You’re certainly not alone in being tired of struggling with money. Living paycheck to paycheck is not easy; struggling to make ends meet, and having nothing left at the end of the month can be soul-destroying. However, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your spending.
The easiest way to improve your financial situation is to reduce your outgoings. Work out what isn't essential and cut it. Stick to a strict budget and pay off high-interest debts as soon as possible.
Sometimes it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to debt repayment and living paycheck to paycheck. It seems a constant battle to keep your head above water, and it can also be mentally draining.
There are some simple tweaks you can make to improve your cash flow, strengthen your finances and allow you to look to the future with confidence.
Keep reading and get ideas about how to improve your financial situation.
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One of the many problems associated with debt issues is the fact many of us look ahead to the time when we will be debt-free. We jump from the now to the future without actually making the sacrifices and changing the way we spend in between.
So, one of the first things you need to do if you are struggling with money is to accept where you are today, make a plan and put it into practice.
The continuous never-ending stress relating to money problems can and does take its mental toll on many people. While it is very easy to suggest that we should all stop worrying, it is more a case of doing something to take our mind off our issues.
Look at your budget, see where you can make any changes and put your plans into place. This won’t happen overnight, but slowly you will see a gradual improvement in your finances and the worry will reduce. Then you can start to enjoy life again!
There are many areas of spending where we could all make small tweaks to improve our financial well-being. It may be possible to reduce our social spending, get a cheaper mobile phone or downgrade the television package in your home.
There is a balance between living a life and financial well-being, and while we are looking at improving finances, you also have to have a life. That said; if you are struggling financially, then you need to be honest with yourself, strip out the luxury expenses and try to get yourself back on track.
The best way to start is to write down a list of your expenses, income and debts. You will probably notice that your expenses and debt repayments are top-heavy compared to your income. Are there any savings that stand out? Could you amalgamate your mobile phone, Internet and TV into one cheaper package?
Perhaps you could save money on insurance by taking your car insurance and house insurance with the same provider? Budgeting is not about slashing all of your expenditure immediately but more a case of saving money where you can.
It is very easy to build up a significant element of debt with an overdraft, credit card and perhaps a personal loan from your bank. Many people will also have mortgage payments which need to be the main priority in order to protect their home. However, when it comes to overdrafts, credit cards and personal loans, it may be worth looking at a debt consolidation loan if you are being charged relatively high rates of interest.
A debt consolidation loan is finance used to repay outstanding unsecured debts. Depending upon your financial credit rating, you could look at a longer-term debt consolidation loan which would improve your short-term cash flow. Obviously, you would pay more in interest, but this could allow you to get yourself back on your financial feet.
With a debt consolidation loan, you will have just one monthly payment as opposed to one for your credit card and one for your personal loan. Even if you stay within the limits of your overdraft, interest can very quickly add up.
If you are able to reduce your monthly outgoings, maybe even top up your income, then you can begin to look at saving money. The key to saving money in the early days is to start relatively small and build this up as you hopefully accumulate more surplus cash going forward.
Many people will attempt to deposit large amounts into a new savings account when, in effect, they end up robbing Peter to pay Paul. It may well be sensible to hold your savings with a different bank from your current account, removing any temptation to “take a few pounds” when you are short.
While finance such as payday loans and other short-term options can often attract negative press comment, they are legitimate financial tools. If for example you find yourself £100 short between now and your next payday, and your rent is due very soon, it makes sense to at least look at this short-term debt solution.
However, this should only be a short-term solution to get you back on your feet. If you find yourself depending on short-term debt to get by each month, then you may need to think again.
The debt snowball method is a useful means of repaying debt and actually seeing something happen very quickly. You would continue to make minimum payments on all of your individual debts, although any surplus would be used to fund additional payments towards your smallest debt.
The idea is simple: when you’re the smallest debt is paid off, you actually begin to feel progress is being made. Your funds are then switched to the remaining debts with additional payments made to the next smallest debt – this is repeated until you are debt-free.
The debt avalanche method is similar to the debt snowball method in that you will continue to make minimum repayments to all of your individual debts. However, any surplus, no matter how small, would go towards repaying the debt with the highest rate of interest. This method means that over time you will pay less interest and hence move out of debt much quicker.
Living paycheck to paycheck is difficult from both a financial point of view and mentally. There are ways and means to tackle short-term cash flow problems such as revisiting your monthly budget, adjusting the structure of your debts and taking a longer-term approach where possible. This may include a debt consolidation loan or even advice from a debt management company. Never be afraid to ask for help.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s debt release brokers. They have already helped thousands of people reduce and remove a high percentage of debt, and if you are struggling with debt, they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these brokers, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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