If you have a large overdraft then you may feel almost out of control and not really know how to tackle it. This is not surprising, but there are things that you can do. You may have to take things slowly but it is good to have a methodical approach and a calm attitude if possible. There are a number of steps you could take.
Set out your goals
It is wise to start with setting yourself some goals. Obviously, you will want to clear your overdraft, but it might eb easier to break it down into smaller parts – so clear it a few hundred pounds at a time. Setting dates to aim for can be handy too, which you may need to adjust if things do not go as planned. Be realistic so that you do not get too stressed with the pressure that you could put on yourself, but make sure that you are pushing yourself so that you are not only doing the very minimum. You will know what you can cope with. It can be wise to put your goals in writing and maybe even put them somewhere prominent so that you have a constant reminder to not only help you to focus on the goal but to also make sure that you remember why you are doing it.
Check your finances
You need to know exactly what financial position you are in. This will involve taking a look at everything not just your current account and your overdraft. Get a good idea about how much money you normally have paid in to your account and how much you have to pay out for things like loans and such. Find out what you pay out for and why you are going overdrawn. It might simply be that your essentials are dearer than your income, but it could be that you are spending too much money in certain areas where you can cut down or that you are paying too much for things that you could get cheaper. Seeing where you are at and then looking to see where you can improve the problem can be a really big step in the right direction.
Cutting spending can feel like a really big burden and almost a punishment. However, it is worth remembering that you might be able to spend less but not go without. This is because you may be paying too much money for something and so changing to a cheaper provider, supplier or retailer could mean that you will save without even having to make very radical changes in the types of things that you are buying. It does mean though that you will need to compare prices on everything that you buy. This can seem tedious and will take time, especially at first, but once you get used to it, it will become a habit. You will also start to notice how much money you are saving and this can be a good motivation to keep up with it.
You might find that this will not be enough. It could be that you feel you should be trying to save even more money than you are using the above methods. It could be that you need to actually buy less items as well. This could mean that you will need to cut down the amount of things that you are buying as well. This can be more difficult as you may find that you feel like you are depriving yourself of things that you like and want. However, if you want to get out of debt then it is very likely that this is something that you will need to do. You do not have to cut back on everything, but you should be able to prioritise. You might prefer to go without some things and not others and this will allow you to choose what to buy and what not to.
You may also need to find some ways to increase your earnings. This might be because cutting your spending is not enough to help you to get out of debt or because you want to get out of debt more quickly. Some people will find this easier than others it can very much depend on what sort of work do already, what commitments you have and what employable skills you have. You can however, pick from a lot of options. You may be able to find some online work, for example, or some freelance jobs. There are very easy ways to earn, such as answering questionnaires, to graphic design, programming and writing. Even if you are just doing little bits and pieces here and there it can make a difference and you may find that small jobs lead to larger ones as well. If you are focussing on work, it will be harder to spend money as well.