Last year, the average American between 35 and 64 had $125,333* in personal debt. This figure includes credit card, student loan, auto loan and mortgage debt. As debt continues to reach new highs, we are partnering with our communities to provide resources to help you work toward being debt free. Below are a few ways to help you get started:
- List All Debts
Start with the ones with the lowest balance.
- Pay Extra Toward Debt
Extra doesn’t have to mean $100 or $1,000. It can be $10, $20, $50 or any other amount. Don’t let yourself make excuses for spending it on something else.
- Practice Patience
You didn’t get into debt overnight, so it’s going to take time. Do a little happy dance every time you pay off a debt, but don’t buy anything.
- Write Down Everything
Keep a record of every little thing you buy each day. It adds up fast!
- Review All Your Charges
Gather your bills and statements from the past 6 months to see what purchases you’ve made and what expenses you’ve incurred. Keep yourself honest by getting the real numbers.
- Be Ready to Cut
You have to be willing to delete some things if you aren’t earning enough. For example, you may need to cancel your cable TV service to have more money for car repairs.
- Question Every Purchase
Distinguish between wants and needs.
- Keep a Friendly Reminder
Write your goals on an index card and keep it handy.
- Make a Plan
Tackling your debt can seem like an uphill battle. Start by looking at what you owe and making a plan to pay it off.