Finding the work-money balance in a tough climate

People often say money makes the world go round, and this couldn't be truer. And in this tough economic climate, it can be tricky trying to balance the hospitality jobs that we love with earning enough to be able to have a good quality of life. When spiralling into debt, it can often feel like there is no salvation, but just follow a few simple steps and you may find yourself in the black again.

The first step should always be to sit down and figure out all your finances. Be honest with yourself and make a list of all the debts you owe. Not only will this help you organise things a lot better, but it may just calm you down a bit. Be sure to include your creditors and any other extras such as interest rates. Once this list has been constructed, prioritise your debts in order of importance. The ones with the higher rates should be sorted out first because they can only bury you into further debt.

Once you have figured out how much you owe, then you can calculate from your monthly income how much you can realistically pay back at any given time. Try and go for the maximum figure always so that you do not put any financial pressure at the end of the month and then divide this figure across your creditors, the higher priority ones receiving the larger share. Contact your creditors to let them know what repayment plan you have in order. Trust us, they will appreciate being in the know.

Always be sure that you are living on a budget, especially if you are unemployed. There are a tonne of comparison sites on the internet that will find you the best deals on virtually every aspect of your life, whether it is utility bills or supermarket shopping. Each of these savings may be small but they will accumulate.

There are ways in which you can try to increase your income. Can you work more hours? Can you get a second job at the weekend? Do you have a spare room in your house that you can rent out? Can your working children contribute anything?

Most importantly, always manage what you spend, keeping a careful eye on what is coming in and what is going out. Keep on top of your finances, even if it means keeping a physical record.

If you feel like your money issues are too bad to handle on your own, then you may need to contact organisations such as  the Consumer Credit Counselling Service or the National Debtline. Never be ashamed to ask for help as it may just be this pride that takes you under. These groups will offer great advice individual to your case.

Also speak to your boss and see what options there are. You never know, they may give you an extra shift or two.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you with your career in hospitality.