Being in debt can feel like a huge burden. We are not talking about having a mortgage or a car payment – those are debts most people have. We are talking about overwhelming credit card debt or massive medical bills. If you’ve experienced a job loss, illness, divorce, or other life-changing event, you know how quickly debt can add up. You may feel like it’s spiraled out of control.

The following are some top tips for managing debt. Consider these best practices to follow. Start here, and as you move forward and get a grasp on your debt, we encourage you to learn all you can about personal financial management.

Budget. You have to do it.

Budgeting money does not come naturally to everyone. That’s okay. You can learn to budget well and commit to that budget. Be patient with yourself and re-evaluate your expenses as necessary.

Sticking to a budget ensures that you are in control of your finances. Budgeting controls your expenses, which ensures that you are able to pay your bills. Further, budgeting gives you a clear picture of your expenses. This empowers you to make wise spending decisions. Taking a close look at your expenses also shows you where you can reduce expenses.

Keeping a close watch on your income minus expenses is critical to having enough to pay off your debt and managing your debt load moving forward.

Plan to pay off debt. Don’t just think about your desire to pay off debt, actually plan how you will do it.

Sit down with your list of debts and annual percentage rates of each. Figure out which is your most expensive debt to carry forward, and focus on paying that one off first. Generally speaking, your most expensive debt is the one with the highest interest rate.

Of course planning to pay off your debt ties directly to your budget. Your budget dictates how much money you have available each month to put toward your debt payments.

Stop adding to the pile.

You cannot manage your debt if you are adding to it. Stop making new charges. Move away from plastic and use cash so you are spending only what you have. When you have to hand over actual hard-earned cash, you will be more likely to consider your purchases and spending less will come more naturally.

By focusing on getting out of debt and making a concrete plan to make it happen, you can rid yourself of that huge burden of debt!

If you are crafting your plan to get out of debt and realize it is going to take you more than a few years to pay off your credit card or medical debts, then it is time to explore if filing for bankruptcy protection is the right solution for you.

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The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel helps people get out of debt. We offer free consultations to people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.