Debt in Australia has reached an all time high. People are becoming more and more reliant on credit to survive. Credit cards are an easy and efficient way to pay for goods and services however, unless spending is monitored closely, it can easily get out of control. Credit and store cards, mobile phones bills, petrol prices, interest rates and the general cost of living have all impacted on household debt levels. The social impact of debt is difficult to quantify however, you only have to look at the disintegration of the family unit and the increasing number of people turning to drugs and alcohol to realise that debt is a huge problem for society. It's very easy for debt to get out of hand. When the debt collectors call to ask for a payment, all they want to hear is how much you can pay and when can you pay it. Many people simply do not know how to cope with this situation and as the phone calls and letters keep coming, they ignore them, hoping that somehow the debt issue will resolve itself. A budget is a key ingredient to a brighter financial future. A budget helps you plan ahead, like a roadmap, and should be revised regularly to avoid getting "lost". Budgets are a tool to help regain control of your finances. Despite how important a budget is, most people don't have one, and don't place enough importance in them. Most people have a rough idea of how much they make per week, but believe it or not most people spend more than they make not knowing exactly where the money goes. A budget is a great way to show exactly where money is being spent, and where possible cutbacks could be made. Subsequently, a budget is a great starting point for a savings plan. Make a list of all your monthly bills and necessities and make sure they are covered by your monthly income. Only spend money on items not listed in your budget after the bills are paid. Be disciplined and stay within your budget guidelines. If you are still struggling with debt and need help, seek help from a professional debt consolidation company that can help you get relief from your debt. Download our free budget planner here to help you manage your debt.