Do you like being in debt? If so, then this article isn't for you. On the other hand, if you want to get out of debt, then keep reading. As you have probably found out by now, good debt reduction advice can be hard to come by. A lot of the suggestions being made are either flat out wrong or confusing. None of which is going to help you improve your financial situation.
The first thing you need to look at is who is giving the advice. Ask yourself what makes them qualified. If they have a professional certification of any kind, make sure it's in the financial field. Debt reduction advice coming from a certified financial planner (CFP) carries more weight than that coming from a PhD. The other source of good advice comes from real people who were able to get out of debt on their own (in this case a PhD could be a could source).
One type of advice to really watch out for is the kind that is meant to be misleading in the hopes that you actually stay in debt even longer. This can be hard to spot, but if you ask yourself what the motive behind the advice is, then you should be able to weed out the majority of bad advice. Remember, this is your financial future you're dealing with, so you need to take it seriously. Following bad advice will only make things worse, and who wants that?
When it comes to debt reduction advice, you need to look for two things:
1. Sound advice. This is advice that has been proven to work and is based on solid principles. Cutting back on unnecessary expenses, investing wisely, regular savings and budgeting are all basics of handling money. Generally speaking, people giving such advice know what they're talking about.
2. Advice you can follow. Even the best advice is useless if you won't follow it. For example, a lot of advisors will tell you to cut back expenses to the point of having no fun and getting no enjoyment out of life. Sure, the final reward of being financially free may be worth the deprivation, but if you can't stick to the strict measures, then the advice is basically useless.
There are a few common threads that run through most bits of debt reduction advice, here are a few to get you started down the right path:
Make a budget. You need to account for every penny coming in and every penny going out. At this stage all you need to do is know where it's all going. If you have more going out than coming in, then you will be going further into debt, and you need to fix it as soon as possible.
Stop! There's an old saying that says if you're in a hole than you need to stop digging. This applies perfectly to debt. If you have credit card debt, then stop using your cards. Sure, it's basic debt reduction advice, but you may be shocked to learn how many people overlook these kinds of things.