Staying financially safe in 2012: your guide

Property Buyer

Specialist Property Buyer

It seems like each year brings another financial woe to the table, constraining income and making it harder to avoid the possibility of debt. However, with a fair and balanced approach to your money, you can keep away from any difficulties that lesser planning could force you to face.

Firstly, cut down on any impulse spending. If you’re hungry, don’t go food shopping. If you’re off on a night out, or heading to a party, don’t go to a clothing store. These will usually lead you to buy there and then for things with little long term value. It may even be worth taking out your maximum spend in cash and leaving your cards at home.

Similarly, keep a budget spreadsheet and stick to it. You can measure out how much you can save, put towards bills and other things that you’re struggling with, and generally plan for a better financial future. The best bit is that you’ll be able to see how much you’re saving yourself for a good time. It’s not all bad if you plan properly!

However, if you’re really struggling to get out of serious debts and you have assets, it may be best to do away with them and downsize. For example, if you sell your house quickly through a specialist property buyer, you can pay off bills and move forward from there, renting until you feel confident enough to get back on the property ladder.

Obviously, throughout this process, it’s worth staying away from credit cards, especially for more menial purchases like food shopping. It will only serve to create a larger interest payment, should you not be able to get on top of the minimum bill. If you can, stick to debit cards for as much as possible and cut up credit cards if you can’t trust yourself to stay away from them.

Whatever your approach, it’s best to find what works for you. Remember that charities like Citizens Advice and Credit Action are on hand to help, should you need further guidance to match your personal circumstances.