Saturday, January 05, 2008

Extra Income & Other Strategies for Digging out of Debt in 2008

Finding a new way to get to work and tapping into extra income are a few of the strategies for eliminating debt in 2008, according to this guest post from (Consumer Credit Counseling Service):

"Review your transportation needs. If a car is needed to get to work, be sure to stay current on your payments. Explore options such as public transportation or trading a more expensive vehicle for a cheaper one. Look for opportunities to carpool to reduce travel expenses.

Stop charging! If you don’t have the willpower to not use your credit cards, remove the temptation by removing the cards from your wallet. Secure them in a safe deposit box at your bank or other hard to reach location, or simply put them in a bowl of water and freeze them. The time it takes for them to thaw will give you plenty of time to think about your purchase.

Explore alternatives for extra income. Talk with your employer about working additional hours at your current job, or pick up a part time job to make some additional income. Use all additional income to pay down debt.

Reduce expenses everywhere possible. Cut out the morning coffee stop, bring your lunch to work, opt for dinner and a movie at home instead of going out. Look around the house for ways to cut expenses. Consider trading in your landline and using your cell phone exclusively; cut back or eliminate on your cable or satellite package; raise (or lower) your thermostat just a few degrees—these small changes can add up to big savings.

Pay off highest interest rate charge cards first. Start with the cards with the highest rate and pay more than the minimum each month. As soon as you pay off one card, apply that money to the next card. While consolidating your credit card debt into a single card with a lower interest rate can help you pay off the debt faster, be careful of higher rates at the end of an introductory period. You could end up paying more over time. Also, if you do consolidate, cut up or put away the other cards to reduce the temptation to use them.

Keep housing payments current. Pay your mortgage or rent on time every month. If you own your home, also stay current on all taxes owed. Failing to do this can result in foreclosure or eviction."


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