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National Debtline

Advice you can trust

Ten top tips

Under 25? Worried about money? You're not alone. Here are our ten tips to help you get back on track.


National Debtline’s recent Borrowed Years report showed that more than half of 18 to 24 year olds regularly worry about their personal finances, with more than one in five sometimes losing sleep as a result.

If that sounds like you - free advice and support is available! Here are our top ten tips for getting back on track.

1. Draw up a budget

This is the most important step you can take. Write down your income and then everything you spend in a typical month. You can do this on paper or work out a budget on our website.

This will help you understand how much money you need to put aside for your bills and how much money you have to spend on other things.


2. Get more money in

It sounds obvious but there might some ways you could increase your income.

3. Spend less where you can


There are lots of ways you can try and spend less and make your money go further.

  • Try selling unwanted items online, like clothes or old phones or other devices.
  • Think carefully about streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify – are you using all of them, and using them all enough to be worth the cost?
  • Check www.freecycle.org and www.gumtree.com to see if you can grab a bargain.

4. Take care with contracts


Contracts are everywhere nowadays – from mobiles to gym memberships. Make sure you don’t end up paying for more than you need.

  • When looking for a phone, check you’re getting the right minutes, texts and data. Our Mobile phones fact sheet will help you to find the right contract for you and and shop best deal.
  • Shop around for the best contract using sites like www.moneysavingexpert.com.
  • Look for gym discounts and google your local council’s provider, as they can be much cheaper.

5. Choose your bank wisely

Make sure you don’t pay more than you have to for banking – and be prepared to switch. A lot of banks don’t charge for having an account.

If you do pay for ‘extras’ like mobile phone insurance, make sure you really need them and are getting a good deal.

6. Save if you can


It’s easier said than done, but if you have money left over after your essential bills such as rent or food, think about saving some of the money for unexpected expenses.

Shop around and check comparison websites for the best savings accounts.

7. Plan, plan, plan!


Write down what you want to spend money on for the next month / six months / year – it could be a holiday, going out or clothes. 

 Work how much everything will cost, compare it to your budget and be prepared to adjust your ambitions if needed!

8. If you borrow, borrow safely

If you do decide to borrow money for a bigger purchase, make sure you have enough money to make the payments – and check how much you will end up paying back in total. 

Get organised! Open your bills, keep track of payment dates and try setting reminders on your phone.

9. Look after student finances

If you are a student there may be different things to be aware of including rules about student loans and banking – see our student debt and money fact sheet.

Be careful not to spend all of your money at the start of term – and watch out for student overdrafts as they may be withdrawn after graduating.


10. Get free debt advice if needed

If you have debts you are struggling to pay don’t delay - visit our website, chat with an adviser or call us on 0808 808 4000 to get free, confidential and independent debt advice.