How easy is it to live without an overdraft?
Published 13 March 2012 by Joel Stanier
More than a third of people in the UK have used their overdraft in the last year, and some people are permanently in the red, according to research. But how easy is it to live without using an overdraft at all?
An overdraft is a tool that many people have come to rely on for financial emergencies - a 'safety net' that ensures they can afford the unexpected costs that we all face from time to time.
Figures from MoneySupermarket.com suggest that more than a third of people in the UK have used an overdraft in the last 12 months. This is not a problem for most people, but problems can occur if people accidentally exceed their overdraft limit - with many bank account providers applying expensive charges. And even those who stay within their limit could pay a lot of interest if they remain overdrawn for too long.
But is it possible to live without an overdraft? Yes, says an expert at thinkmoney, which provides a basic bank account alternative without an overdraft that could help people avoid the temptation to borrow money.
"A lot of people who use their overdraft could actually manage without it. Apart from the most urgent financial emergencies, many of the things people use their overdraft for could actually wait until the next payday.
"What's more, it can be tempting for some people to spend money they don't really have using their overdraft - which can potentially lead to financial problems further down the line.
"It's up to the individual whether they think they really need an overdraft, but for those who feel they could manage without, it may be worth looking at bank accounts that don't offer the facility - or simply closing their current overdraft."
thinkmoney.co.uk offers one such account. Because money for bills is automatically set aside at the start of each month, account holders are much less likely to overspend and go overdrawn - and even those who do accidentally go overdrawn won't be charged for it. All it costs is a monthly fee of £14.50 (£21.25 for joint accounts). You can find out more about the thinkmoney Current Account here or click on Apply Now below.