Getting a loan can be pretty easy these days. Whether you want a mortgage, personal loan, credit card, overdraft or payday loan, there is usually a lender that is willing to help you out. However, borrowing money is expensive. Not only will you have to pay it back but you will also have fees, charges and interest to pay on top, which can add up to a lot of money. Sometimes being in debt is unavoidable, such as if you want to buy a house or expensive car, but for smaller purchases it is possible to find ways to stay out of debt.
First of all it is always worth checking to see whether the item that you are buying is necessary. If you do not need it then it is a good idea to wait until you have the funds available to buy it yourself rather than getting a loan. This can be a great way to avoid overspending and getting into debt.
It is always wise to monitor how much money you have. If you know what is available for you to spend, then it should help you to not spend more money than you have. Keep checking your bank balance online or using a cash machine or going into the branch if you have to. It is also really useful to know what bills you have coming out and when so that you can make sure that you budget wisely. If you are paid monthly, then it can be wise to schedule all of your bills to be paid monthly by direct debit just after you are paid. Then you will know what money you have left for the month to pay other bills, food and other items that you need and want. You should be able to budget when you know this amount and it will help you to make sure that you do not overspend.
If you have a credit card that you use regularly then schedule a monthly direct debit to pay off the full balance so that you do not go into debt. You should be able to monitor how much you spend on your card online as well, which means that you will be able to make sure that you will have enough money to cover that amount when it is due.
If you have savings, then make sure that you use these to pay for things rather than going into debt. You may like the idea of having money to fall back on but it is expensive to keep money like this and to borrow, far better to spend it and then build savings up again rather than keep it and have debt to pay off.
If you find that you are struggling to manage each month, perhaps going overdrawn, then you need to have a close look at where you are spending money. Make sure that every time you buy something it is something that you really need. Take a note of the things that you are buying or look at bank statements to see what you have been spending money on in the past and look for things that you can cut down on. You may be able to switch suppliers, supermarkets or brands to make things cheaper. It will take time to do some research but you will be able to do this online and comparison websites should help you. However, if you are shopping on the high street look at more than one thing before you buy so that you can compare the prices. This can take more time, but once you get used to doing it you will know where to look and it will be more automatic.
Another way to help you to manage better each month is to find extra ways of earning money. It is worth spending some time thinking about whether there is anything else that you can do. You may be able to pick up some work online, maybe some freelance work or do some extra hours in your current job. You could even look into finding a second job or changing jobs to one that has better pay. Even selling a few things that you have and do not use or need any more could raise some funds to help you to stay out of debt.
For a lot of people just being more conscious about what they are spending could really help them to stay out of debt. Think about what you are buying, look at prices and compare them and this can make a big enough difference to prevent you from getting into financial trouble. It will take some effort, but can be worth it, particularly if you manage to stay debt free and even build up some savings to fall back on if you do have expenses that you cannot manage to pay.