Get grip on your debt: Popular New Year’s Resolutions

By • Dec 31st, 2012 • Category: Debt

It’s been difficult these last few years for family finances though the signs are that the worst of the trouble may be over. There is no reason for anyone to be complacent however even if your job is looking secure. The easy years of the beginning of this Century had a culture of the casual use of credit cards backed up by the rise in real estate prices. Both these things have changed dramatically and it is time to look to the New Year and how to ensure that your finances are in shape.

Why not start by looking at all your finances, assets and liabilities, note them down and prepare a proper monthly income and expenditure budget. There are obvious implications if your employment circumstances change. It is useful to be aware of what you might face if you were to lose your job and face a period without income. Have you any fallback position?

There are some savings potentially. It is worth checking whether you have some of your belongings ‘double insured’, perhaps as items themselves and within home contents insurance. Get rid of any such waste.

Credit card and store card debt can get out of control before you know it. If that has happened to you it is worth taking action to pay off balances which are incurring high interest rates. A consolidation loan is one way to do it but it is important to not then start spending again and ignoring a balance build up with the consolidation loan still running.

If you are offered a 0% balance transfer on a new credit card it may be part of the solution but make sure you fully understand the interest rate to be charged after the initial period.

There is no reason why you cannot become a more responsible shopper in 2013. There are always special offers to be had; discounts for buying in bulk but only do that on useful products that you use regularly. It is worth looking at whether there are genuine savings by shopping where there are loyalty points to be gained which can build up a value. As long as it does not tempt you into spending more than you would otherwise do then go ahead as long as it is not the most expensive shop in town.

On the positive side you may have a fairly strong financial position, a surplus each month and have some decisions to make about investment. The rules are very much the same; think about your goals, short, medium and long term. Sometimes something as important as this is forgotten because of daily activity. It is sensible to write down a few priorities in order and perhaps use the internet to do some general research before making any decisions.

It is certainly worth asking for expert financial advice from more than one source including getting tax advice on the implications of the options you are considering. Once you take the plunge or if you have already done it promise yourself that you will keep a track of how your investments are progressing.

The basic message for 2013 is to keep control of your finances both assets and liabilities. Once you have everything recorded keeping track is a regular but not too time consuming activity. Start in January the way you mean to go on.

Author Bio: Darrell Hunt is a finance guest post contributor. He loves to write on financial topics like debt,credit card, bad credit loans, mortgage, personal finance etc.

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