How to Keep Track of Your Debts
If you have debts, then it may not always be easy to keep a note of how much you owe and who to. It is therefore worth making sure that you keep a track of what is going on so that you do not borrow so much that it gets out of control.
If you have mortgages or no credit check loans, then you will be very aware of how much you borrowed. You will have regular repayments (unless you have an interest only mortgage) and therefore you will know that the debt is being paid back. However, debts such as credit cards, store cards and overdrafts do not work in the same way and there are not formal repayments in the same sort of way, plus you can borrow more money up to a certain credit limit. This means that it is far easier to borrow without noticing and lose control of the repayments.
It is wise to find ways that you can track your debts so that you can stay on top of them. If you have a credit card, it may be possible to get an online accounts o that you can check the balance. This will help you to be able to easily check how much you have spent on it and how much is owed in total. You will get monthly statements otherwise, but this is not really often enough for you to keep a good eye on all of the transactions and see how much debt is building up. Of course, you could keep a note yourself, writing down the details of each purchase, but it is easier to check online if you can. You can check an overdraft in a similar way if you have Internet banking. You may also be able to check your balance on an ATM because it is on a current account. This should mean that you have several easy ways to keep a close check on what is being spent. With a store card it can be more difficult as normally you would just get a monthly statement rather than being able to check online. You may be able to get in touch with customer services to ask or with some you may be able to find out in store. It may be possible to ask for statements, if you do not get them that often, but sometimes lenders will charge for these. You could just ask for an outstanding balance, if you telephone them, and this could be enough for you to know how much you owe and what to do in order to make sure that you do not spend more than you can cope with.
Different people will like different methods. It might be easier for you to have it all on a spreadsheet on a computer or written down in a book. Others may be happy with keeping the figures in their head. It can depend on how you prefer to deal with things. You may also only have one form of debt, perhaps one credit card and therefore it could be easy enough for you to keep track of it in your head, without any need to write anything down.
It can be good to keep your records together and handy. If you know how much you owe to various people it will help you to know how careful you need to be with spending and if you have any spare money you will know which debt you should consider paying off with it. It is harder for debts to get out of control if you know what they are. If you can see that they are getting high, then you will be less likely to keep overspending as you will know how much you already have to pay back.
It is really important to make sure that you use these figures sensibly. Try not to panic if you find that the amount that you owe is more than you realised. The best thing to do is to think of ways to reduce or remove the debt. It could be wise to stop spending on your credit card or using your overdraft, if you can and then examine ways that you could change your lifestyle so that you can better manage the debt.
If you feel that you need professional help then you can talk to a debt advisor. You can get free help if you need it and they will be able to help you find ways to pay off your debts. Otherwise you can look at how you can reduce the amount of money that you spend and make sure that you do everything to earn as much as you can as well. Any money that you have left over should be used towards paying off the debts so that you can regain control of them.