As you know, I always count myself as lucky when it comes to finances. I am in a place where I am happy with my financialsituation. But, I am acutely aware that this is not the situation a lot of my readers find themselves in. I know that a lot of you are wrestling to deal with high levels of debt. So, today, I thought I would share some free or at least cost-neutral ways to deal with your debt.
Use online resources to learn more about debt management
There are plenty of places you can go online to learn everything you need to know about debt management. It is possible to read about everything from managing the debt yourself to hiring an insolvency practitioner to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. You can get this kind of help from Creditfix, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, StepChange, the Money Saving Expert website, to name just a few.
If you do decide to use one of these sources of information, just be sure that the article you are reading is up to date. You don’t want to waste time reading about a debt solution that is no longer available or has changed a lot. It is also important to make sure that the advice you are reading is truly independent.
Tools to help you to track where your money is going
A big part of getting out of debt is tracking what you spend. Being able to see in black and white exactly where your money is going will enable you to take steps to reduce your spending.
If you don’t start tracking how you spend your money you may never realise that you are spending over a £100 every month on drinks and snacks. Once you see the amounts you can decide whether that expenditure is necessary or can be cut back on.
Make sure that you keep an eye on the little things as well as the big items. They soon add up. Resist the temptation to record all of your cash expenditure as general. If you do this, you will just carry on overspending and still not really know where a significant percentage of your money is going.
Become less of a consumer
We’ve all done it, bought a subscription or a book and never looked at it. Many of us have clothes that still have the tags on. Recognising that you are wasting money on things you don’t really need is important. It will push you to pause before you buy something and ask yourself if you really need it. You will be surprised by how often the answer is no.This article, which is all about ditching consumerism and becoming a minimalist, is a real eye-opener. It also contains some very useful advice about spending less.
Reward yourself when you reach a financial goal
Setting yourself goals, for example, reducing the amount you spend on clothes by 20% will really help you to spend less. Giving yourself a little pat on the back each time you achieve one of those goals can really help to motivate you. Just be careful not to do so with something that costs a lot of money.