Spend Less, Save More: Your Own Debt Loss Program

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Think of it as a kind of debt loss program. When you handle your debt, you'll find a huge weight falls away from you. Some experts actually think there's a correlation between the growing debt of Canadians and our growing waist lines. Whether that's true or not you can debate over a donut, but there can be little doubt that debt reduction is one loss most of us can probably use at least a little of.

Tally up your debt weight. Until you know how much you're carrying, it's pretty much impossible to know how much you have to lose. Don't cheat-add up every penny you owe.

Have a partner on board. It's a lot easier to tighten your belt when someone else is tightening right along with you. Whether it's a life partner, spouse, friend, or your mom, having someone you're accountable to, or someone who's just cheering you on can only help, right?

Don't hide anything from yourself or the people helping you out. It just won't do any good to pretend your debt load is smaller than it really is. Is it six credit cards, three personal lines of credit, and two in-store accounts (not to mention your sister and best friend)? Get it all out there.

Plan a debt loss strategy. Whether you pay one debt off at a time, based on a high-interest first approach, or several debts a bit at a time, the key is to have a plan, and stick to it. Having regular money meetings with your partner in debt loss can help you to stick to the plan and meet your debt reduction goal.

Always save something. If you feel like your entire pay cheque is going to pay down debt (and it might be) start setting aside at least a small amount every cheque that goes to savings. Always save something, no matter how small or trivial it might seem.

Live by a budget. Set out the things that you have to pay each month, like your mortgage, car payments, and utility bills. Then pay them, every month, without exception. Never skip a payment. Pay less, if you must, and then contact the company and talk to them about it. Often, they'll understand and even waive the interest charge or late fee.

Stop using your credit cards, lines of credit, or other false income-extenders. One of the problems with credit is that it makes you think you have more money than you do. And, as valuable as credit can be, until you understand how much you really make-without the help of plastic-it's probably good to stay away from it.

Try these guidelines to your debt loss and see how much better you feel with debt weight off your shoulders.
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