Ask Away Blog: Practical Solutions For Managing Debt

Practical Solutions For Managing Debt

Monday, July 5, 2021

Financial pressures are one of the most common causes of stress among US adults. If you are struggling to clear debts, or your repayments are increasing month on month, this guide contains practical solutions to help you improve your financial situation.

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The first step to take when trying to clear debts is drawing up a budget. Budgeting is a simple, quick, hassle-free means of monitoring spending, and it can also highlight expenses you could reduce or eliminate. Spend a few minutes at the start of each month noting down your income, your regular expenses and one-off payments you’ll cover in the month ahead. Once you have the figures in front of you, work out how much you have left over. Go through your transactions and look for expenses you can reduce or cut out. Examples include memberships and subscriptions you don’t use and luxury items, such as clothing, nights out and takeouts. Set yourself a spending limit and try to spend as much as you can on clearing debts. The faster you can pay off credit cards and loans, for example, the less interest you’ll pay. While you’re trying to reduce debts, it’s wise to try and tighten your belt and lower spending as much as possible.

Tackling high-interest debts

Many people have debts but being in debt isn’t always a cause for concern. If you have a mortgage, for example, and you’re able to cover the repayments, you don’t need to worry. Continue paying back the loan as normal. If you can’t cover the repayments, you’re borrowing more money, you’re using credit cards more frequently or you’re paying a huge sum in interest or fees each month, try to take action as quickly as possible. There is a risk of debts spiraling, especially when credit cards and high-interest loans are involved. If you have savings, consider using them to pay off your debts. You could also search online for advice about raising funds in other ways, for example, typing in terms like sell my annuity or cash in stocks and shares. You could also explore the option of a debt consolidation loan. This is a loan that is designed to cover multiple debts. Once you’ve paid off existing debts, you’ll pay a single monthly payment for the new loan.

Seeking advice

It is very easy for debts to spiral out of control, and there is absolutely no shame in asking for help and advice. Anyone can find themselves in a situation where their financial health is deteriorating. Search for advice online via nonprofits, arrange to see financial advisers that offer free consultations and contact your bank or loan provider if you’re having trouble covering regular payments. There are solutions, and it is possible to pay off debts and get back into the black.

Most people have debts but there is a big difference between debts you can cover and those that keep growing. If you’re having trouble staying afloat, don’t panic. Draw up a budget, keep a close eye on spending, try to clear as much debt as possible and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help or advice.

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