Sunday, June 25, 2017

Flustered about Finances? Here's How You Can Regain Control Today

money worried
In a bit of a pickle with your finances? Do you have money coming out of your account all over the place, know you overspend and get charged a ton of interest? It’s time to make a change. Living in financial chaos is incredibly stressful, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how you can regain control of the situation.

Work Out Your Monthly Spend

You will never be fully in control of your money if you don’t know exactly what’s coming out each month (and when). Whether you’re in debt or not, a good step anyone can take is writing out what money they have coming in and what goes out. That way you know where you can make cutbacks, and what you have leftover which can be spent on other things, such as reducing debt quicker. This will get the balance down more quickly, and you will pay less on interest too.

Set a Budget

Once you know exactly where your money goes each month, you can start budgeting. If you’re currently spending a certain amount on groceries, for example, you could set the budget a little lower and shop smarter. Toiletries and household products could be bought in dollar stores rather than pay grocery store hiked up prices. You could buy reduced meat and vegetables and cook these into a meal for the freezer. That way it keeps fresh, and you get to reduce costs. If you currently buy coffees, lunches, and extras at work through the week, set a strict budget for these things and stick to it. Having a set amount for each area you spend on prevents overspending- and any leftover each week can be added to a savings pot.

Seek Debt Advice

If your debts are causing you significant financial worry, whatever you’re doing right now clearly isn’t working. People can feel ashamed and guilty causing them to bury their head in the sand, but these kinds of problems won’t just go away on their own. Thankfully there are charities and companies out there who can help you get out of debt, you just need to reach out and take the first step. Your interest can be frozen, your payments can be reduced, and the stress of debt can be all but eliminated. Your next step could be a debt management plan, an IVA, bankruptcy or negotiating with creditors, but either way you will feel much more on top of the situation with a clear plan.

Consider Consolidation

If your finances are a little out of control, but you don’t want to go through a debt agency, one option could be to consolidate. If you have a good credit score, this will be relatively easy, although you might struggle otherwise. Take out a loan or credit card with a big enough balance to cover all of your existing debts. Then use this to pay everything else, and very importantly, close the accounts you have paid off (otherwise you may end up spending on them again, and ending up in more debt). By doing this, instead of having multiple accounts open you just have the one repayment to make. Since some companies offer reduced interest for a set period of time, it gives you a chance to pay down as much as possible before the interest kicks in. If you’re currently paying interest on three or more separate cards or loans, this of course will save you money.

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