It’s been a busy start to our year at IVAorg and it’s always bittersweet saying that because whilst being busy means that people are worried about their finances, it also means you’re reaching out and taking action which is the single best thing you can do.
Unfortunately looking at the economic environment it’s unlikely things are going to improve in the short term. We are heading in to a recession, macro (external) factors mean gas and electricity prices will stay high, along with interest rates – meaning mortgage rates will stay high, borrowing costs will be high, and food costs will also rise.
We aren’t highlighting this to depress you, or make you feel worse. But reading the stark truth about all these increasing costs means that we have to face the reality that we aren’t going to wake up one morning and see that everything is suddenly back to normal.
It’s also unlikely – unless you’re very lucky – that your income has increased in line with all these rising costs. Therefore, most households will have the same money coming in, but more money going out.
If things were tight before then this could be the tipping point for some families or individuals, one bill gets missed, then two then three.
There are three routes you can take to manage this course.
Look to increase your incomeWhether that’s a new job, a pay rise, increasing your hours or entering a side hustle. Ultimately something that helps you to increase income to match increased expense. This isn’t possible for everyone but if circumstances allow it’s a viable option for some.
Make a budgetUnless you’re an accountant most people don’t like budgets. They aren’t fun, they don’t sound interesting and there’s lots more interesting things to be doing in life. However, a budget is essentially a plan. Reviewing all your outgoings will allow you to see where you might be able to cut back, and also highlight whether you have any old direct debits lurking which should have been cancelled. If you’re not a budget fan we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you with our budget planner.
Talk to someone who’s impartial*Picking the phone up and talking to someone about your financial situation can really help. If you choose the right organisation, they’ll spend time with you to understand your current position and advise you on your best option.
*We always advocate seeking impartial support or advice from a Not-for-Profit organisation.
Unfortunately, many of the commercial IVA providers incentivise their staff by rewarding them for putting people into IVAs, even when it may not be the best option.
This means you could be vulnerable to being given bad advice.
You need to make sure that whoever you speak to genuinely has got your best interests at heart and are not just focused on getting you to agree to something which benefits them, even when it may not be right for you.
At IVA.org we don’t believe in rewarding bad advice, which is exactly why we’ve introduced our unique pledge. In fact, if we don’t believe an IVA is right for you (and it often isn’t) then we’ll tell it to you straight and explain why.
If you’re worried about your finances our team are always available to talk to you, we have online chat and our dedicated phone line available evenings and weekends. 0800 856 8569