I’ve just paid my two January credit card bills, so all of the Christmas expenditure is cleared. My savings have taken a little hit, but it’s good to see the back of the two most substantial credit card bills of the year. It doesn’t help that my car’s annual service is in December, so that’s £200 before any Christmas spending.

I used to be one of those people who had a lot of debt – a couple of maxed out credit cards, a loan, and pushing up towards an overdraft at the end of every month. I’m not complaining, I used to spend all my money,and some on enjoying myself; two holidays a year overseas and a few weekend breaks here and there; ate out several nights during the week; always out at the weekend; spending a lot on petrol to visit friends at the weekend. Buying a house really crippled me financially, but it had to be done.

Then, I suppose, I settled down and became a bit more grown up and a bit more responsible. As a result within two years I’d paid off all my debts and actually had money in the bank.
I’ve stopped panicking about money now, regular bills are paid by monthly direct debit so there are no nasty surprises in the post, credit cards are paid off every month in full and I use cards for as much expenditure as I can, not because I need to defer the cost but in order to get cashback or money off vouchers. And I’ve got a cushion of 6 months salary in savings now, should anything nasty happen.

So, if anyone out there is worrying about debt, it can be beaten.

I didn’t use this at the time , but this website is very good for identifying ways of saving money (although the forum takes  a lot of reading) and it hs a good spreadsheet to help you budget for absolutely everything you spend.