Just because something is commen sense doesn’t mean it’s common practice…some debt pearls of wisdom we should all take to heart:
- A friend once asked my dad if he managed to keep on top of his credit cards ‘I never have any problems with those silly cards’ he said. ‘How do you manage that?’ his friend persisted….’Well I haven’t got any you see,’ said Dad. Nuff said really!
- Use cash or debit rather than credit. Use cash whenever possible it is always more painful to part with than money!
- Delay your gratification or put a stop to it all together. Putting you credit card in a cup of water in the freezer ,means before you put it use you have to defrost it! In the age of Internet shopping anything that pauses you has to be Good! (before you ask I read this in a magazine years ago and have no clue if your card will survive you doing this)
- Understand late fees and interest: you could be paying out loads of extra money just by not being organised.
- Telling somebody you trust about your debt makes it a subject that can be discussed which gives you a chance to explore solutions. Keeping it quiet and hidden keeps the whole burden on you and sometimes someone else may have an idea you haven’t considered.
- ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’ Think about this saying, it’s been around forever for a reason . £1.80 twice a week on a ‘posh coffee’ = £187.20 a year!! A flask or insulated coffee cup will set you back about £2 from Asda
- Debts a bit like weight gain. It probably took a second to eat the cream cake (or buy that dress) but it will take a lot longer to shift the weight (and reduce your debt). Is it worth it?
- Talk to the company you owe money to , they are not the enemy (honestly they aren’t!) and they want something rather than nothing so it can be worth trying to seek some resolution together.
- Modelling yourself on someone who never has debt problems is a good idea. Find a guru amongst family and friends, watch what they do and ask for pointers. Its ways good to have a role model and guide.
Lastly if you are in a big pickle 2 great places to go for advice are: National Debtline free on: 0808 808 4000 or if you prefer face to face check out your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice.htm both are well established support networks and can point you in a good direction.