Get out and stay out! Five easy tips for managing your money and staying out debt

These tips can help you whether you are in, or out of debt. Keeping on top of your money is relatively easy, once you know how. If you’ve been in sticky financial situations in the past then hopefully you would have learnt from your mistakes. Letting your finances get so bad that they rule your life is and incredibly stressful way to live. Follow these tips to eliminate financial stress in your life:

* Budget – Creating a budget should always be step one. You need to ask yourself the following questions: How much money do I earn? How much money do I owe? What money do I have set aside? Once you’ve established what money you have and how much is going out you can begin to create a picture of your finances. You can now decide how much you can afford to spend, and how much you need to repay one week at a time. Don’t panic yet if it looks like your outgoings are bigger than your incomings. There are steps you can take to tackle this problem in stages.

* Use cash – Once you’ve established your weekly budget then you should withdraw that amount in cash. It’s important to not keep it on you all at once, but from the cash you have you should be able to the budget for each day. You are less likely to overspend during the week if you can physically see your money in your wallet. The danger with cards is that you can very quickly lost track of how much you’ve spent.

* Cut bad habits – Bad habits are expensive. There’s no denying it. We can appreciate that cutting out bad habits is a challenge. We won’t sugar coat it, what is best for your money is to completely cut out smoking and drinking. You will all save money on health care if you do.

If you need to cut out habits slowly then set yourself targets each week. Start with ten cigarettes instead of twenty, one pint instead of two. We promise that you really will see the benefits from cutting out bad habits even on a weekly basis.

* Keep your receipts – Throughout the day collect all your receipts. Even if it’s just something small like food or drink. Don’t let them all pile up in your wallet either. Remember to take collect them at the end of the day and use a quick system to organise them. You don’t have to spend hours on this, just paper-clipping with a post-it note saying the day of the week will do.

* Analyse your spending – This is the part where you really have to commit a bit of time. Naturally, life is sometimes impossibly busy and you don’t even have time to sit down. Analysing your spending really is crucial to managing your money efficiently. If you don’t sit down and review everything you’ve spent, your bills and your repayments then they quickly get on top of you.

There are now so many tools you can use to help you analyse your money. You can download apps such as Pocket Money, HomeBudget and Account Tracker. This will give you an opportunity to start analysing your spending while you’re on the go.

As time goes by you will have a complete picture of your spending. You will think about financial decisions for longer and you won’t indulge in guilty spending as often.

When it comes to money, don’t sell yourself short. With a bit of practice you can be in command of your bank accounts, bills and repayments. If you let your finances be in command of you then you are on a single track to being stuck in debt.

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