Who will help if you run out of money?
If you are having financial problems, get help as soon as you can. Ask for advice from your parents, your educational institution, your housing supervisor or a youth or social worker. Negotiate with the payee before the due date if you are unable to pay a bill. Then you can come up with a payment plan or a new due date. With a payment plan, you can reduce the monthly instalments or extend the payment period, whereupon you will not have to pay interest on late payment and recovery costs. Unpaid bills can lead to a payment default entry, which makes it difficult to get a rental apartment or a loan, among other things. The entry will remain for 2–4 years. Check whether you are eligible for subsidies. They will help you in turning points of life and guarantee a livelihood when your own income is not enough. Usually the subsidies are granted by Kela and social services. Prioritise your bills. Take care of the rent first, as well as other bills that can cause difficulties in your life when left unpaid.
Debt counselling tips for finance management
- You should pay small bills and loans before large ones, as they will lead to relatively higher recovery costs if left unpaid.
- Find out whether you are eligible for social benefits. Be prepared for the fact that you will not receive the subsidy money immediately.
- Many public service subsidies and payments are determined by your income, as are taxes.
- Making arrangements for payment difficulties is nowadays an everyday occurrence for the personnel of banks and businesses, and co-operation is appreciated. Financial and debt counsellors will help you with settlement negotiations and coming up with a settlement proposal.
- If paying debts and bills seems absolutely impossible, negotiate with the debtors about debt arrangement possibilities.
- For credit, you should negotiate a new payment plan before the debtor has the right to call in the credit.
- Municipal financial and debt counsellors can help you with matters such as mapping out your financial situation and negotiating with debtors.
- The Guarantee Foundation will grant guarantees for arrangement credit from the bank for private persons with debt and payment difficulties.
You’re not alone with your money problems! You can receive free help from:
- the Guarantee Foundation’s Debt Line at +358 (0)800 9 8009 on weekdays from 10am to 2p.
- the Kysy rahasta (Ask about Money) chat at www.takuu-saatio.fi
- www.takuu-saatio.fi > Guarantee operations
- www.kkv.fi > Debt advisers (your municipality’s financial and debt counselling)
- www.evl.fi > … > Church councelling
Think before taking a loan
It is fun to decorate your new home and buy new things after moving. However, you may be short on money, as the moving alone will require a larger than usual part of your income. Consequently, you may think about funding purchases with methods such as taking payday loans or paying with a credit card or in instalments. Before you take a loan, make some comparisons. Different types of loans always entail different interest rates and expenses, and your monthly payments can become considerable. Make sure you have enough money to pay back the loan within the agreed schedule.
More affordable options
The Guarantee Foundation grants small loans for low-income persons for housing procurements such as household appliances, furniture or a deposit. The loans have a fixed interest rate, and no other costs will be recovered from them. Additionally, many municipalities grant social credit. You can apply for it to cover necessary procurements for your home, such as a washing machine or a bed. Check your municipality’s call centre or website to see if it grants social credit.
Do not fund your everyday life with loans
Always consider carefully whether or not to take a loan. In the long run, furniture and other items paid with loans will be more expensive than those bought with savings. Think whether you need a certain item right now or whether you could save for at least a part of the price. If you purchase items with an instalment plan, this will bind your monthly budget in advance. Several small loans can easily become a large sum to pay. Consequently, you may have trouble paying some of your living expenses, such as phone or electricity bills. In the worst case scenario, you may fall into a debt spiral.
Plan your finances
The best way to balance your finances is to plan them in advance. The easiest way to do so is to enter your income and expenses into a finance plan. This will show you how much money you have at your disposal and how much you will have in the coming weeks. This way, you will not accidently live beyond your means. You can find tools for managing your finances on the Guarantee Foundation website.
The Martha organization’s saving tips
- Favour cycling and public transportation.
- Reduce your electricity and water consumption ‒ protect nature and save money.
- Buy less and less frequently.
- Eat out less frequently ‒ €30 a week amounts to €1,560 a year.
Delay a procurement
- Could you get by with an old phone?
Borrow, rent, procure together with others
- Cook with your friends.
- Could you borrow a guest mattress?
Move to cheaper alternatives
- Compare prices at stores.
- A cheaper apartment and hobby.
- Buy second-hand.
- Get other offers for insurance and electricity.
Make yourself and modify
- Food, clothes, furniture.
Take care of your belongings
- Invest in quality, check the warranty, service and spare parts.
Buy with cash
- You may receive a cash discount.
- You will avoid credit costs.
- You can see your expenditure.
Compare credit costs
- Find out the actual annual interest rate of a loan.
- Compare the effects of time, interest rates and amounts on the total price of a loan.
- Card credits tend to be more expensive than bank loans.
- Get offers from different banks.