Are you struggling to make your salary last the month? Perhaps you’re behind with paying the bills or have fallen into debt? Do you have a poor credit rating? If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions, then it’s time to do something about your current money situation. Read on for seven ways to help you to get your finances under control:
1. Be Honest
The first step to getting your finances under control is being honest with yourself. Write everything down. Find out exactly how much you owe (including your mortage and student loan). Make a spreadsheet of current debts. As more bills and final demands come in, add them to the spreadsheet. Find out your current credit score. Hiding from debt is a surefire way to allow the debt to escalate, the sooner you face up to your current situation, the sooner you’ll be able to take control.
Make a monthly budget. Add all your monthly incomings to a spreadsheet. For the first month jot down all your monthly outgoings so you can see exactly where your money is going. When you know how much money is coming in and going out, you can work out how much money you have to start paying those debts off.
3. Cut Down on Outgoings
While being honest and writing down all your outgoings, you will come across areas in your life where you can save money. This will allow you to allocate more of your income towards paying bills and debts. Use a price comparison site to save money on utilities. Do you have any subscriptions you can cancel? Could you begin to take a packed lunch instead of buying lunch every day? Do you meal plan to avoid food waste and save money? Writing down all your outgoings can help to deter you from making unnecessary spending. However, when financial experts suggest “no spend days/weeks/months” they are being unrealistic. Clothes and appliances wear and break and need replacing over time. However always shop around, look out for vouchers and get the best price for necessary purchases, so you can still save money.
4. Make Extra Money
It’s never a bad idea to look at ways to make extra money. If it’s appropriate, it may be time for you to look at a change of career or to ask for a raise at work. Alternatively, can you pick up some overtime in your line of work? If your home needs a declutter, you could attend a car boot sale or sell items online. Perhaps you have a hobby you enjoy and could sell your creations? There are lots of ways to make money online in your spare time, such as writing a blog or taking part in online surveys.
5. Pay off your debts
Now you’ve got a working budget, you can begin to pay off your debts. Remember to first sort them into Priority Debts, Non-Priority Debts, and Emergency Debts. You need to deal with emergency debts immediately and prioritise your Priority Debts.
When it comes to your non priority debts there are two different strategies to pay them off efficiently. You could use the debt snowball method of paying off debts from smallest to largest, or you can pay off debt according to interest rates. Choose which method works for you and stick to it.
6. Save or Invest
A common reason that people get into debt is because they don’t have savings put way for emergencies. Once you are successfully budgeting, paying off your debts and making extra money, you can look at starting to save a money pot for an emergency. This will help protect you from getting into debt in the future. Once you have an emergency fund you can begin to look at saving or investing money for the future.
7. Seek Help
If you’re still struggling then make sure you seek help. There are a lot of experts available who can offer you credit counseling. They may be able to source benefits and grants available to you, teach you extra ways to save money. help you deal with your creditors and just be there to symbolically hold your hand as you take control of your finances.
Well done, by reading this blog post, you are being proactive in taking control of your finances. Don’t bury your head in the sand about debt, as it won’t go away and you can’t hide from it. Open those dreaded bills and demands, be open and honest, make a note of all your finances, follow the steps above and you’ll soon have a healthier relationship with money.
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