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Everyone’s financial journey has its ups and downs. So even when you’re struggling, remember: a few simple steps could help you turn things around.
The important thing is to take action.
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone
Almost half of us worry about money, with a massive 78% of 16—34 year olds saying it’s the thing they worry about the most.
And it’s no surprise. 1 in 6 UK households are now in serious financial difficulty. A further 20% are classed as “struggling”.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a breath — you’re not the only one going through this. There are steps you can take to improve your situation.
The sooner you fix things, the better
Don’t bury your head in the sand. Dealing with your financial problems can limit the damage and get you back on track.
According to debt charity Stepchange, 53% of people who came to them for advice said they’d waited more than a year before asking for help. Often, that was because they felt embarrassed or thought that seeking help could impact their credit scores.
Here’s the takeaway:Ignoring the problem will almost always make matters worse. You won’t ever be penalised for just asking for help. And even if you’ve delayed taking action, the sooner you do something, the better.
5 ways to get your finances back on track
1. Review your outgoings
It’s a good idea to review all the regular payments leaving your account. Luckily, most banks have apps, so you already have the power in the palm of your hand. Listing out all the things you’re paying for can help you discover unused subscriptions and cut back on the stuff you don’t want or need anymore — potentially saving you a decent amount of money every month.
Even better, the free TotallyMoney app helps you cut through the noise by grouping all your regular payments together, so you can filter out your everyday spending and focus on your bills.
You can even go a step further and just see the bills that have an impact on your credit score. These are bills which will have a negative effect if you don’t pay on time, making it harder to get good deals on credit in the future. If you don’t think you can afford to pay all these on time, get in touch with the company to see what options you have available.
2. Set a budget (and stick to it)
Budgeting is another way you can get a clearer picture of what you need to spend every month, and what you can afford to live without.
List out all your regular outgoings — plus, your income. Once you’ve figured out how much you’re spending on essential bills, subtract it from your income. The number you’re left with is how much you can afford to spend on other things like food and clothing.
Spend less than that number and you should build up some savings. Spend more, and you’ll start to slide into debt.
If you don’t fancy the paperwork, you can see your bills-after-balance anytime from the TotallyMoney app. It uses open banking data to see how much you’ll have left to spend after paying your regular bills. You can set alerts too, so you’ll never accidentally spend more than your budget again!
3. Check what’s holding you back
The free TotallyMoney app shows you what’s currently affecting your credit score and the steps you can take to improve.
What’s good for your credit score is often good for your finances in general, so this is a great place to start if you’re not sure what to do next.
Simple steps like getting on the electoral register, or closing old accounts could help your score climb higher — unlocking better and cheaper credit offers for the future.
4. Look for cheaper credit offers
If you’ve stuck with the same credit card for years — long after any introductory offers have run out — you could be wasting money.
That’s because many credit cards come with offers that could help you save, and switching is usually easy.
If you’re paying interest every month, you might want to consider a credit card with a balance transfer offer. It’ll let you move the balance from your current card and gives you several months to repay without being charged any interest. That break from interest could help you pay the debt off faster, or build some savings.
If that feels overwhelming — check your Best Match for free on TotallyMoney. That’s the card or loan we think is best for you, based on everything you’ve told us. It’s a good way to cut through the noise and see what’s available.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’ve tried the tips above and you’re still struggling with your finances — don’t worry, there’s help available. Click here for organisations that can provide you with free advice and assistance. You won’t ever be penalised for asking for help.
And remember: the free TotallyMoney app gives you a powerful set of tools to simplify managing your finances and get you moving in the right direction quickly.