Prepare yourself for a good financial harvest

Has your credit card taken a beating this summer? You're not alone. Autumn is historically the time of year when there is the biggest increase in loan defaults.

The reasons for this are probably many and complex, but here are some tips on how to stay in control of your finances and avoid debt collection.  

Two happy ladies throwing leaves in the air in a park
A walk with a good friend can be a great opportunity to talk about difficult things, and the trust you show your friend will probably strengthen your relationship.

Make a plan on how to pay off your debts 

Whether you're paying off that expensive credit card bill from the summer holidays or the consumer debt left over from the renovation 2 summers ago, it's important to have a financial plan and try to follow it as best you can.  

  • Get a good idea of how much you have to pay in bills per month.   
  • Compare this with how much you have in income.  
  • Make up your mind whether you have enough income to cover your expenses. For example, do you have enough to pay your bills and shop for food for a whole month?  

If you have enough money left over to make extra payments on expensive debts, do so. But if you find yourself short of money, contact your creditor immediately. Good communication with those you owe money to can save you money and trouble.

Become aware of your own consumption  

Go through your bank statement from last month and look at what you spend money on. Do you find any streaming services you don't use much? Any apps that you didn't even know you were paying for? There could be money to be made by going through your monthly subscriptions and assessing whether they are absolutely necessary.  

If you want to be more rigorous, you can write down every purchase you make in 30 days. Then write down every cup of latte from the café, every packet of gum from the petrol station, every scratch card, every piece of clothing, every ice cream. You get the picture. This is a good tool for getting to know your habits and a good motivator to cut consumption.

Talk to a friend  

Are you finding it hard to face a tough financial situation alone? Our top tip is to talk to someone. Many people tell us that trying to pretend to manage has only made their problems worse. Some people take on debt to cover debts they are already unable to pay, so they don't have to tell others that they are struggling.  

But it takes so little to turn a difficult situation around. And the earlier you take action, the better.

Good luck with your financial plan!


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