8.3 million people in the UK cannot afford to pay off their debts or bills according to a report from the National Audit Office.
So how can you help get out of debt once you’ve hit rock bottom?
1) Put Down The Shovel
Stop digging so much. All you’ve done so far is fall down the hole you have created. You need to start filling in back in to give yourself a steadier ground.
Don’t apply for any more high APR credit cards or loans. Debt is not a viable way to fund your lifestyle. You need to lock everything down and take stock of what you have and organise yourself. Freeze cards in a block of ice. Defrosting it gives you enough time to mull over the purchase.
2) Budget Busting
Work out your budget. Write everything down in a clear and concise manner. Once it’s in black and white, you can start to make necessary changes. Don’t cheat or ignore any payments that you have made. Be honest and write it all down. It will surprise you to see how many purchases you have made which are pointless and frivolous. This helps to kerb spontaneous spending.
3) Start Saying No
Cut everything all luxuries. You’ll have plenty of time to treat yourself when you get yourself out of debt. For now, cut out everything from getting your nails done to eating out as it’s draining your resources. It’s no good saying “I’ll just get my nails done this once” because it’s money better spent elsewhere and although your hands may look amazing, you will be taking a step back instead of striding forward debt-free.
If it’s possible, move all your debt to a 0% balance transfer card. Do not use this card to make any purchases or draw out any money. If you move all your debt to this card, you can avoid paying interest. Meaning you will be debt-free quicker.
5) Don’t Use One Click
Delete payment details from websites that use one-click payments like Amazon. It’s all too easy to ask Alexa to add products to your basket and pay for them by swiping on your iPhone, but if you do it you will spend more than you need to. If you don’t trust yourself delete your account, so you don’t have access to it.
6) Skimming and Saving
Start saving. Even if you live with debt, you still need to squirrel away a small amount of money. Skimming is an easy way of doing this without you noticing too much. Each month check your online bank account and note your balance. Then round it down to the nearest £5 and remove anything over that to another account. For example, let’s say you have £34.26 left at the end of the month. Round that down to the nearest £5 (means taking it to the nearest occurring digit £5 more/less away) which in this case is £30. Then you transfer whatever is over that amount, hence the £4.26 to another account. It’s that simple, and it’s something you can do without noticing that much of a loss.
A few pounds is a good start, but it’s there for emergencies. But remember, if there is a card attached to the account you transfer money to hand over access to your partner/parent/friend, so you don’t dip into it.
But you don’t always need an online account to do skimming. Each night check your purse for spare change. Anything over a whole number (so all your small change) pop into a big bottle. This is a fabulous idea to save for Christmas shopping. Start in the New Year and watch it build up as the months go past. You will amass more money than you think too.
Pick up a savings bottle on Amazon
Set your future goals. When you find yourself in debt, it can overwhelm you to the point where you stop planning your goals for the future. Visuals help you to keep track your repayments and goals keep you motivated. Set payment targets and celebrate each milestone.
8) Take Away The Take Out
Stop buying take out. When you’re out and about it’s convenient to pop into a high street coffee shop and splash out on a drink. Beverages are much cheaper to make at home, so save your pennies. Buy yourself a re-usable or eco coffee cup and take your own to work.
9) Have A Clear-Out
Get rid of clutter. We’re all guilty for buying things that end up collecting dust on a shelf. So every six months go through your belongings putting things that you don’t use to one side. Then pop them on sites like eBay or apps like vinted to recoup the cash.
10) Sort Out Your Skill Set
Bring in extra income by doing expanding your horizons. If you’ve read my previous articles like Earn Money From Chatline Work, you’ll already know that I like to think outside the box. When you’re done laying out your debt and your plan to pay back, take a look at your skill set too. Are you good at writing? Do people come to you for style advice? Or are you the tech lover that everyone comes to for help? Whatever your skills find a way to monetise it. If you like writing, become a blogger. If you love fashion and beauty, video yourself giving advice and upload it to YouTube. There’s always one way to top up your income. So don’t give up.
Need more inspiration then check out our money making challenges. Let me know in the comments below how you get on.