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Crooked Path: Is your get out of debt plan a solid one?

Getting out of debt is easier said than done.

Ask anyone who has struggled with anything from a higher than average car payment, a mortgage they can't afford or mounds of credit card bills and they'll tell you without much hesitation that debt is the kind of monkey you just don't shrug off your back without much effort.

You have to work hard to get it to even budge.

That's why when discussions abound about saving money, debt and finances, those who have a hard time balancing their budget just as difficult as their checkbook know that there isn't much they can add to the conversation.

That is, until they come up with a plan to get out of debt, one that if executed correctly will give the quite the story to tell, one of redemption and perseverance.

The tricky part, however, is determining your course of action and following through. More specifically, you want to make sure you haven't left anything paramount off the fine print and have a plan that is solid, unwavering and crosses and dots the “t's” and “i's” respectively.

A big part of your debt salvation plan has to include giving up things that you love but ultimately realize that they don't fall under the category of being a necessity. These often are things like cable television, particularly the movie channels, sports packages and pay per view costs that are luxuries in the purest sense of the word. Your cell phone also can wreak havoc with your budget and certainly has elements of it that can go, such as you data plan you've adopted that is way too large than what you actually need.

Clothing, restaurant dining and other recreational activities, like joining a high priced country club for example, also should be carefully examined and slashed at a moment's notice. That's not to suggest that you can't buy yourself a new outfit for a job interview or if you're wearing tattered rags as tops, but to participate in a full on shopping spree is just plain silly.

The money you are saving from eliminating expenses should be directed toward paying off the highest interest loans, credit cards or debt that you currently have. The biggest mistake you can make with your zero debt plan is to take that extra money and pay off your student loan as example. That loan typically flirts with interest rates that are between 1-5% at most, rarely higher than the single digits.

Instead, find that Visa or MasterCard bill that has been bothering you for years and double up on that monthly payment, with the goal being a closer to zero balance with each monthly bill paid.

Adopting just a few tweaks to your spending habits and how you view debt is more than enough to climb out of that hole you've dug yourself and starting seeing a light at the end of that financial tunnel.

Previous: Simple Plan: Getting out of debt is rooted in selflessness and simplicity

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