Get out of the red

Don’t drown in debt – use this ad­vice and fix your fi­nances for good

Men's Fitness - - Contents -

Se­ta­monthly­bud­get

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.

Cance­ly­our­gym­con­tract

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.

Pay­offy­our­debts, then­save

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.

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