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Bankruptcy: The Power of the Clean Slate

It doesn’t take many clicks online to find writing and advice on how to shape up your finances, even First30Days has a great financial advice section found here. There are...

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Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey

Host of "The Dave Ramsey Show" on Fox Business Channel and...

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Scott Bilker

Scott Bilker

Author and creator of DebtSmart.com

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Liz Pulliam Weston

MSN Money columnist and author

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Sneaky Debt

 Debt works a lot like this ninja cat. It creeps up slow and steady. And until it pounces, you have no idea you're in over your head.

According to a study conducted in July, younger generations are not faring well when it comes to debt. Of those carrying a credit card, one in three are over $10,000 in debt. At first the use is recreational and easy to pay off. But then it becomes habit, and it's easy to use that card every where you go. The more you use the card, the more you spend until suddenly, you've accumulated $10,000 in debt and you have no idea how you got there.

Rule number one to reducing debt: Stop spending.

You'll never reduce your debt unless you can find a way to stop relying on your credit cards to meet your monthly expenses. You'll have to learn to live below your means.

Reducing your debt requires commitment and a plan. You can tackle the approach many different ways, some we've talked about before. But, the key is that you have to find a way to stick to it.

So, what methods have you used to get out of debt? Did your debt sneak up on you like cat? Or were you aware and just in a place where you couldn't stop spending? [On Wall Street]

Posted: 9/29/08

i am the type to nickle and dime my bill's. It is overwelming at times. but every 5 or 10 dollars. Does help. that's better than increasing my bills.


Yes, I am one of those in the younger generation who has a lot of debt, but what drives me nuts is that articles on this subject tend to make it sound as if it were all shopping sprees and clubbing. Most of the debt I acquired was paying for food, clothing and gas in college. For my first job out of college, I did not receive a moving stipend for a cross-country move. So how did I pay for it? Credit cards. I worked two jobs to avoid putting myself further in debt and to try and pay off debt. I've got a plan in place to get rid of my debt, but it's going to be a long road.


I racked up tons of debt after college. I was sort of freaked when I realized I had three credit cards that were all near the max (about $14,000 total). It took a few years but I'm on track now to be debt free by December. It took putting every penny I could toward the debt, and looking for 0% interest cards that I could transfer the balance to so I could get ahead of the game. I also set up a checking account just for expenses at a different bank and funneled half of my paycheck in there. This way, I wasn't spending more than I had in my personal account, and anything left over from my monthly expenses went straight to Discover Card. It works I promise!

  • By LMAYO9
  • on 9/29/08 11:44 AM EST