Changes in our lives can have a knock on effect on our finances and finances can get out of balance and become a worry. So start off by asking yourself a few questions:
If you find yourself answering yes to at least one of the above, you may find the following suggestions useful.
Complete a monthly budgeting form - this will list your outgoings against your income and help to see the extent of any problem or imbalance.
Then you can perhaps look at ways of reducing your expenditure - look for a cheaper utilities provider, for example, or cut back on any non-essential hobbies and entertainment. Another good tip is to arrange your standing orders and direct debits to go out soon after your salary is received, and where possible pay bills monthly to spread the cost.
Part of the problem with money worries stems from the fact that, for whatever reason, it's just not the "done thing" to talk about it. In reality, it's the best solution, which is why we're happy to discuss your concerns at any time, day or night. If you are a first direct customer you can discuss your finances with one of our trained credit counsellors on 08 456 100 189. But if you'd prefer not to talk to us about it or you are not a first direct customer, you can listen to our "money worries" podcasts at www.firstdirect.com/podcast.
There are also a number of other organisations who may be able to help you:
You can also use the Money Advice Service debt test tool (opens in new window) to find out how likely you are to have problems with your borrowing.
If you're feeling emotionally distressed about your finances, you can talk to the Samaritans 24 7, in confidence and without judgement - phone 08 457 90 90 90 (UK) or 1850 60 90 90 (ROI), or visit the Samaritans website (opens in new window) to find your nearest branch.