America is a debtor nation. Our national debt is soaring, we owe money to foreign governments and individuals, and personal debt remains at an all time high. If we keep on this course, our nation will be bankrupt our personal lives in ruins. The federal government isn’t likely to get out of debt any time soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t. Let’s take a look at some ways you can reduce your debt burden on the way toward becoming truly debt free.
Start A Budget
One of the first ways to get a handle on debt is to start a budget. No, it doesn’t have to be hard and fast at the outset. Instead, track your income and expenses for several months to see just what your spending habits really are. Chances are that you can save a little bit of money here and there right off the bat. Eat out less, opt for a cheaper cell phone plan, raise insurance deductibles, use coupons, etc.
Get Rid of It
Much of what we acquire is purchased by impulse. That plasma television, stereo system, CD player, and more: do you really need it? If not and if it still can be returned, bring it back to the store for a full credit. At the very least make a promise to yourself that you won’t be buying anything by impulse in the future.
Attack Those Credit Cards
If you aren’t controlling your credit spending, then your spending is controlling you. Switch from high interest credit cards to low interest credit cards, pay off your cards, and start paying cash for everything. If you really need something, you’ll find a way to get it without resorting to plastic. Examine the difference between wants and needs.
Your mortgage can be a big drain especially if your mortgage rate is adjustable and continuing to climb. Lock in a fixed, lower rate. Consider selling your home if you are living beyond your means! Homeownership shouldn’t mean that your house owns you. Scale back and scale down if it would help you control your finances.
Debt free living is a journey, not a destination. Once you have mastered your debt, you must continue to control your expenses. Lose control and someone else takes control: your bank, your mortgage company, your credit card provider, etc.
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