Being in debt is one of the worst situations and struggling to get out of debt can seem like a really hard slog.  However, there are a number of ideas which you can use to lessen your likelihood of getting into debt or falling further into debt. Some of them are hard and take will power whilst others are common sense and simply mean cutting back for the moment.

The first thing to do is be aware of your limits. It is all too easy to become caught up in the ever- competitive ways of trying to keep up with friends, colleagues or people you meet but in the end, being in debt negates any one-up-manship you may ever get so avoid it and stop competing. Simply take stock of your assets, your income and then take a look at your bills and see if there are ways you can save.

Check your utilities and see if there are better offers which you could change to. Companies are competing and change their offers regularly so make use of them and switch when possible to better deals. A few pounds here and there can quickly add up and reduce your outgoings.
Next, look at your accounts and make sure you are getting the best return on the money you have. Again, switch if necessary and don’t worry about loyalty – these companies will be the first to refuse credit if you get into debt so avoid it and make use of any offers.

Now have a look at your outgoings. Make a list of the essentials and make sure you have them covered. Even in the essentials there are ways you can save and avoid debt. Are you shopping at the best place? Could you change supermarkets for a while and so reduce your outgoings? Can you buy in bulk- perhaps with a friend and so reduce the costs of basics?

List all your outgoings including newspapers, sweets, all those small things which take your cash and see how you might be able to cut back and make savings. Now, list only the essentials and make sure you have the money to pay for them. Then prioritise and if you find there is something you could do without for a while, take it out of your spending. Even if you do this only for a while, it can stop you going into debt or going further into debt and keep safe those things you really need. We all need treats but if you get into debt , those treats will not be nearly as enjoyable as if you have saved for them so be firm with yourself and your family.

When you shop, make a list and stick to it. Check what you need and try to stick to buying only those things on the list. Check prices and compare them. Switch brands and try cheaper ones if possible – many are just as good and you can save a lot by doing this.

Getting out of debt or avoiding it in the first place can be difficult given the current economic climate but once you have mastered the art of being careful, you will maybe find that when you can afford treats, you really appreciate them and this makes them all the more a treat.

Debt is horrible and often avoidable, it just takes care and a bit of firm decision making.