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Tips For Staying Out Of Debt

Aug 17, 2007
Although there is no actual debtor's prison, being buried under a mountain of bills can feel very constrictive. Once you are out of debt with the help of debt settlement and/or debt consolidation, there are several ways to prevent yourself from ever having to suffer from empty wallet syndrome again. Easier said than done, right? With a little discipline and a lot of persistence, you can happily maintain a lifestyle that will never be in need of debt relief again.

It's all about a budget. Sit down and determine the total amount of take-home pay that comes into your household every month. Next, determine the nature and amount of all necessary expenses, including mortgage, auto, food and utilities. The amount that you have left after all necessary expenses have been paid will represent your extra spending money for the month. By spending no more than what you make, you will never again have to worry about needing debt relief.

Shop with a store list. It's so easy to wander into the jewelry or sporting goods section, but there are often greater rewards with discipline. If you shop with a list and stay within the areas that sell only what you need to buy, you won't be tempted by impulse purchases. Although excessive spending is not the only reason why many are in need of debt consolidation and/or debt settlement services, it is one of the leading causes of debt.

Keep a journal - or track your spending with a personal finance program on the computer. A financial journal is a very responsible step toward managing your money and avoiding debt problems in the future. How many times have you wondered where your money went? If you are like most, the answer to that question is all too often. Rather than wondering what happens to your hard-earned dollar, write down every single purchase in a daily journal. This will help you to see exactly what you are paying and where you could possibly afford to cut back if needed. For instance, if you are stopping by the local coffee shop for a sip of java, why not find a recipe online and make the same cup of coffee for a lot less money? Learning the simplest ways to save will soon turn into a new way of life.

Clip Coupons. You can save a lot of money every week simply by clipping a few coupons. Whether you find them online or in the Sunday newspaper, coupons are a terrific way to save money. Even if you only save $10.00 per week in coupons, that's $40.00 per month. For most households, that money could be put toward internet service, telephone service or some other important and necessary expense.

Save it. Every month, try to put some amount of money into a savings account or savings bond. For as little as $25.00, you can purchase a $50.00 savings bond. If a savings account is more your style, many banks will allow you to open a savings account with no minimum deposit. Whatever you can afford, even if it's just $20.00, putting money into some type of savings will provide you with a cushion for later use. Being able to access savings will be a great help if you should ever need to reach a debt settlement agreement with creditors.

Charge it. How can having a credit card help you to stay out of debt? It's simple. By having only one credit card with a small credit limit, you will have access to some additional funds incase of an emergency or for making travel reservations, ordering gifts online or other necessary purchases. The key to having money is careful spending and, even with a credit card, this is possible.
About the Author
Brian Dolezal is a contributing editor for TopConsumerReviews.com, a leading provider of independent reviews and rankings for hundreds of consumer products. You can find out how top debt relief programs compare by visiting TopConsumerReviews.com today.
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