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10 ways to get out of that worrying financial hole you've found yourself in


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Responsibility is boring, let's face it. And since most of you reading this will be stumbling across the dreaded responsibility bug for the first time, I'm going to turn into Auntie Kayleigh and give you some advice.

Just don't even go here, ok?

And today I thought I’d have a chat about finances. I heard that eye roll - quit that. This shit is important. Especially with the country seemingly going to shit and rent going up, nothing wrong with having your money under control - and maybe even having something set aside for a rainy day.

But before we talk numbers, I’ll tell you a little bit about my financial history. Shopping is my life. Clothes, make up, accessories – I’ve always floated through a world of not understanding the value of money. I winged it, constantly.

After the end of a relationship, I was suddenly back at my parents and felt financially thrilled! “Great! No more rent or bills. Let’s go shopping.” And shop I did. And drink. And party. For months. My parents were happy for me to do it, probably so I could deal with the break up in my own way, but I soon found myself in trouble again, down to my last few pounds, living from month to month and always in credit.

It was only when I decided to sit down and man up, that things started to change.

So here are my top tips & what I did to sort out my money.

1. Go through your bank statements and see what you’re constantly spending money on.

Add it up. Average it. Everything. From taking money out at cash machines, to McDonalds breakfasts for a hangover. It’ll shock you how much you spend on stuff you don’t really need.

2. Write down what credit you owe and look at the total.

And when I say what you owe, I mean everything. Credit cards. Loans. Car finance. Mobile phones. Leave nothing out, because credit is credit, regardless of how small. You may not have much if you've only just moved out, but it's still worth looking at.

3. Write down your regular and non-regular outgoings and look at the total.

Outgoings are the biggest thing to get a handle of. Yes, your £7.49 Netflix counts. Everything counts. And I’m not just talking direct debits, take a look at non-regular – what’s your petrol per month? Food?

4. Work out how much Student Finance will give you and when. 

It's easy to lose track of money and time. So when it gets to mid December, you realise you have no pennies left until January, it can be terrifying. So work out what you're getting, take off your bills and figure out what you have per week/month to live on. 

But take into account little things. You're gonna wanna spend a bit more at some point, whether it's Christmas presents, birthday presents or a night out - so account for that. 

5. Ask for help. I got to a stage that the charges applied were higher than my actual monthly payments. I was getting nowhere. So I swallowed my pride and called the bank and admitted I was struggling. They were fantastic, I sorted out a payment plan and they actually waived most of the charges to help me out. Family members are also there to help - don't be embarrassed to admit you may have had too many jagerbombs this month and so £20 for food wouldn't go a miss.

But don't take the piss, alright? Mum and dads need jagerbombs too.

6. Be strict, tighten your belt. If you have credit, you have to be strict – at least until it’s paid off. I used to get a venti Starbucks every single day - and I wondered why I had no money?

And be sensible. I don’t mean “I didn’t buy any jeans last week, might treat myself to a dior handbag”. This is what being a gown up is all about (apparently).

7. Keep and excel and update it regularly. My excel is my life (did I really just say that?) I update it whenever I pay something off so I can see the progress. I even at one point worked out where I’d be in three months time and I hit that goal on Friday – so it makes me super happy.

8. If your bank has an app, download it. It’s easy sometimes to put your card in and pray it goes through. Don’t get to that stage. If your bank has an app, download it and check it regularly. If your phone bill is higher than usual, then put down that bottle of wine and stick to water until you're back in control again.

9. Direct debits remember when you don’t. Do you know how easy it is to miss a payment, forget it’s a bank holiday and end up with a charge? Sure, we all do. So set up a direct debit, even if it’s just a minimum payment to make sure you don’t get an extra charge, then you can pay extra when you can.

10. Don’t ignore it. The worst thing you can do is get to a stage where you're scared to look at your account for fear of those minus figures. You can get out of a sticky situation, we all can, it’s just about waking up to the situation and getting in control. If I can do it (a girl who once dropped a £20 and didn’t care) then you can!

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