Don't Let Debt Define You: 10 Ways to Take Financial Control
Suggestions to help you achieve freedom ...
Posted by Sam Bradford on 16/11/2023 @ 8:00AM
Debt is a common and often a taboo topic that many people struggle to talk about. It can be overwhelming and cause a great deal of stress and shame, especially when you try to hide it from your loved ones. But the truth is, you are not alone ...
Being in debt does not have to define you. You can improve your finances and break free from the cycle of debt!
According to a survey by the Money Advice Service, over 8 million people in the UK are over-indebted. This means that they are struggling to keep up with their financial commitments and may have to resort to borrowing more money to make ends meet.
"If you find yourself in a similar situation, it's important to know that there is a way out!"
Now, I'm not giving you formal debt advice in this blog post, just putting together a list of common sense ideas that anyone can follow. I was asked by a client recently for ideas to help her nephew, and here are the 10 practical steps I suggested to her.
Face Your Debt Head-On
The first step to overcoming debt is to acknowledge and face it head-on. Many people tend to avoid looking at their debts or even opening their bills. But ignoring the problem will only make it worse. Take a deep breath and gather all your bills and statements. Write down the total amount of debt you owe and make a plan to tackle it.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget is crucial in managing your finances and paying off debt. Start by listing all your monthly income and expenses. This will give you a clear picture of where your money is going and where you can cut back. Be realistic and make sure to include your debt payments in your budget. Stick to your budget and avoid unnecessary expenses.
Prioritise Your Debts
Not all debts are created equal. Some may have higher interest rates or penalties for late payments. Prioritise your debts and focus on paying off the ones with the highest interest rates first. This will save you money in the long run and help you pay off your debts faster.
Negotiate with Creditors
If you are struggling to keep up with your debt payments, don't be afraid to reach out to your creditors. They may be willing to work with you and offer a more manageable repayment plan. It's better to communicate with them and come up with a solution rather than ignoring their calls and letters.
Consider Debt Consolidation
If you have multiple debts with high-interest rates, consolidating them into one loan with a lower interest rate can help you save money and make your payments more manageable. However, make sure to do your research and compare different options before making a decision.
Avoid Taking on More Debt
It may be tempting to take out a loan or use your credit card to cover your expenses, but this will only add to your debt. Avoid taking on more debt and focus on paying off what you already owe. If you need to make a big purchase, save up for it instead of using credit.
Cut Back on Non-Essential Expenses
To free up more money for debt payments, consider cutting back on non-essential expenses such as eating out, subscription services, and impulse purchases. You may be surprised at how much you can save by making small changes to your spending habits.
Increase Your Income
If your current income is not enough to cover your expenses and debt payments, consider finding ways to increase your income. This can be through a side hustle, asking for a raise, or finding a higher-paying job. Every extra pound you earn can go towards paying off your debts.
Seek Professional Help
If you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start, seek professional help. There are many free debt advice services available, such as Citizens Advice and StepChange, that can provide you with personalised advice and support.
Stay Positive and Be Patient
Breaking free from the cycle of debt takes time and effort. It's important to stay positive and be patient with yourself. Celebrate small victories and don't be too hard on yourself if you have setbacks. With determination and perseverance, you can overcome your debts and achieve financial freedom.
Being in debt does not have to define you. By taking these 10 steps, you can improve your finances and break free from the cycle of debt. Remember, it's never too late to take control of your finances and work towards a brighter financial future.
Take action now and start your journey towards freedom.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about debt and how to regain financial freedom, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 07887 832222 and let's see how I can help.
I have been advising private individuals and businesses as a Financial Planner for over 20 years. I am a Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society and a Certified Money Coach.
As a Chartered Financial Planner, I hold the highest level of qualification available in the Financial planning profession as well as gaining a masters in Finance in 2021. I set up my own financial planning practice in 2020 to follow my passion of bringing straight forward, honest and easy to understand financial advice to those who need it.
I live in a 400 year old cottage with my husband, 2 dogs (Maia and Greg), 6 chickens and 3 beehives!
I love being outside and in nature and feel right at home digging in the veggie patch or going on road trips to the amazing UK countryside in our trusty camper van! I love being part of our local community and have volunteered as a scout leader for over 15 years as well as being the current President of the Rotary Club of Milton Keynes.
For fun, I also love all things creative from playing my accordion and guitar to painting and knitting! My most recent hobby has been to learn how to ring church bells at our local church (but this is still very much a work in progress!)
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