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Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

“A lot of peo­ple with fi­nances that are go­ing nowhere aren’t aware of their sit­u­a­tion,” Ducki says. “Tak­ing con­trol is the first thing to get on top of, and that means sit­ting down and go­ing through your bank state­ments and other pa­per­work from at least the past month. With that in front of you, it’s easy to see if you’re on the right track or whether you need a bud­get, a sav­ings plan or to see a fi­nan­cial ex­pert.”

If you’re hav­ing trou­ble pay­ing bills on time, don’t panic, Hart­nett says. “Util­ity com­pa­nies and banks un­der­stand and will work with you to find a so­lu­tion. Call and speak to their hard­ship depart­ment about ar­rang­ing a pay­ment plan. The plan should be sus­tain­able – not just a way to get the mon­key off your back for now. Con­sider au­to­matic pay­ment sys­tems for elec­tric­ity, gas and phone bills.”

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