I needed a vacation, badly. After a long year launching Money Health Central, practicing bankruptcy law through the Great Recession, and teaching new bankruptcy lawyers at Bankruptcy Mastery, I was drained. Three weeks away sounded like Nirvana.
I had three weeks in which I didn’t have to post a thing to the three or four sites I write for; three weeks without a phone number. Three weeks to turn my focus elsewhere.
Trouble was. I bought local newspapers as we visited England and Scotland. Consumer money issues were everywhere.
Not even the euro crisis and looming Greek default could push stories about individual money matters off the radar. What was in the newspaper ended up in my head.
The problems for the middle class seem to mirror those in the States, embellished in the UK with significant rises in prices for everything, especially energy.
Here’s a roundup of money matters from three weeks abroad.
- The cost of university is rising so fast that British students are rushing to take exams to allow them into American universities which are cheaper than in the UK.
- Increasing numbers of graduates have student loan debt and no job.
- Payday lending is thriving, while a few Members of Parliament campaign against legal loan sharking.
- Banks have been exposed added unwanted credit insurance to loans and made to establish a fund to make customers whole.
- Over and over again stories of miserable customer service provided by banks are reported.
- Card issuers cut available credit by 95% for someone who paid off the balance each month.
- Debt settlement schemes thrive there too.
Sounds just like the things I fret about professionally here in California. It’s eery how similar the world is these days.
Image courtesy of Benson Kua.