Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Steps to Debt Relief

By Dan Hughes

It is very easy these days to get yourself into debt, and a lot of it. With the amount of credit cards, loans, and other types of debt increasing instruments, it could, in fact, be quite difficult to not get caught in debt's web. Many people today have a lot of debt and are unsure of how to get out of it. Here are some steps that, if you stick to them, can help you on your way of getting rid of your debt:

Step 1: Review and understand where your budget went wrong and where excess spending exists.

Step 2: Prepare a living budget in your Money Management Plan.

Step 3: Confront issues of why you overspent. If you need help, counseling can be a great way to get to the root of your overspending problems.

Step 4: Use recommended guidelines to get your budget back on track. If one section exceeds recommended percentage, begin by cutting back there or modifying the percentage to fit your budget.

Step 5: Begin to pay extra on high-interest bearing accounts, such as credit cards, one at a time.

Step 6: If you get a tax refund, bonus, or other intermittent income, use this for immediate debt relief.

Step 7: Update your budget regularly to keep track of all income and expenses.

Step 8: Stop using credit cards.

Step 9: Come up with ways to increase income, such as a second job, selling unused items, etc., and find ways to reduce spending.

Step 10: Find ways to see if you can obtain any savings on payment of your debts.

Step 11: Take advantage of online resources to save money on your spending including groceries, utilities, shopping, travel, and more.

Step 12: Close your department store charge accounts as you pay off those debts.

Step 13: Continue to learn about sound money management practices.

Always remember that, no matter if you are in the process of relieving your debt or out of debt, do not try to keep up with the Jones's and always spend less, pay cash, ignore credit card offers, pay off credit cards, buy on sale, and be realistic. 

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