Large scale job losses have hit major private sector employers in the region and now, following the coalition Government’s emergency Budget, substantial redundancies are in the pipeline in the public sector.
Mark, who specialises in debt and insolvency issues, said: “Many people are in jobs with an uncertain future. It is advisable that they start overhauling their finances and making provisions to keep them secure should the worst happen.”
1. Get out of debt. Pay off balances as much as you can. Put together a debt reduction plan that will help dramatically reduce how much is owed to others. Pay or reduce the most expensive debts first. Consider whether you should transfer the balance onto an interest free card, however do continue to pay the full amount you intend to.
2. Start to live within your means. Assess your real necessities and cut out luxury items.
3. Keep a roof over your head. – Mortgage payment protection insurance could help meet repayments for a certain period and some mortgage companies allow householders to take a payment holiday when they lose their jobs. Talk to your lender.
4. Find out your redundancy entitlements so you can plan ahead financially.
5. Control costs – shop around for the best deals for the likes of house and car insurance and utility suppliers.
6. If you do need to buy replacement household items don’t be afraid to barter/haggle on prices.
7. Gain market intelligence on the best deals before buying anything. The internet is invaluable for research on prices, discount vouchers and special deals.
8. If you use a credit card make it work for you rather than it digging you deeper in to debt. Make sure you do not spend more than you can afford and pay off the full balance each month to avoid accumulating high interest charges.
9. Cash is king - avoid taking out loans or credit as APR rates add substantial interest to the original sum borrowed.
10. Seek expert help about your financial position, particularly for lump sums such as redundancy payments.
Mark Gardner said: “We live in a buy now, pay later society, but as job losses and business closures loom and the recession extends its grip, people need to plan ahead and try to start licking their finances in to better shape.
“People often feel completely trapped when debt starts to spiral out of control, but they can turn the situation around. They should not be afraid to ask for help and should approach recognised experts in their locality who can assist them to get their finances back on track.”
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