How I Managed My Debts After Christmas

Just after Christmas, I wrote about how hard up we were, and that we had to use a food bank to get by. I also wrote about how we had bailiffs knocking on the door because of my poor money management and how I had to find some money really fast to get out of a very sticky situation. I felt like a failure and that my money had been managed so badly, I had wanted to have a super special Christmas With Tilly but it didn't happen. So in the new year, I decided that I needed to look at money differently, that I could still live as well as having to pay my debts back.

I needed to take control of this part of my life and here we are 12 weeks into 2019 and I have almost paid my debts off! It's been hard work and if it wasn't for the help and patience of friends, I wouldn't be able to get it done. So what have I learnt over the past few months?

Ask For Help - Don't struggle with things if you can ask someone for help and advice. The CAB will be able to help you with this. ASk friends for help, you can guarantee, they were probably in the same position once too and they might have the answers that you are looking for.

Make Your Money Go Further - You can do this in many different ways like not wasting your wages when they come in. If you don't really need it, then don't buy it. You could use that money to pay a bill instead or pop it away in a savings account for a rainy day.

Sell Things You Don't Need - If you don't need it, get rid of it. You can sell things that you are not going to use and make use of the money, it's better than having things lying around the house that are just taking up space. Using Facebook groups or apps on your phone means that you don't pay a selling fee either and people can pick up from your house or a mutual meeting place. But eBay offers more protection and people pay with PayPal so both the seller and buyer are protected. When you sell something through eBay, you need to think about the costs added for the sale too.

Work Out Your Debts - The first time that I did this, I recalculated it a few times because I didn't believe I owed so much money! But putting it down on paper, makes you realise the extent of the money that you have coming in and out of the household. You need to do this to even start working out where you will go from here.

Pay Off The Debts - Although I am paying mine off monthly, there are many ways to do this. My friend has taken out a loan to pay all of her debts off. She now has one payment of £180 a month coming from her bank and she only pays that to the loan company, whereas before she owed money to several different companies, now it comes out as one payment and she doesn't have debt collectors knocking on her door. My advice is to shop around for the loan companies online that you can get, this means there is no middle man waiting to take is share of commision, so any savings will be all yours.

Make A Note Of Spending - This is a great way to track where your money has gone because you can see if you can cut any spending if you need to. Now I work out where my wages have to go and how much is going to each person. I stick to this list and I know it's more beneficial to me to do this and it means I am not worrying about money all of the time. Even in the supermarket, keep your receipts because you might need to spend less next week and you can go through your receipts to see where you can cut costs by going for a cheaper brand next week.

Set A Goal -  I always try to set a goal for things. In January, I always take Matilda to Aalborg for a couple of days, this helps us in the after Christmas lull and as we had just had a really poor Christmas, it meant something for us to look forward to. This gives us reason to manage our money better because if I didn't then I would have had to cancel it. My bigger goal was a holiday in May with Tilly. Setting a goal gives me sheer determination to get my money sorted out and get to that goal sooner, rather than later. setting a goal is like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey and it makes you work hard for what you want.

Make Sure You Still Enjoy Yourself - Don't stop living! Sometimes we manage to survive on the little income that we have coming in, but we need to actually LIVE and not just SURVIVE. Still, find time to enjoy yourself because being in debt is almost a fact of life these days for many people but you cannot let it drown you. Hopefully, the advice we have offered can help you with debt. It's nothing to be ashamed of and there is always someone there to help out.

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