Focus on What You Can Control

With mortgage rates where they are, it can be stressful to owe money or be behind on bills.

Seek urgent help with money if you’re in a tough spot and battling to make ends meet. You can get help with things like food, bills, housing, and mental health.

 

  1. Know what you owe

First, make a list of everything you owe.

Make a list of all your bills and write down:

  • how much each one is worth
  • what is the monthly payment
  • when the payment is due

Add up all the money you owe on credit cards, loans, fines, unpaid bills, and “buy now pay later” plans.

Then add up all of your bills to find out how much you owe all together. At first, it might feel scary, but remember that you are in charge of your money.

You will feel better when you have control.

 

  1. Work out what you can afford to pay

You should now figure out how much you can pay each month towards your bills.

 

Compare money in and money out

The easiest way to do this is to do a budget.

List all the money:

  • coming in (income) — such as salary, pension or benefit payments
  • going out (debts and expenses) — like food, rent or mortgage, buy now pay later, credit card, electricity, gas, phone, transport

Tally these up, then compare money in and money out.

 

Make savings or cuts

Do you have more money going out than coming in? Or are your expenses higher than you’d like them to be? If so, it’s time to make some choices.

What are:

  • needs — the absolute necessities
  • wants — could do without, at least for a while

Find some expenses that you can cut. Be realistic — don’t make it impossible to stick to.

Debt is likely to be more expensive than what you get from your savings account. Plan to pay off debt first. It makes no sense paying 25% on credit card outstandings when your savings is making 5%.

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