Now is the perfect time to reassess your situation before the New Year and work out what you can do to sort out your finances in 2021.
These tips should help you get back on track.
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SET YOURSELF A GOAL
What do you want to achieve in 2021 with your finances? Now is a really good time to set yourself a goal.
Whether it’s getting on the path to buying a house, paying off your debts or going on holiday, it will really help motivate you if you have something you’re aiming for.
Try to check in on your goal every month. Perhaps you could set a reminder in your diary to reassess where you are at.
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GIVE YOURSELF A FINANCIAL HEALTH CHECK
Go through your finances and work out where you are at.
Make a note of how much money you have coming in and out and how much you owe.
If your outgoings are more than the money you have coming in or you want to save towards a goal, such as buying a house or car, then you will need to cut down your outgoings.
Once you know where your finances are then you can start to move forward and sort them out.
If this seems really daunting then you could get free advice from a debt charity.
CUT DOWN ON YOUR BILLS
Make a list of all your bills and go through them. Is there any way to save money?
For things like your energy, insurance or broadband contracts you may be tied into deals. Make a note of when your contract ends and set a reminder in your phone a month before to assess that bill again.
Are there any subscriptions you can cancel or cut down on? For example, are you using your Netflix or Stan subscriptions regularly?
HAGGLE DOWN YOUR BILLS
If you’re out of the minimum term contract on any of your bills but you don’t want to leave then remember you could try haggling to get a better deal.
Set aside some time to phone the provider. Before you call make sure you do your research and find out if there’s a better deal out there.
Explain that you want to leave unless there’s a way that they can match that offer or ask if they can make you a new one.
Don’t be afraid to walk away if you’re still unhappy that you’re paying too much.
MAKE A PLAN TO PAY BACK YOUR DEBTS
It will probably be impossible to pay back debts before January 1, but if you have the money then make this a priority.
If you don’t then at least make a realistic plan for how you are going to get back on track.
If you’re paying off an expensive credit card with a high interest rate this is going to take you a lot longer to pay off your debts – and it could cost you thousands extra too.
You may want to think about consolidating your debts and using a 0 per cent balance transfer credit card or a personal loan to pay them off.
Make sure you work out how much it would cost to pay back in total once you’ve factored in interest rate and fees.
Once you’ve got a plan of action you will start to feel a lot better about your financial situation as you are taking control.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission