Debt Reduction Help
If you are feeling overwhelmed by debt it is a comfort to know that help is available for those individuals that are willing to sacrifice to reduce debt. There are several things that can be done to reduce debt including making simple changes to your daily habits and routine, simplifying your life by de-cluttering the house, and finally in serious circumstances - getting professional debt reduction help.
Debt Reduction Help - Habits
Immediate and sometimes staggering results can be obtained by simplifying your daily routine to avoid the small extra expenditures that easily become habits for most people. Food is one of the biggest expenses and money wasters that many working adults never even think about. Consider a morning coffee and bagel for around $7, added to a lunch out of the office for $10 (after the tip) and a soft drink from the machine for 1.25. A normal daily routine that adds up to $91.25 per week on a 5 day workweek! Every month that would be $365 dollars and every year that is $4,380 spent on consumables that will vanish into thin air - with the possible exception of an extra love handle or two.
While you still have to eat, consider taking a healthy lunch with you to work instead of eating out. Healthy eating can be very healthy for your budget as well since this will easily save you $7 - $8 over the alternative. The same is true for breakfast and snacks. Be conscious of the money you spend on things a dollar at a time as these expenditures really add up quickly. A simple approach to daily living will net you thousands of dollars each year that can be used instead as debt reduction help you create rather than as consumable waste.
Debt Reduction Help - Simplify
It is amazing how much "stuff" most people accumulate over time. A second weed whacker, a couple screwdriver sets that have never been used, CD's, DVD's, electronics, picture frames...you name it! Consider taking the "stuff" that is cluttering up your house and your life and selling it or giving it away for tax credit. Most people are familiar with Ebay and it is relatively easy to set up an account and sell many common household items. You may be surprised what would actually sell if you took a few minutes to list it. Make a small list of items you have as "extra's" around your house or garage and see what similar items are selling for on Ebay - I guarantee you will be surprised at what can be sold.
Craig's list is another online venue for selling goods and services much like an online bulletin board where items can be posted to local markets and where buyers and sellers usually live in the same area. Craig's list is totally free to use and items range from cars to furniture with many services in between. Think about listing your old couch or spare computer online and plan to use that money to pay down an existing debt.
For other items think about donating them to a favorite charity or to Goodwill. Donating items will allow you to obtain a tax credit for the value of the item which could translate into hundreds of dollars once your tax refund is sent. Clearing your unused or unwanted items will not only make you feel better and more organized it will provide some debt reduction help at the same time.
Debt Reduction Help - Professional Guidance
There are plenty of companies offering debt reduction help, however be warned about this method of debt reduction as there are many companies that can scam buyers into paying for services that never really exist. As a Christian God calls us to pay our debts and owe no man anything, so finding a company that will honor the commitment to pay back what is owed should be of utmost importance as you consider this kind of debt reduction help.
While many companies offer to lower interest rates and slash the payback amounts take ownership of the problem at hand and realize that the only way out will be to develop a plan for repayment and stick to that plan. A budget will be vitally important during this phase of getting debt reduction help as you will need to be able to show your creditors that you are doing everything within your power to pay them back what you owe.
Set your budget up to take care of all living expenses (food, house, clothing) first and then in order of importance list out each bill or debt to be paid. Once the money runs out for the month then the money is out and nothing else can be paid. Each month it will be important to make a list and follow it as this will help alleviate some of the stress of the debt repayment and allow you to have an answer for collections calls you may be receiving.
There are limits to the calls that can be made by collectors so research these regulations for your state and hold the company accountable when they call too much. Having a plan will allow you to be confident that over time the debt will be repaid and you can begin to get your finances in order. If you do decide to use a company for debt reduction help be sure to check the company's references as well as checking whether they have had any complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau.
Below are some questions to ask when looking to a professional company for debt reduction help:
- What is the company's rate of success with getting debt negotiated to less than the amount owed?
- How long has the company been in existence?
- Has the company ever been sued?
- Aside from the amount you'll pay for the company to pay your debt each month, what do you have to pay?
- What will your due date be for the monthly payment?
- What happens if your payment is late?
- If you want to back out of the contract after you have already started making payments, can you? And if so, how?
It can be scary to be deep in debt and seriously needing some debt reduction help, but if you educate yourself about the services that are available, you'll feel a little more in control. Be ready to explore your options and talk to several people before making a final decision about whether to use a professional company. Make it a matter of prayer and ask for God's direction and an open door as you look to find just the right debt reduction help.