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Eliminating Debt
Alladin's Tips

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Eliminating debt is a goal to which we can all relate!

Americans have been carrying debt on credit cards, car loans and even household goods for decades. We're used to having monthly payments and debt. However, these days, this is not a good thing. When you start using credit cards to pay for gas and food, you know something is wrong. This can produce a very uncomfortable feeling. So, now that you're loaded up with debt, how do you go about eliminating debt, so you can breathe a bit easier and have some ready resources for emergency expenditures?

Eliminating debt is not easy! However, there are several approaches which work. It may take a while, but it's certainly a worthwhile endeavor. Whittling away at that debt does require discipline.

The first step is to stop using those credit cards. The interest rates and penalties are already spending for you. You don't need to add to the mess. “What if I can't get to work unless I use a card for the gas?” Doubtless, there are situations where you may have no choice. On the other hand, you need to immediately sit down and scrutinize your expenditures. You'll be amazed at how much cash you can keep in your pocket if you really put your mind to the task.

For example, when you go grocery shopping, do you ever toss something in your basket that isn't on your list? We all know the answer to that. Let's say that on last week's shopping trip, you bought a magazine, some nail polish and a jar of that yummy cheese dip, none of which you intended to purchase. Even at discount prices, that's an easy $10. Such purchases are not extravagant, but nonetheless adds up to $40 a month. A year's worth of such incidentals is $480! Put that money in the gas tank.

While you're at it, save your grocery receipts and enter your expenditures on a spreadsheet. You'll soon see spending patterns that are killing your bank account. Using coupons and shopping the sales can easily reduce your food bill by 30%. No kidding.

As for clothes, try shopping at the many – and increasingly popular – upscale second hand stores and thrift shops. You'll find stylish clothing at a fraction of the price of new.

Keep a tally of the money you've saved each month. It should still be in your possession! Add this amount to the minimum payment on one particularly bothersome credit card. Now, you begin to eliminate debt, rather than increasing it.

Use other more conventional techniques to eliminate debt, such as debt consolidation and consumer credit counseling.

Eliminating debt works much like building debt. It happens piecemeal, a little at a time. Reversing this habit can help you get out of debt. You can do it. Discipline is required, but it need not be a grueling experience. One step at a time.

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