This is a question that millions of people across the United States want an answer to everyday. Overwhelming debt is fast becoming a huge financial burden and people everywhere are looking for the answer that will teach them how to get out of debt as fast as possible. |
Unfortunately most debt is accumulated over a long period of time so it only makes sense that it can take longer then most people would like to get those balances paid off. But the good news is that if you really want to do something about it you can be debt free in a relatively short period of time. The point is ignoring the problem will only make it worse while putting your foot down and starting to do something about it will allow you to reach your goal that much faster.
The first step to getting out of debt is to stop accumulating more debt. Most debt is in the form of credit cards so it's time to get rid of the things. Cut them up, burn them, run them through a shredder, whatever it takes to make sure you quit using them. Putting them in the bottom of your underwear drawer does not cut it. The temptation will be too great to use them again if they are easily accessible.
The next step is to get a firm grip on your current financial situation. You do this by making a complete personal budget. Gather up all your bills and credit card statements for one month; you'll also need your check book register; get a piece of paper and pencil, and start building your monthly budget. In one column write down all your monthly income sources and in another column write down all your monthly expenses. The expenses should include everything, from your mortgage to how much you spend at Starbucks each month. Add up both columns and if you are like most people fighting the debt monster your expenses are greater then your income. If you are to expedite getting out of debt this has to change.
Now that you have a budget you can use it to start cutting out unnecessary expenses. As you work your way through your budget you'll be surprised at how much you can save each month. Going out to eat, morning coffee, and any number of other frivolous expenses can add up quickly when you aren't paying attention.
While using your budget to cut out expenses is one way to free up cash flow you also need to look at other ways to maximize your income. Asking for a raise at work is one way as well as seeing if you can work any extra overtime. This is also a good time to check your tax withholdings. If you get a huge refund every year that mean you are having too much money withheld from your paycheck. The IRS website has a great tool that helps you determine just how many deductions you should claim for your income.
Also look for other sources of income. A part time job that brings in an additional $1,000 a month can help pay down that debt quickly. You can also have a garage sale and get rid of all that stuff that's just sitting around your house gathering dust. The idea, as you can see, is to generate as much cash flow as possible to throw at those debts and get them paid off.
While you are in debt payoff mode you need to live as cheaply as possible. And anything you buy must be paid for with cash. This is not the time to add to your debt. The real secret to knowing how to get out of debt fast is attacking it head on. Realize that you are in debt because you have been spending more then you make and while the predatory practices that most creditors use to lure you in haven't helped your situation it is ultimately up to you to pay it all off and secure your long term financial future.
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