Tips to help you manage your finances

  • Prepare a budget and stick to it: be sure to factor in funds for unexpected situations and to update the budget when your circumstances change

  • Re-arrange annual payments such as car insurance so you pay small installments frequently: this will help to even out your cash outlays

  • Carefully consider how you use any additional cash: don't keep it in a bank account that pays minimal interest

  • Don't use one credit facility to pay off another: this trap leads very easily to credit over-extension

  • Check your credit file regularly: having a healthy credit record can be the difference between accessing

    mainstream, affordable credit and being forced to borrow funds at a high price through a sub-prime lender

  • Pay close attention to all your bills: all bills should be paid in full and on time (no matter what their value or the type of credit facility) as they can impact your credit report

  • Close any bank accounts or credit facilities that are not required and are costing you money: this is a particularly important step if you're unable to resist the temptation to pay for non-essential items that you can't really afford

  • Be careful with "buy now pay later" deals: if you cannot afford the item now, will you be able to pay for it when the interest free period ends?