After the excesses of Christmas, it can be hard to re-adjust to normal life again in January. This can often be made worse by demands for money from everything we spent at the end of the year. Dealing with debt is important. If you need someone to talk to and work out ways to help, we have many advisors with experience of dealing with debt in Scotland you can talk to. Simply make an appointment to come and see us.
So, after the tree is down and the chocolates eaten, it’s time to take stock. There are a few simple steps you can take in the meantime to help you deal with post-Christmas debt.
Dealing with post-Christmas debt
1. Don’t ignore the debt
With the January blues, it can be easy to leave letters unopened and not think about the money you owe. But hiding your head in the sand is one of the worst things you can do. Unmanaged debt can only ever get worse, thanks to interest. The sooner you open the letters, the quicker you will have a better understanding of your situation and, by talking to us, the quicker we can work out a solution for you.
2. Stay away from credit and store cards
Don’t be tempted by enticements from credit card companies to increase your spending limit. This will not help you get rid of debt, but only make the problem worse. Similarly, avoid store cards which offer discounts and buy-now-pay-later deals, but at very high interest rates. Now is the time to spend within your means.
3. Start budgeting
Take a look at what your income each month is, and what you spend this money on. Are you spending more than you are getting? If so, are there any areas you can save on? There are some things that you have to spend for, including rent/mortgage, utilities and food. Once you know what these are, you can begin to see how much money left over each month you could use to start paying off debt.
4. Find cheaper deals
If you have been with one insurance firm or utility company for years, chances are you are paying too much. Shop around on sites like Uswitch and Compare the Market for a guide on savings that can be made each month. They can often be considerable.
Also, take a look at the other services you pay for. Do you need or use your landline phone? Do you actually watch all the TV channels you subscribe to? And do you need to pay extra for superfast broadband? Spending an afternoon online could help put more pounds in your pocket. And top tip – don’t be afraid to call up suppliers on the phone. Often you can get a better deal speaking face-to-face than you can online.
5. Start planning for next Christmas
It’s never too early to start planning for next Christmas. Taking a look at our 5 tips to avoid Christmas debt is a good start! And remember to make an appointment with us so we can help you get to grips with your money worries, and work together to help get your debt after Christmas under control.