Tips to get your finances in order for 2020

Citizens Advice’s six top tips to sort out your debts.

  1. Work out how much you owe – Make a list of whom you owe money to and add up how much you need to pay each month. If you don’t have your most recent statements, contact your creditor to find out what you owe.

  2. Prioritise your debts – Your rent or mortgage, energy and council tax are called priority debts as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay them. These should always be paid first. Separate these and work out how much you owe.

  3. Work out how much you can pay – Create a budget by adding up your essential living costs, such as food and housing, and taking these away from your income. Any money you have spare can be put towards your debts. The Citizens Advice budgeting tool can help.

  4. Paying urgent debts – You might have to contact priority creditors quickly in urgent situations, like if you are about to be evicted. Tell them you’re seeking debt advice so you can find a way forward. You could try to pay them something if you can afford to.

  5. Paying non-urgent debts – If you have any money left after paying priority debts, consider getting a free debt-management plan. You’ll make one monthly payment to the plan provider, who will handle paying your creditors. Or contact your creditors and offer them what you can afford to pay.

  6. If you can’t pay your debts – If you’ve got little or no money spare to pay your priority debts seek advice from us straight away.