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Five tools to cut the stress of managing money

It’s National Stress Awareness Day, and for many, money can be a big cause of stress - but it doesn’t always have to be.

From helping you work out your credit card debts to making it to pay day, there are tools to help you get yourself sorted and begin to clear those worries away. Here are five big money stresses and the tools to help.

Stress 1: You’ll never pay off your credit card

It can feel like you’re hardly making a dent on your debt. That’s because if you’re only making the minimum payment each month, it really can take years and years to clear the balance and the interest that keeps building up.

How to avoid it?

If you try our Credit card calculator you’ll be able to see what a difference it makes by increasing how much you can pay each month. It’s always better to pay as much as you can afford.

 

Stress 2: Christmas is going to be too expensive

Everyone wants to have a great Christmas. Not just for you, but for friends and family, especially if you have kids. But if presents, food and going out adds up to more than you have there are two options. You go without, or you get yourself into debt. And both can be pretty stressful.

How to avoid it?

With any big spend – from holidays to weddings to buying a home – it makes sense to plan as far in advance as you can. Christmas is no different, and it’s the easiest to prepare for as you know exactly when it happens. Our Christmas money planner can help you do this.

 

Stress 3: Your cash won’t make it to the end of the month

There’s three days until payday, and already you’re skint. You’ve food to buy, it’s your mum’s birthday and your friends are all going out tomorrow. And there are new things happening every month.

How to avoid it?

In the short term you can probably find quick ways to cut back and find a few quid. That daily coffee or occasional taxi can quickly add up.

Longer term a budget planner tool will help you work out if there are different areas you can cut back on or reprioritise.

 

Stress 4: I’m not going to have enough money when I’m old

When you’re young, old age is the last thing on your mind, but as time goes on worrying about how you’ll cope when you’re retired can bring on a few premature grey hairs.

How to avoid it?

The first step is to find out what you’re likely to have based on your current pension savings. Our pension calculator can estimate that for you. If it’s lower than what you think you’d need, there’s still time to put a plan in place – though that’ll probably mean paying more in now.

 

Stress 5: I can’t handle all the money I owe

If unpaid bills are piling up and your overdraft is maxed out, it can feel like there’s nowhere to turn. The fees you’re charged for missing payments or going into the red can add even more to the amount you owe, and pile yet more stress on you.

How to avoid it?

Don’t try to deal with this alone. You can get free independent advice as a first step, and our tool can help you locate someone near to where you live.  They’ll be able to help you work out what you need to do and who you need to contact.

What do you think?

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  • Alison bolden / 6 December 2015

    Very usefull and practical advice

  • cv mcelligott / 6 December 2015

    Brilliant thanks so much.I manage money for a member of the family aged 20 ( very stressful)

  • Ameliah / 6 December 2015

    Elaine, become a property guardian, look at ad hoc properties, Camelot, dex management, hope this helps

  • Anna / 29 November 2015

    I have found most firms and utilities very understanding and helpful once they know your problem. Try to phone and speak to the right department. As long as they know you are trying to pay they can be very helpful with staggering payments or accepting smaller monthly payments. I have tried to break all my standing orders into small monthly payments to avoid big outgoings scraping the cupboard bare. I f you are not going to be able to meet a monthly payment try to contact the firm in good time and vary the payment date, even if only for one month. It may take a long time to sort yourself out but stick to it. see what you can do in a month. Don't look at the whole debt or the size of the mountain will seem impossible. Just take one small step at a time.

  • Jean / 29 November 2015

    Elaine, please seek help. If you are feeling depressed (and it's no wonder you are) your GP should be your first port of call.

    I see you say one of your payments is for cable. That should be the first thing to go and would save quite a lot of money. Lots of people manage without cable, such as us, we just rely on Freeview. Also, you could save a packet by using your mobile phone only when absolutely necessary and stopping your contract and relying on PAYG. That might not be such a good idea for you though as you don't mention having a landline.

    I'd strongly advise you to visit the MoneySavingExpert website. The forums in particular are an absolute goldmine of help and information. I wouldn't have got this far through my debt problems without them!

    Good Luck.

  • Katie / 29 November 2015

    Elaine
    Have you considered moving into a single room in a shared flat/house? Bills would normally be included and rent is typically £300-400 for a single room... Would allow you save a few hundred per month and possibly make new friends too. Try spareroom.co.uk

  • Sophia / 29 November 2015

    I have alot of money worries

  • Helen McAllister / 29 November 2015

    Elaine,
    Have you contacted your local Step Change or Citizens' Advice Bureau? Your rent should not take up more than 30% of your income so no wonder you are struggling. If you are serious about doing away with yourself you must contact the Samaritans.

  • Elaine chambers / 29 November 2015

    All them ideas are all good advice but I live on my own have no other help other than wages which is around 1000 month I can't get any help and 600 goes on rent and coucil tax then I have to pay gas ,electric ,water,tv licence cable mobile phone bailiff Ross and Roberts birmingham city council. I have nothing left for food etc I feel like doing away with my self because am so depressed I am sure theirs many people like me but what can I do

    ADMIN: Elaine, you can get free and confidential debt advice which might be some help. You can find people near you with this directory https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/debt-advice-locator