Eight ways to get out and stay out of debt

  • Track your spending – It’s easier to free up some cash once you see where it’s going.
  • Have a plan and set goals – Budget. As with any type of money diet, if it’s too restrictive, you will overspend.
  • Spend within budget – Transportation and food are the biggest problem areas when it comes to overspending.
  • Pay more than you have to – Monthly payments may be the biggest luxury credit cards have to offer, but they can also be your biggest downfall, pay more than the minimum every time you can.
  • Carry only one credit card – To keep spending on track, keep one card for emergencies.
  • Don’t buy more than you can afford – If you’re considering a new home, go house hunting only after you have figured out how much house you can afford.
  • Don’t make shopping a hobby – Careful price checking can keep costs down, or you can wait for merchandise to go on sale instead of buying on impulse.
  • Shop for utilities and insurance – Trimming the fat from your spending plan may be easier if you double-check the premiums on your auto, home and life insurance policies. Deregulation within the utility industry makes it possible to compare rates.