|menu/||FIVE STEPS TO GET OUT OF DEBT|
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The dreaded D-word: debt. All of us have it at some time or another,
and we would all like to get rid of it. Although it is probably not
possible to live 100% debt free, you can manage the debt you have. Depending
on your circumstances, you need to consider whether you should manage
your debt yourself, seek professional help, or when - and whether -
you need to consider bankruptcy.
STOP GOING FURTHER INTO DEBT And watch everything, not just the plastic. "Lots of people think credit cards are the biggest problem, but it is also other debt, such as mortgages and car loans," Rhode said.
TRACK THE CASH A simple pad and pencil can help you track your spending. Or try a software program such as Quicken or Microsoft Money. Total it up at the end of the day, week and month.
DON'T MAKE A BUDGET Instead, make a plan. "Budgets don't work," Rhode said. "With budgets, you create a wish list of how you would like to spend your money, not the real way it is spent." Set real, quantifiable goals you can achieve. For example, one goal of your plan could be to pay down half of one credit card by the end of this year.
DON'T EXPECT INSTANT MIRACLES Remain patient, and stick to your plan until you reach your goal.
SAVE Plan to sock away even a little bit as you're trying to get out of debt.
"I have people tell me they can only do $50 a month," Rhode said, but even less than $50 is enough as long as you have started.
tips for doing it yourself
Copyright 2002 Diana Estigarribia
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