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Tackling debt can be daunting – to determine how to best eradicate the problem, you need to decide whether the debt is the result of one or more ‘one off’ big purchases, or whether there lies a deeper problem: your outgoings are more than what you have coming in each month. If it’s the latter, you need to find a way to earn more, spend less, or a bit of both.
Reduce the debt as much as possible by gathering as much money as you can now. Go through the loft, garage etc and put together anything you don’t need or want and do a car boot sale. Beware though as most people won’t pay much for things at car boots – more valuable items would be worth listing on eBay and local Buy and Sell pages on Facebook. I have found bigger things like furniture sells particularly well online and saves you having to take them in the car if the boot is going to be full!
If you need to reduce your outgoings to avoid getting into more debt, go through your bank statement and write them all down. Highlight the ones you can’t get rid of eg rent. Decide whether you need the ones that are left – this may be TV subscriptions, gym membership etc. Cancel the ones you can do without or consider making do with something cheaper, eg if you have an expensive Sky subscription just for the kids' channels, why not get a NOW kids TV box instead. After the initial cost of buying the box its only about £3 a month.
If you don’t have luxuries to cut back on, see how you can reduce the cost of your living arrangements. Do you need to downsize or move somewhere cheaper? If you have a spare room, could you get a lodger? Do you receive any benefits or maintenance payments you may be entitled to?
If you can’t reduce your outgoings enough to solve the problem, you need to increase your income. Is it a good time to ask for a pay rise in work or whether there is any overtime going in another department that you could do? Consider getting a second job or making money from a hobby – if you like making things you could sell your work on Etsy, or if you have a skill you could teach perhaps set up your own tutoring business and give lessons. The internet makes it easy to advertise your service with little or no costs.
See if you can do a 0 per cent balance transfer to stop paying interest on any credit cards. There are some balance transfers that will pay some of the credit into your bank account, so you could also do this to stop paying interest on some/all of your overdraft, or use the credit to pay off any expensive loans. If you manage to get a 0 per cent balance transfer for say 12 months, work out how much you need to pay each month to repay the borrowing before the end of the term as there is no guarantee you’ll get another balance transfer deal in a year.
Lastly, here are some swaps for you to try to adopt to avoid certain expenses! Remember, you have to make sacrifices in return for financial security, and some of these swap options are more fun:
This article was supplied by KIS Finance.