Are you in financial difficulty and can’t break the cycle? Here’s how.

Rachel Williams
9 min readFeb 27, 2020
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

I don’t know about you, but having an income coming in safely at the end of the month for most of my working life has left me totally unprepared for the tough times.

I always had some form of savings, until, that is, I came across the latest collection at my favourite clothes boutiques, or discovered a sale at a beautiful interiors shop… so essentially that meant that I never had any savings.

It was only when I was saving up for something specific did I put any effort into saving (or paying back my credit cards with more than the minimum amount required). You’d think that having worked in the finance sector would have made me a little more savvy in the saving world; au contraire, working in credit made me more aware of how much easier it is to borrow than it is to save.

A popular way of splitting finances is 50/30/20 rule. US senator Elizabeth Warren, now running for President (and a Harvard bankruptcy expert in her own right), coined the term together with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi in a book they co-authored in 2005 called ‘All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan.’

This entails splitting your disposable income (that is, your remaining income after all tax and social security amounts are deducted) into Needs (50%), Wants (30%), Savings and Debt Repayment (20%). Here is where it gets a little tricky, because if you decide to use this form of budgeting, sometimes your Debt Repayment might take you over the 20% without taking into account the Savings bit. Needs and Wants can also be something of a challenge; too many times we take our Wants and transfer them into the Need niche.

Now, this is all very well, you might say. But what to do if you’re already in debt?

This first thing is to cut out the frills. It’s no use saying that you deserve to dine out once a week, if you can’t afford it. Forget it. Shove a frozen pizza in the oven — or make it yourself. The time will come when you can enjoy this little pleasure without feeling guilty about it. Forget holidays — explore your hometown, go for long walks, whatever you need to do to chill without breaking the bank. Check your mobile plan — can you make do with cheaper? Do you really need to go premium on Spotify…



Rachel Williams

Human being. Often confused. Persistent. I’ve got this. So have you. Contact me on