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June 20, 2005


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12,000 over 15 years?

Try 10,000+ in 1-2 years on my credit cards.

The difference is, I didn't have larger expense like mortgage payments since I'm a student.. but like him, I didn't have a large income to pay off my debt too.

Easy enough though, as you've said.. it's not what you make, its what you spend. Spent wisely for a year, and now I'm debt free.

Easier said than done, but I guess its one of those things where you wake up one day, and realize you can't keep going on like this.

I think I've probably wasted about a grand or so on interest... I'm glad I stopped myself and realize how stupid I was before I prolong that 10K debt for years. *shivers*

Glad Greg stopped himself before it gets very difficult to manage.

$12,000? Puh-lease. I'm sitting at $30,000 in debt on credit cards and one loan right now. Not that I'm proud of that but I'm tired of reading things talking about how bad their debt is knowing that mine is incredibly worse. Things can get bad if you don't pay attention. Try getting out from under that in any kind of reasonable time frame. I'm paying attention now and trying to get things under control but the time frame is much larger than a year. It's rather depressing when you see articles about how awful it is to have 5-7 grand in credit card debt and they act like it's the end of the world. And then you realize you are 6 times worse...very depressing.

Mr Wolf --

Yes, you may be worse off, but if you set your mind to it, you can become debt free. It may take you 3 years (if you pay them off at the same rate as Greg) or even longer, but if you come up with a plan, stick to it, and don't give up, you can become debt free.

And if it makes you feel any better, tons of people have much more than you do in debt.

Good luck. I wish you all the best.


Try $50,000 of student loans and no present job. Even worse. If I only new a mediocre private education would have cost this much I would have opted for a public university that would have offereed more resources, better campus environment and better quality education then I received. And of course better advice from parents and family. It doesn't matter how frugal I am now; no matter how much wisdom I've found along the way, I too laugh at imbeciles in cc debt of $5,000. I wouldn't touch a credit card if you paid me. If you can't afford it at the time you want it save for it instead. I wish.

John --

The one thing you have to your advantage is time. Though $50,000 is a lot of money, you're still quite young and have many earning years ahead of you. Once you get a job, if you work to minimize your spending and work to pay off the debt as fast as possible, it will go a lot quicker than you think.

Good luck.


Like many others, I thought I had it bad. The largest portion of my debt is my car currently. Otherwise I have a few thousand on credit cards and some old bills. Everything of mine that is negative falls off of the credit report by January of 2007, so I'm attempting to have it deleted in the meantime, otherwise... I've waited this long, I won't mind waiting another year and a half. I've been able to build some good credit, and I can't tell you how valuable it is to *HAVE* credit. If I'm in an accident, I have a credit card that I can use to secure a rental vehicle. If I'm in an emergency, I can visit the doctor, so forth, without having a bunch of money sitting around in savings, or paying for health insurance that I can't afford, (being healthy pays). After I'm debt free, my goal will be to set aside a few months of savings, earning the best interest it can, so that I don't have to rely on credit cards for emergencies, and then begin my real investments. Hopefully by the time I have my degree, I'll be debt free and ready to launch into my dreams :) It'll be late. I turn 30 April 1st 2006. I realize, a lot of time lost, but at the same time I learned the great lesson : "do what you can now, because everything else comes afterwards".

You want to lose weight? Stop eating like a pig, you fat bastard! The same applies to cc debt. Cut up your cards and stop spending your future (yes, you read it right) before it comes! Keep one credit card for emergencies, preferably one that you must pay in full every month (such as AMEX) and lose the rest.

Every time you spend money you don't have, you have practically signed away part of your future as a slave to the system. That is why America is the nation who's average worker takes the fewest vacation days per year out of all western nations (possibly with the exception of Japan). One thing really bugs me: seeing a young man or woman work their life away, not learning anything about life other than what the TeeVee/media feeds them, seldom taking a vacation (and usually not abroad) and getting to an age when a man should be educated and wise with the IQ of a teenager. Must-see-TV is garbage, shut off your TV, start reading some books, stop buying all the crap they try to sell you. You are addicted to products, it's a vice, a bad habit, an addiction. If you want to lead a meaningful, more than surface-deep life, you must somehow find a way to be free of this addiction to buy all this crap that you throw in the garbage, which is money thrown in the garbage, which is your hard work thrown in the garbage, which is your life thrown in the garbage. Have some respect for yourself and don't throw your life, the most precious thing you have and will ever have, in the garbage!

Also, you do know that every time you are given a loan new money is actually created in the USA, right? When you get a $50k loan, the bank actually creates an extra $50k of US dollars out of thin air! This has the effect of devaluating all the other dollars in circulation, which is a direct source of inflation.

A mortgage is a good idea, credit cards are a VERY BAD idea! A mortgage is like fine wine, which gets better with time (your property increases in value, and you build equity while you are paying off the loan), credit cards are like crack-cocaine! Stay away from them!

I had 10,000 dollars in credit card debt when I got out of school, mainly because I could not get enough educational loans, plus i went to school for 3 semesters which financial aid only covers 2. I paid off 10,000 in 4 months. When I got my first job, I still kept my side job and lived off the money I made from the side job. I then took all my new income and paid it directly to the credit card company.

I am 40 and paying off 12,649 of credit card. It use to be $30,000. I realized on day I couldn't continue on this way. I regret the amount of money I wasted. However I do not benefit presently on regreting the past but look forward to my future. In 2yrs (hopefully sooner I have 2 kids) I will be out of debt. I am teaching my children my lessons - that is my gift. Credit cards are evil! An excellant website I found was It gives advice on debt from a Christian prespective. It gave me hope and that made all the difference.

Don't know if this information has been since updated somewhere else on your site, but Crown Financial's website can now be found at excellent resource - I highly recommend!

Please send my family a pamphlet on your services. You can mail it to 20 Victory Ave. Lackawanna, NY 14218

Thank you so much!
Mr. James Hatok

YoungMiser, "Credit cards are evil" is a ridiculous quote. There nothing "evil" about a service that llows you to borrow money and pay it back over time. It's people who make it into a destructive habit that make credit cards undesirable.

The only thing evil about credit cards are the users who abuse them. Credit cards are not different than having the money in the bank. Just think of it as your virtual bank. The difference of course is you must pay off your credit cards in a timely fashion to replish "your bank". If you are not financially responsible to manage your money then don't use a credit card.

For those of us who know how to manage our finances, credit and credit cards then this is just free money, 1% back when you use a credit card and if you have a 0% CC, which I have about 5 right now you are getting free money to use to make more money.

If you find yourself in credit card debt, do some of the following.

1. CONSOLIDATE to once card or loan at the lowest interest rate. This way you are paying off one card and not getting hit with late payments that add on more interest, plus you can probably get a lower interest rate than you currently have.

2. Don't pay the minimum amount... Pay as much as you can afford. If you can not pay off the entire amount, pay $150, $200, $500 etc.

3. Call up the credit card company and ask them if they will give you a lower rate. (This is before you try to consolidate your accounts.) Most credit card companies will want to see you are trying to help pay down your debt and will work with you. I must of called my credit card companies 10-20 times over the years if I missed a payment by a couple days or if I wanted to get a charge removed or if I wanted a lower rate. Everytime I was able to have the late charge removed and no late payments show up on my record.. That's 100% success record. I am a good customer, so they want to keep me, plus I'm persistant and I ask for a manager anytime the CSR says no or cannot help me.

4. Cut out the fat... This can be any number of things. Don't go out and eat. If you go out and eat 5 times a month, make that number 1 or 2. Buy food in bulk and eat in more. Buy food on sale, and use coupons if you can. Cut excess expenses such as your cell phone. My cell phone bill is less than $40 a month but it's also my only phone. You cell phone bill should not be more than $50 a month. Don't go shopping at the mall, shop on Ebay for used clothes or the Salvation Army etc. Cut back on luxuries like expensive cars, jewelry, $100 cable bills etc. Don't spend money on beer and liquor. <--- These are areas where you can immediately cut back on. As you start to pay off your debt you will learn to live with it. Once you are back in control then you can add back some of the things you cut out.

5. Work just a few extra hours a pay period. If you work just 1-2 hours more every 2 weeks, you can increase you yearly salary by 3-5%. Use this extra money to pay off your debts!

6. Sell extra items which you either don't need or bought and couldn't afford. How did you get into debt to begin with? Did you buy something you knew you couldn't afford?

7. Look around and find other ways you can save money... Could you car pool, take public transportation, go to the library instead of buying magazines etc. There are many ways to save money, but you must have the desire to want to pay off your debt.

Good Luck =)

It is depressing when people complain about only owing $5,000 or $10,000 on their credit cards. I owe a whole lot more and on several cards. Most are stupid mistakes trying to consolidate. My plite was being a single parent with a child diagnosed with cancer. The treatments were costly. And most of the bills that the insurance companies and government refused to cover were left to me to pay and so they ended up on the cards. I can't work extra hours and earn extra money because I already work on average 60 to 75 hours a week and only get paid for 40. The joy of being salary working in an industry that is exempt from paying over time. I don't buy what I need. I don't even own a sofa.
I have worked to pay more than the minimums, but to no avale. All the credit card companies did was raise the interest on the next statement. They don't really want you to pay off the card because they make more on the interest and as much as I have paid on interest they would have been paid off by now.

I'm in a SERIOUS debt-hole and would appreciate any advice on an appropriate investment strategy: I'm dealing with just over $100K in debt (paid for a 'reputable' masters degree in international relations). When that's paid off after more than 30 years, i'll have shoveled over nearly $180K. Interest rates over my several loans vary from 4% to 7.25%. I'm in my late twenties and making about $50K a year in an overseas job. I have no other debt, few expenses and good credit. I'm looking to invest about 1K a month but really don't know where to begin. I'm fairly risk averse and I need something solid over the medium term. Any suggestions for this sorry fool? Thanks!

I'd suggest you read through the "debt" and "investing" categories on this site. You can find them in the right sidebar.

If you're in 100K Debt, why would you think about investing $1K/Month? Pay off your student loan first before you even think about investing.


I think that I understand what everyone is trying to say here, but alot of it is ill placed common-sense sprinkled with an actual good suggestion here and there.

I am speaking from a position of experience & authority as I have been [and am currently stilled licensed in that capacity] financial advisor and I working through $60,000.00+ of debt. 51000.00 of this debt is Student Loans. I can relate to what everyone is saying.

1.) You must approach your household finances as if you were running a small business that feeds several families, including your own. This takes the selfishness out of the equation. It is the selfishness that will prompt you to ignore your inclanation to avoid unnecessary purchases. This motivates you to control your expenses more effectively. It sounds a bit over the top, but if you think that your actions may hurt more than just yourself, it is much more likely that you will curb the desire for the doo-dads. In the end, doo-dads cost more than they provide in the form of missed opportunities. Mindset is key, for if you don't change your mindset, you will repeat the same mistakes.

2.) To follow up on this, Increase your income. Marty's Suggestion about working 1-2 hours extra each day is the easiest for all non-exempt and contract employees to implement. And it will pay big dividends. If you belong to this category, it is the easy way to give yourself a raise.

My next suggestion for all is if you own a PC & can afford a high-speed internet connection, search for Telecommuting organizations so that you can find genuine leads to companies [Read: IBM, Morgan Stanley, AT&T for starters] with which you can obtain a second job that allows for Telecommuting. Why Telecommunting? Simple. The expenses one incurrs that are workplace related have been greatly reduced. What you would spend on gas, is now reduced by at least 75% down to the cost of a highspeed internet connection. [unless you would catch the train/bus -- then the cost is about the same in most cities]. Lunch is what you have in the fridge. This also piggie backs off of something else Marty stated -- eliminating eating out. Presto. You've killed two birds with one stone.
Simple isn't it? But not easy. It does take work and may require that you have experience beyond entry-level [if that is an issue]

3.) This section is the kicker. Stop trying to kill yourself with getting out of debt as fast as possible! Yeah I said it, and some people are going to say I am crazy but you better listen up.

If you are putting all of your available cash toward debt reduction, but you have no reserves, no insurance, & no assets growing for you, you run the risk of remaining in this situation. Why? Because if you lose your job or your income-stream for any reason, you have nothing to sustain you. Zip. Zealch. No Business Manager or Financial Planner in their right mind would advise the client to do that.

Now do not mistake this as being told to walk away from your debt or to file bankruptcy. Remember when I said to treat your household like it is a business? Well here is where that it comes into play. Now that you have found ways to decrease expenses while increasing your income, it is time to institute a debt reduction program. This is something that you can implement yourself.

One Key is weekly payments. It sounds corny at first, but think about it. There are 12 months in a year, each month averaging about 4 weeks [48 weeks]. 12 monthly payments. But there are Actually 52 weeks in a year. So that essentially leaves an extra month. Right there you have an extra month's worth of payments that you can apply directly to the principal [this is over simplified for the purposes of this conversation depending on the creditor/finaning instrument, but the weekly payments concept does work]. This starts your money working for you. You are also in position to handle minor emergencies & unexpected emergencies should they arise because your not depleating your funds to retire debt too rapidly. What you also gain as a benefit is the fact that you may actually end up with a larger overall monthly contribution to reduction on of the debt. It takes a bit of work, and I know that I have not taken into account the interest rates, but you get the idea. [Ideally, the Annual payment deterimned would take all of that into account and simply divided by 52, but the first order of business is manage your overall finances, & begin reducing the debt in a reasonable fashion. But, if you have the time to set down with a professional or can run the numbers yourself, by all means do that]

You make smaller incremental payments out on your debts, concentrating on the smallest first until you pay that off. Now take that same money that you were paying on the smallest debt, and add it to the next smallest debts weekly payments, so on and so forth. It will move alot faster than you think without having to shell out as much money at any given time. This also limits adds the affect of reducing your available cash. If you're available cash is reduced, there is less of an opportunity for you to make a mistake with it, right?

Also, you apply the same technique to a savings account. Small weekly deposits -- anywhere from $10-$100. There are some great rates you can get right now with returns at or above 5%. If you can do it weekly, you will be amazed at how much progress you can make without large amounts of stress.

Additionally, make sure that you are taking advantage of your employee benefits. You want your outward cashflow to be minimized as much as possible, so you will have to talk with you benefits personnel as well as a Financial Advisor about which benefits to elect/adjust/maximize on and which to eliminate [if any]. You also need to consider adjusting your withholds. No since giving Uncle Sam an unnecessary, Interest free loan if you don't have to. So it might be time to adjust those elections on the ol' W2 to get What's coming to you Now, while you can use it.

Finally, DRIPs & REITs. Now I am not in position to give specific financial advice without knowing your present situation in detail, but in general a person in this financial situation must start here. Why? You need to get into something with a minimal amount of fees attachted to it, that pays a dividend and will reinvest that dividend for you. DRIPs are a great way to do that, and REITs [Real Estate Investment Trusts] can provide that same type of benefit. This is how you can start making your money work for you. One share a week would be outstanding. And if you can do that, when dividend time comes, you will get a nice little bonus that will really get the engine running.

Well that is it. This is more of an over-simplfied financial plan, but becoming debt free is more than just debt elimination. The moment you for get it, the moment your back at the bottom of it!

DRJ is absolutely on target. I'm a financial advisor also, and one thing I heard that made perfect sense was that you can't just put everything you have into paying off debt if you have responsibilities -- you have to have a small, but growing, rainy-day fund. Having $400 in the savings account is enough for a set of tires, an emergency room visit, or a minor household or car repair -- where you would otherwise be turning to the credit cards. Just discipline yourself to save some small amount every payday while you are paying down your debt. Everyone needs to read the classic by Og Mandino "The Richest Man in Babylon".

Here's an email I received from a reader that he couldn't post, so I'm doing it for him:

"Sorry, but I'm going to be a naysayer on this one. (I'd post a reply on the blog, but I can't get through the TypePad verification process - The variable shading obscures at least one of the characters with the result I can't correctly read it - getting five characters right out of six isn't good enough.)

I earn minimum wage. On that income, it would be impossible for me to eliminate $12K of debt in 14 months. Do the math!

(I am fiftyish and have no career-related experience and I do have a dead-end menial job. I consider it highly unlikely I will ever be able to get a good job. If you know of an employer who is hiring fiftyish unskilled workers for good jobs, I'm all ears - and eyes.)"

Question: Who goes first when four cars arrive at an intersection? Answer: The guy with a gun rack and the bumper sticker that says: "Guns don't kill people; I do" This came to mind when reading the posts. Credit cards are like guns. They are powerful tools that can create much pain when mis-handled. Many people have gotten themselves into what they feel is massive debt. Yet it is all relative. In time your perspective may change on what is a lot of money.

There has been much advice about how to pay off the debt and it all comes down to living below your means and trying simultaneously to increase your means. This "means" spending less and/or earning more. It's simple mathematics. Just like Duke pointed out with food. 3500 calories is 1 lb. of fat. If you want to lose weight (elimate debt) you either eat less and/or burn more. The problem people have with that and with credit is that it takes discipline and learning and establishing new habits. You must make it a lifestyle and have fun with the process of doing it. If you go into changing your spending habits like most people go into a diet, as something painful in order to get to a long-term goal, you are setting yourself up for pain and likely failure. Enjoy the process. Many believe "no pain, no gain"... this may be true but those who really acheive learn that "pain is growth and growth is pleasure" so paradoxically "pain is pleasure".

For example, Donald Trump is millions if not billions of dollars in debt but he uses the money to make more money. There were times when his assets were not near enough to cover his debt and most thought he would go bankrupt but you didn't hear him whining and being negative about himself. You have to think the same way. I don't agree that you shouldn't invest when you owe money. If your investments generate a higher percent growth rate than your debt your are missing out by not investing. This is basically the philosophy of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books in a nutshell you must make your money make money for you. This is compound growth, and with it, miracles happen... but you must have faith and not give up.

Think of the small business owner in a small town who was whining about Walmart coming in and losing customers and who was faced with going out of business because he couldn't pay his creditors. At first he complained and got upset and cursed the big company. Finally, he went to see a spiritual advisor where he told about his struggle to pay his bills and fear of becoming bankrupt and losing his store. He was told to be positive and wish for Walmart to be a great success. He didn't understand but followed the advise of his friend. A few month later the spiritual advisor ran into him and found the man to no longer be so sad and upset. The advisor asked "You seem to be so happy, were you able to save the store?"... "No, he replied. I had to shut it down. Now now I am the head manager at Walmart"

Personally, I used to curse my debt but I then worked 3 jobs (which doesn't give you much time to spend money or watch cable TV- I cancelled mine then) and paid it down and while bringing my credit score up. Now I rotate about $25,000 of debt between credit cards at 0% introductory rates and I love my credit card debt because it saves me about 2k each year in interest I'd be paying on a car and house loan.
Stay positive, you never know what opportunities await for you to eliminate your own debt or to create more debt that can actually work for you.

try 56,000 in debt. mr. wolf so I know what its like to feel depressed. But only being positive and remembering money is not the most important thing. But I am now trying to put about 800 dollars a month towards debt so I am looking at about 6 plus years unless I can throw some extra money down which I am hoping to due. Keep ya head up..

I'm a senior at a State University and I'm going to be 80k in debt with student loans upon graduation. I'm deathly afraid of it. I have awesome spending habits, fiddle with my excel spreadsheet budget daily, and barely surviving off my mediocre internship hourly wage. I never owned a credit card and probably never will. I actually got jealous hearing about people's 5k debts... apparently my interst will be similar to that annually. When I graduate, I would assume I'm getting a decent full time job (roughly 50-75k/year), but still... 80k in debt? Bah. I used calculators on various sites and I found out I have to dish out 600ish a month for 20-40 years to pay it off. By that time, the interest will build up to 150-200k! To pay it off any less, I will have to dish out over 1000 a month. I'm already stressed about it... I am not looking forward to graduating... I thought about going for my PhD while continuously playing the lotto and praying (kidding... kinda). I also looked into the Peace Corps to give me some help with the debt... but then I would ruin my chances in having a great starting career (I want a big name company off the bat). I wish I was lucky enough to have sucessful parents... or un-motivated enough to not have went to college.

Oh, and to follow up with another comment... there is no possible way for me to send me kids to college or have a nice/early retirement due to me spending majority of my career paying off my college debt.

I have an $80,000 credit card debt, I have 200,000 in a 401b. I've been told to withdraw the 80 thousand from the annuity acct. and pay off the debt. Won't this kill me on my income tax. I'm retired.

You may need the advice of a competent CPA or attorney. Yes, such a large withdrawal will put you in a higher tax bracket. Depending on your age, you may be hit with substantial penalties as well.

But before you go visit one, get a copy of the plan documents for your 403b. Are there annuity penalties for such a large withdrawal? How old are you? Would you / could you file bankruptcy and discharge the credit card debt while shielding your retirement savings? Again, information and questions to submit to a qualified professional.

Aside from that, do you understand why you're in such poor financial shape? Have you made the necessary adjustments to keep from going even deeper in the hole? If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Depending on your age, maybe you shouldn't go the bankruptcy route. If you're young enough, change your ways, suck it up and dig yourself out.

For those with $80K in debt, this is more than you can pay off in 14 months obviously. What I would do in that situation would be to negotiate/consolidate to get below 10% APR first, then make minimum payments (but never reduce from your initial minimum payment) in year 1 after you land your first after college career. At 2% minimum payments this would take you to $68800 after year 1 after interest. Add $100/month to the payment after year 1 since you probably got a $200+/month raise anyways. After year 2 you'd be at 55280. Add $100/month in year 3, you'd be at $38008. At end of year 4, you are at $17,808. At month 9 of year 5, you are done! Not only that, but you are used to living frugally!

We had 137,000 is Student Loans. For the past year and a half we have paid over 30,000. The interest really gets the majority of the money you send. It has been hard. We stick to a strict budget and use the envelope system... Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. This has truly helped us. I know it will take a while. However, I know we WILL be debt free. It's about attitude and behavior. Change your attitude towards the debt and change your behavior so you won't create more debt.

I am mentioned in an article that is referenced on this page:

My tale of getting out of debt is nothing new or novel. It does not matter the amount of debt that you have or what your income is. You have to change your spending habits, and have to be regimented in paying off your debt.

Today my life is a lot different. Since I got out of debt over 4 years ago. I still use my credit cards, but I pay off the balance in full every month. I have a savings account and have upped my monthly retirement saving to $900 per month that goes into my 403B account.

Don't lose hope! When I thought it was impossible, I was depressed and thought I would be in debt forever. If you just start chipping away at it, soon you will see that it is not insurmountable. Sacrifice a bit now, and you will see the benefits tomorrow.

Good Luck!


Buy the Book Debt Cures "They don't want you to know about" It's got a lot of info on how to become debt free!!!

When I left college after only 2 years I had somewhere near 78K in student loan debt. The one thing I regret is not working durring college to start paying on the debt. Truth is, I didn't understand loans and how they worked, and I don't think my parents knew what we were getting into. I left college early because I knew that I couldn't afford to finish, it hit me that I would be in debt for life.

SO I have been paying on them for 4 years now, and have never been late, and I still owe 60K

When I started out my payments were around 300 a month, now I pay 750 a month.

750 a month is a huge amount, I am left with about 200 a month to live off of, sometimes less.

A quarter of my life is over, and it will be more than half over by the time I pay off my debt.

How could I really pay it off any sooner.

My non-mortgage debt is $80,277. It was not easy to tally that number this month, but after 10 months of paying down credit card debt as fast as we could it was time to take into account car loans and student loans.

I also wish someone would have pointed out to me the financial ins and outs of loan payoffs, I would have focused more on minimizing the amount I had to borrow while in school.

80K in student loan debt should not force you to halt your life. I still plan to start trying to have a child in the coming year, pay off the remainder of my credit card debt by 2010, and fund just a bit each month towards an education savings.

You would be amazed what you could pay down if you keep your living expenses the same as they were in college for the first year.

My fiance and I are lower middle class and had $40,000 worth of debt when we moved in together. I refused to not save for retirement so I started working 2 jobs. He went out and bought a new motorcycle. I've been working 2 jobs every day of the week. I take 2 weeks off each year. It's been 3 1/2 years and only have 1 more year to go till debt is paid off. It has been a miserble 3 years -BUT- we only have $10,000 to pay off and I have managed to save $30,000 for retirement at the same time.

Reading through all these comments has made me so hopeful! This is an old article, but the advice is still sound!

I have a few thousand in credit card debt that I've battled with for roughly 4 years now. It's not much thankfully, but unfortunately I was pressure sold a timeshare 3 years ago and those are hard to sell nowadays. I'm still in school and have less than $600 coming in each month (which goes straight to rent and food). To me, my situation has been relatively impossible to overcome. I try to remind myself it could be worse, but that doesn't remedy the situation.

So, after reading the comments and advice here, I'm going to try paying weekly or even bi-weekly on my smallest amount of my debt, then do the same with my next smallest when my previous debt is paid off. I'm also going to sell things I really don't need or should not have bought. Until my income increases, I'm limited to small steps, but I have to be vigilant about taking any steps I can now or else I'll have a bigger mountain of debt to climb by next year.

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