Helen Nugent

Money management stressing you out? Don’t let fraudsters take advantage

I’m drowning in a sea of Post-it notes. They are everywhere. Yellow, blue, orange, pink. They dominate my life to the point where, every now and then, I consolidate the lot into one big pile in the hope that will force me to deal with them.

Life admin is exhausting. From the endless list of things to do jotted on said Post-it notes to the additional chores recorded in my diary and on my phone, it’s a wonder I have time to earn a living.

Added into the mix of ‘must buy cat litter’ and ‘must pay lecky bill’ is the myriad of personal finance-related contracts and accounts. Money management is a modern malaise now that so many of our transactions require log-ons, pin numbers, usernames and passwords. It’s little surprise that so many people use the same words and numbers for multiple accounts, even if that leaves them vulnerable to fraudsters.

Back of the envelope calculations suggests that I have at least two dozen separate accounts, the vast majority of which are online. These range from council tax direct debits, my bank account, gym membership and mortgage repayments to my Tesco Clubcard, Sky package, Amazon log-on and gas bill.

New research from Gocompare.com suggests I’m not alone. The comparison site has found that the average UK adult is managing (or, in my case at least, attempting to manage) more than 30 financial contracts and accounts. And, as I suspected, a third confess to using just a handful of passwords to cover everything.

Not surprisingly, 31 per cent say that juggling so many accounts and log-on details is stressful, with a similar number of people admitting they find it overwhelming. Nearly a third liken managing their personal affairs to holding down a full-time job.

I echo their thoughts.

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