OK so as our regular readers know we use the visual news area to talk about topical or reasonably topical (come on we don’t want to make it boring) issues that relate to global finance and we do it in a fun visual way. We then like to see how these issues impact everyday people and see what trends or patterns emerge and how they might impact on the average working person in the UK/US.
We have looked at a number of different topics recently and it looks like there are more than just a few factors that are causing more and more middle income families to get squeezed financially. Whether it's the rise in University fees, expensive utilities, inflation or the fact that families are becoming more reliant on two incomes (rather than one) or a whole host of other micro reasons (check out our other infographics in our Visual News section). The fact is that people are struggling and considering how financial difficulties have doubled since 2010 and reliable forms of credit are getting harder to come by in both the UK and US... hence the recent boom in pawn shops and payday loans online.
It's easy to discount the emerging "green" trend as a fad or something that is just for hippies with dreadlocks and hemp shirts, but the truth is that not only is it better for the environment, it's also more cost efficient in the long run. With everybody talking about carbon footprints, recycling, sustainability, global warming and impending doom if we fail to change our wasteful ways - we decided to look at it from a strictly financial point of view. It turns out that going green doesn't just mean a break for our ozone layer, it also means a break for our wallets over the course of a lifetime. We're sure that there are many other ways that people can save by buying less plastic and disposable items while buying more long-life items, but we've focused on some of the most doable lifestyle changes.
So, the next time that you think that those people with solar panels on their houses, and fancy electric or hybrid cars are just doing it to be fashionable... think again. We decided to take a look into what going green can really mean for your wallet. How can we make our money go further so we are not as short at the end of the month and don’t have to rely on payday loans and other forms of credit? If I am being completely honest, I thought going green would be way way more expensive and we nearly did not research the topic for that very reason. Well, I'm sure you'll see for yourselves...
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