Christmas presents for long lost cousins costing a couple of limbs. NYE celebrations with new found friends costing a liver. Entering 2019 legless and low on funds. Man, January can be a bleak time. And with it, the news that a quarter of Brits admit to having no savings, with 8 million tackling debt.  

What’s more, recent figures show that the average Millennial’s credit score is in a very dire place indeed. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve teamed up with debt advisory service Scottish Trust Deed to give you 5 IDEAL ways to manage your money mindfully.

I AM OVERDRAWN…BUT THAT’S NOT DEBT

To get on the road to being debt free, it’s important to be honest with yourself and not bend the truth; your overdraft is a debt in the eyes of the lender and must be paid.   

If your overdraft sits within your main current account, it can seem near impossible to clear it. Good practice suggests opening a separate account and creating a standing order to transfer a fair amount every month there each month.  Once the amount accumulated equates to the sum needed to clear your overdraft, transfer it back to the current account.

It’s worth remembering that exceeding your overdraft limit leads lenders to believe that you are anxious about gaining more credit and cannot manage your existing borrowing.

PLAY THE SYSTEM

If you’re worried about how previous debt has affected your credit score negatively, you can strategically manage your score, and by playing the long game, improve it. David Baddeley at Scottish Trust Deed says, ‘Having 2-3 credit cards and using them once every month whilst ensuring that the balance is paid in full can be a very effective method in increasing your credit score’.

LEARN TO SAY NO

Many of us feel obliged to attend certain social events that not only bore us to death, but also wreak havoc on our bank balance. Do not be afraid to make your excuses and give events a miss; just learn to say no firmly and effectively.

DON’T BE A BRAND SNOB

It is a common belief that premium brands often mean premium quality. Those wanting capitalism to keep ticking dictate that spending more guarantees a higher standard of product or service. It simply isn’t true. Buying a store’s own line, for instance, will often get you exactly the same product as a ‘branded’ item. If not better.

LOOK AT YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS

Mindlessly downloading app after app can amount to a hefty sum, slipped in through the backdoor of permissions granted and trial periods turned full-blown commitment. A 50p subscription here and there can seem like a trivial amount. However, over the course of 12 months, small amounts can pave the way to a small fortune. Take note of the apps that you use on a regular basis, and for everything else, hit unsubscribe. Have a full review of all of your paid for apps from time to time too; those sneaky folk at IOS and Android make viewing such a summary (and cancelling some) really tricky, but have patience and persevere. 

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.