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Agony Guy

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Iím worried about the state of the economy, how can I stay afloat?

  • 1) The first thing to do is to take control of our money; the second is to face our fears. We take control by knowing how much money is coming in each month and how much is going out. It may be tedious keeping account of how much we spend day by day, but by doing so, we can understand if we are overspending each month and discover where to save.

  • 2) Facing our fears is the second major step; it means opening our bank statements, checking our direct debits and credit card bills to find out how much we are in debt. Burying our heads in the sand is no longer an option.

  • 3) After we have faced our fears and know our financial status, we should ask ourselves what cut-backs can we make? We canít stop eating, but could we down-size a brand from the Ďbig nameí to the Ďstore brand?í We canít stop travelling, but is there a cheaper means of transport?

  • 4) After making cut-backs, we have to ask which debt is the most important? Our new car may be nice, but itís better to lose the car rather than the roof over our head. Our priority must be our mortgage/rent and our utilities Ė all that is essential to daily living. Our non-priority debts are store cards etc. So letís try and direct our money towards paying the essential bills first and our non-essentials second. Afterward, we should contact our creditors to explain our financial status. Letís not be embarrassed about telling them our complete income and expenditure and it may give us the chance to make them a direct new lower offer on payback terms.

  • 5) After we have faced our fears and got back in control, perhaps it is now time to re-discover the ATM machine and forget about the credit card. Using cash makes the purchase Ďfeel realí. The money in our hands was hard-earned and it has been proved time and time again, that people who use cash, spend less. Literally seeing with our eyes how the money is diminishing helps us to cut back. Itís easy to overspend on a credit card, but itís not possible to overspend on your monthly budget, if we use cash only and itís all gone.

  • 6) Letís not be ashamed to claim all that the government is offering to us. One person said they could never claim tax credits for their children, because it made them feel embarrassed. Remember the government is only offering to give back to us, what they have already taken from us in the past! All we are doing is re-claiming the tax that we have paid previously.

  • 7) Donít be afraid of getting good advice. In the U.K., we have the citizenís advice bureau and other organisations that are set up to help people.

  • 8) The Bible says in James 1:5, ĎIf any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.í Only God can give us the wisdom we need to Ďseeí the way ahead and so we should ask Him for the wisdom that we need to make it through.

    You can find more about this subject here.