Perhaps one of the most positive outcomes of the recent economic crisis was the message that consumers would benefit from saving more and borrowing more responsibly. So accessible were interest free loans, 105% mortgages and credit accounts that consumers came to believe they could afford anything, irrespective of their financial circumstances.
So lately I've been researching one of the world's more scary financial terms - debt consolidation - for a few reasons. Some of my female friends feel intimidated or afraid of their finances. They refuse to open bank statements and think they can just bury their heads in the sand and it'll all be OK.
Help to Buy is bringing homeownership to within touching distance for thousands of younger buyers earlier than they may have thought possible. But it's important to remember that the deposit is just part of the equation and consideration must be given to how much you can afford to borrow - and crucially repay in the years to come.
Britain is in the throes of a personal finance crisis. Dramatic figures out recently revealed that personal debt totals £1.43trillion and the average household debt is almost twice as high as a decade ago at £54,000. To some this would come as a surprise, but to many it is confirmation that they are not alone in their struggle.
Here's an alarming statistic for you: more than one in five commuters say rising fares are leading to them considering looking for work outside of London according to a OnePoll survey of over 500 London workers. This would be a disaster for the Capital's business scene. Can you imagine losing more than 20 per cent of your workforce to rising commuter costs?
Rising food, fuel and energy costs consistently come top of consumers' financial worries; and we are increasingly seeing people getting into debt or using credit to pay for essentials like food and household bills. Large numbers of households have no financial buffer to draw on if they're hit by an unexpected expense... The cost of living election battle has already started.