Pay bills on time and if there is a discount for early repayment then take advantage of it. Don’t get behind on your power and telephone to avoid disconnection and re-connection charges.
Avoid the temptation to buy on tick. This applies especially to motor vehicles, furniture, clothes, holidays and hobbies. It’s bad enough that things like cars and household items lose value. Don’t add to your problems by paying interest as well.
If you must borrow, make sure you get a good deal. Just because a money lender wears a suit doesn’t mean that they are not a shark. Seek advice before you sign on the dotted line. Most cities have a free budget advisory service. They will give an unbiased opinion about financial contracts.
If you have a mortgage, and other debt like hire purchase finance or credit card debts, look at the possibility of combining all of the debt into a single mortgage. Because mortgage money costs less than other debt, you may be able to cut heaps from your mortgage bill.
Be very careful about acting as a guarantor for other peoples debt. Being a guarantor means the lender has every right to claim repayment of the debt from you as though you were the borrowers and they will certainly come knocking if the borrower fails to meet their obligations. Being a guarantor has nothing to do with being a character witness.
Beware of hire purchase. This is where the customer makes a down payment on a purchase and agrees to repay the balance over a period of time (usually 2 to 3 years) by making regular payments (usually monthly). Hire purchase may look tempting because it seems to make things easy to buy. But don’t be fooled. It is a very expensive way to buy stuff.
Don’t bounce cheques. It’s bad for your credit rating and costs heaps in bank fees.