Saturday, 29 November 2008

Nothing to declare

Every crisis has its victims and it’s not just poor old Pick ‘n’ Mix that had its demise this week. Duty free isn’t what it used to be either, at least in Europe. 

Perusing the perfumes in Amsterdam's duty free shop yesterday I clocked prices much higher than they would be, duty paid, at home. All because of the euro exchange rate, hovering at a very unfragrant 1.2 to the pound. 

Surely that means an end to all those cross-Channel shopping trips too? And perhaps by all spending at home we’ll be doing our bit for the economy. 

Who really needed all those giant Toblerones anyway?

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Simonne on spending our way out of recession

Is it me, or does anyone else find it rather ironic that the government will be borrowing extortionate sums to reduce VAT to encourage us to spend. Just as we get to grips with having to spend less and paying off our debts, we’re encouraged to spend more. Seems like we’re not learning good money-habits from the people that look after the country’s purse-strings!


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Tactical shopping

What do psychoanalysts and financial analysts have in common? They both get things wrong sometimes. Psychoanalysists are too obsessed with the past. Financial analyists aren’t very good at predicting the future. This week they predicted that retail sales for October would have slumped by 0.9%. They didn’t, they fell by just 0.1%. In fact they were 2.2% UP on this time last year.

So we're spending on the high street like there’s no recession tomorrow. Why? Well the reasons are psychological but not in the way Freud would have said. In our survey of over 700 women, a whopping 79% said they shop to cheer themselves up. Many use spending to manage their moods. So when things are down, buying gives them a lift.

But the cash squeeze will inevitably lead to the rise of what Martin Lewis ( calls ‘tactical shopping’. The interesting question is what will you cut back on? And what will you absolutely not forego, however hard the crunch bites? Please take a few minutes to tell us on our latest survey:
Click Here to take survey

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Women smarter than men when it comes to financial planning

Dan was single, lived at home with his father and worked in the family business.
When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with whom to share his fortune. 
One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit $20 million." 
Impressed, the woman took his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother. This tale proves that women are so much better at financial planning than men.  :-)

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Re: styling

My conjecture about what the recessionista is up to during crunch-time wasn't far out. 
Today's press report a 14% rise in the sale of sewing machines. And a 40% rise in the sale of buttons!
Cue last year's coat shortened, puffballed, with a funky belt and shiny new buttons.

Friday, 14 November 2008


Her shares have gone down the pan and her mortgage through the roof, but the girl in the office still seems to wear something new every day. You’re looking at a fully fledged recessionista.

That’s the word on everyone’s lips for the woman who spots a good deal from a mile away and manages to look a million dollars on a shoestring. While you’re holding the phone line trying to get through to the bank for a loan she’s probably deftly remodelling last year’s wardrobe item into a swish new look.

Apparently the secret of the recessionista is making good use of what you’ve got and unearthing bargains. And saying ‘vintage’ not ‘second hand’.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Free love

Good news for the single Sheconomist everywhere; stingy men are off the market for a while.

According to survey results just released by Skipton Building Society, almost half of single men say they’ll survive the credit crunch by staying unattached. Apparently they don’t want to waste money on romancing.

So while they’re staying at home counting their bits of leftover string, single girls can have fun with the guys who don’t see romance as a waste of money! Anyway, surely the most romantic things in life are free?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

3% Interest Rate

Breaking news about the Bank of England cutting its interest rate to 3% has prompted me to blog again. That’s the lowest rate for 53 years. Reactions are mixed.
Will mortgage lenders pass on the low rate to borrowers? Is it a panic move? The risk of lending has been so high of late that lenders are demanding higher rates for offering credit.

If you’re on a tracker mortgage a rate cut of around 1.5% should follow through (unless there's a minimum rate clause). Fixed rate mortgages, as the name suggests won't change. Discount/Standard Variable Rate mortgages may see a 0.5 or 1% cut, but it's at the lender's discretion.

Now's the time to review the rate you’re getting on savings. Because if borrowing is cheaper then savings won’t attract high interest rates. If you can get a fixed rate that's good, go for it.But only if you can afford to tie up your money for a while.

The Obama Bounce

They’re calling it the Obama bounce – a small surge in investor confidence that comes from having a new hand at the helm. Obama plans to invest billions in renewable energy and that's helped green stocks to soar. Bound to have a knock-on effect for the rest of the economy too.
We may have all got sick of all the coverage of the US election, but at least it’s given a much-needed boost at this critical time for the economy.