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Face your financial fears!

It's Halloween! If you let money matters frighten the living daylights out of you, it could lead to some truly ghastly financial decisions. Budgeting can be scary, but getting into serious debt can be a nightmare. Avoiding your finances doesn’t make them go away. Instead of pulling the covers over your head like it’s Halloween, why not face those money monsters head on. Here are some tips to keep you from falling victim to the demons of the dollar. Budget Boogie Monster. Do you feel like budgeting is the work of the devil, depriving you of the good life by cramping your style? In fact, it’s the opposite. As a tool, a budget can give you the framework for spending more purposefully, so you can work towards reaching your financial goals. If trying to set a yearly or even monthly budget seems daunting, start by setting one for tomorrow. Do that for a week or two, and then move on to setting a weekly budget. Night Of The Living Debt. Once you’ve accumulated debt — credit card, personal loan and so on — it can seem impossible to resolve it all. Devise a plan to pay off the one with the highest interest rate first. Once you make a dent in your dues, you’ll be motivated to keep working towards paying off the balance. The Devil Is In The Detail. Turning a blind eye to your personal finances can be devastating to your cash flow. Review your account and credit card statements, as well as bills, regularly and thoroughly. This ensures you’re not being charged fees you don’t recognise or paying for subscriptions and services you never use. Dial 000… It’s An Emergency! Just like a haunted house, life is full of surprises. Car repairs, unemployment, illness… it can catch you off guard financially. Set money aside in an emergency fund for when the unexpected happens. It provides the reassurance of knowing you have cash to fall back on during a crisis. At a minimum, an emergency fund should hold three months’ worth of your living expenses. Pay Rise Of The Dead! Asking the boss for a raise can be like a scene from a horror movie. Rather than jumping straight into the inferno, spend a few months performing above and beyond your job description. The best time to negotiate is when you’re riding the wave of success. Make sure you can quantify how you’re contributing to the organisation’s bottom line. Don’t forget: you must be your own advocate. You may think that your employer should take notice of your diligence, but that isn’t always the case. Work hard and SPEAK UP! The Grim Reaper Don’t let your financial situation come back to haunt your loved ones. It’s confronting to face our mortality, but it’s important to write a Will outlining who inherits what, when and how.