Keeping yourself debt-free as the year goes on
Written by Chelsea Potter on 5 April 2016
Was your New Year’s resolution to sort out your finances? It’s hard to believe it’s April already, but for most of us, that means our 2016 resolutions have already gone out of the window.
A survey conducted by ComRes, for Bupa, showed that only one in eight British adults who made a resolution last year managed to keep it; with 43% failing to last even a month.
Most of those resolutions where about eating healthily or going to the gym, but getting out of debt and staying out of debt can be even harder.
So if your New Year resolution has already been forgotten, here are some tips on managing your money so you get out of debt – and more importantly stay out of debt.
Draw up a budget
Until you know exactly how much you have to pay on bills, debt repayments and essentials like groceries every month, you won’t have any idea how much you actually have to spend. That’s a key reason why many people end up rolling over debts each month.
There are lots of online tools to help with this, although you can always just work it out with a pen and paper. It’s a good idea to have some bank statements handy, so you can see exactly what your typical outgoings are.
Set a weekly spending limit
When you know how much disposable income you have in a month, you need to make it last. Otherwise, if you spend it all in the first part of the month, the temptation to use a payday loan or credit card to get you through the final week can be too much.
Once you’re drawn up your budget, you’ll know how much you have each month, and you can break that down into a weekly, or even daily amounts you can afford to spend.
Keep a note of your spending
There’s a lot of spending that simply doesn’t register for many of us. That coffee, that chocolate bar, that magazine on the daily commute – it’s easy to spend a fiver without even realising it; but that can add up to £100 over one working month alone.
Keeping track of every penny you spend, using a notebook or a smartphone app, can really bring home how much money trickles away on everyday spending; helping you get it under control.
Pay less for bills
The average home can save hundreds of pounds by comparing and switching the companies they pay. For example, finding a cheaper supermarket by comparing prices via Mysupermarket.co.uk can save the average home £10 on every big shop; that’s £520 a year.
Price comparison websites boast that their customers can save hundreds on car insurance and energy bills, but most people simply never get round to doing so. Setting aside even just half an hour a week to look over your bills, and check you’re not overpaying, could save a fortune over a year – and free up income to help you stay debt free.
Resolve to get some help
One reason you may have ditched your resolution to get out of the red, is it can be really hard to do so, if you’re already struggling. If you have late bills, a hefty credit card total, or existing loans, payday loans and store cards to clear; then each month can feel like a challenge. Then it can be very tempting to use credit to help meet the cost of other borrowing.
But if that sounds like you, then it’s time to break the cycle. Getting some debt advice from a qualified, experienced adviser could be what makes 2016 the year you get back in control of your finances.
Resolve to get help, and beat your debt by filling out our simple debt help call-back request form or ring our friendly, non-judgmental advisers on 0800 280 2816.
Filed under Living in Debt