The Fixer: Growing overdraft pains

The Fixer logo%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

Dear Fixer,
The overtime at my place of work has been cut back and I am struggling a bit financially as a result.

I had got used to spending the few hundred pounds extra I was earning until October last year and I now keep ending up in my overdraft facility every month.

I am trying to make some cutbacks to stop this happening, but my girlfriend and I have a new baby so it is not exactly easy.

To make matters worse, I am paying interest at about 19% on my overdraft.

I don't want to take out a credit card because I am worried about getting into more and more debt, but I am starting to think there is no other way out. Can you help?

D Jones, Derby

Dear Mr Jones,

It is difficult to rein in our spending once we have got used to a certain standard of living, and having a new baby in the house is bound to make cutting back even harder.

However, you may find that sitting down with your girlfriend and working out a monthly budget will help.

To do this, you need to write down your monthly household income and then deduct the amount you spend on bills, food shopping and other essentials.

The remainder is the cash you have to spend on non-essentials, and it is vital not to exceed this if you want to get your finances back on track.

Another easy way to save is to switch your current account to one that offers a cheaper overdraft facility.

First Direct's 1st Account, for example, could be the answer to your prayers.

Not only does it offer new customers a £100 switching incentive, it also comes with a free £250 overdraft buffer zone and charges a relatively low 15.9% on larger amounts.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.
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