Finances & Money

Don’t Stick Your Head in the Sand: How to Take Control of Your Finances

sand-dunes-691431_640If money’s tight or you find yourself getting deeper and deeper into debt, it can be tempting to stick your head in the sand and hope your financial problems will go away. The reality is, credit cards, overdrafts, electricity bills, rent payments and other outgoings won’t just disappear, so it’s essential to hold your head up high and take control of your finances here’s how:

Consolidate your debt:
Owing money to various creditors can be somewhat overwhelming, particularly if you find it hard to keep track of different payment schedules and are constantly falling behind on what you need to shell out. Thankfully, one of the benefits of debt consolidation is that you can take out a simple loan which will help pay off numerous unsecured debts at once. Consolidating your outgoings into one bill means you’ll only have to write a single cheque and this will surely make things a lot easier to handle.

Know what you spend
Do you know what you spend on a weekly or monthly basis? If not, now could be a good time to check out exactly where your hard-earnt cash is going. Everything from taking the bus everyday instead of walking to buying lunch out rather than making it at home can send your outgoings through the roof but when you know where you’re overspending you can start to make necessary cutbacks.

As well as jotting down what you spend, you should also take a close look at your account to make sure you’re not paying for anything unexpectedly. Believe it or not, you may still have an old gym, film or magazine subscription that you thought you’d cancelled but never quite got round to so make the most of online banking or pop into your local bank and discuss things with an advisor.

Make the most of money-saving apps
Budgeting and saving is an essential part of life and while high living costs and stagnant wages can make it difficult to put money aside for a rainy day, there are simple ways to build up a small nest egg such as downloading the most useful budgeting and money-saving apps. Not only will these ensure you get the best deals while out shopping, but they’ll also give you a transparent view of your accounts so you can be sure not to slip into the red. Some apps even hook up to a prepaid Visa card making it impossible for you to spend more than you want to.

Look for low interest rates
Whether you’re taking out a loan or credit card, make sure to look for low interest rates. Many companies offer a 0 per cent rate when you first sign up but up their charges at a later date, so always read the small print before entering into a deal. Moreover, don’t get roped into special promotions such as ‘spend x,y,z and receive a certain amount of bonus points.’ Sure, these may seem appealing but you don’t want to get into more financial troubles.

While staying out of debt can be hard, ignoring financial issues isn’t going to help so always face your problems face on and find a way of solving them.

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