There is no doubt that debt is one of the scourges of the modern world. A society that has been allowed to ‘buy now, pay later’, or encourages to split that bill in three with Klarna and Open Pay can often find itself struggling when the time finally comes to pay up. This is especially true when it comes to buying bigger items like cars and electricals. We no longer save up for anything, we just click the ‘buy’ button and wait for delivery. Add in a situation where we suddenly faced a worldwide global pandemic which has seen jobs disappear, and wages reduced by furlough, and we are seeing more people struggling to pay even their basic bills. But there are things you can do to address this, and sticking your head in the sand and hoping it goes away isn’t one of them.
If you are suddenly faced with a combination of monthly bills and debt that you cannot afford, here are some things that you can be doing to address the situation.
- Seek professional advice.
In the past, when I wanted to look carefully at my outgoings and incomings, I sought the advice of a professional financial advisor to look at how I could save money.each month. One thing that I was advised to do was shop around for things like my utilities, looking for fixed rate offers to gas and electricity, good deals on mobile phone tariffs and other ways I could save money each month.
Through this I was able to cut down bills for things like my home and content insurance (by more than half) and my mortgage life insurance. I also now look carefully at my utility bills and change supplier regularly to get the best deals.
- Look at debt consolidation
We all have debts and these can not only be a financial burden, but can also be confusing to keep in check. A study in the United States found that the average consumer had roughly $7,800 in debt, and about a third of that is credit card debt. But this is debt that you can manage through a debt consolidation loan, which basically means putting all your debts into one place and then finding a single, manageable payment. You can use a debt consolidation calculator to work out what you could afford to pay. This should be much easier to track and manage, and should also cut the amount of interest that you pay each month – this can often be a good chunk of your payments so cutting this will actually see those debts reduced significantly. To find out more, click here.
Actually sitting down and writing a list of what you have coming in each month, and what you have going out, is a good way of sorting your finances. Often, when we see our finances in front of us, we can actually see where we waste money, and where savings could be made. Changing where you do your weekly shop for instance, could save you pounds. Need a new suit for work? Could you save by buying nearly new from Vinted? Use price comparison sites for everything you buy in order to get the best price possible.
- Get a Browser Plugin to help save money
There will still be times when we need to spend money, even when we are trying to be strict on a budget. The washing machine needs replacing, the fridge no longer works – these things are a necessity and need to be addressed. If you shop online, add a money saving browser plugin to help you find the best deals around, or codes that offer free delivery, money off etc. A famous supermarket uses a slogan that ‘every little helps’, and this is most certainly true when it comes to shopping.