Trouble with your finances can put a strain on all aspects of your life. Whether you have lost your job, suffered an unexpected expense or have had years of smaller debts snowball into a larger one, it is important to take the opportunity to act now before things get any further out of hand.
Debts can cause a lot of anxiety and even depression, especially if you have a family to support – here are a few ways that you can start to regain control.
Get some free debt management advice
Companies such as Carrington Dean offer free debt management advice which is tailored to your specific situation.
When it comes to debt, there are so many nuances that every situation is different, so it is unlikely you’ll be able to find a one size fits all solution online – the best thing you can do is arrange an appointment with an advisor to talk through your specific scenario.
Ultimately, a debt management service will enable you to hand off the complicated conversations and arrangements to an experienced professional who will tailor a plan to ensure that your repayments are affordable for you.
Commit as much as you can afford to repayments
On the topic of repayments, don’t fall into the trap of sticking to the minimum repayments. If your circumstances change for the better, take the opportunity to increase your monthly repayments or pay off a lump sum. By doing this, you will clear your debt quicker and avoid the possibility of slipping back into debt in the future.
Create a monthly budget planner and work out how much you have spare after your bills, groceries and luxuries have been taken out of your account – ensure that the amount you commit doesn’t put you under further pressure.
Get better spending habits
Debts can become a bit of a vicious cycle, so it is important that you realign your spending habits to ensure that you don’t fell into the same trap again. Start by assessing what you are spending month on month – aside from mandatory bills, what are you spending your money on and is there anything which you could forego?
Eating out and takeaways are a particular area where we spend a lot of unnecessary money, especially if you buy your lunch for work rather than taking it with you. Spend £3.50 a day on a meal deal from the supermarket? That adds up to £900 a year. Order takeaway once a week? You could be looking at £1,300 a year. Now consider how much cheaper it would be to make good simple food yourself at home!
If your circumstances change for the better, take the opportunity to increase your monthly repayments or pay off a lump sum.
Similarly, make sure you’re getting the best deal on your bills – use comparison sites to compare your utilities, phone contract, broadband and car insurance as there is likely lots of different ways you could be saving on these.
Finally, get a little more disciplined with yourself when it comes to buying your luxuries. Ask yourself “is it worth the money?” and “do I really need it?” to make sure you’re being sensible with your purchases.