It’s extremely easy to fall into debt if you have failed to manage your finances correctly. The best way to avoid never-ending pressure of having to pay off late bills is to set up a strategy to avoid getting into long-term debt. Neglecting taking responsibility for your finances can lead you to feel out of control to the point where you’re on a downward spiritual that you can’t force yourself out of.

Here are some simple pieces of advice that you should be taking on board on how to avoid getting into debt:

Get control of your budget

Overspending can occur when there is no budget in place, due to the fact that there is no way of keeping track of what you’re spending and what you can realistically afford. If you haven’t yet started budgeting every month, it is certainly a good idea to do so, Creating a budgeting spreadsheet would be a wise idea or even downloading specialist apps to monitor your expenses.

Always overestimate monthly costs such as food, bills and rent so that you never fall short. During the winter, for example, energy bills will increase as you’ll be using more heating and electricity, so always take into consideration that prices do fluctuate so that you don’t get a shock when the time comes to pay up.

Be prepared for unexpected expenses

One of the reasons why you may have fallen into debt is due to the fact that you haven’t prepared for the unexpected. Unfortunately, things do go wrong which means you may have to fork out more money than you anticipated and could leave you struggling financially. With this in mind, it would be sensible to put aside 10%-15% of your monthly wages to cover you if disaster strikes.

While it may be quite difficult to do so, aiming to save approximately 6 months of your salary each year as an emergency fund will give you a good chance of staying out of debt completely. You cannot prepare for situations such as job loss or injury which may put you out of work either for the short or long-term.

Stick to your credit card limit

It is very easy to become carried away with credit card spending as you don’t physically need to have the money to purchase whatever takes your fancy, but being unable to pay off what you owe could result in extensive charges and interests that could trigger the start of long-term debt. Exceeding your credit card limit could also impact your credit rating and prevent you from securing important loans in the future, such as a mortgage. To avoid falling into financial difficulty when it comes to your credit card, aim to pay the minimum amount each month so that you don’t fall behind.

It would also be wise to limit the number of credit cards you do have so that you don’t forget to pay bills when they’re due, as well as ramping up additional interest that you didn’t anticipate.