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Basics of Practicing Proper Debt Management
Michalis 'BIG Mike' Kotzakolios

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Debt management is all about managing your financial resources in the best possible way. Ideally, the goal is to eliminate all unnecessary debt from the budget, and keep it that way. Here are some tips to help you with the process of solid debt management.

First, learn to distinguish between needs and wants. Needs are those things you need in order to have a decent standard of living. Items such as food, clothing, shelter, and decent transportation are examples of needs. Always provide for your needs first. Once your needs are satisfied, then you can look at the remaining funds at your disposal and determine if there are any wants that you wish to satisfy. Using this process to slow down the creation of new debt will make the task of debt management much easier.

Second, create a profile of each of your creditors, including the balances owed and the interest rates that are applied. Proper debt management decrees that you know how much you owe at any given time. Also, this process will help you be able to devise strategies to retire outstanding debt that is in keeping with your monthly budget.

Next, make it a point to pay something off periodically. Start with the credit card that has the lowest outstanding balance, and pay extra on the card each month. During this time, make it a point to not use the card for any new purchases. This will allow you to slowly lower your overall indebtedness, which is the whole point of debt management anyway.

Practicing good debt management requires that you be realistic about your finances. By knowing the difference between wants and needs, understanding how much you currently owe, and making a plan to retire debts one at a time, you can quickly get the hang of debt management and realize some benefits from your efforts.

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