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Here’s how to keep track of your finances

Do you run out of money several days before payday or getting your student loan? Are you sitting on a pile of bills that should have been paid ages ago? The best way to take control of your finances is to make a budget, where you can keep track of your monthly income and expenses.

 

“When I meet with young people, I usually ask them what is and what isn’t worth loaning money for. Those who get into debt often have too many loans,” says Karolina Castillo, market coordinator at Intrum Justitia. Almost 40,000 young people aged 18 to 25 are registered with the Swedish enforcement authority Kronofogden because they have not paid their debts. When Castillo talks at Swedish high schools, she gives her audience pointers on what they can do to avoid falling into debt.

First things first, they should make a budget, then stick to it and not borrow money unnecessarily. Many young people are unaware that “buy now, pay later” and sms credit are actually forms of credit. A budget has to take into account all outgoings, even small purchases at the convenience store on the way home. Sweets and a daily coffee can easily add up to several hundred kronor a month.

You should also put aside money for bills and make sure they are paid on time, so you don’t incur unnecessary interest and late-payment fees. And, Castillo emphasises, if you do miss a payment and get a reminder in the post, don’t bury your head in the sand.“Call the company and try to come to an agreement. Perhaps they can draw up a plan for you to pay off the debt,” she says.

 


 

Top 10 tips to keep your household cash flow healthy:

  1. Work out your spending to spend within your means. Get a handle on your household expenses by listing all of the expenses you have each month with the aim of notspending money you don’t have.
  2. Think twice before purchasing something – do you really need it?
  3. Set aside funds for bills you know will arrive sometime in the future so you have enough to pay them, from income tax to car insurance or registration.
  4. Never sign a contract until you have read and understood the stated terms.
  5. Always read the small print and avoid extra costs by always paying on time.
  6. If you cannot pay a bill on time, do not postpone informing the people to whom you owe money – you may be able to work out a repayment deal or gain some extra time.
  7. If you fail to pay what you owe, you may be contacted by a debt collector. In that situation you need to react to limit potential damage and costs. Talk to the collection agency about your financial situation and seek possible solutions.
  8. By keeping communication going and striving to reach a solution, you may be able to find ways of solving your debt problem.
  9. If you have a payment plan, keep your promises. If you can’t, then it is vital you inform the collection agency immediately. Reputable debt collectors such as ourselves are here to help you get out of debt.
  10. Don’t ignore any money problems you may have, get advice as soon as possible and work to obtain a firm grip on your financial situation.