Debt is something that can creep up on you unexpectedly. Even if you’ve tried your hardest to come up with a budget, that unexpected and expensive trip to the dentist has forced you into your overdraft this month. Not only that but you’ve had to buy your child a new pair of school trousers on your credit card after they fell and ripped them in the playground yet again. Soon you find you’ve borrowed money from so many different sources and when you finally sit down to work out how much you actually owe, you realise that you‘re in quite a lot of debt.

Keeping debt under control

Well, you’re not the only one. A recent study conducted by MoneySuperMarket revealed that the British public now owe a total of £196 billion in debt, with the amount that 18-34 year olds owe doubling in the past year. The survey also revealed people’s concerns as to how long it will take to pay back their debts with 14% believing their debt will be with them for as long as the next two to five years.

There’s no need to let your debt get on top of you though. Instead of getting overwhelmed, viewing your debt as just one huge amount, try breaking it down and work out how you can pay it back in more manageable chunks. Luckily, NatWest have just developed a debt calculator to help you do just that which you can find here.

The calculator allows you to collate all your debts together, whether it be from a credit card, a store card or even money you owe to family and friends. Then, after inputting how much you owe, you can either set an amount you want to pay back each week or month to find out just how long it will take you in total. Alternatively, you can set a date you want to be debt free by and the calculator will tell you how much money you need to put aside each month in order to do so.

It’s important to stay positive and where you might feel like it’s a long way off till you’re debt free at the moment, if you remember to keep paying back your debts one step at a time, you’ll be rid of them in no time.

Image credit: Woman with unpaid bills Shutterstock (modified) / In association with Natwest