AN AWARD-WINNING financial planner is helping people stay out of debt with a common-sense handbook on getting your finances in order.

Warren Shute has published a five-step guide entitled The Money Plan to help people stay out of the red and save for the future.

The book shares the wisdom of Warren, of Lydiard Millicent, who runs family-run firm Lexington Wealth Management.

Warren, who was named Financial Planner of the Year in 2017, explained the inspiration behind the endeavour to the Adver.

He said: “I’ve been doing financial planning for 20-plus years and I’m very fortunate to work with some very lovely and wealthy individuals but there are lots of Joe Publics who need my help.

“We’re not taught about money in schools. I have clients who are very intelligent people but just can’t carry the emotional decision-making process of money. It’s a general problem and there are some straightforward things that you can do to ease the pressure and take the worry away.

“It’s not about being a millionaire overnight it’s about being free from the worries of money. It’s about making sure money's in the bank, you can pay the bills, you’ve got holidays planned, and making sure you’re not overspending on certain things.”

The book lays out key steps people can take, starting by writing out core values and aims for the future, right through to organising your pension contributions.

But the problem might also lie with living in a heavily consumer society, says Warren. “We are in an instant gratification society,” he added. “You get together as a couple you want a house. You don’t want to have the journey of accumulating the deposit to buy a house.

“Companies have latched onto and they’ve made it very easy for us to buy things either interest free and on credit so we get ourselves into debt very easily.”

“There’s an element of wanting to keep up with the Joneses. Until you take a step back and say what’s important to me in life it’s important to get caught on the treadmill of wanting more.”

The Money Charity, the UK’s financial capability charity, estimates that average consumer credit borrowing was £4,041 in May and the average total debt per household, including mortgages, was £58,240.