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Reduce Your Debt to Zero the DeStress Way

Disposable income is currently being used to lower the high levels of debt in our overburdened economy. Stress levels are as high as the national debt, but they can be lowered by using these eight de-stress ways to bet out of this trap quickly. 1. Enlist your family. Enlist the support of your family to honestly assess your debt crisis, and pro-actively participate in a plan to reduce all unnecessary spending.

Start closing charge accounts. Credit cards should not be used unless it's a true emergency. Be blunt. Show your children what's most important through questions about them; for example, what would be more important - a video game or a home to live in. 2. Be honest with creditors.

Don't avoid those incoming telephone calls. Be honest. Be blunt. A client who received no help when he first talked to creditors re-called them later to say he was considering bankruptcy. That magic word was all it took for most of his creditors to immediately reduce interest rates and arrange a longer-term plan of repayment.

3. Plan your expenses to match your income. Erase all thoughts of impulse buys. Write everything you need (and want) on a piece of paper and do the math before you make a decision.

Because the economy is challenging, you have to challenge your own personal budget. 4. Consult a consumer credit counseling service. They now exist in every state, in every large city and in most or near smaller communities. Even if you decide not to attend classes, visit the Web sites of these services, since many contain free debt reduction tips you can read or download.

Share what you learn with family members or roommates. 5. Create a debt repayment plan on paper. Place all that you owe in Column A and put your payments in Column B.

In Column C, list discretionary monies and in Column D, make a list of your necessities like utilities and food. Don't just think about your debt. Make a plan on paper, and stick to it. 6.

Revisit and revise your plan. Revisit your plan at least once every 30 or 60 days to make any necessary revisions. Once you get used to cutting out extras and making each dollar county, it will become a habit. The only way you'll remain out of debt is if you put this plan into effect for your lifetime. .

7. Practice patience. Getting out of debt comes with no quick fixes.

Tell yourself to be patient. When you start to panic, breathe deeply, and tell yourself to be patient. Breathe deeply again, and mentally envision releasing that panic as you exhale. Do this exercise as many times as it takes to allow yourself to relax.

8. Simplify your life. Stress can rob you of the pleasure that you think will come with spending extra on vacations or personal items, especially when that spending only exacerbates your debt. Stress also leads to serious health problems, and there is no faster-rising expense than health care. Be smart.

Simplify. Your reward will be a less stressful, happier life. Being in debt is stress filled and keeps you in the debt trap. Getting out of debt through using these common sense techniques will help you keep your disposable income for happier things.

Ruth Klein is an award-winning business owner, best-selling author and marketing and time management consultant whose clients range from solo entrepreneurs to the Fortune 500. Sign up to receive Ruth's 7 Part Mini-Course on Branding and Productivity. http://tinyurl.com/25tqo5

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