DEBTS & BUDGET

Question

My husband and I are struggling to manage our debts. Can you give us some suggestion to help sort out our money problem?

 

Answer

It’s very important to realise that you are not the only one with debt problems. Many good people have got into trouble with money. Many have taken on debts they find too hard to pay back –  now that their circumstances have changed. The most important thing for you to do is:  take back control of your situation.

There is a lot you can do, and people who will help you do it. Your first step is to create a budget. The act of budgeting will help you gain control of your money situation. When you have a budget, you are in a good position to assess your debt problem.

Gather all your papers

Open up all the unopened mail. Put everything on the table in front of you and discuss this matter openly with your husband. This is not a time for the blame game, but essential that debts do not cause a strain on your marriage.

(1) Bank statements

(2) Mortgage statements

(3) All credit card statements

(4) Every HP & loan statement

(5) Your essential household bills (gas, electric…)

Start to write down a record of what you’re spending money on. See where the money is going. This stops you from feeling overwhelmed. This clears your mind –  and helps you to think straight.

Start to budget

Next, use a budget to control your daily spending. It’ll help you see where you can find money to start paying off your debts. The thing to do is act immediately, short term – but think long term. It may take a while to pay off your debts but the key thing is to see a way to pay them off, bit by bit.

As soon as you clear one loan, redirect all your efforts in to clearing the next loan. You will begin to achieve a snowball effect that will lead you to a debt- free lifestyle. The major benefit of this action is that you are now in control of your future financial health. You have also maintained a “clean” credit history.

Allan Matthew Cuthbert t/a Financial Wellbeing is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland to advice on Mortgage,Savings, Life and Pension products