In today’s world, ‘debt’ is a 4-letter-word. For the vast majority of the people who hear the word, it brings to mind stressful feelings, and possibly painful memories.

It would be fantastic if we were all able to live a life completely free of debt, but it is often a necessary evil. Buying a house almost always requires being approved for a loan from the bank, and the same usually goes for buying a new car.

That being said, there are types of debt that can be avoided. While it is certainly a good idea to have a credit card that you use and pay off every month, carrying a large balance month-to-month isn’t the best idea.

Luckily, even if you find yourself up to your neck in debt, there is almost always a way out. One of the best ways to reduce your debt burden and take steps towards debt-free living is to merely prioritize your finances.

It may seem painfully obvious, but if you have never tried it, it will amaze you how much insight into your finances you will gain by simply writing down on a piece of paper your monthly income, as well as all of your credit accounts, their balances, and their respective interest rates. Don’t forget to include installment accounts, such as DVR service or internet bills.

Often times, this simple act will not only provide individuals with insight into which accounts they can close to save money, but it can also help people realize how much of their money is being spent on bills, and how much is going out the door to non-essential things like restaurants and entertainment.

We will have more tips in future entries to help you reduce your debt burden, and live free of debt-related stress.

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