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Are you fed up of not having enough money? Perhaps you worry about what the future holds, or how you’d get by if your situation changed. Whether we like it or not, money is important and being able to effectively manage it is crucial. Here are some of the ways you can get serious about it.

Get out of debt

Being in debt is expensive. Every month that you carry a balance on a loan, credit card or store card you’re accumulating interest. Making minimum payments will only be covering the interest meaning the overall debt doesn’t reduce, and it can lead to serious financial issues if you start falling behind. Perhaps things are already further down the line and you’ve missed payments, accrued defaults and CCJS and are being chased by bailiffs and debt collectors. If this is the case, don’t bury your head in the sand. Admitting the problem exists is the first step, you can then go about putting things right. You could speak to a financial advisor or the citizens advice bureau to find out what your next move should be. It could involve an informal arrangement through a debt management company, or something more set such as an IVA. In extreme cases, bankruptcy might be your best bet, so your creditors stop chasing you and what you owe is written off. This can affect your life in a big way, and so it’s not the ‘easy way out.’ Be sure to research the impact it can have on you, particularly in the short term until the bankruptcy has been discharged.

Start budgeting properly

To prevent yourself from falling into debt again, a good budget is essential. You need to know where all of your money is being spent, and ensure that bills and important costs are covered before you start spending money on luxuries. You could use budgeting software, an app, a calendar or just a notepad to plan your outgoings- whatever works for you.

Save for a mortgage deposit

Once you’re out of debt and at a stage where you can start saving money, saving towards your own home is a smart move. It prevents you from spending years of your life wasting money on rent, as mortgage payments will instead go towards paying for a home that will eventually be yours. This can take a number of years, but save what you can and get yourself onto the property ladder when you’re able to. Owning a home gives you financial stability, especially later in life when you retire.

Start a side hustle

Having an extra stream of income can help you to pay off debts quicker, save quicker or just live more comfortably. If you lose your main job then you have a backup option to keep you going which is certainly better than nothing at all. You could start a blog, freelance in some capacity or start your own home based business.

This is a collaborative post.