Myth: I can get quick debt help over the phone or Internet.
Truth: True debt help is not quick or easy. It starts in the mirror with you.
Most people don’t know that financial planners make almost all of their money by selling you a product such as life insurance or mutual funds, instead of spending time counseling you. They’re not evil; they just don’t get paid to help you get out of debt.
You are the problem with your money. The financial channel or some tape sets aren’t your answer; you are. You are the king of your future.
Developing a Budget:
The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to do a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend. Start by listing your income from all sources. Then, list your “fixed” expenses — those that are the same each month — like mortgage payments or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. Next, list the expenses that vary — like entertainment, recreation, and clothing. Writing down all your expenses, even those that seem insignificant, is a helpful way to track your spending patterns, identify necessary expenses, and prioritize the rest. The goal is to make sure you can make ends meet on the basics: housing, food, health care, insurance, and education.
Your public library and bookstores have information about budgeting and money management techniques. In addition, computer software programs can be useful tools for developing and maintaining a budget, balancing your checkbook, and creating plans to save money and pay down your debt.