Getting into debt is surprisingly, and sadly, an easy thing to do. But being aware of the common causes can help you avoid it, or prove useful if you are already having trouble with your money.
A change in circumstances
A reduction in income, or one-half of a couple losing their job, can be a tricky thing to adjust to. However, the quicker you can get used to being on a stricter budget, the less likely you are to fall into debt. As soon as a change occurs, you need to look at your spending and do what you can to cut back. Life events such as divorce or illness are also common causes of debt, and it can be particularly difficult to stick to budgets or pay attention to finances during these stressful times.
A change in circumstances can also go the other way. Getting a job after a period of unemployment is a cause for celebration, but you should still be careful with your spending. The temptation to splash out can lead to living beyond your means and potentially cause financial trouble down the line.
Gambling and shopping
Gambling and shopping have become far more accessible activities thanks to the internet, which means the number of people developing addictions to these pastimes has increased too. An inability to control the amount you gamble, or how much you spend on nonessential items, is a sure-fire way to get into debt. Organisations such as Gamblers Anonymous Scotland can be very helpful for situations such as these.
Not having a spending plan
If money is especially tight, a monthly spending plan is vital. Going back through your receipts and checking how much you are spending on specific things will also enable you to identify less necessary purchases. Shopping around in various supermarkets and checking which offer the cheapest options can be a smart move too.
Making plans and checking on your spending will also make you feel far more in control of your finances, and allow you to see if a problem is developing, thereby enabling you to take action or seek help before the problem worsens.
Spending your savings
Not everyone is in the privileged position to be able to put a little money aside each month. If you can, however, this will be hugely beneficial if you run into any unexpected expenditures in the future. The need for repairs in the home, for example, can come from nowhere, and having money set aside will prevent you from having to pay out of your monthly income, which could potentially throw other payments – particularly direct debits – into disarray.
Not talking about money
Finances can seem scary without proper explanations, and people can be made to feel bad for not understanding specific terms used when speaking about money. If you have children, beginning to educate them about money and how it works from an early age will help them significantly in the long term. If you are in a relationship, you should also talk often and openly about your finances. Keeping problems secret will only cause issues later on – money brings on enough stress as it is!
If you are concerned about your financial situation and need some free advice, you can also talk to Trust Deed Scotland. If you are thinking about filing for a Trust Deed and would like more information meanwhile, try our Trust Deed Wizard to see how we can help.