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The third Monday in January is known as Blue Monday, because it’s believed to be the most depressing day of the year.  It’s easy to see why.  However recent events may well have overtaken this and there will certainly be new blue days in everyone’s calendars.  For some of us, getting over the next few months basically means sorting out our health both physical & mental but for many of us, it also means sorting out our finances.

For many people, a new tax year signals a new start

As April is the traditional time for new business beginnings, it’s often the time when people decide to grapple with their debt issues.  Making a new start in a new business year can have a lot of emotional appeal.  April is not, however, the only time you can get help with debt issues, in fact, it’s not even necessarily the best time to get help with debt issues.  The best time to get help with debt issues is the time that’s best for you and the best way to get help with debt issues is the way that’s right for you.

Peer support can be enough to get you through minor and/or short-term issues

If you just need to cut back on your spending to deal with some minor debt issues, then getting your friends on board can be a great place to start.  In fact, it may be all you need.  It might even be all they need because they could be in the same boat as you right now.

Being in lockdown may mean that you’re already cutting back on a social life, so when this time ends you could already be on your way, this time is giving you the opportunity you need to adjust it somewhat. Out of lockdown, instead of going out partying, look for free activities or just have your friends come round your place (or you go to theirs).  Chances are that they’ll be in the same boat, so you can all support each other through the summer.

There’s plenty of online help for more serious issues

If your debt problem extends beyond the standard pain of simply cutting back, but you’re not in a place where you’d qualify for (or even necessarily want) a formal debt-management plan let alone insolvency, then there several high-quality websites and forums where you can go to get help and support from people who either work in the industry or who have been there themselves (or are still there themselves and are working their way through it).

In this kind of situation, the best way forward is generally to take a long-term, structured approach to dealing with your debt.  Basically, you’re going to look at your necessary outgoings and you’re going to decide which are genuinely necessary (i.e. you need them to live) and which are only legally necessary (i.e. you’re contractually obliged to make them) and you’re going to try to rid yourself of the latter as quickly as possible.

Then you’re going to work out a strategic approach to paying back your debts.  This will typically mean prioritising essential debts, basically debts which relate to basics like housing, utilities, transport and, of course, taxes and doing your level best to make the minimum payment on all other debts. If you have requested payment breaks on your loans or credit cards, try to save at least some of what you would normally pay toward them so that can clear debts off quicker once the holiday period is over. After this, you try to save as much money as you can so that you build up a cash cushion for emergencies and then you put any excess funds towards paying back your debts, starting with the most expensive one (i.e. the one which charges the highest interest).

For serious debt issues, professional help can be invaluable

If you’re really struggling with debt, then you want to make it a priority to get professional advice as soon as possible.  If this sounds like you, then please get in touch with Adcroft.  We’re here to help.

Blackpool: 01253 299 399 | Carlisle: 01228 558 899