Guest Blog Post – Bad Credit*
The Cost-of-Living Crisis is in full swing, and it is having a nationwide effect on everybody’s finances. With rising bills, rents, mortgage payments, and general necessities like food and fuel, it can be a daunting task planning a low budget family outing in Dartmouth.
The great news is there are a wealth of things to do and plenty of hidden gems to explore at very little cost. This means as Christmas approaches, you can save your pennies for presents and keep the whole family entertained in the meantime.
Let’s discover some wonderful budget-friendly activities in Dartmouth.
Cost-of-Living Crisis and Enjoying Dartmouth
You may be surprised to learn that Dartmouth has been impacted by the Cost-of-Living Crisis to a greater degree than most other places in the UK. This is for several reasons, but it is predominantly down to infrastructure and the ability of companies to get goods into the area.
The average inflation rate in Dartmouth is 2% higher than it is in London, making it difficult for people to afford everyday goods like food and fuel. Further exacerbating this problem is that wages in the area have risen slowly compared to other locations across the UK.
Free Days Out Always Make for the Best Budget-Friendly Activities
There is some respite for Dartmouth residents and visitors, as the area has plenty of free activities to take part in. The best things in life are free, after all.
When planning your activities from our list, ensure you carefully budget for other expenses such as fuel, travel, and eating while out and about.
These questions will help you evaluate the hidden costs of exploring these hidden gems:
- Is public transport available and how does the cost compare to fuel?
- Where is the cheapest fuel station in the area?
- Are there places to eat out and how do the prices compare to a pre-packed picnic?
You will find the answers probably change according to which activity you pick. For example, a picnic for a family of four may well cost more than fast-food on the day – especially with current grocery prices.
With that said, let’s dive into some free Dartmouth activities.
Dartmouth Town Trail
The Dartmouth Town Trail is a simple 1.2-mile stretch that allows you to enjoy the town centre. Particularly of interest to tourists rather than locals, this trail allows you to experience the local culture and architecture.
If the weather warrants it, Sugary Cove beach is perfect for whiling away hours without spending money. There is also a coastal path that tracks around the cove for ramblers or those seeking a little more adventure.
Like Sugary Cove, Blackpool Sands is a beach although with a misnomer as it is a stone beach rather than sand. It is popular with locals and tourists alike and you can easily spend the day lazing around by the sea.
For those of you who are looking to get your feet wet, there are a selection of wild swimming spots around Dartmouth, from Sugary Cove mentioned above to other smaller, quieter locations to enjoy a dip. Be careful with wild swimming as it can be treacherous, especially if you are not a confident swimmer, Dartmouth is known for riptides which present a danger to life.
If you want a little more culture, Coronation Park is a wonderful area built along the embankment and boasting a range of eating out locations and greenery. There are also outdoor tennis courts although fees apply for membership to the Coronation Park recreational activities.
Dartmouth RNLI Centre
As mentioned, Dartmouth can be a dangerous sea area and the RNLI does a lot of work to keep everyone safe. From educational courses to rescue operations, you can discover how the RNLI saves lives in Dartmouth by visiting the RNLI centre – all for free.
Bayards Cove Fort
For those seeking history and intrigue, Bayards Cove Fort is an artillery fort first built in the 1500s during the Tudor Dynasty by Henry VIII. It has seen action over the centuries, most notably during the Second World War, and is managed by English Heritage.
Improve Your Financial Situation
It is helpful to budget for the medium and long-term as well as enjoy low-cost activities in the present. Creating a budget can help you track your finances and cut back on unnecessary expenditure.
What’s more, if you have shortfalls, you can implement easy steps to get your finances back on track, which is particularly useful during a Cost-of-Living Crisis.
Here are a few ways you can improve your financial situation:
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions. Calculate the annual cost of a subscription and evaluate whether you are really getting value for money.
- Switch bank accounts, many banks are offering cash introductory offers to new customers.
- Ensure your savings account has the best interest rate for your circumstances.
- When clearing debt, compare the interest rate to your savings rate. If the interest on the debt is higher than your savings, it is always best to use savings to clear debt.
Deal With Bad Credit
Of course, there will always be situations where improving your financial situation may be more difficult, especially if you have problem debts. Bad credit can impact anyone and all it takes is a few late payments or a default being registered on a credit account.
If you are struggling with existing debt, there are three steps you should take to get on top of it:
- See if you have the financial capability to repay the debt in full.
- Contact your creditors and ask for a settlement offer; these offers allow you to repay a portion of the debt and clear it from your list of debts.
- Contact StepChange for multiple problem debts, as they can agree payment arrangements with your creditors and offer free debt advice.
Finally, only borrow money when you need to. If you have bad credit, there is now a bad credit comparison website to help you source the best rates on new products and be pre-approved before applying.