How to look after your debt
Work out a budget
The first thing to do is to work out how much money you have coming in and out each month (also known as a budget).
To do this, you should make a note of all the monthly payments you make. Think about your mortgage or rent and any credit card and loan payments. Also, note down any savings, investments and insurance you may have. Plus, of course, there’s always council tax, gym fees, subscriptions, travel costs, and internet and TV packages.
To make this a little easier, you might like to visit the Money Advice Service’s Budget Planner.
Be realistic with your budget, so you don’t set one that will be hard to stick to. And as you put it together, please keep these things in mind:
- Focus on your priority payments first – e.g. rent and mortgage payments, council tax and accounts you’re behind with and owe interest and fees on.
- Look at the non-essential things you spend money on and cut back on them until you’re back on track.
- Try to pay off debt with the highest interest rates first.
- And if more money goes out than comes in, get some free independent help and advice or speak to your creditors directly.
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