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Wednesday, February 26, 2020   

Debt Under Construction
by Alyice Edrich
Alyice is the author of Build Upon A Firm Foundation: Financial Help With A Biblical Twist, and the editor of a national publication for BUSY parents. Subscribe to her free e-newsletter to win a free book!
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Alyice Edrich

Warning: Americans are filing for bankruptcy at an alarming rate. Spending is out of control. Arguments over finances are destroying families. Financial stresses are among the top five reasons couples divorce.

Debt has a way of creeping up on us. In time, it begins to take on a life of its own, causing deaths of families. But it doesnít have to be this way. Debt can be controlled and marriages can be saved. People donít have to live paycheck to paycheck.

People donít have to spend their lives working to pay off past debts. We can stop looking back. But itís going to take work. The following are ways to help each of us get out of debt:

1) Take the time to understand why you spend, when you do. What is the underlying issue? Did you come from a poor family? Were you never taught money management skills? Did you always get what you wanted, when you wanted it? Are you sad and lonely, and find spending money eases the pain? Is keeping up with others important to your self-image?
2) Get out all your bills. List them according to company name, interest rate, balance, monthly payment, and interest paid out each month.
3) Send the kids on a sleep over adventure with a neighbor or relative. Order take out, and sit down with your spouse to discuss a course of action; a way to get out from under all that debt. Donít argue over who spends more, or who made the debt. Donít place blame (it only puts up walls) because nothing will get resolved. Instead, think about solutions.
4) Decide how much ďmad moneyĒ each person is going to get each month. Mad money is money that can be spent anyway the holder of that money wants. And the best part about it is that you donít have to feel guilty about it.
5) Decide which bills you are going to concentrate paying off first, and which ones you are only going to pay the minimum on.
6) Agree not to charge anything else on any of the credit cards, unless itís a dire emergency, until all cards have a zero balance.
7) Agree not to open up another charge account.
8) Decide whether consolidating these bills would be the best solution for your family. And if you decide yes, decide how much money you are willing to pay in fees, points, and interest rates. 
9) Decide who is going to take over paying the bills, or is it going to be a team effort.



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