that the country’s GDP has dropped for two consecutive quarters, meaning the UK is once again in official recession status. This means the majority of people have no choice but to tighten their belts and spend less on the things that aren’t essential.

Many people take great comfort in pets but it would seem that these furry friends might soon become a commodity that only the rich can afford to keep; at least that’s what the latest press release from Cats Protection – a feline charity based in East Sussex – suggests.

Cats Protection logo

Image credit: fulwood.com

“The recession has been disastrous for the UK’s pets and, following the latest news of the UK entering a double dip recession, sadly the situation for cats shows no signs of improving”,  said the charity’s Chief Executive Peter Hepburn. These three points taken from the Cats Protection press release support Hepburn’s concern:

  • The number of people looking to adopt a cat fell by 31% (5,016 (2009) to 3,471 (2011));
  • People wanting to give up a cat for adoption meanwhile increased by 14% (8,308 (2009) to 9,459 (2011)) and
  • There was a 7% increase in the number of people reporting stray cats  (6,924 (2009) to 7,426 (2011)).

These statistics were determined from the calls made to the charity’s main 03000 12 12 12 helpline number only, meaning the cat-astrophe could be even greater than these figures suggests, since each of the organisation’s 260 individual cat adoption centres receives hundreds of direct calls each year also.

It is hardly surprising that people are struggling to meet the costs of cats during these economically difficult times. A person struggling to meet their monthly electricity bill is hardly going to welcome the expenses of pet food and veterinary bills!

Would you go without in order to feed your pet? Would you be more inclined to adopt a cat if the economy was in a better state? Tell us in the comments below. 

You can read Cats Protection’s full press release here.

An increasing number of people are falling into the bad credit bracket as the costs of living continue to grow. It is all too easy to panic when you’re classified as being ‘in the red’ but there a number of steps that can be taken to alleviate some of the stress that comes with an adverse credit score.

This infographic – sourced from budgetable.com – offers five great tips for those with a poor credit rating:

The Bad Credit Survival Guide