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Now's the time for an annual budget

It has been claimed that the arrival of the new year is a good time for consumers to create an annual budget for the year ahead.Following the expense of the Christmas party season, many people look to cut back over the first few months of the new year in order to get their finances under control.However, Frances Walker, spokesperson for CCCS, has suggested that sitting down and working out your personal budget for the coming 12 months is the best way to start to sort out your personal finances.She added: "It is also a good time to look at income maximisation; making sure you are getting all the benefits and tax credits you are entitled to."Ms Walker also offered some further advice, explaining: "If you add up everything that you have to repay every month [and] that comes to more than 20 per cent of your personal income, you are over extended and you need to look at that."The average UK household owes £56,234, including mortgages, according to Credit Action statistics released earlier this month.

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