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How To Get Your Your Money and Debt Under Control
by: debs Jenkins

If you are struggling with money and debt here are some things you can do to help. Admit to yourself that you have to much debt. It is very easy to strugle on each month robbing Peter to pay Paul without getting to grips with the problem. If you are spending more than 10%-15% of your income (excluding a mortgage) on debt repayments you are probably financially stretched.

List out how much you owe on credit cards and loans etc. It will come as a shock so be prepared! Also list out what the repayments are on each. Check if your spending on debt servicing is higher than 10-15% of your income.

If it is, here are some options to sort out the problem. If you can, increase your income. You may be eligible for government money such as tax credits or help with council tax or rent if you are on a low income. Alternatively you may be able to get a part time job or rent out the spare room.

If it is not possible to increase your income you need to look at ways of reducing your spending. Are there things you can cut down on?

Start buying cheaper products at the supermarket. It is amazing how much your grocery bill can be reduced by buying "own brands."

If increasing your income or reducing your expenditure is not possible or insufficient then write to the people you owe money to and explain the situation and ask them to suspend the interest so that you can start to reduce what you owe them. This is known as an informal arrangement. More formally you can arrange for a legally binding agreement with your creditors called an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. This will often reduce the total amount you owe by a considerable amount.

The other main way of getting rid of uncontrollable debts is bankruptcy, this has been made easier and simpler of late. You should get some advice about these options from the local Citizen's Advice Bureau.

The main thing to do if your are struggling financially is to do something about it, before it gets worse.


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