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Control of Your Finances

Control your expenditure. It’s very easy for money to just “go”. However, if you pay strict attention on a daily basis to where it’s being spent, you will feel much more in control. Consider keeping a diary of daily expenditure for a few weeks. The results may surprise you, but more importantly may help you to target areas where cutbacks can be made.┬áIf you find that despite all your efforts, you aren’t coping financially and your debts are growing – get help immediately. There is lots of free advice available, so make use of it. Don’t just worry about your problems – worrying doesn’t solve anything. Neither does burying your head in the sand and hoping your troubles will somehow just disappear. Speak to your creditors as soon as you know you have a problem. Don’t wait until they are harassing you for missed payments.

Pay the essentials first. Make sure to put by every month, enough money to pay items like the mortgage, necessary insurances, utility bills, food, travel expenses for work.

Try to create a small emergency fund. As soon as you are paid, whether weekly or monthly, put a small sum aside for contingencies. If you can do this immediately you are paid, you won’t miss the money. No matter how well you budget, there will always be unexpected expense and if you have the means to cover it, this will ease your stress levels considerably.

As well as trying to decrease expenditure, look around for ways to increase income too. You may have a particular skill that people would be willing to pay you for, such as gardening, painting and decorating, book keeping, Internet skills, or animal care. Look through all the junk you have stored at home. Books, CD’s, clothes, items of furniture, all can be turned in cash through eBay or car boot sales. If you have a spare room, consider renting it out.Foreign students who are only looking for accommodation for a few weeks at a time, give a gentle introduction to see if you would be happy living with this sort of arrangement.