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Become Debt Free in 2014

Is it your goal to pay off your debt this year? Or Save for a down payment on a home? Here are some tips to help you do just that.

1. Set goals. Make sure they are specific. For example, you may say, "my goal is to pay down my VISA by $10,000 this year." or, "My goal is to save $15,000 for the down payment on a house".

2. Find money you already have. Make adjustments to your current expenses: lower your cable package, turn off lights and unplug appliances when they're not in use, try and reduce your water consumption, keep your home slightly cooler than usual, eat foods that you have in your cupboards and freezer rather than buying groceries. These types of changes can save you a couple hundred dollars in just one month!

3. Make your meals at home! Eating at drinking at restaurants is one of the biggest expenses you can cut out to help save money.

4. Sell items you do not need and clothing you have not worn in the past year.

5. Earn some extra cash. If you can, take another shift at work. Work overtime, freelance, do odd jobs for people, or get another part time job. Even making $100 more per week could have you attaining your financial goals.

6. Don't cut up or throw out your credit cards, but don't keep them in your wallet. A handy trick is to put your credit cards in a Tupperware container and fill it with water. Then, place the container in the freezer. You'll be far less inclined to make purchases when your cards aren't at your finger tips.

7. Get organized. Make a spreadsheet of your debts. Include the account number, current balance, minimum monthly payment, payment due date, and interest rate. This will help keep you on track and monitor how much you owe at the end of each month.

8. Always pay off debt with the highest interest rate first, while making the minimum monthly payments on the other debts only.

9. Consolidate your debts into a low-interest loan or transfer them to a lower interest rate line of credit.

10. Make a budget. Commit to spending X amount of dollars per week on transportation, groceries, and other items, and stick to it! Having your budgeted amount in cash is helpful, as you can visibly see how much money you have left to spend for the remainder of the week after each purchase you make.


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