In Step 3, it’s time to look for ways to improve your finances, if possible. You have completed your Full Financial Picture. You have also set priorities for your debts in Step 2 and dealt with any urgent debt. These will help you to complete this next step.
By Step 4, you will be ready to work out a money-management action plan and decide on the best way for you to tackle your debt.
Check if you can increase your income
You may have other sources of income you never considered. From checking all your social welfare entitlements to generating some extra sources of income, we can give you advice that may help you increase your income. See our page on how to increase your income for more details.
How to review your spending
It can very easy to spend money and very difficult to see where it goes! You can take steps to manage your spending and cut costs.
Our page on how to review your spending covers:
- Track your spending
- Think about what you spend
- Separate needs from wants
- Break down your spending and save money
How to avoid adding to your debt
When living on a tight budget, it can be tempting to cut back on bills you may be legally responsible for like:
- Local Property Tax
- Car tax
- Car insurance
- Television licence
If you choose not to pay these items, it can be a gamble that may not pay off. It could result in extra costs or fines that will make your situation worse.
Savings are a must
If you are having difficulty making ends meet, or have debts, it is hard to imagine how to find money for savings. But savings are not only for long-term rainy days or pensions, they can also be for:
- Shorter-term unexpected costs like household repairs
- An emergency
- Education plans
Building savings is a must for future security.
When you have explored your options to improve your finances, you can update your Full Financial Picture with any changes you have made. This updated Full Financial Picture is now your money-management plan. It shows how much money you have available to tackle your debts.
Congratulations, you have now completed Step 3!
Once you know how much you can afford to pay, there are many ways to tackle your debts. These include:
- Money managing your way out of debt
- Making voluntary arrangements
- Formal debt solutions available to you by law
If you feel able to tackle your debts yourself, go to Step 4: Think about ways to tackle your debt.
MABS offers free advice and support
If you decide to contact MABS, it would be useful to have ready:
- Your questions
- Your most recent letters and emails
- Court documents from your creditors
- Any credit agreements (contracts – if you can find them)
You can also arrange to email your Full Financial Picture for an adviser to look at before your appointment if you wish. But even if you don’t have this information, still make the call and MABS will help.