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What is best - pay off a chunk of debt or have emergency savings. Some debt advice please

(30 Posts)
TryingToBeDebtFree Tue 03-Jun-14 21:54:08

I have name changed for this.

I have spent the whole evening trying to work out my finances and feeling a bit like I need to so something about it, but not sure what is for the best.

I'm a single parent with one child, I currently work part time and have been trying (and failing) to get a full time job for the past year.

I've recently moved house to a more expensive property, due to damp issues in my last place. This is really what has tipped me over into panic mode

My incoming are wages, working tax credit, child tax credit and child benefit. I have 3 main debts totalling just over £3500. I am making minimum payment on these every month (haven't missed one) min payments total £212 a month.

I'm left with enough to get by on if I'm careful but not really clearing the debt off.

I have £2000 in savings. I don't have any family and I'm on my own with my dc so I quite like having this safety net if any emergencies come up, or for dipping into at Xmas etc. I live in fear of having no fall back if there was a crisis (not sure what?!)

I'm now wondering if it would be best to use savings to pay off one debt completely and a part of another. This would reduce my outgoings but leave me with no fall back money. This does seem the most sensible but it scares me.

Also is there a way to freeze interest on accounts without defaulting? Or would I have to miss payments to get companies to even consider this?

I'm really trying to get a better job as I can't see how I can cut my outgoings further (tied into contracts etc) although I could possibly reduce my food costs. My new outgoings are around £150 a month more than they were and I'm really feeling it.

Any advice would be much appreciated smile

Ellisisland Mon 16-Jun-14 18:49:48

That's great news! Congratulationgrin

TalkinPeace Mon 16-Jun-14 20:57:39

And in the mean time, convert ALL of the repayments from direct debits into standing orders so you can rattle through the balances much quicker ....

PenelopePitstops Mon 16-Jun-14 21:04:01

Congratulations! Well done you, now things will become easier. What will you be doing? Make sure you are claiming all benefits you are allowed, working tax etc.

Pay off the big interest catalogue first.

Preciousbane Mon 16-Jun-14 21:15:20

Congratulations on your new job, not easy in the current climate.

ShadyLadyT Mon 16-Jun-14 21:25:45

Lovely news, well done you! Get rid of those debts as and when you can and you will feel even better. But I am sure you will be fine as you sound like you've got a real can-do attitude smile

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