Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Yearly Budget Review 'Could Help Prevent Debt Problems'

BudgetingBudgeting (Photo credit: 401K)People could greatly improve their financial planning just by comparing today's finances with a year ago, according to financial solutions company Think Money.

Checking bank statements from a year earlier and comparing your spending then with today could give a good insight to how your spending habits have changed - for the better or for the worse.

"Looking back at how your finances were in January 2011 could help you to make some important changes to the management of your finances here in February 2012, and give you a clearer picture of what decisions you need to make for the year ahead," said an expert at Think Money.

"Get together all your bank statements, receipts, budget plans, invoices for bills and any other important financial documents you have from the past year. Have your finances, generally speaking, improved? Got worse? Remained largely the same? Depending on what shape your finances are in now, compared with 12 months ago, you could take various approaches to dealing with them."

In particular, Think Money said comparing debt levels with a year ago could be very important.

"If you were managing your debts successfully a year ago, but feel you've lost control now, what were you doing differently then? Did you have fewer debts of smaller amounts, a higher disposable income, or were you simply more financially organised? If you're facing debt problems, it's important to get professional advice as early as possible, so you can find an approach to budgeting and debt management that works for you."

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