From time to time, we all go through periods when everything seems to be against us, and we just can’t make our money stretch far enough.
One minute you’re fine, the next you’re wondering what else could possibly go wrong. If you’re trying to stay afloat in a rising tide of debt, these practical tips will hopefully provide you with a lifeline. Stay strong. There are ways of getting out of debt, and getting your life back on track.
Budgeting for life’s expenses
In life, there are certain things that are more costly than others. Planning a wedding, buying a house, raising children, caring for a pet, and running a car all cost money. Sometimes, being a responsible adult is an incredibly expensive business.
It’s wise to budget, even when you’re not anticipating parting with large sums of money. If you draw up a budget every month, it gives you a clear picture of how your finances are looking, and reduces your risk of overspending. Budgeting is even more essential when you’re saving for a deposit, buying wedding dresses, titanium rings, and top hats and tails, and paying for new school uniforms. If you’ve got an expensive few months ahead, make sure you get to grips with the sums.
Taking out and paying back loans
Many of us take out loans to cover unexpected costs or help towards home improvements, buying a new car or paying for a honeymoon.
If you are considering borrowing money, don’t rush into making a decision. It’s essential to compare offers you have on the table, and to ensure that you understand the terms of the agreement, and what it means for your finances going forward.
Make sure you can afford the repayments. If you fall behind, this can affect your credit rating, and you may face legal action. Once the repayment schedule begins, factor this into your budget. Try and avoid taking out loans with very high interest rates. You’ll end up paying much more than you borrowed, and you may find it difficult to keep up with the repayments.
Asking for help
If you’re in debt, the sooner you ask for help, the better. Debt can spiral out of control rapidly, and before you know it, it’s affecting every aspect of your life. See a financial adviser, and they will be able to help you to draw up a strategy.
If you work for yourself and find yourself running into difficulty, don’t forget to ask your accountants for advice. Their experience will stretch further than just business matters and they may be able to help in the restructuring of your debt and with the putting in place of plans to help your business survive this tricky period.
If you have multiple debts, it may be advisable to take out a debt consolidation loan. Another option is to investigate an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement). Don’t be an ostrich. If you bury your head in the sand, the amount you owe will only increase. Sadly, this is one of those problems that won’t simply disappear with time.
A growing number of people are in debt. It’s always best to try and prevent getting into trouble, and budgeting is a really useful tool. If you’re already in debt, try and nip the problem in the bud. If you can clear debts quickly, there’s a much lower risk of you coming unstuck. When you’re in debt, you often find that the issue gets worse very quickly because of late payment and interest fees. Ask for help, and try and be open and honest with the people closest to you.
Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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