Beware the ‘Vampire Economy’ and Other Financial Frights
Did you know we’re spending more money than ever in the dead of night, boosting what’s been dubbed the ‘vampire economy’? One in three Brits in a survey by Barclaycard reckoned they spend more money shopping online at night than they did five years ago.
And it’s not just because the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween are keeping us awake. The clocks are about to go back, which means nocturnal shoppers will spend 42 minutes extra per week browsing in the small hours, with 10:18pm apparently the peak time to purchase.
So what are we all spending our money on when we should be snoozing? Four in ten of these bleary-eyed shoppers buy clothes, jewellery and shoes overnight, while two in ten purchase pizza to satisfy their late-night cravings.
Stepping away from the internet is probably the best tactic for keeping the vampire economy at bay. But what about all the other financial frights which might be keeping you awake at night? Just as any successful monster hunter needs their weapons, try these five tools to face your financial demons.
1. Build a budget
Just like Dr Frankenstein was able to use his mad science skills to create life, you too can harness technology to build an easy to use budget – but it won’t be an uncontrollable monster. Instead, a budget planner will help you keep on top of your money in and money out to make sure you always know what you can afford.
2. Deal with your debts
Possibly the scariest of all the money monsters is the hidden debt. A bit like the monster in the closet or under your bed as a kid. You just closed your eyes and hoped it would disappear. This tactic won’t work with your debts. If you are worried about your finances, talk to someone as soon as you can.
3. Clear your credit cards
Any good horror movie needs a big scream. For lots of people opening a credit card statement can bring the same reaction. But this doesn’t need to be a Psycho in the shower massacre. If you understand how repayments work you can clear your debt in less time and pay less interest on the balance.
4. Probe your pensions
If you’ve watched the Twilight movies or read the books, you’ll know any wise vampire has a good handle on their investments for later life. OK, so they might not technically get to old age, but they certainly have enough cash at hand to buy big houses in the forest with lots of books. With all of us living longer (although not as long as vampires, admittedly) it’s never been more important to work out how we’ll fund our future.
5. Manage your mortgage
Every great scary creature has its home. Dracula had his castle, trolls live under bridges and witches sometimes live in houses made of gingerbread. We don’t know if they worried about mortgage repayments, but there’s a good chance you do. Fortunately, there are some historically low mortgage deals available at the moment, so if you are worried about monthly repayments, take a look at a mortgage calculator to work out how remortgaging could reduce what you pay. It’ll also help you prepare for when rates go up.
If you would like to talk about any of the issues in this article or need more general help with your finances, please get in touch with us.