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Budgeting Your Way Out of Debt

Joseph M Sabol

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How do you get out of debt once you go over your normal debt level? If as a result of using your credit to excess, you find yourself with too many credit cards, it is time to change your credit habits. You might have 3 or 4 department store credit cards, 2 or 3 Visa and Master cards each, 1 or 2 oil company credit cards and all charged to the max. You may have a few bank loans in that mix as well. You will find out fast enough that the money coming in will not pay all of these bills plus your living expenses.

The first thing to do is STOP CHARGING!! Do not buy anything on credit. If you have no will power, cut the cards up and throw them away. Call the credit card companies and tell them that you want the accounts closed and continue paying the monthly payments until they are paid off. Next, sit down and make a list of all the money you owe each creditor and the amount of each monthly payment. This will tell you your total debt and the total of all monthly payments. You may be shocked to find out you actually owe. What you need to do then is make a list of all your everyday living expenses such as the mortgage or rent payments, utilities, insurances, food and transportation expenses.

The next logical step is to make a list of your sources of income. Compare the monthly take home pay against the 2 lists of expenses. Take the total expenses and subtract them from the total income. This is the amount you will have deal with. If this is in the negative you are going to have to figure out how to reduce some of your expenses. Remember life insurance? That is a good place to start. Follow the ideas presented here and use them. They will work. It took a while to get in this mess and it is going to take time to get out of it.

Here is an idea for you. Write the credit card companies and ask them to reduce the monthly payment and explain why. You must explain that you are temporarily having problems meeting your obligations. In your letter outline how much you feel you can pay at the present and what your plans are to meet your total obligation, including the payment schedule you intend to follow during this time. Most companies will work with you to help you meet your obligations if you show a sincere effort to do so. If the companies do not, then your are going have to force them into accepting your terms.

If you must, threaten the creditor with bankruptcy. This will usually tell them you are serious and that you are having serious problems. You can't imagine how much differently they will treat you once you have brought bankruptcy into the picture. If the bill collector still will not budge, you are dealing with an idiot and will cost his company the entire amount, for the sake of a few dollars. This person needs to get another job. Maybe they will do a sequel to “Dumber and Dumber!" Suggest this person for the lead!

Joseph M. Sabol is a world class Doberman breeder. Please go to or to for further information


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