How An Expensive Week Could Lead To Years Of Debt

Last year we tried really hard to improve our savings.

We took the 365 Day Penny Challenge and managed to save a small fund for Christmas. Even so, we still needed to find extra funds for additional presents and food.

Debt management solutions - man's hand holding blue credit card

In general we’re really careful with cash because, unless you have a savings buffer, you can find yourself in dire financial straits very quickly.

The Husband has employment protection insurance but, even so, if he were to lose his job, our mortgage would only covered for 6 months.  I would almost certainly have to go back to work full time.

We all hate paying insurance premiums but unless we have got adequate cover, one small hiccough could bring the bills rolling in.

Take a look at this nightmare scenario put together by debt management service PayPlan which shows how your financial situation could get worse in just a week!

*your boiler could break down (and you don’t have a boiler service contract)

* someone could prang your car and just drive off (happened to us in August!)

* the school could arrange a costly school trip (our local comp organised a trip to New York!)

* your pet could have an accident

* you could break your glasses 

* you could lock yourself out 

and on and on.  

Actually I’m starting to feel quite brave just getting up in the morning.  Sometimes it seems that everybody wants money off you though, doesn’t it?  

And this is without the usual hikes to council tax, water rates, fuel and utilities.

So I would strongly advise you try to put a bit by in case of emergency and check your car and home insurance policies carefully to see what’s included.  

Some car policies will include breakdown insurance and some home insurance policies offer an emergency hotline.  

Having owned a couple of cats in the past I would never take on a new pet without pet insurance. Bear in mind too, that not all vet costs will be covered.  Annual innoculations, flea products and teeth cleaning for a start. 

So what do you do if your debts are starting to spiral out of control?

Debt management solutions - sad woman in pink jumper sat at a desk looking at her notes
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your debts

Firstly, don’t panic.  

Sit down and write out a list of all your debts and then prioritise them.  The most important of these to pay will likely be your rent or mortgage.

You can also take professional advice from a debt management service such as PayPlan who offer free advice on a wide range of debt solutions including debt management plans, individual voluntary arrangements and self-employed individual voluntary arrangements.

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (or IVA) is a formal agreement between you and your creditors.

In simple terms, you agree to repay a percentage of your debt in affordable monthly payments over a given time (usually around 5 years) and once your final IVA payment is made, your creditors agree to write off the rest of your debt.

No more demands and threats from your creditors and a way of avoiding bankruptcy.

No matter what your situation, help is out there.  And in terms of savings, why not start an emergency fund today – even if it’s just a couple of pounds.

I find that taking some action, no matter how small, always makes me feel better and less stressed.

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