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Solutions for Debt Reduction

20 June 2011 4 Comments

The following is a guest post

Debt has become a serious problem in the United States. It is a hot issue in the news right now, with concerns about the slowly recovering economy and raising the ceiling for our national debt.

Whether on the national or individual level, having debt can be painstaking for our personal lives and shakes up our financial stability. Whether you need to pay off student loans, credit cards or car title loans, there are plenty of home solutions for you to resolve your debt in a timely manner.

Budget

Do you know how much you are spending every day, down to the last cent? The accumulation of debt is generally the result of clumsy and haphazard spending habits, without keeping track of what is spent.

Your best bet is to keep a budget of exactly how much money you will need to pay everything off. Focus first on immediate needs–rent or mortgage, utilities, etc.–then include how much you plan on using to put towards paying off your debt.

When you know how much you’re spending, you’ll be better able to make decisions based on how much you make each paycheck.

Find Alternatives

The phrase “you get what you pay for,” is often an overgeneralization. Most of the time, finding cheaper alternatives for the products and services you usually pay for will be of just as good quality. Because gas prices are so high, consider riding a bike or taking public transportation instead of driving. Rather than go to the movies, get Netflix or use Hulu to watch movies you’ve never seen before. Give up fast food every week and take the time to cook your meals and save leftovers for lunch the next couple of days.

Also keep your eyes peeled for coupons and deals at your local supermarket. Sometimes your favorite brands might have a sale that will save you more money than buying the generic brand. You just have to be attentive to the deals all around you.

Think Differently About Money

Sometimes all it takes to get out of debt is to change the way you think. Think about how much you make per hour even if you’re not paid hourly. Then put that number against what you’re about to spend.

Say you’re looking at a new TV that costs $900. If you make $15 an hour, that means you would be putting 60 hours of your work into purchasing the TV. It’s quite an eye opener when you do the math.

Trim Your Expenses

Sometimes our everyday habits are what burn holes in our wallets, and we don’t even realize it. By taking a look at the things you do in your life, you could easily save yourself a decent amount of money. Take shorter showers to reduce your water bill. Unplug unused appliances and electronics, or purchase a smart power strip that automatically shuts off your electronics when not in use. Also open your windows for more natural light to reduce the need for electricity.

Also look at things you pay for but never really use. A lot of people who are in debt have gym memberships they don’t use and renewing subscriptions for magazines they don’t even read. Getting rid of these things will put some extra money in your bank account.

If you feel that you are too deep in debt for these small tactics to work, it is a good idea to seek out debt consultants. While you may have to pay consultation fees, they will help you get out of debt and pay it off on your own terms.

Debt is one of the most common stress causing parts of our lives. But when we put our minds to it to get rid of our debt, we will soon find stability and happiness.

4 Comments »

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