Reducing Your Debt: Things to Consider

Want to reduce your debt in 2024? We hear you. If you’ve vowed to make some positive financial changes this year, we share some ways British consumers are cutting back, in a bid to rid themselves of debt.

Seek Advice from StepChange

Founded by Vic Ware OBE and Malcolm Hurlston CBE back in 1993, the debt charity, StepChange, continues to provide free debt advice to people in the UK. Anyone who is worried about debt can get in touch online or by calling StepChange, with the charity recommending ways to deal with your debts, based on what you’ve told them about your situation. Whether it’s to help you get some breathing space from your creditors to reduce the stress, or talk about more serious solutions such as debt management plans – StepChange can go through all of your options with you.

This useful online debt advice tool, alongside the charity’s advisors, are on hand to guide you through the session. If you need more time, StepChange assures users of the service that that they can pause and come back later.

Lean on Friends and Family

According to new research from comparison site, Go Compare, one in three (33%) of Brits expect 2024 to be a very difficult year financially. Of those surveyed, 14% have started the year with credit card debt and expect to have a balance to clear throughout the year.

One in 10 of those who took part in the survey revealed they are going to ask family and friends for financial help, which many people may deem a useful course of action as opposed to borrowing from banks with high interest rates.

Elsewhere, budget-conscious Brits have identified, says GoCompare, the areas where they expect to make savings this year. Coming in at number one is takeaway meals, with the category of clothing fashion and accessories a close second.

In the third spot is ‘groceries’, with ‘nights out’ fourth on the list, and holidays and socialising fifth and sixth, respectively – see the full list here and work out where you, too, could slash your outgoings this year.

Cut Your Mortgage and Credit Card Bills

Amongst the advice offered in this article by The Guardian is this: cash in on the mortgage price war, and cut your credit card costs.

You can do the latter, says the piece, by transferring your credit card balances to another provider offering a better rate. ‘Some credit cards are offering interest-free deals lasting for more than two years’, states the article, adding: ‘the main benefit of a 0% balance transfer deal is that all of your monthly repayment goes towards clearing the outstanding balance, and therefore the debt can be cleared much more quickly.’

To cut your mortgage, the article’s author suggests overpaying – but only if you have some savings.

‘Those fortunate enough to have some spare savings cash may want to consider using some of it to reduce what they owe on their mortgage (although if they have other costly debts with higher interest rates, they should pay those down first).’

There are restrictions on overpaying sometimes, though – head here to read the full piece.

Top Up Your Income via ‘Side Hustles’

Many Brits use second-hand selling sites and apps as a kind of ‘side hustle’ to their full-time role – but despite recent changes, it could still well be worth selling your old items online.

Thirty-nine-year-old Lisa*, from Lanarkshire, is a self-employed copywriter. Since the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), her workload has taken a hit – as is the case for many a freelancer. 

While Lisa isn’t in any debt, she’s been channelling her energy into an online personalised gifts website she runs, as well as topping up her income via sites likethese.

“I’ve got a mountain of things to sell, so as well as decluttering our house in 2024, I’ll also (hopefully) continue to hang onto my savings and avoid falling into debt. It’s a useful ‘side hustle’ and it can be quite enjoyable, too, when you get into the swing.” says Lisa.

Other Brits, meanwhile, will be embarking on everything from ‘no spend’ months (whereby they only purchase essential items for 30 days or so), to choosing to walk rather than use the car, or batch cook food for the week to save on daily cooking costs. What will you do to save money and reduce debt in 2024? Join the conversation over on Facebook.

Want to start saving towards a healthier, financial future?

View our range of savings products** – and do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team if you have any questions.

For more articles like this one, keep an eye here on the Knowledge Hub of our site; from savings to reducing debt and everything in between, we explore a wealth of money-related topics weekly.

Until next time…

*Names and locations have been changed.

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