Before you request a quote for a loan, it's a good idea to have a look at your finances and decide how much financial help you will need to achieve your goals and then draw up a budget to keep you on target. Examining your cash flow will also tell you what level of repayments you can afford each month.

    Analyse your money

    First thing to do is to keep a record of what goes where each month and you may be surprised how your money is being spent. Whenever you go to the shops, make a habit of keeping your receipts and at the end of the month you will know your spending habits.

    Either way, at the end of the month you'll know more about your spending habits.

      Prioritise your money

      Now make a list of where you have spent your money - either on necessities like some groceries, petrol, heating and so on, or luxuries like going to the movies or eating out.

      Draw up a list of essentials, like your mortgage or rent, council tax and fares or fuel used to get to work and then compare this to your monthly income. The difference between the two is your disposable income. Factor in the luxuries that you really don't want to do without, then decide what to do with any spare cash - whether to put it in a savings account, give some to charity, or spend it on paying back a personal loan.

        Use your budget

        Keep the habit of checking your spending habits monthly, and keep within the budget that you have set. This is the simplest way to manage your money, and you'll find that it makes it easier to fill out any paperwork when applying for a loan.

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