Get out of the red
Don’t drown in debt – use this advice and fix your finances for good
One in seven of us are having trouble sleeping at night – losing the equivalent to 11 full nights each year – because of money worries, according to the StepChange Debt Charity. The biggest concerns were a lack of savings, meeting household bills and debt problems. If that sounds like you, the first step is to plan your monthly budget of incomings and outgoings, says the independent Money Advice Service, which offers a free budget planner online.
If you find you have more money going out than coming in, you need to examine your spending habits to discover where you can make easy savings. Start by making your own lunch for instant savings, then consider cancelling your £100-per-month gym membership in favour of a budget gym if it suits your needs. The Money Advice Service also suggests checking online for cheaper or more flexible deals for everything from household energy to your mobile phone.
Once you have given yourself some breathing space in your budget, you should prioritise clearing any debts – especially credit cards which will be subject to high rates of interest – rather than starting a cash savings account, which have almost record low rates of interest. Research credit card transfers and apply to move any outstanding debt to a new card provider, some of which offer up to two years of 0% interest, allowing you a good head start.