A new year. A new start. A new occasionally sort-of-amusing weekly financial digest. Yes, The Money Shot is taking plenty of incredibly virtuous self-improvement measures for the forthcoming year.
It’s turning over a new leaf. Making a fresh start. No more muddled syntax, schoolboy slpelling mistakes, re-hashing of slightly stale news and phoned-in funnies. And certainly no more childish sniggering at the word ‘endowment’.
Oh, who are we kidding? A year on from its inception, the Money Shot is likely to feature just as much of the same old rubbish as the last. Viva la change! Or not, in this case.
Anyway, if a bit of research conducted by Gocompare.com is to be believed, we won’t be alone in sticking in our ways. Loads of people are putting plans on ice this year on account of it being <dramatic noise> TWENTY THIRTEEN. </ dramatic noise>.
Yes, for no good reason whatsoever, one in five folk from the UK and Northern Ireland will be more cautious this year, putting off big purchases and deciding not to take life-changing decisions because of a bloomin’ number.
In fact, 7% of people think that ‘13’ is a bad omen of things to come. The Money Shot suggests that these might be the very same people who were concerned that the Mayan Apocalypse would spell the end of humanity last month.
It really does seem like an almighty hoo-ha over a couple of digits. Take for example, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry in the Republic of Ireland. It was so concerned that buyers would be put off buying cars registered as ‘13’ that it successfully lobbied the government so that this year’s cars registered in the Emerald Isle during the first half of the year will have a 131 registration and those registered in the second half of the year will have a 132 registration. And you wonder why the Irish economy is in such a ragged state.
But mock the doom-mongers at your peril – it’s already looking as if 2013 might be shaping up to be a choppy year. We’re staring down the barrel of a ‘triple dip’ recession. The average gas and electricity bill has soared to over £500 a quarter. Teenagers may be paying on average of £3,000 a year for their car insurance. Even Gio Compario, the mercilessly cheerful exponent of the shock-and-awe school of aggregator website salesmanship appeared to have kicked off the year mired in a deep existential crisis.
But 2013 may yet bring luck and prosperity – in Tibet and Italy, 13 is actually considered to be lucky. And bear in mind that 2013 is the Chinese year of the snake – which, apparently, is all to do with ‘steady progress’. After the past couple of years, steady progress actually sounds quite good. Yes, we’ll have a bit of that.
Come what may, The Money Shot will be here by your side, offering a reassuring hand upon your shoulder, a kind word in your ear, and a tragically unfunny observation on the way. It all starts here, friends. It all starts here.
SHORT CHANGE – MONEY NEWS IN BRIEF
The Bank of England reckons that mortgage approvals are on the rise, going some way to alleviating all that doom and gloom.
‘Free’ financial advice is about to disappear, on account of Independent Financial Advisors no longer being paid a cut of what they flog you. You’ll have to pay an upfront fee now. It’s all in the name of transparency, apparently.
The Government is set to pump an extra £120m it found down the back of a sofa in the Treasury to flood defenses, which have been put under no little strain over the past few weeks.
The caring, sharing, ethical, and not-at-all-like-those-other-nasty-lot Co-Op Bank has been given a £113,000 slap on the wrist for stalling over PPI claims.
ON COVERED MAG THIS WEEK (AND A BIT)
Drunk too much alcoholic booze? Eaten too much rich food? Spent loads of money on festive frippery? Then have a bang on this bumper pack of finance and fitness tips for 2013.
What manner of automotive treats does 2013 have in store? Join Daniel Bevis as he peers into his Castrol GTX-smeared crystal ball and find out.
Get rid of unwanted Christmas presents without awkwardness or fuss with the sage advice of Rachel England.
A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh has ordered female motorbike passengers not to straddle motorbikes behind male drivers.
Suaidi Yahya, the mayor of the city of Lhokseumawe (try saying that after half a bitter shandy) has said that the move will save people’s “morals and behaviours.”
However, ladies of Lhokseumawe aren’t going to be banned entirely from riding pillion with their fellas – they’ll be able to adopt an apparently more ‘ladylike’ side-saddler position. Which the Mayor reckons is safer, anyhow.
"When you see a woman straddle, she looks like a man. But if she sits side-saddle, she looks like a woman," Suaidi said, possibly whilst idly browsing through his collection of ‘On the Buses’ videos and referring to his secretary as “sweetheart.”