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In today’s society, debt is more common and even acceptable than ever, and even though it’s nothing to be ashamed of and is something that in some cases is unavoidable, for example if you own a home, if you feel yourself being controlled by debt and can’t see any way out, then it’s time to take back that control and do something about it.

Debt causes, not only personal stress, but it can affect relationships and have dire consequences if not dealt with properly. The good news is, getting out of debt is possible, but it’s not something that will go away simply by avoiding it.

So, in this post, we’re going to share some simple steps you can take to start reducing and getting out of excess debt so you can actually start seeing some positive results in your financial health.

Find out what you’re dealing with:

One of the biggest fears that people have around debt is avoiding looking at their debt face on and getting to know what they’re actually dealing with. Once you stop doing this, you’ll often find that it’s not actually as bad as you thought, but you’ll start to feel better because you’ll know you’re taking the control.Start by opening up all letters and bills and making a list of everything you owe. You can use paper for this or a digital spreadsheet. Then look at your monthly incomings and outgoings to see what you can realistically afford to repay. You can even contact each company to arrange a payment plan and if you ask nicely and agree to repay within a certain timeframe, many will reduce or remove the interest for you.

Look into debt consolidation:

If you’re having trouble making or managing your monthly repayments, then debt consolidation is a good way to go. There are many companies and charities who can help you with this and who will look over everything with you and arrange a single monthly repayment you can afford on your behalf with the companies you owe money to. When consolidating debt, it’s best to go with a repayment option rather than a consolidation loan as this can lead to more problems and affect your credit score even more than before.

Use cash:

Nowadays with cards so widely accepted and easy to use, it can be difficult to stay on top of how much we’re actually spending and we’re not aware of it until the bill comes in, and a great way to avoid this is to use cash for everything when possible. This allows you to stay on top of your budgeted spending for the month and means there will be no surprise bills to deal with. From a safety perspective, cash is still king because it still provides the best identity theft protection when compared to cards which can be stolen or cloned by criminals to steal your identity and clear your bank account.

Make a plan:

Once you know what you owe and to who, make a plan to pay back a set amount each month until it’s cleared. It’s also a good idea to set up a separate account just for this that you can automatically transfer your debt budget to each month so that you don’t ever see that money and find yourself tempted to spend it.