Practical Support to Address your Debt - Activfirst
A recent survey shows that the average UK resident has nearly £8000 worth of debt (not including their mortgage). Whether you’re below or above this average, any debt can cause financial strain and mental hardship on a person and their family. More than 6 million UK residents believe they will never be debt free, that’s a lot of worry over money.
But what can be done to help take the pressure off? Bills still need to be paid and you still need food on the table. Its not as simple as waving a magic wand or winning the lottery but you can take practical steps to help decrease the debt in your life.
Practical Steps to Assist your Debt
Step 1: Get organised
Create a monthly finance sheet of the money you have coming in and the money going out. When wrote on paper it can be scary to see how much you should have left over. Life does get in the way and it’s not as simple as it makes out, but the black and white truth shows if you’re maybe over indulging in some areas or aren’t aware of poor spending habits.
Step 2: Look for the finer details
Check your bank statements and keep note of small spends, £3 on dinner 5 days a week is a £60 monthly total cost. Can you afford this? Or is taking the time to make your dinner the morning or night before more beneficial?
Step 3: Control your spending
When you’re shopping in the supermarket ask yourself, ‘do I need this? Or do I just want this?’ if you’re honest with yourself there’s probably some more cut backs you could make.
Step 4: Do your research
When your car insurance renewal or pet insurance comes in, don’t just accept the amount given. Do your research and shop around you could save yourself at least £50 a month!
Step 5: Be in the know
If you know your monthly spare amount then take note of this. When you’re asked to join in for that cinema trip out, be aware of your ‘spare money’ as it goes quicker than you think. Next thing you’ll be spending your electric money and end up in more debt.
Step 6: Learn how to indulge
You work to live not live to work, give yourself some treats to help you relax or enjoy quality time with your love ones. Life is too short to work your self into the ground. Just know when to say no.
Final Advice on Debt
If trying these steps seems pointless because you have too much debt and too little income from work/benefits, then there is the possibility of a Debt Relief Order (DRO)
A DRO is an application for your debts to written off, there are certain rules and regulations which you will need to check to see if you are eligible for, but the basic idea is you declare your debts with the citizens advice team, they check your incomings and out goings and make the application. You then have all your debts put on hold for 1 year and cannot take out any finance, loans, etc. Then after the year your debts are gone. All for a one-off fee of £90, this will affect your credit score and you will need to rebuild this up over time, but it’s an excellent service to help relieve a lot of pressure and help you to get back on your feet.
Your local community usually has support networks in place too, here in Bridlington there are at least 5 food provision supports in the area offering emergency food parcels and food bank services through the week.
If you’re in receipt of benefits there is a chance you can apply for a budgeting loan to help towards costs, however this must be paid back through your benefits. You can also apply to your council for discretionary housing payments and loans. But again, think wisely before you take loans out, they are there to help and support and not to make your financial situations worse.
Hopefully you’ve found this post useful and you can take something away to better help your own situation. There are some useful links noted if you need further information and support.