How to Get Your Spending Under Control and Get Out of Debt

List: Posted: 01/07/11

Climbing out of debt is a growing concern for many across the country. While some debt is fine – such as your mortgage or your student loan – other debt is toxic. Here are some things you can do right now to get your finances back on track.

Getting out of debt is exactly like going on a diet. Like avoiding unhealthy foods, you’re going to have to stop spending and shopping for a while. With the money you don’t spend on frivolous extras, you can focus on paying down your credit card debt. Your main priority should be on paying down the card with the highest interest rate and making more than the minimum payment each month.

You should also contact each credit card company to discussing lowering your interest rates. Companies are particularly inclined to lower your rate if they believe it will result in you paying the card off in one year or less.

This may seem unnecessary, but the best way to climb out of debt is to keep a spending diary for a few weeks. By recording you and your family’s purchases, you’ll quickly be able to identify where you can stop spending.

Finally, you’ll need to start building an emergency fund while you pay down your debt. Without several months’ worth of living expenses, you and your family might experience a financial crisis in the event of a job loss or unexpected medical bills.

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