How Businesses Could Help Families Avoid Debts

Collaborative Post

According to the TUC, the average British household debt has reached a record high with almost £15,400 owned to credit card firms, lenders and banks. At the brink of uncertainty – which can be primarily blamed on the Brexit process for now – and a localised economic crisis, it’s fair to say that Britons are at risk of aggregating even more debts within the next few years. As of today, over 6 million Britons think that they will never be debt-free. What is surprising about it is that most of these people have a career and a regular income. Perhaps it is time for companies to consider how they could support their employees through a difficult debt situation.

Debts are stressful

First of all, it’s crucial for businesses to understand that debts are not to be taken lightly. It’s an extremely stressful situation for employees and their families. Even though many are willing to clear their debts as quickly as possible, there are only so much one can do to manage the household budget. Unfortunate decisions and the inability to cut back on spending – which is often the result of a lack of understanding as well as a personal crisis – stand in the way of healthy finances. More importantly, the stress accumulated in the process can also affect the employee’s productivity and attention at work. In other words, it’s in the company’s interests to provide financial guidance and support.

A L L E F . V I N I C I U S Δ

As a business, you have a responsibility to protect your employees

When you hire an applicant, you agree to offer the employee a safe and enriching workplace while they bring their skills into the company. Admittedly, for most businesses, the idea of providing a secure platform for employee development is often limited to health and safety audit and compliance. https://www.qcompliance.co.uk/services/health-safety/ However, you need to think outside the box and consider all the factors that can affect the performance. Financial worries are one of these, especially when they can’t be prevented. Consequently, it’s a good idea for businesses to offer dedicated health protection and even relevant life policy cover – you can find out further information about what relevant life policy means and why it matters for your workforce – to provide the necessary support. An employee who is unsure how to provide for their family in an unexpected situation may feel as if the company has given up on them.

Offer financial perks

Managing money matters can be challenging for people who are not trained in finance and accounting. But facilitating financial information and decisions can not only make it easier for employees to manage risks and profits, but it also ensures the employee engagement. Indeed, someone who feels that the company is contributing to their debt management by making financial advisors available on-site is more likely to stay with the business. Additionally, by reducing the risk of poor decisions and lack of knowledge, companies can actively help the British public to remain debt-free.

British households are facing a grave economic crisis. But, for many, with over £15,000 debt, there is no way employees can handle the uncertainty of their financial future. It is a business priority to consider how to help employees with finance management and health crisis in an effort to reduce the collective debt.

Clearing Debt As Quickly As Possible

I’ve talked about my experiences with debt before and whilst I am still in some debt (aiming to get rid of it asap), I have managed to clear some. I’m here today to talk about how you too can clear your debt quickly and start living the lifestyle you truly want to lead. I’m not quite there yet but hopefully, following my own tips as I have already been doing, I’ll get there very soon.

Set A Budget

It sounds so simple but setting a budget really does help you to locate where you are going wrong. I know that I could definitely put a little more towards debt if I set a proper budget so that is what I am aiming to do every month – know exactly where every single penny is going. Focus on making sure your four walls are paid for – rent or mortgage and council tax. Then work out the rest of your bills, food, travel/transport and then any expenses that you incur each month but aren’t actually required. We have both Virgin and Netflix – we will be keeping Netflix but cutting Virgin down as much as we can so our budget will be designed to reflect this.

Look Into Other Options

If you’ve already given some of the basic debt free ideas a go and are still struggling, then it might be time to consider other options. Debt can be so crippling and we all aim for financial freedom so there are often other things you can do. I know of people who’ve sold their properties to pay off debt and then bought something new with the remaining funds that is better suited to their budget.

Some people have done this to stop house repossession – their debts were too high to maintain on income alone and they faced losing their home, selling it was their only remaining option. There are companies who will buy houses for cash – the main benefit is that it is a quick sale that reduces estate agency fees. Whilst this option isn’t for everyone, it is useful to know there are other options for those with fairly high debts apart from the usual bankruptcy or IVA options.

Artem Bali
Cut Back On Unnecessary Spending

Further to my point above about setting a budget, it is important to cut back on unnecessary spending. I’ve already mentioned that while we will be keeping Netflix (we use it a lot!), we will be cutting back on our Virgin package as much as we can.

We are also quite far into our phone contracts with Three and have noticed that we are using nowhere near the amount of data – we are going to speak to them to see if we can reduce our package slightly and in turn reduce our bill.

The only other ‘unnecessary’ spending we have is Steve’s golf and darts and going out to eat. We are already reducing the amount we go out to eat and Steve is changing the golf club he is a member at, saving £££ every month.

Increase Your Income

Something I have been trying to do in recent months is increase my income and this has been working well for me. I’ve almost paid all my bills for the month and then have no more bills until the 8th of next month so any payments made to me from today onwards until the 2nd of next month (when all my monthly invoices tend to get paid by) will be getting thrown towards debt.

I have been doing this by offering extras to my existing clients, taking on new clients thanks to word of mouth from my existing clients (my clients are the best), taking on higher paid work on the blog, pitching more on the freelance side of things and generally pushing myself a little more. It is working in my favour and I am starting to see those numbers go down and down.

 

Have you ever been in debt? How did you clear it? Or are you still in debt and aiming to clear it as soon as possible? I’d love to hear your tips about clearing debt as quickly as possible.

This is a collaborative post

Saving More, Spending Less | Update 2

Saving More, Spending Less | Update 2

Since my last update, I haven’t got much further but I thought I’d update on you how I have been doing since the update.

SAVING MORE

Save The Change is working well for me – I’m managing to save quite a bit simply by having this set up. I am also saving 25% of any income into my bank account for tax – I’m being extra cautious and making sure I have more than enough money to pay any tax that’s due.

SPENDING LESS

I am still partial to the coffee shop but the takeaways are pretty much non existent since we properly got back on Slimming World. However, buying more ingredients to cook from scratch has proved to be a little bit expensive but hey, at least we are being healthy!

WORKING MORE

I am working even more. I seem to be picking up clients left, right and centre and I am loving it. Whether it is blog work, freelance writing, proofreading or virtual assistant services, I am constantly busy and I love ot/

HUSTLING, HUSTLING, HUSTLING

I am still checking my daily lotteries (my favourites are Free Lucky Lottery, NumberPlateLotto (which I have won on before and been paid THE SAME DAY),Free Postcode Lottery, Lucky Phone and DOB Lotto.

I’m still completing online surveys – I’ve recently scaled down the sites I use but I still use Populus Live, New Vista Live, Panelbase, Opinion Outpost, OpinionBar, Pinecone Research, Prolific Academic and YouGov – I’ve had two cheques from Populus already this year! Some of these offer an email referral scheme so if you’re interested in signing up to Panelbase or OpinionBar under me, just let me know! I’ve managed to cash out over £150 this year so far – all going towards debt.

Swagbucks has taken over my life again – you can sign up here – I’ve made almost £100 since getting back into it. I’ve also been selling our unwanted items. I’ve been selling tons on Shpock and Facebook groups too – determined to declutter my house whilst earning some cash at the same time!

If you are in a similar position, how are you doing?

Saving More, Spending Less | An Update

Saving More, Spending Less | An Update

I recently wrote a post entitled Saving More, Spending Less | Our Plan To Be Debt Free ASAPI thought it was about time to give you an update two months on.

I mentioned I had five debts to pay: my friend, a large utility bill from when we had our water leak, tax credit overpayment and two credit cards. Well, since I wrote that post I managed to get sent another large water bill but I am glad to say both that and the utility bill are completely gone. I have almost finished paying my friend and have been making some headway with the tax credits and credit cards.

So how have I been doing this?

Saving More

I mentioned I would be saving more through three ways: skimming my bank account, using the Chip app and reducing my outgoings. I recently opened a new savings account with Lloyds and set up Save The Change to skim my current account with them. I actually deleted my Chip account this morning as I no longer had a need for it and disconnected all my information – Save The Change now does it all for me. I also managed to reduce my outgoings by cancelling any payments for things that I rarely or no longer used.

Spending Less

I must admit this has been quite hard and I am still partial to the odd coffee shop trip or takeaway but gone are my magazine subscriptions and subscriptions to anything else I don’t use regularly enough. No point wasting money on things I am not using!

Working More

I am so proud to say that this really seems to be working for me. I have a few long term freelance clients and few long term blog clients but am always happy to take on more work if it fits in my schedule. I’ve also branched out into Virtual Assisting; helping bloggers when they really need an extra pair of hands because they are so busy or away on holiday. I still need to do some work on my work website and get promoting the blogger outreach side of what I have to offer but I’m doing well and once bills are paid, debts are going down, down, down!

Hustling, Hustling, Hustling

Finally..how am I getting on with my side hustles? I’m still checking my daily lotteries (my favourites are Free Lucky Lottery, NumberPlateLotto (which I have won on before and been paid THE SAME DAY), The Selfie Lottery, Free Postcode Lottery, Lucky Phone and DOB Lotto. I’m still completing online surveys – I’ve recently scaled down the sites I use but I still use Populus Live, New Vista Live, Panelbase, Opinion Outpost, OpinionBar, Pinecone Research, Prolific Academic and YouGov. Some of these offer an email referral scheme so if you’re interested in signing up to Panelbase or OpinionBar under me, just let me know! I’ve managed to cash out over £150 this year so far – all going towards debt.

Swagbucks has taken over my life again – you can sign up here – I’ve made almost £100 since getting back into it. I’ve also been selling our unwanted items. Facebook and GumTree seem to have gone a bit quiet so I’m now going to try eBay once again. They say the average person has around £4k of stuff in their house that they could sell so I’m definitely going to try and get some of my old stuff shifted.

I’m feeling so positive about the year ahead and I know I can do this -wish me luck!

Post contains some referral links

Saving More, Spending Less | Our Plan To Be Debt Free ASAP

Saving More, Spending Less | Our Plan To Be Debt Free ASAP

This post contains referral/affiliate links.

I’ve spoken about my financial goals in more detail here but my main goal for 2017 is to be debt free by the end of it or as close to it as possible. Right at the end of 2016, I managed to completely wipe two and just last week I managed to wipe another. I currently have five debts I need to repay – a loan to a friend, a utility bill that spills over from when we had the massive water leak, tax credit repayment and two credit cards. I am planning to adopt the Dave Ramsay Snowball Method to get rid of these – paying off the smallest one first then using my monthly repayment amount for that one to repay the next one and so on. So my friend will be paid back first, then the utility bill, then the tax credits, then the credit cards. I will still be making my usual monthly payments to them all but just focusing more on one than the others in order to get it paid off quicker.

But how do I plan on getting debt free?

By saving more, spending less.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But it really is about doing both of these to really start to get things paid off. Of course, using side hustles to add to my income is another way in which I am planning to do this – with all ££ earned from these to go towards debt – but just how am I going to do this?

Save More

I am planning to save more money through a variety of ways – by skimming my bank account; by using the Chip app as recommended by Be Clever With Your Cash – I earned £10 for signing up via his link, if you sign up here via mine using the code ZUCX07, you get the choice of an extra 1% interest (up to 5%) or a tenner; by getting rid of any unnecessary outgoings and putting the money into my savings. Once a month, I will be using whatever I have saved from these avenues to put towards my debt. Whether it is £5 or £100, every little helps.

Spend Less

I’ve already managed to cut down my spending a lot – gone are the coffee shop trips down my local High Street unless I am invited out by my Mum and she’s paying (cheeky, I know); gone are the subscriptions to magazines I barely have the time to read. The main thing I still need to cut down on are takeaways as they’re just so convenient rather than cooking when you’ve a newborn and a poorly child like I’ve had this week – but I always regret it afterwards, thinking about what I could have used the money towards.

Work More

Obviously most of the time I have to wait for the work to come to  me – I’ve now got a long term client who pays a decent amount each month for web content which is great – but I also need to be extremely proactive. I search social media, I check job websites, I even go on PeoplePerHour (sign up via me here) and apply for jobs on there – the jobs I have been doing recently have pushed me up in visibility and I have now secured another long term client who found me via the site and is buying bulk amounts of work.

I’m free for content writing, blogging, proofreading, blogger outreach, social media management and more. I need to do some work on my work website and promote it more to really get the work coming in. Any extra left over after my bills? Going towards debt.

Hustle, Hustle, Hustle

Finally, I’m going to side hustle like mad. But how am I going to do this?

  • I’m going to check my free daily lotteries – Free Lucky Lottery, NumberPlateLotto (which I have won on before and been paid THE SAME DAY), The Selfie Lottery, Free Postcode Lottery, Lucky Phone and DOB Lotto.
  • Complete online surveys – I’ve recently scaled down the sites I use but I still use Populus Live (I’m currently due a £50 cheque in the post), New Vista Live (ditto), Panelbase, Opinion Outpost, OpinionBar, Pinecone Research, Prolific Academic and YouGov. Some of these offer an email referral scheme so if you’re interested in signing up to Panelbase or OpinionBar under me, just let me know!
  • Swagbuck it up – I’ve really got back into Swagbucks so I will be using the site to help me towards my goal. Sign up here.
  • Sell, sell, sell – I will be selling unwanted items on Facebook selling groups and Shpock, perhaps even eBay. They say the average person has around £4k of stuff in their house that they could sell so I’m definitely going to try!

I’m so hoping that 2017 is my year – it is going to be a hard old slog but I’m sure I can do it! Do you have any other tips for me so that I can pay it off faster?