Crest
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of Man Government Crest

O.F.T

Isle of Man Government Office of Fair Trading

Money Management Advice

Too much month at the end of the money?

  • Have you been having sleepless nights because of debt problems?
  • Do you see borrowing more money as the answer to your debt problems?
  • Are you living off your bank overdraft?
  • Did you find it difficult to budget for Christmas?
  • Have you been ignoring your money problems?

If you have answered yes to most of these questions then we may be able to help so read on…

A lot of people are struggling to make ends meet at the moment. People are scrimping and saving to meet their monthly commitments, salaries and wages are being stretched to the max and in some cases people are short of cash at the end of the week or month.

Some things you can try are “belt tightening” measures such as reducing your satellite TV package or shopping around for better car and home insurance rates. It's also wise to examine your food budget because many of us spend more than we expect on meals out on top of our usual shopping. Planning meals for the week ahead will help. Doing the weekly food shop with a list of what’s required for those meals is essential. This will reduce the likelihood of wasting food, buying things you don’t need or reaching for the telephone to order a takeaway.

If the situation is beyond that, perhaps all of your income has been swallowed up by your outgoings before you even think of trying to pay your debts? Don’t worry, there is hope. Also, you’re not alone, in late November 2013 the UK’s Money Advice Service, conducted a survey which established that 18% of Britons, 8.8 million people, consider they have "serious" financial issues. The report also concluded that 74% of those struggling with debt were "unhappy".

If you found your income suddenly restricted due to an illness or redundancy, how long would your savings last to support you, whilst you tried to improve the situation?

Whatever your financial circumstances, the first thing to look at is your budget. If you have not started a budget yet, now is the time to do so! You need to know how much money is coming in and where it is all going. The list below should help you with items that you may need to consider:

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Rates
  • House Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Food/toiletries
  • Transport costs (remember a car needs tax, insurance, petrol, servicing)
  • TV licence
  • Childcare
  • Social including children’s hobbies/clubs
  • Household repairs

If, having made some economies and worked out a reasonable budget for the week/month, you don’t have enough money to repay your debt commitments– don’t panic! The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading has for many years been helping people to deal with their debts. We have given them an option rather than to continue with feelings of despair. We cannot offer to make the debts go away but we can help you get back in control.

The same clients who felt overwhelmed, felt assured and more confident in dealing with the future after speaking with us. The following are some comments made by previous clients of the Debt Counselling Service:

"I was very stressed by my financial burden. The assistance and explanation given was reassuring with a great calming effect. I have peace now"
"Thank you for providing this service"
"The service has helped me sort my debts out. I was in serious trouble and thanks to the case worker over the next 2 months I will be completely free and I can now relax and enjoy life and I finally have money to spend on important things"
"They helped reassure me and it helped knowing they were only a phone call away if had any further queries.”

For more information on managing your money contact:-

The Debt Counselling Service Confidential phone line: Tel 686510

Confidential email: debt.fairtrading@gov.im

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