Fortnightly financial five minutes #5 Rachel Springall
Financial education is very important to FSCS. I know Moneyfacts provides finance news and insights, so please tell us more about your key areas of focus.
At Moneyfacts, we analyse a wide area of personal finance product data to spot key trends and highlight the best deals for consumers, which includes savings accounts to mortgages and unsecured lending. Our comparison site is free to use, and we are entirely independent, which enables customers to weigh up all the deals laid out in front of them.
As we collect and monitor data direct from product providers, we can quickly spot trends that consumers should be conscious of, which can range from something as simple as interest rate rises or we can dive deeper into product availability, benefits and other costs.
Our data-driven press releases and consumer site news stories cut through the jargon and put the spotlight on the key trends that can impact consumers. We also provide our services to financial journalists and help educate those who are perhaps covering the personal finance arena for the first time.
Moneyfacts has been monitoring financial data for over 30 years, what do you see as the top 3 changes in the market feeding into the cost-of-living crisis?
In my experience, while working at Moneyfacts, the most notable movement has been a rise in house prices, mortgage product fees and interest rates. Due to the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are seeing their monthly expenses rise from all sides, so I feel budgeting will be crucial to scrutinise where someone could cut back.
Do you have any guidance for consumers to best manage their money?
My first port of call would be to budget. It is much quicker and easier these days due to the introduction of Open Banking and financial budgeting apps. In my opinion, you can only truly get to grips with expenses by scrutinising everything you have going out to then make some life changes. It’s also incredibly important to have access to a savings pot and short-term credit in case of emergencies because missing payments is unwise, as is using an overdraft for an extended period. Using a credit card is perfectly acceptable so long as the debt is manageable, otherwise I would suggest seeking advice from a debt charity for support if debts are getting out of hand.
You have guides to help people keep their savings safe, what would be your top tips? Do your customers use our protection checker?
So that consumers can keep their money safe it’s important they brush up on their rights and ensure they split their savings balances between banking brands, so they are covered by the maximum FSCS limit.
Now, on a more personal note, if £10,000 landed in your lap tomorrow, what would you do with it?
I would put the majority aside for some home improvements, then split the remainder to pay off any unsecured debt and save for a holiday. Materials for home renovations now cost more, as do trips abroad and UK vacations, so I have noticed more needs to be saved up to cover those desires. Anything left over would likely go into an easy-to-access savings account for emergencies or any white goods breaking down.
Thanks very much Rachel for those insights. And of course, you would ensure any savings were FSCS protected!
For more information on what FSCS protects, see our What we cover page.
We would love everyone to dedicate a regular extra five minutes to check their financial products and services are FSCS protected.
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